Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

There are alleged "food safety" bills in Congress right now (HB 875, HB 814, SF 425 and possibly soon, HB 759) which are - to put it plainly and truthfullly - the death of organic farming and independent farming in America.

One, at least, merges the USDA and FDA, immensely corrupted agencies, into a more powerful, centralized agency [how soon we forget the danger of centralizing intelligence agencies] that gives even more power to Monsanto and other corporations which already have control over those agencies. These bills merging the of USDA and FDA were introduced one week after Vilsack in a press conference said they weren't thinking of doing that yet.

With great excitement, Merrigan is seen as a victory for progressives who have been waiting way too long for any. The great shame, the danger even, is they aren't noticing what is happening off to the side that is the very thing they should most fear.

HB 875, which is the larger and appears to be the central one, looks innocuous. It is that surface we are encouraged to concentrate on. The surface is "food safety" and the hope is government finally acting to protect us. Below that surface are two things - that those who cause the dangerous food are running this show, and that "food safety" has been used before and is being used here again to destroy the only people who actually provide it.

Wanting food safety and more muscle behind that seems logical, until you look at the agencies being given more power.

"The thing that bugs me is that people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day.”
Dr. Herbert Ley, Commissioner of the FDA. (San Francisco Chronicle, 1-2-70).

What is the FDA doing?

"First, it is providing a means whereby key individuals on its payroll are able to obtain both power and wealth through granting special favors to certain politically influential groups that are subject to its regulation. This activity is similar to the 'protection racket' of organized crime: for a price, one can induce FDA administrators to provide 'protection' from the FDA itself.

"Secondly, as a result of this political favoritism, the FDA has become a primary factor in that formula whereby cartel-oriented companies in the food and drug industry are able to use the police powers of government to harass or destroy their free-market competitors.

"And thirdly, the FDA occasionally does some genuine public good with whatever energies it has left over after serving the vested political and commercial interest of its first two activities." - G. Edward Griffin, World Without Cancer.

FDA tactics.

"The hearings have revealed police-state tactics...possibly perjured testimony to gain a conviction,...intimidation and gross disregard for the Constitutional Rights...(of) First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, (by the FDA)

"Instance after instance of FDA raids on small vitamin and food supplement manufacturers. These small, defenseless businesses were guilty of producing products which FDA officials claimed were unnecessary."

"If the FDA would spend a little less time and effort on small manufacturers of vitamins...and a little more on the large manufacturers of...dangerous drugs..., the public would be better served." - Senator Long from various Senate hearings.

As late as November of 2008, scientists at the FDA revolted against its corrupt managers, submitting a letter to Congress.

Dingel charged FDA bureaucrats with "gross violation of laws and regulations..."

FDA and drugs.

FDA is at the center of "a national controversy over [its] ability to protect the public against unsafe medicines. As associate director for science and medicine in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, Graham told Congress last month that FDA's problems with ensuring drug safety were "immense in scope" and left the nation "virtually defenseless" against the chance that unsafe drugs will reach consumers.

FDA - in regard to food, both as they relate to harming safe local farming and actually greatly decreasing safety to the sole advantage of industry and immense risk to the public :

  1. FDA instituted HACCP [coming in through Carol Tucker Forman, representing Monsanto at the same time] wiped out 72 local meat processors in Kansas (please imagine the loss of jobs, of food security, of community in those places, and then multiplied across state after state) who had had no problems with e-coli, while creating a vastly more centralized "industrial" (corporate) system in which inspections fell and food safety problems increased.

"HACCP [was] the keystone of President Clinton's globalization strategy to restrict the ability of Congress and of citizens at risk of health to make safety a political, or policy issue." FDA's HACCP made "feces" an approved part of the American diet."

  1. American cherry growers got money from the the USDA for an independent study which showed that cherries were potentially ten times stronger than aspirin and ibuprofen for controlling pain (separate from being incredibly high in anti-oxidants). FDA, exceeding its regulatory authority immediately forbade them from even putting a link on their websites to the peer reveiwed study) while allowing NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: aspirin, tylenol, aleve ...) which cause thousands of deaths a year and well over a hundred thousand hospitalizations and those figures do not even include over the counter deaths and serious illnesses. Yet there appear to be no deaths by cherry.

And the USDA?

"The organic food industry made the mistake of asking the USDA to regulate it, since there were many unscrupulous "organic" farmers who sold food that was not really organic, as organic. In 1998, there was a major consumer effort to stop an agribusiness takeover of the industry, and the battle is not finished. [My emphasis.]

"” is a misnomer, as the movement is more of an effort to counter the agribusiness mentality, with its artificial fertilizers, genetically engineered life, radiating food, and so on, and get back to natural methods.

"Agribusiness companies control the USDA, just as the drug companies control the FDA. ... An internal USDA memo that Mother Jones obtained in 1998 showed that the USDA was influenced by the biotech companies, which was why its original standard classified genetically engineered food as organic."

"The USDA's originally proposed standard would have eliminated organic food as it is known today. ... It is as if Lucifer himself is writing the law. Is the USDA really that blind, or do they know exactly what they are doing?"

The examples of both the USDA and FDA favoring industry to the literal destruction of small farmers or small businesses though their products are safer, are many and continuing. The USDA and FDA have worked to eliminate all non-corporate, less expensive, more healthy, green, and local alternatives to industrial food and industrial drugs under the aegis of food or drug safety, while passing and protecting and promoting dangerous corporate products such as rBGH and Vioxx.

The innocuous looking HB 875 brings these two corrupt agencies together, and with immensely more power. In recognizing the large international corporate moves being made to take over food , one can begin to appreciate where this and the other bills fit in.

Hillary Clinton ran on a platform to create this centralized "food safety-actually-the-opposite" department (just as Bill Clinton wanted an "organic" label that would absurdly include genetically engineered and irradiated food and sewage sludge as fertilizer). Both promoted a twisting of reality - dangers with a positive label slapped on top. Her long-time advisor (and perhaps his) has been Mark Penn, head of Burson-Masteller, one of the largest and most reviled PR firms in the world which represents Monsanto, Blackwater, ExxonMobil (they helped cover up the spill), Union Carbide after Bhopal (minimizing the disaster there), the Argentinian junta, and more.

We all know what PR firms do. They stage things, they time things just right for the introduction of something, they create atmosphere they want, they dress things up to look good for the camera which are in fact rotten or dangerous. And they can make people and things which are good, look bad. In short, they manipulate public opinion by manipulating the truth. And when they work for one of the most evil corporations on earth, Monsanto, the degree to which they can pull that off is the degree to which we are all subjected to extreme dangers.

HB 875 is called a "food safety" bill and it looks "nice." But it includes coded words that make other very "not nice" things become suddenly operative, things that are not mentioned directly in the bill but are buried in multiple other places, as simple lists or as regulations which have never been debated by law makers or voted on by the public, but inserted into agency documents, frequently by industries which are supposed to be regulated by those very industries.

The coded words around "tracing" trigger NAIS [please watch this video by the Organic Consumers Association] and any words around "best farming practices" would unleash a slew of absolute government controls over (but not limited to) things such as what the farmers must feed their animals (one assumes it will be GMO feed from Monsanto Bt-corn and Bt-soy) and when, what medical regimen they must follow (one assumes it will be the drugs Big PHARM and Big PHARMA sell), what kind of spray (one assumes it will be the pesticides Monsanto sells) and when and where farmers must apply it.

It is clear from those three items alone (what the animals eat, what drugs they are subject to, what is done to the soil and plants) that "best farming practices" and many more anti-farming practices) would industrialize every farm and destroying all organic farms.

But it is worse than that because we are looking at the actual industrial enslavement of our once free farmers by government. They would be forced into a system in which they would not only be ordered what to do and when, but become "captives" to purchasing mandated products from the very industry that has taken over our tax-payer-funded agencies and is imposing this farm-and-health-destructive regime. The only farmers producing safe food would be paying taxes to be personally destroyed by the centralized USDA/FDA "food safety" department.

Monsanto influences both agencies. It gets more power and more control. It gets data banks to oversee all farmers and even to take DNA from their animals. It gets mandated purchase of its products. It gets to kill organic farming and food.

"Best farming practices" also include not having animals and crops on the same farm. Could these farming regulations get any more bureaucratically distant from real farming or thus more insane?

As tricky and corrupt as it seemed Bill Clinton's proposal to label Monsanto's genetically engineered crops and animals "organic," the centralized "food safety" department proposed by Hillary Clinton leaves such single layered, transparent wrong-doing in the dust. For now now it is not a fake label being proposed, but an entire fake (as to providing "food safety") agency being called for and timed to seem "in response to" deaths and with all its threats hidden in multiple places.

So while Bill Clinton's proposal would have only hidden what we eat under a lying label, removing all voluntary choice and trapping us into their dangers through enforced ignorance, these "food safety" bills hide the hand of and the greatly multiplied power of Monsanto, hide the death of all independent (non-corporate) and organic farming, and hide the literal take over the entire US food supply.

Hard to get more clever than that.

It is also hard not to notice both Bill and Hillary Clinton's long standing connections to Monsanto, how much Monsanto already influences both agencies to its own advantage and how much it gains from these bills.

Buried many layers deep within "best farming practices" are a list of "sources of seed contamination."

Agricultural water
manure (not chemical fertilizers and pesticides)
transporting, harvesting and seed cleaning equipment
seed storage facilities

Seed cleaning equipment, I understand, has already been made illegal this year though there have been no illnesses related to it. A farmers said he may still clean seed but he would need a million to a million and a half dollar building and equipment to do so now.

Seed storage facilities are also listed. One sees the direction this is going.

Seed storage facilities would be declared illegal as well, as sources of "seed contamination." All the wonderful seed banks around the country put together by devoted and hard working people to preserve biodiversity for all of us, threaten the absolute monopoly over seeds and food that Monsanto seeks. Oh, one could still have a seed bank but they'd need a million or two million or five million dollar "facility" to meet "food safety" requirements.

Monsanto and the biotech industry want no more farm-saved seed (or individual saved seed). In the EU, seeds not on the official seed list (which costs thousands of pounds to be on) may not be sold to the public.

Seeds are life to all of us. Seeds are freedom to survive.

Yet Monsanto is aggressively doing all it can to put normal seeds out of reach , (making it a crime for farmers in Iraq to use their own seeds, for instance) and attempting to make saving of normal seed illegal here. The insertion of harmless seed cleaning equipment and seed storage - both essential to organic and independent farming - as a threat to "food safety" is a tip-off to Monsanto's hand in this and its sleight of hand in destroying organic farming in these kinds of unanticipated ways.

The left is being massively played. Even if this appointee would be good, there will be no organic farming to oversee. All the laws coming out of HB 875 and the other bills will already have destroyed it.

Good bye seed banks. Good bye biodiversity which is critical to survival. Good bye human control over seeds which are the basis of all life ... which are our biologic inheritance and most fundamental human right. Good bye to a country full of independent farmers ... the floor under any democracy,

Instead, we have illusion. Burson-Marsteller, a major, major PR firm, works for corporations to cover up the literal deadly harm they do. We are being encouraged to watch a show. Look behind the curtain. Monsanto is there.

"We need the World Bank, we need the International Monetary Fund, we need all the big foundations, we need all the governments to admit that for 30 years we all blew it, including me, when I was President. We blew it. We were wrong to believe that food is like some other product in international trade. And we all have to go back to a more environmentally responsible, sustainable form of agriculture."
Former US President Bill Clinton, in a keynote address for World Food Day on 23 October 2008

Monsanto now is talking "sustainable." It's PR . They also used Bollywood actors to sell Bt-cotton to Indian farmers but non-PR reality flowed from that. 182,000 Indian farmers have committed suicidesince Bill Clinton and the IMF and the World Bank forced India's door open to Monsanto and Big Ag.

The bills in Congress, dressed up as "food safety," are in fact the death of organic and independent farming in our country and a vast intensification of globalization as part of a plan for tight international corporate control over our food.

Progressive rejoicing at Kathleen A. Merrigan's appointment to the USDA as a major win is surely making Monsanto and Big Ag cronies in their boardrooms laugh and pass around cigars over their well-crafted plan to thoroughly deceive and distract the left so HB 875, HB 814, SF 425 and (later) HB 759 can move ahead in Congress just as planned.

Tags: Obama USDA appointment, Merrigan, Monsanto, faking out the left, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, organic farming, HACCP, HB 875, HB 814, SB 425, HB 759, sleight of hand (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

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