Sunday, May 24, 2009

Laws to Redefine Normal as Hazardous

The article below is from Thailand, where herbs such as ginger and chili are being suddenly being called "hazardous."  

The "food safety" bills here do the same thing, redefining normal as hazardous and putting it under government control or requiring licensing which, by its costs, would put it out of reach. Normal seeds are being treated in this way in the EU.  The "food safety" bills here would put seeds out of reach by suddenly redefining  such normal things as agricultural water, manure, harvesting, transporting and seed cleaning equipment, and seed storage facilities as "sources of contamination" and from there, raising the standards for their use to a level farmers couldn't meet.

This was the same sinister means used to prevent black people from voting.  Poll taxes or literacy tests were both obstacles to entry while "seeming" to still allow constitutional rights.  

The literacy test parallels these bills in another way.  Those "so concerned" about others' competence to vote were themselves anti-democratic, using rigged tests while relying on references to "democracy" as false packaging for their unconstitutionality, to stop people who had a basic right to vote.   Similarly, those "so concerned" about  "food safety" are the very corporations most responsible for dangerous food, using tortured laws and rigged measures of cleanliness to eliminate those producing healthy food - a human right.

The "food safety" bills bury profound human rights abuses and constitutional violations under "health."  

The following article can allow the reader to see how mind-bending redefinitions of normal are used by governments on behalf of industry (the pesticide industry in this case), to limit access to safe natural plant material that is, in fact, every human being's biologic inheritance.  

How easily those with power turn things upside down, redefining things however they want - white becoming black, safe becoming danger, danger becoming nutritious.  Inch by inch they displace normal, making it harder, making it too costly, making it illegal here and there, making it unavailable, until it is pushed to the far fringes or ceases to exist altogether.

CODEX Alimentarius is imbedded in the "food safety" bills in congress and would allow corporations to take absolute control over all farming, gardens, food in any location, animals, and even all nutrients.  Nutrients would be redefined as toxins or contaminants, in just this astoundingly false and totalitarian way, the better to wrest them from people and put them under government/corporate control.   

Codex is the core of what are actually anti-"food safety' bills which, upside down again, progressives are pushing to have become law in the US.   

BANGKOK: -- A group of organic farmers and alternative agricultural activists have called on the government to cancel regulations listing 13 herbal plants as hazardous substances, saying they would destroy local initiative in using the plants as alternative pesticides in place of chemicals.

The group also asked the government to withdraw this legislation - an Industry Ministerial regulation and a Draft of Agricultural Ministerial regulation - within 30 days.

If there was no response from the government they would gather at Government House to submit their petition and pressure Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said the group's leader, Thai Health Foundation's director, Veerapong Kriangsinyot.

The Industry Ministry - aiming to control pesticide production and commercialisation - announced its new regulation on February 3, listing the 13 plants as "hazardous substances type 1" under the 1992 Hazardous Substances Act.

The plants are: neem, citronella grass, tumeric, ginger, Chinese ginger, African marigold, Siam weed or bitter bush, tea seed cake, chilli, Chinese celery, ringworn bush, glory lily and stemona.

They are widely used among farmers as alternatives for expensive and toxic farm chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, a member of the hazardous substances committee, has proposed the new draft requiring growers, manufacturers, importers and exporters of pesticides made from the 13 herbal plants to conform to the Department of Agriculture and follow safety and quality control regulations issued by the committee. Law violators will face six months in jail and a fine of 50,000 baht.

A 44 year-old organic farmer from Suphan Buri province, Sumalee Tanyachareon said the regulation has made her life more difficult. She must inform the agricultural office that she cultivates some of the 13 herbal plants and produces them as a pesticide.

"The regulation would be an obstacle and a burden for farmers instead of promoting organic farming," she said.

Sumalee previously used chemical pesticides to kill insects in her rice farms. Now she uses herbal pesticide, after learning it is cheaper and safer than chemical pesticide.

She said regardless of whether the regulation is withdrawn or not, she will continue to use home-made herbal pesticide as it cuts costs on her rice farms.

Department of Agriculture's director general, Somchai Chanarong insisted the new regulation and the draft would not affect the use of herbal plants in the country. Growers or manufacturers were required only to inform agricultural agencies when they produced herbal pesticide for commercialisation.

" We want to protect the consumer from someone who would cheat them and sell faked products," he said.

Department of Industrial Works' director general, Rachada Singkalwanich said the announcement of the industry ministerial regulation followed a proposal from the Department of Agriculture.

" The Department of Agriculture proposed this regulation because it was receiving a lot of complaints from organic farmers and the department had no regulations to control the misuse of herbal pesticides. "

The Department of Agriculture would draw up a guideline for relevant agencies on the nature of the herbal plants. If the Department of Agriculture had such a regulation, the Department of Industrial Works would withdraw the 13 herbal plants from the hazardous substances list.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Deputy Minister, Manit Nopamorbodhi said he would discuss with the Industry Minister how to help people understand more about the role of the 13 herbal plants in daily lives.

In the near future, he said he would ask the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine to produce a logo as a safety warning display for herbal products sold in the market.

The Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine's director general, Dr Nara Nakwattananukul said there was misunderstanding about the implementation of the industry ministerial regulation to list the 13 herbal plant as hazardous substances.

Under the regulation, farmers are allowed to use herbal plants as medicine. They do not have to register with the Department of Agriculture if they have small herbal plantations.

The department will organise a meeting which invite related agencies to discuss over this issue on this Friday.

-- The Nation 2009-02-12

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