Sixty8panther

Letter from Congrersman

45 posts in this topic

First off, I'm pretty shocked that I was not the cause

for my own thread to get locked. I must be slacking. :wink:

Second, those of you who showed respect for critical

thinking & keeping an open mind & sharing your opinion

in an era quite possibly as volatile & unpredictable as

any in the history of mankind, Thank You.

Now for just a little something to satisfy Dodgefan's

curiosity:

My wife Julie alerted me to this the other day.

A friend of hers in another state contacted her

Congressman about the upcoming Codex Alimentarius

proposals (as in: the locked thread)

March 30, 2009

Mrs. ______Wife's Acquaintance_________

Boise, Idaho 83705

Dear ________:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the labeling of agricultural products. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Lately it has become popular for consumers to favor products that purport to be “organic” or “all natural”. While I believe that consumers should be free to make their own choices as to the products they purchase, I recognize that these popular product varieties can potentially suggest that regular food products are substandard or unhealthy.

This is really part of a larger debate ongoing in Congress regarding more extensive labeling of agricultural products. This debate raises concerns for me. For example, I am concerned that mandatory labeling of any genetically modified foods or foods treated with pesticides may cause consumers who know little about the issue to assume that any information included on a label would constitute a hazard warning. As a result, these consumers might avoid them based on a judgment of implied risk. To make such labeling truthful and not misleading, all commodities would need to be segregated and tested, and the label would not have room to impart information that could not be distributed in other ways.

The technology employed by food producers today is essential to maximizing efficiency in a highly competitive world market. To stay in business, American farmers must always increase their efficiency. With the help of agricultural research, total farm output in America has increased by nearly two-and-a-half times of what it was in 1950. This is phenomenal, and I am reluctant to support measures that could potentially hamper this progress by discouraging the consumption of foods produced with this technology.

Once again, thank you for taking time to contact me with your concerns. The thoughts and

opinions of Idahoans are important to me as your Representative in the United States Congress. I also encourage you to visit my website at www.house.gov/simpson to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter and to read more about my views on a variety of issues.

Sincerely,

S

Mike Simpson

Member of Congress

Some of you will read between the lines, others will

dismiss it as bull$h!. Whatever. I care not to

convince those that don't believe. But those of you

that do care &/or want to hear the other side I

think it's obvious Congressman Simpson is saying

that we as American citizens, or in this case, Idaho

residents, are not smart enough to make our own

choices about food. Esp. regarding the issue of

organic versus "regular".

Read between the lines and you just might see the

ugly truth. For the record I've seen the original

document but feel it would be overstepping Julie's

friend's privacy to post the scan of it.

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I'm a customer service supervisor/book keeper in a local grocery store... customers are often that dumb. The Congressman is 100% correct, people will view these new labels as warning labels and stay away from them.

How dumb are consumers: They often buy brand name products when the store brand product is right next to it on the shelf, made by the same company on the same line EX: Wonder Bread and IGA Bread... both delivered by the Wonder bread truck. I've told customers this and they still "feel better" about the name brand.

While many consumers are very informed, many are not.

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But those of you

that do care &/or want to hear the other side I

think it's obvious Congressman Simpson is saying

that we as American citizens, or in this case, Idaho

residents, are not smart enough to make our own

choices about food. Esp. regarding the issue of

organic versus "regular".

Doesn't Idaho have a big Potato lobby? They probably contributed to his campaign, along with Monsanto (very evil and powerful company from what I've heard).

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I agree 100% but you've missed the point.

But since we're on the topic:

My buddy works at a Breakfast Cereal plant, they make a batch of

cereal, half goes in the BRAND NAME boxes, another 20% in Store

X brand & the remaining 30% in Store Y brand.

Literally.

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along with Monsanto (very evil and powerful company from what I've heard).

Now we're getting somewhere. :)

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I agree 100% but you've missed the point.

But since we're on the topic:

My buddy works at a Breakfast Cereal plant, they make a batch of

cereal, half goes in the BRAND NAME boxes, another 20% in Store

X brand & the remaining 30% in Store Y brand.

Literally.

Along that thread, I know that NOTHING beats Kellogg's Raisin Bran. However, I've tried the store brands and they're more analogous to Post than Kellogg's.

I believe you though.

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Along that thread, I know that NOTHING beats Kellogg's Raisin Bran. However, I've tried the store brands and they're more analogous to Post than Kellogg's.

I believe you though.

The problem I have with Raisin Bran is they get soggy too fast. I pretty much stick with Honey Nut Cheerios when I have breakfast cereal..

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I love Honey Bunches of Oats.

Store brand products are definitely not the same, even if they have the same "active ingredients", similar packaging, and say "compare to..."

That's more like a Chery QQ than a Pontiac G3.

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The problem I have with Raisin Bran is they get soggy too fast. I pretty much stick with Honey Nut Cheerios when I have breakfast cereal..

Yeah, that's true. I learned to get the juice and THEN pour the cereal... or just stick to Raisin Bran Crunch.

------------------

To the letter that you posted, 68, I've never understood the whole "organic" thing. Maybe because when I was in elementary school, "organic" was almost synonymous with "biodegradable," which was then supplanted by the chemical definition of "containing carbon atoms." Food without pesticides, etc. was just called "natural," not this newer "organic" buzzword.

I've seen "organic WATER" for sale, for cryin' out loud...

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Hmmm let's see...pesticide labeling and frankenfood labeling. Cool. So frankenfoods (and anything genetically-modified) have known issues with regards to super-bacteria, dubious effects on humans (especially developing fetuses), and have shown to have adverse effects on creatures who eat said products. Oh, and there may be a GMO link with the honeybee disaster. In fact, ConAgra recalled a bunch of their taco kits because GMO corn had been used in them, and this is a big deal as the GMO corn is not approved for use in human food...but in livestock feed...which can still obviously get in the human food supply through meat.

Now for pesticides...more bad news for the honeybees, pollution in runoff, toxic chemicals all-around that have a clear history of causing problems in humans, some like DDT being banned because of such pronounced effects.

So...where is this conspiracy to "take over the world's food supply"? Please, show me. If anything, it punishes (and raises the costs of) the large food conglomerates who have turned agriculture into an industralized production process. These people have massive numbers of lobbyists working for their interests. This is the same group that loves High-Fructose Corn Syrup even though mercury is added to the syrup as part of the industrial process in making it, posing a hazard to human health and safety.

Yup, I feel real sorry for these guys, what with facing these new labeling requirements that might help people be more aware of the potential toxic substances used to make them in such large, efficient, profit-driven corporate farms.

NOWHERE does it mention anything about punishing sustainable agriculture, agriculture produced locally and consumed locally. Not a single place.

Edited by Croc
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Oh THIS is what your referring to.

Yeah another thing that came out of this topic is that some in congress want to ban all food growing that the government cannot monitor (as in if you have a victory garden your a criminal).

This is what the real problem is.

And as far as genetically modified goes, were gonna need a large scale war or a ravaging disease or something to keep the population down so we can grow the old fashion way.

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TRC:

Some sort of Armageddon is bound to happen anyway, sad to say. :(

There is a lot of irresponsibility both amongst those in power & the

clueless, apathetic masses.

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And as far as genetically modified goes, were gonna need a large scale war or a ravaging disease or something to keep the population down so we can grow the old fashion way.

This doesn't make any sense. GMO corn does NOT go to supermarkets. And trust me, as a native Hoosier, there is PLENTY of corn in the US. Heck, if we get a shortage, we can always cut back on the ethanol, right?

We have plenty of excess agriculture--what do you think farm subsidies are for?

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Yeah another thing that came out of this topic is that some in congress want to ban all food growing that the government cannot monitor (as in if you have a victory garden your a criminal).

Show me the source, whether it is the Congressional minutes, a bill, or something of the sort. I guarantee you it does NOT mean home gardens will be banned...most likely it will be all COMMERCIAL food production must be able to be monitored by the government--and that helps keep the food supply safe so some loser doesn't grow and sell DDT-tainted radishes, or use human feces for fertilizer. I don't have a problem with keeping the food supply safe...but local growing would likely not be affected, and personal vegetable gardens most certainly would not be. Do I expect this to pass? No, not really, especially if local, sustainable agriculture is affected. But the sky isn't falling, and civil liberties are not being impugned.

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This doesn't make any sense. GMO corn does NOT go to supermarkets. And trust me, as a native Hoosier, there is PLENTY of corn in the US. Heck, if we get a shortage, we can always cut back on the ethanol, right?

We have plenty of excess agriculture--what do you think farm subsidies are for?

for creating inefficiencies of course.

I thought that there were some fruits that were modified to be more like drought resistant or something, but i may just be getting confused between that and hybrid crops/fruits (which are a primitive genetic modification). I was also throwing into that category other methods of growing crops that yields higher ... yields... but would not qualify under organic or sustainable.

But i have many a friend in the Ag fields who i trust to not lie to me who say that the majority of Organically grown foods is a load of hooey when it comes to quality.

That being said, i am 100% for local farmers being able to grow a crop any way they see fit and if people are willing to pay a premium for growing a crop one way then i say let em go for it.

But yeah, depending on the crop, and the type of genetic modification (if its merely a hybridization of two different types of crops then who really cares), and the pesticides used, i may want to know of them.

As for the ban on victory garden type growing, i am fairly sure that was just the result of a very poorly worded draft of a bill. I am sure that phrase was better defined later to not include such gardens in the unallowable things.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
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If consumers are stupid enough to think that they're really doing the environment a favour by choosing a Prius, then they're stupid enough to avoid labelled foods. Really, Sly - you know deep down that people are stupid. How many times have you complained about some of the best selling cars on the road? What does that tell you about the decision making abilities of the average American???

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Hmm.

Well, humans have been genetically modifying plants since pre-history. It started with the very first time a human saved a few seeds from a crop that performed well.

Today, almost every plant you interact with as food or in your landscape at home is a product of such human intervention.

It is a double-edged sword and always has been. A given plant is selected for a certain trait or traits that are beneficial to us, unfortunately, other traits are removed from that plant's genome in the process. This has left the plant vulnerable to destruction by way of disease and susceptability to environmental conditions that the original wild stock could resist.

This sort of activity, along with global transfer of plant species, has both helped humanity and harmed it . We are the creators of this reality as well as its stewards, and we have made great strides as well as terrible errors.

Here are a few facts:

- The American Elm is now essentially extinct because humans brought a disease across the Atlantic along with European Elms.

- The same fate has befallen the American Chestnut.

- Honey bees are not a native species here, yet our food supply depends on them.

- The earthworms you see everywhere are also non-native. And though we consider them to be beneficial, they have fundamentally changed the continent's ecosystem.

Now, we are messing with nature via the laboratory through the use of chemical and genetic engineering - and thus raising the stakes even higher along with our responsibilities.

We will continue to make advances and mistakes, large and small. What appers to be one may morph into the other at any time.

Perhaps nowhere else in human endeavor does the peril of unintended consequences apply more completely.

If it looks like I haven't taken a side here, there is good reason for that. On this subject there is simply no room for entrenched positions - the goalposts move constantly.

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The Congressmen has a lot of legal terminology in his letter there. Implied assumption of risk is a complex legal situation that could have serious legal repercussions to anybody that would either consume, sell, or produce anything that has a warning on it. Warning labels must meet strict standards because they are bound by the laws of strict liability. With strict liability, a very low standard of negligence must be established in order to find fault.

On the other hand, there are so many definitions of what "organic" really is as well. In all reality, the organic market and the labeling of those products is just as screwed up as "non-organic."

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>>"As for the ban on victory garden type growing, i am fairly sure that

was just the result of a very poorly worded draft of a bill. "<<

From what I have heard from those who have read the material, is that personal gardens are not specifically EXCLUDED in the wording. As the economy & the health-conscience continue to increase the amount of local/personal gardening... you can bet there are those in industry --an industry that undoubtedly has lobbyists-- that will be concerned with their company's bottom line should this reach formidable dollar amounts.

Vague bill wording leaves room to expand that control over the local/personal.

On the flip side, where is the assurance that such is completely protected ??

Edited by balthazar
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I'm a customer service supervisor/book keeper in a local grocery store... customers are often that dumb. The Congressman is 100% correct, people will view these new labels as warning labels and stay away from them.

How dumb are consumers: They often buy brand name products when the store brand product is right next to it on the shelf, made by the same company on the same line EX: Wonder Bread and IGA Bread... both delivered by the Wonder bread truck. I've told customers this and they still "feel better" about the name brand.

While many consumers are very informed, many are not.

That is so true is so many ways...so many companies make stuff for everybody.

Another good example of this is oil..Valvoline makes both oil for itself and Napa and Carquest...but guess what they sell twice as many of?

People really fail to see private brands as good.....it's too bad.....

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Yeah, that's true. I learned to get the juice and THEN pour the cereal... or just stick to Raisin Bran Crunch.

------------------

To the letter that you posted, 68, I've never understood the whole "organic" thing. Maybe because when I was in elementary school, "organic" was almost synonymous with "biodegradable," which was then supplanted by the chemical definition of "containing carbon atoms." Food without pesticides, etc. was just called "natural," not this newer "organic" buzzword.

I've seen "organic WATER" for sale, for cryin' out loud...

+1

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Funny as my sister has gone hell bent on Organic food and there was a story I read not long ago that I passed to my sister that mentioned about how 50% of organic foods are worse than foods grown on traditional farms even with modified seeds. Seems some people have taken up land to use for Organic farming without realizing that land was already full of pesticides and other stuff that the plants picked up and boom, you have higher toxic food than the so called normal foods.

Organic = Marketing way of charging you more for your normal food. Total BS.

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Sometimes the store brand really is an inferior product though. For those of us who have Market Basket stores, their brand of food tends to be much lower quality than name brands. One example of this is their chicken VS Predue or Tyson chicken. Another example is say, their version on Hamburger Helper meals. The only think I think Market Basket is good for is bread and stuff that they bake.

With that said, I think Shaws brand foods are great. I have several of their be and goods and its just as good in many cases as the name brands.

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Sometimes teh store brand reallly is an inferior product though. For those of us who have Market Basket stores, their brand of food tends to be much lower quality than name brands. One example of this is their chicken VS Predue or Tyson chicken. Another example is say, their version on Hamburger Helper meals. The only think I think Market Basket is good for is bread and stuff that they bake.

With that said, I think Shaws brand foods are great. I have several of their be and goods and its just as good in many cases as the name brands.

Knock on wood, most of them are decent around here...

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