Barbara H. Peterson Farm Wars Recently a farmer in Washington State found that he could not sell his crop of alfalfa to his regular buyers because testing confirmed the presence of genetically modified genes (GMOs) in it. His crop was rejected, and he informed the USDA. This is the USDA’s response:
The detection of a small amount of genetically modified material in a Washington state farmer’s non-GMO alfalfa crop constitutes a “commercial issue” only and does not warrant any government action…So, let me get this straight. The government pushes GMOs on the marketplace through deregulation and promotion of the technology by various agencies until it is flooded, then sits back and tells the people who have been contaminated by this onslaught to just sit back and let the market decide. Sounds like a stacked deck to me.
And to top it all off, the counties in Oregon that are trying to ban the planting of GMOs in order to hold off the onslaught of contamination that results from these irresponsible and aggressive actions of the federal government in its zeal to push GMO technology for its cohorts Monsanto and company, are now confronted by a state attack in the form of a Monsanto Protection Act placed in an unrelated tax bill. Note the “other provisions” in bold at the bottom of the following article:
Governor Kitzhaber, Legislative leaders come to agreement on additional school funding, PERS reform, assistance for small business and working families
Governor to call a Special Session September 30
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber and legislative leaders have agreed on a framework to boost education funding by $140 million to restore lost school days and provide tuition relief for Oregon students this school year. The agreement combines cost savings from additional PERS reforms and new revenue to fund education, mental health and senior services, and targeted tax relief for small business owners and working families. The Governor will call the Legislature into special session on September 30 to act on the framework in time to allow schools to invest this year.
“This is the Oregon way,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “I applaud my legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle for once again coming together for the benefit of all Oregonians. This framework offers a balanced approach that will allow for a sustained reinvestment in Oregon education and other critical services, like mental health, over the long term. We’re delivering for Oregon’s children, for Oregon’s economy, for Oregon’s future.”
Elements of the framework agreement include: INVESTMENTS 2013-15 – $211 millionHere is a portion of the text of the Oregon State Monsanto Protection Act SB 633 and a PDF download of the entire document:
• Boosts School Funding – $100 million in new revenue for K-12• Reinvests in Higher Education – $40 million for community college & university tuition relief• Supports Working Families – $12 million expansion of the EITC (from Ending Fund Balance beginning January 1, 2014)• Dedicates Funding for Mental Health – $20 million dedicated from 10 cent cigarette tax• Supports Oregon’s Seniors – $41 million for senior programsPERS
• Improves the Financial Stability of PERS – $4.6 billion in overall reduction of the unfunded actuarial liability when combined with SB 822 with further adjustments to the PERS COLA.• Reduces PERS COLA while mitigating impacts on lower-wage workers.• Additional PERS transparency and confidence building measures.REVENUE – 2013-15
• $244 million in new revenue for 2013-15 biennium• Includes Small and Family Business Tax Relief by lowering rate on pass-through business active income, and a Fair Trade Tax Treatment for certain agricultural exporters (2013-15 phase-in totaling $43 million)Other provisions
• To allow consideration of statewide GMO policy, agreement to preempt local bans (SB 633) except in counties where local ordinances have already qualified for elections. Governor to convene work group to address GMOs at the state level.• The Governor will issue a letter stating he will sign none of the bills unless all bills make it to his desk.http://www.oregon.gov/gov/media_room/Pages/press_releases/press_091813.aspx
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a local government may not enact or enforce a measure, including but not limited to, an ordinance, regulation, control area or quarantine, to inhibit or prevent the production or use of agricultural seed, flower seed or vegetable seed or products of agricultural seed, flower seed or vegetable seed. The prohibition imposed by this subsection includes, but is not limited to, any measures for regulating the display, distribution, growing, harvesting, labeling, marketing, mixing, notification of use, planting, possession, processing, registration, storage, transportation or use of agricultural seed, flower seed or vegetable seed or products of agricultural seed, flower seed or vegetable seed.It doesn’t get any more direct than that. Since there are several counties now actively attempting to ban the planting of GMOs in their localities, this would effectively ban their ability to do that via legislative action. Notice that even a ban on labeling is included.
So, the federal government pushes GMO technology on the market, the state government attempts to pass legislation prohibiting anyone from restricting this technology at the local level in the state, then the USDA says that if you get contaminated by this technology, oh well, the market will decide your fate.
Like I stated earlier, we are playing against a house that is dealing from the bottom of a stacked deck. If we don’t stand up and reject this tyranny, we will get exactly what they have in store for us – a flood of GMOs so complete that it will wash over us until we have nothing left to eat, or drink, or breathe for that matter, that isn’t genetically modified.
©2013 Barbara H. Peterson