Update 2: April 6, 2009 More info on HR 875 (not as bad as it seems)
Update 1: Mar. 26, 2009 added link to a petition; see below
Crossposted with permission from the author, thanks, Jean Ann.
I am not one to overreact about early legislative efforts. New bills are always stuffed full of language that will never make it to the final version. But HR 875 is a different matter.
It is not just the drastic regulatory language that scares me. It is that it represents agribusinesses next step on the path to world food domination. And though that sounds like an over exaggeration, it is not.
Companies like Monsanto have already invaded our food and seed supply. They have successfully obtained patents for GMO seeds and have cornered the market on seed sales. They have sued farmers for harvesting and using seeds from their own corn because it was accidentally cross-pollinated with their varieties. And now they are trying to push through legislation, via Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whose husband works for Monsanto.
Please, don’t let this bill get out of committee. There are other ways to protect our food supply. Let’s not create a perfect storm by eliminating the few small farmers who are still growing non-gmo, genetically diverse crops.
For more information, check out this OpEdNews piece…a bit on the extreme side, but still has relevant information. Also check out OpenCongress, a cool site that lets you track bills, legislators, etc, leave comments and keep an eye on hot button topics. At the end is a link that will help you automatically send feedback to your elected officials and local newspapers. Here’s what I wrote, feel free to copy and edit:
I am increasingly concerned about the potential effects of HR 875. This bill is clearly designed to benefit big agribusiness and to make it nearly impossible for smaller farms to comply. The sweeping language of this legislation could even impact people growing their own food in backyard gardens. This effort is clearly being pushed by small farm destroying companies like Monsanto.
Oregon will not benefit from this kind of outside regulation. Further, we do not need a completely new regulatory agency to deal with food safety issues. Please, read this bill and take action. Don’t let agribusiness destroy family farms and urban homesteaders.
Jean Ann Van Krevelen
Get involved and say no to Monsanto and others like them who care about absolutely nothing but making money.
Thanks to Alex for the link to the petition.
Sign an online petition:
HR 875 the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
Secret Farm: A garden blog
March 28, 2009
As many of you out there are aware by now, there is a bill that has been introduced to Congress called HR 875 Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 . I have seen a number of twitters and blog posts about it, as well as articles and discussions. I was all set to write a very different post about this issue until I came across this post at CrooksandLiars.com in my search:
While this is indeed good news, I would expect that these would be actual amendments to the bill and not just an “informal document” in the end. My work as a union steward and on a contract negotiating committee has taught me that clear language is always needed no matter how nitpicky it seems, and it is best not to leave things up to interpretation later on, if possible.
www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/ (H.R. 875)
www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s425/ (S. 425)