Tag Archive | "Chemicals"

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GMO Bans, Laws, and Labels from Around the World

Posted on 03 December 2009 by admin

Prince Charles has called them the “biggest environmental disaster of all time,” while agriculture industrialists like Monsanto swear they’re safe for human consumption and a boon for the environment. Genetically modified foods are nothing if not controversial, and that controversy spans the globe. From Ireland and the European Union to Africa and Japan, and all the way back to the U.S., various bans, laws, and labels can make GMOs difficult to keep up with. Here’s a roundup of the world in GMOs.

Ireland Bans Growth of GMOs

Ireland recently banned the growth of any genetically modified foods, and the country has also made available a GMO-free label that can be placed on animal products like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, fish, and crustaceans, that are raised with feed free of GMOs. The government’s two coalition partners signed the agreement [pdf] that officially declares Ireland a “GM-free Zone.” That’s good news for no-GMO advocates in the United States, since it imports a good bit of Irish dairy; lots of casein for cheese production comes to the U.S. from Ireland.

Egypt Bans Import/Export of GMOs

In a move that has as many implications for world trade as it does for agriculture, Egypt has banned the import and export of GMOs. That means that none can come in — meaning they can’t import from any countries growing GMO foods they want — and none can leave — meaning they can’t grow any GMOs, either. This sets in motion a complex agripolitical dance involving many countries where agriculture is a big part of foreign trade.

For example, “A non-GMO policy would not cause difficulties for sunflower oil but it would for soyoil,” according to one European trader. “It would mean that soyoil imports would only be possible from Brazil and not from the U.S. or Argentina.” The countries are the world’s three largest producers, so Egypt’s decision cuts two out of that equation; it remains to be seen if the ban will leverage more GMO-free growth in other countries.

Japan Says No to GMO

Though Japan imports a lot of food from countries still growing and exporting GMO foods — Australia, the U.S., and Canada, to name a few — they are staunchly opposed to consuming GMOs. Most of the soy and corn — two of the most frequently modified foods — that enter Japan is carefully sourced explicitly as “non-GM,” using expensive traceability schemes, but that doesn’t cover all of their bases. Keisuke Amagasa, of the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign, summed it up:

Japan does not produce any GM crops. However, because Japan imports GM canola from Canada, GM contamination has already occurred and it is spreading to a much greater degree than one could imagine. Judging by the ominous precedent of Canada, once GM crops are cultivated, segregation between GM and non-GM will become almost impossible, and keeping pure non-GM varieties away from GM contamination will be very hard.

France Defines GMO-free Labeling

Currently, there is no European regulation on what constitutes GMO-free, although products that contain more than 0.9 percent genetically modified ingredients must indicate GM content on their labels. That doesn’t apply to animals, though, and their meat and dairy products don’t require a distinction whether they were fed GMO foods or not.

In France, the Haut Conseil des Biotechnologies is attempting to clear things up, when it comes to the labeling used to identify GMOs; their recent recommendations are expected to become law in the second half of 2010. These recommendations include an upgrade to a threshold of 0.1 percent for genetically modified material in plant products and animal feed, and a minimum distance between apiaries and fields where GM crops are grown (though that distance was not specified). Labels could then designate plant products as ‘GMO-free,’ animal products as ‘fed on GMO-free feed’ or ‘derived from animals fed without GM feed,’ and honey as ‘biotech-free.’ Stay tuned for final results on this one.

sorghum-genetically-modified-foods-africa-photo.jpg
GMO Sorghum has made inroads in Africa. Photo credit: cyanocorax via Flickr

GMO Sorghum Comes to Africa

Despite the growing tide against GMOs, they’re finding their way (legally) into the food systems in some places. In South Africa, the government gave permission to proceedwith trials of genetically modified sorghum, with the blessing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DuPont, among other supporters. The justification is that, while it is one of the few crops that grows well in arid regions, it lacks most essential nutrients and it has poor protein digestibility; modifying it allows more nutrients to be “put” back in. Opponents of the decision are concerned that the introduction of the GMO crop threatens one of Africa’s most important heritage crops.

The U.S. Bans GMOs. In Missouri. In a National Wildlife Refuge

While the U.S. has engaged in a much-publicized holdout from widespread GMO bans, a few small events have started the GMO-free ball rolling. A federal judge issued a ruling in Missouri stating that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife shouldn’t have allowed genetically modified crops on a national wildlife refuge. That may not sound like much, but, thanks to the ruling, 37 farming contracts — many being used for GMO soybean and corn crops — have been canceled.

Will it lead to more widespread action? Whole Foods Market is on board with a GMO ban, having its store-brand products independently tested to certify that they contain zero GMO content — who’ll be next?

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Lawyer vs. Monsanto and BiG-Pharma; tree wins.

Posted on 29 October 2009 by admin

86 year-old, ANTI-MONSANTO lawyer, John O’Quinn was allegedly driving 60MPH on a residential 40MPH street in the pouring rain. According to sources: John had a driver AND a passenger; he was driving, and NOT driving. regardless, ALL 2 passengers are both dead.

Wikipedia: “John Maurice O’Quinn (1941 – October 29, 2009) … died in a single car crash in Houston, Texas, aged 68; the cause of the crash is under investigation.”

Houston Chronicle: Prominent Houston lawyer John O’Quinn was the man driving a sport utility vehicle that lost control on the rain-slicked surface of Allen Parkway and crashed into a large tree, killing him and his passenger this morning, based on preliminary information gathered by crash investigators, police said. The passenger was identified as Johnny Lee Cutliff, 56, of the 5300 block of Bacher. Neither man was wearing a seat belt, said the police sources, who asked not to be identified.

LA Times: O’Quinn was killed with his driver when their sport utility vehicle slammed into a tree in Houston, attorney Neil McCabe at the O’Quinn Law Firm confirmed.

SUV crash kills prominent lawyer John O’Quinn
Colleagues mourn; accident also leaves a passenger dead

Police said it appeared that the SUV veered to the left, jumped a curb and careened over a grassy median, crossed the eastbound traffic lanes and hopped another curb onto a second median before smashing into the tree on the south side of Allen Parkway. Tire marks across the first median show the path of the hurtling SUV.

The driver’s side air bag, splashed with what appeared to be blood, was deployed, as well as others around the vehicle.

Houston lawyer Levi Benton, a former judge, said he ran into O’Quinn at Hobby Airport shortly after 7 a.m. this morning. The two lawyers were side by side in the security line headed to the gates.

“He said he was going to a mediation in San Antonio,” said Benton, who was headed to Dallas himself. Benton said O’Quinn looked older than when he last saw him but otherwise seemed fine.

“He had his full strength. He shook my hand. He laughed. He had that great smile. He was John,” said Benton, who was shocked to later hear O’Quinn for some reason had not gotten on the plane, only to be killed in a car crash on Allen Parkway.

Houston attorney Dan Cogdell said he was in Hobby Airport at 9:30 a.m. today and did not yet know of O’Quinn’s death when he heard an operator repeatedly paging O’Quinn, telling O’Quinn to report to a Southwest Airlines gate for departure. The operator paged O’Quinn for about 30 minutes, Cogdell estimated.

“It was very eerie,” Cogdell said. “It seems to me they were holding a plane for him, which Southwest (Airlines) doesn’t usually do … I thought it really strange that he would be flying commercial.”

HPD officials recorded no fatal wrecks on Allen Parkway in 2008, 2007 and 2005. One fatal crash occurred in 2006 and six in 2004.

John O’Quinn, Texas personal-injury lawyer, killed in car crash

O’Quinn, 68, and his driver were killed in Houston when their SUV hit a tree.

“He had lots of earth-shattering verdicts,” Richard Laminack, a former partner at the firm, said in an interview. “He won $12 million for a dead bull, $105 million for the death of a worker at MONSANTO. He had quite a track record.”

O’Quinn was one of five Texas lawyers who shared $3.3 billion in legal fees for their role representing the state in negotiating a $17.3-billion settlement with the tobacco industry.

In 2004, he won a $900-million punitive-damages judgment as part of a $1-billion verdict against Wyeth on behalf of the family of a woman who died after taking the diet drug fen-phen. The case was appealed by the company and later was settled, O’Quinn told Bloomberg News this year.

Jurors Assess Monsanto $108 Million Over Death

Reinhold, Robert. “Jurors Assess Monsanto $108 Million Over Death“, The New York Times, December 13, 1986. Article regarding verdict obtained by John O’Quinn for the death of a chemical worker who developed leukemia after exposure to benzene.

A Federal jury in Galveston, Tex., today ordered the Monsanto Company to pay $108 million to the family of a chemical worker who died of leukemia after working with the chemical benzene for five years at a Monsanto plant near here.

Benzene: a colorless volatile liquid hydrocarbon present in [rockefeller] coal tar and petroleum, used in chemical synthesis. Its use as a solvent has been reduced because of its carcinogenic properties. Chemical formula: C6H6.

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First Ever real USDA organic Gummy Bears and Worms!

Posted on 25 September 2009 by admin

“Last year my little boy, Jonah, asked me if we could make organic gummy bears as we walked through our local supermarket. He knows we don’t eat stuff with corn syrup or chemicals, but at 4 years old, he did not know that in order to make an organic gummy bear with the quintessential bouncy gummy bear texture everyone loves, Sergio and I would have to invent the recipe. It took over a year to perfect the recipe and to make them taste fabulous. We all had a blast doing the taste tests and are so proud to share our new confections with you. Introducing: the world’s first ever true organic gummy bears from YummyEarth.”

YummyEarth has launched the first USDA- and EU-certified organic gummy bears with the texture of a traditional gummy bear.

The company claimed that the Organic Gummy Bears and Organic Gummy Worms are gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free, soy-free, GMO-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free and have no artificial dyes, no MSG and no corn syrup.

According to the company, organic purple carrots and black currants are used to give them their colors. Each serving is loaded with Vitamin C.

The company said that the Organic Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms join the YummyEarth candy family, which includes the lollipops.

Reportedly, YummyEarth offers 21 flavors of organic candy, including Pomegranate Pucker, Blood Orange Cocktail, Strawberry Smash and Chile Mambo Mango, and a range of candy products, such as Organic Lollipops, Organic Vitamin C Pops and Organic Drops.

Rob Wunder, co-founder of YummyEarth, said: “Making wholesome, organic Halloween treats for my children and my neighbor’s kids gives me a real sense of pride. We have had such an overwhelming response from retailers that we are already working on gummy bears for Easter.”

The company said that the Organic Gummy Bears is available in a 5 ounce bag for a retail price of $2.59, Organic Gummy Worms is available in a 5 once bag for a retail price of $2.59 and the Organic Gummy Bears Family Snack Pack includes 10 snack packs and is available for a retail price for $5.99.

http://www.yummyearth.com/

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Monsanto to Introduce New Soybeans, Corn

Posted on 20 September 2009 by admin

ST. LOUIS—Monsanto Company will introduce new Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans and Genuity™ SmartStax™ corn next year, which are expected to create approximately one-third of the company’s gross profit growth to 2012, said Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant during the Credit Suisse 22nd Annual Chemical and Ag Science Conference.

“As we upgrade the technology platform on each acre of corn, soybeans and cotton, we create more yield—and more profit—for our farmer customers,” Grant said. “As a result of delivering benefits on the farm and to our many seed company licensees, we expect our U.S. seed business alone to generate more gross profit in 2012 than our entire seed portfolio did around the world in 2009.”

http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2009/09/monsanto-to-introduce-new-soybeans-and-corn.aspx?tw=20090919145050&tw=20090920012425

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When Cocaine and Monsanto Roundup Collide, War on Drugs Becomes a Genetically-Modified War on Science

Posted on 31 August 2009 by admin

At the intersection of cocaine and Roundup in rural South America, Monsanto and the U.S. government are struggling to keep up appearances. That’s becoming more and more difficult as the unanticipated hazards of genetic modification become clearer.

Back in April, Argentinean embryologist Andrés Carrasco gave an interview with a Buenos Aires newspaper describing his recent findings suggesting the chemical glyphosate, a chemical herbicide widely used in agriculture as well as in U.S. anti-narcotic efforts, could cause defects in fetuses in much smaller doses than those to which peasants and farmers in his country were already being exposed. Loud calls for a ban on the substance were issued by Argentinean environmental lawyers, and the country’s Ministry of Defense banned the planting of glyphosate-resistant soya crops in its fields.

Then came the backlash. An article in an Argentinean paper recently reported that Carrasco was assaulted in a way he described as “violent” by four men associated with agricultural interests:

Two of the men were said to be members of an agrochemical industry body but refused to give their names. The other two claimed to be a lawyer and notary. They apparently interrogated Dr. Carrasco and demanded to see details of the experiments. They left a card Basílico, Andrada & Santurio, attorneys on behalf of Felipe Alejandro Noël.

It’s still unclear who these people are. But the interest in keeping such information quiet or discrediting Carrasco and his findings are strongest with Monsanto, the agricultural company who first patented a glyphosate product (sold as Roundup) and also created genetically-modified crops specifically to resist the herbicide.

http://blog.buzzflash.com/analysis/894

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Scientist Warning of Health Hazards of Monsanto's Herbicide Receives Threats

Posted on 30 August 2009 by admin

The following article is from GRAIN, also found at Organic Consumers Association website;

“Scientist Warning of Health Hazards of Monsanto’s Herbicide Receives Threats”

GRAIN: Seeds of Information, July 2009

Straight to the Source

“I expected a reaction but not such a violent one”

“In April 2009 Andrés Carrasco, an Argentinian embryologist, gave an interview to the leading Buenos Aires newspaper Página 12, in which he described the alarming results of a research project he is leading into the impact of the herbicide glyphosate on the foetuses of amphibians. Dr Carrasco, who works in the Ministry of Science’s Conicet (National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations), said that their results suggested that the herbicide could cause brain, intestinal and heart defects in the foetuses. Glyphosate is the herbicide used in the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified soya, which now covers some 18 million hectares, about half of Argentina’s arable land. [1]

Carrasco said that the doses of herbicide used in their study were “much lower than the levels used in the fumigations”. Indeed, as some weeds have become resistant to glyphosate, many farmers are greatly increasing the concentration of the herbicide. According to Página 12, this means that, in practice, the herbicide applied in the fields is between 50 and 1,540 times stronger than that used by Carrasco. The results in the study are confirming what peasant and indigenous communities – the people most affected by the spraying – have been denouncing for over a decade. The study also has profound consequences for the USA’s anti-narcotics strategy in Colombia, because the planes spray glyphosate, reinforced with additional chemicals, on the coca fields (and the peasants living among them).

Three days after the interview, the Association of Environmental Lawyers filed a petition with the Argentine Supreme Court, calling for a ban on the use and sale of glyphosate until its impact on health and on the environment had been investigated. Five days later the Ministry of Defense banned the planting of soya in its fields. This sparked a strong reaction from the multinational biotechnology companies and their supporters. Fearful that their most famous product, a symbol of the dominant farming model, would be banned, they mounted an unprecedented attack on Carrasco, ridiculing his research and even issuing personal threats. He was accused of inventing his whole investigation, as his results have not yet been peer-reviewed and published in a prestigious scientific journal.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/08/30/18620188.php

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Nearly 100 MORE Cancer lawsuits filed against monsanto

Posted on 26 August 2009 by admin

By Chris Dickerson -Putnam Bureau

WINFIELD – Three weeks after an original 50 were filed, nearly 100 more lawsuits have been filed alleging Monsanto and related companies are responsible for causing cancer.

Like the other 50 filed earlier this month, the 97 newest complaints filed Aug. 24 in Putnam Circuit Court say Monsanto and its successor companies caused cancer by exposing the plaintiffs to dioxins/furans contamination of the air and property in and around Nitro. The cases mention the “negligent and otherwise unlawful release of dioxin from defendants’ waste disposal practices on properties … located in and about Nitro, West Virginia.”

These individual cases, filed by Stuart Calwell and The Calwell Firm of Charleston, are not part of an ongoing class action involving thousands of current and former Nitro residents alleging Monsanto polluted the area with dioxin. The class action case specifies no specific damages, and the class-action plaintiffs seek medical monitoring.

The plaintiffs in the 147 new cases, also represented by Calwell, are residents and former residents of Nitro or one or more of several surrounding communities of the now defunct chemical plant located near Nitro. They lived, worked or attended school in Nitro. Some of the plaintiffs are deceased, and those suits are filed by family members.

Monsanto owned and operated the plant from 1934 to 2000. From 1949 to 1970, the company produced an herbicide that was heavily contaminated with dibenzo dioxins and dibenzo furans. The complaints say the company disposed of the dioxin-contaminated waste in a way which caused dioxins to escape into the air.

The plaintiffs say their property and soil was contaminated.

“During the years that Old Monsanto was operating it’s trichlorophenol plant, it adopted an unlawful practice of disposing of dioxin waste materials by a continuous process of open ‘pit’ burning,” the complaints state. “This practice was largely denied by Old Monsanto whose representatives characterized the practice as an ‘incineration process’ when asked by regulatory authorities.

“Old Monsanto and its successors … failed to adequately control the dioxin contaminated soils and other dioxin contaminated waste materials both on and off the plant site. Dioxins/furans continued to be re-deposited and re-distributed from the plant site and the off-site dumps so as to continue the process of air and property contamination.”

The complaints say the defendants knew of the dangers.

The defendants “should have known of the highly toxic properties of dioxin and that dioxin was and is a known promoter of cancer and that dioxin was and is a known human carcinogen,” the complaints state. The defendants “knew that the area around the Monsanto plant was populated with permanent residents who would likely live out their lives in the area contaminated.”

The complaints also detail the history of Monsanto and the company’s knowledge regarding dioxin. The Nitro plant produced herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals, including Agent Orange.

Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages for medical bills past and future, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. They also seek punitive damages for the “willful, wanton and reckless” actions of the defendants “evidencing a callous disregard for the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Nitro area.”

Putnam Circuit Court case numbers 09-C-243 through 09-C-282 and 09-C-315 through 09-C-411

http://www.wvrecord.com/news/220760-nearly-100-more-cancer-lawsuits-filed-against-monsanto

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Brazil CTC, BASF to develop drought-tolerant cane

Posted on 04 August 2009 by admin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Sugarcane Technology Center and Germany’s BASF said on Tuesday they will jointly develop a genetically modified sugarcane with yields up to 25 percent higher than those currently available.

The cane, expected to hit the market within 10 years, will be able to handle drought better than current strains, said Luiz Louzano, biotechnology manager at BASF’s local unit.

“Our aim is to develop a cane which can survive in more hostile environments, areas with water limitations. Those characteristics could raise the average cane yield (in Brazil) to 100 tons per hectare, from 80 currently,” Louzano said.

This is BASF’s first step into the development of cane varieties.

The world’s largest chemical maker, which invested 1 billion euros in the past 10 years to set up a gene development program, signed a deal earlier this year with Monsanto to create the world’s first drought-resistant biotech corn.

It now expects to introduce some of these genes in conventional cane varieties developed by CTC, which was created in 2004 from Brazil’s Copersucar and has been a world leader in cane research.

“Our role is to research and validate new genes and look for partnerships with the best seed makers,” Louzano said.

The variety is expected to benefit mainly new cane frontiers such as the west of Sao Paulo, Triangulo Mineiro, in Minas Gerais state, and Brazil’s center-west states.

Cane planting has been expanding rapidly in these regions, which are usually drier and have poorer land than traditional cane-producing areas like Ribeirao Preto and Piracicaba, in the state of Sao Paulo, where yields are the world’s highest.

“It’s also a permanent goal for us to develop varieties that use less water due to its scarcity. It’s an effort in place in other parts of the world too,” Louzano said.

In Brazil, BASF signed an agreement with state-run agricultural research company Embrapa in 2007 to develop a herbicide-tolerant soy variety. The product was submitted for approval by Brazilian authorities in December 2008 and is expected to be cleared by 2011/12.

So far, no GMO cane variety has been approved in Brazil or in any other country.

The German company expects to submit the new variety for governmental approval within the next seven years.

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Illinois residents file 6th PCB lawsuit

Posted on 03 August 2009 by admin

By Kelly Holleran

One more group of Illinois residents who live in or near Sauget have filed a separate lawsuit over the release of various hazardous substances they claim have created a severe health risk and have contaminated their properties.

The 37 plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed July 29 against Cerro Flow Products, Inc., Pharmacia Corporation, Solutia, Inc., Pfizer and Monsanto AG Products are the sixth group of residents to file complaints against the companies this year.

The first was a class action lawsuit filed in February; the second was a lawsuit involving 21 plaintiffs filed June 5; the third was a lawsuit involving 19 plaintiffs filed June 11; the fourth was a lawsuit involving four plaintiffs filed June 19; and the fifth was a lawsuit involving 30 plaintiffs filed June 26. All are nearly identical to the July 29 complaint.

In all complaints, plaintiffs argue that three release sites – a 90 acre landfill operated by Sauget and Co., a 314-acre W.G. Krummrich Plant and property owned by Cerro Flow Products – have released PCBs and other various substances, including dioxins and furans, into the atmosphere for more than 70 years.

Some of the plaintiffs in the July 29 lawsuit say they have developed cancer and other life-threatening diseases as a result of their exposure to the PCBs, which have been shown to result in toxic effects in the brain and nervous system and in low birth rates and birth defects.

“According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a lifetime dose of one milligram of PCBs is sufficient to cause cancer and other serious and life-threatening diseases,” the suit states. “According to the World Health Organization, there is not a safe level of exposure to PCBs.”

Dioxins and furans, which were also released at the site, according to the complaint, are also known to be dangerous and to create significant health problems through inhalation, ingestion, dermal absorption and ingestion of homegrown produce.

Other plaintiffs in the July 29 complaint say the PCBs have damaged their property.

For example, the chemicals released by the companies discharge into surface waters, resulting in the contamination of soil and dust. They are also discharged into wastewater, causing water and soil to become contaminated, the suit claims.

The releases began after the W.G. Krummrich Plant, which is also referred to as the Monsanto Facility in the complaint, began producing, storing and disposing PCBs at its facility, the residents claim.

In fact, “more PCBs were produced at the Monsanto Facility than at any other site in the United States, and perhaps even the free world,” the suit states.

Cerro, which owns land adjacent to the Monsanto Facility, recycles copper. Part of that work entails scrapping PCB transformers, draining wastewater and PCB oil into the Dead Creek and landfilling substances on its facility. In turn, those activities cause large quantities of the toxic substances to be released into the environment, according to the complaint.

At Sauget and Co., millions of tons of the toxic substances were disposed of in its landfill, residents allege.

The combined activities of the three companies released the deadly substances into the environment through smokestack emissions, wind erosion, smoke from fires in waste piles and airborne releases, according to the complaint.

Plaintiffs say the defendants knew about the potential consequences of the chemicals’ releases, but attempted to conceal health risks and property contamination from the public.

“To this day, one or more of the Monsanto Defendants and their consultants are actively engaged in a campaign of deception to mislead the residents and real property owners of communities adjacent to the Release Sites, including the Plaintiffs, into believing that the Substances do not present, and have never presented, any threat to the residents or to the real property of those adjacent communities,” the complaint says.

Claims in the July complaint include negligence, strict liability, nuisance,battery and trespass.

In each of the seven-count suits, plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of $800,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by the same group of lawyers who filed the February and June complaints — Robert Leslie Palmer, Gregory A. Cade, H. Gregory Harp, Christina E. Wall and Mark L. Rowe, of Birmingham, Ala; Paul G. Schoen of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis and James L. “Larry” Wright of Austin.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-404.

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Insane Food Bill 2749 Passes House On 2nd Try

Posted on 01 August 2009 by admin

Insane Food Bill 2749 Passes House On 2nd Try.

HR 2749: Totalitarian Control Of Our Food Supply

A new food safety bill is on the fast track in Congress-HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. The bill needs to be stopped. HR 2749 gives FDA tremendous power while significantly diminishing existing judicial restraints on actions taken by the agency. The bill would impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme on small farms and local artisanal producers; and it would disproportionately impact their operations for the worse. HR 2749 does not address underlying causes of food safety problems such as industrial agriculture practices and the consolidation of our food supply. The industrial food system and food imports are badly in need of effective regulation, but the bill does not specifically direct regulation or resources to these areas.

To read a detailed account of the bill, go to The Farmer-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (Read the section on tracing. That is NAIS, isn’t it?  highly disguised yet triggered by the word “trace.” )

Alarming Provisions: Some of the more alarming provisions in the bill are:

* HR 2749 would impose an annual registration fee of $500 on any “facility” that holds, processes, or manufactures food. [isn't this every home in the US, every garden?] Although “farms” are exempt, the agency has defined “farm” narrowly. [What is the definition?] And people making foods such as lacto-fermented vegetables, cheeses, or breads would be required to register and pay the fee, which could drive beginning and small producers out of business during difficult economic times. [Yes. There are laws against this corporate-size-destroys-the-little-guy policy, aren't there? Are home bread or cheese or lacto-fermented vegetable makers who make for their own families included in this?]

* HR 2749 would empower FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. It puts the federal government right on the farm, dictating to our farmers. [This astounding control opens the door to CODEX. WTO "good farming practices" will include the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating GMO animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industry's products. They will be slaves on the land, doing the work they are ordered to do - against their own best wisdom - and paying out to industry against their will. There will be no way to be frugal, to grow one's own grain to feed the animals, to raise healthy animals without GMO grains or drugs, to work with nature at all. Grassfed cattle and poultry and hogs will be finished. So, it's obvious where control will take us. And weren't these the "rumors on the internet" that were dismissed but are clearly the case?]

* HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including “prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area.” [This - "that has been used to transport or hold such food" - would mean all cars that have ever brought groceries home so this means ALL TRANSPORTATION can be shut down under this. This is using food as a cover for martial law.] Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all movement of all food in a geographic area. [This is also a means of total control over the population under the cover of food, and at any time.]

* HR 2749 would empower FDA to make random warrantless searches of the business records of small farmers and local food producers, without any evidence whatsoever that there has been a violation. [If these bills cover all who "hold food" then this allows for taking of records of anyone at any time on no basis at all.] Even farmers selling direct to consumers would have to provide the federal government with records on where they buy supplies, how they raise their crops, and a list of customers. [NAIS for animals and all other foods?]

* HR 2749 charges the Secretary of Health and Human Services with establishing a tracing system for food. Each “person who produces, manufactures, processes, packs, transports, or holds such food” [Is this not every home in the US?] would have to “maintain the full pedigree of the origin and previous distribution history of the food,” and “establish and maintain a system for tracing the food that is interoperable with the systems established and maintained by other such persons.” The bill does not explain how far the traceback will extend or how it will be done for multi-ingredient foods. With all these ambiguities, [with all these ambiguities, it is dangerous, period, separate from the money] it’s far from clear how much it will cost either the farmers or the taxpayers. [It is massive and absurd and burdensome beyond the capacity of people to comply - is this not fascism? - so it is a set up for being used to impose penalties endlessly and/or to eliminate anyone at will.]

* HR 2749 creates severe criminal and civil penalties, including prison terms of up to 10 years and/or fines of up to $100,000 for each violation for individuals. [Does it include judicial review, Congressional oversight, a defined and limited set of penalties and punishments for a defined set of "crimes"? Or is it entirely ambiguous and left to the whim and sole power of "the Administrator"? Who is that person set to be? Is it Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and executive, as Food Democracy has said? That is, do these bills set up an agency by which the entire US food supply will be turned over to the control of a multinational corporation under WTO regulations (and not to US farmers and not to US laws under the Constitution), with boundless freedom to do what it wants, and one infamous for harm to farmers and lack of safety of food?] If it was not clear before how frightening these bills were, this small section of provisions, should make their actual fascism clear now. It goes way beyond “food safety” to absolute control over farms, animals, food, and us, including our movements and access to food at all.

Action to Take: Contact your Representative now! Ask to speak with the staffer who handles food issues. Tell them you are opposed to the bill. Some points to make in telling your Representative why you oppose HR 2749 include:

The bill imposes burdensome requirements while not specifically targeting the industrial food system and food imports, where the real food safety problems lie. Small farms and local food processors are part of the solution to food safety; lessening the regulatory burden on them will improve food safety. The bill gives FDA much more power than it has had in the past while making the agency less accountable for its actions. HR 2749 needs to be defeated!! Please take action NOW.

To contact your Representative, use the finder tool at www.Congress.org or send a message through the petition system (the petition will be on our website this evening) athttp://www.ftcldf.org/petitions_new.htm. Or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

To check the status of HR 2749, go to <http://www.Thomas.gov and type “2749″ in the bill search field.

Source: Farm Wars

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_56515.shtml

http://farmwars.info/?p=1115

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