Saturday, April 11, 2009

HR 875 is Hot

So hot that it's *still* blowing up my inbox. I too forwarded the email claiming organic food would be banned and warily received ten emails per day crying,"wolf! wolf!" I have to say, the ongoing reaction to this bill is a good sign.

The massive interest and viral emailing showed that 1) people really care about small farmers and organic food, and 2) there is no concerted organization ready to garner all of this interest from the public. Thus far it has been led by concerned citizen x'ers. I have been calmed by my organization that this bill has some worrisome inclusions such as an inability to buy seed out of state, that would affect family farmers. Your calls will show that they care. This bill will not ban organic farming.

However, the proceeding bills that are coming up, are far worse. National Animal Id program and other mandates in the name of "food safety" are a real threat to small scale producers and would effectively put them out of business just like the tomato harvester did way back when in the history of California's agriculture evolution.

There are a few organizations working nationally to address sustainable food & eater issues, they include: Organic Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Organic Research and Farming Association and Food and Water Watch ( . Food and Water Watch was the only one to come out with some public statements that were timely, although others are now getting up to speed.

There is also the newly revamping Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (SAC) whose opinions I am defaulting to regarding the HR 875 "hysteria":

Here is a legitimate potential reason for the scare from SAC's organization's policy guru Ferd:
"there is an increasingly common feeling among the public interest community here that all the hysteria on the internet and blogosphere about the DeLauro bill is actually an industry funded attempt to use libertarians to discredit (a) the tougher bill and (b) the sustainable movement; don't know whether to believe that or not, but it would be an ingenious win-win strategy from their vantage point"

To keep up to date with various policy issues, check out the Civil Eats Blog for the latest and greatest:

Lastly, if you're calling Washington, tell them that you don't want the Whitehouse garden to have to represent genetically modified crops too. Apparently, Crop Life, the PR arm for Monsanto is pressuring Michelle that the garden has to be "democratic." Of course they would want their plants there. Perhaps only if they're covered in plastic wrap so that they don't contaminate the organic standards of Michelle's kitchen garden.

The movement is moving!

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