Saturday, September 25, 2010

Leahy Looks To Fast-Track New S.510 Food Safety Penalties

Leahy Looks To Fast-Track New Food Safety Penalties;

This is where Congress incrementally adds the police state measures...

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced legislation Monday to strengthen criminal sentences for food safety violators, aiming to push through tougher penalties alongside comprehensive food safety legislation scheduled to hit the U.S. Senate floor this fall.

The Food Safety Accountability Act would, if passed, amend Chapter 47 of U.S. Code Title 18 to make it a crime for any individual to knowingly introduce or deliver into interstate commerce any tainted food, or to contaminate or mislabel any food already in the U.S. supply chain.

Any person caught breaking the new law would face a fine and prison term up to 10 years, according to the text of the bill.

“In order to protect the public, we need to make sure that those who knowingly poison the food supply will go to jail,” Leahy said.

The bill is substantially similar to S. 3669, the Food Safety Enforcement Act, which was introduced by Leahy and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in July. Like that legislation, the new bill would classify food safety crimes as felonies and allow prosecutors to seek prison sentences of as long as 10 years for individuals convicted under the statute.

S. 3669 was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee for further action. However, Leahy said Monday the new bill was designed to fit within the jurisdiction of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Already, Leahy is making plans to move the food safety crime bill as quickly as possible. He said Monday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the bill in its next business meeting, scheduled for Thursday.

Comment: Leahy is empowering Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture to have full law enforcement authority to bust on to any farm, community canning center, farmers' market and arrest on suspicion alone. This ranks right next to the Patriot Act for it's Orwellian police state measures.

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