[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 
sustainable agriculture

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 

Organic Consumers Association -
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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 
farmers now.

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 
longer free.

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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