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Urgent call to Action: Food Bill 160-2 (2010) Government Bill

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This is an urgent call to action, this will affect every living person.

How are the lemons looking in your neighbourhood? Good? How about the smell of that birthday cake someone baked for you? Mmmmm, delicious, can’t wait till they give it to you? Feeling thirsty, for water perhaps? Soup kitchens? Food not bombs? Community gardens? How about all those cheap bagged fruits at roadside stalls, or that bread the op shop was giving away that the bakery didn’t want at the end of the day? You like saving seeds from your garden and sharing them with other gardeners or seed banks? food co-ops? How about having a wee bake sale for the community group fundraiser? You like food to be free, cheap, and accessable from a variety of sources? How about a bit of variety in the types of plants you can grow and consume? Might use Natural medicines?

If you answered YES to any of the above then the Food Bill 160-2 (2010), Government Bill could have a major impact on your life. This is a Bill before parliament that has already passed through one reading and recommendations of the assigned committee have been made to parliament. This means it is due to go for its second reading at parliament with the recommendations integrated into it.

It could easily be mistaken for a Bill designed with public safety in mind, but a closer look reveals that in fact this Bill would put an end to a basic right; that of freely sharing our food, seeds, and natural remedies, and an end to the “lemonade stand”. Furthermore, anyone selling their own produce would be required to gain legal authorisation to do so, at a cost of course, and heres the clincher : small growers and sellers at say, farmers markets, will be hit with increased costs of compliance, that would of course push up food prices hurting the growers, sellers, and buyers of produce.

Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the “too expensive” basket, thus encouraging homogenisation of seed stock. This of course will provide massive “market advantage” to multinational  seed corporations such as Monsanto who not only can afford the costs of compliance but whose aims include narrowing and controlling the plants grown for consumption through Genetic Engineering, and controlling available seed stock by supplying seed for plants that will not self seed, thus enforcing our dependence on them. Basically it reinforces the capitalist anti-people mantra of “profit over people” in a very serious  manner.

Now, you may wonder why the NZ government would want to do such a thing, there are many reasons, but the reason being presented is that we (the state and thus its citizens) must comply with the the rules set out for us in an agreement with the World Trade Organisation the the NZ government is a signatory to.

If all this seems somewhat surreal or overwhelming to you, you are not alone. This Bill is not yet law, and despite formal public submissions being closed, it is not too late for those opposed to the Bill to make our voices heard and have a very real impact on parliament as they consider its merits.

What can we do? Well, there is plenty we can do to deal with this attack on these, our fundamental rights to sustenance. And while there is very narrow provision within the law to opt out of this proposed law being enforced upon individuals this simply is not enough, it must be stopped! This is a call out to everyone to get ready to take action.

Blackheart Infoshop 543 Karangahape Rd (K rd), Newton, Auckland,  will be hosting a meeting at 6:30pm this Thursday September 1st inside the infoshop. Anyone interested is welcome to come along.

The rough schedule for the meeting includes: A brainstorming session on ideas for actions we can take to oppose the Bill, networking with other interested groups and individuals, discussing the bills impact and its implications.

We wholeheartedly encourage everyone with the means to communicate to call a community meeting or get together with friends  to discuss what you are willing to do to protect our food from their greed. Remember, the more of us that stand together, the harder we are to ignore or push around.We must take action!

There is some helpful analysis and other useful information available here:  http://nzfoodsecurity.org/

Comments

very hard to read this , have

very hard to read this , have you not heard of paragraphs?

Heya, i actually had it set

Heya, i actually had it set out in paragraphs but when it published it re-arranged itself and i could not do anything about it. I hope you managed to understand it anyway :) maybe the editorial team can sort it.

 

holy shit this is fucking

holy shit this is fucking awful!!!!!  why is this so under the radar? Not even a peep from the Greens????

Gonna make me a flyer for the next farmers market!

Government : Working to improve the life of citizens

Laws are frequently enacted within New Zealand and abroad which may not necessarily be in the best interests of individuals, groups of citizens, orgonizations or the nation as a whole. However, more importantly once some bills have become law, it makes it possible or easier to push through further bills.

Lucid provided suggestions to parliament in 2007 regarding a closely linked copyright bill in where we briefly outlined some of the bills far reaching implementations in 2007.

Excerpt follows :

Biologists are currently working on adding a computer controlled chromosomes to animals. There have been successfully tests on adding genetic information like this to mice. Such technology would give people the ability to disable or enable features at a genetic level. This law is not restricted to music and movies. Copyright policies easily relate to living organisms.


Lucid : quality products and services to improve your life.

http://www.lucidsystems.org

View the recommendations put forth in 2007 regarding copyright law changes. 

 

Waaaah. We're being attacked

Waaaah. We're being attacked on all sides at once. The future looks grim - unless we win of course :)

I have spent a good hour or

I have spent a good hour or two taking a look at the bill myself: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2010/0160/latest/DLM29958...  . The reason I went and had a look is that I have been studying food and nutrition for the past 4 years and have heard little mention of the bill until various people (usually linking to nzfoodsecurity's blog) referred to it in the past week. I thought I better go have a good look and see what the fuss was all about, as any legislation that could potentially limit people's access to healthy food is of interest to me in my future career as a nutrition health professional.

So, anyways, while it is easy to get caught up in the interpretation section at the start of the bill, the section with most importance to anyone that is defined by the interpretation as producing food is Part 2, Clause 20. This deals with the classification of food producers into sectors of risk (with more detailed descriptions of who these food producers might be in Schedules 1-3 at the end of the act). Food producers are clearly classified into different levels  that are based on the risk attached to the food produced (and traded) to the public (this is the most important set of definitions in the bill as it pertains to the purpose of the bill) Descending levels of control are applied by the bill to food producers as the level of risk to people's health attached to the food declines. The lowest level of control is 'food handler guidance' (under which horticultural producers that are selling/trading directly to the consumer are included, see Schedule 3) which entails the chief executive releasing guidelines regarding safe food handling of which the sector is expected to be aware of, but that 'does not, on its own, impose any duties on a person or food business that is subject to it' (Part 2, Subpart 5, 92(1)(2) ). Food produced for charitable purposes and/or personal development can be exempted from higher levels of control (ie food control plan, national programme) due to the worthy circumstances attached to the production of the food.

Seeds for seed banks are not covered by this bill, as this bill refers only to food (ie seeds) intended for consumption (see Schedule 1 - it provides a clear description, referring to 'food business[s] that process or handle nuts or seeds for consumption' then details the forms of processing involved ie coating, roasting, salting).

I commend your wish to take action to raise awareness of ways in which the current government may be curtailing community initiatives that encourage people to be self-sufficient and grow their own food. I personally think that it is a greater scandal that this government has withdrawn funding that enabled teachers and organisations to set up school and community gardens and encourage children's interest in and the development of skills around food production and the natural world.

Cheers, M Archer

 

I have spent a good hour or

Thanks for your research.

the greens talk about this

Thank you

I enjoyed reading about your research. It made things clearer for me. I also agree with your comments about the funding being taken away from schools for gardens etc. The more informed we are the better able to deal with whatever comes our way. Thanks again. Linda