Criminalizing Organic and Home Growers

UPDATE: Many people were unable to get the text for this bill, or it was simply unavailable. We have obtained the full text and can be disseminated here: H. R. 875 Food Safety Administration Full Text

This bill is sitting in committee and I am  not sure when it will go to the floor.  One thing I do know is that very few of the Representatives have read it.  I know it is difficult to read so many laws that go through, but something as important and far reaching as this bill should be read. And we should be encouraging our congressmen to vote against it… So often, when pressed for time, they take someone else’s word for what the bill contains. HR875 Bill proponents will be counting on it.  I would urge all Garden Notes subscribers to read the legislation and ask for opposition to this terribly devastating legislation.  Okay, it is not so bad for factory farming operations  (Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few) but devastating for everyday home gardeners and small organic farmers.

graph ofThis legislation has been heavily influenced by lobbyists of the largest of the food producers. It is written so broadly that it could be “used” to take a conscientious home gardener, trying to grow their own food, fine them, and seize their property. This bill will affect anyone who produces food. Period. If you grow your own food on your own property to feed your own family, this bill effects you. The HR875 bill will (seriously) bankrupt independent farmers and food producers. It will take ridiculous amounts of money for these producers to conform to factory farming methods. Never mind that this is exactly WHY these food producers choose to garden and farm the way they do in the first place! If people choose to farm without industry standards such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers they will be subject to a variety of harassment from this completely new agency that has never existed before. Yes, a whole new government agency is being created just to police food, for our own protection of course.

Please urge every gardener you know to read this bill and to oppose the passage of this legislation.

Pay special attention to

  • Section 3 which is the definitions portion of the bill-read in it’s entirety.
  • section 103, 206 and 207- read in it’s entirety.
  • Legally binds state agriculture debts to enforcing federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal department.
  • Effectively criminalizes organic farming but doesn’t actually use the word organic.
  • Effects anyone growing food even if they are not selling it but consuming it.
  • Effects anyone producing meat of any kind including wild game.
  • Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal.  There are no specifics which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.
  • Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation.  It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation.  Who do you think they are going to side with?
  • Section 206 defines what will be considered a food production facility and what will be enforced up all food production facilities.  The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.
  • Section 207 requires that the state’s agriculture dept act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements.  This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment.

It is hard to believe that this is happening in our country, but bills like this beg us to re-examine history. Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat old mistakes. And when we have laws this obvious being enacted in this country, go back to a time when it happened before… Didn’t Stalin nationalize farming methods that enabled his administration to gain control over the food supply?  Didn’t Stalin use the food supply to control the people?

Last word……  Legislate religion and enforce gag orders on ministers on what can and can’t be said in the pulpit, instituting regulations orcing people to rely solely on the government, control the money and the food. What is that called?  It is on the tip of my tongue…

I haven’t read any of the Senate’s version of the bill as I have been poring through the House’s version.  Here is the link and I hope some of you can take a look and post your observations and insights below.  One thing I am pretty sure of is that very few if any Senator’s have actually read the legislation and when it comes up for a vote they will more than likely take someone else’s word on how they should vote.  The other thing I am pretty sure about is that the legislation was probably written by lobbyists and industry experts.

S 425 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:s425:
Things you can do

1. Contact your members at 202-224-3121 and ask them to oppose HR 875 and S 425. While you are at it ask them if they personally have read the legislation and what their position is? If they have not read the legislation ask them to read it and politely let them know that just because other representatives are not reading the legislation and voting on it does not mean they can do the same.
2. Get in touch with local farmers and food producers by attending a local farmers market and asking them how business is.
3. Attend a local WAPF meeting, this is a good start to learning about what is going on in farming and local & state initiatives . The website is http://www.westonaprice.org/localchapters/index.html
4. Check out the Farmers Legal Defense Fund at http://www.ftcldf.org/index.html
5. Find out who sits on your states agriculture and farming committee and contact them with your concerns.
6. Continue to contact your elected officials and let them know your position on legislation and why.
7. Get active at the local and state levels, this is the quickest way to initiate change.
Anyone who wants to contact their state representative but doesn’t know how can also hit this page to find out: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

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