Farmageddon, the Unseen War on American Family Farms
Kristin Canty Productions
In this thumb’s UP film we see a country where officials masquerade as inspectors to gain entry to a farm and then steal their products, where government agents steal customers’ milk and pour it out on the ground in front of those who bought and paid for it, where the only thing more regulated than milk is marijuana, and where washed and bagged lettuce at a farmers market is ticketed for being a processed food.
We see a country where the government tells a small farmer he is permitted to sell his milk to private customers, then turns around and sends armed goons onto his farm to stop him from doing so. They also steal tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and food.
We see a country where sheep that are not sick are seized and slaughtered for a disease that doesn’t exist. Other farms and food clubs are raided with SWAT teams where no charges have been filed, or they are guilty of misdemeanors at most, and there is no legal explanation for this.
I consider the production and choice of food a basic human right and there is no moral justification for these government actions. What’s the deal? The rationale being sold to the public is that these laws, regulations and enforcement actions are needed to ensure public safety. If we stop and think this through, it gets very strange. Some areas have laws against selling raw milk and some don’t. I guess that means raw milk is safe in some areas but not others. But, if you buy raw milk where it is legal to do so and cross imaginary political boundaries with that milk, that is illegal, implying that crossing that boundary magically rendered the milk unsafe. In places where sales are illegal it is legal to give it away. Apparently milk is only dangerous when money changes hands.
There is no law against drinking raw milk anywhere. Are you confused yet? If you answered yes, good. That’s the point. It gets slightly stranger when you consider that the method of choice for restoring safety is sending in goon squads who point big guns in everybody’s face. I know that always makes me feel safer.
Where is this jackbooted thuggery taking place? Is this Nazi Germany? The Soviet Union? Communist China? No, no and no. This is your wake up call if you are out of touch with what is taking place on farms these days, but we are talking about the United States of America. If the above paragraphs sound like exaggeration, actually that’s just a quick sampling. It doesn’t stop there. How do these agencies get away with their foul deeds? They prefer to perpetrate them when there is not a lot of media attention around.
This movie does more than just talk about allegations of raids and abuses. There is actual footage capturing several of these events as they happened. The USDA and FDA are responsible for most of the attacks and don’t try to deny them. They even seem to be quite proud of their achievements—except when you try to ask them questions on camera. Producer Kristin Canty tried to do that a number of times and the best she could do was a brief chat with one New York spokesperson who gave out a few carefully evasive statements. In every other case the officials ran for the hills when they saw her coming. It seems they are not so bold without their big guns. I’ve met Kristin several times. She’s not scary looking.
Small farmers show more courage when facing a gun than government regulators show when facing a camera. It sure is reassuring to know our government is bravely protecting us from those notoriously evil and dangerous small farmers. I guess next they will go after killer bunny rabbits and kittens. Nothing embarrasses tyrants more than being caught acting like tyrants openly where everybody can see. Do your part to embarrass a tyrant and see this movie.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2011.