Posts Tagged ‘food safety’

The FDA Strikes Again!

Okay, it is Saturday night after a looonnnngggg week at Fedco Trees and an active day of wood-splitting, bee-feeding and maple-tree-tapping but I have to write about this one whether I’m exhausted or not.   The Food and Drug Administration has decided that it hasn’t pissed off enough farmers lately with the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA).  An act designed by Monsanto to put small farmers out of business.   Now it is going to make the lives of small livestock owners and brewers more difficult by not allowing an age-old form of recycling.   This is what the Portland Press Herald had to say about the practice:”Maine’s craft brewers and farmers have had a standing agreement for years: After the brewers take malt sugars and flavors from various grains, farmers get the leftovers as cheap, protein-rich feed for their livestock. The breweries offload a waste product without paying to process it or putting it in a landfill.”   Sounds like something that makes a lot of sense, right?   Well the FDA is not getting much of a reputation for common sense these days.

As the mother of a talented amateur brewer who aspires to own a micro-brewery some day and as the owner of a small flock of laying hens, who are damn expensive to feed these days, this pisses me off on two levels.  I wish there were a brewery close enough by to provide me with this nutritious and delicious waste product.  And I hope that this sensible form of reuse will be available to my son if and when he opens up his own brewery (his Maple Syrup Porter alone will support the place, it is that good).  But not if the FDA has its way.  “The agency plans to require brewers to treat the byproduct as animal feed, meaning it would have to be dried and packaged before being fed to animals, or dumped in landfills.”    More expense, more regulation, more $$$ for someone, obviously.   But not  for the small struggling farmer or the people who make the stuff that proves that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Way to go FDA.   Keep it up.   Keep adding more and more onerous regulations to the FSMA rules and you’ll find yourself with a full on farmers revolt on your hands.  And pissed off beer drinkers, too!

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Tin Foil Hat, You Say?

This post is for all my friends and acquaintances who think I am a tinfoil-hat-wearing-paranoid.    Sometimes they really are spying on us, sneaking around, and trying to discredit us.   At a meeting the other day a friend mentioned the name Tyrone Hayes.   Well, I had never heard of Dr. Hayes before that and I wrote down his name to look up later.  Then today another friend posted this article about Syngenta’s campaign to discredit any scientist that dared question the safety of its products.    And there was Dr. Hayes.   Target #1 on their slimy corporate hit list.   Read this article and then tell me the SOBs aren’t out to get us.

In a recent profile of Hayes in the New Yorker there is this quote “the scientists wrote that one set of studies on a single species was ‘not a sufficient edifice on which to build a regulary assessment.” Citing a paper by Hayes, who had done an analysis of sixteen atrazine studies, they wrote that “the single best predictor of whether or not the herbicide atrazine had a significant effect in a study was the funding source.'”  Go read that one, too.

Baker’s Green Acres and DNR Antics

Latest update from Baker’s Green Acres.

I have to say this guy is doing the right thing in fighting the bureaucrats over this right to farm issue but I have a few problems with his presentation.   I don’t know if the DNR bureaucrat is Jewish or not but his name is Harry not Hymie and the fact that Mark Baker makes that “slip of the tongue” several times in this video does nothing to help his (Mark’s) case as far as I am concerned.

Otherwise this is good news.   Typical of the bureaucrats to back off once they know they have lost.   Anyhow watch it for yourself and see what you think:

SWAT Team Raids Sustainable Farm

This from the Blog “Hang the Bankers” dated 22 Dec 2013:

“At around seven thirty last Friday morning, inhabitants of The Garden of Eden, a small Intentional Community based on Sustainability, were awakened by a SWAT raid conducted by the City of Arlington for suspicion of being a full fledged marijuana growth and trafficking operation. Ultimately only a single arrest was made based on unrelated outstanding traffic violations, a handful of citations were given for city code violations, and zero drug related violations were found.”

Read the whole post and watch the video.   This is scary shit.  Sorry to be Debbie Downer during the holidays.

Got Raw Milk?

Thanks to my friend Heather Retberg for bringing this to my attention.   Listen all the way to the end where he talks about how the government treats farmers with such disrespect.

[http://wabe.org/post/got-raw-milk-government-wants-know]

I also like the bit where he says GMOs are a contamination, too, and should be labeled at least.

Listeria and Food Safety in the News

100_2115Once again the CDC has to step in when the USDA and FDA fail to “protect” us from food borne illness.    A Listeria outbreak linked to Crave Brothers Les Freres cheese is in the news.    This irritates the hell out of me for many reasons.   I feel badly for the victims and I feel angry that, once again, the food consumers of America are being hoodwinked and bamboozled into believing that these government agencies truly can keep our food supply safe.

 

The argument we heard again and again at the Maine State Legislature this session; when we were testifying about local food ordinances, raw milk, on-farm poultry processing and other Local Food Rules bills; was this:  we have to have regulation because that is the ONLY way to keep people safe.

 

Yeah, just like the red, orange, yellow, green Homeland Security warnings kept us safe from the Boston and Newtown tragedies.    Come on folks.   Yes, regulation may, or may not, keep our food safer but there are other ways to accomplish the same goal.   Ways that are not mutually exclusive with regulations.   Go ahead and regulate the big guys.   Knowing that you may or may not succeed in keeping the food supply safe.   But let the little guys alone.   Again, if a farmer is selling her or his goods face-to-face with consumers the chance of the food being crappy or old or contaminated is very, very small.   Farmers who try to pull that will not have many customers so there will be fewer people poisoned.

 

Oh, and by the way, this is the wording on the ingredients page of the Crave Brothers website: “Cultured Pasteurized Whole Milk, Enzymes, Salt.”   Notice the word pasteurized.   This was not the dangerous RAW milk cheese that so many fear.   The cheese that caused one person to die and another to lose her baby was made from milk that was PASTEURIZED!   The ultimate in safety, right?   Or so we are led to believe.

 

Buyers beware.   That is the bottom line.   Be aware that the USDA and FDA have, as one of their main missions, keeping the consuming public comfortable with the safety of the general food supply.   They are concerned about food safety, yes, but they are also concerned with perpetuating the wobbly notion that, just because they are regulating and inspecting our food, it is ALWAYS safe.   Keeping the engine of the economy humming along with blissful ignorance.  Keeping the folks at Cargill, Monsanto and the other big agribusinesses happy contributors to political campaigns by regulating and inspecting in the most superficial and least onerous manner possible.

 

How safe do you feel now?

More GMO Information

 

Here’s some info about GMOs for the folks who will be voting, in California,  to label the food we eat.