SB 419: Wisconsin’s Honey and Vandana Shiva’s Law for Food Fascism

By Meryl Williamson

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
LRB−3834/1 CTS:cjs:rs

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.

12 responses to “SB 419: Wisconsin’s Honey and Vandana Shiva’s Law for Food Fascism

  1. I used to hear people talk about Codex Alimentarius and that it would someday be used to regulate food in this country. I thought they sounded a little nuts, to be honest. We live in the United States of America, after all.

    All bills are written by someone with some motivation, right?. I ask myself, then, what is the motivation here?

    Is it to protect us from all that dangerous uncertified honey out there that those unscrupulous farmers are putting into every possible place they can think to insert it into our kids’ food and drinks?

    Wait, that’s not farmers, and that is something else, not honey right? I’m confused. I need to lie down. Wait, is that what they want?

  2. Pingback: Austoon Daily » SB 419: Wisconsin’s Honey and Vandana Shiva’s Law for Food Fascism « Food Freedom

  3. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » SB 419: Wisconsin’s Honey and Vandana Shiva’s Law for Food Fascism « Food Freedom

  4. and yet..China can sell contaminated honey mixed with Packing syrup? unknown, and get away with it?
    Australia has had issues with Chinese companies setting up a false front, shiping containers here, relabelling it as Aussie honey( it didnt leave the ship but the port of leaving was used to IMPLY it was ours) and selling to Canada. and USA, they got busted as Customs checked, but it is not rare to find this happening.
    or selling it to EU and its mixed and labelled as product of??? as cheap multi branded supermarket products.
    Codex Kills farmers and anyone that isnt a multinat or drug co!

    • terrible… terrible fraud.

      all the more reason we all get involved in CSAs – community supported agriculture. buy local; get gov out of our right to eat wtfever we want to eat.

  5. Wisconsin farmer, Paul Griepentrog, wrote his State Senator in opposition to this bill. This is State Sen. Russ Decker’s response, followed by Mr. Griepentrog’s response to him:

    Feb. 10, 2010

    Dear Mr. Griepentrog:

    Thank you for contacting me in opposition to Senate Bill 419 (SB 419) that requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to establish standards for products sold as honey.

    The bill requires DATCP to establish a standard of purity for Wisconsin honey. The bill prohibits honey that is blended with artificial sweeteners, watered down, or contains banned antibiotics and other chemicals to be labeled as real honey. The bill has strong support from honey producers and consumers who want to be able to distinguish real honey from blended honey. Honey producers who [sic] will still be able to sell blended honey but will have to label it as such.

    Thank you again for contacting me on this issue. I appreciate your perspective on this issue and I will keep your views in mind.

    Sincerely,
    Russ Decker
    State Senator

    Griepentrog’s response:

    Dear Senator Decker, Sen.Decker@legis.wi.gov

    Just a note to remind you that neither DATCP [n]or the State of Wisconsin can adopt International Standards in the form of Codex Alimentarius, in so far as International Standards can only be adopted by Federal authority pursuant to the Supremacy Clause which reserves the right of international treaty to the Fed[eral government].

    The bill does nothing to stop adulterated honey either dilute with corn syrup or contaminated by antibiotics. In fact if Codex standards were effective why wasn’t contaminated Chinese honey kept from entering the country in the first place. Where were the FDA and USDA when this occurred. Instead of dealing with the failed agencies which would include DATCP for allowing it into the state you seek to force Wisconsin producers to bear the burden for the failure of the aforementioned administrative agencies. Why hasn’t DATCP ordered the removal of contaminated products? Is it that it’s easier to burden the state’s producers than to deal with Walmart and the big chain stores?

    I await your reply.

    Paul Griepentrog

  6. How is protecting the consumer from adulterated food products without legal recourse fascism?
    A voluntary system of testing and labeling on the part of the producer to let the consumer know what is in the product sounds like a good thing to me.

    I could see someone objecting to this bill if they intend to undercut a pure, healthy product with one that contains unlabaled adulterants, but not an honest producer.

  7. If and when these requirements are enacted I will no longer produce honey. It is that simple. 90% of my honey sales are to honey lovers who specifically want my locally harvested pure raw honey. They buy up a years worth at a time because they have purchased national brands and they find that there is no comparison. My honey is superior. To suggest that the only person that would not support this would be one that would adulterate honey shows ignorance of the whole food movement

  8. Lois L, spot on. we in aus or some of us, extract in the field filter and sell. if you wanted in any purer you’d need to get the bees to spit in the jar:-)
    sounds like you too are a plain pure and no Bull honey producer. are You? being screwed by prices that hardly cover the fuel bill? and given insultingly LOW Quotas? we in aus the only CCD free and at this moment the highest output are being told they dont have a market?
    what a load of Rubbish.
    Guinness is busy buying Capilano shares up…any guesses why? we are being screwed?

  9. Unquestionably consider that that you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as other people think about worries that they just don’t recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing with no need side effect , folks can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  10. I find it hard to believe that this bill is nefarious. 1. Wisconsin certified honey is a special classification – Wisconsin farmers aren’t required to have thier honey certified. So much for added expenses. 2. Farmers don’t have to have their honey tested tomlable it honey, it just has to meet the WI Ag. Dep’t standard for honey. You are assuming that somehow the Ag dept will be able to come up with a definition that will make honey no longer honey. How exactly? Can you make a definition for honey that excludes honey, and still call it honey? I bet not. 3. We aren’t in Natzi Germany, an important fact to remember when we are talking about ‘damages’. Damages are a standardized legal term in the US – The word means something, and the courts are independent enough not to call random causes of action damages.

    Clearly the WI legislature thinks adulterated honey is a problem – are little farmers going to adulterate their honey? No? Then why are you trying to scare them.

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