“Every farmer I have met has that bond with their livelihood," Kristin Canty said. "It's their land, their home, their animals, their source of income and the way they sustain their family. Why would the government spend time and money trying to take that away?”
That’s the $64,000 question for Canty, the director of the new movie "Farmageddon," which opens at the West End Cinema on Friday.
Canty's quest to find healthy food for her children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to healthy foods was being threatened. She talked about the horror stories she heard from the small farmers she met.
An example: At 5 a.m. in the middle of a blizzard, FBI agents arrived at the home of Linda and Larry Faillace to take their sheep away, since the government thought they were spreading mad sheep disease.
“They were acting like there was grave danger and that there may be armed resistance...on a sheep farm in the town of Warren where most people leave their doors unlocked,” Canty said.
“They spent a million dollars watching us, climbing in and out of fences,” Linda Faillace said.
In the end they took the sheep out to Iowa and killed them for a disease that doesn't exist to this day.
According to the Faillaces, this happened because the USDA had more guns. So how did the Faillaces know they were being watched?
“The cars are clean and they wear ties. No one in Vermont has a clean car.”
At least they kept their sense of humor.
This is just one of the many shocking stories portrayed in the film.
“There is a revolving door between the large corporate agricultural companies, the pharmaceutical companies and the USDA," explained Canty. "There are definitely conflicts of interest that favor Big Agriculture. The FDA unfortunately approves the use of chemicals and genetically modified organisms in our food, and disapproves of natural food. This has to change, because the way people are eating now is not sustainable. Humans were made to eat real food ... and if that isn't what you are eating ... eventually you will end up sick. The political pressure right now is unfortunately swinging in the direction of hurting the small guy and helping the big guy. This needs to change."
Watch the trailer here: