Food rights activists from around North America will meet at the Sauk County Courthouse in this tiny town on May 20 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, whose trial begins that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land this husband and father in county jail for up to 30 months with fines of over $10,000.
“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”
The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.
The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.
Billing itself as the “world’s fair” of the heirloom industry, the National Heirloom Exposition will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California from Sept. 13-15, 2011.
Supported by firms “passionate about heirlooms and pure foods,” the three-day event will feature over 250 vendors, plus speakers, workshops, films, tours, and, of course, FOOD – the all natural, organic, pure kind that farmers and gardeners have reared or raised for ages.
Graph: Data compiled by GRAIN from government and UN sources, 2008-2010 (except Australia=2005)
By Rady Ananda
A research group that supports community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems, GRAIN, has released a global report, Food Safety for Whom? Corporate Wealth vs. Peoples’ Health, showing how governments and corporations use “food safety” to manipulate market access and control. Rather than making food safer, domestic and trade rules “force open markets, or backdoor ways to limit market access.”
A few hours ago, the Food and Drug Administration declared it no longer needs credible evidence to seize food that may be contaminated. Ignoring the Fourth Amendment entirely, the FDA claims that based on mere suspicion that a food product has been contaminated or mislabeled, and that serious illness or death will result, it can hold the food for 30 days while it then looks for evidence. It claims this power under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Monsanto, I mean, Obama, signed in January.
On May 4th, the FDA stated:
“Previously, the FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence that a food product presented was contaminated or mislabeled in a way that presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
Another armed food raid – this time on a company that provides nutritional supplements primarily for autism spectrum disorders and Alzheimer’s disease – another day under the Food Safety Modernization Act. As predicted, the FSMA is turning out to be a deliberate plan to wipe out small (under a million dollars a year in sales) and medium-sized (under $10 million a year) producers of natural, wholesome food and supplements. This is what happens when corporations run governments.
The concept of “food safety” in corpogov-speak is really just food fascism, according to Vandana Shiva:
“Risk Assessment in the hands of centralized corruptible agencies is no protection for consumers as the disease and health epidemic in the U.S. linked to over processed, industrial foods show. Even while the U.S. is at the epicenter of the food related public health crises, the U.S. government is trying to export its Food laws which deregulate the industry and over regulate ordinary citizens and small enterprise. This deregulation of the big and toxic and over regulation of the small and ecological is at the core of Food Fascism.” [emphasis added]
Small scale producers of meat, raw dairy and veggies, and dietary supplements are under continual attack by food giants who have placed their former employees in positions of power and authority.
At this MSNBC poll, over 40,000 people have voted strongly in favor of labeling genetically modified foods: 96% of all respondents.
But, a review of several polls going back to 1994 reveals that the numbers have always been high — the vast majority of people have always wanted GM labels. That biotech foods have remained unlabeled for nearly 20 years in the US reveals a deliberate and willful refusal by regulatory agencies to serve the will of the people, instead opting to abet industry profits through public deception.
None other than CIA-run CBS News reported yesterday that the “Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison Food.” Though the stymied “terrorist” plot was “uncovered earlier this year,” the CBS exclusive report is filed on the eve of passage of the draconian Food Safety Modernization Act, otherwise known as the Food Patriot Act.
Apparently, official estimates of the number of foodborne illnesses (based on speculation and assumption) isn’t enough to scare the public in the minds of corporate officials. Adding to the long list of government-orchestrated terror events, we now learn of an alleged plot to poison the food supply. The transparent timing of such a “news” story couldn’t be more obvious if Obama had cried ‘Wolf!’
On December 13, 2010, a piece of draconian legislation was passed into law by the Canadian senate. I refer to Bill C36, which is just one piece in the wider global plan called Codex Alimentarius. The bill controls consumer products and is widely understood to be the precursor for another bill that will give Health Canada the power to take some 75% of natural health products off the shelves.
At least as important as this is the part of the bill that removes the law of trespass. Until tonight, a police officer needed a warrant to enter private property in Canada. No longer. Under the new law, police can enter and seize private property at any time, for any reason, even if the person in question is not suspected of any crime.
While over 200 organizations lobbied on the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), no one seemed to notice an unconstitutional section in the bill until after it passed on Tuesday. That day, Roll Call advised that the bill contained a provision, Sec. 107, allowing the Senate to raise revenues. This violates Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, granting that power exclusively to the House. S.510 opponents now celebrate the House’s use of the “blue slip process” to return the bill to the Senate.
“There’s a rat in the kitchen. Here’s what I’m gonna do, Gonna fix that rat…”
By Rady Ananda
Today, the US Senate passed the Patriot Act for Food, S510, by a vote of 73 to 25. We can expect to watch the raids on natural foods increase, and we can expect continued malicious prosecution of growers, like the 2-acre gardener in Georgia.
We can also expect private food arrangements to go underground, so as to opt out of the increased rules and regulations we can expect from the FDA.
Need a good laugh? Check out the bizarre reasoning offered in support of the Patriot Act for Food (S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act), which the U.S. Senate will vote on shortly (likely Monday). From a need to stop food smuggling, to the law is too old, to the terrorists are gonna get us, elites sure are shy on brains when it comes to credible propaganda. They must be drinking fluoridated water and smoking Monsanto marijuana, or hoping you are.
The “lame duck” session of Congress begins today and S.510 –the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act–is scheduled for a cloture vote sometime this week.
S.510 is a major threat to the local food movement. It greatly expands FDA’s jurisdiction over intrastate commerce and imposes one-size-fits-all regulations that will make it more difficult for small farms and food processors to remain in business.
It is urgent that you call your Senators and ask them to oppose S.510.
After over half a billion eggs were recalled from two factory hen layer operations in Iowa, New York lawmakers proposed mandating vaccines against salmonella.  Mainstream media then blasted this message across the globe. Home to the biggest pharmaceutical and chemical companies in the world, the US is fond of throwing drugs and chemicals at a problem instead of addressing the filth of factory farms.
On June 21, the US Supreme Court released its long awaited decision on the first case involving genetically modified crops, allowing the USDA to impose a partial deregulation, should it so choose. This would permit the sale of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa (RRA). However, in its 7-1 ruling, the court also upheld the lower decision to ban complete deregulation.
SCOTUS found that the “District Court abused its discretion when banning a partial deregulation and in prohibiting the planting of RRA [Roundup-Ready alfalfa] pending completion of a detailed environmental review,” known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The decision flies in the face of the facts in this case, and subjects us to further contamination of our food supply.
S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.” ~Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower
India bans some GMO crops while biotech illegally plants others
2/23 Update: India’s Prime Minister voids GMO ban: Sets up pro-GMO committee to vote this Saturday
By Rady Ananda
India’s battles over genetically modified organisms (GMO) intensified this month as both sides maneuvered to promote or resist their proliferation. Mediating the debate, at least for now, is India’s Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh.
Much attention has been given to our breaking piece, Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage, with hundreds of websites around the globe publishing it – from North and South America to Europe, Asia and Africa. Bullhorn Journal has just posted an interview with Séralini, the scientist spokesperson for the research team that revealed the organ damage link: