Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) is pushing to get a provision into the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 that would give the FDA the power to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated food. Oh, dear. We need to not give any more power to that agency to do squat.
Let's take a moment for a little background. The FDA is essentially run by Big Pharma, including Monsanto, and not for our benefit.
The FDA is in the process of eliminating YOUR vitamin companies, the foundation of a critical alternative health movement.
Why? Because they are true competition to the pharmaceutical industry. Supplements are cheap and and worse - non-proprietary. That is, they can't be patented though corporations have certainly tried - including to get hold of turmeric as it is proving to be a major defense against and treatment for cancers. Vitamin C is so multi-valuable and inexpensive and looking to be just what Linus Pauling said it was decades ago - a non-toxic chemotherapy - that there is now a bill in Canada to criminalize it.
The point is, if they can't solely own supplements which can treat all kinds of diseases naturally and cheaply and non-brutally, they are seeking to cut off access to them, treating them as dangerous. That is exactly what is happening Canada with the bill to criminalize vitamin C - being pushed, incidentally by the FDA, USDA, WTO and FAO, all influenced by Monsanto et al.
The FDA (run at the time by Michael Taylor, a Monsanto lawyer) is responsible for introducing rBGH - a genetically engineering Monsanto product, and one which Monsanto is trying, state to state, even as of today, to keep unlabeled, and without a peep of objection from the FDA. click here rBGH is still on the market despite citizens petitions to the FDA and scientific conferences indicating it increases the risk of breast cancer 7 fold and of prostate cancer 4 fold and of colon cancer. click here
"Monsanto and the FDA refuse to acknowledge recent research directly linking elevated levels of IGF-1 to increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Monsanto and the FDA colluded in 1993 and '94 to block labeling requirements for rBGH milk. Consequently, the average dairy consumer has no idea if they're increasing their own risk of getting cancer.
Since 1994, every industrialized country in the world except the U.S. -- including Canada, Japan, and all fifteen nations of the European Union -- has banned rBGH milk. The United Nations Food Standards Body refuses to certify that rBGH is safe. Even the WTO, or more specifically its food standards body, the Codex Alimentarius, has refused to endorse Monsanto's claim that rBGH is safe for use in the dairy supply. In the face of facts and the majority opinion of the global political and scientific community, Monsanto and the [FDA] continue to endorse rBGH milk for general consumption, at the same time scratching their heads about increases in breast cancer deaths and the continually declining age of puberty for girls. ..."
Given what the FDA really is, why do any progressives blindly trust it to handle disease outbreaks and to do recalls (which can easily be used to destroy farmers)?
The FDA is not our friend or a neutral scientific agency meant to help the public, but just another agency in the grip of multinational corporations which are rapidly taking control of food and medicinal sources internationally and now making draconian moves to limit access to the natural medicinals.
The USDA, also controlled by Monsanto and Big Ag (Monsanto is both big Pharma and Big Ag) is hated by family farmers and ranchers. Right now, acting in concert with USDA, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is engaged in a drive to destroy raw milk dairy farmers. These, you see, are farmers who are not part of the corporate system (and not using rBGH). They sell direct to consumers, by-passing the whole corporate machinery and giving true meaning to food security for both farmer and consumer. But the PDA has been threatening and arresting farmers http://www.counterpunch.org/cohen04262008.html and they are now attempting to pin the salmonella outbreak on raw milk.
A raw milk farmer's family member was harassed when her baby got salmonella poisoning. All of the family except that baby had eaten at a famous fast food chicken place, and drank raw milk from the farm, but only the baby who had done neither, got sick. Daily phone harassment by the PDA brought the mother to near collapse as they "tried to trick,cojole and bully her into saying that baby might have had raw milk from the farm. When the farmer called telling them contact their lawyer, the PDA backed off, but clients of the farmer were also harassed. (Personal communication from a Pennsylvania dairy farmer)
For those who say, "But what are we going to do about all the dangerous food?" take a powder and turn down the media hysteria a notch first. Realize that all anyone needs to do to be safe if they are worried, is heat the bleeping tomatoes until they locate the source. But what people need to understand is that frightening the public is valuable to the FDA in pushing the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008. It is a Bush bill so red flags should go up. A bill that Bush wants is not a bill that people would.
The government uses food scares like they use terrorism, to get things locked into place, and with either, we ALWAYS lose. Conservatives jump in fear about terrorists and liberals jump in fear of tomatoes (i.e. diseases). But the consequences all flow to increased government and/or corporate control through more regulations.
Why is the FDA not reassuring anyone and suggesting we buy locally for now? Local is what we all should be doing in any case, and, ideally, organic, for all our food. And we also could start growing some of our own food (tomatoes are easy).
Why is the FDA not suggesting we buy local tomatoes for a while? Because this scare is valuable for getting the public to push for "safety" (i.e. regulations and Bush's bill) and because the FDA represents corporations that are at the heart of industrial agriculture which does not want local and sustainable to take hold.
Are you not tired of this nonsense and the rounds of fear? Can you feel you are being jerked around? Then, get yourself and your family off the &*%#@( ...ing corporate food system.
Back to the bill they are pushing, dependent on enough public panic to push it through. This is from Washingtonpost.com:
"Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) was able to get a provision into the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 that would give the FDA the power to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated food."
It is the "mandatory recall" that is the problem. That is a heavy club for destroying any small producer. In Pennsylvania and California, it has been used by the Departments of Agriculture against raw milk producers and then "it turns out," they were wrong and there was no problem after all. Meanwhile, the small producers couldn't sell anything, they lost customers, and people were driven out of business. Farmers live in fear of this happening, and distrust the USDA's motives entirely. They see who runs the USDA and who loses out.
Recalls are a weapon that can be to destroy those competing with corporations, and land particularly brutally on small producers. And as with the tomatoes, the USDA or FDA, if they truly wished to protect those family farms and were not interested in writing more power into a Bush bill, would simply put out a message to the public to heat any milk they are concerned about for 5 minutes, or that the tomatoes are safe if made into a sauce. Instead, they whip the public up into a frenzy of fear, and get them to push politicians to write regulations that will ONLY benefit corporate interests. And producers are forced to throw away valuable product.
Continuing with the Washingtonpost.com piece:
"But she has yet to get a provision into the bill that would require the agency to devise a food tracing system."
Excuse me. The bill would allow total recalls but with no way to actually track to where the problem is? So, it will allow recalls based on whim?
At least it would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to stop making harassing phone calls to raw milk producers, trying to get them to say their child with salmonella poisoning drank raw milk when it didn't. With this bill, they could just demand a recall of their products because they "think" (or have decided) that's the source of the problem. If they turn out after an analysis to be wrong, oops, sorry for the thousands of dollars of loss sales and the frightened customers who go elsewhere. Do that a few rounds and that farmer is done.
Again, a reminder that salmonella is easily killed by simply heating raw milk a few minutes but the FDA has put out nothing on that, to either reassure the public or to educate them or to save farmers. Instead, it is working to BAN raw milk nationwide. No other food, despite all those that have caused disease outbreaks is treated like this. And not even alcohol or cigarettes. That should be enough to make clear this is not about food safety.
No one should be pushing for more power for the FDA. Period.
While they have inflamed the public over people getting sick and one person dying, what have they done - at all - to alert the public to the increase in tubular breast cancer since the introduction of rBGH? Where are vital studies on the impact of a pervasive food (milk - ice cream, yogurt, cheese) coming from a genetically engineered hormone - the first genetically engineered product ever approved by the FDA?
Doctors were already seeing a link to cancers before the introduction of rBGH and warning against it, and 36 countries around the world ban it, so where are the studies on how many people have died from breast, colon or prostate cancer since the Monsanto-run FDA put it on the market? 100? 1000? 10,000? More?
This is the FDA that wants more control.