Organic Farming Outlawed?

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Do you grow, transport, store, or sell farm produce? Do you prepare any manner of produce in a restaurant? If so, you need to read this article!

If the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (HR 875) is passed, organic farming as we know it, will be forever changed. Once law, this bill will mandate that anyone who produces fruit or vegetables for public consumption will register and comply with new standards. The government will give birth to yet another agency which will be empowered to detain, seize, condemn and take "other appropriate enforcement action" against any person exhibiting non-compliance. Under the guise of food safety, organic farmers will be told what chemical to use, how much to use and when its use is required, and violators will be prosecuted. Furthermore, growers of organic produce will be told what kind of seeds can be "safely" used and where they must be purchased.

Once law, the parameters covered by this bill could easily be expanded to cover all food grown on private property for personal use. And your input and preferences won't matter.

Does this all sound far-fetched? There are people working hard right this minute to make it a reality! I'm not talking about a group of patients in a facility for the criminally insane - I'm talking about a member of the United States Congress who has introduced a bill which is already being studied in committee.

Let's look at the motivation behind such an idiotic piece of legislation.

First, the bill was presented by Democrat Rosa DeLauro, the wife of Stanley Greenburg, who is an executive at Monsanto. Monsanto, as you probably know, is the world's largest manufacturer of chemical herbicides (grass and weed killers) and genetically engineered seeds.

Can anyone say "conflict of interest!"?

Second, let's peruse Section 3, Article 14 of this bill. Please note that the official definition of 'food production facility' means any farm, ranch, orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation. That means any farm, regardless of size-- even a small family farm.

A few more high points:

3. Growers will be required to register and comply with all new regulations; non-compliance will be countered by an agency empowered to detain, seize, condemn, and take "other appropriate enforcement action."

4. Growers will be told what chemical to use, how much to use, and when to use it.

5. Organic growers will be told where to buy their seed.

If this doesn't sound bad enough, it's a good bet that the paperwork and compliance regulations are going to be as easy to understand as the current tax laws.

So what happens after you register as an organic grower? What are these new rules that must be adhered to? How much is it going to cost to register? What kind of fees will be imposed? The answer to all these questions is: no one knows yet, because the head of this new agency will decide and this bill specifically states that all regulations will be retroactive.

What is particularly disturbing is that this possible new agency will be headed up by a presidential appointee. (Here's a few rhetorical questions worthy of consideration: how often, in recent memory, has a presidential appointee actually possessed the qualifications necessary for the job, as opposed to being given a plum position as a reward for some political favor? Can we expect the appointee to be anyone with experience or background in agriculture or food safety? Will the new "Food Safety Czar," like other agency directors we've seen, thumb his/her nose at future congressional inquiries?)

Back to the bill: Ah, but, you're not an organic farmer or grower, so this won't affect you, right? Wrong! Further investigation of this bill reveals an expanded scope of authority - to the extent that persons who handle anything defined as "food," or who are involved in the production, storage, transportation, or preparation of food must register and comply with all the regulations of this new agency.

Doesn't this sound like something written about Russia back in the cold-war era? Can this really happen in America?
If you think not, consider that the word "terrorist" has been eliminated from the guidelines and official speech of the Department of Homeland Security. Consider that soldiers who have served faithfully with honor in Iraq and Afghanistan have been put on the Department of Homeland Security's official watch list? The same sort of mentality that came up with those winners is now going to define "food" for us and tell us how to grow it.

If we do not raise our voices collectively and in the streets to confront this kind of silliness, we will soon wake up and find that we have lost our ability to say anything at all. Call your State's representatives today and tell them to kill this bill in committee! We know that it's a fact that those who fail to learn from history, will see it repeated. Let's Roll!

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Greg Traver writes articles that enable anyone to be a successful organic gardener. Want to learn more about the benefits of Gardening? Claim your free copy of the popular text Soil Test Analysis Guidelines available only at =>

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