H.R. 3432: And now they come for the cows

PPJ Gazette, Nov. 19, 2011

We know from history that when a country loses its ability to feed its own population, its demise is soon to follow. As a nation we are being systematically, incrementally and intentionally driven to the point where we cannot feed our own people. The quickest way to collapse the economic viability of a nation is to destroy its agricultural sector. It isn’t gold or silver, global investments and markets, or multi-national corporations and illegal agreements that sustain economies. What does sustain and support a vibrant economy is a strong independent agricultural sector.
The underlying backbone to every economic model is agriculture. And that model is not predicated upon anything other than local, hands on, food production in all its forms. Key to undermining and destroying that model is the intentional destruction of the right to engage in agricultural activity using arbitrary regulations, laws, rules and agency police state enforcement actions perpetrated against independent and/or family owned agricultural operations. Creating barriers to entry into agriculture is key to collapsing an independent agricultural sector which is what got us the fake food safety bill passed by “Dirty Harry” Reid, and his merry band of corporate hiney-hugging, US senators.
While these operations may be small financially, in comparison to big Ag industrialized activities, the independent sector comprises the bulk of our food supply. It is this supply that our own government is determined to eradicate in favor of global corporate stakeholders.

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EPA Declares Hay a ‘Pollutant’ To Intimidate Ranchers

Federal Jack, Nov. 6, 2011

During his presentation on the status of the nation’s new country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, and on behalf of the R-CALF USA COOL Committee, R-CALF USA member and Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate was asked a non-COOL question that set convention goers on their heels during the 12th Annual R-CALF USA Convention held August 26-27 in Rapid City, S.D.

“Has the Environmental Protection Agency declared hay a pollutant?” an audience member asked. Callicrate responded affirmatively and explained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently initiated a formal enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for, among other things, failure to store his hay in a pollution containment zone. “Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action,” Callicrate said. “How far are we going to let this agency go before we stand up and do something about it?”

Callicrate said the EPA does not appear to be going after the corporate feedlots. “EPA is turning a blind eye toward the mega-feedlots that are a real risk for pollution and, instead, is antagonizing small to mid-sized family operations in an effort to help their packer-partners capture the entire live cattle supply chain away from family farm and ranch operations.”

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Consumers Losing Faith in Big Food

sott.net, Nov. 3, 2011

Four years ago, a coalition of agribusiness companies and industry groups, including Monsanto, the American Farm Bureau, the Midwest Dairy Council, and the National Pork Producers Council, got together to start the Center for Food Integrity (CFI), a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to build consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system.”

CFI fulfills its mission by performing market research and then concocting spinmeister Frank Luntz-style message testing to come up with ways Big Food can convince Americans to stop worrying and love industrial agriculture.

But perhaps it’s Big Food that has reason to worry: There’s new evidence that eaters are rapidly losing confidence in the food industry.

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US threatened ‘retaliation’ to bully EU into accepting biotech crops, cable shows

Raw Story, Dec. 20, 2010

Reacting to a French pledge to represent the “common interest” in considering biotech foods, a former US ambassador recommended publishing a “retaliation list” of European locations where genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were being grown in hopes that activists would destroy them and “cause some pain” for officials, a leaked diplomatic cable shows.

In a confidential communication dated Dec. 14, 2007 and released by WikiLeaks on Sunday, then-US Ambassador to France Craig Roberts Stapleton recommended creating the list if France and the EU continued to ban biotech seeds.

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Why Monsanto is paying farmers to spray its rivals’ herbicides

Monsanto’s ongoing humiliation proceeds apace. No, I’m not referring to the company’s triumph in our recent “Villains of Food” poll. Instead, I’m talking about a Tuesday item from the Des Moines Register’s Philip Brasher, reporting that Monsanto has been forced into the unenviable position of having to pay farmers to spray the herbicides of rival companies.
If you tend large plantings of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” soy or cotton, genetically engineered to withstand application of the company’s Roundup herbicide (which will kill the weeds — supposedly — but not the crops), Monsanto will cut you a $6 check for every acre on which you apply at least two other herbicides. One imagines farmers counting their cash as literally millions of acres across the South and Midwest get doused with Monsanto-subsidized poison cocktails.