Thursday, December 24, 2009

Marler Team's Naughty Or Nice List

While I'm posting lists, here are two from the tireless food safety crusader Bill Marler and his Food Safety News team. (I swiped their avatar too. Love those shoes.)

Food Safety News Naughty List 2009
Food Safety News Nice List 2009

There's an item on the Naughty list that bums me out:
NAUGHTY: Some raw milk, small and sustainable agriculture advocates who confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills. It really is about food safety, and is not a gigantic conspiracy by Monsanto to wipe out organic and backyard farms!
It's a small and privileged group in this country who have access to local, organic, sustainably raised food:
"According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), less than 1% of American cropland is farmed organically. Sustainable food is also pricier than conventional food and harder to find."
- America's Food Crisis and How to Fix It, Time Magazine, August 200
Why would that group hold hostage legislation intended to improve the safety of food for the majority of people?

Millions in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, those on fixed and limited incomes, these people have no choice but to eat the 99% of food that is industrially produced. And now they have to wait on improved food safety while a privileged few seek to preserve their access to the nation's premium food.


Matt said...

Why would it burn you up that there's a bill out there that will severely restrict the healthiest food manufacturers from doing what they do best? It's not that complicated, there is a companion bill out there now that would solve a lot of the problems with legislation as is. Factory farms should be held to more rigorous standards than small, pastured, organic farms. They are different organizations entirely. What's good for Perdue is not good for the guy that has 50 chickens, but the bill will ensure that the guy who has 50 chickens doesn't pay a comparatively lower regulatory fee than Perdue.

Here are the articls Marler links to, which tell the case pretty well. This hardly feels naughty, this feels appropriate.

Melissa said...

Do you really think the government can do a good job? The government is the one who criminally prosecuted a small raw milk producer, but has let big meat magnates poison millions while staying rich. No wonder people are skeptical and unsupportive.

If the elite food movement is so insignificantly small as you say it is, why couldn't they just have exempted small producers? After all, it's only a tiny group of people eating these foods.

But in this tiny group are people who are fighting hard to bring good food to those who need it most. These are the people who would be hurt by the government crushing. I work for a small non-profit that runs gardening and food stamp farmers markets in poor neighborhoods. It's not just about rich people.