By David Gumpert
The Complete Patient
I keep asking myself, how did we ever get to this point, where political and economic control of America’s food system is on the verge of being turned over to a government agency whose leaders declared early this year we have “no absolute right” to “any particular food” or to “bodily and physical health.”
I keep thinking about the old Soviet Union’s control of food system, where, in the interests of the revolution (food safety), farms were turned into collectives (facilities), which produced grand five-year plans (HACCP plans), reinforced by centralized standards (Good Agricultural Practices), and there were special exemptions for private peasant plots (Tester-Hagan exemptions). It all led to chronic shortages, terrible quality, and eventual collapse.
I keep wondering how smart informed people from all segments of the food rights and sustainable food arena got themselves engaged into supporting a hopelessly complex set of rules to maybe, possibly, depending-on-how-you-interpret-them allow certain small farms exemptions from this governmental takeover of the food system.
And I marvel that a bunch of other smart people are willing to trust the FDA, and hope that it will suddenly transform itself from a bunch of hardasses who take pleasure in driving small food producers out of business into a sensitive agency dedicated to sustainable food production; you can see the skewering I took for contradicting that logic in a new posting about the food safety debate at Grist.org (although most of the comments are skeptical of the FDA apologists).
Read the full post at The Complete Patient