“I think it’s time to de-professionalize the public debate on matters that vitally affect the lives of ordinary people. It’s time to snatch our futures back from the “experts.” Time to ask, in ordinary language, the public question and to demand, in ordinary language, the public answer.” – Arundhati Roy, Power Politics
It’s enough to make you so queasy you lose your lunch. HR 875, the “Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009,” is a head-spinning piece of legislation that would radically change the structure of the US government’s regulatory agencies, usurping states rights to federalize food inspection and determine what agricultural practices are permissible. Considerable concern has been voiced about what this bill would mean for small and medium sized farmers, organic farming, the future of conventional and organic seeds, the food localization movement, and even home gardens. HR 875 would give regulators the power to enter private property, which is conveniently redefined as “premises,” and impose enormous fines for noncompliance. Though not discussed in the corporate media, numerous articles about it appear on the internet, launching a debate about whether or not Monsanto is behind the bill.
In response to these articles, Brad Mitchell, a member of Monsanto’s public relations staff who writes for the company’s new blog — a less-than-stealth effort to counter the public’s deep distrust of the predatory corporation — has gone on record stating that Monsanto has absolutely nothing at all to do with the bill.
Brad’s assurances aside, experience dictates that taking Monsanto at its word is patently foolish.