FDA War on Terroir

It baffles me that so much attention is paid to where a wine comes from, how it was grown, aged, stored and this scrupulous attention to the like in what we eat has only begun to come about recently.  Afterall, there are few people I know that consume more wine than they do food. In select European countries this rigorous attention paid to origin is not merely enforced by sommeliers and gastronomes, but by government regulated appellations, or terroirs.

The United States' regulations inhibit quality and qualifications to be hired as the senior advisor for the FDA include being the former lead council for Monsanto, and writing into the FDA’s guidelines that dairy farmers are forbidden from declaring their products rBGH-free. If you think this sort of manipulation and oversight is limited to megalomaniac corporations, consider that President Obama seriously entertained hiring this man to his Food Safety Working Group--right around the time that Michelle broke ground on the White House garden plot.

The most recent initiatives of the FDA include Food Safety Bill HR 2749, introduced by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) on June 8th:

“This bill proposes greater FDA regulatory powers over the national food supply and food providers, namely granting it the authority to regulate how crops are raised and harvested, to quarantine a geographic area, to make warrantless searches of business records, and to establish a national food tracing system.”

The bill serves to endorse factory farming and inhibits small, family farmers from keeping up with an already skewed, demanding and largely ignorant market.

The Organic Consumer’s Associations' pleas come in the form of modest requests such as the inclusion of: “Animals should never be fed blood, manure or slaughterhouse waste”.

Are our biggest bargaining points really that we don’t want our milk laced with hormones and our meat feces-fed? One can only hope that as the sustainble food movement continues, even those willing to settle for 3-buck-chuck wine won’t settle for these standards.