Affairs of Plate: Food and Law

“Because of the media hype and woefully inadequate information, too many people nowadays are deathly afraid of their food, and what does fear of food do to the digestive system? I am sure that an unhappy or suspicious stomach, constricted and uneasy with worry, cannot digest properly. And if digestion is poor, the whole body politic suffers.” — Julia Child

Food Law News

Protecting small farms: 

  • Rolling out this month: new Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rules. Several organizations are working with the Department of Agriculture to make sure small farms are exempted from regulations intended for corporate farms.
    • For information and assistance:
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National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

In Oregon:

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Friends of Family Farmers

Going DARK:

  • HR 1599, aka the ‘Denying Americans the Right to Know’ (DARK) Act, was passed in the U.S. House in July. The Senate will consider it soon. If enacted, it would block local laws requiring labeling of genetically modified foods. A voluntary system full of loopholes (genetically modified foods could qualify as “natural”) is proposed as a substitute.
    • Residues of the herbicide glyphosate — widely used on GMO crops — have been detected in foods. Researchers with the World Health Organization report that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.
    • Contact your senator:
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Click here
  • Following up on the Canola War — Win some lose some. The Oregon Legislature passed HB 3382, allowing canola in areas that were subject to a “no canola” moratorium. Aggressive and easily cross-pollinated, canola poses a threat to Oregon’s specialty seed industry.

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  • The bill does require research on impacts of canola to the seed industry. The Oregon Department of Agriculture will be required to recommend laws to protect the industry. So, a draw.

“Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates.” – Vandana Shiva, physicist, author of Soil Not Oil

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