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Cutting through the bullshit


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How much food is there?

The public is told by experts that we need GMO to feed the world’s people because this patented corporate technology will solve world hunger.   The latest media spin is linking climate change and the  need  for GMO to help secure food production.  Who are these experts and what evidence do they have to support this?

If this argument is broken into simple macro pieces for us to digest, I would do it this way.   We have 7.2 billion people now, in 233 countries, in 6 major geographical areas.

Taking generally accepted stats at face value – that 870 million people that are hungry, undernourished or starving – most of them are in Africa and Asia.  It’s hard to find accurate numbers for many reasons.  Various organizations and government bureaucracies  have diverse agendas.  As well, there is the subjectiveness of the terminology.  When is there hunger?  At what point are you starving?  The opposite side is,  when do we have enough food or when are we eating in excess?  It is a very subjective thought process.  Sitting here and typing this, I could now imagine that depending on your personal situation, that the phrase “enough food” would  differ.  There are more than enough calories to feed everyone when all of the world’s food is added up and divided by the number of people (2700 calories/person/day).  The big obstacles are poverty, wars  and distribution.

wasted food

 

I also need to add a few more  elephants into the room, such as food waste, biofuels and poor uses of land potentials.  Last, but not least, is the whole farm animal debate and how much feed they eat.  So, adding the numbers up, it looks like there is already more than enough food for everyone if total food production was really the only reason.

Now for some ugly truths!  In the well fed western world (US, Canada, Western Europe, etc.) the statistics show that we waste 30 to 40% of all the food that is produced.  That is a huge number!  It adds up something like this:

  • The farmer has small inevitable harvesting losses, weather factors and poor grades that leave products unsaleable in western markets.
  • Farmer and commercial storage losses to things like spoilage, shrinkage and some pests as well.
  • Processor food losses like quality control, best before dates, old donuts! etc.
  • Grocery store food waste losses. We all know what they toss out!
  • Restaurants, homes and refrigerator losses.

Incredibly, this all adds up to 30 to 40% of all we consume.  Now compound that with how many of us over eat, and it looks even worse.

One thing that caught my attention is that underdeveloped countries waste a huge amount of food as well.  They tend to have poor storage.  With warmer climates you get faster spoilage and bigger problems with pests (insects and rodents) contaminating the food.  Guess what?  Some estimates are easily as high as 40% loss of food for them as well.  This is lost food for the ones that can least afford to lose it.  When I take time to think of this fact, it sounds very plausible knowing how tricky it is to store food in hot or damp climates with poor infrastructure.

Grain storage in Africa

Grain storage in Africa

In war torn countries, people are starving mostly because the farmers are driven from the land because of various types of politics.  Generally speaking,  their hunger is not because of the lack of food producing ability.  GMO will not solve that one either.

With the broad overview of the issues above, I don’t see any argument necessitating the need for GMO technology and the inherent freedom strangling patents that come with them.  There are countless ways to improve the “food system”.  How about less waste,  less wars, empowering poor people, and efficient use of land for starters.

When I add all this up, I have to come to a huge obvious conclusion…  Mankind doesn’t have a food production problem.  Mankind has a food management issue.

 

 

 

 


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The GMO brain washing continues

It’s overtime to talk about the recent events in food production.  First, a little bit of background…

It seems that the latest media onslaught from the Biotech industry has a common theme.  I have heard it from several places, including a  guest speaker at our Ontario farm organization.  The new message is ” With climate change and a growing world population, the only way to feed people is with  genetically modified organisms”.  Their industry has been getting a lot of bad press  and pressure from various governments lately. Europe is still resisting, South American countries are banning them, India is resisting. Russia wants to ban them outright saying that they have more than enough idle land and production improvement ability to negate any potential argument for GMO.  African countries are resisting and there is a very strong anti GMO lobby in China, etc.  Various US states are having votes on labelling  and the general awareness of people  is increasing. Then you multiply that with independent studies poking holes in proprietary studies (Serilini) and then you have the general population and even the mainstream media starting to ask questions.

With this message using “Climate Change” and  “Growing population” the Biotech industry is using the classic fear tactic.  This leads to the insinuated “if you don’t do what we say, people will die”.  To the casual observer it may sound completely logical and they may resign themselves to that inevitability and that the “experts” are right.  The same experts say that GMO pass strict safety testing and are completely safe.  I used to assume that it was true, until I did a lot of objective searching for answers to satisfy my own curiousity. It is too much to post in a short blog, but suffice to say that the more I looked, the more I became convinced that the whole technology is not safety oriented, but persists by the simple fact that no one really understands what really happens at the DNA level.  What we knew about DNA in 1995 when the first Round Up tolerant plants were released has changed dramatically.  Bottom line is that nobody in the industry or government can understand this stuff. It is an information pyramid. The only information that the lower levels know is what the ones at the top want you to know.  Government doesn’t know either. They rely on corporate information and their testing. Government officials just review studies handed to them.

A gene "gun"

A gene “gun”

This is how I see modern science in action.  A handful of compartmentalized researchers each do their thing and hand it off for compartmentalized testing to find cells that have the new gene expression. It’s a crap shoot. When they use the gold gene gun at microscopic level, it is akin to putting some paint on shotgun pellets and standing far from the target with a pipe cleaner on it. When one of the pellets hits the pipe cleaner on a certain spot they grow the cell and see what happens. This is what they call precise technology. They have no control over exactly where it goes and how the change affects the rest of the DNA.  When some plants pass the agronomic test you then design an easy food safety threshhold. The most important part of that test is to get the appropriate government body to grant a scientific term called “substantial equivalence” to your product. What that means is that scientists deem the GMO product to be essentially the same as conventional in every way.  That is an automatic exemption from real longterm food safety testing. Very convenient!

This is the perfect formula to patent seeds, control farmers, and generally just herd the populations into which ever corral you want them to go to.  If information is tightly controlled and if the public gets the same message over and over, eventually dissention becomes conspiracy.  No honest person would want to get that label.

 

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”
― John F. Kennedy

 
“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
― Joseph Goebbels

 

The current media campaign by selected influential GMO evangelists is there for an obvious reason.  There are a few holes in the dyke and they need to change the momentum in their favour.

The next few posts I will explain  what I see to be the real food issues.  What are the distractions  and who is saying them and why. It’s a big topic and I will post  short updates as I dig into this for my own piece of mind. Ultimately everyone’s opinions will be dictated as to what their version of Utopian society would look like.  This exercise will help me to quantify some realistic facts from fiction. We all hear the buzz words and phrases, so it would be good to look objectively at the basics to start.

destroy

 


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It’s About The Birds and The Bees…

It has been a long time since my last post.  It has been a busy summer with challenging weather extremes.  The crops do look good considering the excess rain events.

I was at a meeting last night and a topic that we talked a lot about was the bee deaths and the bad P.R.   Farmers are getting concerned and frustrated by the seeming slow   bureaucratic response by  ag industry and our farm organization leaders.

 

The following is a letter I have written to express my concern over the lack of action regarding bee deaths:

 

To MP’s and MPP’s and other interested parties:

This letter has been written  by a concerned farmer to help broaden the perspective regarding bee deaths.

There is an ongoing controversy regarding the die off of the bee populations and as to what is the cause.  It is sad to see the diversity of this ecosystem being affected by the actions of modern society. This is not sustainable.  As an analogy, the bees are our “canary in the coal mine”.

There is most likely a multitude of reasons for the  poor survivability of  these important insects but there is one that many farmers are talking about and pointing their fingers at.  When there are numerous reports of mass die-offs happening hours after an activity such as corn planting, it does not take a very big leap of logic to connect the dots of probable cause of death –  extremely toxic seed treatments blowing in the air.

These treatments are affecting many other insects, as well as song birds. One grain of treated seed will kill them and/or eating tainted insects will sicken them to the point that they will not reproduce.  The American Bird Conservancy is concerned enough that they have issued an alarm regarding the dwindling numbers of song birds in some areas.

Studies have shown half life of neonicotinoid chemicals to be 19 years in clay soils.  This means they will be building up in the soil  and be a bigger threat to vulnerable wildlife. Also, by default, it will mean even more pesticide residue in the food.  This is not acceptable.

The pesticides in question are the neonicotinoids, which have grown into a main  agricultural insect control tool for many crops.  I am very disappointed with our farm group “Grain Farmers of Ontario”, which sent pamphlets to farmers, urging them to write to our representatives  in support of this insecticide.  Many farmers look to our organization for responsible leadership on issues and they have dropped the ball on this one. They state that they want science to determine the fate of the chemical  and honey bees, not politics. I could argue that if we had sound science in the first place, we would not be in this situation.

The ongoing studies proposed by OMAF  and the universities of Guelph and Ridgetown are a stalling tactic and a blatant display of what  bureaucracy in  science is all about.   Prudent avoidance is the golden rule of sound science.  Why is it not evident in this case?  Many farmers I talk to are amazed at the politics in this issue, until they realize that these insecticides are big profit generators for the owners of the insecticide patents.

Please regard food industry support of neonicotinoid insecticide as based on poor science and a  sloppy registration process.  It’s about protecting cash flow from patent monopolies and pretending that there is no alternative.  The crying over the cost  to farmers over losing this persistent chemical is overdone. We must consider the long term cost to the people and environment.  There are alternatives.

To continue allowing the use of neonicotinoids is a selfish act in defiance to bee keepers,  nature,  sustainability and the quality of the food.  We are what we eat!

 

Reference to Grain Farmer of Ontario  mailing;

http://gfo.ca/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Jgw9PQrMcFA%3d&tabid=139&mid=504


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# 8 – The Disconnect

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A beautiful morning, with frost on the trees, at the end of March.

The calendar says that it is spring, but the large amount of snow says that we still have time to get caught up with more work at the farm.  The short, cold days of winter when it gets dark by 4:30 chases me to the comfort of the warm house earlier than it would in summer time.

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Oyster mushrooms, packed and ready to go

On the “to do” list for me are things like tractor and tillage machine maintenance, finalizing field plans for crops, to finish cleaning seed for planting, and organizing my plot trials for new and novel food crops that would grow in our area.  We are still shipping oats and non-GMO corn to market.  What keeps us busy during the week is our year-round business of growing specialty (mainly  blue oyster) mushrooms.  They are labour intensive and are finicky to grow.

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A sample of our indoor oyster mushroom production

I did sneak away for another farm meeting last week.  What came up for discussion at the end of the meeting was the ad campaign directed to the consumers called “Farmers Feed Cities”.  Farmers are realizing the disconnect to the consumer and we had a fairly successful promotion using fairs, schools and radio, etc. to remind people that literally, farmers feed cities.  It was decided that we would keep the focus the same, and not change the strategy for the time being.

Now, while admitting something needs to be done with the consumer losing touch with one of life’s basic essentials, I was asking myself a simple question…

“Who in this room actually deals with a real, live consumer?”  I will bet, not many.

For anyone growing the main field crops in Ontario, like corn, soybeans and wheat, there is no direct market to the consumer.  The farmer’s customers are places like the feed mill, the flour mill, the grain export company, an ethanol plant, and the oilseed crushing plant.  Maybe the closest they get is to sell some grain to your neighbour for their animals.

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Skids of heritage oats, cleaned and ready to plant

If you are a dairy farmer, it is illegal to sell milk to the public.  If you produce eggs, the government requires them all to be washed and graded in licensed facilities.  Any meat animal, such as chicken, pork and beef, must go ta a government-approved slaughter facility.

The end result is that the public is removed from contact with the farmer.  The consumer does most, if not all, of their shopping at the grocery store.  In that store is branded food from all over the world, much of it processed.

So with the advertising campaign of “Farmers Feed Cities”, there is a disconnect.  We just don’t have contact with consumers.

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A sample of some open pollinated, non-GMO corn, that needs to be shelled and sorted for planting

Do we have an identity crisis?  People can see us in the countryside, working away doing the farming stuff, but that is really as far as it goes with associating with the farm.  We certainly feel taken for granted.  The campaign wants to remind consumers that we grow the food, yet the only thing that the consumer sees is the fancy packaging and often, import labels from around the world.

It takes a real stretch of the imagination for the average consumer to associate what happens to that corn field along the highway. The corn  could be shipped to a factory to get the starch removed, and then is chemically processed into glucose and fructose, to be added to foods like pop and baked goods.  It might go into a big pile behind the barn in a bunker silo to go through a fermentation process and used to feed cattle to produce milk.  The varied uses are endless!

The farm is, on average, so far removed from the consumer now, that it is a real stretch to make a connection to them through this modern, corporate, processed food which is produced for the least-cost world that we live in today.  The further  away from the consumer, the less share of their food dollar we get.  We produce a commodity to sell to processor which in turn uses a brand.  This is what people connect to as their food source.

Ironically, that’s why there are  advertising companies to help make that connection for us, because we don’t have the time or the means to do it ourselves.


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# 7 – How Not to Make “Buddy Buddy” with the CEO

thMy “zing” to the entrenched and unaware….

We had a district farm meeting a few weeks ago for the Grain Farmers of Ontario.  This group covers corn, soybean and wheat growers only.

Production areas are divided up into districts comprised of groups of counties.  Ontario has 15 districts, from which we elect delegates and directors to serve at the provincial level.  The “Ontario Grain Farmers” association is to represent farmer interests on $2.5 billion of sales.  They get their funding from mandatory checkoff  from every tonne of grain sold by the farmer.  On average, for a ball park number, it amounts to about $1.50 to $2 per acre, from 5 million acres, which gave it a budget of over ten million dollars last year.  That is more than just chump change!

Our district is comprised of the counties of Dufferin, Simcoe, Halton, Peel and York.  The usual format is to get a few speakers in to talk on various topics, such as agronomics, marketing, technology, and other farmer stuff.  Head office also demands time from our local meeting and has a canned presentation to inform us of what a good job they have done in the past year.  For the most part, they do a pretty good job on our behalf with various issues.    The Association also has some glaring conflicts when dealing with government and corporations that they will not admit to.  They are travelling all over the world in subservience to the agenda of global trade and by default they are at the whims of the people who create the agenda.  We want to sell our grain to the world.  But really,  we are selling a food commodity that was produced from patented seed industry that is controlled by a few major players.  The reality is that it is almost impossible to  have 100 percent non-GMO in our exports.  A lot of countries don’t want our GMO contaminated grain.  It costs money to keep all the contamination out and risk rejection of a shipment.  So what happens then is that the patent holders(seed corporation)  then gets our farm groups to go on world tours using our good  reputation as farmers to lobby for increasing the contamination limits of GMO in the non -GMO grain to make it easier to meet standards of cleanliness.

The CEO will bristle at any comments or questions regarding what was said at these meetings.  The board of directors keeps a tight lid on that kind of information, and only reluctantly gives us, the farmers, the juicy details on where the pied pipers of the food world (industry) want to lead us.  This lack of transparency is very frustrating, but there are small ways to poke a finger in the eye of this clique.  This happened for me at this meeting.

I hosted the meeting and also gave a short presentation.  Now one of the themes that the board was pushing was their 20-year plan for agriculture in Ontario.  They had paid a consulting firm for four various scenarios of the good, bad, and ugly versions of what it could be.

Well, I opened up with a presentation of what I believed it would look like.  I wasn’t sure how this would be received by the audience.

For anyone who has read my previous blogs, they will have a good idea of what I presented, for it encapsulated all the main themes from my blogs.  I covered everything from our perceptions being controlled by what we see, told and do.  How most media (except internet, for now) is controlled by 6 major corporations, and they control government policy for their benefit, not ours.

Then the eyes were rolling for some when I dared to mention the concept of corporate fascism and dared anyone with doubt of that idea to read a real life autobiography called “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”.  In that book, the author details his life as an economic hit man, causing debt and destruction of countries around the world, for the sole befit of money and power of a few using the corporation as their tool.

My talk then got into biopiracy and the patenting of seeds and how the Global Governance groups like the United Nations and World Health Organization are in concert with bureaucrats from individual countries are taking away our sovereign rights.  Agenda 21, in a nutshell, really means all food and food safety standards, environmental, population issues and consumption issues will be controlled by a central office for the globe.  Sounds like global fascism to me.

th

I finished off with a challenge to the audience.  “Take off the rose-coloured glasses.  Take a critical look at where we are going and make your line in the sand as far as what control you are willing to give away.  Then have a plan for what you plan to do when that line is crossed.  What if you wait too long?”

At the end of my Zing to the status quo,  I lamented that farmers and consumers have a food system that has gone  out of  their control.  We are relegating food into the wasteland of a dead end,  corporate patented commodity.  There is more depth to life , health and happiness by respecting nature and appreciating the importance of the  food we grow and eat.  Major societal changes would need to happen to make it so.  More people need to make that line in the sand.

Anyhow, the presentation was very radical in the very ideas presented.  I put some blame our our farm organizations for being patsies and the status quo did not like it at all.  I did get a very good ovation, to my surprise, and afterwards, I had many comments thanking me for the perspective.  A few farmers were very upset, and were not shy about it during questions.  They didn’t like the message, although they could not argue the facts presented.

I think deep down, most farmers know something is not right and kind of see where we are heading with corporate agriculture.  It is very confusing and we leave it to the experts.

That is our biggest mistake.th


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# 6 – Seed Patents: “How to Control the World”, for Dummies, Part Two

Total control is the ultimate goal.

In the previous post, I did a very quick summary as to how I see where we are now in the food production system, as it has evolved to date.

In this posting, I will say, flat out, that the goal of these multinationals is to patent every seed and every biological process that they can think of, to the point of lunacy.   It sounds crazy, but they are well on their way.  All the important pieces of the puzzle game are currently in play for complete control.

They have teams of lawyers, politicians, psychologists, researchers and media promoters.  They have lots of money, which helps with loose ends.  They have seed patents, to control farmers.  They buy out the competition.  They use “captured” universities and researchers using their reputations to defend the “mantra” of sound science in their patented seeds.  Then, to cap it all off, they hand the FDA or Health Canada a sample of the summaries of the information they have on seed and the GMO “event”…and then wait for the approval.

It is well documented that when the government officials play nice with the approval process, there will be a nice, high-paying job waiting for them in the near future, within the respective company.codex2

We can see the pattern here.  It’s to control the message, using multiple means, while using the Trojan Horse of Patented GMO’s to gain the absolute control of seeds in the marketplace.

World trade agreements are another major fascist toll of the multinational, and is a separate topic in itself, for later.

As a tool to dominate the world food system, seed patents are an amazing invention by the lawyers.  First,  take a seed that has evolved through natural breeding for thousands of years.  Find a way to artificially insert a random gene sequence (onto an uncontrolled destination on the DNA) and presto! you own a seed patent.  This seed, with eons of combined synergies of Mother Nature and mankind, has now, in effect, been hijacked, inserted with a Trojan Horse, and sold as a patented seed.

What kind of brain washing has society endured to allow this crap to happen with near-complete ambivalence?  I covered a big part of it in Blog #4, regarding the Propaganda Machine.

From the corporate point of view, the strategy is in place and well-oiled, to enable the patenting of all major seeds.  However, I feel that there are chinks in the armour, and the multinationals must act fast, because the facade is beginning to be seen as it really is.  A corporate takeover of the seed industry using  quack science that regulators pretend to understand.

There are a few major chess pieces they must put into place to consolidate their control.  First, they must get more regulations in place to restrict small agriculture.  This will be done with the help of unrealistic world standards for food.  Through the globalist control vehicles such as Codex Alimentarius and UPOV 91, they have drawn up requirements for micro-managing food production from what seeds farmers are allowed to grow, who is allowed to even sell food, while requiring everyone who deals with food to do a mountain of paperwork for the government.  All countries are expected to bow down and be subservient.

Second, they need more freedom from regulations themselves to speed up the time from lab to consumer. Monsanto is actively lobbying the FDA right now for the ability to be self-regulating with the GMO technology.  The seed corporations are also pushing their version of what a seed variety is.  In their eyes, the grain seed is all about ownership or, as they like to call it, intellectual property.  To sell this concept to regulators, they use seed varieties which are bred to be uniform.  All the plants look alike, and have very similar genetics.  Just like how they want the human population to all think the same way (like the Borgs from Star Trek).

However, there is a resilient group of people representing the “Unwashed”.  They dare to not fit into the mold corporatism has created for them.  They ask a lot of questions and are not conveniently falling for the utopia of the corporate version of food control  They don’t submit to  ultra capitalism gone mad.

More and more are waking up and questioning the merits of reducing nature and humanity into a science experiment, dollar bills and subservience.

To what end do they have in mind?


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#5 Seed Patents: “How to Control the World”, for Dummies

Part One:  Understanding Where We Are Now

There has never been a more efficient tool for taking control of the food production of the world.  Seed patents are increasingly affecting small scale agriculture, as well as large commercial operations.  This ongoing stealthy takeover of farm independence is happening with general ambivalence, if not total ignorance, from most of the participants involved in producing food (farmers, farm organizations, universities, etc.)   Of course, most consumers wouldn’t even know it’s happening, let alone give it any critical thought.  The long term implications for food sovereignty are devastating when the trail is followed to it’s logical conclusion.  Essentially, seed patents are a legal way to transfer control of the food supply of a population to a corporation.  This can only happen with the acquiescence and docility of a modern, distracted and vain society of consumers and agricultural industry people.

Since the beginning, mankind has been free to use and share Nature’s bounty to give us sustenance.  Throughout history, most people were connected with their food in some way by the simple fact that producing food took a lot of labour.  The lack of mechanization kept a big chunk of the labour in agriculture.  With the Industrial and Green revolutions complete with oil, machines and chemicals and plant genetics, the food could be produced with machines doing alot of the work.  This has freed up labour to really specialize in providing prodcuts and services to people that previously would be employed closer to the food chain.  Many of the specializations had a feedback loop back into agriculture and made us even more efficient.  Examples today would be more modern equipment, GPS technology, and ironically enough, GMO seeds from biotechnology.

In our so called “developed world”, we live in an engineered and ever-more complex web of interconnected supply and demand of products.  These are produced by companies and people doing whatever they do, and they have to do it cheaper or better than someone else, and it will come from anywhere in the world.  They call this stage we are in presently “advanced modern civilization”.  What does that mean in terms of our food?

Some yardsticks of today’s interpretation of “advanced” civilization could be our transportation systems, the vast array of material goods (useful and useless), electricity and housing, electronics, and man’s prowess into the new frontiers of space and ocean bodies, etc.

What about agriculture?  Where does it fit in this puzzle?  It’s full of contradictions.

To be really brief, the consumer wants cheap, plentiful food and takes it for granted that all is safe because, well, that is just the way it is, and of course, the Government will makes sure of it.

To exaggerate and make my point, the average shopper is living in a twilight zone, where they are fed this vision of an idealic utopia, where some farmer is driving his old beater of a tractor, with sweat on his brow, and putting a bounty of produce on his wagon.  Consumers are bombarded with hugely misleading ads using words like “Natural”, “Country Fresh”, and “Farm Fresh”.  What a pile of crap.  This is why they put the farm fresh on the label.  That makes it a nice and easy ethical purchase to feel good about.

The reality is that for years, agriculture has been told to either “go big or go home”.  During the really lean years of low prices and high interest rates, alot of farms were lost.  “The antidote,” the self-proclaimed government experts would say,” is that farms need to get more efficient.  The way to do that is to get bigger and have economy of scale.  Oh, and don’t encumber your farm with something like having crops and animals.  You can’t do both properly, so pick one and do it to the max.  To make money, it’s all about volume.”

In the meantime, this cheap food policy of the West spawned a huge manufacturing industry primarily based on taking perfectly good food and processing the nutrition out of it, to resell it to the shopper for a lot more money.

During the process, we, the farmers, have really started to lose contact with the customer who was the consumer, because we were too busy and too big to bother with people.  We left that to the experts, the food processors and the stores.  Now some may argue that the farmer had lost contact with the shopper before this period of time, but I could say that farms and processors were much smaller, thereby making them have a much more intimate relationship with the consumer.

So now, with the advent of the mega-farms and mega-processors and a generation of shoppers removed from any knowledge of food production, along comes something never seen before, probably in the entire history of civiliation (although we don’t really know how long mankind has been here).  Biotechnology has  arrived, complete with an entourage of lawyers, politicians, accountants, scientists and the crack media relations team.

Growing real food just got a lot more complicated!

Prior to the corporate model, the common template was a partnership with farmers and universities (government money) doing plant and agronomic research for the benefit of the farmer, but making efficiencies for the whole food chain, all the way to the consumer.  But now, with the three-way relationship, it’s not the same.  The corporation with the cash is calling the shots and everyone is fine with that, it seems.

I was there at the beginning, and it seemed innocent enough.  With canola research, everyone would put a third of the cost into a breeding program.  The farmers would put some money in for a plant project and match it with government fund money made available for this.  It seemed like good value for the farmer.

But at the same time, universities were under pressure to generate revenue.  The corporations could help fund projects and started putting money into universities.  They could recoup value from their work in the form of things like patents and rights to seed varieties.  So, let’s get this straight.  Now they are generating revenue from their subsidized research and selling the rights to an entity.  This entity will now use this exclusive right to a product to compete in the marketplace.

This would be the end of agriculture as we knew it until that time.  It is now all about seed patents,  and any other process  or thing that they could monetize, to enable cost recovery for the money spent.  This was another cog in the gear of the acceleration of the downward spiral of independent university research.

We have now opened the Pandora’s Box, and have prostituted our neutral research institutions for the good of humanity, into slaves of the Corporation.

kirkegaard