DOC: FOOD, INC.
“EATING IS A AN ECOLOGICAL ACT
EATING IS AN ETHICAL ACT
EATING IS A POLITICAL ACT”
In modern times, In Urban Environments, we have forgotten about agriculture.
Food is presented in plastic, labeled packagings, with colorful pictures, and misleading dietary advice.
Think for a moment, how different our relationship is to food has become in the last 10, 50, 100 years. Compared to the days when food and meal planning were dictated by the moon cycle. Cultivating the land was a central part of being alive, and the failing of one crop could change the very destiny of a population or country (potato famine, Ireland).
Our view has been obscured, we no longer see or know how our food ends up in our kitchen, however we are still directly connected to the process as everybody still needs to eat.
10000 years ago farmers started saving their own seeds, and planting them again the next year. This is how all the crops that make up our diet have been developed. They have been selected and traded by humans since the beginning of agriculture.
That’s how corn developed from a nearly useless grass to the largest plant commodity on earth today.
The idea that any corporation could own a food crop is a very new idea. It was until 1980’s that the supreme court in America said that you could patent and own the rights to organic life.
Since then, the most valuable parts of life, the crops on which we all depend, have been taken over by a few multination corporations.
Monsantos is a chemical company. Monsanto first products were DDT, Agent Organ were used to kill people in the Vietnam war. An entire chemical weapons industry was created at the turn of the 20th century when technology advancement in weaponry was a race which involved the whole world (WWI & WWII)
However when this hit its peak with the Nuclear Bomb, and the World wars subsequently ended, what happened to the billion dollar chemical weapon industry?
They changed marketing strategy. And entered the food and agriculture industry. Every chemical technology in agriculture has its roots in WAR.
Monsantos developed a product called RoundUP, a herbicide which literally killed everything that grows in the soil, grass, weeds, crops. Next came the first genetically engineered soy beans which could resist the application of RoundUp.
Farming made easy. Wash the land with chemicals that kills everything but the soy bean you want to grow.
This was introduced in India in what was called ‘THE GREEN REVOLUTION” from 1940-1960
It was applauded for saving a starving India as yields for Corn, Soya, and Cotton skyrocketed. However the impact today is devastating. In India, farmers use to grow and eat 8,500 different varieties of crops. Now the entire country is down to just 8 commodity crops. Corn and Soya are the highest produced however 70% is not even used as food for humans, but rather bio fuel and animal feed. The huge mono culture has not only destroyed crop diversity, but also the soil. In the region of Punjab (the center the green revolution in India) the increase in production of just a few cash crops has left the soil with -5.1 mil tones of nitrogen, -2.5 mil tons of phosphorous, -4.7 mil ton of potassium, and the water level has been falling by 50-70cm every year. There has also been a ‘sudden surge’ in cancer rates because pesticides has polluted the water to the point where a ‘cancer train’ leaves from Punjab carrying more and more people each month.
The green revolution has been blamed for “Polluting the soil, water, and air beyond repair” in the region.
These technologies also revolutionized the agriculture industry in America in a single decade.
In 1992, when Monsantos began selling the RoundUp Ready Soybeans, only 2% of Soybeans in the US contained the Patented Gene.
By 2008, over 90% of the Soybeans in the US contain Monsantos Patented Gene.
Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalized. What can we do about this? (http://ejatlas.org/featured/seeds) report@@
Seeds use to be a public resource. This has changed. Now seeds are privatized. It has become almost impossible to practice farming in America without being partners with Monsantos, using their seeds, and paying them royalties. They control the food product for seed to supermarket. They are in fact, gaining control of food.
70% of processed food in American Supermarkets has Genetically Modified Ingredients, and they are not required to label it.
Giant Corporations in the food and agriculture industry have become so powerful that they completely manipulate government bills and laws.
In America there are many examples of this in just the past few years.
Monsantos helped write a bill in 2013 that was voted on and passed without many of the representatives even knowing it was in the bill. This has made it impossible for the governments regulate or stop the use of GMO seeds, even if in the future scientific studies find them to have adverse health effects.
The food industry has supreme protection under the law in the US, it is even illegal to criticize it publicly under the ‘veggie libel law’. Million dollar law suits have been used to stop those in the public eye from talking about food and industry. .
It has become illegal for farmers to save their seeds. After 10,000 years of farm practice, within a matter of 10 years the laws have pushed the majority of farmers in the US to accept the imposed system of buying Monsantos seeds, herbicides, and fertilizers every season.
Today we can see this result in the destruction of soil fertility and diversity, water and air pollution. These chemical weapons have been turned against the earth in the name of high yeilds, and while they have succeeded in producing more food. The variety of crops being grown globally has drastically shrunk and the cost of the planet and farms, immense.
At the moment things in Europe are not effected to the degree that they have been in the American Market as i’ve been listing. However, Multi National Cooperation have been secretly working to change this with the “ Trans Atlantic Partnership”
What is TTIP
TTIP has been called “a revolution against the law” as “whats at stake is nothing less than the sovereign right of a nation to create laws to protect its citizens from harm.”
It is a trade deal set up by multi national corporations (including Monsantos) to reduce regulations and barriers on FOOD SAFETY LAWS, ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION, AND BANKING REGULATIONS.
It has been created in secret, all the information we know about it was either leaked, or legally requested through the Freedom of Information.
Its effects in a nutshell:
1) Open Europe Public Services up to international competition and Privatization
public health education water
It seeks to take allow multination corporations to take control of these services and then lock them into the trade deal so the public cant get it back.
2) Food & Environmental safety in Europe
In europe right now it is each individuals countries choice to allow GMO’s. In france for example it is banned at the moment.
TTIP would take this out of the countries power to do. Europe’s markets would be forced to take GMO products without “discriminatory” labels.
It would also slash the EU restrictions on pesticides, and growth hormones in Beef, which where banned in europe because of there link with cancer.
There is actually less regulations on european banks because of Westminster practices in London and the regulation put in place in the US after the finical crash in 2008.
TTIP would cut both ways and bring the US banking system to the same level.
BUT THE WORST OF ALL
INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENTS
This would allow transnational Corp. to Sue Governments for loss of profits, including profit yet to be made!
This Means that if Marien Le Penn got elected, and tried to enact her plan to get all of france to eat local, France could be sued for billions of dollars and forced to change those laws.
These court cases take place in Corporate Courts which rule in favor of business.
Example: Nuclear Energy Company VETTENFALL is suing Germany for trying to phase out Nuclear power plants after fukushima for