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I have heard that S. 510 FDA Food Saftey Modernization Act makes it illegal to grow, share, trade or sell homegrown food.

Does S. 510 make it illegal to grow or trade food?

The two main arguments are that people can no longer keep seeds, and nor can they keep food for more than 30 days.

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No, it does not.

To research this question I had to wade through a huge number of fringe articles, many of them identically worded to the one above. It took me a while to find a reputable news organization. But eventually I did..

Can I still share (and sell) vegetables from my garden?

Yes. Farmers who sell most of their harvest directly to restaurants, food co-ops, farm stands, and farmers' markets wouldn't have to register with the FDA under SB 510. And they wouldn't be subject to the regulations in the legislation. But such farmers would still have to abide by current state laws.

That's not to say the bill isn't controversial. Many people are opposing it on the grounds of increased regulatory burden on small food producers and sellers. Many people are supporting it since it holds food producers responsible for contaminated food, and makes it easier to track the source of such food. But in the specifics of this question, no. As one article puts it, Grandma's home grown pickles are safe.

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Just a note for those researching this: the article linked in the question incorrectly links to H.R. 2749, which never became law. The correct bill is H.R. 2751 which replaced S. 510 and became law on January 4, 2011.

The full text of the Public Law No: 111-353 as enacted is here in PDF form. If you search for the word "exempt" you can find (in obtuse legalese, of course) the sections that enact the exemptions mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor article.

Can I still share (and sell) vegetables from my garden?

Yes. Farmers who sell most of their harvest directly to restaurants, food co-ops, farm stands, and farmers' markets wouldn't have to register with the FDA under SB 510. And they wouldn't be subject to the regulations in the legislation. But such farmers would still have to abide by current state laws.

Also, there seem to be exemptions for businesses who sell less than $500K worth of food per year, and businesses that only sell food within the state that they operate (and thus would not be subject to Federal regulation under the Commerce Clause).

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    "businesses that only sell food within the state that they operate (and thus would not be subject to Federal regulation under the Commerce Clause)" You assume that Commerce Clause jurisprudence actualy has anything to do with the language of the Commerce Clause, which hasn't been particularly true since the New Deal. – dmckee Jun 2 '11 at 20:01
  • @dmckee: +1 for pointing out the difference between the Constitution as written and as "interpreted" post-FDR. – PSU Jun 6 '11 at 17:57
  • @PSU With the "interpreted" version being the law :) – Rusty Jun 6 '11 at 20:21
  • Actually the supreme court has already ruled in the medical marijuana ruling that goods produced and consumed within the same state are covered by the Commerce Clause even if they are produced and consumed by a single individual. – Russell Steen Jun 7 '11 at 18:17
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    ...and even without using materials from out of state, producing any product inside your state affects interstate commerce by its mere existence, lessening demand for the product made out-of-state, for example. – Lee Daniel Crocker Jul 12 '18 at 23:05

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