Food Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Food Corruption News Articles in Media
If Proposition 37 passes, California would become the first state in the nation to require new labels on a host of food products commonly found on grocery store shelves. Many other nations, including Japan, China and a host of European countries, already label genetically engineered food. In the United States, however, products that contain genetically engineered ingredients are generally not labeled. Proponents ... have raised $2.8 million. A company owned by Joseph Mercola, a controversial holistic health activist from Illinois with more than 100,000 Twitter followers, has kicked in $800,000. Opponents have raised nine times as much. Almost all of the nearly $25 million has come from a variety of chemical, seed and processed-food companies. Monsanto, a leading producer of genetically engineered seeds, donated $4.2 million, the largest donation. The labeling initiative largely covers processed foods. Milk, cheese and other dairy products made from cows that are injected with the bovine growth hormone or eat genetically engineered feed like alfalfa would be exempt, but meat or dairy products from animals that are genetically engineered would be labeled. In 2000, 25 percent of the corn planted in the United States was genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By 2012, that figure had soared to 88 percent. The group California Right to Know, which is leading the pro-labeling campaign, is counting on a vast social media network and volunteers to get its message out. Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the yes campaign, said [this] "is a people's movement against out-of-state corporations."
Note: A graph in this article shows that 94% of the funds raised against Proposition 37 came from outside of California. And how interesting that Dr. Mercola is called controversial, considering that he now has nearly 2 million subscribers to his mos excellent email list. For an article titled "The Top 10 Lies Told by Monsanto on GMO Labeling in California," click here. For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.
Some might call Neil Grimmer and his wife Tana Johnson picky eaters. For more than a decade, Grimmer, a triathlete, didn't eat meat or dairy while Johnson followed a macrobiotic diet, made up mostly of whole grains and vegetables. So when the couple became parents about nine years ago, they sought to feed their children healthy foods. Trouble was, they couldn't find snacks that were healthy, yet easy to pack and appealing to their kids. That's how the Nest Collective, now known as Plum Organics, was born. [The] startup makes baby food and toddler and kids' snacks such as pouches of pureed blueberry oats and quinoa for babies and squeezable oatmeal for older children. Plum Organics is also addressing increasing concerns about childhood obesity and parents looking for alternative, easy-to-pack snacks. In what turned out to be a momentous decision, the company moved away from the traditional plastic or glass jar and began offering baby food in the form of the squeezable pouch already popular with older children. The company took off from there. The benefit of the pouch is that it allows the food to be cooked more gently so that the flavors are richer, said Grimmer. The packaging also takes up less space in landfills and is easier to transport.
Seven sloping acres at the southwest edge of Jefferson Park [are] being transformed into an edible landscape and community park that will be known [as] the Beacon Food Forest, the largest of its kind in the nation. One full acre will be devoted to large chestnuts and walnuts in the overstory. There'll be full-sized fruit trees in the understory, and berry shrubs, climbing vines, herbaceous plants, and vegetables closer to the ground. The entire project will be built around the concept of permaculture -- an ecological design system, philosophy, and set of ethics and principles used to create perennial, self-sustaining landscapes. Friends of the Food Forest undertook heroic outreach efforts to secure neighborhood support. The team mailed over 6,000 postcards in five different languages, tabled at events and fairs, and posted fliers. And Seattle residents responded. The first meeting, especially, drew permaculturalists and other intrigued parties from all around the city. More than 70 people, mostly from Beacon Hill, attended the second meeting in mid-July, where proposed designs were laid out on giant sheets paper with markers strewn about so the community could scribble their ideas and feedback directly onto the plans.
Greg Peterson's 1950s tract home looks like any other house on his block in Phoenix, with one notable difference: Practically everything in his yard is edible. Mr. Peterson calls his oasis of bounty on one-third of an acre "The Urban Farm." Once an anomaly among the manicured lawns in his neighborhood, Peterson's place has been so convincing an example over the past decade that scores of other suburban dwellers have traded decorative bushes for raised vegetable beds and straw-filled chicken coops. Slowly, across the past decade, more Americans like Peterson have been proving that growing and preserving food is possible in all kinds of populated settings. Whether it is a tilapia farm in garden tubs in Kansas City, Mo., beekeeping in Chicago, or jars of homemade pickles in an apartment pantry in Austin, Texas, urban homesteaders are rebelling against the industrial food system by shouldering more of the responsibility for producing their own food. "There is a population and culture that is finally saying that all this processed stuff is not good and the only way we can guarantee that food we use is safe is to grow it ourselves," says Joyce Miles, a family and consumer science expert. These advances come in the midst of a struggling economy, a changing climate, a global food system in peril, rising food prices, concern over lax food safety, and dwindling resources. For homesteaders, cultivating a corner of the yard ... into a tangle of edible things has become one small way to regain purpose and control in an unpredictable time.
Note: Watch this inspiring video of an urban farm helping to break the cycle of violence and poverty in Kansas city.
Monsanto Co.’s insect-killing corn is toppling over in northwestern Illinois fields, a sign that rootworms outside of Iowa may have developed resistance to the genetically modified crop. Michael Gray, an agricultural entomologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana, said he’s studying whether western corn rootworms collected last month in Henry and Whiteside counties are resistant to an insect-killing protein derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, a natural insecticide engineered into Monsanto corn. The insects were collected in two fields where corn had toppled after roots were eaten by rootworms, Gray said today. Planting Bt corn year after year increases the odds that the bugs will develop resistance to the insecticide, he said. While the symptoms parallel bug resistance that’s been confirmed in Iowa, analysis of the Illinois insects won’t be complete until next year, he said. “Whatever is the cause, it is generating a lot of concern.”
Note: For more on this, click here.
Investors are pouring into farmland in the U.S. and parts of Europe, Latin America and Africa as global food prices soar. A fund controlled by George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager, owns 23.4 percent of South American farmland venture Adecoagro SA. Hedge funds Ospraie Management LLC and Passport Capital LLC as well as Harvard University's endowment are also betting on farming. TIAA-CREF, the $466 billion financial services giant, has $2 billion invested in some 600,000 acres (240,000 hectares) of farmland in Australia, Brazil and North America and wants to double the size of its investment. The growth in demand for food, spurred by the rising middle classes in China, India and other emerging markets, shows no signs of abating. Food prices in June, as measured by a United Nations index of 55 food commodities, were just slightly below their peak in February. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization said in a June report that it expects food costs to remain high through 2012. So many investors have rushed to capitalize on food prices in the past three years that they may be creating a farmland bubble. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which covers Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and other agricultural states, said in May that farmland prices had surged 20 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.
Note: This news is further clear evidence that the rapid increases in food prices is another ploy to funnel money from the pockets of the public into the uber wealthy.
Investigations have found that every single supermarket in Britain stocks meat and dairy from animals fed GM [Genetically Modified] soy. Leading brands including Cadbury, Unilever and Dairycrest, also use products from livestock fed GM. In fact the new technology is so widespread that it is likely at least one item of food you eat today will have come from an animal fed GM soy, whether it was the milk on your cereal or the bacon in your sandwich. But what effect is our growing reliance on soy having on the countries supplying Britain with this ‘invisible ingredient’? Paraguay ... in many ways [is] the perfect place to grow unsustainable soy. Ruled by despotic dictators for centuries, the country is famous for being a hot bed of drug smugglers [and] Nazi war criminals. Even now, with a new democratically government in place, corruption is rife and regulations to protect the people are lax to say the least. In the last year the amount of land planted with soy has grown to a record 2.6 million hectares, most of which is GM, leading to claims of deforestation, violent land disputes and the ‘poisoning’ of local communities. Already it is estimated that 90 per cent of the Atlantic Rainforest in Paraguay has been lost to make way for crops, taking with it thousands of unique plants species, hundreds of rare birds and endangered animals like the jaguar. Its not just animals that suffer. Groups of Guarani people claim they have been driven from their land by the soy farmers. ‘Campesinos’, the small farmers who have traditionally worked the land, also claim they have been displaced.
Note: Many are not aware that much of the food they eat, especially soy and corn, comes from geneticaly modified crops which have been shown to pose a major risk to health. For more, click here and here.
A genetically engineered fish infused with genes from other species, including an eel-like creature, could soon be on dinner plates in the Bay Area and around the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering an application by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Massachusetts to bioengineer a sterile salmon that would grow extremely fast and, if all goes as planned, never set so much as a fin in a natural body of water. It would be the first genetically engineered animal to be approved for human consumption. The proposal, which is awaiting an environmental assessment and a preliminary decision by the FDA, has created a furor among environmentalists, who have dubbed the species "Frankenfish." They claim the doctored salmon could spread disease in humans or circulate mutant genes in the wild if an accident or sabotage ever set them loose. "The effect of what happens if these genetically engineered fish escape is largely unknown and has been largely unquestioned by the FDA," said Colin O'Neil, the regulatory policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, an environmental nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. "These fish have been demonstrated to be less healthy. Consumers clearly do not want to eat genetically engineered salmon."
Note: For a superb summary of the dangers posed by genetically-modified foods, click here.
The U.S. Senate yesterday approved spending $4.6 billion to settle two lawsuits: one by black farmers who alleged racial discrimination by government lenders and the other by 300,000 American Indians who said they had been cheated out of land royalties dating to 1887. Passage of the measure, by voice vote, unblocks a legislative logjam that has thwarted payouts, negotiated by the Obama administration, of $1.15 billion to the black farmers and $3.4 billion to the American Indians. The House ... must vote on the settlements again. At least seven times this year, Senate Republicans blocked efforts to include the spending provisions in pending legislation. The farmers’ 1997 class-action lawsuit alleged discrimination by the Agriculture Department’s lending programs. Under a negotiated settlement announced in February, qualified farmers can collect as much as $50,000, plus debt relief. Others may collect monetary damages up to $250,000. One of the largest class-action cases filed against the U.S., the 1996 lawsuit by American Indian plaintiffs accused the Interior Department of mismanaging trust funds that collected royalties for grazing rights and the extraction of minerals, oil and natural gas from tribal lands.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Monsanto, the giant of agricultural biotechnology, has been buffeted by setbacks this year that have prompted analysts to question whether its winning streak of creating ever more expensive genetically engineered crops is coming to an end. The latest blow came last week, when early returns from this year’s harvest showed that Monsanto’s newest product, SmartStax corn, which contains eight inserted genes, was providing yields no higher than the company’s less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes. Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections. Sales of Monsanto’s Roundup, the widely used herbicide, has collapsed this year under an onslaught of low-priced generics made in China. Weeds are growing resistant to Roundup, dimming the future of the entire Roundup Ready crop franchise. And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations. Until now, Monsanto’s main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the skeptics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto’s camp.
Note: For those who are not aware of how Monsanto executives are quite consciously endangering your health, click here.
Small farmers in California who have led a national movement away from industrial agriculture face a looming crackdown on food safety that they say is geared to big corporate farms and will make it harder for them to survive. The small growers, many of whom grow dozens of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, say the inherent benefits of their size, and their sensitivity to extra costs, are being ignored. They are fighting to carve out a sanctuary in legislation that would bring farmers under the strict purview of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA would gain greater authority to regulate how products are grown, stored, transported, inspected, traced from farm to table and recalled when needed. But ... organic growers argue that the problems that have plagued the food industry lie elsewhere. They point to the sale of bagged vegetables, cut fruit and other processed food in which vast quantities of produce from different farms are mixed, sealed in containers and shipped long distances, creating a host for harmful bacteria. The legislation does not address what some experts suspect is the source of E. coli contamination: the large, confined animal feeding operations. "It does not take on the industrial animal industry and the abuses going on," said Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms in Madera.
Note: For an amazing trove of articles from reliable sources detailing the FDA's corruption in the interest of major corporations, click here.
In "Food, Inc.", filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli — the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan The Omnivore's Dilemma along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farms' Gary Hirschberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, "Food, Inc." reveals surprising — and often shocking truths — about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Note: For reviews of this important documentary, click here.
Your body is probably home to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. It’s a synthetic estrogen that United States factories now use in everything from plastics to epoxies — to the tune of six pounds per American per year. More than 92 percent of Americans have BPA in their urine, and scientists have linked it ... to everything from breast cancer to obesity, from attention deficit disorder to genital abnormalities in boys and girls alike. Now it turns out it’s in our food. Consumer Reports magazine tested an array of brand-name canned foods for a report in its December issue and found BPA in almost all of them. The magazine says that relatively high levels turned up, for example, in Progresso vegetable soup, Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup, and Del Monte Blue Lake cut green beans. The magazine also says it found BPA in the canned liquid version of Similac Advance infant formula ... and in canned Nestlé Juicy Juice. The BPA in the food probably came from an interior coating used in many cans. More than 200 other studies have shown links between low doses of BPA and adverse health effects, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, which is trying to ban the chemical from food and beverage containers. “The vast majority of independent scientists — those not working for industry — are concerned about early-life low-dose exposures to BPA,” said Janet Gray, a Vassar College professor who is science adviser to the Breast Cancer Fund.
Note: For more on BPA and other health issues, click here.
To listen to President Obama, or to just about anyone else in the health care debate, you would think that the biggest problem with health care in America is the system itself — perverse incentives, inefficiencies, unnecessary tests and procedures, lack of competition, and greed. No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet. That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are. We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care. The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care.
Note: For a detailed overview of some of the critical risks of the industrially-engineered modern American diet, click here.
The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries. The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Opponents of GMO crops say they can cause unforeseen medical problems. They also contend that the administration's plan is aimed at helping American agribusinesses. "This is a hot topic now with the food crisis," said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association. "I think it's pretty obvious at this point that genetically engineered crops ... don't increase yields. There are no commercialized crops that are designed to deal with the climate crisis." Noah Zerbe, an assistant professor of government and politics at Humboldt State University in California, said that GMO crops might not be appropriate for developing countries. "You get fantastic yields if you're able to apply fertilizer and water at the right times, and herbicides to go along with that," Zerbe said. "Unfortunately, most African farmers ... can't afford these inputs." The U.S. tried to introduce GMO crops to Africa in 2002, with mixed results. European Union opposition was part of the reason that several African nations that year balked at an offer of U.S. aid that included corn, some of which was genetically modified. [Despite] a severe drought, Zambia rejected the U.S. aid altogether.
Note: For an eye-opening overview of the risks of genetically modified foods, click here.
Giant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation. And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry. The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor – who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food – into hunger and destitution. The World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m (Ł275m) to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn. Cargill's net earnings soared by 86 per cent from $553m to $1.030bn over the same three months. And Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors of soy, corn and wheat, increased its net earnings by 42 per cent in the first three months of this year from $363m to $517m. The operating profit of its grains merchandising and handling operations jumped 16-fold from $21m to $341m. Similarly, the Mosaic Company, one of the world's largest fertiliser companies, saw its income for the three months ending 29 February rise more than 12-fold, from $42.2m to $520.8m, on the back of a shortage of fertiliser. Benedict Southworth, director of the World Development Movement, called the escalating earnings and profits "immoral."
Note: For a cornucopia of reports on corporate corruption from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
Opponents of GE [genetically engineered] food ... say problems suggested in some health studies could take years to show up. Meanwhile, we're eating lots of GE foods anyway, whether we know it or not -- especially in processed foods, because corn, soy and canola are the Big 3 GE food crops." Since our government has refused to label these foods, how do we avoid buying and eating these foods?" asks [Andrew] Kimbrell, an attorney who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of GE foods. His new book, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food ... answers that question. For conscious eaters, the heart of the book is a 14-page guide to your local supermarket. It tells you which foods are the most likely to contain GE ingredients (chips, snacks and baby formula), which aren't (fruits, vegetables, wheat), and how to read labels for "hidden ingredients" derived from corn, soy or canola (hint: look for high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and canola oil). A passport-size version of the guide, small enough to slide into most pockets or purses, comes along with the book. "I wanted to give people a usable tool to avoid these foods so they don't feel so helpless," said Kimbrell. The book isn't intended to present the pros and cons of GE foods. Kimbrell is 100 percent against the technology and spends a lot of time in court fighting companies like Monsanto, to keep GE crops from spreading. The Center for Food Safety also opposes irradiation and food animal cloning, and has labored to keep industry from weakening federal organic standards. In fact, Kimbrell is the man who calls the current administration's efforts to protect food safety "Katrina on a plate."
Richard Cotta, CEO of California Dairies Inc., the nation's second-largest dairy cooperative, is guided by a simple business philosophy: "If you want milk with little blue dots, you'll have it, as long as you are willing to pay for it." So, when a string of major customers, including supermarket giant Safeway, came to his co-op saying they would no longer accept milk from cows treated with a genetically engineered growth hormone, the co-op bowed to the inevitable. In January, California Dairies' board voted to ask its members not to inject synthetic bovine growth hormone into their cows. The action by a co-op that ships 50 million pounds of milk every day is part of a sweeping, consumer-driven agricultural makeover. Demand for natural foods is rising, while increasing numbers of consumers are avoiding products that rely on antibiotics or growth hormones. And food retailers are listening. Recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rbST, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration 14 years ago. It sustains lactation by stimulating cows' appetites so they eat more and produce more milk, perhaps an extra 5 quarts per day. The European Union, Japan, Canada and Australia did not approve rbST. The reasons included questions about human and animal safety, as well social and economic considerations. Research that shows injections of rbST increase another hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, in cows. Too much IGF-1 in humans is linked with increased rates of colon, breast and prostate cancer. Synthetic hormone use also ... leads to increased use of antibiotics, whose overuse is already a serious problem in the livestock industry.
Note: For many years the media has avoided even mentioning the major controversy over growth hormone use in milk and other animal products. To better understand how the mass media and big industry sometimes work together for profit at the expense of your health, click here.
One hundred years ago, companies were free to follow their own rules. The publication of Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle” in 1906 — with its descriptions of rat-infested slaughterhouses and rancid meat — created public outrage over food safety. Even though the book was written by a socialist agitator, a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, eagerly read it. After confirming Sinclair’s claims, Roosevelt battled the drug companies, the big food processors and the meatpacking companies to protect American consumers from irresponsible corporate behavior. Over the past 40 years, the industrialization and centralization of our food system has greatly magnified the potential for big outbreaks. As a result, a little contamination can go a long way. The Taco Bell distribution center in New Jersey now being investigated as a possible source of E. coli supplies more than 1,100 restaurants in the Northeast. Since 2000, the fast-food and meatpacking industries have given about four-fifths of their political donations to Republican candidates for national office. In return, these industries have effectively been given control of the agencies created to regulate them. The current chief of staff at the Agriculture Department used to be the beef industry’s chief lobbyist. The person who headed the Food and Drug Administration until recently used to be an executive at the National Food Processors Association. Cutbacks in staff and budgets have reduced the number of food-safety inspections conducted by the F.D.A. to about 3,400 a year — from 35,000 in the 1970s.
Note: If you care about the health of our nation's food supply, write your political and media representatives encouraging the passage of the Safe Food Act mentioned in this article, which by the way, was written by the author of the most excellent book, Fast Food America.
Food insiders may already know the disturbing facts highlighted by this film, but the general public is in for a shock at how corporations are using misleading campaigns -- and scare tactics -- to ensure that people around the world become dependent on genetically modified food. Monsanto and other corporate behemoths are motivated (not surprisingly) by profits, according to farmers, academics and others who talk to documentarian Deborah Koons Garcia. Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was targeted by Monsanto's lawyers because some of the corporation's patented seedlings were found on his property. Schmeiser didn't plant them there; wind blew the insecticide-resistant seeds onto his farm from another farm, or the seeds fell off a passing truck. Monsanto didn't care, ordering Schmeiser to kill all his family's seed because they'd potentially been contaminated by its patented product. Schmeiser ... fought Monsanto, spending his retirement money against the sort of legal attack that has already scared farmers throughout North America. Incredibly, a judge ruled in favor of Monsanto. Garcia's documentary shows how much the U.S. federal government favors these corporations, especially through lax oversight (the [FDA] and the Department of Agriculture seem to rubber-stamp every corporate project having to do with genetically modified food). In the past 20 years, Monsanto's alumni have occupied the high reaches of American power. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for example, did legal work for the corporation, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was president of a Monsanto subsidiary.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.