By Dr. Mercola
In its newest transfer towards small farmers who dare to function exterior the umbrella of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and Monsanto-dominated crops, the U.S. authorities has seized $70,000 from a small dairy farmer in Maryland. The feds did this beneath the “Bank Secrecy Act,” which requires that paperwork be crammed out for any money deposit in extra of $10,000.
The farmers, Randy Sowers and his spouse Karen, made deposits totaling greater than $295,000 from May 2011 to February 2012, however every transaction was lower than $10,000.
Now they’re being accused of “structuring,” a violation of federal foreign money reporting necessities, because the feds are accusing them of intentionally depositing cash in increments of lower than $10,000 in an try to evade Currency Transaction Reporting necessities.
Government Seizes $70,000 On What Grounds?
The dairy farmer’s “crime” stems from his weekly gross sales at native farmers’ markets. The gross sales averaged about the identical quantity every week and, dutifully, the Sowers deposited them. They’d reportedly by no means even heard of the Bank Secrecy Act or “structuring,” however that was of no curiosity to the feds—the consistency of the quantity the Sowers deposited, all the time lower than $10,000, raised crimson flags to the feds, who claimed that this was indicative of a criminal offense.
The authorities promptly seized about $70,000 from the checking account, then issued a warrant for the seizures. As reported by Food Freedom News:1
“The Dept. of Justice has since sued to maintain $63,000 of the Sowers’ cash, although they dedicated no crime apart from sustaining their privateness. Without funds, they are going to be unable to make purchases for the spring planting. When the same motion was taken towards Taylor’s Produce Stand final 12 months, the feds seized $90,000, dropped the costs, and saved $45,000 of Taylor’s cash.
Knowing that almost all farms function on a really skinny margin, such abuse of energy wipes out a household’s revenue, and for a bonus, the feds improve the monopoly energy of Monsanto, Big Dairy and their provide chain.… Former Maryland assistant U.S. lawyer Steven Levin instructed the paper [City Paper], “The emphasis is on basically seizing money, whether it is legally or illegally earned. It can lead to financial ruin for business owners, and there’s a potential for abuse here by the government.””
The raid on the Sowers was performed by an company created in 2009 to go after money-laundering criminals. The company began out with a bang by seizing $1.2 billion from an actual cash launderer, however it seems that what it is all for now’s making criminals out of small enterprise individuals, together with small farmers.
Why Are Family Farms Under Attack?
If they are not seizing financial institution accounts, it appears the federal government will discover different methods to assault small farmers. A household farm in rural Michigan—and presumably others—could also be shut down by a brand new state legislation that designates sure breeds of hogs as a risk to neighboring hog breeders and croplands.
Basically, the battle is over the definition of feral hogs vs. home hogs. The dictionary definition of “feral” refers to an animal working wild. But Michigan authorities have taken it a step additional and prolonged the definition to incorporate enclosed personal searching preserves and small farms that home what authorities name an “invasive species” of hogs.
There is not any genetic check to find out whether or not the species on these farms are actually invasive, so authorities are basing their instances towards these farmers solely on visible observations. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) makes use of this imprecise description to explain the prohibited hogs, and makes it clear that this does not apply to the home hogs raised on CAFOs:2
“Wild boar, wild hog, wild swine, feral pig, feral hog, feral swine, Old world swine, razorback, eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). This subsection does not and is not intended to affect sus domestica involved in domestic hog production.”
Other descriptions equipped by the MDNR embody such all kinds of traits that just about any pig apart from the acquainted pink home breed raised on CAFOs might doubtlessly be deemed “feral”:
- Erect or folded/floppy ear construction
- Straight or curly tail
- Solid black, wild/grizzled, stable crimson/brown, black and white noticed, or black and crimson/brown noticed coat colorations
- “Other characteristics” not presently recognized to the MDNR
Interestingly, the Big Pork trade has been planning this anti-feral pig marketing campaign for years, and even bragged about it in a 2010 publication.3 It was the identical publication the place they declared a win towards the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Ohio, the place HSUS was in search of laws to finish the apply of sow gestation stalls (cages so small the sow cannot flip round or transfer).
What this implies for residents of Michigan is that quickly they are going to be unable to buy sustainably and humanely grown meat from the Mangalitsa “wooly” hogs raised on Baker’s Green Acres farm. This explicit breed is being raised by solely a handful of small farms throughout the nation; whereas greater than 2 million pigs are slaughtered every week within the United States, solely about 50 of them are Mangalitsas (which have been referred to as the “it” pig by the New York Times, as a number of high-end eating places and specialty markets have featured the wealthy, naturally raised meat4).
But, in fact, this situation is about way more than pasture-raised pork from a heritage breed … it is about your skill, your proper, to buy and devour pure, unadulterated meals – a proper that continues to be threated for these residing within the United States.
FDA Also Threatens Your Right to Food Choice …
Another obvious instance of presidency going out of its option to prohibit your entry to pure, unprocessed meals is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) battle towards uncooked milk. When the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a lawsuit towards the FDA over their uncooked milk ban, stating that banning uncooked milk in interstate commerce is unconstitutional, the FDA rebutted with the next extraordinarily regarding and outrageous statements:
- “There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.”
- “There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”
- “Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”
- FDA’s temporary goes on to state that “even if such a right did exist, it would not render FDA’s regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health.”
- “There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract.”
Since when did the FDA have authority to inform you what you may and can’t eat and feed your youngsters? Apparently they imagine they’ve had all of it alongside. If you go by these assertions, it means the FDA has the authority to ban any meals of their selecting and make it a criminal offense so that you can search it out. If, in the future, the FDA deems tomatoes, broccoli or cashews able to inflicting you hurt (which is simply as ludicrous as their assertions that uncooked milk is dangerous), they may subsequently enact such a ban and legally implement it.
What this implies is that freedom of meals selection is a fantasy should you dwell within the United States, and this merely is just not acceptable. No one, and positively not any authorities company, ought to be capable of limit your entry to pure, unadulterated meals, however the dairy trade and different industrial farmers that rely on CAFOs make use of highly effective lobbyists will cease at nothing to influence authorities to take away the small farmers from the market completely. The reality is, if sufficient individuals begin demanding naturally, sustainably and humanely raised meat, dairy and produce, the large farming monopolies that presently dominate the market wouldn’t be capable of compete.
Their companies rely on pesticides, CAFOs, genetically modified seeds, development hormones and the like … so once they see all-natural creameries just like the one operated by Randy Sowers and his spouse Karen, or pure farms like Bakers Green Acres gaining loyal and rising buyer bases, they get nervous – and so they get the federal government concerned in any approach they’ll.
Please Support Your Local Small Farms
The healthiest meals decisions are almost all the time people who come from accountable, high-quality, sustainable sources.
This is why I encourage you to assist the small household farms in your space. This contains not solely visiting the farm immediately, when you have one close by, but additionally participating in farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture packages. Now that summer season is sort of right here within the United States, contemporary produce and different great entire meals can be found in abundance. Not solely is the meals a lot tastier and more healthy if you get it from sustainable, non-CAFO sources, however there’s something about purchasing for contemporary meals in an open-air, social surroundings that simply feels proper. An artificially lit, dreary grocery store — house to just about each CAFO meals made — simply cannot compete.
If you wish to expertise a few of these advantages first-hand, listed here are some nice assets to acquire healthful meals that helps not solely you but additionally the surroundings:
- Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Farmers’ Markets — A nationwide itemizing of farmers’ markets
- Local Harvest — This Web website will enable you to discover farmers’ markets, household farms, and different sources of sustainably grown meals in your space the place you should buy produce, grass-fed meats, and plenty of different goodies.
- Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free on-line listing of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, shops, eating places, inns, and inns, and on-line shops in the United States and Canada.
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is devoted to sustaining agriculture and selling the merchandise of small farms.
- FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map may also help you join with native farmers to search out the freshest, tastiest meals potential. On their interactive map, you will discover a list for native farmers, CSA’s, and markets close to you.
Finally, for extra data on the continuing assaults towards small household farms within the United States think about watching Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms, a documentary by Kristin Canty. But I warn you … the injustices it comprises may make your blood boil.