After reading several articles about the latest Food and Drug Administration boondoggle, I have come to the conclusion that we deserve what we get.

I arrived at this conclusion, because apparently no one knows the difference between farming and food anymore. The FDA is chartered to regulate our food and drugs and a host of other “nanny state” programs but it is not chartered to regulate agriculture, only the products of agriculture — food.

How and when and where a farmer applies water, compost or other materials to his crop really does not come under the FDA charter. We have another government agency for that called the USDA. We really have no shortage of agencies for anything today, but to micro-manage farming practices is really over the top, especially when it is to be administered by an agency that is apparently clueless about farming all together. I am not saying the USDA knows any more about farming, but they are probably not clueless — but their regulations concerning almonds makes one wonder, since raw almonds are sold as food, what is the USDA doing regulating a FOOD product?

Our food is dispensed by retailers, who in this age get their products at the end of a distribution chain mostly. The start of the distribution chain, is the corporate or independent buyers of our food products. So with this in mind, when something is sold and bought as food and is about to enter the “food chain” I would assume that those two parties have some responsibility to assure it is a safe food product before it enters the national “food chain.” Not only those two parties, but the regional distribution center for the large chain stores that deliver to the local retailer, have an even more important role monitoring food safety, since food is easily contaminated unless it is prepared/shipped in a sealed container, like the pills we all take.

In conclusion, I think trying to manage/audit a few hundred buyers/regional “distribution” centers for possible pathogens entering our food supply is possibly a more appropriate venue for the FDA in its quest for food safety and, as always, the burden resides with the farmer to produce a safe and acceptable product, despite the vagaries of mother nature, and the various attempts by our Congress and other elected/appointed officials to tell each and everyone of us how and when to get up in the morning, among other well-meaning programs, which they always seem to know best, or think they do, in all matters, except minding their own business, which apparently they have no time for.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. — Aesop, 620-560 BC

They must find it difficult — those who have taken authority as the truth, rather truth as authority.

David Mendenhall

Moscow, Idaho

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