[Seed Keepers] OpEdNews - Article: Food Safety Regulations: Intended quicksand for sustainable agriculture
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Mon Aug 23 09:18:08 EDT 2010
[Read the whole article at OpEd News and all linked articles. Notice
that support resources for this article were provided by the
Organic Consumers Association (OCA), _not_ the Organic Trade
Association, who does not appear to be on the side of small and family
local sustainable farmers.]
OpEdNews - Article: Food Safety Regulations: Intended quicksand for
For OpEdNews: Linn Cohen-Cole - Writer
"Hidden inside regulations that are not voted on by any legislators
representing the public are massive bars to all involvement in farming
by small farmers. The monopolistic, unconstitutional, destructive
reality of those regulations appear obvious when time is taken to look
Monsanto runs the American Seed Trade Association which has influenced
the FDA to implement regulations governing seeds that MASSIVELY control
importation and limit who can provide them nationally.
The following is excerpted from a speech before the American Seed Trade
Association and the American Organization of Seed Certifying Agencies at
their Joint Annual Convention. Remarks are by Lester M. Crawford, the
Acting Commissioner of the FDA. June 29, 2004
And in doing so, they throw into disturbing relief what the FDA is doing
- with Monsanto by its side - in announcing MAMMOTH regulations that
will allow multinational corporations such as Monsanto even greater
national and global control over seeds in the now clearly spurious name
of "food safety."
The USDA has its own close corporate connections to agribusiness and the
USDA is committing on-going raids against farmers, agribusiness' only
competition. In these, "food safety" is being used to destroy
sustainable agriculture while distracting from the actual problems
(click here) and leaving untouched the industrially-sized
industrially-caused sources of disease in the corporate feedlots, animal
factories and slaughterhouses. This mirrors exactly how the
pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA have promoted and/or given a
pass to melamine in infant formula, NSAIDs, dental mercury amalgams,
Vioxx, Paxil, HRT, etc. while attacking cherry growers and the entire
natural substance industry which are the pharmaceutical industry's
competition. The attacks on healthy food and safe substances by
government agencies in collusion with corporations and those agencies
bypassing filthy and/or dangerous industries (click here), combine to
expose the use of "food safety" and "drug safety" regulations to destroy
corporate competition from all natural sources. Click here.
The Patriot Act has allowed the government to remove constitutional
rights using terrorism as the justification. Homeland Security now is
working with the FDA on food. So, the police state use of "food safety"
in raids on healthy local farming has now become ramped up to a
exceedingly strengthened and more vast new scare - "international
bio-terrorism," which then providing the FDA (qua Monsanto) a full blown
military and global control over seeds, which serves Monsanto's every
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Ronnie Cummins and Other Reviewers: Mad Sheep--Explosive New Book
Exposes USDA's War on Small Farmers and Consumers
Mad Sheep The True Story Behind the USDA's War on a Family Farm
By inda Faillace
Contact: Alice Blackmer 703-443-9418 blackmer at chelseagreen.com
A gripping story of one family's fight against the USDA
MAD SHEEP is the long-awaited story of a family farm destroyed by the
USDA in its effort to protect beef industry sales from the threat of Mad
Cow disease. It is an unforgettable chapter in the latter-day history of
the family farm.
Linda Faillace, scientist, farmer, wife, and mother of three tells the
harrowing story of corruption, gun-toting federal agents, and
heart-breaking loss with amazing clarity and skill.
"FDA is also extensively involved and committed to the Food Emergency
Response Network (FERN), a national initiative designed to integrate
America's laboratory infrastructure to better detect and respond to
bioterror agent threats to the food supply at local, state, and federal
levels. The key goals of FERN are:
. Prevention (federal and state surveillance sampling programs to
monitor the food supply)
. Preparedness (strengthen laboratory capacity and capabilities)
. Response (surge capacity to handle terrorist attacks or a
national emergency involving the food supply), and
* Recovery (support recalls, seizures, and disposal of contaminated
food or feed to restore confidence in the food supply)."
"If regulations over "harvesting, transport equipment and seed cleaning
equipment" are implemented so as to require FDA-approved industrial
equipment - as now is being with seed cleaning equipment - the costs are
beyond their capacity, so such corporate-driven regulations effectively
and silently eliminate small farmers from "participating" in farming.
If agricultural water and manure are defined as sources of
contamination, any CSA capable of sustaining the cost of the equipment
could be charged at a whim for violating "food safety" regulations and
be raided and shut down as co-ops (click here) as is happening to small
And getting seed storage cited as a source of food contamination is a
redundant or back up method on Monsanto's part for keeping organic
(normal) seeds out of farmers and the public's hands because it has
already pushed seed laws across the country that make seed collecting,
saving, selling, so complex, costly and ridden with potential for errors
that would allow for shut someone down or suing them, that those laws
are already removing seeds from human access.
Prior to genetic engineering and patenting of seeds, the collecting of
seeds was a simple thing, without such laws. As you look through each
section of this law, ask a few questions:
What are the absolute surveillance of and intense control over all
varieties of seed about?
Are the laws being written so where still-existing normal varieties will
be know and they can be bought up or wiped out by Monsanto and others?
Are the laws setting farmers up to fail and then be sued by government
or biotech companies?"
"It provides a mechanism to do with animals what Monsanto did with seeds
– find the major sources, eliminate them, reduce the genetic diversity
available and substitute genetically engineered seeds, so farmers have
no alternatives and seeds (or nature) is then patented and “owned” by
Monsanto or other biotech companies. In this way, farmers end up as
tenant farmers on their own land, never able to collect seeds and
benefit from the bounty of nature. Monsanto is making the ultimate
industrial move and treating seeds as factories - mere means of
production - and farmers become workers.
While dong getting rid of normal animals and replacing them with
genetically engineered patented ones may seem far-fetched, it is already
happening in Asia. The industrial side of farming – the giant poultry
factories – is implicated in causing Bird Flu through its terrible
practices around disposing of contaminated waste. Wild birds got sick.
Small farmers were blamed, their small stocks eliminated, and
GE-poultry is substituted.
The poultry industry, in using the crisis to push out small farmers
and substituting patented poultry, retains ownership of all future
“intellectual property” – and babies born to that poultry. The poultry
farmers, like the seed farmers, own nothing and are reduced to renting
the birds and working for the transnational poultry companies, and no
One need only look at the fact that the data from NAIS is fed into a
corporate data bank from which corporations have 24 a day surveillance
and detailed records on every small farmer in the country with even a
single chicken, to understand how such a spying and record keeping
system could assist in the elimination of diverse animal stock here
through “surge capacity” warrantless searches, seizures and destruction,
using food scares and bioterrorism scares as a convenient means.
So, whether it is seed laws and food contamination regulations for seeds
and elimination of all seed equipment and everything necessary for
organic agriculture that pleases Monsanto, or assaults on raw milk dairy
farmers using “food safety” as the justification while industrial milk
with rBGH linked to three cancers is approved, or a mega-spy system over
every farm animal in the country, controlled by the very agribusinesses
which caused Mad Cow through their disgusting practices, lowering of
contamination standards, and blocking of inspections, all sectors of
farming – crops, dairy and animals – are covered.
The question arises - what provides real "food safety"? Is it access to
local farmers we know personally who are growing food we have decided we
want and our choosing to take the risk, or is it "protection" for all
risk by agencies which are close to the filthy corporations actively
blocking inspections and lowering contamination standards, and with
their help are writing oversize regulations which, right now, are
already silently dismantling all aspects of small, local farming itself?"
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