By Michael Geer
This is an extract from a much larger piece that cites various positions on food safety legislation, many of which have been posted here. But his analysis makes a point not stressed enough. ~Ed
“You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. ~Attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson
Taking off from Lyndon Johnson’s observation, the ambiguity of language in S.510 provides a giant opportunity for empowered authorities to make up both the intent and meaning of these proposed regulations and interpret this law as they see fit when they should be constrained by specifics.
Legislators can be amazingly specific when they want to be. But a law that is couched in terms and phrases open to interpretation is exactly what leads to cascading unintended consequences. And many believe that’s exactly why ambiguous language is used. Along the lines of “better to ask forgiveness than permission.” Or, more bluntly, we’ll do as we please, see you in court, and we’ll let a judge sort it out.
This is exactly why so much distress and anger permeates the internet over S.510: the possibility of slowly eroding the natural rights of home gardeners and their valued seed stocks in the face of the sweeping changes genetically patented seed lines represent. Attorneys for multinational corporations making these GMO seeds are ruthless in pursuing lawsuits to enforce what they claim is patent infringement — even when it is nature spreading these seeds into fields and farms, and not by consent or intent of farmers who find GMO patented seeds suddenly among their crops. The what-if scenarios of ambiguous language coupled to a corporatist-Statist administration are frightening, and the people raising an alarm about home gardens and seed stocks are probably not Chicken Littles. Not if recent history is any indication.
Read full post at American Thinker