Will Heirloom Seeds Be Outlawed?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mountainman, Jan 10, 2011.


  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Big Government: Taking The Food Right Off Your Plate <hr width="100%" color="#4e7689" size="1"> Washington, D.C. -- It was the most ambitious grab for control over food production since the administration of FDR - and it succeeded. In the last days of 2010, after months of wrangling, the Food Safety Modernization Act passed both houses of Congress. As we go to press, President Obama is expected to sign this sweeping new legislation.
    The Food Safety Modernization Act grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) almost unlimited power to regulate the food supply across the nation. Those new powers, many believe, could virtually take the food off your plate. That's because the new law could bankrupt many small farmers across the nation. As small farmers vanish, consumers will no longer have access to fresh, local, organic produce. It's a huge blow to those who believe in the right to choose what foods they eat. Most consumers, and even farmers, didn't see it coming.
    Local food movement threatens corporate profits As the local and organic food movement has gathered steam in recent years, small farming has enjoyed a resurgence. The items on your dinner plate have traveled an average of 1500 miles from farm to fork - unless you buy from a local farmers market or farm stand. More and more, people want to know where their food comes from. Nationwide food recalls are one reason driving the trend. In 2006, fresh spinach from a multinational corporation sickened hundreds of people. Three people died. In 2008, fresh produce used to make salsa at a leading fast food chain sickened hundreds across the country.
    It's no wonder that farmers markets have exploded in the past 15 years, growing by 245%. In 1995, there were only 1,775 farmers markets across the nation. Today, there are 6,132. Many communities now even have winter markets as farmers use innovative growing techniques to meet year-round demand.
    The local and organic food movement, however, has not escaped the notice of industrial giants. In recent years, agri-biz public relations campaigns reflect a "damage control" strategy aimed at protecting their turf. With major portions of the Food Safety Modernization Act shaped by agri-biz lobbyists, many local food advocates suspect the bill is also part of that strategy. Burdensome new regulations, small farm advocates say, will squeeze out small farmers. It's a blatant attempt, they believe, to quash the local and organic food movement.
    Big Government to micromanage all farms That's because the Food Safety Modernization Act gives the FDA broad new powers to dictate to farmers how they must grow produce. New regulations will control every aspect of farm production. Almost nothing is left to a farmer's discretion - not soil composition, water use, what chemicals are permitted or even required, harvesting techniques, packing processes, production temperatures, and more.
    The Tester Amendment was added to the bill to appease critics. The amendment exempts small facilities from the same types of large, expensive food safety plans that larger operations use. Small facilities are defined as farms with less than $500,000 in gross revenue that sell directly to individuals, restaurants, or grocery stores within a 275 mile radius. The mountain of documentation to qualify for the exemption, however, is almost as onerous as the safety plans themselves. The cost of complying with other parts of the bill, including record keeping, will still be a huge burden for small operations. Small farmers will find it almost impossible to grow or innovate.
    Next season, when you go to your local farmers market, you could find that your favorite farmer has gone out of business. The prices you have to pay to farmers who have managed to remain in business could skyrocket, reflecting the huge costs of the new "food safety" regulations.
    In the face of shrinking supplies and rising prices, many will turn to gardening instead. After all, if you can't buy the vegetables you need, you can grow them, right?
    Today you can. But the next growing season ... perhaps not.
    Will heirloom seeds be confiscated, or even outlawed? According to the FDA, seeds are food. That means they get to regulate them. The FDA decides what seeds are "safe" and what are "unsafe." And just as with contaminated food, they can seize or even outlaw any seeds they deem "contaminated."
    Today, there's a robust community of farmers, gardeners, and environmentalists who use heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been cultivated for hundreds of years. They don't grow well using modern industrial methods. That's why you seldom see heirloom produce in your grocery store. Heirloom varieties yield crops that offer superior flavor and nutrition. If you grow your own heirloom crops, a few simple techniques will allow you to save the seed from one harvest to use in the future. (You can't do that with modern hybrid and genetically modified seeds. Instead, you must buy new seeds each year.) On a larger scale, seed cleaning equipment is necessary to clean enough heirloom seed to meet commercial demand. The seed is then stored in special facilities on its way to farmers and gardeners.
    It's these equipment and facilities that have recently come under the scrutiny of the FDA. According to the FDA, seed cleaning equipment and seed storage facilities could "contaminate" the seeds. Complex regulations are now on the books to prevent this "potential contamination." It's those costs that are squeezing many small seed cleaners out of business. Only the global giants can afford to comply with the convoluted and numerous regulations. When small seed cleaners do manage to scrape together the capital to install expensive equipment to meet regulations, they're often bullied out of business. Giant agricultural corporations have a history of suing small seed cleaners because they "might" have inadvertently cleaned patent-protected genetically modified seeds. In the strange world of agricultural law, the seed cleaners are "guilty until proven innocent." Many can't afford the years of litigation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to prove their innocence. They simply give up and shut down their businesses.
    The FDA hasn't reached into the home gardens of citizens to impose seed saving laws on them - yet. But they might as well have. With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the small companies that provide home gardeners and small farmers with heirloom seeds are in the FDA's crosshairs more than ever before. It may just be a matter of time until heirloom seed companies are forced out of business.
     
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Good luck planting your own crops in the future.
     
  3. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    If they do get outlawed, then I guess I'll be an outlaw. Call me Josey Wales. I won't answer to it, but you can call me it.
     
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Hey Josey.
     
  5. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    I was wondering when someone would broach this subject. I knew about this lame duck fast one that followed ratification of the World Trade Agreement on Agriculture. 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mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]-->[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-14613.pdf[/FONT][/FONT]. Canada doesn't appear to be all that pleased with the US.... it's my understanding they're in it with us for better or for worse because of NAFTA. Can we say CODEX in unison>>>?
    adding, I purchase only certified organic seed.... that's mostly heirloom. Not all heirloom seed is equal. Heirloom is open pollinated.... hybridization with genetically modified varieties can and does occur. Bakers Creek sells certified organic heirloom seed. There are others selling it.

    "The terrible immoralities are the cunning ones hiding behind masks of morality, such as exploiting people while pretending to help them"
    -Vernon Howard
     
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  7. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    Codex? Jeebus.. I can't keep up with all this stuff anymore. I never even knew about this. After this, it's clear to me that anything that "goes down" will be as a result of food, or lack there of, as a result of control; government control.
     
  8. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    Don't feel bad.... nobody can keep up with all the UN "harmonization" going on. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:oops:fficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:oops:fficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> 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Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> I found something at a blog about what happened while we were snoozing in '09, http://www.animalwelfareapproved.or...ed-animals-on-the-table-but-not-on-the-label/, “As of January 2009, you will now be able to purchase and consume products from genetically engineered animals – without one mention of that fact on the label….The FDA says that it will not require labeling of products from genetically engineered animals because those products are not “materially different” from conventional ones...A spokeswoman for the FDA defended its decision, stating, “…the FDA doesn”t require that a pork chop label specify [the breeding method of the pig].”
    Translation: the FDA has decided genetic engineering is just another way to breed animals and therefore, it doesn”t make the meat, eggs or dairy from those animals any different from the meat, eggs or dairy out of grandma’’s barnyard.
    I would beg to differ. Consider a tale of two pork chops: one from a pig bred and birthed the good old fashioned way, and the other from a pig whose DNA has been interspliced with roundworm genes in order to increase the Omega-3 fatty acids in the meat. Are we really to believe that they are “not materially different”?
    [FONT=&quot]The FDA has expanded its laboratory to include our farms, our environment, and ultimately ourselves." [/FONT]There's something fundamentally wrong with this. It's the main reason why I conscientiously chose to go for the gusto learning how to grow and put up as much of our own food as was humanly possible. I truly don't believe the FDA is protecting the public's best interests.... it's protecting the best interests of their global "stakeholders" and.... I have this sinking feeling our organic farmers are going to be run out of business for the greater good of Big Biotech's global "stakeholders". Actually.... I'm up right now because I've got a dehydrator running that doesn't finish cycling until 3am and garlic in the oven roasting that goes in next.
     
  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Even worse and more insidious is the fact that the FDA has not allowed smaller producers to label their products "GMO-Free". It is literally against the law to do so!
    I also have found that the requirements in the food industry to use the term "organic" are very loose. Not all 'organic' produce is created equally!

    I am beginning my seed orders to do some 'organic gardening' this spring.
    How long can seed be stored - dry or frozen? A farm-raised buddy says only a few years, but I thought it should be longer in the right conditions?
     
  10. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Seawolf you can store seeds many years under the right conditions. I personally believe those conditions depend on the seed. I have some seed that I bought from Baker Creek about 5 years ago. Some seeds have a 100% germination rate still, others around 30%. It could be the seed itself (I've heard Baker Creek ain't the greatest), or it could be the storage (in the house, in a cabinet away from light and kept at about 70 degrees).
    I'll be ordering more seed pretty soon for this years garden. I always get more seed than I need, just in case.
     
  11. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Hybrid seed when it fails, fails in a robust manner. Putting all your hope in hybrid seed is a sure way to eventually fail. Our Amish and Menonites were called upon to help the Russian peoples decades past when their grain crops failed terribly. We sold the grain as well as a stop gap to prevent mass starvation intil their new crops could put them back on their feet.
    .
    and, such Evil SOB's the World thinks us Americans.....
    .
    If we as a nation Outlaw Heirloom Seed we will be further sealing our doom, and that of the rest of the World.
    .
    Saving Seed isn't that hard to do. Learn how! and do it with your Heirloom varieties.
     
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Try the Survival Seedbank product and store it in the fridge. Used some of it last year with very good germination and good crop production. Comes in a PVC tube container that can be sealed and buried in case .goob comes in to take it.
     
  13. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Have those, and the #10 can packs as well. Lurve mah seedz!

    No Heirloom Seed Company On Earth Can Match Us In Quality & Price

    Nitro-Pak: Survival Garden Seeds - Survival Garden Seeds - Survival Foods - Food Storage - Products
     
  14. Joseph Thomas

    Joseph Thomas Monkey+

    They can pass all the BS laws they want. Doesn't mean I have to follow them. I have saved seed for years and will continue to do so. If someone wants to come on my property and tell me that I can't plant what I want, We got a major problem.
     
  15. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Don't touch my junk or my tomatoes.
     
  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Putting my heirlooms to use this spring. Being in Zone 9 is nice, I get a wee bit of an early start. I am saving seed as well, so wish me luck!
     
  17. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    You got that right. [gun]

    BWM
     
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Well i did this for several year's when i had the room..
    I planted a creole tomato plant then a jalapeno plant then a tomato plant etc.etc.
    The tomato's had a bit of a sting and flavor to then...
    The jalapeno's still tasted like jalapeno's..Just throwing out idea's..
     
  19. Joseph Thomas

    Joseph Thomas Monkey+


    Amen brother. Or my beans, corn, potatoes, eggplant , lettuce, herbs, etc. Ain't gonna happen.
     
  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I majored in Agriculture in High School. My instructor was David A. Crossno. He spend most of his lecture time on the evil Monsanto conspiracy and how it would relate to the demise of the small American farm. We thought he was paranoid. In retrospect, he was absolutely correct in every thing he said and predicted. I am sure MR. Crossno has long since passed away, but his words are still fresh in my memory.
     
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