Health Alert: Government Shutting Small Farms Down And Restricting Your Food Sources
by Monica Davis
What happens when the government shuts small farms down? What happens when our food rights are erased and we are forced to consume government-protected factory farms?
The time is now and the small farmers being forced out of business include dairy farms, Amish farms and farms that have been in families for generations.
The FDA won its two-year fight to shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh raw milk to eager consumers in the Washington, D.C., region after a judge this month banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines and he told his customers he would shut down his farm altogether. Read more
Farmers who have been in business for generations are now finding it hard to survive as government agencies become hostile to small scale farmers and credit favors factory and corporate farm operations.
From urban farmers’ markets to charitable lemonade stands, small-scale food sources are being shut down in what can best be described as a loss of our food rights.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013), by David E. Gumpert, takes readers on a disturbing cross-country journey from Maine to California through a netherworld of Amish farmers paying big fees to questionable advisers to avoid the quagmire of America’s legal system, secret food police lurking in vans at farmers markets, cultish activists preaching the benefits of pathogens, and suburban moms worried enough about the dangers of supermarket food that they’ll risk fines and jail to feed their children unprocessed, and unregulated, foods of their choosing. Out of the intensity of this unprecedented crackdown, and the creative and spirited opposition that is rising to meet it, a new rallying cry for food rights is emerging. The following excerpt comes from chapter two, “Is There Such a Thing as Private Food?”
At 9:40 on the morning of February 4, 2010, two FDA agents in an SUV pulled up the long driveway of Daniel Allgyer’s farm in Kinzers, Pennsylvania. The agents, Joshua Schafer and Deborah Haney, were from the FDA’s Delaware office to do an inspection, they told Allgyer. MOREHERE
The disconnect between local farmers, that is, local family farmers and consumers as well as government agencies is profound. Many urban chldren can’t identify farm animals and don’t know what meat particular animals produce. Some cannot identify cut fruits and vegetables.
And, there we have another problem: urban nicities vs. farm realities. In Texas and other places, the conflict between urban farms and neighborhoods is escalating. Laws are often outdates, as city farmers branch out into auxilliary products and services which are not covered by older urban farm ordinances.
The urban farm ordinance needs to be rewritten and clarified. Currently, the Process and Code Coordination Working Group of the Sustainable Food Policy Board is working on language to lessen the restrictions on urban farms, especially concerning livestock, farm size, employees, and dwellings. Once the planning commission approves the amendments to the urban farm ordinance, it will go to City Council for approval. MOREHERE
Urban farm operations battle gentrification, outdated laws and highly organized special interests. As always land use, land value and land ownership often don’t play nice in the sandbox.
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