Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

S 510

Tell me why stuff like this is always cropping up?  I know a lot of it is fear talk but how do we separate out the real risks from the hysteria? How do we catch what is damaging before it is too late?


You know, I would like to think that we had a government that primarily cared about us, but I'd have to be deaf, blind and dumb to believe that. They are, both parties, in the pockets of their corporate masters. So what the heck is [S 510] really about?


As usual, trying to understand these bills requires a master's degree in BS. So when it's all is said and done, how much of a threat is it to local farmers markets? Oh I know they say it won't be but what does it say and what do they really hope to gain from it? Who helped them write it? You know those little farmer markets compete with the corporate grocery stores. Is that what it's really about?

Then there is this part to it-- would it really block our buying anything but genetically modified seeds that cannot reproduce-- something Monsanto definitely wants it to mean? (Added to it, what the heck is this about states banning the collecting of rainwater under the argument it belongs to the government?)

I know I said I'd keep politics elsewhere, but this is cultural. Depending on how it is interpreted, S 510 could directly impact my life as a small rancher, possibly impact our nearby small packing plant, but shouldn't it matter to us all?

If you like to buy your produce at a farmers market, if you want to grow your own food, if you give excess away, if you want to save seed from year to year, you need to look at the links and then do some serious research.

It has passed the House and after tweaking will evidently be voted on in September; so if you don't like it, contact your Senators. If you think government is not your friend when it tries to make it more costly or difficult for you to buy directly from farmers, then you better make your opinion heard as it's sure being heard from the corporate interests. Oh yes, we sure do need more government invasion into our lives. I don't know if we can stop this kind of thing but I have to admit that it would be enough to turn me into a tea partier if this is what it means and it passes!


Now I also read other places that they say it won't apply to the family farm. It's really just about protecting us (where have we heard that before)... but who is the they who says that? Can we seriously trust them? I think the justification is the few cases of e coli that have impacted people's health but how many of those came from the kind of farms that supply to farmers markets? It has happened in corporate farms which are poorly situated with say a hog farm too close-- and it should have already been inspected and closed down with current laws.

Do they want to go down to my Saturday market, your Saturday market and inspect what? Or is it just go to the farms who sell there and inspect what there? Who pays for it? How many people get sick from corn on the cob bought at a Farmers Market? Even more importantly, why aren't we hearing about this and its possible ramifications from our mainstream media? It's a lot more important to many of us than what they do choose to cover.

At first I thought it couldn't possibly happen, at least not under Obama. I mean heck, Michelle Obama is encouraging home gardens, but then I don't know. Look at who supports it and then ask yourself who it benefits. I am sooooo depressed! Have I let myself worry about nothing or is this a real concern?

14 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

I think it's just another infringement on freedom. It scares me.

Michael said...

If one were to take those links at face-value and not read the bill, one would indeed have justification to be worried. However, the simple fact of it is that these links contain a whole lot of untruths. There is nothing in this bill about saving seeds. There's a ton in this bill protecting organics and small producers. It's just that simple. It is written there.

Unfortunately, although they are not responsible for the majority of illnesses, small producers and even farmers markets do contribute to our outbreaks. They're not going to be charged the same fees, or have to do the same paperwork, but after a certain level of sales or volume or risk, some producers are going to get inspected. It's the basic idea that if you sell enough food to people, someone is going to come by and check if you're doing it safely. That way less people should get sick.

I know there is a whole mess of people making stuff up about this bill. Trust me, I read it. But I also have read the bill and understand that these people writing about it aren't always correct.

Rain said...

The problem is always in the interpretation, Michael. A food facility and hazard is a little vague as in last year corporate farms brought us romaine lettuce and spinach that carried e coli. Basically that means every food could come under this category. Here's the link for anybody willing to read the bill and see if they can be sure what it means-- S 510. The problem with most people reading it will be the double talk, the amendments, and by the time you go a ways into it, you wonder if you still have a brain. I am not sure who wrote it as often a legislator puts their name to it but it's written by a lobbyist.

Anyway thanks for voicing your opinion on it. I hope you are right. On the seeds, I think the concern has been about more than this bill for what is going on there. It's difficult right now to find seeds that are not genetically modified which means cannot reproduce. It takes going to small stores to get them.

20th Century Woman said...

I am very interested in this after reading your post and the comment by Michael. I, too, hope that Michael is right. I plan to try to read the bill.

There is a big problem, I think, about the whole question of patents on biological products. I don't know what the answer is. What do you think?

Thanks for a most interesting and thought provoking post.

Ingineer66 said...

More big government from the big government specialists currently running DC. Don't worry about anything, they know more about everything than you do and will take care of your every need. From what doctor you go to, to what medicine you can have, to where you can go school, to what you can eat or drink to what kind of car you can drive, to what you can watch on TV or listen to on the radio, to where you can go on vacation. It will be totalitarian utopia, just like the Taliban without the stonings. Nancy and Barack will protect and provide for us all. Just send them all your money and all your votes and don't worry about a thing.

Ingineer66 said...

Shoot, I just realized I made a political comment and I said I wouldn't do that here. Sorry. At least it is a political subject this time.

Rain said...

You could have added that was from both parties and had more truth to it, ingineer. It's not unique to the democrats lol

Ingineer66 said...

OK you are right on that one. The two I mentioned are just the point men at the present time. We have had several of these feel good "food safety" or "farm animal protection" laws in California. All of them pretty much just make people that live in cities and vote for them feel better, but make life tough or impossible for farmers. Many family dairies in Cali have closed. Only the big corporations can afford all the regulations. Other food gets imported from Mexico since it is too expensive here so instead of some regulated food it comes from a place with almost no regulations. Real smart. Put our local growers out of business and import food from a place with known food problems. Kind of like putting our own steel business under and then importing from China. Or stopping logging on our own forests and then importing wood from Russia. It seems to be happening all over.

mandt said...

To hell with them! They will simply create a black market economy that will by pass their bulls''t and benefit local growers and buyers.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I was here and before I could comment my "computer wizard" arrived.....
The problems that face our country and our world are very frightening to me. Is it something in the nature of "man" that allows for rampant greed and disallows for the TRUE 'milk of human kindnesss'?
Maybe it was ever thus---but it seems to me this sickness--this 'virus', if you will, is worse than ever....Corruption reigns when people loose their social conciounce---they all seem to become socio-paths. Most discouraging and disheartening.

TaraDharma said...

interesting post and comments. Looks as if I'm going to be doing some reading....

all bills, local, state and national, are written by lawyers and lobbyists who have their areas of expertise. Not written for the average person to comprehend easily. Too bad. The League of Women Voters should put out a cheat sheet on bills, like they do with voter initiatives in California. They have a great track record for unbiased analysis.

Rain said...

What worries me about these bills is how many of the Congress people who vote on them know what they said or how they can be interpreted by someone enforcing them?

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

Wondering about whether our elected officials have investigated the ins and outs and implementations and disasters likely to be caused by the bills on which they vote is a sure way to end up with a migraine. Here in AZ we are still rounding up migrants.... what will happen if they are carrying seeds too????
a/b

Ingineer66 said...

Rain, thought you might find this interesting. Today Cuba announced a couple of free market reforms. One of them was to allow Cubans to grow and sell their own fruits and vegetables. Even Cuba is going away from government control of everything and the US is moving towards it.

HAVANA – Cuba has issued a pair of surprising free-market decrees, allowing foreign investors to lease government land for up to 99 years — potentially touching off a golf-course building boom — and loosening state controls on commerce to let islanders grow and sell their own fruit and vegetables.