Friday, December 22, 2006

Weakening organic standards

The USDA has an organic advisory board which is being packed with representatives from large industrial agribusiness concerns. The board is in a position to define what the word "organic" means, as far as what practices are observed to eliminate pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and other chemicals and poisons from the food we eat. Read about the current state of the board here in the article by Megan Tady of the New Standard.

Presumably, this article also functions as a good indicator of the state of the USDA during the Bush regime. In other words, the USDA functions to represents big business rather than to keep food supplies safe, and agriculture renewable and sustainable.

I don't know why it is but since we've had that psychopathic moron Bush in office, there has been this idea stated over and over again that these huge businesses that control so many things can be trusted with our food supply, our economy, our infrastructure. It was bad enough under Clinton, there was NAFTA, and a lot of creepy pro-megabusiness things going on. But now, given the evidence of so much greed and corruption (Haliburton comes to mind- read up on the scandals surrounding its stake in the Iraq boondoggle), it is particularly unwise and devastating to continue to allow foxes to guard our henhouses.

The Organic Consumers Association is grass roots non-profit that works, among other healty, vital things, to keep the meaning of the word organic from changing into something the mega-corporations can throw around in an attempt at short term gain and smashing competition from smaller farms.

If huge corporations had their way, our entire food supply would be nothing but tasteless poison. You can easily taste the difference between vegetables and meat grown in corporate conditions versus those grown in a truly natural setting. Places like McDonalds have to infuse their food with flavor agents to make it even taste like food. Read Fast Food Nation for a chilling, well researched and packed-with evidence report on routine agribusiness practices. I heard the movie was not that good- but the book showed the journalistic talent of the San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Eric Schlosser, who wrote it. I have not spent a dime at McDonald's or the like since, except for the time I saw a movie with a coworker who needed to have coffee and cookies after.

Organic farmers have an eye toward a healthy end product, without the wake of environmental and economic destruction left by mega-agribusiness. Tune in and think. Read up. And think what happens when our food supply consists of frankencrops and animals not even given the dignity due to living things. We parish, that's what. We can't survive eating poison and shit, and that's what the mega-corporations like Con Agra and the like feed us- it's well-documented, and with the money these folks are making (that's right, at the heart of all this nasty stuff is people, not some robot like corporate entity, but people, very very rich people) it is best for them to invest some in changing their ways of doing business so that our one-and-only planet, and our one-and-only community are sustained in a healthy manner.

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