Would New Executive Order Seize Your Food Storage?

Written by The Ready Store

Over the weekend, we had a lot of questions regarding a new Executive Order that was signed by President Obama on Friday, March 16. Reportedly, this order would allow the government to seize food and water storage from citizens.

Allegedly, the order expanded presidential power to allow this type of action during peacetime and wartime.

We wanted to address some of these concerns:

History
The order is titled “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” The document is an updated version of the Defense Production Act of 1950. This same document has been updated many times since 1950 including by Presidents Clinton and Bush.

President Obama Signs

The act in 1950 allowed the president to require business’ help deemed necessary for national defense, establish agencies to allocate materials and control the civilian economy to distribute scarce or critical materials. The original act was a response to the beginning of the Korean War.

New Order
The updated document gives the executive department and national defense agencies the order to do five things:

  • Identify requirements for emergencies;
  • Assess the capability of the country’s industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency;
  • Be prepared to ensure the availability of critical resources in time of national threat;
  • Improve the efficiency of the industrial base to support national defense;
  • Foster cooperation between commercial and defense sectors to enhance efficiency and responsiveness. (Read the Executive Order)

While many people are saying that this order will give the government power to take anything they want, the order is actually more of a preparedness measure. The president has basically asked his cabinet to make plans in case of a national defense emergency.

The new order also redistributes existing power to new cabinet members – like the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Farms GainsFood & Water Storage
It is true that the updated order gives the government authority to redistribute food. However, this doesn’t mean that the government can take your food storage.

The order is made to make preparations before an emergency and gives the government power to redistribute food during a crisis.

Food resources is defined in the order as “all commodities and products, (simple, mixed, or compound), or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals, irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption.

‘Food resources’ also means potable water packaged in commercially marketable containers, all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal or marine fats and oils, seed, cotton, hemp, and flax fiber, but does not mean any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.” (Read the Executive Order)

That last part is key. The food resources that can be distributed will be agricultural products – not market commodities – like food storage items you purchased.

In other words, it would be much like the WWII rations – the government distributing certain types of foods and materials to make sure that national defense did not suffer. In fact, the Huffington Post cited the executive order as a measure by President Obama to prepare for wars in other parts of the world and the resulting economic impact on the United States. (Read the Huffington Post article.)

Something to worry about?
There were a lot of rumors flying around this weekend about what the Executive Order would do.

Filled with language about “government-owned equipment” and a “defense executive reserve,” among other vague statements, rumors began to spread that the executive order expanded the president’s power to do everything from seizing whole industries to drafting private armies.

A Canada Free Press article titled “Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!” spread concerns of gasoline ration cards; while an Examiner article declared the order would “nationalize everything” and “allow for a civilian draft.” Facebook, email and Twitter were suddenly abuzz, and even the extremely popular Drudge Report posted a link to the White House release under the title “Martial Law? Obama Issues Executive Order.” …

Despite the vague nature of the functions, none mention anything about martial law or seizing private property. The five functions are also identical to those identified in Clinton’s EO 12919. (Read the WND article.)

Many critics, including Cornell Law professor William A. Jacobson, agree that this is not an expansion of presidential power.

“There is enough that Obama actually does wrong,” he said. “If someone wants to make the argument that this is an expansion of presidential powers, then do so based on actual language.”

Past President ReuniteStill concerned
There were some good points brought up over the weekend. In particular Doug Mataconis of “Outside the Beltway” made a good point:

There are, perhaps, some issues worth discussing that this EO raises. The fact that the President of the United States is still exercising authority granted during the Korean War and the height of the Cold War is yet another reflection of how power, once assumed by the Imperial Presidency, is never surrendered.

The fact that an Executive Order like this was released on a Friday afternoon and has been largely ignored by the traditional media is an indication of just how easy it is for politicians to manipulate the news cycle. And the idea that the government has authority like that described in this document, even only in theory, and that most Americans aren’t even aware of it, is a reflection of just how little we know about the things that are done in our name. Those are all legitimate issues, but they go far deeper than this one relatively innocuous Executive Order. (Read the Outside the Beltway article.)

Conclusion
We hope that this article has provided a little insight into the updated Executive Order. While this doesn’t necessarily expand the president’s power, it does shed light on the fact that power given is hard to take away.

Overall, it comes down to whether or not you trust the person in power.

Updated March 19, 2012

30 Comments

  1. Mark Langenkamp wrote:

    The fact that this Administration is rehashing this existing legislation (Like the Bush Adminstration before it) means that we’re likely in for more of the same. With our eyes on Iran, the Administration is considering the real possibility of our economic collapse while they continue to carry out another war that we aren’t asking for. And again, it’ll likely boil down to the interpretation of a single cabinet member–whom none of us voted for–to decide what they believe is the real intent and meaning of the word ‘resource’. To say that they will not come after our food and water storage is to say that they’ll uphold all of our civil liberties as well–and well, we all see what’s going on in that regard.

    March 19th, 2012 at 10:47 am
  2. Nevil wrote:

    Good thoughts Mark.

    Like the article says at the end:

    “Overall, it comes down to whether or not you trust the person in power.”

    Sadly there are few politicians to trust these days.

    March 19th, 2012 at 10:50 am
  3. Mizz Lizz wrote:

    Thankx for the clarification….

    March 19th, 2012 at 10:51 am
  4. Brad wrote:

    I agree with the idea that the nation should have a plan; where citizens can work together for the benefit of all, including sharing resources and tools in times of crisis.

    However it does concern me that once we grant a little authority or “Power” to any branch of government it becomes almost impossible to revoke.

    March 19th, 2012 at 10:56 am
  5. carl Mangrum wrote:

    Just one more order to take control of this nations people when the crash comes at the end of the year. Right now Obamma is holding it togather with string and tape until the election is over. Putting bandaids on broken arms.
    Next it will be that we can not grow our own food in the back yard. They want to be able to control every aspect of our lives so that they can usher in the new world order. When the crash comes and there is no food in the stores we will beg for the scraps they will give us.

    March 19th, 2012 at 11:08 am
  6. Ted wrote:

    “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” Obama signed the executive order late Friday afternoon. Such timing is normally a deliberate ploy to prevent a controversial issue from being picked up by the news cycle. Recall that Obama signed the highly contentious National Defense Authorization Act on New Year’s Eve.

    Under section 201, the EO allows the federal government to take control of;

    Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

    (1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

    (2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

    (3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

    (4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

    (5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

    (6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

    Although the executive order is an update to the almost identical EO 12919, which was signed by Bill Clinton in 1994, in Section 201(b) of the new version, the words “under both emergency and non-emergency conditions” have been added.

    In other words, the federal government is claiming the power to seize totalitarian control of the whole economy – nationalization über alles.

    March 19th, 2012 at 11:16 am
  7. AmericanMom wrote:

    “Although the executive order is an update to the almost identical EO 12919, which was signed by Bill Clinton in 1994, in Section 201(b) of the new version, the words “under both emergency and non-emergency conditions” have been added.
    In other words, the federal government is claiming the power to seize totalitarian control of the whole economy – nationalization über alles.”

    This, seemingly, minor addition is the scary part. Emergency=yes, non=emergency=NO!

    March 19th, 2012 at 11:54 am
  8. Robin wrote:

    GREAT, ARTICULATE, thoughtful, non-agenda pushing article! I thought articles like this doesn’t exist anymore.

    March 19th, 2012 at 11:59 am
  9. Jared wrote:

    Well done. However, I don’t see this as a good thing in the hands of the wrong people.
    I believe we may be loosing our agency one flaxen cord at a time…

    March 19th, 2012 at 1:58 pm
  10. Susan wrote:

    OH COME ON PEOPLE, The Secretary of Labor, Hilda (another socialist), just slammed farm owners for having family embers, under 18 y.o. working on the family farm. I agree with you Carl, just another grab on our liberties and freedom. As if Cass Sunsteen, Director of the E.P.A., hasn’t done enough damage. Now Obama “grabs” more power. And who “deems an emergency”? And if the “emergency” is bad enough, and he takes the farms and rations the food, then what? Or when Occupy comes back this summer, and they demand to be fed, is that going to be “emergency”? Can we see a pattern with Obama and Stalin and Mao…we need to stand together and vote him out. Also, email the article to as many friends to alert tem and put on twitter and facebook.

    March 19th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
  11. William Tucker wrote:

    If there isnt a (lack of correct term) paper to sign against this executive order. We need to. Lets come together and voice our rights. Let me know what you all think.

    March 20th, 2012 at 4:22 am
  12. Gary wrote:

    While I appreciate your interpretation of the order, I think you’ve missed an important part of the Order wherein, “This finding shall be submitted for the President’s approval through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Upon such approval, the Secretary of the resource department that made the finding may use the authority of section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(a), to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.”

    Note that it SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES civilian (owned) products.

    No, this is not a docile refinement of the previous Order – it is an expansion of power to actually seize material in civilian hands in the event of an “emergency” or “non-emergency”.

    So I think you’re evaluation is patently wrong. Please tell me where I am wrong or have misread the words I quoted above.

    We should all be concerned about creeping powers that are snatched in the darkness of “the most transparent administration” of all times…

    I am reminded of Michelle Obama’s famous uttering in which she said (paraphrased) that “for the first time, I am proud of America” upon the election of her husband. For me, my opinion is a bit different: “For the first time, I am afraid of my government”.

    And so it goes…

    March 20th, 2012 at 5:28 am
  13. William Tucker wrote:

    I was half asleep on my previous post. Now i’m awake. We keep seeing our rights as a nation being taken over and iv’e had all of it i can take. If we the people don’t do something about the government taking over we all are going to be affected. In the bill of right is says that if the government gets out of control (not the exact wording) its our right as a nation to correct these problems. This is the beginning of the end. The people that are in control are evil. These are a sign of the times to come. Lets stand together and demand our rights. Gog bless us all because we are going to need it!

    March 20th, 2012 at 6:27 am
  14. Kim wrote:

    Do not be a fool — protect yourself and your family. It should be your first priority. Your second — save this country. Volunteer today to help elect the right candidates, vote in your state’s primary and then vote again in November. And, bring everyone you know to the polls. It is our last chance.

    March 20th, 2012 at 6:52 am
  15. Carolyn m wrote:

    We all have seen the horrors of war and even recent natural disasters. During war times there are always rouge “leaders” who take the power of govt. and try and build their own empire. Hitler had many helpers, so did stallin and Obama. Our biggest strength has always been numbers. Obama clearly does not have a clue and really plans on nothing ever happening. There might be Marshall law during an event that could organize food and redistribute but odds are the govt will hole up in their buildings and bunkers while the people erupt in chaos and self servitude. And that’s just the way it is as history has shown us, just ask any military person on the real realities of war/events.

    March 20th, 2012 at 7:40 am
  16. admin wrote:

    Hey Gary,
    The order was an update of an old 1950s Act. This act has been updated by many presidents like Eisenhower, Bush, Clinton and others. The idea that these powers were given in “emergency” and “non-emergency” are not new to this update. President Clinton in 12919 (his executive order update) authorized cabinet secretaries to make emergency preparations during “non-emergencies conditions” too.

    March 20th, 2012 at 8:51 am
  17. Cal wrote:

    First, Executive Orders are against our Constitution because it is taking powers that belong to another branch of our government. Time doesn’t matter as to the constitutionality of an action; if it weakens, goes against it then it is “void”, not legal, even if it is being enforced. Illegal laws can get enforced by those who do not realize they are illegal.

    Then, If it does specifically and actively doesn’t follow the Constitution (the blueprint for our form of government that places LIMITED power in the three branches) the representative (no matter the position) is a domestic enemy working to destroy the USA from within.

    Plus the EO states “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America. Obama has said himself many times he DOES NOT represent America, he represents a foreign entity so we can have him arrested, held for prosecution as a traitor. Unless the majority want to live under a dictatorship.

    This Executive Order takes anything of ours they want, the scope of it is virtually all-encompassing: property, vehicles, food, water, and worse labor without recompense in peacetime or war. I did read it.

    That is slavery. Slaves are not allowed to own anything. Everything is given to them by their master be it today (yes, slavery exists in some other countries still), food, drink, something to wear.

    Remember, President Obama sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner in which he boldly asserted the “Authority” of international powers (UN) over and above the US Constitution.

    Obama, Panetta, and Dempsey openly declared that they no longer represent the American people (at a senate meeting), instead are representatives for a global dictatorship that has usurping the sovereignty of the United States.

    Over his almost 4 years in office Obama and his administration has routinely cited the “Authority” of the United Nations over the US Constitution, the United States of America.

    If their “Authority” comes from UN, NATO, international powers then they have NO Authority in the USA.

    March 20th, 2012 at 9:00 am
  18. Cal wrote:

    http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=3590 is where you ca go to read the *Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.

    March 20th, 2012 at 9:28 am
  19. lonerangertwo wrote:

    I dont understand your soft pedaling on the true meaning of the new EO, I did read it and though I am not a lawyer , I have been studying EO’s for 30 + years and think you need to go back and re- read it , your customers deserve better than this , In a world where the truth is being twisted daily , you should be ashamed.. We wont be ordering from this site anymore.. Good luck

    March 20th, 2012 at 11:30 pm
  20. HockeyGuy wrote:

    what if you have a small farm under 5 acres or something of that type and are self sufficient?

    could they come in and take your crop?

    What if you had 5 chickens and a 1/4 acre garden?

    I dont know but I garden now… and i wonder how much of a target i would be not from the government but from my stupid neighbors of which maybe 2% of them grow their own garden to offset their food costs.. they are brain dead..

    It doesn’t take a lot of skill to grow tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and beans which you can put up for the winter..

    March 21st, 2012 at 4:42 am
  21. Rick P wrote:

    Can any who come to this site not say that this, and the previous EO’s, create the ability for the federal government to seize control of all items and services that would allow them to create a position for the citizens in general to become “needy” to the gov for food, and the ability to just sustain their everyday lives? In other words, they can seize it under any pretense they deem nesacarry, and dole it out as they see fit.
    What then becomes the trade off for the citizen? Food for Rights? Water for your personal firearms? Both for allegance to the all powerfull government? The possible senarios are too many to even begin to contemplate. But given the course of actions previously taken, these are probable; and not in the citizens best interest.
    Could this be expanded to seize those stored supplies from the average prepper / citizen. Gee, have they lived within the letter of the Rule of Law yet? Do you expect them too?
    We need to understand the intent that is underlying given their direction of actions and not assume their benovelence. This is also why we need to form communities of like minded that allow us greater strength to protect, and if nessacarry, defend our supplies. So then with that in mind, we need to also supply ourselves with that ability to defend and protect, on equal level of our general supplies; and learn how to create a stronger group to be a better deterrent. Educate yourself to the need, for the real probability.

    March 21st, 2012 at 7:13 am
  22. Chip C wrote:

    It appears “open-ended” to me and can be interpreted at the will of the administration. What this means to me is that those vendors we purchase from need to have a “scorched earth” policy for private information. If the Gov’t comes knocking to get this info, then it’s pretty obvious that they plan to confiscate. That all rules of freedom and the Constitution have been changed. Vendors should have a plan to destroy all such info before it can be grabbed by the gov’t.

    March 22nd, 2012 at 1:27 pm
  23. admin wrote:

    Chip C, You might be interested in our Privacy Policy – we will never sell or give away your information to another company or third party.

    March 22nd, 2012 at 1:34 pm
  24. Chip C wrote:

    I have read your privacy policy. The Legal Disclaimer section states that personal information would be disclosed as “required by law”. This EO if enacted (heaven forbid) would have the force of law. I suspect that when the privacy policy was written this type of scenario was never anticipated. Who could have forseen this type of intrusion to our long held Constitutional Rights? Obviously, if implemented this EO suspends Constitutional Rights in either an “emergency or non-emergency situation”. Do you then give up the information when demanded?
    Presents an interesting fundamental issue of liberty. Good discussion material for staff and policy meetings. Thanks.

    March 22nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm
  25. Susan wrote:

    Okay, not sure how many watch Glenn Beck now that he is on GBTV, but if you don’t and want to get a 2 week free membership to watch the last 2 days (03-20-2012 and 03-21-2012) – he talks about how the “machine” of progressivism is here and done (phase 1) – then phase 2 (chaos) then phase 3 – COMMUNISM.

    I won’t lie, it is scary to think America could become a communist country. And the sad news is – we have NO AMERICA TO RUN TOO. There won’t be anyone or any country to bail us out. They all look to America for that.

    If you don’t vote, please do this Nov. and not just for President – for senate and congress seats. Know the politician. You can look online to see there voting record. We all need to talk to people and get the word out.

    This administration is usng a heavy hand – totalitarian. They are grabbing power. Please educate yourself. And I say this with a heavy heart…May God watch over this country, come to our aide and help us get back on the right path, and give us strength in the face of tyranny.

    tyr·an·ny – arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.

    to·tal·i·tar·i·an – of or pertaining to a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life.

    March 22nd, 2012 at 6:03 pm
  26. Chris L. Phillips wrote:

    As I understand things from a current event standpoint, the FDA now has total control of all seeds produced or imported to the U.S. WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE PEOPLE?

    March 22nd, 2012 at 6:33 pm
  27. Passerby wrote:

    Didn’t see this article until now. If The Man Upstairs issued an Executive Order, (which He has done as I understand it) would anybody actually pay attention to it?

    Do I actually pay attention to anyone in power down here? Not much. Gettin’ emotional about it is just that, gettin’ emotional. Otherwise, I’m gettin’ prepared to suffer. Gettin’ emotional won’t help there.

    Preparing for physical essentials; that’s what The Ready Store is for. Maybe they’re here to give you that bit of extra time to make the decisions you should make. Who knows?

    Gettin’ political is always a hassle…ugh!

    Let’s see…have I got enough water? Do I need to make another order? Got my seeds? Been on my knees? Ya’ll know how this senario goes.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 3:57 pm
  28. pacman7331 wrote:

    People, it’s time to get mad.

    OK? Do I have to be like that guy form Network?

    It’s time people really get angry. If you cannot get angry about this, u need to check yourself. You are a being walked on. If that doesn’t make you mad, your not human, your dead.

    Time to get mad. That is the only healthy response to this.

    Anger is the only remedy.

    November 5th, 2012 at 1:33 am
  29. Adri wrote:

    It should be illegal to usurp any power which is not specifically given by the constitution. And it should be illegal for any government orders or laws or bills to be vague and non-specific, opening the doors to mis-interpretation. And it should need to go through both houses of congress, or a general vote. That’s what it should be. But what it is, sure ain’t what it should be… Which should tell you the character of the guy in the big white house!!! Never trusted him and sure never will.

    August 19th, 2013 at 11:47 am
  30. Yosoloyo wrote:

    My greatgrandma was put in jail during the Spanish civil war and appreciated when potatoes were full or grubs because it meant more food! Non-emergency situation? So he can seize it ANYTIME just because he feels like it? Now he’s trying to bomb Syria, Syria’s allies promise to retaliate, sounds like an emergency to me! So… He can take everything away? He’s gonna give FOOD STAMPS to everyone? Is there anything we can do to change this? Or stop it?

    September 5th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

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