Sunday, November 25, 2012

Prop 37 lives -- notes

Prop 37 Lives On

You are an organic farmer in Wisconsin, working hard to bring in your crop after a hot. dry summer. Fall has been a little wetter, but still this, your third year organic has been rough. The bank has been amenable so far, but you are way behind. It is three months since the credit accounts have balanced and the mortgage paid up to current.  One tractor is badly in need of maintenance. The other is up on blocks. The harvest crew account is zero, so the bulk of the work the next three weeks of harvest will fall on you, your wife and family friends as you bring in your bounty of leaf crops and herbs. Years of commitment to purifying your land and meeting the criteria required by your state and county to put that big O label on your produce. It is a tense time. You are perched on the threshold of disaster.

You return from a morning in town meeting with your lawyer to find your entire 10 acre field destroyed. Ruined kale and collard greens are strewn like dachow corpses. Trucks and machinery are scattered across the small field. Already some are making their way past you back to the highway. You have only begun to take in the nightmare scene when a group engages you. A well-shod, burly man is flanked by two guards in coveralls and clean, expensive hiking boots. He draws near, approaching you on foot, his two reinforcers half a step behind on either side. Walking straight towards you on your own driveway, he puts one hand up, prison-guard-like, in the universal gesture of : "stay right where you fucking are." No smile. No hurry. Authority and entitlement embodied. You think briefly of gunning the car and running him down.

You glance at your wife, who is reaching to open her door, but doesn't, quite. "Wait. We will find out more very quickly," is the unstated message in the air. You watch the man stride up to your driver door, alone, but watched closely by the men in the bulky coveralls.


For dozens of organic farmers not living and working in Oregon and Washington, this has become a nightmare and in some cases, a devastating reality.

Efforts to grow and sell organic, non-GMO produce have been met with harsh responses from powerful and in many cases, armed agents of the food industry.

Why do we feel powerless? If we just inform ourselves and then withhold purchase of contaminated products, all will be well, right?

Prop 37 was an effort to "force" food sellers to label products containing Genetically Modified Organisms

Reading and Link list

Organic Consumers Org.

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