Friday, April 10, 2009
From the Organic Consumers Association newsletter :
Will the Real "Monsanto Bill" Please Stand Up?
News of a "Monsanto Bill to Criminalize Organic Farming" has been speeding around the internet. The Organic Consumers Fund, OCA's lobbying partner in Washington, DC, analyzed the bill and determined that we could not support food safety legislation like this that could be applied in a one-size-fits-all manner to all farms, including organic and farm-to-consumer operations -- especially a bill that references the National Animal Identification System (a voluntary USDA animal tagging program that some influential members of Congress are trying to make mandatory for every owner of even a single farm animal). With these concerns, we put out this alert on March 12.
Nevertheless, we were alarmed by the misleading headlines attached to anti-HR 875 alerts. Even if this bill were passed as is today, it wouldn't criminalize organic farming. The bill would require farms to have a food safety plan, allow their records to be inspected, and comply with food safety regulations. To say this is tantamount to criminalization doesn't give organic farmers enough credit.
Worse, linking this bill to Monsanto (for no other reason than because the bill's sponsor Rosa DeLauro is married to political operative Stan Greenberg, who lists Monsanto as a past client) obscures the real damage Monsanto is doing in Congress. This past week, Monsanto got a bill passed in committee that forces GMOs on Africa.