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Congress is Moving to Criminalize Home-Grown Food

According to Poor Richard’s Blog, which posts the URL to the legislation, Congress — at the apparent behest of Monsanto — is moving to make it a crime to "grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat" one’s own food. The direct URL may be found here.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510

The bill is sponsored by Richard Durbin, the U.S. senator representing Monsanto in this piece of legislative filth. He is a registered Democrat. Among the seventeen co-sponsors listed are Lamar Alexander, Kirsten Gillibrand, Christopher Dodd, David Vitter, Ben Nelson, Orrin Hatch, and the late Ted Kennedy (what the hell?). It is currently under consideration in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

On its face, a reading of the bill appears to give a reasonable concern for food safety. After all, it is important to protect human health from contaminated and other unsafe foodstuffs. But closer reading reveals that the discretion given to inspectors, and the general wording of the bill as a whole, would ensure that the larger producers would never have to face serious inspection — it’s the non-corporate, smaller food growers who stand to be most affected.

I want you to think about this. A recent study has found that girls are reaching puberty as early as age seven because of high-fructose corn syrup. It seems that increasing obesity in younger children is causing hormones associated with metabolic weight gain to kick in earlier, with one result being higher instances of breast cancer for the affected children throughout life. That is bad enough. Now imagine Monsanto, which produces genetically-engineered corn that the Huffington Post reports is linked to organ failure in rats, going virtually exempt from any and all regulation while smaller farmers including organic growers trying to produce healthier stock that could mitigate some of this, are driven out of business.

Worst of all is that the bill places control over U.S. food supplies into the hands of the World Trade Organization and multinational corporations. The Department of Homeland Security would also have jurisdiction to ensure compliance, and even food grown in the United States could be considered smuggling contraband into the country if it does not meet with approval from large corporations.

This is what we’re facing if S510 passes. It must not be allowed to, not without heavy modifications to protect independent growers and strictly regulate corporations.

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Michael Kwiatkowski

Michael Kwiatkowski

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