We’re under attack
Listen up New Zealanders. Just imagine this news story appearing in the New Zealand Herald:
A pensioner from Oxford has been arrested by Food Safety officers for growing carrots in his backyard and sharing his produce with neighbours in exchange for silverbeet and cabbage. Officers raided the pensioner’s premises without a warrant and were armed. Agribusiness company employees, backed by the armed Food Safety officers, were also in attendance and will be prosecuting the pensioner.
Do you think I’m writing an Orwellian-style novel? Nope. I’m simply projecting forward based on a nasty proposed Act out there – the New Zealand Food Bill 160-2 (2010) – and should it pass its second reading in early 2012, it could make the basic human right to grow food, save seeds, and share the produce with friends and family, a quaint relic of the past.
Under the rhetoric of “food safety”, the NZ Government is about to hand over control of food production to mega-corporations like Monsanto, who want full control of the global food supply chain from field to table. Everything from farmer’s markets to heritage seed banks, community and individual vegetable gardens could be affected. Frankly, it’s Monsanto trying to get their genetically-modified seeds into every country on the planet and stitching up a monopoly on world food.
Go ahead and read the Bill. I’ll wait. As currently drafted, you could interpret that saving seeds will be an illegal activity; or sharing excess backyard produce with your neighbours will be an illegal activity; or selling your produce at your local farmer’s market will be an illegal activity. If you want a detailed overview of the Bill, go here.
I’ve read a lot on this, including the tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists who say this is all part of the one world government future we’ll be facing. I don’t believe it will affect my right to grow a bunch of carrots in my backyard but it certainly could affect seed saving and heirloom, endangered plants and plants with medicinal properties. And that for me is the scary bit. Because it means that – if seed saving or heritage seed banks become illegal - all we’ll be able to get hold of is genetically-modified seeds (like Monsanto’s Round Up Ready soy beans) or seeds from a Big Food company like Monsanto. And if you want to learn about what Monsanto could do to you or me should we save a seed from a Monsanto crop or unwittingly grow a Monsanto-patented crop because some honey bee pollinated our land, just read this. Or this. Or this. It will scare the bejesus out of you.
If, like me, you have a small herb garden and use say mint leaves in your salad or brew a hot cup of mint leaf tea – well, your human right to do this could well be under threat. Why? Because the Big Food companies currently don’t have patents over mint or ginger or lemon or sage. So they can’t make mega-profits. The Bill is part of NZ’s obligations to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Codex Alimentarius scheme for global food control.
Go off and search Codex Alimentarius – this is even more scary if you ask me. The Codex Alimentarius (or Food Code) basically limits health freedom. Because the more natural health products we use, the less profits Big Pharma, Big Food companies get. And that applies to the mint growing in the backyard. The Vitamin and Mineral Guideline of the Codex can ban all clinically effective vitamins, minerals and herbs. This means stuff you buy from your local health food. Don’t believe me? Then read this. Or this. Or this.
The natural health industry could disappear and our level of nutrition will decline whilst Big Companies and Big Pharma push GM foods and synthetically-made drugs on us.
If you are concerned about the NZ Food Bill, you can sign an online petition. Do your own research on the Food Bill and Codex Alimentarius. There is some alarmist stuff out there – such as Big Companies and Big Pharma wanting to get rid of organic and homegrown food because we would then face ill-health and be forced to buy highly-priced prescription medicines. But when you read up about Codex Alimentarius, you have to wonder. So the NZ Food Bill could be one fatal step towards global corporations and Governments telling us what we can and can’t eat.
You can watch a video about the NZ Food Bill and how it might affect you on the Campbell Live website. Meanwhile, I’ll be defending my right to grow carrots in my own backyard.