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Central Florida Raw Food Connection Message Board › short history of GMO food & proposed bill HR 875

short history of GMO food & proposed bill HR 875

A former member
Post #: 3
The following describes what has happened to our food supply ~ silently and right before our eyes since 1983. Proposed bill HR 875 is a catalyst for us to take action and make some global changes. Even if this bill doesn't pass, our food supply is still being controlled by huge corporations and the action steps at the end of this document will help.

This is a link to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (proposed bill HR 875):

The following information has been summarized from my study of food and nutrition and predominantly from the book Uncertain Peril by Clarie Hope Cummings published in 2008. I have referenced the page numbers and quoted her text where applicable.

1983 marked the beginning of genetically modified food. Genetically modified means that DNA from another plant or ANIMAL has been injected into the DNA of, for example, a corn plant. To get this genetic change to go into DNA, a virus is injected with it so the host cell accepts it. A terminator gene is also injected, which makes the seed unable to germinate after producing one crop. The antibiotic Tetracycline is currently being used as a terminator gene. {think of antibiotic resistant pathogens and MRSA}. Also, toxins from diptheria or excessive hormone production are being used to make the seed infertile. (p. 78-79) None of this has been proven to be safe for our food supply or beneficial for the consumer in any way. "The bottom line for the technology is that its only use is to create products; it cannot be, and has not been, used to solve real problems." "...genetic engineering is an invention in search of a necessity." (p. 76)

From Cummings book, "The FDA's Statement of Policy, published in the Federal Register in 1992, says, 'Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.' The industry position is captured in a statement made by Monsanto's director of corporate communications, who said, 'Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job.'" (p. 16)

Section 102 (a) of proposed bill HR 875: "Transfer of Functions and Resources- For each component of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Commerce specified in subsection (b), there are transferred to the Administration all functions, personnel, and assets...of those components ...that relate to administration or enforcement of the food safety law..." and Section 102 (c):"The Food and Drug Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services is hereby renamed the Federal Drug and Device Administration..."

We are now responsible to know for ourselves if our food is safe ~ avoid Genetically Modified (GM or GMO) products ~ they are not required to be labeled, are currently being tested on us in our food supply without scientific backing for safety.

The Monsanto corporation is the largest supplier of genetically modified seeds. As of 2007 they owned over 11,000 patents to seeds - all different types of fruits, vegetables, herbs and grains. These patents grant them ownership over a plant or certain constituents of a plant.

Patents have also recently been taken out on "...nanoscale versions of 466 traditional Chinese medicines." (p. 188)

The Monsanto corporation as well as other biotech seed companies are backing this proposed bill HR 875. This is the issue!

According to Cummings, "Patents enable industry to make money even when its products are not particularly useful or necessary, because when a monopoly right has been granted, the product has built-in scarcity and thus economic value. "On December 10, 2001, the Supreme Court held that utility patents could be used for seeds and plants. The opinion of the Court was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, who had been a lawyer for Monsanto." (p. 77)

This shines light on one of the biggest problems with Monsanto sponsoring this bill: employees for Monsanto rotate "back and forth between industry and government..." "This is the 'revolving door' through which industry employees pass in and out of government. The close relationship between these regulators and their regulated industries has compromised the independence of government." (p. 15)

Section 207 of proposed bill HR 875 states: (f) (4) COMMISSIONING - Where necessary and appropriate to fulfill the provisions of this Act or other food safety law, the Administrator shall, as part of any service agreement, commission qualified State and local regulatory officials and inspectors to assist the Administrator in carrying out the food safety law and accord such commissioned officials and inspectors access to information in possession of the Administrator as if they were Federal employees. {the revolving door trying to become a law}

Monsanto and other major corporations already own seed patents on the majority of edible and medicinal plants, how does this effect our food supply and organic farming?

"...Monsanto requires farmers who buy its patented GMO seed to sign a contract called a technology use agreement. These contracts ALLOW MONSANTO TO GO ONTO PRIVATE LAND AND INVESTIGATE the farmer's records and practices. They bind the farmer to Monsanto's products for several years, tell the farmer how to plant, and require the farmer to use only Monsanto's chemicals. {Monsanto manufactures the common herbicide Round Up}. Farmers can use seed for only a single season and may not reuse, sell, or replant seed after harvest. All farmers who use GMO seed are exposed to enormous legal liabilities, because Monsanto strictly enforces all of its rights. According to a 2005 study conducted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), Monsanto has an annual budget of $10 million and a staff of seventy-five devoted exclusively to investigating and prosecuting farmers."
"The report by the CFS, Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers, is full of shocking and tragic stories of farmers caught in the crossfire of contract terms THEY NEVER AGREED TO and Monsanto's vicious and intrusive tactics. Farmers have been sued when their crops have been contaminated by Monsanto's seed or when GMO plants came up on their land as volunteers." The CFS states, "In all of these cases, because of the way patent law has been applied, farmers are technically liable." According to Cummings, "Monsanto has set up hotlines and taken out radio ads encouraging farmers to inform on one another. They get up to 500 tips a year." "Monsanto also uses private police and hires Pinkerton investigators to find evidence against ANY FARMERS it suspects of infringing on its intellectual property rights." (p. 67 - 68) {seed patents = intellectual property rights}
"To date, {in 2008 when Uncertain Peril was published}, the number of farmers investigated by Monsanto's agents is in the thousands." "CFS SAYS THAT BY THE END OF 2005, MONSANTO HAD BROUGHT CASES AGAINST 351 FARMERS AND 47 SMALL BUSINESS OR FARM COMPANIES IN 27 DIFFERENT STATES AND HAD BEEN AWARDED JUDGEMENTS AMOUNTING TO A TOTAL OF $16,849,255.07 from these patent cases."
"Monsanto now owns so much of the seed industry and the seed companies are so bound up with each other, it can charge whatever it wants or prosecute whomever it pleases." (p. 67-69)

Farmers are fighting back ~ check out Monsanto vs. Percy Schmeiser - one for the good guys!

continued in reply
A former member
Post #: 4
Back to proposed bill HR 875
Definitions - Section 3:
"(14) Food production facility - means any farm, ranch orchard, vineyard, aquaculture facility, or confined animal-feeding operation

Section 201: (c)(6) implement appropriate surveillance procedures

Section 204 (a) In General - To protect the public health, the Administrator shall establish by guidance document, action level, or regulation and enforce performance standards that define, with respect to specific foods and contaminants in food, the level of food safety performance that a person PRODUCING, processing, or selling food shall meet.

Section 206: (a) (1) visit and inspect food production facilities in the U. S. {and} (4) conduct monitoring and surveillance of animals, plants, products, or the environment {see definitions above: food production facility = ANY farm!}

Section 206: (b) Inspection of Records - A food production facility {any farm} shall permit the Administrator upon presentation of appropriate credentials and at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, to have access to and ability to copy all records maintained by or on behalf of such food production establishment in any format

Section 207: (e) (1) (D) Strengthen the capacity of State and local agencies to carry out inspections and enforce safety standards in food processing establishments {any farm}

Section 207: (3) Plan (E) Integration of the inspection and compliance programs in food processing establishments...{any farm}

Section 301: (c)(2)(A) a comparison of the safety of commercial processing with the health hazards associated with food that is harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared noncommercially {ie: home garden}

Section 401: (4) It is prohibited to refuse to permit access to a food establishment or food production facility {any farm} for the inspection and copying of a record as required under sections 205(f) and 206(a)

This gives 'the Administrator' {this bill is sponsored by at least one Monsanto employee} authority to survey, inspect and go onto any farm, vineyard, orchard, etc. It gives 'the Administrator' the legal right to train people to 'act as employees of the Federal government' to enforce its' policies. This bill is too broad and too general and based on the history of at least one of it's sponsors is a direct threat to ANY small backyard garden or commercial farm and our entire food supply.

Section 204 (b) (1) states "...the Administrator shall publish in the Federal Register a list of the contaminants in foods..." and "the Administrator shall indicate whether the risk posed by a contaminant is generalized or specific to particular foods or ingredients."

This is also a direct threat to organic farming because anything could be listed as a 'contaminant' under this proposed bill. The added genetic material, antibiotics and viruses are the real contaminants.

The 3 largest crops of genetically modified food are WHEAT, CORN AND SOY. These crops are government subsidized and given to third world countries as aid. The GM plants are progressively infecting centers of origin as the crops cross-pollinate. This is a problem that is effecting the United States and the food supply of the ENTIRE WORLD. Pollen from China has been found in the smog of Los Angeles. Cross-pollination with GM crops is effecting our entire food supply with the birds, bees, butterflies and pollen that could be coming from the other side of the globe. This is directly linked to the massive die off of bees and Monarch butterflies. Almost all animal feed is genetically modified grain ~ buy organic! Genetically modified grasses and trees are currently growing on golf courses and in our forests.

Imported food:
Section 208 of the proposed bill states that all food imported from other countries will need to be from certified agencies registered with the Administrator. It states that the Administrator will monitor all food coming in through documentation and inspection. The bill also proposes that imported food only be allowed in the country at specific ports of entry. Much of our food and medicinal herbs come from other countries and this would simply place too much control in the hands of one agency. This bill could potentially give total control of food, plants, herbs and nutritional substances to 'the Administrator'.

Speak out against HR 875 and :
1) Sign this online petition: http://salsa.democrac...­

2) Go to , put in your zip code and your congresspersons' contact info will come up. If you choose to call their office, tell them your views on HR 875. They'll take your name and address and pass your comments along to the congressperson.
The following link­ is a list of the U.S. senators and their contact info.

3) Sign this online petition: http://www.LeaveMyFoo...­

4) Stop buying corn, wheat and soy products (although thousands of plants are already genetically modified, these are the top 3)

5) Buy organic!

6) Buy heirloom seeds and plant your own food!!!!! http://www.seedsofcha...­

7) Shop at Farmers Markets to support farmers instead of factories. (This means that any food you buy in a box or package has gone through a factory. Buying boxed or packaged food supports factories not farms. Farms are the source of our food - support farmers!)

Check out the following sites:

8) Read Uncertain Peril by Claire Hope Cummings

9) Read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

10) Watch The Future of Food (DVD)

11) Spread the word!

12) read HR 875 yourself and take action! http://www.govtrack.u...­
Mark S.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 2
Another good read is Death by Diet by Robert Barefoot:­

And another good way of staying informed on GMOs, and their effects is by reading Dr. Joseph Mercola's Web site. This page is on HR 875:


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