Food Security – Inspections on Imports, Part 2

Rachel Martin on Food Security – Inspections on Imports, Part 2

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

 

This is the final segment of a two-part series with national chairman of Homeland Security for the National Federation of Republican Women, Rachel Martin on food security  – Inspections on imports into the United States.

Due to budget cuts, as reported in Part 1, the Department of Homeland Security inspects only 1 in every 60 containers arriving in the U.S. This ratio brings up two issues, according to Martin: (1) the threat of terrorism and (2) concern over food safety. Failure to properly inspect imported containers exposes American citizens to toxins in imported goods that don’t meet the same regulatory standards as food products produced in the United States.

“When you’re doing things en masse,” Martin said, “and the [containers with imported food] are not being inspected, many dangers can come into the country that can kill people—especially the elderly and kids because we know they are more susceptible to bacteria and chemical toxins.”

While she is aware of the potential for accidents and mistakes in food safety, Martin said risking the safety of our country and citizens by inspecting only a limited number of imported containers to save money is more harmful than helpful. “Accidents are going to happen with any food,” Martin said, “even with when I cook for myself in my own kitchen. I may undercook my meal, and there is a possibility I can get food poisoning that way.”

Martin said the Obama administration’s budget cuts have hurt Homeland Security’s inspection rate on food imports. “Number one, it’s not right, there are so many regulations here that we have to deal with,” Martin said. “And number two, it’s wrong that these containers are not inspected because people can become very ill and be killed by food toxins that come into the country in the absence of inspection. ‘Not to mention, the terrorists, bombs, weapons and anything else that is dangerous that could be on those containers.”

 

Import Food Safety, Part 1

Import Food Safety: Only 1 in 60 Containers Is Inspected

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

 

This is the first in a two-part series with Rachel Martin, the national chairman of Homeland Security for the National Federation of Republican Women, on import food safety in the United States.

Food safety is a crucial element in the production of food, and many government regulations exist to keep our food safe for people to eat. Yet, Martin explained, those regulations don’t necessarily reach imported food. Specifically, she said, “Due to budget cuts under the Obama administration, only 1 in 60 containers arriving in the U.S. is inspected by Homeland Security.”

Martin’s initial reaction to this statistic was to consider the possibility that terrorists could smuggle in weapons, chemicals and themselves into the United States.

“The second thing that came to mind was food safety,” Martin said because as we grow less food domestically, we import more food. “We’re already overregulated here in California—not only in the United States, but it’s worse here—with mandated inspections, regulations on our food and regulated chemicals, spraying, pesticides and so forth. Yet when food enters the United States, the majority of it isn’t even inspected.”

Martin said her own daughter has been affected by the risks of importing food that is not inspected by or grown under strict U.S. standards set for the United States.

“My daughter’s first job was at a local water park when she was 17-years-old, slicing limes to make juice for the kids there,” said Martin. “The limes were imported from Mexico. My daughter developed a rash on her arm from chemicals that were applied to the limes that looked like she had third-degree burns. It went away in a couple of months, but to this day—she’s now 23—it  returns on a random basis.”

Super PAC Needed to Fight Extreme Enviromentalists, Part 3

Rachel Martin on Need for Super PAC to Fight Extreme Environmentalists

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Part 3:

This is the third and final part of a three-part series with Rachel Martin, the national chairperson of Homeland Security for the National Federation of Republican Women, on the importance of creating a political action committee (super PAC) to combat extreme environmentalists in order to save forests, wildlife, and ag suffering from limited water allocations during this extensive drought.

Martin discussed how groups in addition to agriculture are suffering due to the limited water allocations and environmental regulations that prevent forest maintenance, such as logging, thinning of the forests and controlled burns, the lack of which leaves forests vulnerable to wildfires that burn thousands of acres and kill protected animals annually. “The Super PAC that I’ve been putting together since February is bringing together law enforcement and fire fighting agencies,” Martin explained. “We’re also bringing in animal organizations; we’re just waiting for their board approval.”

Through combined funding, Martin hopes the Super Pac will  begin to rival the environmentalists who have already joined together to lobby for what they want. “We’re looking for associations and unions to get together and pool their money,” Martin said, “because that is what has helped the environmentalists get to this point–which is having almost total control of California. It’s lobbying, having the money, and joining forces to fight and pave their way through Sacramento and Washington to get their laws and their amendments approved. Yet we have a lot more people who are suffering, a lot more groups, organizations and animals that are suffering and dying because of the lack of water.”

Martin said she has been appealing first to those outside of agriculture to form her Super PAC and hopes the ag community will join in. “I figured ag is already in the fight,” Martin stated, anticipating strength in combined numbers and funds.

 

Super PAC to Save Animals that Die in Wildfires, Part 2

Rachel Martin on Need for Super PAC to Save Forests, Wildlife, Ag

By Charmayne Hefley, Assistant Editor

Part 2:  Animals Needlessly Die in Fires

We are continuing our three-part series with Rachel Martin, the national chairperson of Homeland Security for the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), who is urging the creation of a political action committee (super PAC) to save forests, wildlife, and ag suffering from limited water allocations during this extensive drought.

“Agricultural agencies aren’t the only entities suffering from the lack of water allocations,” Martin explained. “Other agencies are also suffering due to the environmental regulations that prevent forest maintenance, such as logging, thinning of the forests and controlled burns. Curtailment of forest maintenance leaves thousands of acres of forest, as well as wildlife, vulnerable to larger, more numerous, and containment-resistant wildfires each year.

“When law enforcement evacuates homes, they have to force people out,” Martin said. “People fight to come back into get their pets—their dogs, their cats, their horses, livestock and any other animals they may have. But, oftentimes, residents don’t have the means to haul their animals with them; they may not have horse trailers. Sometimes, animals actually run free up into the mountains and can’t readily be caught. As I was specifically told by some law enforcement officials, those animals end up dying in the fires.”

Martin realized that once animal lovers learn of the suffering caused by the environmental regulations, they might consider joining the fight against the environmentalists. “I’ve been working with animal organizations and animal lovers. I’m one myself. I have quite a few pets, and I grew up around horses. Animal organizations and animal lovers alike can get in on this fight against the environmentalists.”

“Environmentalists are trying to protect species that actually aren’t even on the protected list yet; they’re almost on the protected list,” Martin stated. “Yet, in doing so, they just keep getting further and further away with from their original goal of protecting endangered species and pristine forests. They’re getting away with a lot more through politicians, too.”

Super PAC Needed to Save Forests, Wildlife, Ag, Part 1

Rachel Martin on Need for Super PAC to Save Forests, Wildlife, Ag

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Part 1:

This is part one of a three-part series with Rachel Martin, the national chairperson of Homeland Security for the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), on the importance of creating a political action committee (super PAC) to save forests, wildlife, and ag suffering from limited water allocations during this extensive drought.

Martin said a super PAC must be created to combat the environmentalists who have been lobbying in Washington and Sacramento for years and to improve conditions for all constituencies. The resulting environmental regulations have prevented forest maintenance, such as logging, thinning of the forests, and controlled burns, which has increased the likelihood and severity of wildfires that burn thousands of acres each year and kill the animals environmentalists are trying to protect.

“I’ve been working with public safety as well as a lot of animal activists since ’99,” Martin said, “and I know that with ag, it’s been a fight for the last 30-plus years with the environmentalists and the Environmental Protection Act. Ag alone is not the only affected group of agencies or businesses. People don’t often think about how the lack of water significantly affects California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the U.S. Forest Service, and law enforcement agencies as well. We need to come together.”

“Law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Forest Service have told me the environmentalists are actually hurting and killing a lot of the creatures they stand to protect,” Martin said. “Other animals die during those fires, and they’re dying the most horrible deaths—which is death by fire.”