S 510: The Crisis, the Attack, the Kill

In this three-part series, Food Chain Radio host Michael Olson interviews key people in the food freedom movement. From gun-blazing bureaucrats who attack small food producers to legislation like S 510 which threatens to hyper-regulate whole food operators out of business, Olson questions guests about government motives, who’s behind the legislation, and where the crisis really lies.

Olson notes that the U.S. “has a serious food safety crisis, and so its agents, with guns drawn and warrants in hand, are breaking down the doors of the little people who sell food to their neighbors. But wait… which is in crisis: local food or industrial food?”

A quarter of the US – 76 million people – are sickened each year by foodborne diseases, and 5,000 die from them. But less than one-tenth of one percent of these are caused by whole foods, naturally grown and unadultered by chemicals and drugs.

In these interviews, in recent films, and in books like David Gumpert’s The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights, we learn that industrial food is to blame for the vast majority of people who become ill or die.

Instead of shutting down large operators like Wright County Egg, which sold half a billion contaminated eggs, state and federal agents raid small businesses that caused no one illness. (Here’s a recent story, not covered in the broadcast, but which adds to the list of small operators being targeted, who have not sickened anyone.)

Clearly, food safety is not the issue. Instead, we’re advised, follow the money.

Over the past seventy years, food production has been increasingly monopolized into the hands of fewer and fewer farms. The graph below shows the number of US farms and their size from 1900 to 2007. Where we once had nearly six and half million farms, averaging 147 acres in size, the latest USDA figures show just over two million farms, averaging 418 acres in size. Averages hide the further concentration by farming giants which often lease several different plots. (Data from USDA and Ag Classrom.)

Factory foods comprise most of the US diet. Industrial food adulterations are directly responsible for the skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart and neurological diseases. Farm overuse of antibiotics has led to drug resistance in humans.

In response, sensible consumers are moving to whole foods grown locally and organically. The number of farmers markets, food co-ops and farm shares is growing exponentially. The USDA Economic Research Service reports that organic farming became one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture during the 1990s. Certified organic cropland “more than doubled from 1992 to 1997, and doubled again between 1997 and 2001.” It doubled yet again between 2002 and 2005.

As encouraging as this is, only a half a percent of all US farmland is certified organic. That amounted to about 4.8 million acres in 2008, ERS reports.

But Big Food isn’t about to give up any market share without a fight. And Big Food owns government.

Olson told me, “My day job for the past 15 years is General Manager of a 10,000 watt newstalk radio station that programs over 10 hours per day of local content. Much of what I hear the community talking about on the radio consists of the following:

“From the left: ‘I hate big business because big business wants to take all the money and leave me in poverty.’

“From the right: ‘I hate big government because big government wants to take all my freedom and turn me into a slave.’

“I am truly amazed that we on the left and we on the right do not recognize how much we share in common. Instead, we spend our days throwing apples at each other over the backyard fence while they – Big Business and Big Government – steal our grandchildren into pecuniary slavery.

“There is something we can all do to break free from this tyranny. It is so simple it will make you blush! I will introduce it next week on the ‘From Food to Freedom’ edition of the Food Chain Radio show.”

Each of these 40-minute podcasts gives vital information to those who care about what they put into their bodies, and government encroachment on food freedom – the right to eat what nature provides, unadulterated and unmodified by drugs or chemicals or pasteurization.

Show #697: GODS THAT DAMN FOOD PART I: THE CRISIS – 4 Sept. 2010 (8.52 MB) DownloadListen buy cd version

Guests: Sally Fallon Morell of Weston A. Price Foundation and Pete Kennedy of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Topics include how fresh whole milk has become the battleground of food safety; why government has become so frightened of fresh whole milk; and why government is telling us, “You have no absolute right to consume any particular food.”

Show #698: GODS THAT DAMN FOOD PART II: THE ATTACK – 11 Sep 2010 (8.67 MB) DownloadListen buy cd version

Guest: Brigette Ruthman of Joshua’s Farm in Massachusetts, and Aajonus Vonderplanitz of the Rawsome Food Co-op in Los Angeles

Topics include a look at government enforcement actions against the purveyors of fresh, whole foods; why government is attacking small producers with little or no food safety problems, while ignoring giant producers with huge food safety problems; and what government hopes to accomplish by attacking the little people.

Show #699: GODS THAT DAMN FOOD PART III: THE KILL – 18 Sept. 2010 (8.87 MB) DownloadListen buy cd version

Guests: Judith McGeary from Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance and author Dr. Shiv Chopra, formerly of Health Canada (FDA equivalent), who rejected the use of bovine growth hormone in Canada’s milk.

Topics include a look at what foods are in crisis; who is telling government how to make food safe; and what impact S510 and related food safety legislation will have on our access to food.

Another bill, S 3767, the Food Safety Accountability Act, makes it a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to “introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce.” Stanley Fishman notes that the “bill also appears to provide the same punishment for introducing ‘adulterated’ food into interstate commerce. These terms are so vague and so broad that they could cover almost anything…. Any supplement or food could be labeled as ‘misbranded.’”

But other legislation that supports food freedom has been introduced: HR 4913, the Free Speech about Science Act; HR 3394, the Freedom of Health Speech Act; and HR 3395, the Health Freedom Act. All of these address claims about food and dietary supplements, which Mike Adams of Natural News supports.

Spend a couple hours – listen to the entire series. Hear what good and decent small-time farmers have to say about what they are enduring, today, in the Land of the Free.

Michael Olson authored MetroFarm: Growing for Profit in or Near the City. Food Chain Radio airs Saturday mornings at 9 am Pacific. Past shows can be accessed here.

Rady Ananda began blogging in 2004. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including three books on election fraud. Most of her career was spent working for lawyers in research, investigations and as a paralegal. She graduated from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture with a B.S. in Natural Resources. Read other articles by Rady.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. hayate said on October 2nd, 2010 at 8:49am #

    The purpose of the u.s. guv is to facilitate corporate control. Always has been. The difference between now and before the raygun regime is that the corporates are so high and drunk on their power now, they don’t bother to pretend any more that the regs they write for the guv to enforce are for the public’s benefit. It’s straight back to the slavery and serfdom of the 19th century for americans, now. Only this time the robber barons are much centrally and better organised.

    And they have a sacred, unifying cause – zionism.

  2. bozh said on October 2nd, 2010 at 11:36am #

    U control just eating and u control me as well. My wife knew that when she had been a child.
    But in those ancient days of 50 or 500 yrs ago, they indeed fed u. Alas, no longer! They drug u! But why? Or do our masters know why?
    Or is it because drug growers making oodles of money outta it and sharing it with the pols who say,like shultz used to: I see nothing. I know nothing.
    That i do believe: pols knew nothing about food; i.e. nutrition. They do know more now but have shared in robbery too much to now speak about it.

    They fed us or we fed one another well; nevertheless, were as much serfs or slaves ]in some cases] as we are today.
    Some people call this phenomenon an “invariance under transformation”. But other wisers also noted it by saying: the more things change the more they stay the same.
    I saw that saying for the first time about 50 yrs ago.
    However, having finished last in my class, i thought that i was to dumb to learn what it meant.
    Now we all know or shld know. However, trns of words flow on privately-owned bull horns and this fact is either much or totally ignored.
    Even most posters on DV ignore the mostever important observation: that we have been owned, we are owned now, and alway will, unless….. tnx

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 3rd, 2010 at 6:19am #

    It doesn’t get much plainer,surely, that the political elites of the US are psychopaths, without conscience or remorse, utterly controlled by the psychopaths of business. The drive to destroy organic food production and consumption was as predictable as the rising of the Sun.The psychopaths not only are determined to protect every cent of their hyper-profits, but also live to dominate. There is nothing they enjoy more, not even making money, than pushing people around, and destroying the lives of those unlike themselves.
    It would be a tragic error to under-estimate just how viscerally the Right desires to destroy environmentalism, organic agriculture and any manifestation of a worldview other than their own, ie one that puts anything above greed and exploitation. As the organic food industry is strangled out of existence, you can bet your life that the hatemongering apparatus of the Rightwing media will peddle lie after lie, vilification heaped on calumny, to delegitimise and dehumanise the organic movement.
    In Australia, for example,in a related food scandal and disaster, the repellent Howard regime refused, for years, to do anything about junk-food peddling to children. Despite the increasingly impassioned pleas of paediatricians, nutritionists and child welfare agencies to legislate against the open slather of advertising directed at children, and despite the unequivocal evidence of an epidemic of childhood obesity, ever worsening, they listened, instead, to the corporate child molesters of the food industry and advertising. The Minister responsible, the repulsive Tony Abbott, insisted that it was a parental responsibility, ‘blaming the victim’ being very pathopsychologically rewarding on the Right, and that it owed more to lack of exercise than the intake of poisonous sludge disguised as food. The Howard successor regime, that of the sanctimonious prig Rudd, and his Zionist-controlled successor, Gillard, naturally followed Howardite policy to the letter, as they did in all things.
    It is well to remember here that an epidemic of ill-health caused by obesity caused by chronic poor nutrition might seem a social evil, but only to Leftwing, ‘do-gooder’, ‘nanny-state’ busybodies. The ‘do-badders’ of the Right understand that chronic ill-health is a smashing ‘market opportunity’ for the medical-industrial complex of Big Pharma, private health and private insurance companies. Just another manifestation of how market capitalism, with its sole concern with profit maximisation, destroys everything it comes into contact with.

  4. x77dude said on October 6th, 2010 at 5:30pm #

    Mulga Mumblebrain writes: “It would be a tragic error to under-estimate just how viscerally the Right desires to destroy environmentalism, organic agriculture and any manifestation of a worldview other than their own, ie one that puts anything above greed and exploitation. As the organic food industry is strangled out of existence, you can bet your life that the hatemongering apparatus of the Rightwing media will peddle lie after lie, vilification heaped on calumny, to delegitimise and dehumanise the organic movement.”

    I consider myself to be “Right”. Or, at least very conservative/libertarian. I am very much in favor of the small, organic farmer. I drink raw milk, and will NOT drink that white-colored, dead, pasteurized liquid stuff. I prefer grass-fed beef and free-range eggs where the chickens actually spend most of their day out-of-doors. I don’t “hate” anybody. If YOU want to eat dead, lifeless, food-like substances, you’re very welcome to do so; just allow ME to choose what it is that I want to put into my body! I believe in choice. Unfortunately, my government seems to think that they know what is “best” for me, and the opportunity to make any choice, much less an informed choice, is severely limited–all in the name of profits. And that makes me really PISSED OFF!!

  5. j30 said on October 8th, 2010 at 10:02pm #

    yeah, when it comes to food, there is no Left-Right paradigm. We ALL want the freedom to eat healthy or not, without government interference. without corporate interference.

    btw, x77, there’s an interesting discussion at Activist Post about finding common ground among “popul

    See 5 Key Principles that Unite Populist Progressives and Tea Party ibertarians.

  6. j30 said on October 8th, 2010 at 10:06pm #

    oops, dropped the L in Libertarian

    ~ Rady