Part Two: Their Hands in Our Food Supply—Hope They Wash First
by Cynthia Toney
The United Nations would like the power to manage all food supplies on the planet, and the U.S. government is cooperating by taking steps toward complete control over all facets of food production and distribution in this country.
Most of us would probably agree that the importation of foreign foods into the U.S. should be monitored closely and safety-inspected under the strictest of guidelines. On the other hand, a requirement by both the U.S. and the UN that locally grown produce in our country meet “scientific standards” to be sold at a local fresh market would not only be unnecessary—it would be an infringement on our rights.
Currently in the Senate is bill S.510, the so-called Food Safety and Modernization Act (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-510), while in the House is its counterpart, H.R.875. This legislation contains a number of sections that raise an alarm for those of us who prefer fresh, locally produced, or organic foods as opposed to foods of dubious quality from giant conglomerates.
Besides requiring more extensive records by any entity producing or selling food, one section provides for the suspension of a food facility for “reasonable probability” of causing harm—a subjective call to say the least, and one with tremendous potential for abuse by ignorant bureaucrats.
Another provision relates to fresh produce safety, including a requirement for the Secretary of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish “science-based” minimum standards for the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities. Yet another requires the study of transportation of food in rural areas to ensure the delivery of “safe” food. These provisions raise concerns from vegetable gardeners who swap their produce, organic farmers, and small farmers who sell to local markets because no exemptions are provided in the legislation for these types of growers (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/s-510-is-hissing-in-the-grass/).
In June of 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order #13544, establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-establishing-national-prevention-health-promotion-and-public-health), for which authority was granted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform). In examining the following members of this Council, one cannot help but think that there may be, with the help of “Food Safety and Modernization” if it should become law, a national food “crisis” on the horizon that will allow for full government control of the food supply in the U.S.
The Surgeon General will serve as Chair of the Council, which will be composed of:
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of Labor
- Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of Education
- Secretary of Homeland Security
- Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
- Chair of the Federal Trade Commission
- Director of National Drug Control Policy
- Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs
This Council has the potential to delve into our privacy and infringe not only upon the right to acquire and eat the foods of our choice, but to engage in “sedentary behavior,” smoking, and alcohol consumption. Along with The Food Safety and Modernization Act, it will provide the fuel needed by the government to promote the exclusive use of “science-based” genetically modified organisms (GMOs), technology that originated with a well-known and politically influential biotech company and whose developer now works for the FDA. This company is the largest producer of genetically modified and hybrid seed, which it sells worldwide but which produces plants that do not propagate well, thus making the U.S. and other countries dependent on the continued purchase of seed in order to grow fruits, vegetables, and grain to feed the human population and livestock.
GMOs also include animal products such as milk, cheese, and meat from cows given bovine growth hormone. Raw and organic foods such as raw milk are already coming under attack in the U.S. and elsewhere because big agribusiness sees these products, and those who sell them, as a threat. Authorities, with guns drawn, recently raided a co-op raw foods store in California in a blatant show of intimidation. (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/absolute-power-comes-from-absolute-control-over-food/).
The long-term effects of GMOs on our health cannot yet be determined; but studies indicate that GMO foods are nutritionally less beneficial for our bodies, can make antibiotics ineffective in curing human disease, and can create new allergens that did not previously exist. Remember the soy allergy alarm of recent years? That was due to genetically modified soybean, promoted as a healthy food, but now avoided by those who know better. Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, has worked with scientists worldwide to catalog studies of the effects of GMO foods (http://www.newswithviews.com/Smith/jeffrey125.htm). Other studies have been performed as well (http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php).
The United Nations and Codex Alimentarius
Some individuals and businesses, concerned over forfeiting their rights to grow, produce, buy, sell, or trade food, notice a similarity in language and methods expressed in the aforementioned legislation and executive order to the United Nations Codex Alimentarius (Food Code) (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sag382.doc.htm) and fear that the U.S. regulations are meant to facilitate it.
The UN Codex Alimentarius Commission, established in 1963, sets guidelines and standards for trade practices and consumer protection in relation to the global trade of food. It has over 170 member countries within the framework of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2005, the Codex Alimentarius Commission met with representatives from more than 100 countries present, to adopt or revise a number of food safety and quality standards that would “safeguard the health of consumers worldwide and improve food quality and agricultural trade opportunities.” Among the draft standards for consideration, there were those on vitamin and mineral labeling, meat-hygiene codes, and the production of Parmesan cheese (an unlikely concern for a global commission).
Like most UN commissions, committees, and conventions, the Codex Alimentarius Commission has thus far conducted itself innocuously, claiming to have no authority to force countries to follow Codex Alimentarius guidelines or to supersede the laws of their own governments. However, the problem is that, although the U.S. has no need to follow any guidelines other than its own, it has begun to cooperate in this new global scheme of managing those who are deemed incapable of feeding themselves.
Will this mean that one day a farmer will be unable to butcher his own cow for meat, to make his own cheese, or to give raw milk to a neighbor in need without breaking a federal or international law? Will you or I be in violation for growing our own tomatoes? Once again, vague wording in UN documents leaves a lot open to interpretation.
Already, small dairies and farms are being shut down in the United States. In Missouri, a dairy had its cheese production shut down (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/fda-shuts-down-morningland-dairy-despite-clean-tests/). The dairy was later found to be clean and safely producing cheese; yet, the cheese could not be legally sold. In other states, such as Ohio and Wyoming, state legislatures are finding it necessary to pass their own laws to protect food producers from interference by the USDA and FDA, including producers of “cottage foods” prepared in the home and sold directly to consumers.
(“Last summer, The Bold Pursuit published a blog, “Our Government Has Gone Gestapo” by Oregon Congressional hopeful, Delia Lopez. Ms. Lopez notes that “We have allowed government to become an overbearing monster from which we must get permission even to catch a fish. The goal of all government is to extend their size, scope and power, which is why our Constitution was written to limit the power of government to protect the rights of the people.’)
The FDA monitors the Codex Alimentarius Commission, but the FDA itself is opposed to labeling foods that are genetically modified and will not allow food producers to label their foods that are not genetically modified. As a result, consumers who are concerned about this issue are provided with no information about it at all (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/fda-bans-gm-free-labeling/). This ban on labeling includes genetically modified milk, shown to be of lower quality and linked to cancer. The FDA also prevents producers of herbal supplements from revealing scientific data on their labels that documents their effectiveness.
In July of 2010—one month after President Obama’s executive order created the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council—the Codex Alimentarius Commission met regarding the “Food Standards Program,” having the following committees:
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
- Fish and Fishery Products
- Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses
- Food Hygiene
- Food Import and Export
- Inspection and Certification Systems
- Methods of Analysis and Sampling
- Food Additives
- General Principles
- Pesticide Residues
- Contaminants in Foods
- Food Labeling
(ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/Alinorm10/al33_03Ae.pdf). Thus, the UN has taken an all-inclusive approach to food control that mimics and reciprocates support of the Food Safety and Modernization Act as well as the Council created by executive order.
Attempts by the UN and the U.S. to control the sources and movement of food around the globe for the so-called “sustainable development” of agriculture would result in anything but that. Small and organic farms growing crops that are indigenous to the region are better able to provide safe, nutritious sources of foods for the populations of the world.
After the recent earthquake in Haiti, farmers there rejected corn and tomato seeds—treated with a highly toxic fungicide—from the biotech company Monsanto (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/monsantos-poison-pills-fo_b_587340.html). Not only were the farmers upset over the danger of the toxins; they knew that these seeds, and the seeds from the resulting plants, would produce well for only a single season—unlike farm-saved non-hybrid seeds, which can provide food for generations ad infinitum.
Critics say that the Codex Alimentarius Commission, like the FDA, often uses criteria that are manipulated to support the interests of the world’s largest food producing, trade, and retail corporations, including genetically modified foods and seeds. In the interest of these biotech and commercial giants, it is believed that the Commission, as well as the FDA, will eventually outlaw small farming, including organic farming. Furthermore, critics believe that the Commission and the FDA also serve the interests of the large pharmaceutical companies and will eventually outlaw herbal supplements and will require that prescriptions be written for effective doses of vitamin and mineral supplements.
Do we really want to allow any authority or global entity the right to choose the sources and types of nutrition that we supply the bodies that God (not the government) gave us?
Cynthia Toney is a Contributing Writer and Editor
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