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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another of those senate bills-- S 510

If you have interest in home gardens and food production, please check this out and let me know what you think. I got an email this morning; and when I did some research online, it looks like it's not a fraud and a real bill, but exactly what the bill really means, I am not sure.

I know some really do get off on creating paranoia on others; but I also know our government is too often in the pocket of the corporate interests. I am a believer in heirloom seeds; so this is a direct shot at something I consider important. It could be in the future for everyone who gardens if we found it difficult to get to a store or our supply system broken down.

Those who save seeds from season to season do cut into the profits of someone like Monsanto. Those who don't want the genetically engineered product but prefer the old-fashioned vegetable versions do also; but is that what this bill is about? I had a hard time deciding after I looked a bit online.

Check it out and let me know what you think. If you think it's a real concern, then it's time to write your senators before they vote on another bill they haven't bothered to read... If it's just another example of paranoia, I'd like to hear that also. It would relieve my mind as sometimes I feel our politicians, left and right, are just out there to 'get' us!

Update: Because I had written what is above based on an email, I got it out quickly but want to add that the synchronicity of it coming right now has blended with two other things.

One is I have been reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, A Year of Food life. It's about growing or buying most everything you eat locally to cut down on not only the shipping costs that are so much a part of food but also to eat more naturally and healthily. Her book is about her family's adventure in doing exactly that.

Farm Boss and I have been discussing expanding our garden next year and already knew where it was going but this book is enthusing me even more. She is very high on Heirloom seeds and plants which I am also for them being better to eat, proven over many generations more tasty, and very unpopular with the big corporate interests who create genetically modified food and want the rest of us to likewise eat what they would produce.

If you aren't really up on the problems of the corporate world for controlling our food supply, I recommend the book as it's an enjoyable read, as Kingsolver always is, but it's also very informative.

Then the second shoe that had dropped for me right now-- watching the DVD documentary Collapse which is a monologue by Michael Ruppert about the oil shortage to come and what it will mean to cultures around the world. Maybe he is an alarmist and then again, maybe not.

He ends it (I'll be writing about it again) with a big emphasis on trying to become as food independent as possible and using Heirloom seeds as part of that process. This isn't about what we do to impact our government, as he's not sure and neither am I that we can, but it's about what we do for our own families if such a time comes.

At the least being more food independent is healthy for those who can do it and everywhere I go, I see towns and cities providing small plots for individuals without yards large enough to grow food. For all the people running out to gyms to exercise, gardening provides a pretty all around set of exercises and then good food as a reward. Admittedly the elderly cannot do a lot of that; but if those of us who can, do, we can help elderly neighbors if something really does turn bad for our culture.


Taradharma said...

Rain, thank you for this excellent post. I had not heard about the bill specifically (though I went to the linked article and wow - I signed the petition as well) but I have read stories about Monsanto suing small farmers and home gardeners for use of Monsanto seeds (because Monsanto's product cross bred with a private farm or garden). It's outrageous. It's not paranoid, it's real. I posted this on my facebook page and will be emailing everyone I know. I have watched, over the course of my short life-time (53 years) corps take over more and more. I used to think all that 'talk' about evil corporations was just paranoia -- not any more.

20th Century Woman said...

Rain, I spent some time reading about this and looked at the link you included. Nobody seems to be able to really sort this out. My opinion of the link in your post is that it is a bit hysterical, and I suspect its motives since it comes out of Tiwan, and is not a legitimate non-profit. The best discussion I found in my brief search is:

Rain Trueax said...

What always gets me about something like this is we have all these news programs that rehash the same stories over and over and yet we have to hear about this through the internet! What is wrong with our media? Whatever this bill actually does, it should be discussed in the news to let Americans know as this kind of thing impacts us more than most of what they are wallowing in! This bill does relate to our food supply and they should be explaining it to us pro or con; so we can voice our opinions and yet they stick to what Nancy Pelosi will do next. How many of us care!

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks for the link. There was a lot more in the email like this link to a video-- Video from Natural News. and this one Canadian whistleblower on the law; and Food Freedom. What I hoped is that people would research it. I had read a blog a few months ago or longer by Ugich where she was discussing something Monsanto pulled in India. I went looking for that link; Dire Straits Brinjal.

I am a lot more concerned with the bills that seem to be about one thing and then slip in some little feature that we find out later is really a big deal which would be the seed issue to me.

Rain Trueax said...

And here's another link that takes you to who supports it and who opposes(assuming any of them even know what is totally in it as often they don't. I don't see any Congress person voting something that would ban backyard gardens or saving seeds if they knew it was what it was about but how often don't they know? They like how it sounds. Their staff might read it but they have been busy elsewhere like taking trips or running for office or raising money.

More importantly to me is why wasn't this on the news I watch or read. I watch a lot of it and not a word pro or con. That is what really makes me mad. They dwell on the same meaningless things over and over and ignore something like this which might really matter to someone like me.

S 510

Rain Trueax said...

Coincidentally as I was reading in Kingsolver's book, she had two links to suggest people look at for more information on how genetically modified foods might impact us including our health:

Organic Consumers, and I have one more that I have been following:

Slow Foods

Rain Trueax said...

Oops lost the first link from Kingsolver's book-- biotech info

Taradharma said...

well, I got an hear-full after posting on facebook. I also got a letter back from my senator explaining the amended bill. So, I guess I didn't do my research either -- I read the link and didn't realize it was outdated. Oh well!!

The whole seed thing has been in the news for awhile - and I still think stinkin' corporations are too powerful, but I should've looked further into this. I appreciate your other reader's links as well.

Rain Trueax said...

That is great on your senator, Tara. I think it's not bad they know we are considering this a big issue as from what I am reading on what has happened elsewhere, we don't want it sneaking in here!

Rain Trueax said...

This is a link referring to that amendment and still debating with various viewpoints whether it helps or not-- Tester's amendment to S 510 to help small farms. Here is the thing. How many of these deaths came from farmer's markets? If they came out of poor food handling like say at the church barbecue, then how will this measure help? I wrote about all of this in the spring and I feel strongly that where big food producers doubtless need a watchdog agency, it's supposed to already be in place. Farmer's markets are not where the problem is occurring. And I think, if people ignore this, the seed limitations will be thrown in there as the corporations that make those genetically modified seeds are just waiting for people to look the other way...

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I hadn't read this Kingsolver book but I've put it on my list of books to get from the library. Everything is so scary these days. Sometimes I feel like Steven Colbert.

Kay Dennison said...

I really enjoyed this post and agree with you. I come from a long line of farmers and saving seeds was a must for them and my mom always saved seeds from our gardens and flower beds.

This is yet another travesty against all of us.

And yes, I'm going to sign the petition and read the Kingsolver book!