What the Wisconsin Senate is attempting to do to honey is the beginning of a long planned noose-tightening for local farmers and food producers by multinational corporations. SB 419 offers a window into one of the ways they intend to achieve the death of local farming.
Vandana Shiva calls the laws that corporations are putting on the books that control food at a level never seen before in human history, “the Law for Food Fascism.” Her speech on the future of food is about more than dangers from biotechnology; it’s about the ability of all of us to have a choice of the foods that we eat, and for our farmers to be able to freely use their own seeds, and grow food in the manner that they choose.
In understanding Codex Alimentarius, it is not hard to imagine how similar laws, like SB 419, could be constructed to remove the right for anyone to grow food:
2009 − 2010 LEGISLATURE
2009 SENATE BILL 419
December 3, 2009 − Introduced by Senators VINEHOUT, LEHMAN, MILLER and SCHULTZ, cosponsored by Representatives GARTHWAITE, VRUWINK, BARCA, BALLWEG, BROOKS, CLARK, HILGENBERG, KERKMAN, KNODL, MOLEPSKE JR., A. OTT, PASCH, POPE−ROBERTS, RIPP, ROYS, SCHNEIDER, STEINBRINK, TAUCHEN, TURNER, A. WILLIAMS, YOUNG and ZIGMUNT. Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education.
AN ACT to create 100.187 of the statutes; relating to: requiring the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to establish standards for products sold as honey, prohibiting the labeling as Wisconsin certified honey of a product that has not been determined to meet the standards, prohibiting the labeling as honey of a product that does not meet the standards, and requiring the exercise of rule−making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to promulgate rules that establish standards for products sold as honey and standards for the testing by private laboratories of samples submitted by persons who wish to sell honey produced in this state as Wisconsin certified honey. The standards for honey must be consistent with the standard for honey under the Codex Alimentarius of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
The bill prohibits labeling a product as Wisconsin certified honey or implying that a product is Wisconsin certified honey, unless the product has been determined by testing to meet the standards established by DATCP, DATCP has approved a summary of the testing, and the product was produced in this state. Under the bill, DATCP investigates violations of this prohibition and may bring an action to enjoin violations.
The bill also prohibits labeling a product as honey or implying that a product is honey, unless the product meets the standards established by DATCP. Any person who suffers damages as a result of a violation of this prohibition may bring an action against the violator to recover the amount of the person’s damages or $1,000, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney fees.
For further information, see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. 100.187 of the statutes is created to read:
100.187 Sale of honey and Wisconsin certified honey; rules, prohibitions. (1) The department shall promulgate rules that do all the following:
(a) Establish standards for products sold as honey that are consistent with the standard for honey under the Codex Alimentarius of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, number 12−1981, as revised in 2001.
(b) Establish standards for testing by private laboratories of samples
submitted by persons who intend to sell honey produced in this state as Wisconsin certified honey to determine whether the samples meet the standards established under par. (a).
(2) (a) No person may label a product as Wisconsin certified honey or imply that a product is Wisconsin certified honey unless all of the following apply:
1. The product has been determined to meet the standards established under sub. (1) (a) by a laboratory whose testing procedures meet standards established under sub. (1) (b).
2. A summary of the results of the testing performed under subd. 1. have been submitted to the department and approved by the department.
2009 − 2010 Legislature − 2 −
(b) The department shall investigate violations of this subsection and may bring an action for permanent or temporary injunctive or other relief in any circuit court against a person who violates this subsection.
(3) (a) No person may label a product as honey or imply that a product is honey unless the product meets the standards established under sub. (1) (a).
(b) Any person who suffers damages as a result of a violation of this subsection may bring an action for damages against the violator for the amount of the person’s damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. Notwithstanding s. 814.04 (1), a court shall award to a prevailing plaintiff in an action under this paragraph reasonable attorney fees.
Look carefully at the last section. No one is going to suffer damages because a farmer labels his honey as “honey,” but this is preparation for the government or corporations to claim to suffer it (if the honey is merely called honey or implied to be honey and has not gone through what will be prohibitively expensive testing for farmers) in order to fine the farmer $1000, plus court costs, and send a warning to all farmers to not sell honey in Wisconsin, which will be under the control of corporations.
The bill begins with this somewhat rational sounding regulation, that to have something “certified” it must be tested to attain that certification: “The bill prohibits labeling a product as Wisconsin certified honey or implying that a product is Wisconsin certified honey, unless the product has been determined by testing to meet the standards established by DATCP.”
But it follows with something that is patently insane: The bill also prohibits labeling a product as honey or implying that a product is honey, unless the product meets the standards established by DATCP.
In this the DATCP, and the corporations which have corrupted it, move to take control of language itself. If a farmer attempts to comply by no longer labeling what he gets from his beehive as honey and leaves the bottle unlabeled but the honey is visible, is that implying he is selling honey? If he is careful and never uses the word “honey” but says the viscous fluid in the bottle came from his bees or even says nothing and points to his hive or has the honey in the same kind of bottles he used to sell his honey in, is he implying he is offering honey for sale? That is, is there any means of escape from what is fascist food law?
Language itself will now belong to the multinational corporations who have spent years planning Codex Allimentarius’ takeover of all food in the world through a fascist bureaucracy. In a very real sense, “indigenous food” and the vernacular that goes with it, is set to be replaced by food and language only approved by a global authority. This scheme is meant to ensure that no one outside of their control will be free to produce food and any attempt to do so will find it a bankrupting crime to even name it. This is imperialism over food and farming as surely as many conquerors (whether the Catholic Church, the British or others) before these multinationals forbade language, traditional practices, and traditional knowledge.
In the past, the crushing of indigenous life primarily affected the poor while the upper classes took on the language and values of the invading groups. But the question now is whether multinationals, in attacking the growing of food by local farmers in a world in which farming has become a prized delight enjoyed even by the educated classes, can succeed with the most extreme of fascist plans – ownership of all food.
Codex Alimentarius, designed by Nazi CEOs of the pharmaceutical companies that supported Hitler, is German control over detail taken to lengths for which the Nazis were famous. In the case of honey, one can see that human comfort with and natural ownership of honey, not only a normal thing but an especially wonderful gift from nature, manufactured in absolute purity by bees, is removed by state control and filed under “object, needing testing, needing fees paid, needing approval, penalties applied for using the ‘term,’ without government approval.”
Codex Alimentarius with its undeniable Nazi origins is a complex international corporate bureaucracy under the WTO that covers every food, and which uses ostensible “food safety” justifications for absolute control. It opens the door to or provides the substructure for “the Kissinger plan” of controlling people by controlling food.
Wisconsin’s legislature has just taken a literal step toward fascism, a word not used lightly, through food, beginning with the most blessed of foods, honey. It is simultaneously suing its dairy farmers, so Wisconsin is substituting a land of milk and honey for one of extreme control over food and fear for normal farming and of speech itself. How many other states, on schedule for making Codex active in 2010, have begun inserting similarly anti-reality, anti-human laws?
Meryl Williamson is a citizen who has become concerned about the impact of food safety legislation at the state and federal level on local farming and local jobs. She is an avid baker and cook who enjoys gardening with neighbors.