Big Corporations Power Over Your Food Supply

                Editor's Note           

You should pay attention to the concentration of our food supply. It is bad for your health and your wallet.

When power gets concentrated:

  • ​Higher prices result because price fixing is easier, i.e., YOUR GROCERY BILL INCREASES!
  • You have less choice of products, i.e., cheaper ingredients, GMOs, MSG, hidden MSG, aspartame, etc.
  • Innovation gets decreased because competition becomes more difficult;
  • You have less influence over product ingredients.

Stay away from Walmart!  It's sick that a third of the groceries are bought there!  Walmart heavily relies upon imported food from China.  Food grown in China has all kinds of safety issues.  Please see my page, http://survive-thrive.us/food-country-of-origin/.  Country of origin does matter for your health.  Also a recent study this year found that 54% of the food sold in Walmart would not meet Whole Foods standards to be sold in their stores.  Whole Foods has issues but nothing like Walmart, which I consider the bottom of the pit.

I visit a variety of grocery stores for market observations.  It is very striking time after time observing the physiological differences between shoppers at Trader Joes and Whole Foods compared to Walmart.  Many of the  grocery shoppers at Walmart are grossly morbidly obese yet when you visit Trader Joes or Whole Foods you do not see that degree of obesity there.  Just go and observe for yourself. 

It makes you wonder could it be the foods these shoppers are selecting that is contributing to their physiological presence and health issues?​

​(You don't have to go to Walmart to save on your groceries.  You can afford to stay out of Walmart by eating Thrive foods.  Just contact me and I will show you how to save 20 to 40% or more by planning and not wasting food.)

Vote for your health and your pocketbook with your dollars!  Avoid purchasing any of these brands if at all possible!

Pay attention to the diagram below.  Vote for your health and your pocketbook with your dollars!  Avoid purchasing any of these brands if at all possible!

For enlargement of diagram: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/10-Corporations-Control-What-We-Eat.png

Big Corporations Have An OVERWHELMING Amount Of Power Over Our Food Supply

By Michael T. Snyder, Guest Columnist, of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com​

​From our fields to our forks, huge corporations have an overwhelming amount of power over our food supply every step of the way.  Right now there are more than 313 million people living in the United States, and the job of feeding all of those people is almost entirely in the hands of just a few dozen monolithic companies.  If you do not like how our food is produced or you don't believe that it is healthy enough, it isn't very hard to figure out who is to blame.  These mammoth corporations are not in business to look out for the best interests of the American people.  Rather, the purpose of these corporations is to maximize wealth for their shareholders.  So the American people end up eating billions of pounds of extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with chemicals and additives each year, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker as a society.  But these big corporations are raking in big profits, so they don't really care.

If we did actually have a capitalist system in this country, we would have a high level of competition in the food industry.  But instead, the U.S. food industry has become increasingly concentrated with each passing year.  Just consider the following numbers about the U.S. agricultural sector...

The U.S. agricultural sector suffers from abnormally high levels of concentration. Most economic sectors have concentration ratios around 40%, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40% of the market. If the concentration ratio is above 40%, experts believe competition can be threatened and market abuses are more likely to occur: the higher the number, the bigger the threat.

The concentration ratios in the agricultural sector are shocking.

-Four companies own 83.5% of the beef market.
-The top four firms own 66% of the hog industry.
-The top four firms control 58.5% of the broiler chicken industry.
-In the seed industry, four companies control 50% of the proprietary seed market and 43% of the commercial seed market worldwide.
-When it comes to genetically engineered (GE) crops, just one company, Monsanto, boasts control of over 85% of U.S. corn acreage and 91% of U.S. soybean acreage.

When so much power is concentrated in so few hands, it creates some tremendous dangers.

And many of these giant corporations (such as Monsanto) are extremely ruthless.  Small farmers all over America are being wiped out and forced out of the business by the predatory business practices of these huge companies...

Because farmers rely on both buyers and sellers for their business, concentrated markets squeeze them at both ends. Sellers with high market power can inflate the prices of machinery, seeds, fertilizers and other goods that farmers need for their farms, while powerful buyers, such as processors, suppress the prices farmers are paid. The razor-thin profit margins on which farmers are forced to operate often push them to "get big or get out"—expanding into mega-operations or exiting the business altogether.

Of course the control that big corporations have over our food supply does not end at the farms.

The distribution of our food is also very highly concentrated.  The graphic shared below was created by Oxfam International, and it shows how just 10 gigantic corporations control almost everything that we buy at the grocery store...

10 Corporations Control What We Eat

And these food distributors are often not very good citizens either.

For example, it was recently reported that Nestle is running a massive bottled water operation on a drought-stricken Indian reservation in California...

Among the windmills and creosote bushes of San Gorgonio Pass, a nondescript beige building stands flanked by water tanks. A sign at the entrance displays the logo of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, with water flowing from a snowy mountain. Semi-trucks rumble in and out through the gates, carrying load after load of bottled water.

The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California’s drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water the plant is bottling and whether it’s right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground aquifers have been declining.

Nestle doesn't stop to ask whether it is right or wrong to bottle water in the middle of the worst drought in the recorded history of the state of California.

They have the legal right to do it and they are making large profits doing it, and so they are just going to keep on doing it.

Perhaps you are thinking that you can avoid all of these corporations by eating organic and by shopping at natural food stores.

Well, it isn't necessarily that easy.

According to author Wenonah Hauter, the "health food industry" is also extremely concentrated...

Over the past 20 years, Whole Foods Market has acquired its competition, including Wellspring Grocery, Bread of Life, Bread & Circus, Food for Thought, Fresh Fields, Wild Oats Markets and others. Today the chain dominates the market because it has no national competitor. Over the past five years its gross sales have increased by half (47 percent) to $11.7 billion, and its net profit quadrupled to $465.6 million. One of the ways it has achieved this profitability is by selling conventional foods under the false illusion that they are better than products sold at a regular grocery store. Consumers falsely conclude that these products have been screened and are better, and they are willing to pay a higher price.

The distribution of organic foods is also extremely concentrated. A little-known company, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) now controls the distribution of organic and natural products. Publically traded, the company has a contract with Whole Foods and it is the major source of these products for the remaining independent natural food stores. This relationship has resulted in increasingly high prices for these foods. Small manufacturers are dependent on contracts with UNFI to get their products to market and conversely, small retailers often have to pay a premium price for products because of their dependence on this major distributor. Over the past five years, UNFI's net sales increased by more than half (55.6 percent) $5.2. billion. Its net profit margin increased by 88 percent to $91 million.

Everywhere you look, the corporations are in control.

And this is especially true when you look at big food retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Right now, grocery sales account for about half of all business at Wal-Mart, and approximately one out of every three dollars spent on groceries in the United States is spent at Wal-Mart.

That is absolutely astounding, and it obviously gives Wal-Mart an immense amount of power.

In fact, if you can believe it, Wal-Mart actually purchases a billion pounds of beef every single year.

So the next time someone asks you where the beef is, you can tell them that it is at Wal-Mart.

On the restaurant side, the ten largest fast food corporations account for 47 percent of all fast food sales, and the love affair that Americans have with fast food does not appear to be in danger of ending any time soon.

Personally, if you do not like how these corporate giants are behaving, you can always complain.

But you are just one person among 313 million, and most of these big corporations are not going to consider the ramblings of one person to be of any significance whatsoever.

Collectively, however, we have great power.  And the way that we are going to get these big corporations to change is by voting with our wallets.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans seem quite satisfied with the status quo.  So the population as a whole is likely going to continue to get sicker, fatter and less healthy with each passing year, and the big food corporations are going to keep becoming even more powerful.

Public Health Alert: We Must Stop Agent Orange Corn From Entering Our Food Supply

The Traditional Grocery Store Just May Die if We Allow the Government to Approve Agent Orange Corn

Corn and its derivatives (i.e., part of a food processing chemical) is extensive throughout the traditional grocery store offerings.  For example, 14% of the food products in Walmart just contain one corn product, high fructose corn syrup.  Already 88% of the corn in your grocery store is genetically modified. This GM corn, which is not only made Round-up resistant, but has a natural insecticide added inside the seed, called BT, is linked to an array of health issues and conditions affecting our immune system, i.e., allergies, leaky gut syndrome, cancer and an array of other conditions.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s (yes, I am “dating” myself) a child or schoolmate having a food allergy was unheard of.  I can only remember one person who had a peanut allergy.

The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as of 2008 estimated that as many as 15 million Americans, including approximately 6 million children, have food allergies.  They believe that the actual number of food related allergies are underdiagnosed.

If you are concerned about Monsanto’s Round-up/BT GMO corn being linked to increased allergies, just wait until Dow Chemical’s “agent orange corn” starts infiltrating the food processing system.

Because Mother Nature has adapted to Round-up with superweeds that are taller than humans  (despite more and more herbicides being doused into the soil), just wait until the more powerful herbicides with Agent Orange infiltrate our environment and food supply.

The public has been fighting the USDA and the FDA on this issue for more than 2 years.  We can’t give up this fight unless we want the traditional grocery store, which is very ill, finally destroyed as a reliable, safe place for purchasing our products.

Now it looks like the USDA is going to green-light Dow’s “Agent Orange” corn and soybeans.

The time for petitioning has been extended until March 11th.  Please read the petition and consider signing it.

If this filters in look for an implosion of food allergies, chronic disease, cancer, etc.  Already over 2 million people are now allergic to corn alone.

If they keep on, those who value having good, healthy foods and selectively shop at supermarkets in trying to avoid the risk of the “agent orange” fallout, will be displaced to growing their own food, adopting aquaponics (not cheap), finding organic and non-gmo farms, etc., which is time consuming and more complicated for those residing in large urban areas.

Two years ago I did research on Dow Chemical, its legacy and the controversial “Agent Orange” corn.  What I wrote then is relevant today.  I ask that you consider it.

Dow Agent Orange Corn and Its Threat to Humanity

No-Name Attorney

(February, 2102)

 

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Introduction

Before talking to about the quality of our lives, our children’s lives and future generations’ well-being at risk by Dow Chemical wanting to introduce “Agent Orange” corn into our food supply, I want you share some history and the power of the American people.

Probably my favorite American statesman in history was Benjamin Franklin. He had such brilliance in science, history, politics, newspaper editor, and even wisdom.  He was far from a perfect person, with a special penchant towards sexual escapades, as it is said he had over 106 illegitimate children.  Despite his personal failures, he did have some great wisdom for the Colonies, or the newly formed United States of America.   His Poor Richard’s Almanac was famous for its wise and clever sayings to his countryman.

Ben is right on this one: together is better than separate. When people join together for a good cause or purpose, they’re much more powerful, almost creating an energy force greater than the sum. When we do our individual act, the “lone wolf” thing, we’re much easier to suppress and silence.

There is tremendous power in numbers, even when any “control” group tries to manipulate us. We allow others to control us many times by telling us that we can’t do things, we don’t have the power, etc. Think of the child that is browbeaten by a negative parent.  Does that child grow up in essence being tied up in an invisible straight jacket? And what happens when that child wants out of that straight jacket, wants to be set “free” of the “mental” bondage?

He soars!

We, Americans (and the rest of the world who will eventually be negatively impacted), need to soar.  Big corporate Dow (Chemical) agra is seeking permission from the FDA to create their version of GMO (genetically modified organisms) or GE (genetically engineered) corn. I hate to say it but it seems that this version of corn will be even more dangerous than Monsanto’s BT corn !! (Monsanto inserts glyphosate-Roundup-and Bacillus thuringiensis toxins into the seeds to make them purportedly more resistant to weeds, insects worms and pests.)

Here Comes Agent Orange” Corn Unless We Rise Up

Agent Orange was manufactured by Monsanto and Dow Chemical.

Do you remember the Agent Orange of Vietnam that poisoned the Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians and our soldiers?

According to Stars and Stripes (August 11, 2011) the devastation to our Vietnam veterans is growing with claims of over 84,000 for heart disease and B-Cell leukemia.  Another 74,000 claims were pending for “presumptive” Agent Orange conditions.

Even the Veteran’s Administration acknowledges (http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp) that vets exposed to Agent Orange are at risk for certain cancers and diseases from their exposure, including:

  • AL Amyloidosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Chronic B-cell Leukemias
  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancers (including lung cancer)
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)

Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.  This toxin, like other toxins, changes the DNA of a person exposed.  This means that the “created” genetic breakdowns get passed on from generation to generation.  The VA acknowledges that Vietnam veterans’ children with congenital deformities and conditions came from their parent’s exposure, i.e., spinal bifida occulta.

For the Vietnamese, they have even a more tragic experience (if our soldiers’ experience was not enough).

By 1971 over 19,000,000 gallons of Agent Orange and other combined toxic herbicides were dumped in Vietnam, mainly in the middle region of the country.  These people are suffering from cancers, neurological conditions and birth defects some 40+ years later.

Today Vietnam has among the highest number of birth defects per capital in the world.”

Many babies are stillborn with serious malformations.  Look at this picture taken by STR New/Reuters and published by Time magazine on December 19, 2009

Agent orange deformed babies

From Time Magazine, December 19, 2009

Here are some photos of children who survived the birthing process, which should strike anyone’s conscience, are “mild” (yet considerable birth defects) compared to the Reuters/Time photo and the video footage I have seen on YouTube.

What the Vietnam experience shows is Agent Orange, and its dioxin, gets into the soil, the water, the fish, etc. and it seems to have a life of its own After 40 years it is still going strong.  In one of the reference videos below a Vietnamese scientist says he expects it will still be there for at least 100 years.

We already have issues with Roundup, where it is used, contaminating soil, lakes, drinking water supplies, etc.

Can you imagine what it will be like if this Dow GMO Agent Orange Corn gets approved and teams up with the Monsanto BT GMO corn? Independent of the health risks when we eat it (as with our experience with antibiotics) over time, resistance develops and so more of the herbicide will be required. Its a damaging, vicious, poisonous circle.

What Can I Do?

We have to get engaged. We need to sign petitions against Dow’s Agent Orange Corn seeking FDA approval.  The cut-off is February 27th for signing the petition.  After signing the petition, call at least 10 people and tell them that you are sending them information that might interest them. Forward to as many people you personally know the petition link, this email or write your own email.  You want them to be looking for it in case it ends up in the junk or spam folder. Encourage them to call and forward to 10 or more people. That’s the first step.

The Institute for Responsible Technology has a good petition drafted. I’ve already signed it. Here’s the link:

http://action.responsibletechnology.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9142

If you receive this after February 27th, 2012, then I still encourage you to voice your concern to the FDA’s Biotechnology Division (http://www.fda.gov/Food/Biotechnology/default.htm).  On their page they list the following contact information:

 Phone: (240)-402-1200

Fax: (301)-436-973

premarkt@fda.hhs/gov

Office of Food Additive Safety

 Additional Contact Information

 CFSAN

5100 Paint Branch Parkway

College Park, MD 20740-3835

 

Things like this happening (or being attempted) is why you need to know the source of your food.  Try to buy only organic and non-GMO foods. Grocery stores will not voluntarily label produce or cans that have GMO ingredients.  (If they did that I suspect the food would not sell or sales would be decreased.)

Grow your own garden.

Buy locally from farmers or farmers markets. Just because a vendor is selling at a farmers market does not mean you are safe from GMO produce.  (At my local farmers market all the vendors did not have organic produce. I do not have this option.)

Stay connected to internet websites that report on GMOs.  Some excellent sites are:

 www.responsibletechnology.org

www.naturalnews.com

www.greenmedinfo.com

Tell friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances about GMOs and their risks to our health and our environment.

These agra bio-tech companies are increasing their GMO activities, research and intensities.  This means you have to stay current and engaged.

Remember, companies like Monsanto, Dow Chemical want you to sit on the sidelines and not get involved.  Ask yourself:  Are you willing to give these companies in essence de facto control over you and your family’s lives?

 

Additional Video References and Resources:

Vietnam 35 Years Later:  Agent Orange.  (CBS5 Anchor).  (5 min. 1 sec.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkbnFfldsOc&context=C3e8a5e7ADOEg sToPDskLwMeYqKyrHCizm-Z9POO5n.

Vietnam Soldiers Still Suffer From Agent Orange.  (CBS5 Anchor) (4 min. 50 sec.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65KFpyxK0Ho&feature=context&context=C3e8a5e7ADOEgsToPDskLwMeYqKyrHCizm-Z9POO5n.

In Vietnam, 30 Years After the War, Agent Orange. (France 24 Reporters) (11 min. 8 sec.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCqok_UvwY0.

 

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Tainted Chinese Food-Cadium in Rice

Tainted Chinese Food-Cadium Found in Rice

I encourage everyone to read the entire articles from Reuters news service.

I’ve been studying and publishing some on the tainted Chinese food products imported from China.

Reuters article adds more information into the puzzle.  Up to seventy percent (70%) of China’s farmland is affected by pollution.  (Please re-read that).

Approximately 60% of the pesticides the Chinese farmers are using are also contaminating their food supply chain.  Apparently Chinese farmers like to put arsenic in their animal feed to keep down bacteria.

Couple this with they have 40% of their rivers and waterways very polluted with heavy metals which are highly toxic to humans.

Now add to the fact early articles published in this category report that less than 2% of the food we import from China the FDA inspects.

Can you see a disaster recipe of tainted Chinese food?  How in the world can you trust any foods from China?  Why are major food processors like Green Giant and Dole continuing to grow or buy foods there, even process them and import them to the US?  Why can’t these food conglomerates go to South America or Africa if they claim that they can’t afford to grow in the US?

Why are we supporting this self inflicted wound by purchasing potentially tainted Chinese foods, grown or processed, in China?

Think about it!–No Name Attorney

By David Stanway and Niu Shuping

BEIJING |         Wed May 22, 2013 5:20pm EDT

(Reuters) – The discovery of dangerous levels of toxic cadmium in rice sold in the southern city of Guangzhou, the latest in a series of food scandals, has piled more pressure on China to clean up its food chain – possibly at the expense of Mao Zedong’s cherished goal of self-sufficiency.

The ruling Communist Party has long staked its legitimacy on its ability to guarantee domestic staple food supplies, and has pledged to be at least 95 percent self-sufficient even as demand increases and the fastest and biggest urbanization process in history swallows up arable land.

That has led to a drive for quantity rather than quality – securing bumper harvests even from land contaminated by high levels of industrial waste and irrigated with water unfit for human consumption. “China has a big population and we used to face food shortages so the government has focused on quantity,” said Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the state-backed Rural Development Institute of the China Academy of Social Sciences.

But food safety is becoming a bigger worry than food security after a series of scandals ranging from melamine-tainted milk to toxic heavy metals in rice and vegetables – and raising the share of imports may be the least-worst option.

The government, under increasing public pressure and facing anti-pollution protests, has promised to reverse some of the damage done to the environment by three decades of breakneck industrial expansion. But the scale of the problem is huge, especially as China looks to maintain its economic growth, find jobs for millions of new urban residents and ensure that just 9 percent of the world’s land can feed a fifth of the global population.

Read More Here

Food Imported From China: Are a Few Pennies of Savings Worth the Risk?

Food Imported From China:  Are a Few Pennies of Savings Worth the Risk?

I am posting a series of articles that Mike Adams and Natural News has done on food and other associated health products that we import from China.

Mike is right about the lack of inspections by the FDA on imported food.  My own research shows that imported foods may at best have a 2% chance of being inspected.  Businesses that import foods cannot rely the FDA to assure them that imported foods are safe.

As someone who teaches Business Law to MBA students, companies who import from China do not really appreciate the higher risk of liability that comes from importing Chinese goods.

In a products liability action, even if the reseller exercised some “due diligence” by doing quality control testing on goods imported from China, should the consumer purchaser be injured it will be the reseller and anyone in the supply chain that will be held liable.  The law, jury and judges do not care that the culprit is an ocean away from the courtroom.  And let’s see how successful a U.S. company will be in getting the Chinese manufacturer to reimburse them for their settlements and jury awards to US consumers, much less their court costs and expensive attorneys fees.

Is saving a few pennies or even dollars per item worth that risk?

Think about it–No Name Attorney

Not Even Good Enough for Dog Food:  Imported Food From China Loaded With Chemicals, Dyes, Pesticides and Fake Ingredients

By Mike Adams

May 10, 2013

(NaturalNews) Do you really know what’s in all the food you’re eating that’s  imported from China? If you don’t, you’re actually in good company: The FDA only  inspects 1% – 2% of all the food imported from China, so they don’t know either.  Even when they inspect a shipment, they rarely test it for heavy metals,  pesticides, PCBs or other toxic contaminants.

Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm  Policy Analyst at The  Cornucopia Institute, added emphasis to this point as he testified this week  in The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and  Emerging Threats, saying, “We don’t trust, for good reason, the Chinese to  supply ingredients for our dog and cat food. Why should we trust Chinese  exporters for the food that we are feeding our children and  families?”

It’s a good question. Especially when, as Kastel adds, Chinese  food is being routinely found to contain “unapproved chemicals, dyes, pesticides  and outright fraud (fake food).”

Heavily contaminated food from China

As Natural  News has already reported, food from China is frequently found to contain  alarming levels of heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury) and other  contaminants. Politically, China is a communist dictatorship where freedom of  speech is completely outlawed. Environmental regulations are virtually never  enforced. The culture is one of total deception where lying, cheating, stealing  or committing fraud to get ahead is considered completely acceptable — because  that’s how government is operated there. The moral decay of China  is directly reflected in the alarming dishonesty of the food supply. (Yes, a  country’s food exports will reflect its cultural and political philosophies.  Freedom produces healthy food. Oppression and communism produces deceptive,  deadly food.)

Learn more: