20 March 2009

Food Safety Monsantoization Act of 2009

Oooh, I think we need to do it: Take back our food.

My mind is racing with the possibilities. If this Garden to Table group at my daughter's school could get six beautiful planting beds built and filled with new plants just like that, more people could do sooooo much more. Just today I thought, why not turn another corner of our yard into a neighborhood kids' garden? I have pent-up energy here, along the urge to dig into spring soil, too.

Happy turning of the seasons, and welcome back spring and warm earth and big snows!

But really, back to this gardening thing. We need to grow more of our food supply. There's a bill lurking in a House committee right now, HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Sounds all right, and has the sound of sweeping legislation, which we need, right? It says it's all about creating a new Food Safety Administration from some of the existing FDA infrastructure.

But wait. There's more.

It doesn't just spin off a new agency from the Food and Drug Administration, an idea that doesn't sound half bad. Instead, it's more like 1984, with food as the focus. I am not kidding. Read it. Or visit this site, which has a great analysis.

The first section my eyes darted to was the list of prohibitions.

Now, as an intellectual exercise and a favor to me, before you are further biased by anything I've said so far (whoops!), ask yourselves who would want such sweeping legislation, legislation that would criminalize farmers who refuse to toe Big Ag's lines?

The answer: Monsanto, among others. Gee, what an anticlimactic answer, I know. But there it is.

So here's where to register your outrage: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

I can't just leave you with that, though. Here's something cool and inspiring one of the Garden to Table folks sent me, as an antidote: http://www.youtube.com/user/dervaes?ob=1


Edit: Just saw a link to a blog post by Jill Richardson about what Monsanto really is lobbying for. Good information from the La Vida Locavore blog, which I just learned is a forum for anyone interested in food and food politics.

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