Executive Order Lays Foundation for Lab-Created Foods

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Ultimately, the answer to food safety and food security lies not in a biotech-centered food system that is controlled from the top down, but rather in a decentralized system that connects communities with farmers who grow real food in sustainable ways and distribute that food locally.

Strategies that can get us there were covered in the Children’s Health Defense’s March 4, 2023, Attack on Food symposium (video above). Food Sovereignty was primarily covered in Session 3, which begins at three hours and 45 minutes.

For example, Dr. John Day and Beverly Johannson shared tips on how to grow your own food and preserve the food you grow. Other helpful strategies include buying food from local farmers and farmers markets, and creating independent food hubs that cut out the middlemen.

The final session of the symposium dealt with larger societal solutions to fight back against the war on food. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie highlighted core vulnerabilities in the U.S. food supply, which fell apart during the pandemic when farmers had to euthanize animals because they couldn’t get them processed.

Four meatpackers control 85% of the meat that’s processed in the U.S. One of them is owned by China, one by Brazil and the other two are multinational corporations. Food prices are going up while farmers are going broke. In 2017, Massie introduced the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act,24 but the bill hasn’t moved since its introduction in the House.

The PRIME Act would allow farmers to sell meat processed at smaller slaughtering facilities and allow states to set their own meat processing standards, because small slaughterhouses do not have an inspector on staff — a requirement that only large facilities can easily fulfill — they’re banned from selling their meat. The PRIME Act would lift this regulation without sacrificing safety, as random USDA inspections could still occur.

“If a farmer wants to sell pork, beef or lamb to a consumer, as long as that consumer and that farmer and that processor are all in the same state, they’re not crossing state lines, they keep the federal government out of that transaction,” he said.

Massey has also introduced legislation to protect access to raw milk (HR 4835, the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 202125).26 The bill was introduced at the end of July 2021, as an amendment to the 2018 Farm bill. Contact your representatives and urge them to support these bills.

Sources and References

1 White House Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology September 12, 2022
2, 4 Bold Goals for US Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing March 2023
3 Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act 2023
5 Food Dive March 23, 2023
6 Food Dive November 16, 2022
7 FDA Memo November 14, 2022
8, 9 Food Dive March 21, 2023
10, 12 Food standards Agency Hazards Identification Report November 2022
11, 13 Food Safety News March 24, 2023
14 Food standards Agency Hazards Identification Report November 2022, Page 8
15 Friends of the Earth, From Lab to Fork, June 2018 (PDF)
16 Cell Metabolism, 2019; doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.05.008
17 JAMA Internal Medicine February 11, 2019;179(4):490-498
18 BMJ February 14, 2018; 360
19 JAMA 2017;317(9):912-924
20 BMJ, 2019;365:I1451
21 BMJ, 2019;365:l1949
22, 23 Journal of Cleaner Production September 25, 2022; 368: 133155
24 HR 2657 PRIME Act
25 HR4835 Interstate Milk Freedom Act 2021
26 Thomas Massie Press Release July 30, 2021

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