With recent outbreaks of salmonella, e. coli, and listeria, it's understandable that there is concern about safe harvesting and processing practices. No one enjoys a case of food poisoning, and we certainly don't want anyone to perish. On it's face, it appears to be well meaning, but this legislation could potentially drive small farms out of business with excessive regulatory expenses. Case in point:
" Produce farmers would be required to ensure that their crops aren’t contaminated by bad water or animal waste. Some will likely be compelled to build fences to keep out wildlife and to provide adequate restrooms and hand-washing facilities for field workers."
I don't know if any of you have priced several hundred yards of livestock fencing or the cost of building a restroom facility lately, but those up-front costs are certainly enough to put a summer market producer out of business and discourage upstarts, disregarding the revolving fees that will certainly follow to obtain the required inspections and licensing.
It's really mind-boggling that factory-type farming practices, with their toxic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, tumor causing GMOs, and over-medicated livestock living in their own excrement in overcrowded hotbeds of disease, are completely legal and apparently almost never receive any sort of federal harassment. Meanwhile, small farms, like the family run independent dairy farms in the documentary "Farmaggedon" are being raided at gunpoint by the FBI, and Monsanto's suing as many farmers as possible when their unwanted toxic pollen lands on their private property.
No doubt there is some pocket lining going on on local, state and federal levels by big AG corporations. The entire system wreaks of bias and corruption. Excessive regulation and fees are just yet another way to eliminate competition. This legislation has nothing to do with keeping Americans safe. If it did, the first order of business would be banning big AG practices and their toxic products from our food supply.