From: , Organic Consumers Association, More from this Affiliate
Published March 27, 2009 05:45 AM

What Might the So-called "Monsanto Bill" Really Do?

You may have seen that the internet and blog sites are awash with news about a US bill, Bill HR 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, that some are claiming will outlaw organic farming in the USA.

Here are two links to YouTube videos giving us the warnings:

http://pr1..netatlantic.com/t/9661579/7802186/598242/0/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeWVkTU1s1E

Our reading of the bill tells a slightly different story. This is a bill, sponsored by Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, that is about putting very onerous systems into place that are seemingly designed to improve food safety.

The principle of improving food safety isn't such a bad thing given that a study by the Centers of Disease Control found that 76 million illnesses result each year from food-borne diseases, in turn leading to an average of 5200 deaths and 325,000 hospitalisations annually.

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But will the elaborate control measures that are contained in HR 875 really reduce this toll? Will it be cost effective, given that it is thought that the annual cost of food-borne diseases is somewhere between $2.9 and 6.7 billion. And that's not counting the human suffering.

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