So much to talk about after being absent for a while recovering from Lyme Disease. Yes, thank you global warming, there is an epidemic of Lyme in Maine this summer and I, careful as I am, got bit. Two months of either extreme pain, terrible fatigue or feeling like my mind had turned to Swiss cheese. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Fortunately I have an excellent primary care provider who treated me promptly and I am well on my way to recovery.
So, enough about me. What is going on in the world of food politics? Weeeeelllllllll, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) is what. Last Monday, the 19th, those of us farmer types who could trooped down to the armory in Augusta to confront the devil himself, Mr. Monsanto, Michael Taylor in his guise as a Deputy Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner. Don’t let the seeming reasonableness of his blog post fool you. this guy does not like, care about or plan to help in any way, small farmers.
Okay, get this, Mike came with a posse. We counted as many as 20 FDA staffers in his entourage. Your tax dollars at work. Staffers who refused to even speak with some of our elected representatives. Evidently Maine has these folks scared. Word on the street is that they are opening a THIRD!!!!! FDA office here in our tiny (under 2 million population), rural state because the local food sovereignty movement is so strong here.
Yes, we actually did pass a few of the local food bills through the legislature last year and some of them even got signed into law. And as much as Mike tries to reassure us that most of the FSMA’s regulations will not apply to our farms because we are so small, it is difficult to believe people whom we KNOW are in the hip pockets of BIG agribusiness. The lobby that wants to suck all the air out of the room for small farmers so that we are all totally dependent on them for our food. Dangerous, chemical, monoculture food. Mr. Monsanto bowing to his corporate masters.
Anyhow down we travelled and spent, as I called it in my testimony, (if you look quick in the linked video you will see me testifying, AMEN sister!) a beautiful haymaking August morning inside telling the government to leave us alone, get out of our business, let Maine feed Maine!!!
Or as Nanny Kennedy put it so eloquently “You know what we’ve figured out here in Maine? If you poison or kill your customers, it’s damn hard to stay in business.”
Even the amazing Mr. Timberlake is on our side now that he has discovered that it is going to hit the bottom line of his apple business. I’ve been saying it a lot lately this movement is making for some strange bedfellows.
More, so much more, later. So glad to have my energy and my brain back. Cheers!