During national election events, like the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire Primary, it’s hard see how any of this really relates to us at a local level, especially in rural areas like the Eastern Shore. At the national level, only Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has any kind of track record when it comes to advocating for family farming, and against large industrial farms and Biotech giants. Going back as far as 1994 Sanders criticized Monsanto for using chemicals that impact human and animal health. In the Senate, Sanders was also one of the only senators that introduced the Farm Bill that would require labeling of any genetically engineered ingredients in food.
Where Hilary Clinton fully supports GMOs, Sanders continues to rail against biotech companies that he says are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” He says that he stands for the right of the people to know what is in our food (through mandatory GMO labeling that he helped pass in Vermont, an effort that the GMO giants are trying to block through the DARK Act) and supports family-owned and organic agriculture.
“The debate should be – how do we make sure that the food our kids are eating is healthy food. And having the courage to take on these huge food and biotech companies who are transforming our agricultural system in a bad way,” Sanders says in the video below from Facebook user Adryenn Ashley.
Talking about his home state of Vermont, Bernie Sanders make it sound a lot like what we want Northampton to be – he describes a place where organic farming and farmer’s markets are becoming are becoming ubiquitous, “We have hundreds of farmers markets (in Vermont), you’ll find people buying food, beef and poultry directly from farmers, and there’s a growing farm to school pipeline,” he says. “It’s something we’ve worked very hard on and I think all over this country people are concerned about the quality of food their kids are eating. We need legislation and efforts designed not to protect factory farming, corporate farming but to protect family-based agriculture.”