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Why was “The U.S. has the safest food supply in the world” changed, to “We need Safety Laws”?

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It is important to note that no animal identification program will prevent an introduction of animal disease, ensure safe food or prevent a recall.” – SCOTT CHARBO, Chief Information Officer at USDA March 6, 2004

In the final moves of a decades-long plan to monopolize food, Monsanto and the other big International Ag Corporations have introduced four supposed food-safety bills in the House and Senate. The USDA has a final comment period in the Federal Register on a regulation that requires all farms to carry a “Premises ID.” It magically becomes part of the deed, and removes the farmer’s Constitutional property rights. Go to Butner Blogspot to see the bills and comment to your congressman.

Independent farmers still control about 20% of the market, and Big-Ag wants that 20%—especially with organic foods and the local food movement threatening market share. The Death of Farming: a Recent History [Butner blogspot] gives a chronological picture of the corporate take over of the worlds farms and subversion of government safety measures. The attack on our food system is not just here in the USA but worldwide. It is on several fronts: from treaties, patenting of seeds and animals, to World Bank loans to nations. Those loans have strings attached that remove farm support systems and mandate industrial-export agriculture. The worst part of these attacks is a worldwide change in food inspection methods, taking control away from government agencies and giving it to the very corporations being inspected.

The new food inspection methods derive from a system called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) which was developed by Pillsbury in the 1960’s. It was published as an International Guideline by. the Codex Alimentarius in 1993, and was incorporated into the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture (WTO AoA) in 1995. It was adopted by the FDA and USDA in 1996. Our food safety has gone downhill ever since as we moved away from government inspection of food to government inspection of paperwork.

 

The FSIS (Food and Safety Inspection Service) of the USDA reports:

 

Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems rule, (July 25, 1996) “…Under the HACCP rule, industry is responsible for assessing potential food safety hazards and systematically preventing and controlling those hazards. FSIS is responsible for verifying that establishments’ HACCP systems are working…”

 

Since the inception of HACCP, FSIS food inspectors have complained, but their complaints have been ignored by the USDA. The chairman of the inspectors’ union was even placed on disciplinary investigation status, and the Office of Inspector General was contacted about filing criminal charges. A December 2004 Freedom of Information Act request resulted in over 1000 non-compliance reports—weighing some 16 pounds— being turned over and the charges were dropped.

 

There seems to be too much reliance on an honor system for the industry to police itself. While the USDA investigation is still on going at Hallmark/Westland, a couple of facts have emerged that point to a system that can be gamed by those who want to break the law. It (HACCP) shifted the responsibility for food safety over to the companies.” Union Chairman Stan Painter

 

A bill was introduced in the Senate called The Safe and Secure Food Act of 2005 FSIS calls it “Farm-To-Table – control of every step in the food chain from production to home preparation.” It failed so this time Monsanto is not taking any chances. “…“Both bills will appear simultaneously in both houses, having been planned before the fact. Since both bills are identical, there will be motions to suspend debate and none will be allowed. They will appear suddenly on the same day with the House voting first in the morning and the Senate in the afternoon….”

 

These bills will strangle family farms in red tape, and levy confiscatory fines, causing farmers to simply give up. Then the Big Ag corporations can grab their land, snapping it up at bargain prices. Once the regulations are in place it will be as difficult to raise a chicken or grow tomatoes as it is to manufacture Tylenol. Then corporations can set food prices in the same way they can set prescription drug prices.

 

If you have any questions about what is happening remember to read The Death of Farming: a Recent History then contact your Congressman. This is too important to ignore.

© 2009 Gale Combs

 

 

 

Don’t take our medical records or send them to Maine

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CCHC LOGO


MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
For Immediate Release


Minnesotans Tell State Health Officials:Don’t take our medical records or send them to Maine!

Saint Paul/Feb. 25, 2009 – In less than 48 hours, more than 500 people sent letters to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) asking for a public hearing on a plan to seize patient data without consent and transfer it to a data warehouse in the State of Maine where it will be accessible to MDH officials for tracking and analysis, according to Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC).

A state health official contacted CCHC on Monday, confirming that 562 letters were received by the department during the last two days of the public comment period (Feb 9 – 10), each one of them asking for a public hearing.

“We call on the Minnesota Department of Health to hold a public hearing on this intrusive data collection rule. The Minnesota public is completely unaware that their medical records will soon be sent out of state and into the online hands of state government officials. The public has no idea that their data will be used to track them and to interfere in treatment decisions. They have no idea that they are about to lose all consent rights over their most private information,” charges Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

Detailed Patient Data
The “encounter data” initiative become law in the last days of the 2008 legislative session after it appeared in the negotiated health care reform bill that emerged from the Governor’s office. Patient data to be collected, tracked and analyzed include, but are not limited to:

  • demographics
  • diagnoses
  • treatments
  • doctor’s name and national provider identification numbers
  • insurance status
  • insurer
  • financial information
  • service, admission and discharge dates
  • injury codes
  • relationship codes
  • medications, including whether a refill and what date filled

 More…

– CCHC –

Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

 

Hold a public hearing!

Congressional Hearing on NAIS

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***ACTION ALERT***

WHAT: CongressionaHearing on NAIS

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11

WHERE: Washington, DC

 

The U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry will hold a hearing on NAIS on March 11.  Bills to put NAIS into law, HR875 and companion Senate S814, are being pushed through Congress, as well as an Appropriations Bill with funding for NAIS.  This hearing is critical to blocking mandatory NAIS.

 

ACTION: Please call and fax all members of the subcommittee (below).  

1.  When you call, ask to speak to the legislative aide for agriculture.  Form a positive relationship with the aide.  Become his or her source of knowledge for NAIS.  Be RESPECTFUL and POLITE.  Remember, who would the aide rather speak with, someone who is courteous or someone angry and resentful?

 

2.  Please send this to everyone you know, ESPECIALLY to people in the states with members on the subcommittee.  Members need to hear from their constituents–the people who vote them into office.

 

If you are in one of these states, please arrange a meeting with the district representative of the Congressman.  That makes a big difference.  We need to be real people to the legislators, so that when they think “farm” or “food” they think of us, not Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson, etc…

 

(NOTE: The colors are for easier reading.  They have no political meaning).

 

State

Party/Dist

Representative

Phone

Fax

Website email form

AL

R-13

Mike Rogers

202.225.3261

202.226.8485

http://www.house.gov/mike-rogers/contact.shtml

CA

D-18

Dennis Cardoza

202.225.6131

800-356-6424

(202) 225-0819

http://www.house.gov/cardoza/contact.shtml

CA

D-20

Jim Costa

202-225-3341

(202) 225-9308

http://www.costa.house.gov/

CA

D-43

Joe Baca

(202)225-6161

(202)225-8671

http://www.house.gov/baca/zipauth.shtml

CO

D-4

Betsy Markey,

(202) 225-4676

(202) 225-5870

https://forms.house.gov/betsymarkey/contact-form.shtml

GA

D-13

David Scott (Chair)

(202) 225-2939

(202) 225-4628

http://davidscott.house.gov/Contact/

IA

D-3

Leonard Boswell

(202) 225-3806

(202) 225-5608

http://boswell.house.gov/messageform.htm

IA

R-5

Steve King

202.225.4426

202.225.3193

http://www.house.gov/steveking/email.shtm

ID

D-1

Walt Minnick

(202) 225-6611

(202) 225-3029

https://forms.house.gov/minnick/tours.shtml

MD

D-1

Frank Kratovil, Jr.

(202) 225-5311

(202) 225-0254

https://forms.house.gov/kratovil/contact-form.shtml

NE

R-3

Adrian Smith

(202) 225-6435

(202) 225-0207

http://www.house.gov/formadriansmith/issues_subscribe.htm

PA

D-17

Tim Holden

(202) 225-5546

(202) 226-0996

http://www.holden.house.gov/contactform_zipcheck.shtml

TN

R-1

David P. Roe

(202) 225-6356

(202) 225-5714

https://forms.house.gov/roe/invite-request-form.shtml

TX

R-11

K. Michael Conaway

(202) 225-3605

(202) 225-1783

http://conaway.house.gov/

TX

R-19

Randy Neugebauer,

Ranking Minority Member

(202) 225-4005

(888) 763-1611

(202) 225-9615

http://randy.house.gov/?sectionid=8&sectiontree=8

VA

R-6

Bob Goodlatte,

(202) 225-5431

(202) 225-9681

http://www.house.gov/goodlatte/emailbob.htm

WI

D-8

Steve Kagen,

(202) 225-5665

(202) 225-5729

http://kagen.house.gov/contact.shtml

 

For more information, or if you need help in this process, please contact us:

 

Doreen Hannes

animalwaitress@yahoo.com

(417) 962-0030

 

 

Sharon Sabo

muttipie@htc.net

(618) 458-7745

 

 

Sue Dederich

suediederich@comcast.net

(847) 873-0251

 

 

Sharon Zecchinelli

henwhisperer@gmail.com

(802) 933-6709

 

 

Liz Reitzig

liz.reitzig@verizon.net

(301) 807.5063

 

 

Deborah Stockton

nicfa@earthlink.net

(434) 295.7176

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours for freedom,

Deborah Stockton, Executive Director

National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)

nicfa@earthlink.net

http://www.nicfa.org

 

Our purpose is to promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade 

that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.

 

NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.

 

 

 

More So-Called “Pro-Gun” Laws Being Passed

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Just days after declaring its “sovereignty” from the federal government, the state of Tennessee has just ushered through three new allegedy “pro-gun” bills, HB959, HB960 and HB961. However, the net effect of these bills is that it simply further codifies having to get the state and federal government’s permission to exercise one’s existing right to keep and bear arms, which has been – in flagrant violation of the Second Amendment – nearly legislated out of existence over the course of three generations.

HB959 protects concealed carry permit holders from having their permit application information made public. It would impose a $2,500 fine for each offense. However, it certainly affords no protection at all from the prying eyes of government officials and bureaucrats, who will still have full access to the information. They just can’t publish it publicly, that’s all. So, this bill will do nothing for concealed carry permit holders except to bar their information from becoming a matter of public record. Never mind that any state or federal agency can still know everything about the permit holder and it is government intrusion into our privacy – not the public’s – that most people should fear.

Both HB960 and HB961 deal with “protecting” one’s right to carry a handgun in a state or national park in Tennessee. Both bills rescind the current ban against carrying a gun in state or national parks, which was imposed by the Bush administration. However, the lifting of this restriction only applies to those citizens who have dutifully bowed down to the government by obtaining a concealed carry handgun permit from the state of Tennessee. Never mind that the concealed carry permit is, itself, a regulation of the Second Amendment and, as such, is a violation of the Second Amendment, as all laws regulating firearms are. So, all these two laws do is add yet another layer of bureaucracy to the mountain of red tape that has already strangled our existing right to self-defense. But, so-called “pro-gun” organizations like the NRA don’t see that as a bad thing and applaud these laws as some sort of “progress” for gun rights. Never mind the fact that they never call for the repeal of all gun laws, which would be the only logical way of lifting the restrictions imposed by 75 years of violations of the Second Amendment. Gun owners, swayed to believe organizations like the NRA are on their side, also stupidly applaud the further regulation by government of their fundamental existing right to defend themselves against government, which is what the Second Amendment is all about.

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. – Tacitus (A.D. 55?-130?)

Washington, District of Criminals……your government at work

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As a country, as citizens of our respective states, nothing poses a greater threat to our existence than the assembly of congressmen/women residing in both houses, some for decades. 

 

For eight years we endured the arrogance, the outright fascist intents of the Bush Administration.  For six of those years we saw the wholesale selling off, selling out and undermining of the economy and infra-structure to corporate interests and illegal and unconstitutional trade agreements that forfeited our rights to regulate and legislate ourselves. 

 

We saw our rights vanish, our freedom compromised and realized that we had willingly allowed the “War of Terror”, causing the greatest series of human rights violations by any supposed civilized society in recent history.

 

We endured eight years of corruption and un-American activity at the hands of people calling themselves Christian conservatives that was so wide spread, so destructive and unimaginable, many of us are still reeling form the sheer scope of it all. Then came the 2008 election, a new president and Democrat controlled congress; and a country so battered and beaten down reached out for what seemed to be a ray of hope.

 

Since 2006 Democrats have had a simple majority in both houses.  That didn’t mean they could do whatever they wanted, contrary to popular belief.  Even when the Democrats seemed to be trying to do something positive, the Republicans threatened a filibuster; 98 times to be exact halting everything in its tracks. 

 

The 2008 election saw an increase in the numbers for the Democrats and with it more power to get things done.  And this bunch has been busy!  Immediately following the inauguration, a flurry of bills began appearing in both houses, and none of them were good news for America or her citizens. 

 

Instead of acting to protect America, the Democrats have flooded the House and Senate with bills designed to increase government regulation and control; to expand and increase the powers of two dysfunctional and mismanaged agencies, the FDA and USDA, to end the right to family and independent farming and ranching, to subject the citizens of the sovereign United States to trade agreements reducing the standards of production, harvest and processing of food, favoring industrialized corporately controlled factory farms. 

 

We have witnessed the greatest theft of wealth from the people in our history, as Democrats led the charge to save predatory lenders, parasitic and corrupt corporations who had mismanaged their businesses to such a degree they were in reality, not salvageable.  While middle and working class people lost their jobs, their homes and virtually everything they had, not one CEO, not one executive, forfeited either their freedom or any assets.  Not one was made to contribute a dime to the economic mess they had created.  In fact, they all profited handsomely.

 

Not one Democrat has stood up to demand the rights that were ripped away from us under the pretense of fighting terrorism, not one of the unconstitutional laws passed by those self-righteous fascists that called themselves Republicans, be repealed or restored.  In fact, the Democrats have picked up right where the Republicans left off and added a few more bricks in the wall.

 


From President Obama:

”Central to this plan will be a renewed commitment to honesty and transparency in government. Restoring our country’s economic health will only happen when ordinary citizens are given the opportunity to hold their representatives fully accountable for the decisions they make.”

 

Like this is ever going to happen.  We have a government that is not only detached from the people, but holds them in contempt.  On any given day, our own congress breaks more laws, commits more crimes and acts criminally against the very people it swore to protect and defend, than any common criminal out here in the streets. 

 

© 2009 Marti Oakley

 

 

 

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