Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Food Czars suddenly appear in Boston and other cities

by Liberal in Shock

Mr. Wilson's article in the "American Thinker," below, is important in that he highlights the sudden intrusion of government into everyone's food.

Peter Wilson - American Thinker - July 20, 2010

"There's no department of food, federally or statewide,'' laments Holly Freishtat, Baltimore's food czar, in the Boston Globe . Not yet anyway. Michelle Obama's efforts to insert government between your fork and your mouth may lead to a federal Department of Food someday. The effort however is already underway at the municipal level; according to the Globe, Baltimore and "other major cities have begun hiring food czars to help combat some of the ills of urban life."

The City of Boston has recently joined the eat your broccoli brigade, creating the $75,000/year (plus benefits) position of "Food Policy Director" with an "ambitious help increase access to fresh eats and expand opportunities for urban farming." Baltimore has similar goals:

One of Freishtat's first efforts in Baltimore has been pushing for changing city law to allow for urban farming, an initiative she calls "zoning for zucchinis.''

Cute name, but it's not clear to me how growing zucchini will "combat the ills of urban life." ...

And is it really a good idea to devote urban space to small-scale food production? I thought greenies were against urban sprawl, that the most efficient model was a densely populated urban core, surrounded by open space and agricultural land.

Food czars also believe in the redemptive power of farmers' markets-healthy "local" food brought into "food deserts" by organic farmers who care about the holistic nature of food, in stark contrast to industrial food conglomerates. Harvesting vegetables in cities like Boston and Baltimore is however, one might say, highly seasonal. Corn doesn't grow well in January in Cambridge, and outdoor markets aren't much fun in the winter either. As a result, the government subsidizes expensive local produce for two months, competing with local grocery stores that supply us year-round.

But at least we feel good about ourselves, and governments get yet another opportunity to control our lives.

Wilson speaks of Food Czars and their danger but is he aware of who the first food czar in the country is? Michael Taylor, a Monsanto executive, is the "Food Safety" Czar at the FDA. And Monsanto is number one, unethically, among all the hundreds of unethical corporations in the world. That should give people an inkling that putting food czars in place may not be perfectly salutary. And to make food czars even less appealing, Taylor is also the mind behind "food safety," just as he was the man who designed a way to sue farmers for honestly labeling their milk as rBGH-free. He is most highly skilled in Orwell-speak. If it sounds good and Taylor was involved, chances are it is actually not good.

"Food Safety" is not about food safety, it turns out. It is a concealed corporate weapon being used already to destroy local food systems and local farmers, and it is occurring world wide as the multinationals make moves to globalize and control all food in the world.

Mr. Wilson makes the mistake of believing that "Food Safety" is a liberal thing, just as liberals make the mistake of believing there is anything good in "food safety." It is understandable that Mr. Wilson sees liberals as central to this and that liberals themselves have been taken in to believe "food safety" is a good thing, since it has been carefully promoted to appeal to them. More than a year of corporate stories on food contamination and the need to "go after the corporations" was the drum beat. What liberal wouldn't want to put corporations in their place and save children from tainted peanut butter, meat, and cookie batter?

But the poor liberals will certainly not be getting what they think they will. For some reason they know that when the US government promotes "freedom and democracy" for other countries, it is a lie, but when it promotes "food safety" they assume the same government is telling the truth.

If the USAID can call genetic engineering "sustainable agriculture," it should come as no surprise that the following words might be far from what any sane person would think say.

Boston's "Food Policy Director' [has] an "ambitious help increase access to fresh eats and expand opportunities for urban farming."

For decoding what is really being said, Bostonians might want to look to Detroit, where "urban farming" has turned out to mean industrial farming, just the industrial farming everyone is sick of and sick from and not the organic liberals would automatically assume. Urban farming in Detroit, as sold by the government there, also includes wiping out poor black neighborhoods.

Increasing "access to fresh eats" also sounds so positive, suggesting that the food czar will be increasing or helping farmers markets and CSAs, but if the direction that is occurring in Europe and elsewhere is any indication, a food czar (or more specifically, the power behind that role) is put in place to raise "food safety" standards on everything markets and CSAs need to operate, until they collapse.

"Put in place." That is, not voted on. An entirely new and totally position is created undemocratically, to take control over the greatest necessity in life. A true Czar.

Holly Freishat, Baltimore's food czar and the first in the nation, looks like such a nice person. But her friendly face and organic bio is just what is required by industry to open the door to this unheard of power. Her appealing qualities are a PR necessity to convince liberals that a food czar will be a wonderful thing for them, so no one stops to notice their loss of control over their own food. Industry is greenwashing totalitarian control by playing on liberal trust in regulations, a trust they are only slowly beginning to question as they watch lobbyists take over government, government agencies become satellite offices of industry, and the Supreme Court vote against constitutionality.

How did these food czars pop up?

Did local farmers or producers request a government official to control food in their area? No. Did ordinary people demand someone be in charge of their food? No. Did either group lobby to get money for that position? No. Then who? Take a guess. The food industry and agribusiness.

So, it is ludicrous to believe these industries, which are working so hard to get Boston (and other cities) to install these local "czars," are interested in increasing access to to fresh food from independent farmers and food producers. These are their competition. Local fresh food and real urban farming are worth not one dime to corporate bottom lines. They must be gotten rid of, not helped. But how can industry do that? They can scare people and offer them "food safety" or they can entice people by saying a new food czar will bring them more fresh food. Liberals are relieved by one and excited by the other, ignoring this was entirely undemocratically arranged and missing the control they are letting into their lives and over the most vital thing they and their families need to exist.

They love Vandana Shiva but don't listen to her warnings about food laws.

Though liberals are waking up to Obama's falsehoods about the war, torture, rendition, Guantanamo, and much more, but when it comes to their own food, they are still asleep. They don't know their CSAs and farmers markets are in real trouble. They don't see the orchestrated corporate plan over food which is moving forward like a steam roller, altering laws at city, state, federal and international levels.

So, Wilson is right that this has to do with control. But he misses that it has nothing to do with bringing healthy fresh food to Boston or Baltimore or anywhere else (though that may happen initially to lull liberals into welcoming control by czars, not remembering Obama's promises and distance from later reality).

What happens when "food safety" or "food czar" meets farmers markets will not be pretty. Worse, the giant "food safety" bill in the Senate that was proposed by Hillary Clinton, even would bring in DHS and DOD, and is perfectly clear that control over food will be turned over to the WTO and international agencies.

The last big government food safety plan was HACCP (a Bill Clinton proposal). It was as much of a "con job" as the current one, with food safety actually a festering fraud. And most interestingly, the same international interests who just wrecked the economy are behind these phony food safety bills.

Liberals in Boston who care so much about helping others are finding out now that the Obamacare they pushed so hard for will not be "better for the poor." In fact, in Massachusetts, it will actually cost the poor double what they were paying for coverage, it will not cover children with pre-existing conditions, and corporations are considering dropping coverage for their workers.

Liberals in Boston might want to take that lesson into account in order to stop being taken in by pleasing words and friendly faces, especially when it comes to the food they feed their family. They might want to start investigating exactly what power over local food would be given to any new "food czar." Because while Baltimore put in someone "nice" with an organic background, ideal PR for selling a program of control, making it look helpful and harmless, liberals need to realize that she can be replaced in a heartbeat. They need to remember the thrill they felt when Merrigan was put in at the USDA because she was pro-organic farming. But now ...

... she declared herself a longtime believer in biotechnology and urged the soybean growers to support USDA’s proposals to help developing countries establish regulatory agencies that can evaluate biotech crops.

Freishat doesn't matter. It is the undemocratic methods used to create this position and the undemocratic power over everyone's food begin turned over to an unelected "czar" and the agencies that will begin following their orders, that matter.

Liberals should know that the corporations are doing all they can to take control of food throughout the world and not believe that somehow their city, their farmers market, their family is immune.

To get a sense of how dire this is, liberals need to pay attention to what the FDA under Monsanto's Taylor has asserted in court about Americans having no rights to contract with farmers, no rights over choosing food or consuming it or feeding it to their children, and even no rights over their bodily and physical health.

Liberals need to see this so in their own towns they stop passively allowing unelected officials massive power over food, the central element of their existence. And based on what? Nice sounding "promises."

Liberals must start to take control of laws in their own cities and there is an effective means to do just that.

They can learn how the law actually stops them from protecting their communities, the environment, and their rights, and how they can organize in their community to change those rules. Read more...

Liberals can come together with community groups and municipalities to write and adopt laws that assert community rights, including the right to local self-government, the rights of nature, and the subordination of corporate privilege to the rights of the community. Read more...

They can and must take control of food themselves. Through their own democratic power, they can bring into their communities all the farmers markets and organic urban farming they so strongly desire and truly need.

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