I have been reading a lot about HR 875 and yet haven't had time to sit and read through the entire issue. I have been hearing grumblings that this is Monsanto's latest takeover attempt and that this bill would even criminalize backyard gardening. If you are like me then you may be saying "they can pry my spade out of my cold dead hand". Buy seriously, can this really happen? I don't know, I haven't read it all yet. But, as with my schedule lately, I feel like I need to blog this so everyone else can research this as well. I am simply providing the raw data, you figure it out for yourself. I would hate to believe that our choice to grow our own healthy food would be taken away from us but with Monsanto in the mix, anything is possible. Profits are king and we are all just peasants in their kingdom (yeah right!). I was really curious about this article because they had a small tidbit from Dr. Mercola, who also didn't know a whole lot about this either. So here you go.....read, learn and pass it on!
Monsanto’s Dream Bill - Dr Mercola’s take on HR 875
Filed Under Big Agri, GMO Foods, Organic
Congressional Bill HR 875 was introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.
The bill is essentially a giant gift package for Monsanto, mandating the criminalization of seed banking, prison terms and confiscatory fines for small farmers and 24 hour GPS tracking of their animals, and of “industrial” standards to independent farms.
The corporations want nothing less than full control of the land, the end of normal animals so they can substitute patented genetically engineered ones, and the end of normal seeds and thus of seed banking by farmers or individuals.
And now Monsanto wants its own employee, Michael Taylor (the man who forced genetically engineered rBGH on the country when the Clintons placed him over “food safety” in the 90’s) back in government, this time to act with massive police power as a “food safety tsar”. HR 875 would give him immense power over what is done on every single farm in the country and massive police state power to wield over farmers.
Rosa DeLauro and Stanley Greenburg have a great deal to account for in attempting to force through a mislabeled “food safety” bill with hidden intent to wipe out farmers and harm everyone.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Although I’m not familiar enough with this bill in its entirety to make any definitive declarations about what it would mean for the future of small organic farms should it pass, I will say this: any law introduced by someone with ties to Monsanto is likely to be grossly tainted by industry bias.
Who Does This Bill Benefit the Most?
And Monsanto in particular – one of the most evil companies on the planet — is a powerful entity that has repeatedly proven its clout. Monsanto has already managed so many reprehensible acts, it boggles the mind. Including:
Leading the world into a new age of potentially hazardous genetic modification of seeds.
Patenting not only their own GMO seeds, but also a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time — without a vote of the people or Congress.
Not allowing farmers to save their seeds to replant the next year – a practice that has been done for generations. Instead, they aggressively seek out and sue farmers they suspect of doing so.
Suing farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable drift of Monsanto’s GE pollen or seed onto their land for patent infringement!
Producing two of the most toxic substances ever known — polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin (Agent Orange).
Perhaps their biggest assault to your food supply already is what’s known as terminator technology. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.
The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.
If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!
So, would it be safe to say that Monsanto stands to gain from H.R. 875?
Absolutely! With thousands of organic farmers driven out of business, they would be that much closer to dominating the food supply of the world, since organic farms don’t use Monsanto seeds or toxic products.
Based on their history, I believe it’s prudent to question what the future of our small farms will hold, should a bill with such blatant ties to Monsanto be allowed to pass without further scrutiny.
It is quite possible, perhaps even most probable, that the bill entitled H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 is designed to halt the growing trend of small organic farms – not through a direct, frontal assault on organic farming, but rather by insidiously creating rules and laws that make it extremely difficult, and incredibly expensive, for small farms to comply.
And in this case, the rules and regulations created by this proposed bill are mandatory, not voluntary, meaning they apply equally to a tiny farmer with half a dozen cows as it does to a massive factory farm.
What are the Potential Hazards of HR 875?
The stated purpose of H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 is:
To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes.
As detailed in the articles above, some of the potential hazards of HR 875 include:
It includes small farmers who just sell their fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets
Anyone engaged in food growing, or “holding food for consumption” in the U.S. would have to register annually, and create and maintain extensive records of the foods they grow and/or store
The definitions of who this law pertains to are so broad and loosely defined that they could potentially even include your personal backyard fruit or vegetable garden, even if you don’t sell anything but grow them for personal consumption
It appears it could dictate how all food growers would have to grow their food, including potentially the necessity to use certain pest control measures, for example
Authorities would have the ability to inspect any food production facility at random to make sure it’s operating in compliance with the food safety law, and again the definition of “food production facility” is so loosely defined it could apply to your personal orchard, vineyard, or vegetable garden, as long as it produces something edible
After the enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of agriculture will promulgate regulations to establish “science-based minimum standards for the safe production of food” by food production facilities. Meaning, no one even knows what the food production standards are yet, but whatever they turn out to be will have to be followed
It is prohibited to: fail to register; refuse to permit access to an inspector; refuse to allow copying of all records; fail to establish or maintain any record required under the law
Should you fail to comply with any of the rules and regulations, there are both civil and criminal penalties, going as high as $1 million per violation, something that could clearly wipe out any small farmer in a blink of an eye
What Can You Do?
I believe everyone should take the time to look this bill over and decide for yourself — Do you, or do you not believe industry will use every loophole they can find to further their own interests over up-and-coming small, organic family farms?
If you believe this bill warrants further scrutiny before being blindly passed, here are a few ways you can get involved and make your voice heard:
Contact your Congressional members at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose HR 875 and S 425.
Find out who sits on your states agriculture and farming committee and contact them with your concerns.
Contact your local elected officials and let them know your position on legislation and why.
Attend a local Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) meeting, this is a good start to learning about what is going on in farming, as well as getting involved with local and state initiatives .
Support the Farmers Legal Defense Fund