The sad truth is that money talks and everything else walks. In spite of close to 50 farmers, food advocates and their families being there to support the bill they only allowed five of us to speak. Thankfully, I was one of the five. We brought with us a 5,000 signature petition that were collected in a week. On top of that we were told by the aids of the delegates that they had been inundated with phone calls and emails. In spite of all of this, your delegates voted to kill the bill.
So what was so bad about this bill? According the the Agriculture Industrial Complex the risks to the general public's health was at stake. A lobbyist from the Virginia Cattlemen Association said, get this, someone might kill his beef on the side of the road, hang it from his front loader and sell cuts directly from the hanging beef. Really? So, two things to take from that.
1. The farmers that want this to pass are just a bunch of back-wood hicks too stupid to follow general food safety.
2. You the consumers are so stupid you would buy from that guy as you passed him on the road.
These are of course ludicrous arguments as I pointed out in an earlier post.
Of course there were the fun points too when a farmer, and a member of the Virginia Farm Bureau, spoke in favor of the bill. Then a few minutes later a lobbyist from the Virginia Farm Bureau argued against it. I would have loved to know what that lobbyist thought that moment when one of the people he supposedly represents made it known he was in favor of the bill.
Some where discouraged by the defeat of the bill. I was not one of them. The reason I wasn't was the momentum is on our side. If these politicians don't get on the right side of this issue they are likely to find themselves out of office. I believe this is why they tabled the bill instead of putting it to a vote. This is why I believe Delegate Will Morefield showed up late to the meeting and then left before the vote and Delegate Matthew James didn't show up at all. They didn't want to be on record as being in opposition to a popular bill. I believe they know they are going to have to do something and soon about the issue of food freedom.
The reason I believe this is because there is now a group of farmers being brought together with office of the Virginia Agriculture Commissioner to work on these issues. Amazingly enough, I have been asked to be part of this group of farmers. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Hopefully there will be some legislation put together to help get healthy food into the hands of consumers.
As one freedom lover once said you can not stop an idea who's time has come. We will be free to make the choices about food that we desire. It may not be this year or next, but we will in the near future. Don't let the defeat of one bill cause you to get discouraged.
Keep fighting the good fight for freedom
Another take on the vote Monday. "Why Do We Fear Freedom"
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