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By Barbara H. Peterson

There is a big difference between the spirit and the letter of the law. The key to analyzing the effects of any type of legislation that ultimately results in setting rules and regulations in motion through a set of laws is in understanding the difference between the spirit and letter of the law, and how this concept is applied towards enforcement of any particular law.

The difference between the spirit and letter of the law is explained in the following definition from The Free Dictionary:

The “letter of the law” is defined as “The strict and exact force of the language used in a statute, as distinguished from the spirit, general purpose, and policy of the statute.”

In other words, the spirit of the law is the general purpose for which a law was made. The wording of any food safety legislation should be constructed so that the purpose of real food safety is attained, rather than leaving home gardeners and anyone who harvests food for non-commercial purposes subject to obtrusive, crushing legislation and fines if the letter of the law is enforced. 

Those who say that because the new “food safety” legislation does not specifically target in the wording things such as organic gardening, home gardening, wild food foraging, roadside stands, etc., this means that these things will not be affected by that legislation. In actuality, it is precisely because these things are not specifically excluded, that they are automatically included, and the decision on whether to exercise the spirit or the letter of the law in individual cases rests solely on discretionary enforcement. 

Eliminating the Competition 

Can the USDA, FDA, and a newly formed FSA be trusted to do the right thing and only enforce the spirit of the law? If so, then why word the legislation so that the letter of the law, when enforced to the maximum, results in total devastation through massive fines, ruinous fees, and intense scrutiny of the individual whose intent is to feed his/her family with good, clean food? With USDA’s Monsanto supporter Vilsack in charge, just how do you think enforcement of this legislation will lean? Will it be towards the spirit or letter of the law? Read this article to get a good look at who is behind “food safety” legislation and the USDA’s collusion with Monsanto: 

The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize Agribusiness Practices in Service of Corporate Global Governance 

Considering that the only real competition the multinationals have – food localization and self-sufficient growers – it is in the best interests of Monsanto, et. al. and the USDA to make it as hard as possible on anyone who does not support GMO, factory farming, and multinational food control. To eliminate the competition is a primary goal of these corporations, and make no mistake, independent food growers are the competition. 

The Ammunition 

Through wording designed to be “all inclusive,” the ammunition is there to use against such people as the home gardener, and if these bills pass, it is only a matter of time before someone pulls the trigger. In other words, if law enforcement has a gun, the enforcers are fully aware of the fact that the gun is there, and they know exactly how to use it. 

Here is a possible scenario, with background information: 

HR 2749 

excerpt: 

Subtitle B 

SEC. 121. PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT SYSTEM. 

(a) Surveillance System- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the `Secretary’) shall build upon the existing surveillance system for food, based on a representative proportion of the population of the United States, to assess the frequency and sources of human illness in the United States associated with the consumption of food. 

(b) Sampling and Assessment- 

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall utilize, as appropriate, samples of food collected and analyzed by, or on behalf of, the Secretary in carrying out the Secretary’s duties under this Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) and may collect and analyze additional samples of food to assess the nature, frequency of occurrence, and amounts of contaminants in food. 

(2) REQUIREMENTS- Assessment by the Secretary under this section may employ, in the Secretary’s discretion, statistically valid monitoring, including market-basket studies, on the nature, frequency of occurrence, and amounts of contaminants in food available to consumers, and at the request of the Secretary such other information as the Secretary determines may be useful. 

(c) Public Availability of Assessment- To the extent it does not impede the ability of the United States to protect against terrorist threats and other intentional attacks against the food supply, the Secretary may make publicly available, by posting on the Web site of the Department of Health and Human Services, the results of any assessment conducted under this section. To the extent feasible with the data and information available, the assessment may rank food categories based on their hazard to human health and may address– 

(1) the safety of commercial harvesting and processing, as compared with the health hazards associated with food products that are harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared noncommercially; 

(2) the safety of food products that are domestically harvested and processed, as compared with the health hazards associated with food products that are harvested or processed outside the United States; and 

(3) contamination originating from handling practices that occur prior to or after sale of food products to consumers. 

This wording specifies “food products that are harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared non-commercially.” Now, let’s go to the dictionary to spell out meanings:

Recreational:  

From recreation – refreshment of strength and spirits after work; also : a means of refreshment or diversion : hobby 

Harvest:  

1 a: to gather in (a crop): reap b: to gather, catch, hunt, or kill (as salmon, oysters, or deer) for human use, sport, or population control c: to remove or extract (as living cells, tissues, or organs) from culture or from a living or recently deceased body especially for transplanting 

Subsistence:  

1 a (1): real being: existence (2): the condition of remaining in existence: continuation, persistence b: an essential characteristic quality of something that exists c: the character possessed by whatever is logically conceivable 

2: means of subsisting: as a: the minimum (as of food and shelter) necessary to support life b: a source or means of obtaining the necessities of life  

Commercially:  

From commercial - 

1 a (1): occupied with or engaged in commerce or work intended for commerce <a commercial artist> 

(2): of or relating to commerce <commercial regulations> 

(3): characteristic of commerce <commercial weights> 

Barb’s note: Non-commercial would be anything not relating to commerce, as in food grown for family consumption only. 

The way this bill is written, if I go on a trail ride, find some blackberries on the side of the trail and pick them to eat for a break in the ride, I am subject to HR 2749 regulation and tracing. Why? Because in order to compare something you need to have the statistics on that something. So, “health hazards associated with food products that are harvested for recreational or subsistence purposes and prepared non-commercially” need to be tracked and monitored. How do you do that? By monitoring every single aspect of food gathering and preparing, from the trail to the home planter box, recording the results in a database, then comparing those results with their commercial counterparts. They then conduct an assessment, and “rank food categories based on their hazard to human health.” 

Now we know how statistics go. What you put in is what you get out. There is no way that all home growers or trail riders can be monitored. So, they take a portion of the population and monitor them. The choice of who gets monitored is up to them. They (the new FSA, FDA, USDA) can stack the deck any way they want to get any results they want, then trot those results on out to the public to declare certain methods dangerous. Since Monsanto and the USDA are partners, guess what methods will be shown to be dangerous to public health? That’s right, anything organic unless the multinationals own the company, not irradiated, not shot full of antibiotics, and not raised on a factory farm. 

The next step, after determining that certain practices are dangerous to the public health and could create a serious health risk, is to ban that practice. Now, with the stroke of a pen and skewed statistical information to feed to the public to support their claims, home gardeners are now criminals unless they follow the best practices outlined by Monsanto. Also, if caught with an “unsafe” berry from my trail ride, I am also a criminal. 

The Real Issue 

So I ask, if food safety is the real issue, why word the bills so that if the letter of the law is enforced, family farmers are crushed and trail riders become criminals at the stroke of a pen for picking berries? What would the real outcome be if these bills pass? 

Some of the more obvious results would be massive fees and fines, an expensive and cumbersome tracking system for not only veggies and fruit, but for animals as well, and the elimination of the family farm. Instead of being able to go out to the backyard and pick a salad for dinner, we will be forced to rely on Monsanto, et. al. for every bite that we take or face penalties and prosecution. This is total control of the food supply, and as Henry Kissinger has stated: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” 

Here are some good articles on HR 2749, HR 875 and HR 814, three of the recent “food safety” scams in Congress, and a must-see video titled “The World According to Monsanto”: 

Strange Martial Law via Food Control: HR 2749 

The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize Agribusiness Practices in Service of Corporate Global Governance 

HR 814 Supports CAFOs and Restricts Individual Animal Ownership 

The Multiple Ways Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach

GMO Clones, the FDA, HR 875, and Congress

The World According to Monsanto 

 

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© 2009, Barbara H. Peterson

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6 Responses to “Food Safety Scam: The Letter of the Law Makes Criminals of Us All”

  1. Rady says:

    YIKES!

    Some folks take the red pill; others take the blue one.

    Or, some drink the Kool-Ade, other’s refuse.

    Some will get vaccinated; some won’t.

  2. Sherry says:

    I have neighbors who farm. I have been trying to wake them up
    but they don’t believe any of it. They say things like “Oh,
    you shouldn’t believe all that stuff on the internet, anyone can
    put anything on it and make people believe it’s true”

    He uses Round up ready seed and thinks it’s great.

  3. Kololia says:

    A Life without the liberty to grow my own food, is no life worth living. I guess, I’ll be meeting my creator sooner than I’d like. To live in a concentration camp and have no freedom to make my own decisions is out of the question, I refuse to live with laws as these that are proposed.
    God help us all. Say a prayer for Congress, for THEY DO NOT KNOW, WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
    THEY SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOR TREASON AND force feed GMO food ONLY. Let’s see how long they live!
    “Limits only exist in the mind”

  4. Korn is king says:

    Not to worry,food will be available from FEMA if you have a PASS card and have turned in all your registered weapons to the local military liason officer. After a quick background check and required immunizations your monthly food voucher will be issued electronically directly to your PASS ID. Now what could be easier?

  5. Sue says:

    EXCELLENT article, Barb!!

    Most folks just don’t realize that what isn’t said in a bill is often more important that what IS said… further, since what is in this bill is so horribly restrictive and yet does NOTHING to promote true safety in our food supply, what isn’t should be everyone’s clue that the bill has no purpose but to harm those it purports to protect.

    I also hope that those who read this understand that the sections of the bill listed here are taken directly from the bill itself, and are not “commentary.”

    Pretty scary stuff…

    Thanks again!!!

    Sue

  6. […] There is a big difference between the spirit and the letter of the law. The key to analyzing the effects of any type of legislation that ultimately results in setting rules and regulations in motion through a set of laws is in understanding the difference between the spirit and letter of the law, and how this concept is applied towards enforcement of any particular law. READ MORE… […]