Tag Archives: Brazil

Competition for “ultimate evil” brand?

It would really take a dedicated blog to keep up with the flow of GMO news and information out there these days. Although the Bovine is primarily focused on raw milk, we do sometimes give a nod to other issues in the food rights sphere. And while raw milk has always been a minority concern, GMOs in food will affect everyone. What will our children’s children think about this time in history when they look back from 2050 or so? The following is from Jon Rappoport’s blog:

What will the children think? Click image for photo source.

I recognized my two selves: a crusading idealist and a cold, granitic believer in the law of the jungle” – Edgar Monsanto Queeny, Monsanto chairman, 1943-63, “The Spirit of Enterprise”, 1934.

Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job” – Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998. Continue reading

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U.S. farm bill to favour the big guys

From Russ on the Volatility blog:

“It’s that time again. Farm Bill season is upon us! It’ll actually be an agonizing, protracted process; the unlamented previous House Agriculture chairman Colin Peterson had wanted to get much of the work done in 2011; new and unwanted chairman Frank Lucas says there’s no hurry. The thing probably won’t be done before the election, and maybe never.

At any rate, we’re off to a stuttering, smoky start with the first official hearing in the Senate committee last Thursday. Ag Secretary Vilsack promised or threatened that the next Farm Bill will be “smaller”. This echoes the previously congealed conventional wisdom.

Although most of the rhetoric has focused on cutting the direct payment program, we know that favorite targets will also be the crumbs for relocalization, small farmers, organic production, sustainable practices, and other things which got some modest support in the 2008 Farm Bill. These are already being targeted by the crafters of the Appropriations Bill. Continue reading

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Brazil shows what is possible when feeding people becomes a priority

The good news in John Perkins’ recent book “The Secret History of the American Empire” is that people all across South America (with the exception of drug-war-torn Columbia) have seen American imperialism for what it is and are taking back their goverments, despite assassinations and threats of “covert action” from imperial forces.

Secret no more!

Secret no more!

One shining example of the positive potential of such liberated government can be seen in Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, where the city government has taken steps to move food from a commodity to a right. The important thing about all this is the precedent they’re setting. If they can do it there in a country as poor as Brazil, why couldn’t anyone do it anywhere? So now here’s that excerpt from Tuesday’s story on the Salt Spring News, titled “Belo Horizonte — The City that Ended Hunger”. The story is originally from Frances Moore Lappe’s “YES” website.

More than 10 years ago, Brazil’s fourth-largest city, Belo Horizonte, declared that food was a right of citizenship and started working to make good food available to all. One of its programs puts local farm produce into school meals. This and other projects cost the city less than 2 percent of its budget. Above, fresh passion fruit juice and salad as part of a school lunch.

More than 10 years ago, Brazil’s fourth-largest city, Belo Horizonte, declared that food was a right of citizenship and started working to make good food available to all. One of its programs puts local farm produce into school meals. This and other projects cost the city less than 2 percent of its budget. Above, fresh passion fruit juice and salad as part of a school lunch. Photo by Leah Rimkus

“….The new mayor [of Brazil’s 4th largest city], Patrus Ananias—now leader of the federal anti-hunger effort—began by creating a city agency, which included assembling a 20-member council of citizen, labor, business, and church representatives to advise in the design and implementation of a new food system. The city already involved regular citizens directly in allocating municipal resources—the “participatory budgeting” that started in the 1970s and has since spread across Brazil.

During the first six years of Belo’s food-as-a-right policy, perhaps in response to the new emphasis on food security, the number of citizens engaging in the city’s participatory budgeting process doubled to more than 31,000. The city agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers. It offered local family farmers dozens of choice spots of public space on which to sell to urban consumers, essentially redistributing retailer mark-ups on produce—which often reached 100 percent—to consumers and the farmers. Farmers’ profits grew, since there was no wholesaler taking a cut. And poor people got access to fresh, healthy food. …” Continue reading

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