OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen discusses OSGATA vs Monsanto on PBS

Watch Teen Driving Law Reform / Lawsuit Against Monsanto on PBS. See more from Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks.

  1. So I’m reading the bill (at work, heh) and here are some itneresnitg bits: the FDA will be changed to the Federal Drug and Device Administration and rolled into a new Food Safety Administration. They want to modernize the whole thing, which is a good idea. The FSA will (A) regulate food safety and labeling to strengthen the protection of the public health; (B) ensure that food establishments fulfill their responsibility to process, store, hold, and transport food in a manner that protects the public health of all people in the United States; (C) lead an integrated, systemwide approach to food safety and to make more effective and efficient use of resources to prevent food-borne illness; (D) provide a single focal point within the Department of Health and Human Services for food safety leadership, both nationally and internationally; and (E) provide an integrated food safety research capability, including internally generated, scientifically and statistically valid studies, in cooperation with academic institutions and other scientific entities of the Federal and State governments again, nothing bad yet. Things to keep in mind, though: food establishment means a food processing building slaughterhouse, factory, facility, etc. that processes food or stores or transports it. Food production facility means a farm, ranch, orchard, CAFO, etc. as well as restaurants, any place where food is prepared directly for the customer, and fishing vessels (unless that fishing vessel also processes its catch).Here’s where things get tedious: adopt and implement a national system for the registration of food establishments and foreign food establishments, as provided in section 202 of this Act but will also provide technical assistance to farmers and food establishments that are small business concerns (meeting the requirements of section 3(a) of the Small Business Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder) to assist with compliance with the requirements of this Act. This is the bit that sounds like the USDA’s NAIS.Section 202 gets into the registration process. Section 205 goes into the inspection process and this is where you’ll need to know about the different categories of food establishments that they’re setting up. The category that will affect farmer’s markets is CATEGORY 3 FOOD ESTABLISHMENT- The term `category 3 food establishment’ means a food establishment (other than a category 1 or category 2 establishment) that processes cooked, pasteurized, or otherwise ready-to-eat seafood or other animal products, fresh produce in ready-to-eat raw form, or other products that pose a risk of hazardous contamination. Cat 3 establishments will have random monthly inspections and have to keep up verification that their processes are controlled. Whatever that means. Like I can control where my cats pee in my veggie garden. Shuh.More tediousness: establishments will have to keep records of (A) the origin, receipt, delivery, sale, movement, holding, and disposition of food or ingredients; (B) the identity and quantity of ingredients used in the food; (C) the processing of the food; (D) the results of laboratory, sanitation, or other tests performed on the food or in the food establishment; (E) consumer complaints concerning the food or packaging of the food; (F) the production codes, open date codes, and locations of food production Prohibited acts: for a food establishment or foreign food establishment to fail to register under section 202, or to operate without a valid registration, and to slaughter an animal that is capable for use in whole or in part as human food at a food establishment processing any food for commerce, except in compliance with the food safety law, and basically not following this Act’s provisions.I haven’t read through Titles 3-5, except for that one last bit on prohibited acts from Title 4.

    • It’s about time that something is done about Monsanto , piroed! I’ve never quite understood how they could get away with a lawsuit for patent infrigement against farmers. There is NO WAY that cross contamination is avoidable! As evidenced in the movie, Food, Inc, Monsanto is clearly out to destroy small farmers through crop contamination and litigation. To actually get away with telling farmers that they cannot save their seeds is ridiculous!We need swift and complete action NOW, leaving no stone unturned and no loopholes for them to sneak back through.They have set their sights on third world countries now because hunger runs rampant there. Mexico’s heirloom corn crops are also under threat of extinction by Monsanto’s GMO corn. Monsanto is out to control the world’s food supply. In doing so it will continue to poison this planet and kill people with poisoned water and soil, contaminated fish and wildlife and the unknown effects of GMO foods. We cannot let this happen! I urge E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E to do what they can to help the organic and small farmers win this suit!

  2. KUDOS JIM!!!Can’t tell you how inspiring it is that there is nflaily a lawsuit and a coalition against Monsanto. Have you ever considered starting a facebook page as support in the lawsuit? It could be an amazing way to generate donations to OSGATA. At the very least you could start a petition of support. I’ve seen amazing things happen on facebook that just would never see the light of day otherwise. I bet a lot of people don’t even know about the lawsuit. I didn’t and I live in Farmington! My brother sent me the news from Atlanta. Think about it. They are calling Egypt the facebook revolution due to the crucial role it played in connecting people and organizing.Anyway, thanks so much for this and keep your left up. They won’t stop coming after you. Anything I can do to help, I’m there.SIncerely,Tom JessenFarmington, ME

    • Thank you for the support. We do have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OSGATA

      • Be GREAT to have a million oginarc person march on Manhatten on Jan. 31, 2012 in support of these 83 families. Organic Occupy Manhatten Organic Occupy D.C . The oginarc farmers have TRUTH & INTEGRITY to back them. Another thought, can Monsanto be sued for creating a monopoly on farming?

        • Does anyone know what the loertngm effects of ingesting GMO materials will be, on the human animal? I don’t think so, and I’m not prepared to volunteer to be a guinea pig on which Monsanto and other unscientific companies may experiment. It won’t be long until backyard and windowsill gardens will also be a thing of the past, as the Monsantos of the world dictate how, where, when, and how much we will be allowed to grow to feed out families and/or our animals. Enough is enough. The scariest part of this whole thing is the possibility that producing GMO foods may be for the purpose of limiting the birthrates in designated countries in the future, if, indeed, they aren’t being used for that very purpose today.

          • and historically inisreettng, it’s a matter of ensuring a healthy future for humanity. As industrial agriculture becomes increasingly focused on growing fewer and fewer varieties of food plants, home gardeners

      • Judge Buchwald is in error with this ruling. She neegtcls the fact that Monsanto has already sued not only farmers growing their crops from their own recycled seed, which Monsanto’s nearby seed crops contaminated with their wind-blown pollen, but Monsanto has also put out of business individuals who helped shuck and clean those farmers’ own seeds for planting. It is clear that Monsanto’s goal is to monopolize their gmo crop seeds by contaminating all others so farmers have no choice but to buy from Monsanto only. This kind of monopoly in business is strictly illegal, yet Monsanto has been allowed so far in the U.S. to proceed with legal action against poorly represented farmers who cannot afford the expensive lawyers Monsanto has arrayed against them. I am for the farmers, especially because the gmo seeds that Monsanto sells and is trying to force on everyone have not been thoroughly tested over the years to insure that no harmful effects on human health can occur. Monsanto’s motive in attacking farmers is to profit as much as possible, as soon as possible. This corporate behavior is outrageous!

        • until the major news outlets have the coagure to fulfill their real obligation as providers of important,unbiased ,fact-based information rather than allow themselves to be willing slaves to the garbage that control all aspects of corporate america,there will continue to be a generally ignorant population that doesn’t realize that their overall health and well being is being compromised for the sake of profit.I try on a daily basis to inform people around me of the rampant,unregulated use of pesticides and herbicides and the indisputable side effects(cancer,neuro disease etc..)The most common response is if the stuff wasn’t safe,the government would never allow it to be used or if it were so dangerous we would have heard about it on the news ! I am not sure if i should laugh or cry !! As a former licenced pesticide and herbicide technician,I can speak with some experience.most of the public is unaware of products like round up proof genetically modified corn that allows corporate farms to dump glyphosate on huge tracts of land with complete disregard of the drift onto surrounding land,contamination of organic farms and the inevitable leaching into the drinking water. While grassroots level sharing of information is critical,it is going to take coagure and unfortunately a ton of money to get our elected officials to wake up and take action.The monopoly on all of our resources must be broken if the planet and the life it supports is to survive.

          • Another good (although completely baiesd) website which details the links in GMO technology (and its evils) is The Institute for Responsible Technology (www.responsibletechnology.org). It’s based in the US but the information is pretty eye-opening.I buy seeds from Terra Edibles (on the list) but also Urban Harvest, and The Cottage Gardener. Urban Harvest and The Cottage Gardener both sell locally and sustainably grown (and mostly organic) seeds primarily from their own gardens. All three have a really great selection of heirloom and/or rare seeds.

          • honestly anything in blue bulaffo is better than alpo and almost better than anything else sold. if your mixing the two together than for taste i would stay within the same flavor area. Also, if they havent been on the chicken and rice formula long, and they are having diarrhea i would suggest trying lamb or another protein. some dogs have chicken allergies, good luck!

        • Yeah, gmo foods are bad. Even on the smallest chcane that GMOs are safe for consuming (which i do not think they are at all for anything), they are terrible for the environment and the future. The herbcides sprayed on the crops decrease bug populations because they get killed, and they go into water and kill fish, and tons of other harm. Also, buying GMOs supports Monsanto. Monsanto puts little family farmers out of business by suing them for stealing their genes and planting them? or something like that. Basically the GMO crops contaminate small farmers crops, and they then can’t reproduce because GMO crops have to have a gene inserted into every seed, every reproduction. They didn’t talk about the environment in the video much.

          • So very, very true. It would be nice to see those of us who have the ability to pay for them manikg the choice of ethically, environmentally, socially responsible food over more “stuff”.For instance, with a family of five, also eating around allergies that allow for no cheap fillers such as grains, we have had to make difficult choices of what we must give up in order to eat/buy within our values.

          • “If nothing else, it could give a much-needed boost to local oraingc farms that sell their wares for higher prices but can promise crops that won’t kill your liver.”Sadly, too many in this country can’t afford to pay those higher prices…can’t afford to even buy much produce at all. This is just one symptom of a very sick system.

    • Monsanto has long monopolized the seed intusdry, poisoned millions, destroyed the ecosystem, threatened naysayers and chained farmers to their products. Where has it gotten us? Nowhere! Monsanto, Dow and all the other chemical-biotech GMO profiteers have held this planet for ransom long enough! Hopefully justice, common sense, respect for humans and the Earth will prevail! ALL of us, however, MUST CONTINUE to use our rights to FREEDOM OF SPEECH and speak out against crimes against humanity and the planet via biotech giants!

  3. GM seeds have the potential to end a lot of the huengr that exists around the world. On the other hand I am very interested in preserving heirloom varieties of vegetables. Unfortunately, as has been shown with the diminishing variety of corn in Mexico and soybeans in China, GMO seed crops and the farming practices that accompany their use, have the ability to essentially narrow genetic diversity. Life on earth has been sustained through genetic diversity we cannot do without it.

Leave a Reply


P.O. Box 1502
Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: 207-429-9765


OSGATA needs your support! Please help us in our work of protecting and developing the organic seed trade! Click here to find out more:

Donate to OSGATA

Membership Benefits

-Cross promotion of member products and services

-Political action updates and lobbying services, on state and federal level

-Access to members only listserv for networking and sharing seed industry information

-OSGATA’s regular Seed for Thought newsletter

Become a Member