Monsanto has effectively monopolized the seed market with a series of abrupt and unregulated acquisitions. “Added to their concentrations in commodity crops, and given that food production starts with the seed, there should be no question of who controls our food supply. The only question is, will we do something about it?”
With what tools? We’ve been reduced to isolated atoms of consumption, closed off and separated from each other through the membrane of mass media. No one in Washington represents our interests; read the polls. Polls reflect the collective will of the people, yet most, if not all congressional and legislative decisions are in opposition to poll results. Is it any wonder why congressional approval ratings dipped into the single digits?
There are numerous studies available that spell out the dangers and health risks in consuming GM food. There are scores of reports by scientists and science-minded followers that counter GM food’s negative effectsbut deliberating man’s scientific arrogance no longer matters; we’ve past the point of no return. Any debate regarding the damage genetically modified food may have, not only on our bodies, but within our ecosystem, is no longer relevant. Since GM food is not required to be labeled in the US, we’ve unwittingly consumed it daily for years, and genetically modifies seeds have long since invaded our ecosystem through cross pollination. Furthermore, in January of last year, the FDA decided cloned livestock and milk are officially safe, and don’t require labeling.
The viability of our political system is no longer worthy of discussion; the flesh and bones of the body politic is rotted to the coregnawed and eaten clean by corporate buzzards and congressional parasites who used The Constitution to wipe their faces. America is a corpse. The only semblance of freedom and justice in our reach lies within the scope of our personal lives, in our neighborhoods, our towns, our communitiesin growing our own food, bartering and exchanging services. But Monsanto and their ilk have thought of that.
Last week I wrote about the restrictive measures in Bill HR 875, The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto. The bill places wildly restrictive regulatory incumbrances on the average vegetable growing citizen, and small organic farmer. Now I’d like to direct your attention to livestock. The meat raised by small farmers and meat sold at farmers’ markets will soon be subject to the National Animal ID System (NAIS), requiring farmers to attach radio frequency identification ear tags on cattle, dairy cows, pigs and chickens. Currently the federal NAIS program is voluntary, but it’s only of matter of time before the program is mandatory. The USDA is already encouraging states to make the program compulsory for local farmers by offering federal funds. As always, this program is being promoted on the basis of fear and under the pretense of public safety in tracking the outbreak of food-borne diseases.
But according to David E. Gumpert & William Pentland writing for The Nation:
“A handful of industry stakeholders have cast their shadow over nearly every component of NAIS”past, present and future. A consortium of industry leaders”Cargill Meat Solutions, Monsanto and Schering-Plough, among others”pushed for NAIS for more than a decade and finally won the USDA’s approval shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2001. The consortium, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), designed NAIS for the USDA and includes the USDA’s NAIS coordinator, Neil Hammerschmidt, among its alumni.
“Critics contend NAIS will be the death knell for small farmers, some religious minorities and organic agriculture generally in America. Although the program will amplify American agriculture’s influence in global markets, it will give commercial agriculture an unprecedented monopoly on the future of food”a brave new era of synthetic agriculture and genetically engineered animals.
“NAIS allows large factory farms whose animals spend their entire lives in feedlots to register large groups of animals as a single unit, but farms whose animals are not confined must register animals individually. As a result, most small farms could pay as much as $20 or $30 per animal to comply with NAIS, compared with $1 to $2 per animal for large farms”
Those that don’t comply will forfeit their right to sell meat and dairy products, even locally within their own communities.
“People don’t realize that they’re going to have to tag every single chicken,”says Gail Damerow, a Tennessee farmer who is editor of Rural Heritage magazine. “When you look at the cost of a chicken or goat and the cost of a tag, it’s not going to work economically”
This is a bad dream you cannot awake fromit’s like suddenly realizing you’re actually living the horrifying science fiction movie you been watching. When you digest this information, what it all amounts to is this: in exercising the most fundamental task known to man ” growing, raising, cultivating our own food ” we will be deemed outlaws, fugitives on the run. Law abiding citizens will be nothing but duped prisoners held hostage by global food conglomerates who force us to grow terminator seeds, tag our livestock, and eat their cloned and genetically modified food.
Well I’ve got news for Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson Foods, and the rest of the fascist global food conglomerates:
“There is vast and growing resistance to the dislocation and devastation caused by the agro-industrial food system,” points out Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group. “In the global struggle for Food Sovereignty, the playing field isn’t level, but the scope of resistance is massive – peasant farmers, fisher people, pastoralists and allied civil society and social movements are fighting for locally controlled and socially just food and health systems.”
I’ll keep planting my organic garden until they pry the garden hose from my cold dead hands.