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Growing food is subversive?

#1 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 14:56

http://www.stuff.co....tuns-government

Apparently the Minister has not yet done anything about the amendments she says she is pushing for in the article. I was unable to access the actual Bill; the government links are selective and don't link to it. This is a very similar situation that the States went through last year. In Canada we are pretty much already there unfortunately, just so far the government hasn't flexed its muscles too much. Too many people are unaware of the implications of these laws being quietly pushed through with very little public involvement.

Saskatchewan is proposing a Environmental Code which basically could disenfranchise property owners from deciding what to grow or how to grow it; in the first paragraph the government asserts that it will listen only to "recognized authorities" when making decisions. Censorship at its best..

I had to buy membership in a club (cost me a penny) to buy heritage lettuce and pea seeds from England last year as the seeds were not on an officially approved list, and otherwise the growers could have been arrested, fined, and their seeds/plants seized. Growing food "unofficially" is rapidly approaching the designation of being a terrorist activity.
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#2 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 15:05

Growing food isn't a problem. *Selling food* is a problem. The upside to being able to get stuff that the health code bans (because it is, but rarely is, a problem) has to be pushed with the downside (people will handle their "unsafe" food in the same way they handle their "safe" food, which makes it actually unsafe).

Obviously, it's a bigger problem elsewhere than here, but without this kind of regulation enforcement, expect it to get bigger. Whether it will become as bad as the latest issues in India and Indonesia (both referring to cut-price (and possibly bootleg) alcohol being sold in bars, and post facto determined to have been cut quite strongly with methanol) is a question, but they're not just regulating for regulation's purposes.
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#3 User is offline   brian_m 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 15:47

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-19, 15:05, said:

Growing food isn't a problem. *Selling food* is a problem. The upside to being able to get stuff that the health code bans (because it is, but rarely is, a problem) has to be pushed with the downside (people will handle their "unsafe" food in the same way they handle their "safe" food, which makes it actually unsafe).

Obviously, it's a bigger problem elsewhere than here, but without this kind of regulation enforcement, expect it to get bigger. Whether it will become as bad as the latest issues in India and Indonesia (both referring to cut-price (and possibly bootleg) alcohol being sold in bars, and post facto determined to have been cut quite strongly with methanol) is a question, but they're not just regulating for regulation's purposes.



Hmmph. My wife and I live within 25 miles of a border crossing into Canada. Coming back into the USA, the list of prohibited items changes regularly (almost weekly, if you believe the guy in the booth). There seems to me to be two options :-

1) Uncle Sam is on the ball, and foods do really need to be banned one week but are OK to bring back the next.

2) Uncle Sam has no clue what he's doing.

Last time we came back from St. Stephen (about three weeks ago) it was citrus fruit, peppers and tomatoes that were forbidden. The previous time, about two weeks prior, they were all OK, but blueberries were prohibited. I wouldn't mind so much, but the St. Croix river at Calais barely merits being called a river. What, exactly, do they think they're keeping out?
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#4 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 16:48

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-19, 15:05, said:

Growing food isn't a problem. *Selling food* is a problem. The upside to being able to get stuff that the health code bans (because it is, but rarely is, a problem) has to be pushed with the downside (people will handle their "unsafe" food in the same way they handle their "safe" food, which makes it actually unsafe).

Obviously, it's a bigger problem elsewhere than here, but without this kind of regulation enforcement, expect it to get bigger. Whether it will become as bad as the latest issues in India and Indonesia (both referring to cut-price (and possibly bootleg) alcohol being sold in bars, and post facto determined to have been cut quite strongly with methanol) is a question, but they're not just regulating for regulation's purposes.

Not sure I follow you. If growing food isn't the problem then why are seeds specifically included?

It is now illegal in most of Canada and the States (I don't know of any exceptions but there may be some) for anyone who doesn't have the use of an officially approved commercial kitchen to bake cookies and sell them at a Farmer's Market although there has admittedly never been a single issue anywhere that the government was able to cite as a reason for this. This could now be extended to include vegetables which were not of an approved variety or not grown with various chemicals. The e-coli outbreaks a few years ago in North America and last year (?) in Europe didn't happen in a farmer's market with locally grown and processed food, they happened through large corporate chain processing. But all are bundled together in a Food Safety package which in the American version at least lays a whole huge bundle of problems for the small producer. Example,according to Joel Salatin, small chicken producers must be able to track every chicken processed, whereas the huge producers do not, they can bundle maybe 50,000 chickens in one group. Each of the chickens from the small producer can be and is inspected. How can an inspector possibly inspect several hundred chickens an hour? Yet which process is more likely to have problems with salmonella?

Alcohol is a totally different thing entirely and outside the discussion as far as I am concerned. Alcohol, though very pleasant sometimes, can hardly be considered food. Also, alcohol is already extremely heavilly controlled, e.g. I know of no country where it is legal to distill your own alcohol. Yet it still happens,and BECAUSE it is illegal there's no protection for the consumer except after a disaster happens. Prohibition was tried and didn't work very well, except perhaps for the Mafia and so forth. Anyway.

To be sure, it's a good thing that the governments no longer allow many of the adulterants which used to be added to bread, for example But.. they allow all sorts of other adulterants of various sorts to be added legally. Some are preservatives some are taste enhancers, some simply cut the cost of the product to give a higher ROI to the producer. Some, like the methanol in your example, are toxic but in such small amounts that they seemingly have no effect. A couple of examples:

Rice grown in US has an average 26 ppb of arsenic according to a study. (Wikipedia). Other sources say arsenic is also found in beer and seafood among other things. Arsenic is I believe an accumulative poison in that it tends to stick around in the body until it finally does you in when you get enough of it saved up. It can make your life pretty unpleasant before it kills you.

(from another source) Red 3 Artificial Coloring: Candy, baked goods.

The evidence that this dye caused thyroid tumors in rats is "convincing," according to a 1983 review committee report requested by FDA. FDA's recommendation that the dye be banned was overruled by pressure from elsewhere in the Reagan Administration. Red 3 used to color maraschino cherries, but it has been replaced there by the less controversial Red 40 dye. It is still used in a smattering of foods ranging from cake icing to fruit roll-ups to chewing gum.

So this begs the question of safety..we really have no idea how safe over the long term most of these (legal) chemicals are that we are chowing down with virtually anything processed.

The problem is that these things always sound so reasonable..who could possibly be against food safety? ..but there is a dark side which is not being addressed. Governments tend to gravitate toward wanting to have control over everything. Perhaps some feel that is what they are supposed to do. Others just like power. Of course they aren't regulating for regulation purposes, they are regulating to control, that's the whole point.

It's one thing to say that nobody should be allowed to poison somebody by deliberately feeding them castor beans. It's quite another to pass a law saying that anything anyone produces as food must be preapproved by the government because someone sometime might serve castor beans as food. Or even that at some point some nutcase intentionally did. You cannot ever entirely avoid having crazies who will find ways to flip out and hurt people. All you are doing with this sort of legislation is restricting the freedom of choice of the rest of the population, who might enjoy growing them as a wonderfully ornamental plant. Presumably authorized growers would still be allowed to grow them for the drug trade. Or maybe a program of eradication of the castor bean would be undertaken with the slogan of public safety first.

This is giving the government far too much power. The cost of such regulation is far too high.

BTW did you know that the City of NY actually had a sting operation to nab, arrest and charge a guy for eating dandelions and such in Central Park? The Park supervisor said "He has got to learn that the park is not a supermarket" (Admittedly 20 or so years ago but still shows how rational people can be when they get a little authority.)
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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 17:17

Nobody's "giving" the government all this power. The government is just taking it.
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#6 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 18:17

I don't like it either, but there is a big difference when you are talking about a small country that is a very big food exporter. Damage to the reputation and brand of that country from a small number of incidents can affect the livelihoods of a large proportion of its population.
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#7 User is online   Hanoi5 

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Posted 2012-January-20, 05:27

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-January-19, 17:17, said:

Nobody's "giving" the government all this power. The government is just taking it.


People are "giving" it away.

View Postwyman, on 2012-May-04, 09:48, said:

Also, he rates to not have a heart void when he leads the 3.


View Postrbforster, on 2012-May-20, 21:04, said:

Besides playing for fun, most people also like to play bridge to win


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#8 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2012-January-20, 10:44

View Postnigel_k, on 2012-January-19, 18:17, said:

I don't like it either, but there is a big difference when you are talking about a small country that is a very big food exporter. Damage to the reputation and brand of that country from a small number of incidents can affect the livelihoods of a large proportion of its population.

So many people died in world war 1 and 2 alone supposedly to protect "freedom" that as Hanoi5 says, we are now simply giving away. It is sad to think that freedom should be of so little importance that it would be traded off in the interests of protecting the country's "reputation and brand" from the misbehaviour or mismanagement of a commercial enterprise. I guess everyone makes their own choice as to what is important.
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#9 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2012-January-21, 00:58

I was thinking about this today and remembered something I was once told. I was taking a self defense course for women(not my idea, a long story) and the guy running it said that the reason many women get badly hurt when they are attacked is not that they couldn't defend themselves. It's that they couldn't believe that anyone would actually intend to hurt them so they don't make a serious effort to defend themselves, until it's too late.
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#10 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-January-21, 01:19

View Postonoway, on 2012-January-21, 00:58, said:

I was thinking about this today and remembered something I was once told. I was taking a self defense course for women(not my idea, a long story) and the guy running it said that the reason many women get badly hurt when they are attacked is not that they couldn't defend themselves. It's that they couldn't believe that anyone would actually intend to hurt them so they don't make a serious effort to defend themselves, until it's too late.




This applies to men, countries, and life.......but an excellent point.

If you read the diary's from France in late 1930's, they all basically said Germany will never invade in force.

You can see this in history often but still you make a good post worth repeating.
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#11 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-January-21, 07:39

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-January-19, 17:17, said:

Nobody's "giving" the government all this power. The government is just taking it.


Taking it from the U.S. Constitution?

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
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