Tag Archives: corporations

Food safety & the politics of cheap food

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

“I was explaining to a friend yesterday that the federal government in the form of the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to allow a multibillion-dollar food corporation to sell product, even after its chicken has been associated with hundreds of illnesses, many caused by pathogens that are resistant to conventional antibiotics.

He didn’t believe me. “I’m sure the chicken has been recalled,” he said. No, I explained, it hasn’t. Nor has the producer been shut down.

“Well, something must be going on so the chicken isn’t being sold,” he concluded, hopefully.  Continue reading

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Big food must go — or why we need to radically change the way we are eating

From Christopher D. Cook on AlterNet:

February 26, 2012  Editor’s note: Find Christopher D. Cook’s book, Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisishere.

A few examples of Big Food. Picture via AlterNet.

“It is no longer news that a few powerful corporations have literally occupied the vast majority of human sustenance. The situation is perilous: nearly all of human food production, seeds, food processing and sales, is run by a handful of for-profit firms which, like any capitalist enterprise, function to maximize profit and gain ever-greater market share and control. The question has become: What do we do about this disastrous alignment of pure profit in something so basic and fundamental to human survival? Continue reading

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Marketing mojo rebuilds confidence in Maple Leaf Foods after Listeria deaths

From Kristin Laird at Marketing Mag.ca

"Putting a fork in it" Maple Leaf Foods style. Photo via Marketing Mag.

“Graham, formerly CMO at Rogers Communications, started working with Maple Leaf Foods as a consultant following a listeria outbreak in 2008 that killed 22 people and prompted massive product recalls.

That same year, the company posted a third-quarter loss of $12.9 million. In the fourth quarter, Maple Leaf said the recall cost the company an estimated $59 million to $69 million before taxes and profits were down 40%.

The company also had a dramatic fall in the Marketing/Leger Corporate Reputations ranking—which asks consumers if they have a good or bad opinion of the company—dropping from 21 to 76 in 2009 and a further 10 spots in 2010. Continue reading

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“David versus Monsanto” documentary

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And in the spirit of the season, here’s a little song helping encourage us to love our erstwhile enemies

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GMOs and biotech losing ground?

From Helkie Ferrie in Vitality Magazine:

Photo via Vitality Magazine.

“… the question we face … is whether this [GMO] cornucopia presents a picture of health and lawful bounty, or instead the hellish image of nature betrayed.” C. Holdrege & S. Talbott, 2008

Ever since biotechnology introduced genetically modified foods in the mid-1990’s, biotech scientists have insisted that these foods are “substantially equivalent” to what we’ve eaten since the dawn of time. Yet for the past 15 years, roughly 90% of people around the world have demanded that GMO foods be clearly labeled, so they can be avoided.

How do our regulators respond? At the latest round of  CODEX labeling debates in Quebec City in March, the U.S. FDA soothingly suggested that “consumers do not need GMO labeling, as it would only confuse them, and they would then make the incorrect food choices.” Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt back on Hunger strike

Food Rights Declaration as result of the latest appeal ruling against Michael Schmidt — September 29, 2011

Michael Schmidt talks to supporters and media at last Tuesday's news conference

Agriculture has been the backbone of Canada. History has taught us that a healthy Agri-culture is able to feed all the people and therefore creates a healthy and socially stable enviroment.

At the turn of the last century 70% of our Canadian population was actively involved in farming.

Today we have only 2% of the poulation left working on farms and 80% of them have to have another job  to keep their farm going.

The average age of today’s farmers is 56 and hardly any young farmer can afford to start farming.

Corporate farming has taken over food production and multi national corporations control most of the farming inputs, food processing and distribution.

Food safety regulations and production standards are passed based on intensive lobby powers by those who control the current food chain. Continue reading

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Three strikes and you’re out: the attack against organic food, and why it’s wrong

From Anna Lappe at Civil Eats:

News flash: the chairman of the board of one of the largest food companies in the world—whose tripling in profits from 2009 to nearly $43 billion in 2010 was generating from selling mainly processed foods produced with inputs from industrial, chemical farms—is “skeptical” of organic food, reports FastCompany.com.

Don’t you think someone who made $10.7 million in 2010 from a company whose profit primarily depends on chemical agriculture might have a bias in the matter? Yes, it would be understandable to think Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé, might. It also might be understandable to want to know what others, those without such a financial interest in the food status quo, think about the viability of non-industrial agriculture. But in the FastCompany.com article, like other press that pooh-poohs organic farming, those who disagree, if they’re mentioned at all, are portrayed as marginal or unqualified to speak to the issue. Continue reading

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The neo-feudalism of corporations

From Russ on the Volatility blog:

Contrary to propaganda, there’s nothing modernistic about corporations. On the contrary, they’re a carryover phenomenon from feudalism.

This feudal vestige persisted through the early heyday of capitalism, soon becoming the preferred mode of organization to prevent the full textbook logic of capitalism from developing. The result was that the economy never evolved beyond a feudal-capitalist hybrid.

And once capitalism reached its terminal stage starting in the 1970s, where the combination of Peak Oil and the terminally declining profit rate threatened to attenuate forms of economic domination completely, the corporation became the basic unit of class war, and the anti-social, anti-political, anti-sovereign form around which full feudalism is intended to be restored. Continue reading

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Fighting back against privatization of “the commons” — in this case, water

Tara Lohan, writing for Alter-Net on “Vision: How Small, Mostly Conservative Towns Have Found the Trick to Defeating Corporations“:

Picture via Alter-Net

“California’s treasurer just announced that the state may need to begin issuing IOUs if the governor and legislature can’t close the budget gap. And California’s not the only place that’s hurting. The Great Recession, hit not only businesses and individuals, but governments as well. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that 31 states are facing a combined shortfall for fiscal year 2011 of nearly $60 billion.

So, what’s being done? “Cities and states across the nation are selling and leasing everything from airports to zoos — a fire sale that could help plug budget holes now but worsen their financial woes over the long run,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “California is looking to shed state office buildings. Milwaukee has proposed selling its water supply; in Chicago and New Haven, Conn., its parking meters. In Louisiana and Georgia, airports are up for grabs.” Continue reading

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