The Biotech Industry in the United States is an extremely powerful multi-billion dollar industry, with a clandestine strike force arguably second to none. Like a master puppeteer, Biotech giants such as Monsanto and friends, seemingly work the strings of many governmental agencies and bodies with crafty precision.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) is one governmental agency, that has a debatable history of providing a revolving employment door for many of Monsanto's top officials. So perhaps the FDA's latest move against organic farmers comes as no surprise. As part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, the FDA is ready to implement a new "Produce Rule." The Produce Rule, under the veil of containing food borne illness, requires farmers using raw animal manure as fertilizer to wait a full 9 months before harvesting a crop from that field. Noteworthy, is that federal standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), requires only a 4 month waiting period between such manure application and harvest.
The 9 month waiting period to be required by the FDA, effectively delivers a decisive and crippling blow to the livelihood of all organic farmers. A 4 month waiting period provides for up to 3 harvest yields per year, while a 9 month waiting period would reduce the organic farmer's harvest yield to a mere once per year. A two third reduction in yield may easily result in a two third increase in price, putting organics out of the financial reach of millions of people.
Perhaps the Produce Rule will become the proverbial "Exhibit A", in a case to be made that the agency controlling drugs in our country, has no business controlling the food in our country. The conflicts of interest that currently exist are astounding and cry out for the separation of food control from drug control.
If you are offended by this travesty, then take corrective action if not for yourselves, for your children. Support your local organic farmers and refuse to buy conventional produce. Let your voice be heard and complain to your local congressional representatives. Spread the awareness and call for the disbandment of the FDA. Promulgate the belief that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should control and regulate agriculture in our country. It is time to continue in the steps of our forefathers, who built this great country on the principal of separation of powers. A simple application of that principal, demands the separation of the food control and drug control in this country.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.