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FOOD FREEDOM – We need to show the universe that food freedom is going to happen.  We need to let our kids and grandkids know that we mean business because their health and longevity is on the line.  It’s high time we divorced ourselves completely, yet responsibly, from every power and technology that is destroying our planet 

Divorce is messy, it’s true, and not least because it puts our intellectual and spiritual integrity under scrutiny.   So, let’s set aside the “stewardship” or “sustainability” happy talk for one big hypocrisy-ending step that we can all take.

“Something massive is happening in Switzerland right now.”  So begin the words of a notice from a group called Future3, where “A brave group of farmers, scientists and citizens turned up to the Federal Assembly . . . in support of one game-changing idea: ban ALL non-organic pesticides.”

Swiss citizens are tired of paying billions in taxes which end up underpinning a toxic agricultural model that contaminates the environment, thereby posing a serious threat to public health and their unique ecosystems.  As such, their referendum petition demands that taxpayer money for agriculture subsidies should henceforth be allocated to only those farming practices and institutions that do not pollute the environment and that are dedicated to the production of healthy food. 

They’ve gathered enough signatures to hold a nationwide referendum on the pesticide ban in record time.  If they succeed, the entire country will have to phase out every single synthetic pesticide within ten years.   It’s part of a larger movement sweeping Europe.  In 2017 voters got three of the worst bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides banned- a move that almost split the European Union. 

In Bavaria, the public is turning against the soil-poisoning compounds made by Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta, the world’s largest manufacturers.  A petition on preserving species diversity, popularly known as the “Save the bees” campaign, garnered sufficient support to explore significant changes to the state’s farming practices.  Led by the collapse of bee colonies, and the loss of pollinators essential for sustaining their food supply, Bavarians voted for more protection. 

Recent German studies into species decline showed the number of flying insects had dropped by almost 80% in 30 years.  They lost more than 15% of songbirds in the first ten years of this new century.  Even greater species collapse –close to 100% of flying insects – is occurring all across northern Missouri and Illinois. 

It’s safe to say that a broad plurality of Missourians do not want these poisons in their food or in the environment, and feel betrayed by their political representatives and government institutions which appear undemocratic from top to bottom. So here’s a nod to any Missouri politician wanting to keep his job in this, our historically corrupt and secretive state government: (A) Call for an end to synthetic biocides and (B) Prepare a transition plan to alternative (non-synthetic) options.

It’ll be an uphill battle. Bayer-Monsanto’s money is the lifeblood of Missouri’s chemical-industrial agriculture. They have long suppressed the science of how they are sickening us, wiping out bees, and collapsing ecosystems around the planet. They will spend any amount to bombard the trusting voter with propaganda so they can keep selling their toxic chemicals. 

These same interests, helped by certain banks and dummy farm organizations, launched the “Right to farm” Constitutional Amendment 1, which in August 2014 asked voters to guarantee the right of Missouri citizens to engage in “agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed.”  Seeing the coming train wreck in Europe, Big Money launched a national campaign to keep the system rigged in their favor for all time.  Now here’s the rest of the story:

Corporate agriculture sought to carve out constitutional protection for one special industry – its own.  It’s important to note that the “Right to Farm” scam didn’t start in Missouri.  It’s part of a coordinated, nationwide effort by Big Ag and the administrative Deep State, to give a free pass to corporate agriculture.  “Get Big or get out!” has been the corporatist policy since the earliest days of Allen Dulles.    

Food freedom proponent John Ikerd, a professor emeritus of ag economics at the University of Missouri, said Amendment 1 gave “. . .  a blanket protection on those practices as they now exist . . . (it’s) like granting tobacco companies and smokers the constitutional rights to forever continue their practice of the 1970’s.” 

So now we’ve got this “Right to Farm” amendment because the Missouri Farm Bureau, corporate backers, and some (not all) of the state’s agricultural groups saw what was coming and vowed to keep it from tanking their bottom line here.  The humiliating defrocking of Big Tobacco showed the need for a sweetheart insurance policy to shield them from public accountability: “Never again!”  But how to do it?

Representative Bill Reiboldt (R-160) helpfully sponsored Amendment 1to the Missouri House of Representin’ for the House Joint Resolution 11 in May 2014.   Reiboldt’s sudden inspiration to protect “the little man’s” already guaranteed rights set Missouri’s astonishingly affordable Governor Jay Nixon, (D into motion. He was especially expressive in his opposition to the Amendment petition, one of eight that qualified for the upcoming general election on the 4th of November.  

So incensed was Nixon, in fact, that he legislatively referred the vote to the August 5th primary, wasting no time in eagerly ignoring the foreseeable consequences.  That left it impossible to organize a counter-petition drive, and Nixon was right to reckon that few Americans had even heard of ‘collusion’ at the time.

A contemporary editorial in the Kansas City Star argued for a No Vote, saying “In Missouri, where global-corporatist hegemony that passes for agriculture is politically entrenched, both parties were complicit in the constitutional amendment …what they want is immunity from laws designed to protect the food supply, the environment and animals.  And they want a license to run roughshod over local communities that might seek a buffer from factory farms.” 

Thus did the Chinese-owned Smithfield Farms get corporate immunity and a license to steam-roll anybody that might fight against factory pig farms in Missouri‘s Courts.  In a Herald interview a FRC spokesperson kept up the theme:

“People have no idea the degree to which ag science is politically suppressed in Missouri.  It’s all-encompassing. But we’re talking to certain current and former officeholders to organize a signature-gathering effort for a Constitution that actually protects Missouri’s food supply, the environment, and farm animals.”

“The fix is in from top to bottom.  Consequently, life spans are falling and cancer numbers are rising all over the place.  Only a grass-roots direct-democracy effort will overcome the secrecy and corruption that passes for Missouri’s good ole boy politics. That’s why the Farm Resettlement Congress’ 20 Year Plan to restore food freedom is such a viable alternative.  Going ‘organic’ sets the stage for re-generative soil science and is essential to restoring food ownership.”

She continued:  “We have a diverse group of farmers, scientists and citizens get-ting behind a drive to amend Missouri’s Constitution to end synthetic pesticide in ten years.  The same science that woke up Swiss voters, where more than 1-in-8 farmers are already organic, can be the basis for regenerative agriculture in the Ozarks. It’s the coming wave for larger-scale agriculture as well.”

“We can show how to quickly develop a local cottage industry making organic pesticides every bit as effective and profitable” (as the Big Ag products).  Water soluble plant recipes can be applied to broad acre and tree crops, something the land grant ag colleges will never talk about.”  Some of these home-made bug and weed remedies will be forthcoming for a later publication of this column, she said. 

“The public is dramatically turning against Bayer-Monsanto’s deadly compounds. The vote against the “Right to Farm” fraud barely passed on August 5, 2014.   If we really want to change things, the shameful complicity of our elected officials cries out for daylight.  The next vote will put an end to the betrayal.”

It may be a “game-changing idea to ban ALL non-organic pesticides” for some, but not for thousands of farmers, large and small, who have already “gone organic.”  Herald readers wanting to participate in the petition drive are encouraged to mail a contact address and a brief bio to:  Friends of the FRC, PO Box 434, Theodosia MO., 65761.