Posted by: Khepera | Sunday, 12 April 2009

H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 – (REVISED)


New info has come to my attention regarding this story…see below @ ADDENDUM.
Also @
Rep. DeLauro’s husband, Stanley Greenburg

++++++++++++++++++

As technology/communication processes continue to quicken our processes, it becomes ever more incumbent on each of us to be vigilant in our scrutiny and the exercise/application of critical thinking skills to the eruption of events swirling around us each day.  HR 875 is precisely one of those instances.  Those seeking to read the text for themselves can find it here:  H.R. 875 – Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009.

Before folks leap to conclusions about “intent” & “purpose,” it would be worthwhile to examine what is being proposed, what the proposals empower through their loose language, and, most critically, who stands to benefit.  As we have learned time & again, loose/vague language in government legislation is a virulent breeding ground for abuses by those who would infest these cracks & loopholes with their personal/corporate agendas, like cockroaches.  One need only look around at the current economic/Wall Street woes to see what loose language can propagate.

While my exposure to this story/bill was via concerns @ organic farming, and the ongoing family farm vs corporate agribusiness, there are also issues of states’ rights/sovereignty involved here.  I would also add that an ongoing issue of contention(fought by the Organic Consumers Assoc.) @ food — the irradiation of food for *preservation*(more here) — could also be implemented here.  Whenever such powers are placed within the bureaucracy — federal agencies — instead of within the purview of the states, the people’s capacity for review, critique & resistance is ever further removed from their reasonable access.  It’s tough enough as it is in the major agricultural states to contend with the multi-million dollar slush funds of agribusiness lobbyists without further isolating the regulation process from transparent view by raising it to a corporate level.  For those who have doubts, keep in mind that election standards were implemented nationally in the 60’s, and since, via federal mandate, without the federal government taking over this task from the states.

ADDENDUM

It has come to my attention that some of the information on this story is incorrect.  A friend hipped me to a resource on Snopes.com which addresses some of these points.  You will notice that I avoided trumpeting some of the claims of other sources/articles, and, instead, focused on the dangers of “loose legislative language.”  Also, above, there are links discussing both sides of the food irradiation issue.  As always, I encourage all of us to — as noted at the beginning — to exercise our critical thinking skills when reviewing any info from any source.  My thanks to the AfroFuturism folks — we keep one another on track.  Especially note the change below regarding allegations @ Rep. DeLauro’s husband, Stanley Greenburg.

Yes, there is a lot to digest here, pardon the pun, but if we don’t take the time & apply ourselves now, we may well lose further freedoms & choices regarding the foods we must digest in order to thrive.  IMHO, the bottom line here is who benefits, why is this the best/simplest solution, and where are the checks & balances to offset the influence of corporate interests whose only agenda has repeatedly been demonstrated to be simply profit, even to the point of sufficiently great profit being an acceptable offset to high-priced liability(anyone remember the Ford Pinto, or the early problems with their Explorer SUV?).  In actuality, the majority of health problems involving our food chain have been directly connected with mega-farming facilities — produce & meat — as well as seeking quick fixes through ill-advised pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering.  How many of you know about the degradation of the nutrition of wheat over the last couple of decades, as a result of genetic engineering seeking to increase yields, etc.?

To get the ball rolling in this regard, an excerpt from the Natural News article on HR 875:

It is important to keep in mind that Rep. DeLauro’s husband, Stanley Greenburg, works for biotechnology giant Monsanto, the multi-national corporation responsible for the creation of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in cows, the perpetuation of “Round-Up Ready” sugar and soy products hidden in conventional foods, and the instigation of lawsuits against farmers whose fields were contaminated by Monsanto’s patented seeds. H.R. 875 provides the means by which corporations like Monsanto can seize control of the last-remaining independent farming operations in the United States.”

According to Snopes.com, Mr Greenburg is not a Monsanto employee.  Check the link for details.

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