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The Road to...Serfdom?

A bill (H.R. 857) has been introduced that would make it basically illegal to grow your own food on your own land without the government's permission. When I first heard about this I was taken aback and I thought all the blogs and the writer's and the critics were merely engaging in a bit of hyperbole, certainly the government is not stepping toward the realm of nationalizing food. As it turns out, it is as bad as most everyone is saying it is. In fact, one part even reads "to refuse to permit entry to or inspection of a food establishment" (food establishment being so broad a term that it could very well mean your backyard).

Not only that but you must tell the government exactly what you are growing and when you are growing it. It's not a big step to force farmers to tell the government what they're growing (I mean, what do they have to hide?) and say it's in the name of public health. That is why this bill is so's coming in under the radar.

The bill leans heavily towards destroying a blossoming organic market (though it never explicitly says so) in favor of more industrial methods. Namely, the only people that can really afford to cooperate with this bill are the larger farms that have the time and money to implement all these changes.

Linn Cohen-Cole over at OpEdNews puts it very succinctly:

The bill is monstrous on level after level - the power it would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international "industrial" standards to independent farms - the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.

This minor step towards nationalizing farming (the government knowing everything about all farms everywhere) is just another one down that road to serfdom. Literally the government is tying people to their land. I do not know what else to call it. And as the footsteps fade away, and we walk down that road, we can do nothing but weep for our lost freedoms.

One nice thing about the bill--I guess--is that "Any person that commits an act that violates the food safety law (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under the food safety law) may be assessed a civil penalty by the Administrator of not more than $1,000,000 for each such act."

Posted by Barry Belmont 8:42 PM