By Linn Cohen-Cole
The slew of fake “food safety” bill in congress threaten us all and our democracy.
Some don’t believe that, but they would probably be happy to make sure that certain things are FOR SURE not in those bills.
So, it’s a simple thing to start with what CANNOT be in those bills before adding anything to them, for adding to what is there would dangerously legitimize them and that must not, under any circumstances or in any way, happen.
You will see list below. If you can think of more items that are important, that would be great because the point is to make the bills safe and have them actually make our food safe, and this is something that should have included us, but didn’t.
First off, in legal and solid language, any bills must make clear only industrial facilities are included.
Then, the bills (all of them, and there are a slew) MUST EXPLICITLY exempt from these bills and all government control:
all private holding of seeds – individual, farmer, seed exchanges, seed banks, etc.
all small farms including all soil, all water, all crops and all animals on them,
all farmers markets,
all roadside stands,
all small producers of food,
all farm to consumer sales,
all consumer choice over food,
all farm equipment (harvesting, transporting, seed cleaning),
all natural things on farms (manure, agricultural water, wild animals, birds, earthworms),
all natural methods of farming.
And the bills MUST ASSERT AND GUARANTEE:
full and inviolate property rights of farmers,
protection from the government bankrupting farmers, ever, through penalties,
the erasure of all data on farmers put on the data bank,
and full due process in all aspects in all our laws, etc.
And the bills must begin the decentralization of our food supply as well as reintroduce local food processing.
The bills must prioritize every and all possible protection of small farming.
Must outlaw all raids on farmers.
Must specifically strip Homeland Security of surge capacity for search, seizure and destruction of crops, animals and equipment, and all war on terror regulations threatening small non-corporate farming, including the government taking over farms for any purpose, at any time, for any use.
Must outlaw stacking of penalties against farmers.
Must encourage (rather than restrict) farmers’ putting on their websites (or in other ways) any truthful information and independent studies about their food (the same being true for supplement companies using that same truthful information and independent studies) that is of relevance to consumers.
Must insert strong and multi-layered due process protections between farmers (and their crops, products and animals) and our government which must not be allowed to ever use “disease outbreak” and “contamination” as its means to destroy wipe out their animals or crops so as to insert genetically engineered animals and crops, as a means of even more strangling monopoly over food and reduction of farmers to mere leasers of animals and seeds.
Must provide labeling of all genetically engineered food.
Must provide, on food derived from industrial feedlots, CAFOs, and processing plants, clear labeling of pesticide levels, of antibiotic residue levels, of hormone residue levels, of drug residue levels, of heavy metal levels.
Must provide country of origin labeling that is explicit to each country, with no mixing of products.
Must provide strict prohibitions and large penalties against corporate employees holding any jobs within the USDA and FDA,
a serious conflict of interest.
Must outlaw any legislator who receives PAC money from agribusiness from ever introducing bills pertaining to agriculture, and ever being on any committees or subcommittees in relation to agriculture, or voting on any bills relating to agriculture – all a serious conflict of interest.
Must reject in advance any and all bills that in any way reduce our country’s control over its own health standards and instead increase international control over food here, vesting power in the WTO and reducing our standards and our own control.
This is an incomplete list.
These bills must begin the decentralization of our food supply for the safe of true food safety and also food security and the bills must increase the independence of our food supply by including strict rules and penalties in the bills pertaining to no governmental interference at any point in direct farm to consumer sales.
And the fundamental survival needs for everyone – based on the rights of our farmers to farm, the rights of our gardeners to garden, the rights of all citizens to choose whatever food they wish without government interference, and especially the rights of all of us to own seeds and have water sources – must be GUARANTEED in these bills as basic human rights, as basic to our democracy, and as basic to life, itself.
This list takes the “I didn’t see that there” confusion out of an astoundingly vague and broad bill and begins to make it highly specific, and today, not a year from now, so the public can know what is involved and how it will affect them.
This list begins to lay out what “food safety” actually consists of. Once that is done, then it will be easy to see which legislators are truly interested in “food safety.”
Take action — click below to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Withdraw HR 875 immediately as well as SR425, HR 814, and related bills. They will destroy our small farmers, take control of seed, and trap us into GMOs and an industrial system just as we are turning a corner toward local, organic, sustainable sanity..
Now, here are people you can thank for fighting these bills. Here is a link to an R-CALF video which is well worth your time.
Editor’s Note: The second video below is what the author has recommended. It is a 5-min. segment from an entire film on the subject. The first video is the introductory segment of that video (also 5 mins.), which OEN readers may find useful and informative. Click here for more videos by R-Calf.
These are people the left needs to meet – conservative, independent (non-corporate) cattlemen who believe in “fair trade” and real competition, and fought and miraculously stopped the JBS Swift merger (threatening control of 90% of beef in the world, vertically integrated). And for a long time, single-handedly, they have held off NAIS (the dangerous core to the power in these bills and the beginning of chipping all animals and eventually, through Smart Grid, tracking everyone).
They are American heroes. In an economy that has been shipped overseas, they have fought for local and American industry here.
They need us to all show up now.
And isn’t it way past time we realize these are not right or left issues we’re fighting but the destruction of our constitution since the Patriot Act went into effect?
Were it not for R-CALF, an organization most people have never heard of, NAIS would have sailed through by now and along with it, many other controls over food, land and seed.
Here is a link to let Congress and your local paper know how you feel about all this.
And for those of you who feel the inclination to be part of this fight, reach R-CALF and feel what it’s like to stand with American cowboys against Simon Legree who’s back in with a pack of lawyers, twirling big slick mustaches, with a gleam in their eye to steal our ranches, our farms and everything else. Offer to help out. Offer to use lists you have access to. Offer to post their video every place you can with a message from you about why this matters to us all.
Make this is the moment when right and left become friends and take on the bad guys together.
Author’s Bio: Met libertarian and conservative farmers and learned an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about government violations against them and against us all. The other side of the fence is nothing like what we’ve been taught to assume but great people with immense decency.