A Stolen Victory During the Beer Summit–OR, How to Rewrite Congressional Votes While No One is Really Looking (It’s About Our Food)

~~By Grail Guardian

Virtually unnoticed this last week by the MSM (who’d a thunk?) while the Resident hoisted a cold one with his new BFFs was the seemingly unremarkable failure of a bill that hasn’t been in the news much, HR2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. Right about now you’re probably yawning and asking, “So what, Grail?” But before you click your browser button, let’s review exactly what this bill that InfoWars.com referred to as “Totalitarian Control of the Food Supply”. (I know, I know; it’s Alex Jones. But as a friend of mine used to say, “Every once in a while even a blind squirrel gets a nut”! This time he’s got lots of company.)

[Author’s note: I apologize for all the links, but it’s hard to accuse a monster corporation with attempted genocide without backing it up.]

Let’s start with the basics: Monsanto. You know who they are, right? If you’re not familiar, they’re basically the agricultural equivalent of Goldman Sachs. Big business, big restriction of competition, big health issues (in case you forgot Monsanto owned the rights to Aspartame when it was patented), and most importantly big buddies with the big “O”. Monsanto is the largest grower of fruits and vegetables in the world. They also manufacture the herbicide RoundUp. Sounds innocent so far, right? Bzzzzt! After RoundUp became the most widely used weed killer in the world, the sneaky little bastages at Monsanto decided that since virtually no one pays attention to agriculture anymore they could stealthily take over not only the marketplace, but literally the world’s food supply. They started making GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. And yes, that’s as spooky as it sounds.

There are basically 2 GMOs we need to be worried about: RoundUp Ready seed and Terminator Technology (basically sterile seeds that do not reproduce after one season so the farmer must purchase more seed – from Monsanto, of course – each year). Let’s take them one at a time:

RoundUp Ready seed has been genetically altered by Monsanto so that if it is sprayed with RoundUp, the desired plant won’t be killed by the herbicide. Sounds pretty good, at least until you think that through a bit. You probably have used RoundUp yourself to kill a few weeds growing between the cracks in your driveway or back yard patio, right? Me too. You take the bottle and aim at the weed, then in a few days it withers and dies. So the rocket scientists at Monsanto decided, “Well if a little works, a lot would be much better, right?” They engineered crop seeds so that instead of targeting the weeds, farmers can spray their whole crop and kill just the weeds while the corn, soy, or canola would survive to be harvested without all the hassles. But if you follow that thought through to its logical conclusion, what that means to you and me is that farmers are now dousing our food with RoundUp before they send it off to the local store or giant food processing plant. Now I’ve never tasted the stuff, but I can tell you from the smell that RoundUp is not something I want included in my diet. Shades of DDT anyone? What’s worse, neither the farmer nor the food processing plant need to disclose to us as consumers that this food was soaked in a chemical designed to destroy living organisms. Makes me feel all warm inside. (Or is that merely the burning of my digestive tract being slowly destroyed by the simple act of eating?)

Terminator Technology or sterile seeds are the Big M’s other grab to take over the world food supply. Monsanto uses genetic engineering to develop plants that are incapable of reproducing after 1 season. This means that poor farmers throughout the world will be left without the ability to use seeds from their current crop to start next year’s crop – they must buy new seed from Monsanto each year in

In India, this is a cause for some concern as scientists fear for the livelihood of 400 million farmers and for food security in the country. Already some poorer Indian farmers have been driven to suicide. It is feared that this type of technology could be used to make the poorer farmers even more dependent.

So much for solving the world hunger crisis. Now on to our innocuous bill, HR2749. The summary provided by the Congressional Research Service tells us that our bill

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) issue science-based performance standards to minimum…

Hmmm. “Science-based standards”. Now just who might be in the business of creating these standards? Could it possibly be the scientists at good ol’ Monsanto?

(3) inspect facilities at a frequency determined pursuant to a risk-based schedule; (4) establish a food tracing system; (5) assess fees relating to food facility reinspection and food recall;

A“food tracing system”? Seriously? Am I going to break a tooth on an RFID chip? Will this be added to my electronically distributable Health Care records gathered under HR3200:America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009? Will my food be held up until it starts to rot while it is properly” inventoried?

and (6) establish a program for accreditation of laboratories that perform analytical testing of food for import or export.

I guess this leads us to the conclusion that current labs are not accredited. Yikes!

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) order an immediate cessation of distribution, or a recall, of food; (2) establish an importer verification program; and (3) quarantine food in any geographic area within the United States.

In other words, it’s up to the sole discretion of the Secretary (it’s not real clear to me if this refers to Tom Vilsack, the Monsanto fed Secretary of Agriculture or Obama lapdog Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services – not that there’s a difference) whether anyone can distribute food, or if food can be quarantined without due process of law. Winston? Is that you?

Provides for unique identifiers for food facilities and food importers.

There is not limitation on this. It could be required, under this law, for small farmers that sell fruit on a roadside stand, or even for people who grow their own tomatoes in the back yard. Kiss your local farm market goodbye unless they’ve got compliance bucks.

Deems a food to be adulterated if an inspection is delayed or refused.

Here’s the government double dip; first they can delay the food to be properly traced and inspected, then they can commandeer it after they held it up too long to still be fresh.

Gives the Commissioner of Food and Drugs subpoena authority with respect to a food proceeding.

Great. The FDA, who brought you such medical wonders as Aspartame, Fen Phen, and Vioxx gets to issue subpoenas against Farmer Jones down the road that had the audacity to try to grow his crop without using RoundUp on it.

Aside from my personal commentary, the less-snarky folks at FoodRenegade.com also point out:

A careful reading of the bill also reveals that HR 2749:

1. Will create duplicate fees & requirements for certified organic producers.

2. Will erode wildlife habitats in a misguided attempt to keep produce “clean” — when it is clear from the scientific evidence that it is industrialized animals that spread E.Coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella, not wild animals.

3. Will greatly increase the costs associated with safely composting manure and using it as a fertilizer for natural and organic crops.

4. Will interfere with and possibly prohibit small-scale farmers adding value to their products. This includes washing and cutting produce, creating canned jams or jellies, anything really.

5. Will require a costly electronic filing system that may well put farmers using paper records out of business, including many of our Amish brothers and sisters who can not comply with the electronic filing standards without violating their religious principles.

6. Will give the federal government the power to ban raw milk sales.

Ironically, it was the politicians own attempts at back door deals and sneakiness that appears to have sunk this ship during the legitimate House vote.

The bill was voted on by suspending the rules, limiting discussion to less than an hour, and not allowing any amendments that could have clarified who these new rules should affect. In the course of the last 24 hours, the language of the bill had been changed three times, and most representatives didn’t have the chance to read the latest version before being required to vote.

The only reason this bill is NOT the current law of the land is that it did not win enough of a majority to pass.

If you’re paying attention to the above quote written on July 29th, you should be scratching your head and saying, “huh?” So now it’s time for the kicker. The bill was voted on in the House of Representatives on July 29, 2009, and here is a direct copy from govtrack:

Jul 29, 2009: This bill failed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. This usually occurs for non-controversial legislation. The totals were 280 Ayes, 150 Nays, 3 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.

That was the way the page read yesterday when I started to write this article. When I went back to source some material, I suddenly noticed a spiffy little amendment:

Jul 30, 2009: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The totals were 283 Ayes, 142 Nays, 8 Present/Not Voting. Vote Details.

That’s right, America! While you were watching Obama, Gates, Crowley, and Biden sing “Ein Prosit”, Congress was busy changing the vote on this bill because they (read Pelosi, Obama, Monsanto) didn’t like the outcome!

A little critical analysis of the changed votes shows that a couple of different things:

1) The members of the “Blue Dog Democrat Coalition” were obviously strong-armed into submission (along with a few non-proclaimed Blue Dog-type friends) when the Speaker didn’t get the results she wanted .

2) The RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) were easily bought off once again. There is no difference between the 2 major parties.

3) John Murtha needs to take his Alzheimer’s medications.

Here’s the breakdown:

Congressional District “Representative” Change in Vote Designation
AL-2 Bright, Bobby [D] Nay to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
CA-47 Sanchez, Loretta [D] Not Voting to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
CO-3 Salazar, John [D] Not Voting to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
FL-5 Brown-Waite, Virginia [R] Nay to Yea RINO
FL-8 Grayson, Alan [D] Yea to Not Voting Almost grew a spine
FL-10 Young, C. W. [R] Nay to Yea RINO
GA-7 Linder, John [R] Nay to Not Voting RINO
IL-8 Bean, Melissa [D] Nay to Yea Chicken
MN-2 Kline, John [R] Nay to Yea RINO
MS-4 Taylor, Gene [D] Nay to Yea Blue Dog Coalition
MO-2 Akin, W. [R] Nay to Not Voting RINO
NJ-3 Adler, John [D] Yea to Not Voting Confused
NY-23 McHugh, John [R] Not Voting to Yea RINO
NC-9 Myrick, Sue [R] Nay to Yea RINO
OR-3 Blumenauer, Earl [D] Nay to Yea Chicken
PA-12 Murtha, John [D] Yea to Not Voting Confused as hell
TN-4 Davis, Lincoln [D] Not Voting to Nay Blue Dog Coalition
TX-24 Marchant, Kenny [R] Yea to Nay Woke up from his nap
WI-8 Kagen, Steve [D] Nay to Yea Chicken

Here’s the breakdown:

So, my friends, we’ve been bamboozled again. We had a victory, but just like during the Democratic primaries, when TPTB didn’t get their way they simply changed the vote. Just like that. And the residents in Florida should be ever so happy to learn that they were screwed by both political parties once again. Um, guys – 3 of your non-representing Representatives changed their votes after the fact; think you might want to consider a change in 2010? Like None of the Above!

Now comes the question, “What can we do about it?” There are several things:

1) This bill has not passed the Senate yet. Get on the phone/fax/email and hammer them! Let them know there’s no way you’ll let anyone forget if they vote to starve America and the world.

2) If you live in one of the districts listed above, get on the phone and scream at these bastages! Let them know that you’re paying attention and you know they changed their vote. Demand to know why?

3) Join the march on Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2009. We need to let those inside the Beltway know that America does not support their thieving stealing lying condescending flip flopping actions against our wishes.

4) Boycott Monsanto. Shelly Roche from ByteStyle TV started this seemingly impossible (but in reality simple) idea. Check out her video here for one way to beat them at their own game.

If all this talk about Monsanto determining what you can eat has gotten to you, Shelly has also put together a dynamite list of how to recognize GMO foods that’s worth checking out. To induce you to read her article, I’ll share one I didn’t know about:

Look at the stickers on fruitthere is a PLU code with either 4 or 5 numbers. If your fruit’s label has 4 numbers, it is conventionally grown. 5 numbers starting with a 9 means it was organically grown, and 5 numbers starting with an 8 means GMO.

Last, but not least, if you really want to be vigilant about avoiding GMOs, corn is an important yet difficult thing to avoid (thank you Tom Daschle). Check out the Emergency Guide to Avoiding Corn from findsafefood.com. You might be surprised at where it’s hiding.

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21 Responses

  1. Brilliant post Grail! I have been reading and following this issue for months. Monsanto, and all the politicians who support their criminal acts should be up on charges for this.

    This is why I laugh at the idea of a Consumer Protection Administration coming out of this or any other congress or administration. We live under the auspicious of a criminally negligent, if not complicit, government. And because we also have a complicit and compliant media, we will continue to do so. In fact, it will only get worse.

  2. This is one of the most astounding and eye opening posts I have read. I had NO idea that this was going on. And worse, to find out that members conveniently “changed” their votes to pass the legislation. I guess they took a clue from Dear Leader’s experience as a state Senator. Holy sheep shit!

    I was happy to find, upon examination, that my representative voted against this monstrosity. And didn’t change his vote either.

    I have a safe, easy to implement method to avoid the Monsanto Obamanation. I grow my own veggies and get rid of weeds the old fashioned way. I pluck them from the ground with my own two hands. And since I use a natural straw mulch I don’t have that much of a weed problem to begin with.

    But one thing still bothers me, and if I hadn’t read your wonderful post I would have never even considered it. I know that where I bought my tomato and pepper plants they start them in the local nursery. They aren’t imported from Walmart. And they have a very good reputation. I never even considered asking them though if the seeds they plant are GMOs but I am going to ask them and find out for certain.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention and especially for all the links. Very informative as always.

    • The bad news is that the bill also allows the government to fine violators up to $1 million, and there is no limit on who can be fined. In other words, if they want to fine you for growing backyard tomatoes and basil with “normal” seeds or without RoundUp, they can and it can be up to $1 m.

      Nice, huh? And they probably will be fining you, because any self respecting farmers will be selling off their land for subdivisions if this puppy passes and your choices will be GMO foods or grow your own contraband veggies.

  3. I don’t know if you saw this on PBS, but it’s worth watching.

    NOW on Food, Inc.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1143263943/program/1120797048

    Guess you can tell that you wrote about something that I find somewhat interesting. 😉

  4. Thanks for the info Grail.
    Just another shell game by our government.

    Obama is the distraction. Congress is the con man.

  5. Monstanto makes me sick. Literally and figuratively. Garden seeds have been rendered sterile by them for a number of years. There was the day when you could pick a beautiful tomato and remove its seeds, place them on a paper towel and save them for next year. That is No More. They have now infiltrated the USDA and if somebody doesn’t stop these Frankensteins we are doomed. Europe wants nothing to do with Monsanto. They know what these pigs are up to. They have PATENTS on food now! If a Monsanto seed jumps over to a small farmer’s land, Monsanto sues them. It’s happened. These animals are the biggest thread to our health and food supply ever known to man.

  6. GG,

    Brilliantly researched and written, for both of which, thank you.

    When the Ukrainian farmers refused to be collectivized, Stalin starved them into submission. Millions died.

    21st century update: Enter Monsanto. obama is a moron (gaffes= ignorance), but the lessons of history have not been wasted on his controllers

  7. Thanks GG, I did not know this disgusting news. These people need to be tarred and feathered. I really, really h a t e Monsanto, and I appreciate all the work you put into this. I am writing my senators. I don’t understand why the dems would want this horrible bill to pass. It sounds like giving a monopoly to monsanto.

  8. Thank you GG.
    This was an eye-opening (I know I’m not original) and frightening post. I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while and my nephew has been posting info on his website. I just sent him a link to your post. .
    I also just sent a link to this brilliant and thorough post, to my DemocRATic representative who had voted in favor of this monstrous 1984-ish bill.
    I will be writing to the person who is running for Mark Kirk’s (IL -10) district (Julie Hamos).

  9. As an update, I did contact the nursery and asked if the plants I had purchased had been genetically modified. The woman there shared my concerns about Monsanto so that was a good start. She said that with the hybrid varieties it is a toss-up (some might be GMOs while others were not) and recommended to always buy the heirloom varieties. But all of the varieties I purchased could spawn new plants. She also mentioned that one of the varieties of tomatoes sold were generated by a single consumer that saved his seeds each year and brought them to the nursery so that they could create new plants. Pretty cool eh?

    Anyone that wants to start their own garden should find a nursery that starts their own plants and ask them straight up whether what they are considering buying is GMO or not. And if they don’t know and won’t find out go elsewhere. Avoid at all cost places like Walmart or any of the other big box places that cannot tell you where the plants came from. Not only don’t they know, the people that they have manning the departments are typically incompetent.

    • That is very cool! You know what strikes me is that wherever I go the people I talk to are of similar mind. Which raises the question: Where do these people live that support what Congress is doing to us these days?

      • It’s like when you watch the videos of the town hall meetings going on right now and it is obvious that the American public doesn’t support the health care fiasco being pushed down our throats. The elected representatives apparently represent their selves and their party and the corporations that have bought them off before even considering the people they were elected to represent.

        On another note, I decided to follow up with the inquiry I started yesterday. I called the seed company (Livingston Seed Company in Columbus, Ohio) I use for my zucchini and lettuce and asked if their seeds were genetically modified. I was assured by a manager that they were not. So at least we know that one seed company hasn’t tinkered with mother nature in an abusive way.

      • Good to know…

  10. Everyone,
    I’m in the process of putting a new post together on the topic of where to find non-GMO seeds!!

    Stay tuned!!

  11. Thanks you for that Grrl. We can then spread the word.

  12. Grail, having been out of the loop for a few days, I’m late coming to the party. My sentiments follow those of all of the above, I’m GRL is going to post references on GMO seeds. Now that I can plant a few things of my own I’ll be watching for that.

  13. Grail I just cross posted this at DE. I was working on a post about this bill and this post is SOOO much better than anything I had.

  14. Fixed the credit to your blog, sorry for the mistake.

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