Usual Saturday News

The weekend begins and as usual I offer up news that you may not have been exposed to during the week….

Let’s begin with ‘organic food’.

Have you noticed that your favorite food store has an abundant amount of so-called ‘organic’ food?

The good question is just how organic is it really?

Amended U.S. Department of Agriculture rules announced last month suggest the agency has high hopes for plans to crack down on fraud in the organic food sector.

“The amendments protect integrity in the organic supply chain and build consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations,” the agency explained in a January 19 notice in the Federal Register. The new final rule, dubbed Strengthening Organic Enforcement, is set to take effect next month (with enforcement delayed until next year).

Some are hailing the USDA’s stance.

“The Organic Trade Association, which lobbied for rule, said it represents the biggest change to organic regulations since the creation of the USDA organic food program,” the Associated Press reports. “OTA officials said in a statement the regulation ‘will do much to deter and detect organic fraud and protect organic integrity throughout the supply chain.'”

Organic food is a big business in this country, and the organic label helps to fetch a premium price.

“To consumers, the symbol means an assurance that an agricultural product such as beef or celery has been produced using only naturally occurring fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs,” I explain in my book Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable. “To producers, the USDA organic seal means higher costs, but also the opportunity to charge consumers more for that beef or celery.”

The USDA Can’t Stop Organic Food Fraud

Personally I believe the ‘organic’ label is nothing more than a marketing hook….organic food suspiciously taste similar to the crap that agri-business pukes out.

Next water has been found!

Planetary scientists have a fascinating hypothesis about Saturn’s smallest moon, Mimas, which they say may be home to a “stealth” underground ocean that’s been hidden from our best observations.

In a press release out of the Southwest Research Institute, principal scientist Dr. Alyssa Rhoden said that NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn had “identified a curious libration, or oscillation, in Mimas’ rotation, which often points to a geologically active body able to support an internal ocean.”

Translation: Mimas’ wobble seems to suggest that it could contain an ocean under its icy surface.

A specialist in the geophysics of icy satellites — say that three times fast! — Rhoden is one of the authors of a new paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters about the tantalizing hypothesis centered on Saturn’s smallest and innermost moon, which she jokingly admitted looks “much like the Death Star from Star Wars” because of Herschel, its huge impact crater.

Only in Mississippi.

A white supermajority of the Mississippi House voted after an intense, four-plus hour debate to create a separate court system and an expanded police force within the city of Jackson — the Blackest city in America — that would be appointed completely by white state officials.

If House Bill 1020 becomes law later this session, the white chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court would appoint two judges to oversee a new district within the city — one that includes all of the city’s majority-white neighborhoods, among other areas. The white state attorney general would appoint four prosecutors, a court clerk, and four public defenders for the new district. The white state public safety commissioner would oversee an expanded Capitol Police force, run currently by a white chief.

The appointments by state officials would occur in lieu of judges and prosecutors being elected by the local residents of Jackson and Hinds County — as is the case in every other municipality and county in the state.

Mississippi’s capital city is 80% Black and home to a higher percentage of Black residents than any major American city. Mississippi’s Legislature is thoroughly controlled by white Republicans, who have redrawn districts over the past 30 years to ensure they can pass any bill without a single Democratic vote. Every legislative Republican is white, and most Democrats are Black.

Mississippi proves daily that the “New South’ is not real….especially in my state of Mississippi.

That is all the usual weird ass news I have time for this Saturday.

Be well….Be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”