Calm down, don't worry go back to sleep! It's just one very stupid thing... Hummmm???
Like the Patriot act??
OR The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) which has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement.
And what about Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122)
AND Military Commissions Act of 2006.
DID you know that:
Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."
AND The 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (HR 10) is yet another attempt to address the threat of terrorism by giving more money and power to the federal bureaucracy. Most of the reforms contained in this bill will not make America safer, though they definitely will make us less free.
Calm down, don't worry go back to sleep! It's just one more very stupid thing...
Now...READ & SLEEP....OR ACT!
The Truth About HR 875 "The Bill That Will Kill All Farms and Eat Your Babies"
Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 06:50:19 PM PDT
I've got a number of things on my radar but there's one very stupid thing that is causing a huge commotion for no good reason. It's HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act, a bill by Rosa DeLauro with about 40 cosponsors (mostly progressives) and no chance of passing (yet). The bill is flawed. It's not perfect. She's introduced it into previous Congresses without this much fanfare and panic among the blogs. So let's get the facts straight so that I don't have to see any more erroneous
and crazy, paranoid diaries on the rec list.
Then after that we can talk about stuff that's more pressing, like the Employee Free Choice Act and school lunches.
First off - I've been talking to a few different groups on this - Consumers Union and the Organic Consumers Association. I've also spoken to blogger Judith2007 who was a panelist at last year's Netroots Nation. She's a farmer and a lawyer. But she's also swamped with work right now so she has limited time to devote to this. Oh, and OCA and CU seem to be in touch with Food and Water Watch, another group working on this.
OCA's coming up with a statement on this, CU supports it, and I haven't spoken to Food and Water Watch directly but I hear they are coming out with a statement. So step one is STOP PANICKING. We can work MUCH more effectively with DeLauro, Durbin (who is introducing this into the Senate) and other members of Congress if we are rational and fact-based.
I got an email from a local food group with a subject line "The End of Farmers Markets?" It said:
This is a nightmare:
H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
Anyone who fails to register and comply with all of the nonsense could be facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.
I wrote back something like "Calm down." To which the sender responded with some text of the bill. And (thank goodness) a lawyer responded that farms will NOT be impacted. If I'm reading it right, restaurants and retail stores that sell food aren't affected either. Farmers' markets, CSAs, and roadside stands are ALL SAFE.
Devinder Sharma on genetic pollution and eroding diversity
July 2002 : Some years back, Oman made an unusual request to India. The oil-rich Middle East country was looking for four pure-bred animals of the cattle breed - Tharparkar - found only in the dry and arid regions of Rajasthan. Tharparkar derives its name from its unique genetic ability that enables the animal to walk across the massive desert of Thar in Rajasthan.
A frantic search for procuring four genetically pure Tharparkar males failed. It was then realised that the indiscriminate cross-breeding of Indian cattle with the exotic Jersey and Holstein Friesian breeds under the Intensive Cattle Breeding Programme (ICDP) and the Operation Flood, has rendered more than 80 per cent of the Indian cattle in the non-descript category. In a country which has the largest population of cattle in the world, with some 26 recognised breeds of cattle, genetic contamination had taken its toll.
More than a dozen of the Indian cattle breeds have now disappeared. The unique genetic diversity and wealth that India possessed in cattle has gradually eroded.
And if you are wondering as to why no legal recourse was taken to stop the genetic pollution of Indian cattle, the reality is that unlike vehicular pollution from diesel-exhausts, genetic pollutants have the ability to multiply. Unlike the automobiles, which have jammed New Delhi's streets, the nondescript cattle which also throngs the city roads have the ability to reproduce and pass on the genetic contamination from generation to generation.
The Supreme Court can crack down on the erring vehicles as well as force the government to bring in environmentally less polluting fuel, but it has no means to check genetic pollution.
The genetic pollution in cattle, however, evoked no anger. Nor were any lessons learnt. The scientific and administrative machinery responsible for keeping the genetic purity of India's massive plant and animal genetic resources - so vital for the future generations as well as for the economic growth - has simply turned a blind eye to the way genetic contamination is being justified.
The same scientific community which has all along told us that genetic diversity is humanity's insurance against future threats from disease, pests, climate change and biotechnology mishaps, remains quiet when it comes to deliberate genetic contamination by the sunrise genetic engineering industry.
Soon after India approved commercial cultivation of Bt cotton in March 2002, a premier fair trade organisation purchasing organic cotton from Maharashtra region for the past three years and converting it into knitting yarn and knitted garments for exports to Japan, was faced with a peculiar problem of genetic contamination.
It couldn't source viable 'straight variety' seeds any longer from the Vidharba cotton growing belt. 'Straight variety seeds, which is an indication of the stability of the genetic character of the plant, is an essential requirement for certified organic cotton production. DNA tests have shown that the cotton varieties, including the high-yielding ones, are contaminated by hybrids as a result of which the genetic make-up becomes unstable.
With Bt cotton now introduced, the resulting genetic contamination is going to be still worse.
The Indian Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Cotton Corporation of India have preferred to remain quiet. In fact, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the umbrella organisation that overlooks the country's agricultural research, even refuses to acknowledge that genetic contamination is a serious problem!
In Canada, genetically modified canola has spread widely, finding its way into conventional seed through pollen or accidental seed mixing. The result: GM canola has contaminated the normal canola seeds. Rene Van Acker, a plant scientist at the University of Manitoba, admits: "I think its very significant and I also think its a formal recognition that genetic pollution does happen."
For farmers it means adding a second kind of herbicide to their regular spraying to kill the plants that have been genetically modified to resist their regular herbicide. For organic growers it's a serious problem. Any contamination of seed stock with genetically engineered crops is too much for organic production.
Traces of alien genes have been identified in three cereal crops in the Navarre region of the Basque Country, Spain. The three crops, two maize and one of soya, were carefully analysed in two independent laboratories.
Further tests on one of the maize crops revealed that the polluting agent was the Bt 176 maize, better known as the Compa CB variety of genetically modified maize, commercialized by the Swiss company Novartis, currently known as Syngenta following its merger with Astra-Zeneca of the UK.
In New Zealand, the government would have been liable for compensation claims of nearly $1 million if it had ordered the destruction of corn crops suspected of containing genetically modified seeds.
More recently, the biotechnology industry through its scientific loudspeakers, orchestrated a dirty campaign to discredit research by two scientists from the University of California, Berkeley. So powerful was the deafening chorus by the key protagonists of the biotechnology industry that even the prestigious scientific journal Nature was forced to succumb to pressure.
Mexican plant biologist, Ignacio Chapela, and his student David Quist, were the target of attack for their painstaking research that established the spread of transgenes in the centre of origin of maize.
Such genetic contamination would ultimately destroy world's available genetic purity and that too in the very hotspots of diversity.
Despite Nature disowning the research paper, the National Biodiversity Commission of Mexico accepted the findings. "It is confirmed. There is no doubt about it," Jorge Soberon of the Commission was reported as saying. Accordingly, two separate teams found transgenic DNA in around 10 per cent of crop plants sampled in Oaxaca province, describing it as "the world's worst case of GM contamination."
This happened because transgenic Bt maize imported for food purposes from neighbouring United States, apparently was cultivated and therefore spread by cross-pollination.
The journal - Nature - was not the only one to stumble. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico, one of the 16 international agricultural research centres being run by the CGIAR, was the next one to fall. Asserting that such contamination would not spell doom, it said that diversity could actually increase as a result.
"And if plant scientists find a desirable trait in a contaminated variety, they can easily breed plants that contain the desired trait but lack the Bt gene."
CIMMYT's defence of the genetic contamination unleashed by the private seed industry in the heartland of genetic diversity for maize in Mexico, is a clear pointer to the alarming breakdown in scientific discourse. In fact, CIMMYT's assertion is in complete variance with the principles of conservation and utilisation of plant genetic resources.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), for instance, states: "genetic diversity per se is valuable in that it evens out yield variability, provides insurance against future changes and is a 'treasure chest' of as yet unknown resources."
It accepts that plant genetic resources are seriously threatened with erosion "the consequences of which will be serious, irreversible and global."
And it is primarily for this reason that the CGIAR centres are engaged in collection, storage and conservation of plant genetic resources in genebanks. World food security depends to a large extent on the 30 crop species that provides most of the dietary energy or protein and in particular on the three crops - wheat, rice and maize - that together provide more than half.
Other major crops, such as cassava, sorghum and millet, are also essential to food security, particularly for resource-poor people. Genetic diversity within all these species is important for their continued stable production.
If genetic diversity can be made to 'actually increase' as a result of genetic contamination -- the argument that CIMMYT forwards -- and thereby 'make the overall mix that little bit richer', it is time to overhaul and possibly disband the international effort by the FAO, the CGIAR and the multitude of plant genetic conservation centres to collect and store the available plant variability.
Contrary to what CIMMYT says, agricultural scientists have made tremendous effort in the past two decades to make global ex situ collections of over 6 million plant accessions. This all began when the FAO recognised the threat posed by genetic erosion and set up the Panel of Experts on Plant Exploration in 1963.
The number of storage facilities has increased dramatically over the past two decades. Before the Second World War, the earliest plant germplasm collections were started by the legendary scientist, N. I. Vavilov, in the former Soviet Union. By 1970, there were about 54 seed stores, of which 24 had long-term storage capacities.
Today, there are over 1,300 national and regional germplasm collection centres with many countries having a number of storage facilities. In India, for instance, which has one of the largest plant collection activities, collections are stored at 70 different locations.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised every year to maintain the viability of these collections, knowing that any lapse would be suicidal for humanity.
Given the importance of wild and semi-wild food plants to the livelihoods of many poor communities, an additional effort is also being made to conserve these species in Protected Areas.
In Mexico, genetically unique wild populations of perennial maize are being specifically conserved in a small portion of the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve. The importance of this collection can be gauged from the fact that in Mexico only 20 per cent of the local varieties of maize known in the 1930s are now cultivated.
The decrease in the land area planted with maize and the replacement with other profitable crops has already resulted in serious genetic erosion in corn. How much damage the Bt maize contamination has inflicted on the limited genetic diversity that exists, is something that should be cause for worry.
For some strange reasons, the CGIAR has refrained from commenting on CIMMYT' s unscientific claim that such contamination actually adds to the available genetic diversity. If CIMMYT, which houses the world's largest collection of wheat and maize germplasm, remains unperturbed at the pace and speed at which genetic contamination is growing, isn't it time to take a fresh look at the policy to conserve plant germplasm? After all, if genetic pollution 'actually increases' available diversity, much more biodiversity can be added to the world's decimating genetic wealth by encouraging genetic pollution.
Why seek taxpayer money to maintain plant genetic collections globally when more efficient results can be achieved by allowing for indiscriminate genetic contamination?
To say that genetic contamination is nothing to be worried about, is to debunk the understanding that old varieties and wild relatives of crop plants are a valuable resource for researchers and farmers, and are disappearing fast. Genetic erosion coupled with pollution will destroy that unique genetic base and thereby create an unforeseen crisis on the food front.
The biotechnology industry, however, is not even remotely concerned. "It is better to acknowledge that a minimum of cross-pollination cannot be avoided, and not to panic," Guy Poppy of the British Biotech Association had told the British science magazine, New Scientist. Amidst growing incidences of genetic pollution world wide, the 'shouting brigade' of the biotechnology industry - comprising distinguished scientists and the political masters - has already browbeaten the governments to accept genetic pollution as inevitable.
Governments have been made to believe that the likelihood of such 'inadvertent' genetic contamination in future will grow along with the increasing number of GM crops being grown around the world.
If you are wondering why the industry, and its 'shouting brigade' remains immune to the crisis that is unfolding on the genetic pollution front, the answer is simple. The industry is in reality making serious efforts, whether legally or illegally, to contaminate the cultivated species all over the world. From Canada to New Zealand, and from Greenland to Cape Horn, the industry is busy in spreading genetic pollution. Aided and abetted by a 'distinguished' class of agricultural scientists, and backed by financially-starved governments, the industry goes on merrily destroying crop diversity.
And once genetic contamination reaches a 'significant' level, the world will be left with no other choice but to accept the sad reality. Genetically engineered crops will then be pushed with impunity.
The great genetic scandal is only beginning to unfold.
Devinder Sharma is a New Delhi-based food and trade policy analyst. Among his recent works include two books GATT to WTO: Seeds of Despair and In the Famine Trap
To begin reversing GM contamination will require ending the power biotech companies such as Monsanto exert over our government and through that, over our food.
HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.
The bill is monstrous on level after level - the power it would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international "industrial" standards to independent farms - the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.
The corporations want the land, they want more intensive industrialization, they want the end of normal animals so they can substitute patented genetically engineered ones they own, they want the end of normal seeds and thus of seed banking by farmers or individuals. They want control over all seeds, animals, water, and land.
Our farmers are good stewards. That is who is threatened by Rosa DeLauro's bill (and because of that, we all are). At a time in this country when wise stewardship and the production of anything real - especially good food - is what is most needed, it is our best stewards whom Rosa DeLauro threatens, under the cruelly false name of "food safety."
And now Monsanto wants its own employee, Michael Taylor - the man who forced genetically engineered rBGH on us (unlabeled so us, unaware) when the Clintons placed him over "food safety" in the 90s - back in government, this time to act with massive police power as a "food safety tsar" from inside the White House. HR 875 would give him immense power over what is done on every single farm in the country and massive police state power to wield over farmers and punishments to break them at will.
The following quotes show Monsanto and its biotech ilk are not "stewards" at all. Their inhuman focus on profit has led to inhuman, insane, sickening products that require intense corruption of democracy and science institutes and media, to foist them on country after country which don't want them.
It is our farmers who stand between us and this outrage which masquerades as science, as food, as normal business, as government. And it is or farmers who need not only protecting and but actual freeing from government intrusion, control and harm.
Vegetarians and vegans do not identify with farmers who raise animals but what is at stake here is critical for all of us.
"First they came for the Jews" is an apt reminder of what matters in standing with each other because the overwhelming bureaucratic burdens, the recording over every single thing done on a farm, the warrantless inspections, the end of farmers markets, the criminalization of seed banking, the ten years in prison for stepping out of line in any way, will next be applied not to animals breaking out of fence onto a neighbors' farm, but for such things as not spraying pesticides on an organic farm to eradicate earthworms (now listed as an invasive species) because the government's "food safety tsar" has deemed it necessary.
It is totalitarian control (and HR 875 epitomizes it) which we stand against, and now it is aimed with ferocity at farmers with animals.
Stopping it now keeps all farmers safe.
Rosa DeLauro and Stanley Greenburg have a great deal to account for in attempting through a mislabeled bill with hidden intent to wipe out our farmers and harm all of us. HR 875 gives Monsanto greater power and opens doors wider to the following ...
GM and non-GM crops cannot coexist
"OK, we know that cross-pollination will occur but we�ve got thirty years of experience to say we know how far pollen will travel.
And therefore what we'ive done is we'll grow a GM crop at a distance away from a non-GM crop, so the people that want non-GM can buy non-GM, and the people that want GM can buy GM. The two will not get mixed up. Everybody will have the right to choose."
Paul Rylott, Seed Manager for Aventis CropScience, and later chief spokesperson for the agricultural biotechnology industry in the UK, "Matter of fact", BBC2 Eastern Region, broadcast 12 October 2000
"Global incidents of genetic contamination from genetically modified (GM) crops are on the rise, while the companies responsible ignore the consequences. Since 2005, the GM Contamination Register has recorded 216 contamination events in 57 countries since GM crops were first grown commercially on a large scale in 1996. While companies claim they can control the use of GM crops, the reality is very different."
"If some people are allowed to choose to grow, sell and consume GM foods, soon nobody will be able to choose food, or a biosphere, free of GM. It's a one way choice, like the introduction of rabbits or cane toads to Australia; once it's made, it can't be reversed."
Roger Levett, specialist in sustainable development, "Choice: Less can be more",Food Ethics, Vol. 3, No. 3, Autumn 2008
"The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded [with GMOs] that there's nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender."
Don Westfall, biotech industry consultant and vice-president of Promar International quoted in, "Starlink fallout could cost billions", Toronto Star, 9 January 2001
"The industry is in reality making serious efforts, whether legally or illegally, to contaminate the cultivated species all over the world."
Devinder Sharma, trade policy analyst, "The great genetic scandal", Center for Alternative Agricultural Media, 1 August 2002
"[Dale] Adolphe [of the Canadian Seed Growers Association] said it's ironic that even as public protests and opposition to GM food products seem to grow and even as new regulations and controls are put in place, the total acreage devoted to GM crops around the world is expanding. That may be what eventually brings the debate to an end, said Adolphe. 'It's a hell of a thing to say that the way we win is don't give the consumer a choice, but that might be it.'"
Adrian Ewins, quoting Dale Adolphe of the Canadian Seed Growers Association in "Biotech wins by giving consumers no choice", The Western Producer, 4 April 2002
"People will have [GM] Roundup Ready soya whether they like it or not."
Monsanto spokesperson in Britian, Ann Foster, "The politics of food", Maria Margaronis, The Nation, 27 December 1999
"The US Department of Agriculture claims to know where the maize (banned from all food use globally and only recently approved for US exports) is located. Aventis, the French firm which developed the genetically modified maize sold throughout the US maize belt in 1999 and 2000, says it knows, also. So do I: StarLink maize is everywhere."
US agricultural journalist Alan Guebert, "Another contamination scandal dents US biotech hopes", Farmers Weekly, 8 December 2000
"It's important for countries around the world to adopt a uniform standard of acceptable levels of contamination."
Biotechnology Industry Organization spokesperson, Lisa Dry quoted in, "Engineered DNA found in crop seeds", Rick Weiss, Washington Post, 24 February 2004
"In 2006 it was discovered that 30% of the entire US long-grain rice supply had become contaminated by experimental GM rice varieties unapproved for human consumption. Not only was this a public safety disaster, but also cost the rice industry over $1 billion. The contamination source? 'Controlled' field trials."
The Soil Association, "Government to defy critics with secret GM crop trials",Today's News, 17 November 2008
"If they can't prevent it there, there is little chance they will avoid it in the field."
Dr Brian Johnson of English Nature, after sugar beets genetically modified to resist one company�s herbicide accidentally acquired GM genes resistant to another company's herbicide, despite being grown in greenhouses. "Stray genes highlight superweed danger", New Scientist, issue 2261, 21 October 2000
"Cross-pollination of the environment is an issue, and that has to be addressed. And for those countries that have very small landmass, there is no way they can segregate GM crops from conventional crops or from organic crops, and so the likelihood of cross pollination exists."
Prof Patrick Wall, until 2008 the Chairman of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EU Agency mandated by the European Commission to advise on the safety of genetically modified food and animal feed for the European Union, in an interview: "We cannot force-feed EU citizens with GM food", 2 December 2008
"The cultivation of genetically modified maize [in Spain] has caused a drastic reduction in organic cultivations of this grain and is making their coexistence practically impossible."
Conclusion of research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics: An impossible coexistence: transgenic and organic agriculture", Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 30 June 2008
"Mexican plant biologist, Ignacio Chapela, and his student David Quist, were the target of attack for their painstaking research that established the spread of transgenes in the centre of origin of maize. Such genetic contamination would ultimately destroy the world's available genetic purity and in the very hotspots of diversity. The National Biodiversity Commission of Mexico accepted the findings. It is confirmed. There is no doubt about it,Jorge Soberon of the Commission was reported as saying. Two separate teams found transgenic DNA in around 10 per cent of crop plants sampled in Oaxaca province, describing it as �the world's worst case of GM contamination."
Devinder Sharma, trade policy analyst, The great genetic scandal, Center for Alternative Agricultural Media, 1 August 2002. Quist and Chapela's findings were further confirmed by a study published in 2008, see "Modified genes spread to local maize"
Author's Bio: Linn Cohen-Cole is a leftist who was lucky enough to meet libertarian and conservative farmers and become friends, learning an incredible amount about farming and nature and science, as well as about increasing government violations against them and against us all.
It's not only nothing like what we've been taught to assume about the other side of the fence, it's full of great people with immense decency.
What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the "Food Safety Administration."
Even growers who sell just fruit and/or vegetables at farmers markets would not only have to register, but they would be subject inspections by federal agents of their property and all records related to food production.
The frequency of these inspections will be determined by the whim of the Food Safety Administration. Mandatory safety records would have to be kept.
Anyone who fails to register and comply with all of this nonsense could be facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.
I've bought food at several farmers markets for years and I have yet to meet any vendors who are fond of the government. I think it's pretty safe to say that most vendors at farmers markets won't go along with this. The problem will be that the people who run the farmers markets will be forced to make sure that vendors are registered with the government.
Is this Change we can believe in?
Maybe it is for Obama's Secretary of Agriculture, Tom "I Fly with Monsanto" Vilsack.