By Rady Ananda
Another armed food raid – this time on a company that provides nutritional supplements primarily for autism spectrum disorders and Alzheimer’s disease – another day under the Food Safety Modernization Act. As predicted, the FSMA is turning out to be a deliberate plan to wipe out small (under a million dollars a year in sales) and medium-sized (under $10 million a year) producers of natural, wholesome food and supplements. This is what happens when corporations run governments.
The concept of “food safety” in corpogov-speak is really just food fascism, according to Vandana Shiva:
“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.” [emphasis added]
Small scale producers of meat, raw dairy and veggies, and dietary supplements are under continual attack by food giants who have placed their former employees in positions of power and authority.
Independent rancher Mike Callicrate recently told the Derry Brownfield Show that today’s industrial meat sector is worse than what Upton Sinclair described in The Jungle in 1906, from low wages and unsafe working conditions to animal cruelty and sick, adulterated food.
Reviewing the FMSA, genetically modified foods, and the HACCP inspection system, Callicrate had some particularly caustic comments on the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, which is putting “the family farmer’s face on industrial meat” thru a $30 million ad campaign. FARA really represents globalized, industrialized meat production, he said.
A new rule, “Test and Hold” ends fresh meat in the U.S., he also warned. Suppliers used to provide restaurants with meat that was slaughtered and ground a few hours earlier, the same day. Instead, they must now submit a sample of their meat to a lab where, in a few days, they’ll be advised if it’s safe to sell. Large industrial operations, which use meat glue to blend meat from different countries, send a sample from a million pounds of meat, giving them a huge competitive advantage over small producers who don’t glue their meat together. The meat they sell to restaurants and grocers, Callicrate advised, is two weeks old.
Here’s a news video on meat glue:
Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette took a particular tongue-lashing in that Derry Brownfield episode for her refusal to hear public concerns about genetically modified foods, imported foods, and the cost of the FSMA borne by producers.
We can’t help but be reminded of the horrendous armed raid on Rawesome Foods and its suppliers last year. ReasonTV put together a good summary of the issues:
Farmers and producers are encouraged to describe their experiences with the FSMA for our writers who plan to follow the reality of its implementation.
Commenting on the FSMA, one farmer already reported:
“HACCP ain’t the half of it. Wisconsin Dept. of Ag held seminars the beginning of April to educate produce growers and packers as to what will be involved in inspections. The supporters of locally grown have been co-opted by the new slogan ‘Buy local-Buy safely’ – that unless the produce is inspected, it isn’t safe. Although everyone thought that there would be time before on the ground implementation of the FSMA, it just isn’t going to be delayed.
“[We also got] information how bed and breakfast operations cannot as institutions use their own eggs because of salmonella concerns and must buy federally inspected eggs. Even though they can sell the eggs at the farmers markets, they can’t serve them to borders. In light of the Iowa egg situation I don’t see the logic in this, but those behind this are not logical; they and their minions are just evil.”
Instead of closing down egg factories that sicken thousands, the government is shutting down wholesome supplement makers, small dairy and meat producers, and backyard chickens for small B&Bs.
The Care2 site has a petition to protest the raid on Maxam Nutraceutics, mentioned at top, which is being sent to the FDA and other federal agencies. (The quirky set-up requires you to hit the sign button on two different screens before it will register your signature.)
Those who still believe “good government” is possible after Citizens United v. FEC delude themselves. Abetted by government, multinational corporations plan to seize complete control of all food production. Yet, what they offer is killing us, and the planet.
Farmers, we’d like to hear about your experiences so far with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Post your comments below.