Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food Safety Rant: The Senate Bill Passeth

I can't remember a time in my life when a Senate bill has caused such a stir with such a broad spectrum of people. The critical arguments and scathing documentaries about food systems in this country have taken hold of the mass mind, I think. People are wary. Distrust of government is high. Everybody's getting frisked. The tendency is: look to how hard they're gonna screw us now. As always, Big Ag is lurking in the halls of legislation.

For many of us, small farmers or otherwise, the ramifications of the bill are obscured by the process in which it is written and passed and diminished in meaning through the very words themselves, which, being neither plain nor explicit tell in no way what needs to be done to produce and provide safe food to everyone in this country. (The sentence above is tame and legible contrasted with what passes for legal language in our society today.) What will actually happen if and when this bill is executed? What will it actually say? What other laws will be hitched to its star? And how will these laws effect the life and way of agriculture in this country?

I have no idea.

Watching and reading as this legal process unfolds, I'm more curious to know why we even have this government at all. It's shocking how very little progress is made in Washington to address the broad and disturbing issues facing our country's economies and agro-ecosystems. (Not to mention health care, education, peace and security.) It seems impossible to think that the very legal machine which paved the way for this obviously demented military-industrial-food-energy-resource-outsource-corporation complex can do anything at all to limit, prevent, or heal the damage it has done and will continue to do to our soils, our health, our culture, und so weiter.

At what point do we, as the beyond organic local sustainable resilient inter-dependent creative collaborative peace culture, detach ourselves from the trainwreck and outline realistic plans to self-organize around modes of production, consumption, and recycling that align with our values?

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