Also on the panel with me (from left to right) were Kristin Canty, the filmmaker of Farmageddon, Angela Davis of Just Food and the Weston A. Price Foundation – Brooklyn chapter, and Sarma Melngailis, Owner of Pure Food and Wine Restaurant.
MAIN POINTS OF DISCUSSION
There were three main points that were discussed.
– Regulation vs. Freedom There was a question about people being able to having the freedom to consume whatever food that they want (raw, organic milk) and balancing that freedom with government regulations.
The movie is not saying that there shouldn’t be any government regulations. What Kristin Canty said, and I agree with her wholeheartedly, is that the government regulations need to be there — AND government bureaucrats need to enforce the regulations with integrity and not succumb the tremendous influence of Big Ag.
– Desire for Real Food The movie and all the panelists recognize the importance of consuming real, whole food in our diet and making sure that it is always available to us. This is why protecting the rights of small farmers is so important — because they deliver real, whole food that is not industrialized.
– GMOs and the USDA’s Regulation of Biotech It is imperative that we make the labeling of genetically-modified food a campaign issue for 2012.
Additionally, we must not allow the USDA to dramatically loosen the regulation of GMOs in its new biotech policy. This would be disastrous for organic consumers, and I went into this issue in depth when I wrote about genetically-engineered grass.
Here were my key takeaways from the discussion.
1) I left the night feeling very energized. It was an engaged, standing-room only crowd and people are quite concerned about this issue. The momentum is building.
2) I truly believe Farmageddon has MASSIVE potential to create change for one main reason – this movie is about our civil rights being violated in a major way.
America is about freedom and our government is supposed to protect us and our rights. This is the foundation of what our country was built on.
However, the USDA is acting like a rogue government agency, does whatever Big Ag tells it to do and disregards the rights of small, organic farmers.
Farmageddon shows the injustice that is taking place, something that should make every American very uncomfortable. No U.S. citizen can watch this movie and be happy what they see.
Aside from the fact that Kristin Canty is getting a tremendous response from people and universities all over the country, Washington D.C. is beginning to pay attention. Kristin Canty is meeting next week with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and her entire staff, all of whom are going to watch the movie.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
1) See the movie and spread the word with other people. We need to raise awareness quickly.
2) Contact your politicians in Washington D.C. and demand change.
3) Get involved with and join the mailing lists of the following organizations. These groups are all fighting for the rights of organic consumers and small organic farmers.
Thanks so much to Kristin Canty for making this very important movie and to Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43 in NYC for hosting the discussion.
To see more pictures of the event, please visit my Facebook page.