[SN] Re: [SANET-MG]
cedecor at gmx.net
Sat Jan 31 18:04:24 EST 2004
Hello Sal & other saneters following this thread,
In relation to long time organic farmer Sal Schettino's post of
Saturday, January 31, 2004 in which he stated:
s> I think we have to shift the burden over to those that
s> contaminate. I think part of the class action law suit were
s> everyone wins should take the burden of contamination off the
s> backs of those that are being contaminated the organic grower and
s> the whole organic community put it were it belongs on the
s> contaminator those that own the Gene engineered DNA and hold the
s> contracts. I'm talking about pesticide drift along with GMOs.
Here's my point by point take on Sal's very reasonable statement:
s> I think we have to shift the burden over to those that
It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that this be done. Either this is done
or nothing is done. It's that fundamental. The burden MUST be
shifted to those that contaminate. But who is "we"?
Is it those who is subscribe to a couple a lists (one with public
archives and one who's archives are private)? Is it organic farmers?
Is it American Organic Farmers, USDA certified etc etc.?
No! It's the world! And that means that WE TOO MUST PAY for the
contamination we create or cause. And it means consumers or going to
pay, either for the contamination that was caused by creating and
transporting the product or the cost of the measures taken to avoid
So there are costs involved, and those costs AREN'T going to paid
voluntarily (except by those that grow organically and buy organic
products and even then in a limited way, because most of the current
cost is no longer made to avoid contamination out of conviction but
rather, to "get certified").
Since those costs AREN'T going to paid voluntarily, legislation that
places the burden on those that contaminate must pass congress and
for that to happen, the electoral system must be reformed. There is
no doubt about this.
So the point is: In order to return farming back to farmers it has
return to it's own biological roots; and in order to return
government back to the public interest, the power of those who
produce, distribute and promote the agrochemicals that contaminate
must be limited, because both areas are linked.
We need agricultural production systems that jive with the public
interest and we need a government that upholds the public interest
to make that happen, just as we need people capable of exposing the
apologists of Chem-Gene farming for what they are. (According to one
sanet member, paid fools or rather, suckers for people like the Koch
family, whom he claims are significant Chem-Gene stock holders).
As I say, there is no doubt about the need for this, and in order
for the first to occur, the second must occur first. So the question
is, how can legislators who's ability to get elected was based in a
significant way on the campaign contributions received from the
Chem-Gene, Energy, War_&_Country-Rebuilding cartel that has control
of our nation's government (they're in the saddle, have the reins in
their hand and the bit in your mouth), be made to vote themselves
out the campaigns contributions that helped get them elected? This
is no trivial task.
This means that if George W.B. wins the presidency again and
controls congress, your life's work might just go down the drain,
because those "freedom fighters" responsible for the contamination
are going to be exercising their right to "do biznez" (the
exploitation of natural and human resources for private gain, which
is legal in the USA), and do it right there on your farm, whether
you like it or not. That's the American way, Sal.
At the point were everything you grow is contaminated, it'll still be
the American way. What can we do? (read on).
s> I think part of the class action law suit where everyone wins
s> should take the burden of contamination off the backs of those
s> that are being contaminated the organic grower and the whole
s> organic community put it were it belongs on the contaminator
s> those that own the Gene engineered DNA and hold the contracts.
Sal, the use of toxic pesticides and GM crops is legal in the USA.
So maybe the focus has to shift to the governmental procedures
employed to allow that to happen. On the other hand, liability for
pesticide drift can be established, particularly in areas with a
diversified economy (one that isn't dominated by mono-cropping, crop
dusting corporate interests), so a basis may exist for taking legal
action against the farmer whose crops contaminated yours, if you can
demonstrate that you suffered damages as a result and that they were
negligent in the way they managed their GM crops, in relation to
Proceeding against the producers of GM crops is difficult since GM
seed is not illegal, unless it can be demonstrated that they
falsified evidence and/or unduly influenced the results of the
approval process. If it could be shown any governmental employees
acted in collusion with the economically interested parties, they
too could be prosecuted or subject to litigation, and if a
governmental agency did not comply with it's mandate, including them
too in a suit is also feasible.
Once again, both damages on your end and negligence on theirs must
be demonstrated. (I'm a lawyer's son btw, and work with legislative
issues - IOW, laws.)
s> I'm talking about pesticide drift along with GMOs.
Of course. The same companies make them both.
s> I don't know if the court will help us or congress or even
s> the President but we have all three we can turn to for relief.
I would start by getting each democratic pre-candidate to define
his stance on this issue. If the Democratic Party's candidate
understands the issues and commits to getting to the bottom of this,
You might want to work in his campaign.
s> the courts may be our best hope because others depend so heavy on
s> money and favors and not on what is right and just. etc . so I
s> would say courts.
There are undoubtedly some good judges around. The problem is,
decisions are often reversed on appeal and in the end, it all
depends on what the Supreme Court decides, if and when they take the
case. There are costs involved here.
s> Getting GMO to label would be a good start.
That is true. It's a start, in a place where they're already legal
and even, prevalent.
s> Even DW agrees with that.
Although I'll wager Dale would say that the cross pollination of
your crops with GM genes does not constitute contamination.
s> and DW is our friend and I know he is trying to help
Yes. He needs our guidance however, even though that means being
stern with him sometimes. He can be very willful and often blanks
out or deemphasizes extremely pertinent information. Whether this is
intentional or whether he has been brainwashed (or schmoo-washed) or
whether he is an unwitting or closet sucker of the industrial family
I mentioned above is another matter of course.
s> and has been more help than even he knows.
I don't know either, but I know he does try.
s> everything the organic grower has to do the contaminator should
s> also be forced to do. I call this good for the Goose good for the
Just remember that Jack Sprat would eat no fat and his wife would
eat no lean, which is a frequent cause of divorce, these days.
That said (and I see that there's a lot more to letter than I can
get to now), I want to emphasize that due to the limitations placed
on the GM content of USDA Certified Organic Food, the importance the
world-wide and nation-wide organic food industries and the
importance of maintaining organic certification has for the organic
farmer, his family and his business; I think a legitimate claim for
remedial action can be made against the governmental agencies that
approved their release or against any farmer that planted them
closer to other crops than the law allows, aside from the tacks I
But beyond that, the main issue here is where the burden for
contamination should be placed, and the default (at this point) is
that it ISN'T being placed. Instead, it's assumed that the "normal"
amount of contamination that contaminating ag production systems
produce is "OK".
Once again, the influence of the private interests that benefit from
the captive audience they now enjoy (I have referred earlier to the
self-perpetuating state of dependency on agrochemicals caused by
agrochemicals that destroy the natural biological ecosystems
responsible for the soils fertility and the plants resistance to
disease and pests, as well as the beneficial bio-control organisms
that are non-selectively eliminated also), instead of upholding the
public interest is the main issue here, and that goes far beyond the
organic food industry.
It has to do with the need for electoral reform and the need to
elect governments that act IN instead of AGAINST the Public
Interest, in order to gain support for farming systems that work
WITH rather than AGAINST nature, and laws that hold contaminators
responsible for their contamination and recognize toxic
agrochemicals and GM genes as sources of contamination.
That, the labeling of GM foods and the establishment of GM Free
Zones (and the right to do so) are hot issues that must be faced
today, in order for tomorrow to be an improvement.
Lastly, both sanet and org-cert are discussion lists. Some months
back, I asked another sanet member to form a specifically activist
oriented list named SERA, which was later diverted to other things
under a different name.
My point is this: SERA is ready to ride again, this time as
<http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/seranet>, the Socially
and Ecologically Responsible Agriculture Network and
La Agricultura Socialmente y Ecologicalmente Responsible, en
We even have our own url: www.sernet.org which is also hosted by
ibiblio. (Typing www.seranet.org will get you ibiblio, until I have
time to construct a website, which I was hoping to do this weekend).
Attorney Kathy Carter-White is co-moderating and both she and I and
a few others have subscribed and will get any posts sent by anyone
subscribing now. I will subscribe those that asked to be subscribed
once we get a website up and running, which will also link to
<www.ibiblio.org/cedecor>. All will credit ibiblio.org for it's
support, vision and leadership. I will announce that it's up and
running when the website is ready, but the lists are already
functioning and I see you have already subscribed (so you will get
three copies of this, just as I got two of yours).
The list of topics I wrote for SERA will hold true also for SERAnet,
and the possibility of participating in a number of precise areas of
responsibility in the context of series concrete activities will be
added to the original statement (or vice versa).
Another list was set for the Organic Pineapple Working Group of the
International Society for Horticultural Science
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/opwg and I will probably
get that up and running and subscribe all current group members
(from Australia, Cuba, Dominica, Guyana, Hawaii, India, Ivory Coast,
Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and South
At the moment however, since I ate my last cherimoya today, I going
out now to cut more down the street. I'm sure you don't expect me to
live life without eating cherimoyas, which power my efforts in
meaningful and profound ways.
More information about the SERAnet