Local farms could be in jeopardy

I just learned about H.R. 875, a disturbing bill that has been introduced in Congress, and I want to make sure everyone knows about it. This bill is called the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. I encourage everyone to go investigate this bill. As far as I can tell, it has very little to do with food safety and a lot to do with increasing the power and profit-making abilities of large agriculture corporations—at the expense of small farms. It seems to me that it would have devastating effects on sustainable agriculture, organic growing practices and smaller local farms in general.

Once again, the language of fear is being used as a weapon to scare people into accepting control by a government agency whose loyalties are questionable at best. Recent issues with food-borne illnesses and contamination are being cited as reasons to pass this bill, but when you look carefully at some of the elected officials who are sponsoring and supporting this bill and the connections they have to large agriculture corporations, glaring conflicts of interest reveal themselves and motivations come into question.

Don’t get me wrong: I am all for monitoring the handling and production methods used by the companies who stock our grocery shelves, to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their products. It just seems to me that the true desire here is not to create safer food, but to further consolidate control into the hands of a greedy few.

Please check this bill out for yourself, and if it makes you as nervous as it makes me, please contact Rep. Heath Shuler or your appropriate congressman and tell them you insist that they reject this legislation.

I can’t tell you how incredibly ironic and disappointing it is to see people associated with the administration of “Change we can believe in” using the same old scare tactics and fear-based propaganda to pass laws and take actions that seem only to benefit their friends in big business.

— Jarrett Leone

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46 thoughts on “Local farms could be in jeopardy

  1. travelah

    This is idiocy …

    FOOD- The term ‘food’ means a product intended to be used for food …

    We are being led by fools. We already have safe food, extensive regulation of the industry and too many clowns running around Washington, DC now.

  2. Piffy!

    The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is disturbing as well.

  3. entopticon

    I agree, HR 875 would be a nightmare.

    That said, I am always a bit surprised when supposedly fundamentalist Christians such as travelah say things like “We are being led by fools.”

    For better or worse, Romans 13 states that our leaders have been instituted by God, and warns that anyone who “resists what God has appointed” will incur his wrath. The gist of the verse is that to insult our leaders is to insult God.

    That certainly can’t be reconciled with calling our leaders fools. During the Bush administration, Sarah Palin’s preacher even cited that verse for that reason and warned that anyone who criticized Bush was risking eternal damnation.

    Of course, there are also plenty of verses warning that judging others will incur God’s wrath as well (i.e., Matthew 7). I think it is pretty safe to say that calling someone a fool is exactly the sort of thing that Jesus commanded against.

    Why is it that Christians are so often the least Christlike of all?

  4. entopticon

    Really travelah? Jesus instructed you to call people fools? He didn’t warn against it? If there was ever an airtight argument, it was mine. Jesus repeatedly commanded his followers not to do the very thing that you spend all day, day in and and day out doing. There is no arguing your way out of that. And like it or not, the Romans 13 verse is unambiguous.

    A little intellectual honesty once in a while wouldn’t kill you.

  5. Piffy!

    What does entop’s post have to do with this article whatsoever?

    Did I read it wrong? I thought it was about a poorly written, broadly-defined “Farm Bill”. Is it about Christianity?

  6. entopticon

    That’s a bit of a strange question coming from you (PFKaP), because you aren’t exactly one to stay on topic, but I’m glad to answer it. I think the world view of the fundamentalist extremists that are quickly destroying our planet doesn’t even hold up to their own supposed standards, and that was my point. I wasn’t commenting on just this one thread, I was commenting on the fact that the bible specifically commands against what travelah does here all day long, every day.

    We would all be a lot better off if right wing fundamentalists (and Christian conservatives of all ilks) started putting their money where their mouths are. If they are going to use the bible to justify countless atrocities and civil rights violations, they could at least try following a few of its fundamental precepts.

    For example, in Matthew 5.42, Jesus commands: “Give to EVERYONE who begs from you, and do not refuse ANYONE who wants to borrow from you.” Everyone and anyone are superlatives, so that leaves no ambiguity, yet right wingers preach the anti-Christian message that we should give tax cuts for the rich, cut spending for those in needs, and not have universal healthcare for us all. It seems like if Jesus meant, “except those lazy welfare mothers and defaulted homeowners that travelah considers undeserving,” that’s what he would have said instead.

    They claim that a God created this world, yet they chant “drill baby drill,” deny global warming, and fight environmentalism at every turn. James Watt, Reagan’s infamously anti-environmental Secretary of the Interior even admitted that he used the coming of the rapture to justify his insane anti-environmental acts, because according to him, the rapture was coming anyway, so why look after the planet?

    I don’t think it is too much to ask for a bit of continuity. The far right can either keep preaching anti-Christian messages all day, or stop calling themselves Christians, but they can’t have it both ways without being hypocrites. It is just too hilarious that they keep blathering on endlessly about the left wanting to “redistribute the wealth,” yet they worship the most famous advocate of radical wealth redistribution of all time.

    At least the Christian loathing far right social Darwinists following Ayn Rand have the integrity and intellectual honesty to admit that you can be a Christian or a laissez faire economist, but you can’t be both.

  7. travelah

    Pfft, you are right. His posts are nothing but a personal attack on myself, not that it matters in the slightest.
    This whole food bill is nonsense.

  8. entopticon

    Looks like I have managed to put travelah and (PFKaP) in agreement. I should probably get some kind of special award for that.

  9. entopticon

    tavelah, please then, explain how Jesus didn’t really say “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” Explain how his commandment to give to everyone who begs from you, and anyone who wants to borrow from you, regardless of whether you think they deserve it or not, really meant the opposite of what he said. Explain how Jesus would be down with your support of tax cuts for the rich and cutting aid for the needy. Explain how Jesus would be against universal healthcare. The list is endless.

    Jesus is the most famous advocate for the radical redistribution of wealth in all of history, so anyone who complains about the Democrats wanting to redistribute the wealth of the rich may be be a lot of things, but they certainly aren’t a Christian. The Christian right is neither Christian, nor right.

  10. nuvue

    Entop, I am almost a commie on the scale but I also take umbrage at your rant against Trav. He was agreeing about the farm bill being foolish (I thought), and you lit into him with biblical proportions.

    Call your congressman, and tell him how much the people are against HR875. Shuler of all folks should be for the small farmer and understand this bill’s failings.

  11. entopticon

    nuvue, please, take all of the umbrage that you want. Hell, I’ve got plenty more for you if you run out. If I want to take some umbrage of my own, with the hypocrisy of the Christian right, preaching that they shouldn’t judge other people or even criticize our leaders, then spending all day doing the exact opposite, that’s just what I will do. travelah is the very same person who has been spamming this site with anti-environmentalist blather about global warming hoaxes etc for years.

    Now we have R Rep. Jim Shimkus on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment citing Genesis as evidence against global warming and environmental threats because he thinks only God can end the world so we shouldn’t take action to protect the environment. We have a massive global crisis being fueled by the call of the far right, including travelah, to “drill baby drill” and “mine baby mine,” and to ignore global warming, and to ignore emissions standards, and the list goes on and on. This threat cannot be underestimated.

    I think the author of this letter made the same important point that I would. Food safety is actually quite important, despite what travelah seems to think. The problem is, this bill is just Monsanto’s attempt to exploit the food safety issue for ends that have virtually nothing to do with safety. In fact, it would make food a whole lot more dangerous. Fortunately, I don’t think it stands a snowball’s chance in hell of passing.

  12. travelah

    nuvue, the food bill is certainly absurd and foolish and being promoted by idiots who think we cannot think for ourselves.

  13. entopticon

    Yes travelah, and who would Jesus call an idiot? As a matter of fact, he absolutely commanded against it, and yes, Romans 13 said to insult our leaders is to insult God, so you have filled your daily double-dose of blasphemy already.

    I would be fine with you calling people idiots and fools all the time if you just stopped calling yourself a Christian. Since Jesus commanded against it and you do that all day long, day in and day out, you are the farthest thing from it.

  14. Piffy!

    Entop, have you actually read the Farm Bill in question? Or just looking for a venue for your wordiness?

    I am suspicious of the farm bill because it is so vaguely written, and seems to be left open for interpretation. At the same time, how could federal agents ever patrol farmers markets?

  15. entopticon

    The (PFKaP)… A venue for my wordiness? I see you are still trying to pick a fight. As much as I would love to return the favor, I should probably stop here because the moderator doesn’t like it when I get too harsh, and I have nothing nice to say to you at the moment.

  16. entopticon

    Oh, and I forgot to answer your question… No I did not read all 508 sections of that massive bill, and if you had, you probably wouldn’t be asking such a ridiculous question. I read articles about it, like most anyone else who has followed the issue.

  17. travelah

    entoptee, it matters not to me whether you prefer to be considered a twit or fool …. just let me know which you prefer

  18. entopticon

    I prefer fool travelah. Now tell me why you still keep calling yourself a Christian. Clearly you are not, since Christianity absolutely forbids you from calling me either.

  19. travelah

    Pr 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

    Ok, so you are a self admitted fool.

  20. entopticon

    Fine travelah, we’ve already established that you like to call everyone “idiots,” “fools,” twits,” and on and on and on.

    The questions still remains… Since Christ absolutely forbade you to do exactly that, why on Earth do you keep up with the charade of calling yourself a Christian?

    Is it that hard to grasp that either you follow the teachings of Christ, a hardcore pacifist who believed that you must give to everyone who begs from you and commanded that you do not judge others, or you need to stop pretending that you are a Christian. It’s just that simple.

    Why not just be honest and call yourself a Satanist?

  21. Piffy!

    >””Since Christ absolutely forbade you to do exactly that, why on Earth do you keep up with the charade of calling yourself a Christian?””< entropticon-why dont you wander over to the forums and start that thread? I really dont see how this has ANYTHING to do with the above complex topic surrounding HR 875. http://www.mountainx.com/forums/newtopic/30/

  22. travelah

    It has nothing to do with this food bill. It is just a fool’s folly. As for the bill, it will adversely affect every small food producer from the family vegetable farmer to the South Louisiana boudain sausage maker. Further legislation just adds another layer of regulation on top of the myriad that already exist.

  23. entopticon

    The (R2D2), I already gave my opinion that the Christian right is at the root of the environmental crisis in America, and I even cited the examples of James Watt and Jim Shimkus using fundamentalist Christianity to justify their atrocities against the environment.

    In my opinion, the extreme hypocrisy of the far right, which travelah displays here every day, is at the very root of the environmental crisis, as evidenced by the Sarah Palin hordes and their “drill baby drill.. mine baby mine” chants. They are literally using fundamentalist Christianity to justify not taking action against global warming, which may literally spell the end for humanity.

    Since our legislative system is set up so that the only way that change is possible is to amass critical support from both sides of the aisle, the only hope for our planet is to put an end to that hypocrisy by getting conservative Christians to start putting their money where their mouths are; meaning conservative Christians should at very least be conservationists, and at very least they should try to emulate the pacifist that they worship.

    By the way The (R2D2), this site already has a moderator. If you are really that bored I have some grass that could use some mowing. Otherwise, just don’t read my posts if you don’t want to. It’s not your job to decide whether or not they belong here.

  24. Piffy!

    well, it would probably be more accurate to say it “*may*, *possibly*, effect small food producers.”

    There is no reason to believe, yet, that federal agents will be patrolling peopel’s gardens, even if that is the extreme-right’s paranoia.

  25. travelah

    While agents might not be patrol the cabbage patch, they would end up dictating how, where and who takes those cabbages to market. For what purpose?

  26. Piffy!

    I’m not entirely convinced its sinister, t. I mean, it may very well be, but I suspect it was just written by a bunch of urban folks with no idea how agriculture actually works. As it is written now, it is left WIIIIDE open to interpretation.

    But perhaps your right and it is a conspiracy by Monsanto to over-regulate the market to the detriment of the small-timers and to the favor of the big buys like Cargil.

    With all of that said, i dont think it has a chance of passing.

  27. avlmtnman

    entopticon… you are wound up way tighter than any right winger. It’s time to step away from the computer and enjoy life a little more.

  28. entopticon

    avlmtnman, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for the psych evaluation and personal attack. Something tells me that the irony of the fact that you just told me to step away from a thread that I hadn’t posted on in two days is completely lost on you. Think about it for a while, it will come to you. Pull your knuckles up off the ground and scratch your head if necessary.

    I enjoy my life just fine, but thanks anyway. If you seriously have nothing better to do with your time than misguided mouth-breather pop-psych, I suggest you take your own advice.

  29. travelah

    Well, I am not convinced Monsanto or any of the the other conglomerates are behind the bill. Instead I see this as further evidence of the “nanny state” mentality that fuels so much legislative oversight. Generally speaking, people left to their own devices fare quite well without government ensuring they are cocooned properly.

  30. Piffy!

    So, in other words, travelah, you havent really researched much of it, and are against it mainly because it was introduced by a Dem., as per your typical partisan dance.

    The bill is being sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro whose husband has done consultation work for companies that have included Monsanto.

  31. Piffy!

    oh, and, Mr. Moderator, what exactly is the purpose of allowing entop to have a entirely off-topic hissy fit on this thread?

  32. entopticon

    The (R2d2) why are you still obsessing over my posts? Is your life really so hollow that you can’t just skip over them if you don’t want to read them? For months you have spammed this site with some of the most inane, pointless drivel imaginable, and you have the audacity to complain about my posts being too off topic? Now that’s rich.

  33. travelah

    I have read the entire bill and I am against it because of the reasons I have stated. There is no need for it. Now as for her husband, what evidence of a correlation do you have that she sponsored this bill for a corporate client of her husband’s (perhaps you could share the type of consulting work her husband did for Monsanto?).

  34. entopticon

    For what it’s worth, apparently a right-wing libertarian organization called the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, is behind the untrue propaganda campaign that has mislead many people, including myself. I am sorry for that.

    Senator DeLauro’s husband doesn’t actually work for Monsanto; he works for a polling company that once had Monsanto as a client more than a decade ago. The bill may very well have serious concerns, but it has nothing to do with seed banks or national animal identification, as the NICFA disinformation claims. Monsanto isn’t lobbying for the bill at all. They are not even supporting the bill.

    It sounds like the above letter was in response to the disinformation being propagated by the NICFA. The bill would have no regulatory affect on farmers markets or backyard gardens. It focuses on food safety issues in interstate commerce and imported food, which could actually benefit local farmers markets by insuring that unsafe imported food doesn’t compete with local produce.

    DeLauro has been meeting with organic farmers to address concerns, but whatever the case is, there is not much chance of the bill passing.

  35. Piffy!

    You know, entop, judging others isnt very “christian” either. For someone who just spent most of this thread lecturing travelah about the tenants of Christianity, you really seem to be missing some of the points of “judge not lest ye be judged”, it would seem. Perhaps you should try to make your comments a little less hypocritical and and maybe actually relating to the thread, since the moderators have apparently passed out drunk?

    Just saying, spammer.


    Of course, there is no “evidence” that she sponsored the bill specifically for Mansanto, and if you’ll notice, i made no claim of that. I only mentioned that the bill will, in fact favor companies like Mansanto, and that her husband has done consulting work for that same company.

    i guess you dont know how to use google?


    “Greenberg’s private sector clients include: the National Basketball Association, BP Amoco, British Airways, The Boeing Company, Monsanto, United Healthcare, Business for Social Responsibility, ….”

  36. Piffy!


    Of course, there is no “evidence” that she sponsored the bill specifically for Mansanto, and if you’ll notice, i made no claim of that. I only mentioned that the bill will, in fact favor companies like Mansanto, and that her husband has done consulting work for that same company.

    i guess you dont know how to use google?


    “Greenberg’s private sector clients include: the National Basketball Association, BP Amoco, British Airways, The Boeing Company, Monsanto, United Healthcare, Business for Social Responsibility, ….”

    And you know, entop, judging others isnt very “christian” either. For someone who just spent most of this thread lecturing travelah about the tenants of Christianity, you really seem to be missing some of the points of “judge not lest ye be judged”, it would seem. Perhaps you should try to make your comments a little less hypocritical and and maybe actually relating to the thread, since the moderators have apparently passed out drunk?

    Just saying, spammer.

  37. entopticon

    The (R2D2)… Where on Earth did I say that I was a Christian? I make no such claim. And speaking of hypocrisy, what about the hundreds of entirely off-topic, far less than witty non sequiturs that you have spammed this site with? Seriously, you make travelah look like a rocket scientist, and that is no small feat. Just saying.

  38. Piffy!

    luther, from what i can tell, most of the info in that link is disinformation that can be disproved quite easily with a quick google search.

  39. John

    Wow, PFKaP and Travelah almost agreed on something. I think that they actually may agree on most of this one. Maybe we’re not all so different after all.

    I’m not familiar with this bill, but if they both think it has problems, it must. I’m all for the small farmer and regularly visit the City and Farmer’s Markets.

    Support your local farmer!

    I hadn’t seen Entopticon post much anywhere else recently. I was almost missing the intensity and the anger. Almost. There was certainly laser focus on this one. Even if most of it was off topic.

  40. entopticon

    I do always get a kick out of the people who go off topic to complain about how they feel that someone else went off topic. I’m guessing that the irony of that is completely lost on John.

  41. John

    Ent – I’m not the only one who pointed out you went off subject first. Also, I knew you would respond as you did. It was quite predictable and satisfying.

  42. entopticon

    Ahh John, you aren’t the only one who pointed out I went off subject first. Well, that’s totally different then. “All the kids are doin’ it pops.” Thanks for the laugh. Your reasoning is every bit intelligible as ever.

    Speaking of predictable, I did predict that the irony of you going off topic to complain that you feel I wasn’t on topic would be completely lost on you, now didn’t I? What’s really hilarious is that now you have taken two posts to decry that I went off topic, and unlike me, you haven’t offered anything of interest whatsoever on the topic. I’m guessing that that will still be lost on you. Scratch your head real hard, you just might get it.

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