Apr 4, 2011

Be ready to attract criminal penalties if you take pictures of an animal farm factory

Sometimes back the Ministry of Science & Technology came in for a lot of flak when it was leaked out that the proposed National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority bill contained draconian provisions to strangulate independent voices of those who do not agree with the controversial GM technology. The bill is to still come up for discussions in Parliament.

The specific provisions that drew public anger, stated: "Whoever, without any evidence or scientific record, misleads the public against the safety of the organisms and products specified in Part 1, Part II or Part III of Schedule 1, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to one year and with fine, which may extend to two lakh rupees, or with both."

Although it was later denied, but the fact of the matter is that the original draft did contain these provisions.

Now if you think such laws are being introduced into India only, you are mistaken. Most draconian laws have actually been force in the country which always swears in the name of liberty and freedom. In the United States, law makers in two provinces -- Florida and Iowa -- have introduced bills that will treat those taking photos or videotape farm animals as criminals. This comes in the wake of several other laws that are being tampered or amended or being freshly introduced to take control over food. If you remember, sometimes back I had posted video of a police raid on an organic store in California.

In another blog post, I had said: "Your right to save seed and replant it the next year will soon be taken away. It has happened in the United States, which officially does not bar farmers from saving seed, but unofficially does nothing to safeguard Farmer's Right over his seed. In fact, in the days to come the US is going to witness a test case that will, if it goes the industry way, take away farmer's right to save seed by indirectly penalising him for not paying the 'technology fee' or royalty".

Industrial animal farms have always drawn criticism and anger. Several "investigations have led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history, misdemeanor and felony cruelty convictions, closure of rogue slaughter plants, and disciplinary actions for government inspectors not doing their jobs." The big farm industry has suffered a lot from public pressure emanating from such reports/studies that also come with pictures that say more than a thousand words. So for quite some time the big Ag industry was looking for ways to stop such exposures.

Contamination of food is fundamental to our requirement of safe and healthy food. This is what worries millions across the globe, and we know that it all begins from the US. Instead of protecting the rights of the people to have access to safe food, all out efforts are being made to protect the commercial interests of the big Ag companies. Florida and Iowa will soon set a precedent that many countries in the northern hemisphere will keenly look forward to adopt. Once the West does it, the Codex Alimentarius will make it obligatory for the rest of the world to follow the same standards.

It is time you woke up to the looming threat ahead. If the lawmakers have their way, your voice has to be stifled at any cost. After all, you can't be allowed to damage the reputation and the commercial interests of big business. It doesn't however matter what the processed food industry does to your health in the bargain. The more you get sick, the more will be growth of the pharma industry. And the more the pharma industry grows, the more will be the growth of the insurance sector. It is therefore a win-win situation for the food, pharma and the insurance companies.

Read the report: Big Ag Wants To Make It a Crime to Expose Animal Abuse at Factory Farms http://bit.ly/dTmbGf


Bobby said...

It is not just the photographs, media and people that drive food safety in the US. Disease surveillance by CDC, especially the http://www.cdc.gov/pulsenet/ program helps US to find large outbreaks of foodborne diseases. All the major recalls in the recent times can be linked to disease surveillance.

ramesh said...

आदरणीय देवेंद्र जी आपने आहार-दवा-बीमा उद्योग की तिकड़ी का सटीक विश्‍लेषण किया । दरअसल विकसित देशों की एग्रीबिजनेस कंपनियों का लक्ष्‍य भुखमरी मिटाना न होकर अपना मुनाफा बढ़ाना है । इसका ताजा उदाहरण है बारेन बफेट व बिल गेट्स की भारत यात्रा जिसमें उन्‍होंने यहां के अरबपतियों से अपनी संपत्‍ति परोपकार के लिए दान करने का आग्रह किया । लेकिन अंदरखाने की बात यह है कि बफेट महोदय दानशीलता के इस अभियान के साथ-साथ भारत के बीमा क्षेत्र में 49 फीसदी तक विदेशी निवेश की वकालत कर रहे हैं क्‍योंकि उन्‍हें अरबपति बनाने का श्रेय बीमा व्‍यवसाय को ही है । बिल गेट्स फाउंडेशन मोसेंटों जैसी जीएम बीज कंपनी को अफ्रीकी देशों में प्रोत्‍साहित कर रहे हैं जिससे वहां के देसी अनाजों को नुकसान होगा । गेट्स फाउंडेशन यह नहीं बता रहा है कि बाहरी बीजों को थोपने से जल-जंगल-जमीन तहस-नहस होते जा रहे हैं । जब परोपकार का नारा लगाने वाले अरबपतियों का यह हाल है तो शुद्ध मुनाफा कमाने निकले उद्योगपति तिजोरी भरने से क्‍यों चूंके ।
रमेश दुबे