A threat to our farmers markets
There is a new piece of legislation (HR 875) that would have small family farms register with a new federal agency if it wants to sell produce or meat directly to consumers. They will have to pay a fee and will be subject to additional inspections.
This bill also would require farms to have a “food safety plan,” and would dictate rules on packaging, fertilization, and nutrients, which some are arguing could lead to mandatory radiation of meat and produce.
This is an additional burden on small farms and can seriously hurt farmers markets and food cooperatives. The big corporations would be able to comply and have the pockets for lawyers if they got into trouble, it will be much harder for small farms.
More reading: Monsanto’s Dream Bill, HR 875 (The sponsors’ husband works for Monsanto)
For the full text of HR 875 go here, make sure to look at the question and answers at the bottom of page.
On a similar note, the Weston Price foundation has warned about a policy that would put into place a national identification system for every individual livestock and poultry animal in the country.
“NAIS does nothing to improve food safety for consumers or prevent animal diseases. This program is a one-size-fits-all program developed by and for big Agribusiness. NAIS will increase consolidation of our food supply in the hands of a few large companies and put the brakes on the growing movement toward local food systems.”
Read more here.
I’ve been reading Web of Debt, and in it, the author says this about banking and oil trusts of the turn of the last century:
“Ironically, the trusts became the strongest advocates of federal regulation, since their monopoly power depended on the exclusive rights granted them by the government. By planting their own agents in the federal commissions, they used government regulation to gain greater control over industry, protect themselves from competition and maintain high prices.”
I think that the same can be said today with Monsanto and other large agribusiness companies. In the reasonable name of “food safety”, we are seeing this legislation sneaked through after the peanut/salmonella outbreak that killed 8 people. In Shock Doctrine, Naomi Kline writes that a large shock can create disorientation in the public, which allows bad legislation to be made into law. I submit that this is another example of the Shock Doctrine. We need to collectively pause, collect our breaths, and move forward in a rational way. In the mean time, please oppose these bills. Also, support our local farmers and farmers markets.