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Got the following email from MNB user Philip Bradley:

Just to let you know, I've been following the debate on this (food safety bill) and the comment you printed from Harry Hamil is largely correct--it is essential that the Tester-Hagan amendment be included to provide some reasonable exemptions from burdensome requirements which will quite likely stifle small growers and producers. 

Yes, there is a food safety problem, but it comes primarily from the large producers who have an incredible huge volume of food items going through their systems (aka the "industrial food system"), not the small producers who know their own products intimately.

Unfortunately, the bill as written is a "one size fits all."  Needless to say, the large food lobbyists are pleased with this approach as it will certainly help reduce competition from small players.

We’ve had some discussion on the site recently about people using electronic items on airplanes and wondering why they have to turn them off, which led MNB user Jeff Folloder to write:

Just a clarification for your readers and contributors... All electronic devices, regardless of whether they are wi-fi, 3G, GSM or whatever emit electro-magnetic signals when turned on.  They do this even when the "communication" functions are disabled.  Most aviation utilizes sophisticated radio and electronic instrumentation to control flight.  Just about any electronic device is capable of receiving electro-magnetic interference from another device.  This interference can cause problems with the correct function of electronic devices.  The most critical time of flight for an airplane is on take-off and landing.

Now, while it may not be conclusively proven that this interference *will* cause trouble for the planes equipment, it is most certainly a fact that it *can*.  And having several dozen "cans" in operation might just inch me closer to one of them Gladwell point things.  So if 10 minutes of minor inconvenience has a chance, even a remote chance, of preventing a disaster... I'm for it.

KC's View: