Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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May 09, 2007

Confined Animal Feeding Operations Spearhead Corporate Food Monopoly

Factory farms or CAFOs, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, not only provide most of the foods that are eaten in "developed" countries the world over, they are a spearhead for establishing a food monopoly of giant biotech corporations and Big Food multinationals. That is the gist of an urgent call to action issued by Eileen Dannemann, the former director of the National Coalition of Organized Women, on the Progressive Convergence site:

The sudden overwhelming proliferation of Confined Animal Feeding Operations; the FDA approval of cloned meat and milk from cloned cows unlabeled at the consumer level; the Monsanto patents pending on GMO hog breeds; and the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) are all synchronized elements of the covert roll out of Monsanto's "GMO livestock conversion plan".

Image credit: Greenpeace

Dannemann adds that the purpose for the build-up of CAFOs is to establish a seamless infrastructure for converting our supply of meat to genetically engineered animals, just like Monsanto’s “acreage conversion plan” for GMO grains brought us GMO corn, soybeans and rice. The animal feeding operations are part of a grand plan to take agriculture out of the hands of farmers and put food production squarely under the control of corporations, controlled by patents and new "food safety rules" that control everything "from farm to fork" but are really designed to edge out small family farms in favor of corporate operations.

Food as a Weapon?

Once control is established, food becomes a weapon just like any other. You're not voting for the right government? Well, there's a hitch in getting the meat shipments to your country this month, and just forget about the grains, they are needed more urgently elsewhere. Sorry guys...

Orwellian? Impossible? Perhaps I am exaggerating, but the signs certainly are ominous.

Monsanto has applied for a patent on ... the pig. That fits neatly with the designs of Smithfield Foods, a huge corporation that has killed and 'processed' 27 million of the animals last year, according to this article "Pork's Dirty Secret: The nation's top hog producer is also one of America's worst polluters!" in Rolling Stone Magazine, causing huge problems of contamination because there is no provision for those CAFOs to treat their sewage before releasing it into the environment to seep into the ground water or simply be taken by the next river out to sea.

While Romania and Poland are two of the new EU members that are reducing the penetration of GM crops, Smithfield, according to Dannemann, is in the process of establishing some of its CAFOs there, "covertly destined for cloned and GMO hogs in the very two countries that virtually ban GMO planting to zero".

Meanwhile, the FDA has determined that milk and meat from cloned animals is ok to eat and doesn't even need to be labeled.

Honeybees are dying in what is termed Colony Collapse Disorder, but Canadian Organic beekeepers report no losses. Perhaps that is, as Michael Bush reports, because our commercial bees, in addition to being treated with chemical poisons and fed genetically modified corn syrup, are about one-and-a-half the size of normal bees, because they are grown in larger honeycombs.

"In case you weren't aware, and I wasn't for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I've measured sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions instead of one, it produces a bee that is about half as large again as is natural."

Even salmon has been genetically altered, and comes, at least in the US, to market without being labeled in any special way.

Don't you get a longing for the good old days, where animals were animals and plants were plants, and where things grew as they had been for thousands of years?

Of course you do have a choice. You determine where you buy your meat and veggies. Whether they are "factory farmed" or organically grown, and there is a new trend as well - backyard gardens are starting up all over the place.

A book that might get you going in that direction: Anastasia by Vladimir Megre. Certainly in Russia, that book has made a lot of difference with a whole new organic gardening culture springing to life.

See also:

Organic Consumers Association

Local Harvest - find organic produce close to you (USA)

City farms

Factory Animal Farms Produce Meat Through Routine Torture and Environmental Destruction

Epic Battle in Pennsylvania: Corporate Agribusiness Versus Local Democracy
Because the Ordinance prohibits corporations from engaging in the land application of sewage sludge, it differs significantly from regulatory ordinances that set guidelines for how much sludge can be dumped, and what signs must be posted after dumping. Some attending the meeting wondered how Act 38, an agricultural law, could apply to their municipality's corporate Ordinance. "The Attorney General's role should be to make Pennsylvania safe for Pennsylvania families," said Annette Etchberger. "Tom Corbett is taking ACRE and manipulating it against the families in the commonwealth and in favor of corporations like Synagro, who want to dump sludge wastes in our communities. I don't think that's a normal agricultural operation."

The Hidden Impact of the National Animal ID Plan on Human Health
In this case, organic farmers across the nation have blown the whistle, calling attention to the cost-prohibiting factor of this venture. Corporate-grown livestock would be allowed to be tagged as lots (as they are herded together by the thousands and never see the light of day), which wouldn't cost these large-scale manufacturers much. They already have the mechanics in place for tagging and tracking. Organic farmers and small private farms, on the other hand, are looking at adding unreasonable, fixed costs. This may either drive up prices for organic meats, or worse, drive them out of business altogether.

Monsanto to acquire Delta and Pine Land company
Monsanto has reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice that will allow it to complete its proposed acquisition of Delta and Pine Land Company, but it must divest its US cotton seed business. Monsanto plans to close its acquisition and resulting divestitures as soon as possible following the required approvals from the court and the DOJ.

According to this interesting article by William Engdahl ... "In 1983, Delta & Pine Land (D&PL) joined with the US Department of Agriculture in a project to develop Terminator seeds. It was one of the earliest experiments with GMO. It was a long-term project. The US Government has been serious about Terminator beginning more than two decades ago. In March 1998 the US Patent Office granted Patent No. 5,723,765 to Delta & Pine Land for a patent titled, Control of Plant Gene _Expression. The patent is owned jointly, according to Delta & Pine's Security & Exchange Commission 10K filing, 'by D&PL and the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture.' "

So Monsanto will be ending up with co-ownership of the "terminator" patent, a technology vital to its business plan of taking over the world's food supply and eliminating competition from traditional agriculture. Of course there is no guarantee that the terminator gene won't jump to other crops, potentially ruining much of what we are used to eating.

Living in CAFO Country
Once in operation, the reality of the CAFOs hits. The most obvious are the putrid smells on some summer evenings. Plumes of air from these sites holding several thousand hogs and their accumulated wastes for the past year fan out across the countryside. The other consequences of CAFOs may be more insidious. You no longer know who your neighbor is -- there is no one to ask about electrical outages, to consult about fencelines, to ask to a community meeting. You no longer have a legal system to turn to when problems arise ... So enjoy your CAFO pork while numerous unwilling neighbors are consigned to permanent second-class citizenry. These neighbors are prone to dropping out of all civic activities as none of those have ever helped them. I do not call this a democracy worth forcing on the rest of the planet.

What's That Smell? The Case Against CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)
The paper makes it clear this isn't about producing pork - it's about garnering market power at all costs. The Big 20 are racing to see who can control the most sows in the shortest period of time, and they don't care who or what gets hurt in the process - independent farmers, the environment, rural communities and consumers are all expendable in this game.

Factory farming's apologists argue that the concentration of production in fewer and fewer hands is inevitable because it's the most efficient way to raise hogs. But the dirty little secret of the hog industry is that family-sized, independent farm operations are actually pretty efficient at what they do. Economists and animal scientists concede that these smaller operations do an excellent job of getting the most pork out of a pound of feed while keeping pig mortality down. They also produce a good-tasting product.

Ethanol and Intensive Confinement Factory Farms--A Toxic Synergy
CAFO's = Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
Every single square foot of my house has a garbage fly on it in the Summer and I'm almost a mile away from a CAFO. This is a huge problem that will only get worse as the ethanol industry produces cow and hog feed as a waste product. Anywhere near an ethanol plant or proposed ethanol plant is sure to have massive CAFOs either being built or existing dairy operations expanding. The sad fact is that all of this environmental destruction is being funded with massive taxpayer subsides...

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Why You Should Care
CAFOs are said to be an efficient cost effective farming system; (if one ignores the cost to the environment, animals living in unnatural conditions, potential for pollution and possible human health concerns). They are necessary only as long as we demand large amounts of grain fed meat, dairy and eggs. If cheap food is the only priority, they meet the challenge. Most consumers happily hunt for bargains never questioning the production practices that made the bargains, bargains.

So really, consumers asked for CAFOs, they wanted cheap food, and they weren't all that concerned where it came from. If that idea bothers you, start learning about how food is produced, where and by whom. Farmers will operate CAFOs only as long as consumers choose to buy what the CAFO produces.

Bacteria in Pork Showing Resistance to Antibiotics
Scientists are beginning to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork, pigs and some veterinarians, raising the issue of whether these so-called superbugs might find a new route to infect farmworkers or even people who eat pork.

GAO: EPA Has Seriously Botched CAFO Oversight
The GAO has come out with a report confirming what everyone who has ever been near a factory animal farm (aka, a concentrated animal feedlot operation, or CAFO): the EPA has utterly failed to protect the public from pollution from the industrial-meat industry.

The GAO seems genuinely shocked at the scale of the problem...


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday May 9 2007
updated on Thursday December 23 2010

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

A comment (by email) from Neal Perrochet:

Rice with human genes - intentional contamination?

The Department of Agriculture has approved the large-scale planting of rice containing human genes. This leads one to ask: "Can those human genes be kept down on the farm?" (Question was published in Metrofarm Forum)

Neal Perrochet says the answer is.......NO. We already have the basic facts from GMO spread and contamination, it's intentional and/or considered inevitable by the proponenents - they know it cannot be contained. The way to ultimately defend the technology is to make it indispensable by default through the planned contamination process. Monsanto's actions in court prove with little doubt they had this planned from the beginning to perfect the patent claims (canadian incident).

They've got to pay their investors off on this thing, billions have been spent in promise of great profits by controlling Agriculture (a great scheme if you can pull it off). This isn't about improvements and they know it, although "new and improved" is the mantra. It's about controlling the food supply with a market captivated by advanced technology that only a few possess and it is to be enforced through legal fiction of patent, enforced therefore, potentially, by police or military intervention through international courts and other such constructs. So GMO is also a wedge by which to attach legal liabilities within poorly constructed third world legal systems and these liabilities have profound effect on food security. The corporation, Monsanto in this case, and its host nation state will gain political control over the African people!

Food is an international commodity with all the attendant complications. Much of the anti GMO activism would do well to concentrate on this, which many have.

Monsanto still rules the roost in East Africa right now, where they are pushing the envelope in some of the world's most food security risk areas. If the counter Agriculture movement to GMO is serious, it will have to engage the ministries of Agriculture of these countries with solid detailed proposals such as the kind ERI helped develop with Kenya Ministry of Ag (although our work was not specifically related to GMO vs. other mehtods). Now that ministry is rated top ministry in Kenya. They were revitalized in part due to our exposure on behalf of the legitimate elected government of Kenya that well heeled foreign "NGOs" were acting as parallel governments to little effect and that Agriculture extension was moribund at ministry and all those talented people could not do their jobs. They have to listen to Monsanto, because Monsanto is PREPARED and we are not as agriculturalists interested in policy.

Be prepared for frozen peas and carrots grown and processed in Kenya and shipped frozen AIR FREIGHT to the US and here is another international trade factor of distortion in third world economies that I could discuss for along time, seemingly forgotten and now most of the serious critics of this dynamic are "missing in action" due to retirement or death, etc. GMO is based on a economic decision by bean counters at Monsanto, justifying profit making "research" (employment for bio-chemists) and not on humanitarian grounds.

Some GMO may be acceptable in biohazard control conditions for medicines I would think grown in special plants, but even this is dubious considering such plants already are abundant in nature for medicines and the rest. Ironically reduction in plant species occasioned by destruction of natural environments produces the means for a profitable environment for GMO products! And monsanto provides the herbicides to accomplish this undesirable simplification of plant species .

Domestication is a dangerous road, we need all the wild things we can save at this point or the collective gene pool of all life here will be wasted.

Posted by: Neal Perrochet on May 10, 2007 06:19 AM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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