Episode-381- Listener Feedback 2-18-10 — 16 Comments

  1. Sec. 203(b)(1) – (D) limit the presence and growth of contaminants in food prepared in a food establishment using the best reasonably available techniques and technologies; and

  2. @prsmith

    That absolutely does not to me require irradiation of food. Can you show me any thing that specifies anywhere by law that

    “limit the presence and growth of contaminants in food prepared in a food establishment using the best reasonably available techniques and technologies”

    Will require irradiation of our food supply. “reasonably available techniques” alone seems to leave a lot of wiggle room on both sides.

    Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of issues with HR 875 but if we are going to say this, we need to prove it. Please help me do so,


  3. No but it absolutely grants them authority to do so if they choose since that is the “best reasonably available techniques and technologies”. Therein lies the danger (from my perspective; I didn’t start this – just my 2 cants worth).

    P.S. I’m an old man with bad eyes. Frankly, that Security Code system sucks. Maybe a bit more contrast with the background and slightly less distorted digits would help? It can still be a .jpg or .bmp to prevent computer replication.

  4. @prsmith,

    That is not the claim, the claim going around is it does require this now. Again if we want to fight things we need to keep a lid on internet hysteria. Additionally what is “reasonably available”, available to whom, reasonable to whom.

    Further if a producer is selling food in their own state and not selling across state lines the Federal Government has no authority. That is not fail safe but it does apply.

    Personally I think that if the claims made by the government are true they should be open to adding in very clear exceptions about size of operations and interstate commerce, etc. If they won’t we should assume this bill could become the monster some claim. Again though we must present this as “could cause” vs. will cause or requires, etc.

  5. Man, Jack!
    Since you’ve gone full time you are really doing a killer job!
    The great depression part was good. The personal safety over job security bit was outstanding!
    Back when my youngest was still in high school we had a coach that tried to call for a mandatory practice 25 miles away from school literally a half hour before the worst snow storm in years was about to hit. Oh, and no bus ride. The kids were expected to drive or catch a ride.
    I had some choice words for the coach when he tried to explain to me how critical this practice was. My question was, “If one of these girls dies in a car wreck tonight, will it be so important that she knew how to twirl a flag correctly?
    Yea, my kid is more important than your trophy!”
    (I may have said it with more emotion)

    Anyway, great show as always Jack!

  6. Regarding the question about radiating food.

    Radiating food is not really a bad thing. You have to realize that radioactive material and ionizing radiation are different things. Radiation comes from lots of sources. Light, radio waves, infra red, x rays and UV are all radiation. Ionizing radiation is radiation that has enough energy to knock an electron out of its orbit. Removing one electron can result in uncontrolled chemical reactions, production of free radicals, and oxidizing chemicals. This is where the toxic effects of radiation come from. Radioactive material is material that spontaneously produces ionizing radiation. Ingesting or inhaling radioactive material is very bad because the stuff will just sit in your body pumping ionizing radiation into you. If you seal the radioactive material away so it can’t contaminate anything, but still emits ionizing radiation, then you can use it to sterilize things. Just about all medical equipment is sterilized this way (IV bags, band aids, feminine hygiene products). The only other way to sterilize things is to use heat, pressure, or chemical treatment. It would be hard to make a band aid using bleach to sterilize it. So if you want fresh food or want to avoid the hassle of treating food this way then I understand to opposition to radiation. But don’t oppose something just because it has the scary radiation word in it. Remember everything is radioactive to some extent, the sun produces radiation, and this is natural. Just don’t eat anything that contains radioactive material.

  7. Dear ken325,
    I hear your point about different types of radiation not always being a bad, scary thing. I had a chemistry teacher in college who touched on it in class once. Still leaves me uncomfortable, but I get the point.
    However, as a beekeeper and small-scale producer of raw honey and other bee products, and as someone who plans on running a small-scale farm in the not too distant future, I have three concerns:
    First, it seems more like a band-aid to hide the problem, rather than dealing with the problem. I would prefer to see standards of food production raised, including the cleanliness of packaging plants where food typically picks up illnesses like salmonella, instead of allowing the conditions that lead to such things to endure, and adding another mandated process (irradiation, in this case). Why not work at preventing exposure in the first place, instead of adding another step to the process.
    Second, how will this impact the small producer, specifically in the wallet. Will the necessity to irradiate all food items for sale put undue financial stress on small producers and force them out of the market?
    And third, while I can appreciate how, for large producers, irradiation may be a viable course of action. But, if it is madated of all food providers, then we lose our choice over what we put into our bodies. When my husband and I sell our honey at farmers\’ markets, we really enjoy being able to trade/shop with the other local growers for what we don\’t currently provide for ourselves, and come home with produce, eggs, goat\’s milk, bison, and fish that is as natural, fresh, and unadulterated as can be. I know I don\’t want that option taken away from me.
    I do have a question though, for anyone who might know the answer…who would be profiting from such a mandate? I might very well have further concerns depending on the answer to that question.

  8. I worked for a jerk one time that wanted to try and make us work 50 feet off the ground with no safety harness.He then went on to say if you fall you will be fired before you hit the ground.I looked at him and asked so does this mean you have no insurance he didnt say anything so we all walked off the job.I work for a employer that has its managers carry several thousand dollars to there cars and to the bank.And they are told under no circumstances are you to put up a fight and if you are caught with a weapon you will be fired on the spot.All the managers told them well if thats the way you feel fine they can have your money because its insured but they will not take my money or life regardless and if you fire us for that you will get a lawsuit filled against your company.

  9. Hi Jack

    I’ve looked through the HR 875 text and the only slight (very slight) resemblance to the “irradiation” of food is, as previously stated:

    Sec. 203(b)(1) – (D)limit the presence and growth of contaminants in food prepared in a food establishment using the best reasonably available techniques and technologies.

    How ever, this does not mean the “irradiation” that the blogger stated. Most processed food is already processed using some form of heat treatment but we may discover in, say 20 years time that the only reliable method of processing food is irradiation. I highly doubt it though and if I had that kind of foresight I would be very rich.

    What HR 875 seems to boil down to is an extension of a HACCP system (there’s a page on the FDA web that explains what this is) but it looks like the biggest impact will be on food imported from foreign countries, as listed in SEC. 208. IMPORTS.

    Hope I haven’t droned on too much. Love the show.
    Hope the voice gets better.

  10. Very funny Sis 🙂

    But actually that’s a very good point, most of the developed world has probably irradiated at least one meal in their lifetime. All people seem to be hearing though is the “radiation” aspect of irradiation.

  11. I can’t believe that about the boss that would not let the driver carry. One of my assistants recently came to me and asked if it would be ok to carry. I told her not only was it ok, but I would pay for her class, pay for 3 hours of private training, and take her to the gun store myself and help pick out the right gun for her. Makes me mad to hear so many bosses are unwilling to let employees defend themselves.

    On the topic of interns. When I was looking for an Architectural internship I did a couple of things that really helped. First, every evening I took out the phone book, started at the beginning of the listings, and just started faxing my resume to every listing in there. Second, the next day on my lunch break I would call each firm I had faxed the night before and make sure they received it. Third, in the interim I took a job with a tradesman to learn the real world application of the things I was drawing. After three months I got an interview with one of the largest firms in the country. The senior principle over the design department was so impressed with my dedication and tenacity that he offered me a paid internship working directly under his tutelage. This placed me firmly in a position to be one of the only 6 designers doing all the design work for a 300+ persons firm. It all just takes hard work and dedication.

  12. @Jack you were really fired up on this one! Agree wholeheartedly that we have to take the steps we deem necessary to protect ourselves.

    Irradiation…safe or not, I\\\\\\\’m not sure, but I\\\\\\\’d rather eat my food as close to the natural state as possible. All the more reason to grow our own food.

  13. I was searching for info on the irradiated food issue and I found an interesting post on a blog that seems to explain the problem people have against the bill.

    Seems to indicate that the problem is not that food will be required to be irradiated, but that it gives the government the power to decide what is safe, and this power covers everyone from the major supplier to the home farmer. It also indicates that the person who proposed this bill is connected with Monsanto.

    I don’t know how true this is, but if it is then it could be quite worrying.