Vandana Shiva doesn’t mince words. Food safety is food fascism:
“Risk Assessment in the hands of centralized corruptible agencies is no protection for consumers as the disease and health epidemic in the U.S. linked to over processed, industrial foods show. Even while the U.S. is at the epicenter of the food related public health crises, the U.S. government is trying to export its Food laws which deregulate the industry and over regulate ordinary citizens and small enterprise. This deregulation of the big and toxic and over regulation of the small and ecological is at the core of Food Fascism …”
The Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, is equally straightforward:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
What’s the truth?
Michael Taylor, the Monsanto executive who gave this country rBGH, deregulated GMOs, and kept GMOs all unlabeled, thanks to Obama, is “The Food Safety Czar” at the FDA.
That Czar, “[t]he person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history,” has been using “food safety” as a weapon against small local farms and local food co-ops. (For any who missed the Rawesome Raid, here’s the video on youtube.)
The consequences of the lie can not longer be hidden. They are showing up in Missouri, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Vermont, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and most recently in Washington.
The places being shut down are providing the most wholesome and nutritious food available and their tests come back clean, but the places are closed down regardless, often with no means of reopening. They problems is they are not within a just or even rational legal framework but one run by Monsanto, a company which devised a means to sue farmers for labeling their milk honestly, as rBGH-free.
Requirements farmers are being asked to meet include such violations of civil and human rights as keeping the names, addresses and phone numbers of customers and limits of on how much milk they can produce (If the milk is safe, on what basis does the state limit how much can be produced? And what other food has limits on production?). They face closings over missing a single page of pasteurization information, and shutting down of a food club with demands for paper work and names of customers even without charges being filed.
There are no “food safety” violations here, only the violation of a corporation shutting people down who are providing safe food and cutting off people depending on them for that food.
The list of raids since Obama came in is incomplete. It comes on top of SWAT team raids that occurred under Bush – also without reasonable cause, and repeatedly against a single farmer, and sometimes without any cause.
Food (especially milk products), equipment and personal computers are seized by state agents without a warrant and destroyed (in sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses) which is followed by destruction of the farmers’ own food, stored for the family for the year. None is replaced and the farmer is not compensated.
Under such an FDA regime, “food safety” has lost all meaning. It is a farce of paperwork and a complex, irrelevant (to true safety of food) regulations which allow for governmental discretion in how standards must be met or maliciously assuring they can never be met, and in how penalties are applied. It is an arrangement that keeps doors wide open to willful government injustices. Lost in this complicated, pretense-filled, science-sounding bureaucratic system is the fact that “food safety” has nothing whatever to do with the actual safety of the food.
When it comes to literal food safety, the FDA, tasked to protect food, has illegally allowed antibiotics, hormones and slaughterhouse waste (all banned for years in Europe) to enter the food supply, along with pesticides and GMOs, with none ever having been tested for safety in humans. And those toxic items remain there today despite decades of studies (by scientists outside the FDA) proving their danger conclusively. How many people have died from this exposure, and not from acute infections but from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more?
Those toxic substances are all corporate products and the bases of the immense profits to Monsanto, agribusiness in general, the food industry, and especially to the pharmaceutical industry which both sells the toxins and many of the food “additives” and then, after the food is consumed, swoops in like a vulture to pick the bones clean from perhaps the most profitable aspect of all – the steadily increasing diseases it and its brother corporations are assuring.
America does produce safe food but it is produced outside of the industrial based on drugs chemicals, animal confinement, and GMOs. It comes only from the farms Monsanto is working to shut down.
That FDA is concerned with “food safety” is a fiction propped by propaganda. This is perhaps best exemplified by the raids occurring now, most of them involving raw milk.
The “food safety” stage was set by a long standing government smear campaign around raw milk’s alleged threat to health, giving the public the impression that the FDA was on the job protecting them from dangerous pathogens on farms. The public was unaware of how often the government accused farmers of producing milk with salmonella or another pathogen, shut the farmer down for a few weeks, and put that scare-mongering news in the media. But when the tests came back clean, that did not make the news. In the meantime, the farmer’s reputation was damaged and weeks of income were lost. Farmers, to defend themselves, began taking samples at the same time the government did, and having independent labs quickly confirm the milk was safe, undermining the government ruse.
In any case, the false accusations did not dampen the rapidly growing demand for raw milk.
Perhaps because the milk is clean and the rigmarole of testing wasn’t offering a means to shut down dairy farmers. Monsanto is now shutting them and food buying clubs down anyway, dropping all pretense of cause.
This becomes yet more absurd and unjust since the reality is that raw milk is the cleanest milk in the country whereas pasteurized milk in supermarkets contains pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, pus and GMOs. And pathogens. For while the FDA is accusing raw milk of being unsafe, in truth, the FDA is ignoring 5 to 20% of pasteurized milk in supermarkets, coming from the dairy industry, can be cultured for the Crohn’s bacterium. It is contaminated with a disease bacterium. The FDA has known this for more than a decade and done nothing about it, not even informing researchers and doctors searching for the cause that pasteurized milk is a likely source.
And to make the FDA’s actions more ludicrous in terms of “food safety,” the raw milk they are trying to get rid of is sought after by many in order to treat Crohn’s disease.
“Food safety” under Monsanto is Orwellian regulations enlarged to the specter of a Howitzer, easy to swing around and aim at small farms and food co-ops providing incontrovertibly safe, nutritious food, in order to shut them down. But somehow the big gun is permanently jammed when it comes pointing at giant corporate facilities sending out contaminated food to millions, sickening and even killing people. Those facilities, despite deaths, have not been closed for a single day.
The FDA (Monsanto) claims it can’t deal with the big corporate offenders without more fire power, so wants a much, much bigger weapon and total discretion to act whenever and however it decides. The farmers and local food producers, wide-eyed, call out to the country, “Look who their target has been! Look who their target is now!” Given Monsanto overriding existing legal constraints to shut down people doing everything right, their intent is clear as is their drive. With the force and scope of what the “food safety” bills contain, Monsanto would be freed up to obliterate small farming and all local food systems in the US.
Colbert has done a show on the armed FBI raid in LA, and Olbermann did a show on a proposed Miami law that would use “food safety” to criminalize donating to the homeless. Word is starting to get out that something serious is occurring around food and Americans’ rights to produce it and use it freely. Monsanto would probably agree, since it has been appearing in court (as FDA’s “food safety” division) to try to remove human rights around food and health.
Realizing that who is behind FDA “food safety” (Monsanto of documentary fame) begins to lift the tarp from off FDA’s claims that it must have more power to go after corporate violators, to reveal the Howitzer beneath, one which Monsanto is using only against hard-working people providing exactly what the country says it wants – a local food economy, safe food, local jobs, food security, and little carbon footprint.
Vandana Shiva says this partnership between the state and corporations is corporate rule. Is that the truth about “food safety”?