Home » About Us » Blog » Hungry? Starving? Here, eat this FOOD™-brand FOOD©!

Hungry? Starving? Here, eat this FOOD™-brand FOOD©!

June 12, 2008 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, Uncategorized

It’s not often that we highlight another blog, as a matter of fact, we never have! But this article by Sprout is so well written that we decided that there is a first time for everything. From our friends at Grow Healthy: http://growhealthywithsprout.com/

So, sorry but this post is going to be a little bit academic, but bear with me, because some recent articles on the international food crisis got me wondering: are big, conventional agriculture companies like Monsanto using the world’s hunger crisis to push the sales of their genetically modified crops?

Now, I hate whacked-out conspiracy theories as much as the next guy with a government-implanted microchip, but follow me here:

Step One: According to the BBC, there are a few main causes for the recent upsurge in food prices:

1) Global population, which is expected to hit the ridiculous number of 9 billion in a few short decades. More people means more consumption of resources, scarcer fuels and land, and (obviously) more people eating food.

2) The fast-growing economies of places like India and China. As the article puts it so well:

“To put it bluntly, rich people eat more than poor people, and all this economic growth is generating a whole new tier of middle-class consumers who buy more meat and processed food.”

3) Environmental factors resulting from climate change. (Desertification in China and Africa, for instance)

4) Corn-based ethanol production, which is expected to eat up a third of US corn by 2010.

Now, let’s think about this real quick: when they talk about the “processed foods” in middle-class diets of India and China, what they mean are foods that are made with the ugly, disease-causing byproducts of soy and corn (partially hydrogenated whatchama-fats, hydrolyzed soy protein, high fructose corn syrup, all that garbage) that were invented to find a use for the vast quantities of these crops that have been heaped upon us as a result of industrial agriculture and the genetic modification of crops. Meanwhile, the corn going into American ethanol production is this same industrialized, genetically modified, Monsanto-brand “corn”. So, 2 of the 4 reasons people are beginning to starve in vast numbers around the world, especially in Africa, (even people here in America are starting to have to struggle with food prices) come down to higher usage of Monsanto products, GM corn and soy, which contain novel proteins, allergens and toxins.

Hmm… Ok, could just be an unfortunate fact…

Step Two: At a recent United Nations emergency meeting on food shortages, the NY Times reports that the representatives there mostly just “complained about other [countries’] protectionism — and defended their own.” For example, “the United States’ agriculture secretary, Ed Schafer, talked about the benefits of biofuels and genetically modified crops.” That is, in front of an international audience gathered to discuss how best to solve the crisis of rising food costs, America’s representative argued that other countries need to start allowing imports of GM crops, while refusing to allow imports of Brazilian sugar cane-based ethanol (which America will not allow into its “free” market, right now).

So, we’re trying to push GM crops (a move that would benefit Monsanto) at the same time that we fight to lessen the economic power of sugar-cane based ethanol (a move that would benefit… Monsanto).

And we’re doing that while “most experts agree [that the only kind of food aid program that is going to work is] one that invests in developing agriculture in poor countries and that spends less money in shipping food halfway around the world to feed hungry people.” Meaning that exporting food, GM or otherwise, isn’t what’s going to solve the problem, and we know it.

Getting suspicious…

Step Three: Meanwhile, perfectly timed to coincide with this debate, Monsanto announced it would “develop seeds that would double the yields of corn, soybeans and cotton by 2030 and would require 30 percent less water, land and energy to grow,” a P.R. move that “appears to be aimed at least in part at winning acceptance of genetically modified crops by showing that they can play a major role in feeding the world.”

And this despite the fact that experts are pretty dubious of the claim: “James E. Specht, a soybean genetics expert at the University of Nebraska said he doubted it could be done. ‘The hype-to-reality ratio of that one is essentially infinity,’ Mr. Specht said. ‘Seeing an exponential change in the yield curve is unlikely.'”

Moreover, “as part of its announcement Wednesday, Monsanto said it would work to improve the lives of small and poor farmers by sharing its technology. It recently announced a project with some other organizations to develop drought-tolerant corn for Africa, with Monsanto not charging royalties for use of its technology.” Oh, by the way, once modified genes enter a farming region, they are pretty much impossible to eradicate later. Since Monsanto owns patents to these genes, if they are introduced into these potential new markets they would have intellectual property rights over these African farmers’ crops (just like they already do over American farmers’ crops) for generations and generations into the future. Even if they hold off from charging royalties now, there’s no reason they couldn’t later decide to. They would have every right to; it’s their property.

Taking advantage of people’s poverty, starvation, and desperation to lock them into the irreversible decision to start growing genetically modified crops? Really, Monsanto? This sounds to me like the ultimate devil’s bargain: eat now, pay later… big time.

Original article posted by Adam at teamsprout

One Response to “Hungry? Starving? Here, eat this FOOD™-brand FOOD©!”

  1. Kelly

    Who needs to fear terrorists when we have companies like Monsanto that create chemical warfare against the American public. They produce PCBs, bovine growth hormone, Nutrasweet (excitotoxin), RoundUp weed killer, Ambien – a sleep aid drug, and GMOs. If you don’t think they have high powered lawyers at work for them, ask Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who he used to work for. In addition, the Codex Alimentarius (a food additive code of the World Heath Organization) is being pushed on our government so that they would be able to dictate what is on our food labels and what is in our food without our knowledge. Even now we have things labeled “organic” that are not and products labeled “No MSG”, though the companies can put it in under other names. (See http://www.truthinlabeling.org) We have got to open our eyes, do our research and say NO to these corporate greed-mongers, for our kids sake and ours.

Leave a Reply to Kelly