Browsing Posts tagged Monsanto

Food Freedom

Are the raw milk raids to distract from something far more deadly to farming?

By William Davis (Food Freedom)

People have been saying that the FDA goofed because their attacks on Rawesome and California’s cease and desist orders for goat herders have galvanized public attention to the issue of raw milk and safe food. But when corporate media gives time to grass roots anti-corporate issues, there is usually a purpose.

Just as the New York Times and other corporate outlets appeared to be muck raking about industrial agriculture with all their stories on the terrible, contaminated conditions there as the food safety bills were on the table in Congress, it was not to ensure the small farmers became a greater source of food but to create sense of public outrage in order to push through a devastating corporate bill.

Not once did the NY Times publish articles on how the bills threatened farmers, though it was blatant that they did, or on how corrupt the FDA was, or about the fact that a Monsanto lawyer and VP was put in charge of all food and farms. And now that the Food Safety Modernization Act has passed and that same Monsanto person is ordering raids against safe food across the country, the NY Times is also silent.

So, if there is big media attention on FDA raids now, one is compelled to wonder what are they pulling farming, food and health advocates’ attention from?

A good guess is the gargantuan thing the USDA is doing to farmers and ranchers and anyone with so much as a chicken. Jim Hightower, former agricultural commissioner in Texas back when such people actually cared about farmers, has called the USDA plan “lunatic.”

The USDA program was once called NAIS (the National Animal Identification System) but was so detested by farmers and ranchers that the government had to back off. They did, momentarily, since 90% of the farmers at Vilsack’s listening sessions were vehemently opposed. The USDA promised to take that into consideration.

They did. They changed the name to “traceability,” hoping to slip it through now, hoping farmers are worn out from the last go-round, hoping the public won’t notice, and perhaps hoping the raw milk raids will keep farmers, and the public who strongly supports them, occupied.

NAIS, or traceability, had been promised as voluntary but the USDA is bringing it back as mandatory. It had been promised to ranchers that their brands would serve as identification but the USDA flat out lied about that.

“USDA did not have to attack our industry’s hot-iron brand or add younger cattle to the proposed rule in order to improve animal disease traceability in the United States, but we believe it has chosen to do so to appease the World Trade Organization and other international tribunals,” said R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard recently.

Hightower’s article makes clear that this animal ID plan to track down deadly animal diseases is not about diseases at all. Neither is the USDA’s decision to locate a germ lab in Tornado Alley over the objections of ranchers and scientists who say it can cause a leak and set off diseases, or in trying to bring in cattle from Brazil where a disease is active now, once again over the objections of ranchers working to keep their animals healthy.

So what is this USDA program that is rousing all this resistance and all this lying on the USDA’s part? Hightower says it is a system that “would compel all owners of [farm] animals to register their premises and personal information in a federal database, to buy microchip devices and attach them to every single one of their animals (each of which gets its very own 15-digit federal ID number), to log and report each and every ‘event’ in the life of each animal, to pay fees for the privilege of having their location and animals registered, and to sit still for fines of up to $1,000 a day for any noncompliance.”

Whoa. It does so many, many objectionable things, one almost naturally skips right over the far and away most poisonous part. Putting aside the onerousness and impossibility of logging and reporting all events and movement of animals and the huge fines, the real kicker is this: it would “compel all owners of [farm] animals register their premises….”

Mr. Hightower is mistaken, however, that the information would be put “in a federal database.” It would be into a privately-owned corporate database, out of reach of a public records request. Farmers raise this central question in a highly informative article called The Amish and the bailout?

A few urban folk may still picture farmers as hay-chewing rednecks, but clearly they were thinking hard as they chewed because they appear to have been sharp as pitchforks at sniffing out what may be the largest government trickery in US history.

What, farmers ask, are “premises?” It is not an international term? And with premises, is a person merely a stakeholder in land, not an owner? Is this, farmers inquired of the USDA, different from “property” which is a constitutional term in which one owns one’s land? And in signing onto premises, wouldn’t farmers be signing their land onto an international contract and in the process be losing their property rights as landowners but become mere stake holders?

And for whom would they be holding the stake?

Some think a good guess might be the IMF, the Fed, the World Bank, or even the Chinese. George Soros has been buying up farmland across the midwest at low prices after the floods. He is also selling gold and buying farmland. Land is where it’s at.

Do the bankers who took our homes, our jobs, our manufacturing, our economy, now want the land itself?

Sometime back, a man named Wayne Hage suggested that our land is collateral on the national debt.

Is that correct? Does President Obama’s Executive Order 13575 further these aims?

Is the USDA forcing our farmers and ranchers (and any of us with a chicken) into international contracts in readiness for a government default? Funny how that sounds remarkably like the Rockefellers’ (bankers) UN Agenda 21. No property rights and no people on the land at all. Have the bankers and corporations created the debt which pushed us into debt in the first place, set the country up for a default in order to take over our land?

The right to choose our food is a fundamental human right and people are now realizing it’s at risk, but there can be no food and thus no rights at all, without the land.

Stopping premises ID comes first. It’s everything.

Ignore the occasional misplaced concern about pesticides and golf courses, and remember that these conservatives saw the fundamental threat of UN Agenda 21 long ago, so even if they drop the dart a few times, they get the bulls-eye when they throw. This video on UN Agenda 21 shows what is planned with land and property rights for everyone.

Putting The Small Farmer Out Of Business

July 12, 2010 by Bob Livingston

Putting The Small Farmer Out Of Business The Federal government has long been legislating in an effort to eliminate the small farmer, and increasingly local governments are doing so as well. The government’s efforts—under the guise of making our food safer—have all but put off limits good, healthful foods like whole raw milk and truly organic meats and vegetables grown by local farmers. The Federal government, through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other alphabet soup organizations are constantly banning natural, good-for-you foods and inventing new restrictions that hurt the small farmer for the benefit of Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and other large farm entities. And local governments are constantly devising zoning and other restrictions to hinder small farms, just like Lake Elmo, Minn., is doing here. This is not just a Minnesota problem, it’s a national problem.

Natural Solutions Foundation
www.HealthFreedomUSA.org
www.GlobalHealthFreedom.org

Monsanto Owns the US Food Czar
More “Obama Change” — for the worse!

I urge you to read the following article with the following thought in mind: “If this is the food “safety” situation BEFORE the possible passage of HR 2749, the bill that will destroy small farmers’ ability to continue to stay in the food producing business, implement Codex guidelines and regulations lock, stock and barrel in the US (remember, the Codex Chair is now Dr. Karen Hulebeck, who said, at the beginning of the first day of the recent Codex meeting that her boss was the Secretary of the USDA, making no pretext whatsoever to behave as if her loyalties were to Codex or to global food supplies), destroy organic standards AND allow the FDA to declare martial law, quarantine sectors of (or the entire) US and commandeer personal property while they do it, what will it be like in the US if this bill is passed?”

What will it be like? It will be like living in a food police state, the triumph of food fascism.

Think that is extreme? Consider the definition of “Fascism” from Benito Mussolini, a guy who knew a thing or two about fascism, after all. He defined fascism as the control of the State by – and for – the Corporations (a system called “corporatism” by Mussolini).

You have a chance, now, to create the roar of Push Back so loud that even the lobbyist-deafened Congress of the United States will hear it… and back off.

Will that solve the problem? No. The corporatist elite WILL be back, through another door. And we will push them back through that one, too! Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Meanwhile, add your emails to the more than 528,585 emails already sent to Congress, the White House, the FDA and USDA to say NO! to HR 1049 and YES! to clean, safe, unadulterated food!

Click below to add your voice to this roar of freedom saying “NO!” to food fascism.
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26714

And while you are at it, add your voice here:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27275

…to protect your own body and your familiy’s as well, from the deadly “magician’s choice” of jab [untested, unnecessary and profoundly unsafe Pandemic Swine Flu vaccine] or jail [incarceration at the Federal level [FEMA camps because of federal laws now in place] or the State one [State prisons because of Emergency Medical Powers Acts already enacted or being enacted now].

Please read the article below carefully. Then think about where you would get this information if you did not have the Natural Solutions Foundation to pull this all together and present you with the real truth, not the bland, balsamic and vacant distortions, lies and omissions of the MMD, the Media of Mass Deception. Now, please go to the link below to make your recurring donations, large or small (small add up, large are most appreciated, too!) to make sure that the real voice of health freedom, the Natural Solutions Foundation, keeps its voice loud and strong.

Donations: http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?page_id=189

Yours in health and freedom,
Dr. Rima
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Medical Director
Natural Solutions Foundation
www.HealthFreedomUSA.org
www.GlobalHealthFreedom.org
Valley of the Moon(TM) Eco Demonstration Project
www.NaturalSolutionsFoundation.org
Virutal Stores
www.ValleyoftheMoonCoffee.org
www.Organics4U.org
www.NaturalSolutionsMarkeptPlace.org

PS – and remember to check back on our Health Freedom Blog for more news… Hint: a certain good doctor in Congress has just the medicine for our health freedom and, we understand, will be re-introducing the Health Freedom Protection Act (HR 2117 in the last Congress) but the new bill will have more of the right remedy for what ails the body politic! If you “follow” us on Twitter you will be kept up to date about our blog postings and we’ll let you know when new bills are put before Congress. Just go to: www.twitter.com/drlaibow and www.twitter.com/healthfreedomus and “follow” us.

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Monsanto’s man Taylor returns to FDA in food-czar role

POSTED 11:04 AM ON 8 JUL 2009

* BY TOM PHILPOTT

In a Tuesday afternoon press release, the FDA announced that Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto executive, had joined the agency as “senior adviser to the commissioner.” If the title is vague, the portfolio (pasted from the press release) is substantial—a kind of food czar of the Food and Drug Administration:

• Assess current food program challenges and opportunities
• Identify capacity needs and regulatory priorities
• Develop plans for allocating fiscal year 2010 resources
• Develop the FDA’s budget request for fiscal year 2011
• Plan implementation of new food safety legislation

Taylor’s new position isn’t his first in government. He’s a veteran apparatchik who has made an art of the role-swapping dance between the food industry and the agencies that regulate it. (The FDA’s press release highlights his government service while delicately omitting his Monsanto dalliances.) In her 2002 book Food Politics, the nutritionist and food-industry critic Marion Nestle describes him like this (quote courtesy of La Vida Locavore):

Mr. Taylor is a lawyer who began his revolving door adventures as counsel to FDA. He then moved to King & Spalding, a private-sector law firm representing Monsanto, a leading agricultural biotechnology company. In 1991 he returned to the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Policy, where he was part of the team that issued the agency’s decidedly industry-friendly policy on food biotechnology and that approved the use of Monsanto’s genetically engineered growth hormone in dairy cows. His questionable role in these decisions led to an investigation by the federal General Accounting Office, which eventually exonerated him of all conflict-of-interest charges. In 1994, Mr. Taylor moved to USDA to become administrator of its Food Safety and Inspection Service … After another stint in private legal practice with King & Spalding, Mr. Taylor again joined Monsanto as Vice President for Public Policy in 1998.

“Vice president for public policy” means, of course, chief lobbyist. Monsanto had hired him to keep his former colleagues at USDA and FDA, as well as Congress folk, up to date on the wonders of patent-protected seed biotechnology.

“Since 2000,” the FDA press release informs us, “Taylor has worked in academic and research settings on the challenges facing the nation’s food safety system and ways to address them.”

Watchdog in flack’s clothing?

And somewhere along the away, according to his erstwhile critic Nestle, Taylor had a moment like Saul’s on the road to Damascus: the one-time company man suddenly became a valorous industry watchdog. In a surprising blog post Tuesday, Nestle declared Taylor “a good pick” for the FDA. “I say this in full knowledge of his history,” Nestle wrote. Here’s her rationale:

Watch what happened when he moved to USDA in 1994 as head of its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Just six weeks after taking the job, Mr. Taylor gave his first public speech to an annual convention of the American Meat Institute. There, he announced that USDA would now be driven by public health goals as much or more than by productivity concerns. The USDA would soon require science-based HACCP systems in every meat and poultry plant, would be testing raw ground beef, and would require contaminated meat to be destroyed or reprocessed. And because E. coli O157.H7 is infectious at very low doses, the USDA would consider any level of contamination of ground beef with these bacteria to be unsafe, adulterated, and subject to enforcement action. Whew. This took real courage.

Nestle goes on to report that Taylor, after serving a stint as Monsanto’s chief lobbyist, became a kind of food-safety intellectual, issuing wise papers on how the regulators should oversee food companies. She points us to an “excellent report” co-written by Taylor, released this year.

That paper must be read carefully: Given Taylor’s new status, it—along with new guidelines released by the White House Food Safety Working on Tuesday—will likely serve as a kind of blueprint for the Obama FDA food oversight.

Two things jump out immediately from Taylor’s paper. First, it amounts to a forceful push to shift much more of the burden for funding food-safety operations to the state and local level. Its very title is “An Agenda for Strengthening State and Local Roles in the Nation’s Food Safety System.” The paper promotes a “Joint Funding Responsibility” between federal and local/state agencies.

Why is this a problem? For one, state and local budgets are parched dry, drained by the most severe economic downturn since the Depression. Is, say, California now going to fund a robust food-safety platform—with IOUs, perhaps?

Moreover, we’ve seen the sort of federal-state partnership Taylor promotes in action—and there have been spectacular failures. Remember the great peanut-butter calamity of 2008-‘09, the one that killed at least seven people and sickened hundreds? In that case, the FDA had farmed out inspections of the offending factory to Georgia authorities, who dutifully documented atrocious sanitary lapses even as tainted product got distributed nationwide.

The other immediate problem with Taylor’s blueprint relates to scale. A sane food-safety policy would do two things: 1) rein in the gigantic companies that routinely endanger millions with a single lapse at a single plant—say, a gigantic beef company that can send out 420,000 pounds of E. coli-tainted beef from a day’s processing; and 2) do so in a way that doesn’t harm the thousands of small-scale, community-oriented operations rising up in new alternative food systems.

Again and again, we’ve seen regulations designed to rein in big players actually consolidate their market power by wiping out small players. As a recent Food & Water Watch report showed, regulations that make sense for industrial slaughterhouses can spell the end for community- and regional-scale ones. The Taylor report only addresses this critical point once in its 80 pages: “Due regard should be given to making the traceback requirement feasible for small businesses.” Clearly, the small-scale producer issue isn’t a priority for Monsanto’s man at FDA.

A technocrat’s tinkering

With the widely respected Marion Nestle throwing her support behind the Taylor pick, I went looking for other perspectives. I asked Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food & Water Watch, for her take. FWW has been actively working to promote a scale-appropriate food-safety regime that checks Big Food without crushing small producers.

Lovera does not share Nestle’s enthusiasm. “Taylor basically promotes a risk-based approach, and we don’t think that’s adequate,” she told me. Lovera explained that in a risk-based approach, regulators focus limited resources on areas of the food system that pose the most risk. Sounds logical, she said, but it’s proven difficult to predict where risk factors really lie. I asked her if the peanut-butter debacle was a good example. Who would have foreseen multiple deaths from a factory that produces peanut paste for processed food manufacturers? She concurred. She added that the USDA’s FSIS program, which oversees meat safety, has largely failed in a 10-year effort to identify the riskiest parts of the meat-production process.

Then there’s the emphasis on what Nestle praised in her blog post as “science-based HACCP systems.” HACCP stands for “hazard analysis and critical control point.” In an HACCP system, you identify the points in a process that pose the most risk and “fix” the problem.

“That approach is really geared to techno fixes,” Lovera told me—stuff like ammonia washes, irradiation, etc. These procedures don’t seek to, say, keep salmonella-tainted peanut butter out of cookies, but rather to make salmonella-exposed cookies safe to eat. Moreover, the HACCP approach “hasn’t proven friendly to small producers,” she adds. To see the Obama FDA appear to embrace it, she told me, “makes us cringe.” In the end, the food safety system doesn’t just need to tinker with the use of scarce resources, leveraged by increasing the burden on states and localities. It needs to devote more resources to actual inspections.

As for Taylor, here’s my take: Despite massive marketing budgets, the food industry has become widely distrusted over the last several years, with high-profile outbreaks a major reason. “Consumers are increasingly wary of the safety of food purchased at grocery stores,” declares a recent study. “And their confidence in—and trust of—food retailers, manufacturers and grocers is declining.”

The industry knows it needs an improved safety system; technocrats like Taylor can deliver a marginally improved food safety system while preserving profit margins and market share.

Perhaps the FDA’s new food czar can save some lives—I hope he does. It’s abominable when people die from eating pre-fab peanut butter cookie or salad from a bag. Taylor’s tinkerings could well reduce such disasters.

But what we really need is a food safety system that takes the shit out of industrial meat and the salmonella out of peanut butter, without dumping on small producers. And I don’t think Taylor will deliver that—or even try.

http://www.grist.org/article/2009-07-08-monsanto-FDA-taylor/
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‘Nough said… now take action!

Food protection: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26714

Self-Shielding: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27275

HR 2749 the Seizure of the US food supply and production passed the House

hungryman_dees

This is an original article: posted July 31, 2009

By Marti Oakley http://ppjg.wordpress.com

Despite some really eloquent speeches to the contrary, our “for sale” House of Representatives passed the Food Fascism Act….euphemistically called a food safety act, by a margin of about 140 over the naysayer’s.

True to form, Rosa DeLauro spoke about things she knows nothing about and couldn’t care less; Rosa just loves her some Monsanto!

And that exclusion for farms??? Gone! And that includes you organic idiots who thought you had kissed enough behinds to have your industry excluded.

The newly revised bill that appeared overnight after the original was defeated 29th of July, now includes all those farms we were told would not be affected by this legislation. Of course those big agri-corporations made out like bandits. Biopiracy is going to have a profitable future thanks to the political whore’s in congress we call our representatives.

The entire HR 2749 bill was completely wiped and replaced with an amendment that was the text of another bill similar to, but far more lethal than the first. Now, please tell me again that backroom deals and pre-planned votes don’t happen in congress. To make it look bi-partisan, some Democrats voted no, and some Republicans voted yes. This was to make you think they had actually debated and considered what they all intended to do anyway.

The bill that passed does only two things……..it seizes control of food production and supply and then hands it over to big agri-corporations. The remaining content of the bill is a primer on enforcement……meaning all the powers they have granted themselves to prevent you from claiming Constitutional protections, and enabling them to violate your rights on multiple levels…..all for food safety of course.

There is NOTHING in this bill that will address, prevent or otherwise affect the safety of food. This was federal encroachment which will be extended to the states with the cooperation of state officials. This bill did nothing but establish a police agency, granting it massive and uncontrolled enforcement capabilities allowing it to make up even more rules to benefit its corporate sponsors, as it moves along.

Oh! And did I mention this will be done by expanding the FDA? The FDA for god’s sake!

A November 2007 report titled “Subcommittee on Science and Technology, FDA Science and Mission at Risk” doc was a scathing review of the not only the inadequacies of FDA, but the fact that it in no way can assure the safety of food in the United States.

That report cited the massive failure of FDA to perform even its basic functions, going on to declare the agency’s problems were the result of corporate influence and funding. It should have been declared defunct right then and there, but of course the lobbyists who stalk the hallways of congress on behalf bio-pirates and other parasitic corporations just wouldn’t hear of such a thing.

I can only assume the report on the massive failure of FDA to operate on even a cursory level ended up in the restrooms to wipe the behinds of all those royal asses who hold down seats in the House and who voted today to end competition for industrialized corporate producers while wiping out family and independent operations.

And it wasn’t just the House that sold us out. In the last few months various organic associations and other assorted producers came out with what they described as “myths on the net” about the intention of these bills. Why…..these bills were not going to apply to family and independent farms and ranches and surely not to organic growers. That was just internet hysteria! I wonder who was hysterical last evening as this bill passed specifically bringing them under the expanded FDA authority?

And drinks all around!

I have no doubt that dinner and drinks were being supplied last evening by corporate lobbyists as a way to thank House members for passing this seizure of the US food production and supply. FDA was probably pouring the champagne.

I wonder if anyone thought to invite those organic groups?

Maybe they could give everyone a big dose of Vioxx when they arrive, spike it with a Gardasil shot and then wash it all down with a big giant super sized diet soda loaded with that yummy aspartame. This should all be followed by a meal consisting of gmo infected fruits and veggies with a big slab of genetically altered meat just oozing antibiotics, growth hormones and the residues from chemicals of all kinds, shipped in from a country who gave their word they “inspected” the food before shipping it.

After all, thanks to Henry Waxman and his cohorts in Constitutional Crime, that’s what is going to end up on our plates.

(C) 2009 Marti Oakley

Image at www.batag.com
By Rady Ananda

Scrap NAIS; decentralize the food industry

The hottest topic in agriculture is NAIS – the proposed National Animal Identification System. Using embedded microchips and mountains of paperwork, the federal government plans to create a database that tracks every animal in the nation. Independent producers and privacy advocates adamantly oppose the plan.

From May 14th thru June 30th, the USDA held “listening sessions” in fourteen cities across the nation. USDA asserted it wants “to engage stakeholders and producers to hear not only their concerns about [NAIS], but also potential or feasible solutions to those concerns.”

USDA hoped the listening sessions would provide a forum where stakeholders could help devise a NAIS that producers could live with. Instead, ranchers and farmers want the entire NAIS plan scrapped. Over 1600 people attended these sessions, with 500 testifying. Eighty-five percent of those who spoke condemned NAIS.

Listening Session Quotes

Darol Dickinson, longhorn cattleman from Ohio, believes the USDA plan is being forced on producers, despite objection.

“They’ve conveyed to us that we have no right to oppose them. They’ve told people, ‘This is going to happen.’ That doesn’t sit well with independent thinking people, especially ranchers and farmers.”

Dickinson spoke at the Harrisburg, PA listening session and conveyed on Carl Lanore’s radio show:

“I told them that their ‘option’ reminded me of being an old herd sire – being pushed down an alley with an electric prod, and somebody mentions to the herd sire, ‘How do you want to be castrated – with a dull knife, with a burdizzo or an elastic band?’ And the answer, of course, is none of the above.”

One group opposing NAIS, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to re-focus the nation’s animal disease and food safety efforts on several alternatives including:

  • Decentralize the livestock industry and encourage local, diversified farms, which would increase animal health, food security, and food safety;
  • Increase inspections of imported animals and agricultural products and bar the entry of animals from countries with known disease problems; and
  • Improve enforcement of existing laws and inspections of large slaughterhouses and food processing facilities, including unannounced spot inspections at those large facilities.

Image at Salon.com
Mike Callicrate, an independent cattle producer, is not at all happy with NAIS. He firmly believes that the best way to protect the food supply is to enforce existing laws and go back to unannounced inspections of factory farms, slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants.

“Today, USDA, in protecting the biggest and dirtiest meat plants, continues to block trace-back of pathogens to the source plant, a very easy and inexpensive measure that could improve food safety tomorrow.”

He blames the 2002 E. coli contamination of 20 million pounds of ConAgra beef on lack of inspections.

“USDA has done nothing to address the problems in the big packing plants where E. coli is systematically put into our meat daily while trusting these big profit-driven companies to self inspect under the HACCP hoax.”

HACCP is the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan whereby meatpackers and processing plants inspect themselves. They determine where the most likely places of contamination would occur and design mitigation techniques. The plan is then submitted to the USDA for approval, but enforcing it is left to the companies themselves.

At the Loveland, Colorado listening session, Kimmi Lewis of the Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association said, “This country is free because we are allowed to own private property.” If it’s tracked by government, it’s not private.

At the Harrisburg, PA listening session, horse breeder Barbara Steever called the USDA “disingenuous” for saying that NAIS will be used to control the spread of disease. To make her point, Steever then asked some hard-hitting questions:

  • “Why, then, are you lowering import restrictions to allow cattle in from Mexico that has bovine TB?
  • Why are you trying to bring in cattle from Argentina that is known to have a reservoir of FMD (foot-and-mouth disease)?
  • [Why are you allowing] cattle over 30 months of age from Canada, that have a higher risk of BSE, and disallowing private businesses from testing for BSE in response to their clients’ needs?
  • Why are you moving a high security disease containment facility into the middle of cattle country?”

madcow (300 x 374)One of the strongest speakers, Rhonda Perry, operates a livestock and grain operation. She spoke on behalf of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, representing 5,600 families. Reiterating above concerns, Perry adds:

“We see industrial livestock operations all over this country that have created incredible environmental, health and food safety concerns.”

Perry points out that none of today’s food safety issues are caused by independent family farmers. She challenges the USDA to increase competition as a strategy to increase food safety. Bust the monopolies and decentralize food production, “instead of looking at this unproven, ineffective, anti-farmer, corporate-driven program of NAIS.”

Others pointed out that NAIS violates our Constitutional rights, including religion. Amish and other religious communities reject implants and biotechnology.

Several dozen videos from the NAIS listening sessions have been posted at YouTube.

Interestingly, the USDA held no listening sessions in Wisconsin, where NAIS has been made mandatory. Farmers there are furious with the bureaucracy and have been warning the rest of the nation. In NAIS Smackdown: The gloves come off, R-Calf lists a better set of food safety proposals instead of NAIS.

Biggest Danger to Food Safety is a Centralized Food System

Safe food spokesperson, Michael Pollan, has long warned us that a centralized food system is uniquely vulnerable to disease and even to a terrorist attack. Also, because concentrated animal feeding operations require the use of antibiotics to keep the herd alive, superbugs with antibiotic resistance are becoming more common.

In the film, Fresh, Missouri natural hog farmer Russ Kremer shares a personal tale of how he almost died from contracting a monster form of strep. The experience convinced him to exterminate his entire herd and start over with a natural herd.

tom-vilsackThe USDA has a long history of using regulations (like HACCP) to protect Big Ag, instead of consumers and small producers. President Obama appointed Tom Vilsack, the “biotechnology governor of the year,” as Secretary of Agriculture. Obama also appointed Monsanto’s Michael Taylor to head the new Food Safety Working Group.

Astute writers and activists caution that even if NAIS is defeated, animal tracing is being snuck into pending legislation, such as HR 2749.

Independent family farmers will have a tough row to hoe trying to convince a Monsanto Administration to do right by small farmers. As they plead with a corporate-owned federal government intent on globalization, the American people may be their best ally.

Buy fresh, locally grown food. Support free range and organic farmers. Yes, healthy food costs more up front. But you save it on the back end, needing fewer doctor visits or pharmaceutical drugs to deal with the diseases (obesity, diabetes, cancer) caused by factory food. You’ll also contribute to your local economy and a healthy environment.

FILMS

Several recent documentaries discuss the difference between natural and factory food production. In addition to The World According to Monsanto, be sure to see the films below (these are my reviews):

FOOD, Inc. Exposes Horrors of a Centralized Food System
Fresh: How We’re Supposed to Eat
Our Daily Bread a Radically Silent View of Factory Farming

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Rady Ananda’s articles have appeared in several online and print publications, including three books. She graduated in December 2003 from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture with a BS in Natural Resources.

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