HR 2749 Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply


We received an email regarding a response from a friend who is a senior staffer for a Congressman about H.R. 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009.

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I am back into HR 2749 EH, and I have to tell you I am deeply concerned, and outraged, at what I’m reading, as will be just about everyone I know.

I have SO many questions, like where does Congress get the authority to strip the states of their rights to regulate commerce within their own state boundaries? Congress is indeed supposed to regulate commerce among the several states (although the Founders had a very different intention from the extreme overreach of Congress nowadays), but I have seen nothing in the U.S. Constitution permitting Congress to impose upon intra-state commerce.

And does the Congressman understand the ‘National/Global Information Infrastructure,’ the federal enterprise architecture and the implications of it? Please refer to this site for background –

I am sending your note (with your identity protected), and my comments below, to everyone I know so they see our discussion out in the open, and can make up their own minds about its subject. I am only telling people you are a senior staffer for a Congressman; this is a national issue, so it’s not germane to all whom you serve.

I am also including an independent analysis by a friend with an IT perspective, as she and I, as I mentioned before, do not believe (indeed we pray) that you and the Congressman understand the real agenda at play in this legislation.

Here is your note to me from last Thursday, for everyone else’s benefit:

…  just left you a voicemail regarding definitions of farms and facilities. Below is the exact language form the bill which specifically exempts farms and then goes on the further clarify what constitutes a farm.


‘‘(1)(A) The term ‘facility’ means any factory, warehouse, or establishment (including a factory, warehouse, or establishment of an importer) that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food. (B) Such term does not include farms; private residences of individuals; restaurants; other retail food establishments; nonprofit food establishments in which food is prepared for or served directly to the consumer; or fishing vessels (except such vessels engaged in processing as defined in section 123.3(k) of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulations).


‘‘(D)(i) The term ‘farm’ means an operation in one general physical location devoted to the growing and harvesting of crops, the raising of animals (including seafood), or both. ‘‘(ii) Such term includes—‘‘(I) such an operation that packs or holds food, provided that all food used in such activities is grown, raised, or consumed on such farm or another farm under the same ownership; ‘‘(II) such an operation that manufactures or processes food, provided that all food used in such activities is consumed on such farm or another farm under the same ownership; ‘‘(III) such an operation that sells food directly to consumers if the annual monetary value of sales of the food products from the farm or by an agent of the farm to consumers exceeds the annual monetary value of sales of the food products to all other buyers; ‘‘(IV) such an operation that manufactures grains or other feed stuffs that are grown and harvested on such farm or another farm under the same ownership and are distributed directly to 1 or more farms for consumption as food by humans or animals on such farm; and ‘‘(V) a fishery, including a wild fishery, an aquaculture operation or bed, a fresh water fishery, and a saltwater fishery.

– C

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Here are the first few pages of my notes on H.R. 2749 EH:

HR 2749 EH (the version passed out of the House of Representatives) includes its own definitions of ‘farm’ and ‘facility,’ which at first glance, you might think you understand. I ask that you carefully verify your understanding with a dictionary, starting with a good law dictionary, if at all possible. I also hereby advance my contention that this bill is full of language deception……..considered in its use to fool the most people. I hope you will read on and evaluate my reasoning, and the bill’s language. You may think my words strong and over-the-edge, but I can tell you if this bill passes the Senate with only the provisions it now contains, let alone any added ‘mischief’ life in America is over as we’ve ever known it.

First evaluating the bill’s definitions of ‘farm’ and ‘facility’ I started looking up the terms used. Under Title 21, Section 1.227 defines ‘farm’ and ‘facility’ as below. A food ‘establishment’ is not defined in Title 21; neither is food manufacture, so we’re back to common usage. Black’s defines an ‘establishment’ as “an institution or place of business,” and ‘manufacture’ includes “the making of goods and articles by hand…(and) the making of something in any way.” That’s pretty darn broad!

As you no doubt know, if Congress doesn’t define a term within the language of a bill, then the courts will look to established federal statutory and case definitions and then to common usage definitions. Since a ‘facility’ is defined in this bill as “any factory, warehouse, or establishment…” yet the terms ‘factory,’ ‘warehouse,’ and ‘establishment’ are not defined, I looked them up.

My Black’s Law Dictionary (sixth edition), which lists “Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence,” does not define ‘factory’ so I looked in my Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, which defines factory as “an establishment for the manufacture of goods, including the necessary buildings and machinery…; a house or place where factors reside, to transact business for their employers.” A ‘factor’ is a “doer, maker, performer…a person who manages an estate for another.” Following the same procedure…

Black’s says a ‘warehouse’ “may include any structure used to house goods, stores or wares temporarily or for a length of time.” ‘Goods’ is a general description of personal property. ‘Stores’ (Black’s) refers to “supplies provided for the subsistence and accomodation of a ship’s crew and passengers.” ‘Wares’ (Webster’s) is “anything made to be sold.”

Black’s says an ‘establishment’ is “an institution or place of business, with its fixtures and organized staff.” And an ‘institution’ is “an establishment, (among others) one affecting a community.” Webster’s defines ‘establishment’ as (among other things) “An institution or place of business…the place where a person is settled for residence or for transacting business.”

Black’s says a ‘residence’ “implies something more than mere physical presence and something less than domicile; the (term has) no precise legal meaning.” ‘Place of business’ means “the location at which one carries on his business or employment.”

‘Residence’ does not imply real property, such as the land your crops and/or livestock are rasied on, held on, or packed on; the word property is nowhere to be found in this bill, and that is NOT what is meant, legally, by ‘residence.’ If you’re reading this outside the Beltway, you may not be a ‘farm’ but you are probably a ‘facility.’ Remember the definitions above.

And if you are a farm, you’re not necessarily exempt, either. According to this bill’s definition, ‘‘The term ‘farm’ means an operation in one general physical location devoted to the growing and harvesting of crops, the raising of animals (including seafood), or both.” THIS IS THE IMPORTANT LANGUAGE relevant to defining what a ‘farm’ is. The bill’s language continues, ‘‘Such term includes—…” yada, yada. But, again, Black’s says very clearly that the term “‘Including’ within statute is interpreted as a word of enlargement or of illustrative application as well as a word of limitation.” So when the bill says the term ‘farm’ includes such things as a aquaculture operation, yes it does. But the term ‘farm’ is not necessarily, under the law, limited strictly to the specific examples of a ‘farm’ listed in the bill.

WHEN, not if, this goes to court, you wanna ‘bet the farm’ you understand these terms, and that the authors and supporters of this bill don’t mean exactly what they’ve said?

The bill continues…..(4) Food has the meaning given in section 201(f) of the act (21 U.S.C. 321(f)),

(f) The term “food” means

(1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals,

(2) chewing gum, and

(3) articles used for components of any such article.

(i) Except for purposes of this subpart, it does not include:

(A) Food contact substances as defined in section 409(h)(6) of the act (21 U.S.C. 348(h)(6)), or

(B) Pesticides as defined in 7 U.S.C. 136(u).

(ii) Examples of food include fruits, vegetables, fish, dairy products, eggs, raw agricultural commodities for use as food or as components of food, animal feed (including pet food), food and feed ingredients, food and feed additives, dietary supplements and dietary ingredients, infant formula, beverages (including alcoholic beverages and bottled water), live food animals, bakery goods, snack foods, candy, and canned foods.

(5) Holding means storage of food. Holding facilities include (but are not limited to? -Kathy) warehouses, cold storage facilities, storage silos, grain elevators, and liquid storage tanks.

There is no federal definition of ‘pack’ food but according to the dictionary “pack” can mean bale, or a number of similar or related things…….(like eggs?), or the amount put in cans, etc., in a season or year.

Then we get into interesting sections that say ‘food is exempt’……….unless it’s not already regulated; a ‘facility is exempt’………unless it’s not already regulated; and finally, a ‘farm is exempt’………unless it’s not already regulated.

READ THIS BILL, folks, and THINK about what you’re reading. Words have meaning, and they’re very carefully chosen by those (largely lawyers) who write these bills. Don’t be so certain you understand what words mean. And don’t be fooled by those who would tell you that words can mean many things. Yes, they can, but the overriding intent of this bill is clear, from the title on through, and you should expect the courts to rule for the most restrictive interpretation, as full traceability of food in the food chain is the name of this game… PLUS the little lovelies you’ll read about in V’s analysis at the bottom.

Sweet dreams!


Download Analysis in PDF format:

Analysis of H.R. 2749 Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009

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References to this post and attached PDF include:

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