Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Food Monopolies Affect Our Health, Our Choices, Our Future

How Food Monopolies Affect Our Health, Our Choices, Our Future

March 18, 2014 | Christine Pasciuti
Share this article

Have you noticed how local farms in America are systematically disappearing, one by one? A huge portion of local and organic farm produce, dairy and meat is being replaced by cheaply produced, chemically laden and poorly inspected food that comes from factory farms based outside of the U.S.

A consolidation of large predatory land holders, supported by the U.S. government, have been enabled to form monopolies, effectively squeezing out all other competitors.

It's no secret that one of these giant multibillion dollar agribusinesses, Monsanto, is already controlling most of our food supply. In zealous defense of its genetically altered crops - widely used in America and in Latin America - the company has sued many organic farmers and local food producers because their crops had become contaminated with its own biotech alterations, demanding the farmers purchase Monsanto's "Franken-seeds" instead.

A group of more than fifty organic farmers and seed dealers in the U.S. sued Monsanto in March of  2011 in an attempt to stop the company from suing them because their crops and seeds had become contaminated with the patented Monsanto GMO (genetically modified) alteration. An appellate court ruled that local and organic seed must not exceed trace amounts (less than 1%) of the company's modified seed in order to avoid a lawsuit, declaring victory for Monsanto and its continuing efforts to monopolize the food industry.

Between 1997 and April of 2010, Monsanto filed 144 patent-infringement lawsuits against farmers, winning judgments against them, according to the company, for using its seed without paying required royalties.

What Monsanto's patent protects is its genetically altered "Roundup Ready" soybeans, corn and cotton, modified to tolerate treatments of its Roundup weed killer. Perhaps these crops can tolerate the chemicals, but what about the people and animals that consume them? Laboratory and epidemiological studies have confirmed that Roundup poses serious health hazards, including endocrine (hormone) disruption, DNA damage, cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders.

According to OffGridSurvival.com, five biotech companies have bought up more than 200 small independent seed companies since the mid-1990s, essentially limiting our access to seeds from other sources, thereby controlling what we can grow.  The culprits - Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont - have consolidated their power, making it difficult for the average American to grow their own food using independent seed sources.

In an even greater predatory move, Monsanto has developed sterile seeds, known as Suicide seeds, which produce fruits and vegetables that require the purchase of new seeds for each new planting, preventing small farmers and home gardeners from planting the seeds they harvest.

50 percent of chickens now processed for consumption in the U.S., as well as 80 percent of cows and 60 percent of pigs are controlled by four major companies since "factory farming" was introduced. Even the American organic food industry is now mostly owned by companies like Coca-Cola, ConAgra, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft and M&M Mars.

China is a big player in the food monopoly game, and an increasing amount of our food supply is shipped directly from a country where loose regulations result in downright dangerous and extremely contaminated imports into the U.S.

For example, apple juice sold in the U.S. comes almost entirely from apples in China. More than 80 percent of the world's garlic, 90 percent of America 's vitamin C supplements and 78 percent of tilapia consumed in the U.S. comes directly from China. A majority of food sold at your local grocer contains ingredients imported from China.

Would it surprise you to know that only 1% - 2% of all imported food from China is ever inspected by the FDA? Americans will unknowingly daily consume disturbingly high levels of chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and other toxic substances due to the corrupt corporate takeover of our food supply. That's one reason why rice and honey imports from China contain high levels of contaminants.

Another frightening consequence of our growing dependence on Chinese food imports is fake and counterfeit foods, made to look like the real thing, but actually loaded with many kinds of toxic chemical fillers. The food giant monopolies have gladly looked the other way as they continue to sell the unsuspecting consumer counterfeit and cheaper versions of foods we rely on for proper nutrition.

The reality is, we aren't being nourished at all; we are being poisoned while those that control our consumption choices seek to squeeze every last penny out of the American public to serve their own greed. Wikipedia reports that in 2008, an estimated 300,000 infants and children fell ill by melamine contaminated formula that was exported from China.

And that great American icon Walmart? The company has destroyed thousands of U.S. small businesses and food manufacturers as well as tens and thousands of jobs to maximize profits by importing cheap foods and goods from China. The Economic Policy Institute reported that between 2001 and 2006, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States .

This too-big-to-fail company sells five times more goods than any other retailer in America, using any means necessary to cut costs, including exporting jobs overseas and cutting benefits for employees. According to theeconomiccollapseblog.com, the average U.S. family now spends more than $4,000 per year at Walmart, thereby supporting one of the predatory global giants as it continues to gain financially while the global food supply has been compromised on every level. This is often referred to as the "Walmart Illusion".

By controlling an absolute necessity - our food - these companies are controlling the masses in a powerful way.  Have we naively handed over our God-given right to choose what we eat and the integrity with which we feed our people?

The truth is, we are in serious trouble when we relinquish that control over to a handful of companies whose first priority is profitability, at the dear cost of our health, our financial independence, and the viability of our future generations. We have sold out... at a very great price.

If we collectively fight back with what few choices we still do have, perhaps we can make a real difference. By supporting local farmers markets, buying local organic foods not produced by multinational agribusiness corporations, by growing our own foods, planting uncontaminated seeds and identifying local wild food sources, by hunting, fishing and canning/preserving the fruits of our labor... we potentially set in motion the tools for sustainable healthy living for this generation and for those to come.

The question is... do we care enough to make it happen? 

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/March18/183.html#t4BUp3AWXODMOOaz.99

No comments: