Food, illegal? Not in my back yard.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Warrantless searches of houses and marae for food and seeds, even with guns, are coming to NZ soon thanks to the Food Bill – unless you do something.
The following video shows a SWAT team raiding a health food store in California. The Food Bill paves the way for this to happen in NZ (yes, also with guns). This site deals with Solutions to this Very Big Problem. Please watch the video, listen to the audio, and read the text and comments.
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What is the Food Bill?
- A Government Bill introduced to Parliament in May 2010, which has since passed its first reading and been through a Select Committee review. It is awaiting a second reading as at 20 July. It may be enacted in the near future.
What are the problems with the Food Bill?
- It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be summarily revoked.
- It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorisation, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).
- By controlling seeds, the bill takes the power to grow food away from the public and puts it in the hands of seed companies. That power may be abused.
- The bill will push up mainstream food prices by subjecting producers to red tape and registration costs. Food prices are already rising due to increased energy costs and commodity speculation, while effective disposable incomes are falling.
- Growing food for distribution must be authorised, even for “cottage industries”, and such authorisation can be denied.
- Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 – 1).
- Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety Officers, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises – including marae – backed up by armed police.
- The Bill gives Food Safety Officers immunity from criminal and civil prosection.
- The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius (“Food Book”). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another.
- There are problems with Codex also. Codex will place severe restrictions on the content of vitamins, minerals and therapeutic compounds in food, drinks and supplements etc.
- The Food Bill means that non-Codex-complying producers can be shut down easily – thus it paves the way for the legal enforcement of Codex food regulations. Producers will be denied registration (which is discretionary) if they do not keep to Codex food production rules.
What are the implications for Food Security in NZ?
- The bill would undermine the efforts of many people to become more self-sufficient within their local communities.
- Seed banks and seed-sharing networks could be shut down if they could not obtain authorisation. Loss of seed variety would make it more difficult to grow one’s own food.
- Home-grown food and some or all seed could not be bartered on a scale or frequency necessary to feed people in communities where commercially available food has become unaffordable or unavailable (for example due to economic collapse).
- Restrictions on the trade of food and seed would quickly lead to the permanent loss of heirloom strains, as well as a general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.
- Organic producers of heirloom foods could lose market share to big-money agribusiness outfits, leading to an increase in the consumption of nutrient-poor and GE foods.
If the bill is going to be passed anyway, what can we do?
- People must decide if they will allow the enacted bill to apply them individually. The hardest thing to realise here is that we actually have a choice. Yet we do. The Crown tells us we are subject to legislation only by our consent – in other words by our individual, informed choice – here.
This consent can be formally revoked using a notarised Claim of Right (see www.claimofright.org for a template). If such a Claim is not disputed by affected parties like the police, Ministry of Justice etc, the claimant is no longer subject to legislation (though still subject to Common Law).
- Those who choose not to be subject to the enacted bill and other prohibitive legislation individually can then take steps to protect their collective interests using the formal contract the Queen has with the Natives of this country – the contract being the 1835 Declaration of Independence and its subsequent variation, Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840.
Again, the hardest thing here is a mental hurdle that must be overcome – our indoctrination over, or simple weariness of, the constitutional law of this country. But again, once this is achieved, the final solution is elegantly simple. For more on this, see the Maori Customary Law website, which helps hapu to stand in their own Sovereignty by providing template documents for filing with the Crown. You can also meet Maori sovereignty experts from all around the country, at Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, on 27th and 28th October – Independence Day. For more, see whakaminenga.
Details about the Food Bill
The bill is here.
Under the bill, any “undertaking” (anyone) that “processes” (grows/produces) “food” (plants/anything that can be eaten/plant material/seeds) for “sale” (bartering/offering/giving away/feeding people/selling for reserve bank notes etc) OR that just “sells” (barters, gives away) any “food” (plants, seeds etc) however that “food” is acquired will need to be licensed by the government in some way, or have a specific exemption.
This is outlined in the Meanings Sections (Sections 8-10, and Section 12) that are appended below in Appendix B.
The bill is vague on whether seeds are food if for non-grain-producing plants or others where seeds are eaten, like sunflowers. In other words seeds for rice, potatos, kumara, wheat, barley etc are all “food”, but seeds for brassicas may not be… but may also be.
And further it’s very vague on whether giving away for no reward (amazingly) constitutes “selling” under the bill.
People may be outraged that they can’t grow carrots and regularly swap them with their neighbour two doors down for his potatoes (or face jail). They will clearly be criminals under this bill.
However this is all side-show stuff.
The key factor is seeds. In many cases they specifically are food, of course. Grain seed, seed potatoes, rice, maize, quinoa, many staples etc etc – as the bill stands all these will explicitly be controlled substances, with similar penalties for possession as drugs.
Regarding not-normally-eaten seeds, it’s a short hop (via a single court ruling probably) that they are “food” by virtue of both being plant material and being “capable of being used for human consumption” (Section 8, see Appendix B below).
So the Food Bill is wide open for seed control – for staples already, and the rest by dint of a court ruling (after seed banks are raided without warrant and seeds condemned, perhaps, and the actions challenged).
This being so, the unenforceability of prohibiting people from growing food for local distribution becomes a moot point. No good seeds means no good food (if any food at all) to distribute.
OK, so that’s the problem… what are the solutions?
In NZ there are protections against this kind of thing through the Treaty, highlighted in the WAI 262 claim Tribunal findings recently released in relation to taonga species, ie those considered to have human benefit. Such protection is enforceable via the Queen under the 1835 Declaration of Independence, which was reinforced rather than supplanted by the Treaty (Tiriti version, the binding one).
Simply put, to stop people from being able to trade food they grow, or to get good seeds to grow it, is just basic treason (the crime of betraying one’s country) and a breach of tikanga and thus the Treaty. The solution therefore lies in the Treaty (the Tiriti version, which on the issue of sovereignty/tino rangatiratanga/ “full authority” is upheld by the English law rule of Contra Proferentem in contracts. Thus the Queen is bound to be subject to the “full authority” of regional rangatira by her own laws… and the rangatira can overrule any food police. Hence the Governor-General has veto controls in the Bill – he is the Queen’s representative, and needs veto power to act as the instrument of rangatira where they wish to exercise their authority – anything else is unconstitutional.)
Again, details of how to use tino rangatiratanga in this way are available via the Maori Customary Law website, which helps hapu to stand in their own Sovereignty by providing template documents for filing with the Crown. You can also meet Maori sovereignty experts from all around the country, at Te Tii Marae, Waitangi, on 27th and 28th October – Independence Day. For more, see whakaminenga.
Individuals or collectives of people can also contract out from under this legislation by revoking their consent to parliamentary representation. This is done via a properly served Claim of Right. See www.claimofright.org. You can thus nullify your enforceable adherence to legislation enacted by a legislature you are no longer represented in. (See Appendix A.) By serving copies of your claim on all affected parties, you can enforce this contracting out upon agencies that would otherwise assume you’re subject. You file your Notice/Claim via a Notary Public, which leaves nothing up for any dispute that a judge might otherwise have to adjudicate over, and thus no case to defend.
It’s also worth noting that due to this point of consent, the legislation is neither in breach of the Tiriti, nor is it treason . This is the only way it can be got away with.
With luck this is not rabbit-hole stuff for you. It’s actually very simple. By contrast, legislation like the Food Bill is designed to get lost in. It’s 400 pages of mind-bending rubbish. We have the right to not have to consider these bills, nor get lost in them, nor have them apply to us, and to just go about our peaceful business – especially when legislation is enacted by people who don’t read it, nor even have it read to them anymore, and who we’re not represented by anyway if we simply tell them so. Judges uphold this basic truth, one might add. It’s about being right.
Meanwhile, the Tiriti holds the key for the country as a whole. Judges are sworn to uphold this too, because they have sworn an oath to uphold the law, and the Tiriti is part of our constitutional law. If they don’t uphold it, it’s because not enough people are holding them to account because they are snoozing as to what their human rights are and how they’re about to be seemingly (but not really) taken away. Rather they’ve been given away, by consent.
PS: You can also save seeds, and keep them secure
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