Richard Burr: Big government liberal

It’s getting so it’s hard to be right-wing enough to please the new fire-breathers in the North Carolina GOP’s ultra-right wing.

Last year, Richard Burr co-sponsored a bi-partisan bill known as the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.” Burr’s bill was ultimately subsumed in a House Bill that became law earlier this month.

Now comes word from the Lockers that one of the tea partying North Carolina House freshmen, Glen Bradley, will introduce a bill that he hopes will exempt many North Carolina farmers from the law.

Here’s a summary of Burr’s radical/socialist bill from Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs:

Each year, foodborne illness strikes 48 million Americans, hospitalizing a hundred thousand and killing thousands. I thank the President and members of Congress for recognizing that the burden that foodborne illness places on the American people is too great, and for taking this action….The historic legislation the President has signed directs the Food and Drug Administration, working with a wide range of public and private partners, to build a new system of food safety oversight – one focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever, the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems that can make people sick.”

Got that? The U.S. food safety system is almost universally understood to be out of date and downright dangerous. So, the federal government actually does something about it in bi-partisan fashion (all while including lots of exemptions for farmers’ markets and truly local producers) and the anti-government crowd is still freaked out about creeping socialism.

Mr. Bradley’s 10 bills should be interesting to follow this year. Can’t wait for the proposal to ban fluoridation.



  1. Jeff

    January 31, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    My summary of Commissar of Food and Drugs, Dr. Hamburg:

    48,000,000 sick Americans?
    100,000 hospitalized?
    1000’s dead?

    And she still has a job protecting the American food consumer!


    Rob, your voiding on the wrong leg here pal.

  2. Ken

    January 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Actually, the Food Modernization Act does significantly grow the federal deficit and grow the size of the Federal government. It also does increase paperwork that small farmers have to submit to the government whether or not they are covered by other aspect of the law. In addition, the law allows the Secretary to decide on many implementation aspects which could end up effecting small farmers. As for the ridiculous speculation about banning fluoridation of water, the American Dental Association recently release a study saying that fluoridation recommendations were issued decades ago when NO sources of fluoride was available. The ADA is now recommending reducing water fluoridation (not eliminating it) since fluoride is available in toothpaste, mouthwashes, etc that were unavailable 50 years ago. Ashville, NC just reduced the amount of fluoride in their municipal water system partly as a result of this new data. Maybe you need to better check your facts before making such absurd claims.

  3. Kenny

    January 31, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Actually, it is deficit-neutral and is paid for by existing budget. Small farmers are exempt from additional paperwork under the Tester amendment. Maybe you should check your facts before making such absurd claims

  4. Jim Ellis

    January 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I like and respect Senator Burr, he is the first Republican I voted for since GW (Gone Wrong) Bush ruined his party.

  5. Mark

    February 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Say has the author or anyone here in farming? I didn’t think so and that’s why you are okay with it. What this really is is a payback to big money and special interest groups who have funded Burr and other members of congress’s campaign.

    Meanwhile while you and the “ultra-right” tea partiers who actually are at least catching on to this…are arguing and the reigns of the big corporations who are behind both parties are gaining strength…how much time will you continue to waste?

  6. Dennis

    February 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

    According to Scientific American a couple years back, that might be a good idea on the fluoride:

    Since the full article’s behind a paywall now here’s a summary:

    Aside from the health risks, communities that add fluoride to their water don’t actually have lower rates of tooth decay.

  7. Todd Bennett

    February 1, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Our food safety is fine, it’s the food coming from Latin America that is irrigated with ‘brown water’ that’s a problem. As to Richard Burr having a Conservative bone in his body….give me a break. He wrecked NC schools with NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, he wrecked our kids futures with TARP, he turned the Federal Reserve Loose to print trillions of dollars and send that money overseas to bail out foreign pensions and governments, and Burr has made a farce out of our US Constitution with his support of warrantless wiretapping, rendition torture, and God knows what else.

  8. Todd Bennett

    February 1, 2011 at 4:39 am

    LOL @ Rob

    Looking for justification from the FDA is certainly getting a ‘fair and balanced’ opinion. LOL.

  9. Michael

    February 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Always curious to see people claiming to be “progressive” supporting the corporate statism. Sad actually…

    Here is the best that can be said for S510:

    “None of this is a perfect solution — S. 510 and the Tester-Hagan amendment involved very ugly sausage making. The Tester-Hagan amendment ultimately fixes some of the existing problems caused by the 2002 Bioterrorism Law and a very significant part of the problems that would be caused if S. 510 passes.

    But it is, at its heart, damage control. That isn’t the fault of Sens. Tester or Hagan or any of the people who advocated for this amendment. It’s due to agribusiness’s capture of FDA and much of Congress — a problem that has developed over decades and that we will need to spend the next decade fighting.”

  10. Jim Matthews

    February 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Is there some clarification for “irrigated with brown water” causing food safety issues? Yesterday I listened to a young 5th generation hog farmer from eastern NC explain the 18 week cycle for getting a pig ready to slaughter and what he described included an extensive use of animal waste as ” sprayed on fertilizer” used in growing wheat. “It’s the ONLY way to raise pigs”, he said. This is not “Latin American brown water” causing a problem, it is profit based, currently practiced corporate farming. We are what we eat.

  11. melatr7

    February 10, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I have to LOL at the “summary” of the bill presented here. In what way does it summarize? It explains zero about the means to the end and is pretty sloppy explaining the end. “Best available science and good commom sense” could just as well be describing a genocidal plot to reduce population as it could be describing a new way to wash veggies.

    Rob, if this article is indicative of your understanding of the issues, perhaps you should seek a new career. I hear there are shovel ready jobs available from coast to coast!

  12. Robin

    February 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I’m a small farmer who is intimately aware of the issues here. I didn’t know that so-called “Progressives” were all about a Big Agribusiness, GMO food, and all around general globalist corporate/fascist agenda.

    It’s good that I now know who’s “side” you all are on…

  13. […] Carolina from the federal food safety law sponsored by Republican Senator Richard Burr that Rob wrote about last […]

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