GMO conspiracy theories

Grieves

Senior Member
As I've stated before, the problem with GMO's isn't necessarily the science. They do seem to be rushing it a little, and regulation where food is concerned is in a pretty sorry state (apparently at least 3/10 of chemical food additives approved by the FDA were never actually tested), but the real insidious element as stated by others in the thread is the power it can give corporate culture over not only the farmers doing the growing, but far more importantly the communities those farmers support. It's no conspiracy theory to say that Monsanto is seeking to gain dominance over global agriculture, and beyond that stake their claim within every morsel of food grown on the planet, regardless of whether it's farmed. This is their openly stated aspiration and corporate goal, not a plot hatched in shadows... but that makes it no less profoundly dangerous, as at their current rate of growth it can only be said that they're succeeding. Anyone who thinks a corporation like Monsanto has the best interests of mankind at heart while striving for this dominance is kidding themselves. The potential harm such a corporation could do across the globe is staggering. At a time when drought has starvation running rampant, massive crops of GMO's are being rendered into ethanol, or used to fatten cattle for well-marbled cuts in the west/Europe, driving up prices beyond the means of millions. The global food market can have devastating unforeseen effects on local communities , we've no organization capable of effectively regulating such a market, and Monsanto very keenly wants all food production to be a part of it. That's a bad mix, and is only going to end in tragedies... albeit at a likely distance.

As to Cairenn's comment about the Russians, she's not wrong, there's a fair deal of anti-GMO sentiment in Russia. Again, I think this is far more about preservation of sovereignty where the country's food supply is concerned than it is about concerns over the science. Russia's been discreetly violated in the ear by American corporate interests in the past, and could very understandably be wary of letting Monsanto step in and hang its coat up in their country.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
I get slightly annoyed as the moment GMO is mentioned it always comes down to Monsanto even though there are a number of other major players. Being in the UK I do feel that corporate dominance gets overplayed. At the end of the day farmers still buy their seeds. We are just about approaching our second trial GMO open field crop and unfortunately all trials at the Rothamsted Research Institute instantly get destroyed, as they are associated with Monsanto. They are not they are publically funded and will produce open source seeds. Scientists in the past have made public pleas to be left alone.

http://m.farmersguardian.com/46673.article?mobilesite=enabled

But to be honest I don't see where the conspiracy lies with many. The seed companies compete and want to dominate a market. That's what they do. They make money. But at the end of the day they can only do that if people buy what they are selling. Given all the bad press farmers still buy their seeds even though they are not obliged to. Who is in the wrong?
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
It's no conspiracy theory to say that Monsanto is seeking to gain dominance over global agriculture, and beyond that stake their claim within every morsel of food grown on the planet, regardless of whether it's farmed. This is their openly stated aspiration and corporate goal,

Could you please provide more background and source material for this claim?

I didn't see these goals and aspirations openly stated on their website.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
I get slightly annoyed as the moment GMO is mentioned it always comes down to Monsanto even though there are a number of other major players.
Monsanto are the real pioneers of GMO's as an industry, and unquestionably one of the major players in the market. My focus in regards to GMO's is on them as they're the real pushers of gene-patenting, the process through which they turn selling seeds into leasing off life-cycles of crops as a whole. Not all Nations respect the patent, and Monsanto still does business with some of those nations (while petitioning lawmakers heavily to change their tune) but their unquestionably dark history coupled with the growing influence they have on the global food market makes them, so far as I'm concerned, the most dangerous player right now in GMO's.

Being in the UK I do feel that corporate dominance gets overplayed. At the end of the day farmers still buy their seeds.
Sure, and in some cases have great yields as a result. Many experiences farmers have with Monsanto are generally positive ones, making them quite happy to sign annual contracts for years to come. The thing is, as with any massive and contract-based corporation, there's bound to be a great deal of unsatisfied customers as well, just as there are with other contract-based services (cellphones are a good example.) If your cellphone isn't working out, and you're on contract, you might be stuck with the thing for a year or more. The same goes with Monsanto contracts. If your cellphone doesn't work out, it's mildly annoying. If your crops don't work out, you/your community starves. If Monsanto has the opportunity to sell huge orders of a product they suspect might not work out in a country none of their shareholders give a damn about, do you think they wouldn't take it? That's only one of the dangers, the potential for price fixing/gouging aside.

We
are just about approaching our second trial GMO open field crop and unfortunately all trials at the Rothamsted Research Institute instantly get destroyed, as they are associated with Monsanto. They are not they are publically funded and will produce open source seeds. Scientists in the past have made public pleas to be left alone.
I almost wholly support open-source GMO's. Even if the GMO seeds are sold, so long as there's no contract/patent associated with that seed, I have no complaints whatsoever. People have been selling/buying/trading seed for thousands and thousands of years. It's the notion that a person can't do with the seeds of their own plants what they please under penalty of law that I find highly threatening to the rights of a person, any person, to feed themselves.

But to be honest I don't see where the conspiracy lies with many.
Again, a conspiracy requires secrecy. There's nothing secret about Monsanto's agenda in this regard.
The seed companies compete and want to dominate a market. That's what they do. They make money. But at the end of the day they can only do that if people buy what they are selling.
Indeed, its truly as simple as self-interest. There's nothing inherently wrong with that on the personal scale, especially considering on the personal scale self-interest involves considering the interests of the people around you. A trans-national corporation with no real governing body only needs to consider the interests of others through a PR standpoint. Whatever can make a profit and be gotten away with will be done. That's simply how corporations work. Corporations, or even worse a corporation attaining a monopoly of the global food supply would leave the daily meals for billions at the mercy of profit-motive. In many ways in many places they already are, and the results are often sickening.
Given all the bad press farmers still buy their seeds even though they are not obliged to. Who is in the wrong?
I think we are, honestly, for allowing corporations to gain so much control over so many aspects of global life that their negligence, their callous disregard of people, and at times their blatant criminal actions can go almost entirely unpunished. That I know the globalization of food markets is leading to increased starvation rather than reducing it, and that I've been so inactive in seeing anything done about it, is my own failing, I openly admit. It's a failing I share with many if not most North Americans. We allowed corporate culture to grow well beyond our control, and now that we're out of control, the general reaction is an impotent shrug and an idle "Oh, well."


This full documentary is available on youtube I believe, but here's a clip. The beginning I find hugely powerful. The man speaking is a Pilot who ferries goods back and forth between Africa and Europe, very often taking fresh fruits and fish out of Africa, and then sometimes bringing guns back. The centerpiece of the Doc. is the community of Tanzania, in which a foreign species of fast-breeding fish (Nile perch i believe) were introduced intentionally to their lake, wiping out most biodiversity so the lakes could be factory-farmed. Every perch belongs to the corporation doing the farming, so the local community can't fish to eat, and certainly cant afford the cuts that the factory produces, meant for sale on the European market. Instead they survive on the factory refuse.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Could you please provide more background and source material for this claim?

I didn't see these goals and aspirations openly stated on their website.
sure
What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it’s really a consolidation of the entire food chain. —Robert Fraley, co-president of Monsanto's agricultural sector
quote is taken from this interview
http://www.agwest.sk.ca/blog/2013/04/realleaders-a-conversation-with-dr-robert-t-fraley-of-monsanto/
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Sorry, not the interview after all. Was apparently a statement made in a 1996 issue of Farm Journal, will put a little more effort into tracking the actual article down when I've got the time.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
Sorry, not the interview after all. Was apparently a statement made in a 1996 issue of Farm Journal, will put a little more effort into tracking the actual article down when I've got the time.

thanks- would appreciate that- I searched myself but only found the quote repeated over and over on anti-GMO sites with no actual context of the quote.

He could simply be referring to a trend in the industry as opposed to some openly stated villainous goal to rule the world.

Consolidation and "verticalization" has long been a goal and business model by the likes of Cargill and ADM.

Monsanto is in no position for "global dominance" over agriculture or a "monopoly over global food supply" when they have nothing to do with trading, shipping, processing etc...

They can hold all the patents they want but if the global customers aren't buying the finished product- there is nothing Monsanto can do.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/13/cargill-corn-idUSN1E7BC0P120111213


 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Forgive my ignorance but I fail to see how the video is relevant, and would argue your claims. It relates to Lake Victoria, which is absolutely.huge, the size of Ireland. I visited once but on the Kenya side. Nile Perch was introduced in the 50's for game fishing and was one contributing factor to a drop in biodiversity over the years. However stocks gave dropped as local entrepreneurship say a possible market for sale to the EU. As EU food regulations expect imports to be prepared under the same conditions as at hone, hence you see the modern fish processing plant. As far as I am aware the fish has been freely available to catch and fishing is regulated/monitored by an intercountry organisation

http://www.lvfo.org/

Again the biodiversity is returning due to the fishing of Nile Perch, I managed to dig this report up

http://limnology.wisc.edu/courses/zoo510/2009/L_Vic_03_Balirwa.pdf

I don't think the introduction was down to a specific corporation, had nothing to do with GM and as far as I am aware the fisheries are locally owned.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
thanks- would appreciate that- I searched myself but only found the quote repeated over and over on anti-GMO sites with no actual context of the quote.
Looks like I'll have to go romping through Farm Journal itself, and their site is a pain to plod through.

Monsanto is in no position for "global dominance" over agriculture or a "monopoly over global food supply" when they have nothing to do with trading, shipping, processing etc...
You can't understand the influence the pricing of seed would have down the chain of trading, shipping, processing, ect...? Seed is inherently at the very foundation of agriculture, and thus its pricing inherently influences the whole process. Having a monopoly of the seed industry would give Monsanto direct influence on the pricing of food itself, not just their own seed.

He could simply be referring to a trend in the industry as opposed to some openly stated villainous goal to rule the world.
It's not a villainous goal to rule the world. You're attaching the whole 'NWO', 'Illuminati' sentiments to what I'm saying, and needlessly. It's simply a man stating his callous willingness to seek profit through consolidation under one company of something every human being needs to survive. It's not unlikely he truly believes this would be generally beneficial.
They can hold all the patents they want but if the global customers aren't buying the finished product- there is nothing Monsanto can do.
And when companies like Monsanto are the only choice? Monsanto controls 23%, more or less, of the GLOBAL seed market. The top ten seed companies including Monsanto (who has by far the largest portion) controls 67% of the global seed market total. A few decades ago, Monsanto was chemical company. They've attained a startling share of the global seed market in barely no time at all.
seedchart.png
"The lack of competition and innovation in the marketplace has reduced farmers' choices and enabled Monsanto to raise prices unencumbered." - Keith Mudd, Organization for Competitive Markets, following Monsanto's decision to raise some GM maize seed prices by 35%.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
It's not a villainous goal to rule the world. You're attaching the whole 'NWO', 'Illuminati' sentiments to what I'm saying, and needlessly. It's simply a man stating his callous willingness to seek profit through consolidation under one company of something every human being needs to survive. It's not unlikely he truly believes this would be generally beneficial.

But you are assigning meaning to quote taken entirely out of context...and THEN assign your own opinion as to his his "callousness"...and then contradict yourself by suggesting he may even thinks its beneficial. what a mess.



And when companies like Monsanto are the only choice? Monsanto controls 23%, more or less, of the GLOBAL seed market. The top ten seed companies including Monsanto (who has by far the largest portion) controls 67% of the global seed market total. A few decades ago, Monsanto was chemical company. They've attained a startling share of the global seed market in barely no time at all.

So...Monsanto controls 23% percent of the seed market...and you are worried about them having a monopoly over "global food supply"?? So revealing.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
I fail to see how they can gain a monopoly. Within a season a farmer can generate enough natural seed to put on the open market. Even starting with a small number within a couple of generations their could be a mountain of seed grain.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Forgive my ignorance but I fail to see how the video is relevant, and would argue your claims. It relates to Lake Victoria, which is absolutely.huge, the size of Ireland. I visited once but on the Kenya side. Nile Perch was introduced in the 50's for game fishing and was one contributing factor to a drop in biodiversity over the years. However stocks gave dropped as local entrepreneurship say a possible market for sale to the EU. As EU food regulations expect imports to be prepared under the same conditions as at hone, hence you see the modern fish processing plant. As far as I am aware the fish has been freely available to catch and fishing is regulated/monitored by an intercountry organisation
I highly encourage you to actually watch the documentary from beginning to end. My point, and one of the points of the film, is the impact that global food markets can have on local communities. Those who fish lake Victoria are paid to do so by the fisheries. They're less than tolerant of the lakes being fished 'for free'. If you kept watching the video past the clean factory floor, you saw the endless rows of maggot-ridden fish-carcasses being cured in the sun for eventual consumption by millions of Tanzanians living in famine-times. I sincerely hope any human being can see the problem with a people who live around a massive and bountiful lake full of fish suffering a famine while the fish of that lake are exported to other countries. No, it's not about GMO's, its about how the global food market can utterly rape communities. GMO's are simply another mechanism through which that rape can be achieved.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
That I know the globalization of food markets is leading to increased starvation rather than reducing it,

How do you know this? Can you quantify it in any substantive way? or is it just an opinion?


The centerpiece of the Doc. is the community of Tanzania, in which a foreign species of fast-breeding fish (Nile perch i believe) were introduced intentionally to their lake, wiping out most biodiversity so the lakes could be factory-farmed. Every perch belongs to the corporation doing the farming, so the local community can't fish to eat, and certainly cant afford the cuts that the factory produces, meant for sale on the European market. Instead they survive on the factory refuse.

purely an anecdote but when I was in Tanzania I saw a lot of crops with their seed placards at the head of the rows...didn't see any Monsanto seeds ( I pay attention to things like this because I have an Ag background/interest). Guess their openly stated goal to control the global food supply still has a way to go.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
I highly encourage you to actually watch the documentary from beginning to end. My point, and one of the points of the film, is the impact that global food markets can have on local communities. Those who fish lake Victoria are paid to do so by the fisheries. They're less than tolerant of the lakes being fished 'for free'. If you kept watching the video past the clean factory floor, you saw the endless rows of maggot-ridden fish-carcasses being cured in the sun for eventual consumption by millions of Tanzanians living in famine-times. I sincerely hope any human being can see the problem with a people who live around a massive and bountiful lake full of fish suffering a famine while the fish of that lake are exported to other countries. No, it's not about GMO's, its about how the global food market can utterly rape communities. GMO's are simply another mechanism through which that rape can be achieved.


Interesting that in the documentary the woman working at the fish farm says:

 

Grieves

Senior Member
Within a season a farmer can generate enough natural seed to put on the open market.
Unless it's Monsanto GMO seed. Then its illegal to keep the seed unless their contract is maintained, and illegal to sell the seed GMO plants produce period.

B
ut you are assigning meaning to quote taken entirely out of context...and THEN assign your own opinion as to his his "callousness"...and then contradict yourself by suggesting he may even thinks its beneficial. what a mess.
Are you just being contrary here...? First, you're assuming its out of context because I haven't found the source article yet. It seems a pretty direct statement in regards to Monsanto's effort during that period to consolidate seed companies, as demonstrated by the above chart of all the various companies monsanto has bought up. Their co-president of agriculture makes his position pretty clear, and obviously doesn't think it's a bad thing. I call the words callous because to 'consolidate the food-chain' would force drastic changes on agriculture in general, which seems an insensitive/inconsiderate ambition where the many billions who are part of the food-chain are concerned. He may well believe that his work with GMOs, as well as making him and his company a tidy profit, will be of a real benefit to people.

So...Monsanto controls 23% percent of the seed market...and you are worried about them having a monopoly over "global food supply"?? So revealing.
are you seriously suggesting 23% of the global seed market, as in nearly 1/4 of all the food produced through agriculture on the PLANET, is a small achievement after a few decades in the seed business? That's a HUGE portion of the global food supply over which Monsanto already has a direct level of influence. Do you think raising the price of corn seed in the us by 35% didn't effect food prices in general on the global stage? If you do, you're terribly wrong.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Interesting that in the documentary the woman working at the fish farm says:

Content from external source:

before this job I was a normal farmer. Now I am better off. My life is good. I have work
Did you fail to notice the mention of her boss being nearby, or the sound of him shouting things in her direction, and the apparent nervousness with which she spoke? How about the eyeless woman speaking of the effect the gasses the decaying fish give off has on their health/sight? I can't believe you're actually suggesting what's going on there is ok.
 
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David Fraser

Senior Member.
Did you fail to notice the mention of her boss being nearby, or the sound of him shouting things in her direction, and the apparent nervousness with which she spoke? How about the eyeless woman speaking of the effect the gasses the decaying fish give off has on their health/sight?

Have you never been shouted at work? Admittedly there are some dodgy health and safety issues. I lived in a major fishing port and my mother and my ex wife have done jobs similar to that, especially when producing fish meal.


As to my post on seeds. Ny point is how can you gain a monopoly on the market when people have access to natural seeds. Within a couple of seasons someone can produce enough to sell.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
How do you know this? Can you quantify it in any substantive way? or is it just an opinion?
I'm now pretty convinced you're just being contrary. You can look up starvation figures and wheat pricing (the foundation of all food pricing) for yourself.


As to my post on seeds. Ny point is how can you gain a monopoly on the market when people have access to natural seeds. Within a couple of seasons someone can produce enough to sell.
No question, Monsanto's biggest rival in the seed business is natural seed. They're treating it like a rival too, and intend to win. I'm hopeful and tentatively confident they wont, but they're making alarming progress. 23% of the global seed market is big, big numbers... even if some would like to downplay it.
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Have you never been shouted at work?
I've never felt truly afraid to speak my mind at work. If you think a woman rifling through maggoty fish-guts under the angry eye of her boss is being honest when she says she loves her job, I don't really know what to say to that. And I'm sorry Biggerdave, but I'm almost entirely confident no one in your family has ever worked in conditions remotely similar to those that woman was working in. I wager your family at the very least had shoes on.

purely an anecdote but when I was in Tanzania I saw a lot of crops with their seed placards at the head of the rows...didn't see any Monsanto seeds ( I pay attention to things like this because I have an Ag background/interest). Guess their openly stated goal to control the global food supply still has a way to go.
http://www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture/Pages/drought-tolerant-maize-for-africa.aspx

As part of WEMA, drought-tolerant corn hybrids are being developed specifically for farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. These hybrids have been developed through advanced breeding practices to make the hybrids more tolerant to drought conditions.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
UFirst, you're assuming its out of context because I haven't found the source article yet. It seems a pretty direct statement in regards to Monsanto's effort during that period to consolidate seed companies, as demonstrated by the above chart of all the various companies monsanto has bought up. Their co-president of agriculture makes his position pretty clear, and obviously doesn't think it's a bad thing. I call the words callous because to 'consolidate the food-chain' would force drastic changes on agriculture in general, which seems an insensitive/inconsiderate ambition where the many billions who are part of the food-chain are concerned. He may well believe that his work with GMOs, as well as making him and his company a tidy profit, will be of a real benefit to people.


are you seriously suggesting 23% of the global seed market, as in nearly 1/4 of all the food produced through agriculture on the PLANET, is a small achievement after a few decades in the seed business? That's a HUGE portion of the global food supply over which Monsanto already has a direct level of influence. Do you think raising the price of corn seed in the us by 35% didn't effect food prices in general on the global stage? If you do, you're terribly wrong.


NO- it IS out of context because there is no context. simply a short sentences with no frame of reference that YOU impart context and meaning to assuage your own bias.

He could well be referring to your worst nightmares...or perhaps not...find the article.


Sorry Grieves- your emotions are getting in the way of logic. 23% of the seed market DOES NOT mean 23% of- "all food produced through Agriculture on the planet"

You might want to rethink that comment.

It is an significant accomplishment after a few decades of being in the seed business...but no where near threatening to control the "global food supply"
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
Did you fail to notice the mention of her boss being nearby, or the sound of him shouting things in her direction, and the apparent nervousness with which she spoke? How about the eyeless woman speaking of the effect the gasses the decaying fish give off has on their health/sight? I can't believe you're actually suggesting what's going on there is ok.

Really? Her boss told her to get back to work and thats somehow suspicious?

I didn't suggest it was "ok"- I merely pointed out that SHE thought it was ok. She thinks she is better off.

That you don't just seems like an example of your imposing your values onto people you have never met and places you have never been.

Who are You to judge whether or not she is better off?

Are you calling her a liar?
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Really? Her boss told her to get back to work and thats somehow suspicious?

I didn't suggest it was "ok"- I merely pointed out that SHE thought it was ok. She thinks she is better off.

That you don't just seems like an example of your imposing your values onto people you have never met and places you have never been.

Who are You to judge whether or not she is better off?

Are you calling her a liar?
rofl... are you joking now..? Have you ever worked a really, really shitty job? If someone asked you in front of your boss what you thought of that job, would you tell them how shitty it was? Now imagine you're in that same situation, only a poor-as-fuck woman in a famine ridden country with next to no other options. No, I'm not calling her a liar. I'm calling her a VICTIM. I can't decide whether I find your disagreement with that more funny than sad. Was it you who suggested 'oppression is in the eye of the beholder?' I see that principle has been dragged up out of ancient and incomprehensible times and is now being applied to modern society. Who am I to suggest starving Tanzanians aren't perfectly happy living an entirely and obviously preventable famine, sucking decaying organs off of fish-bones? How dare I impose my values of a full belly every once in a while and being treated like a human being of worth on others..!!!
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
I'm now pretty convinced you're just being contrary. You can look up starvation figures and wheat pricing (the foundation of all food pricing) for yourself..

Sorry- its just not that simple. If you believe it is then that explains a lot.

But you lamented earlier that you didn't do enough personally to help the situation. But its not too late- you can still help.

You should source all your food stuffs locally from now on. No more blueberries from Chile in February

You should source all your food from within a 50 mile radius....even in winter
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Sorry- its just not that simple. If you believe it is then that explains a lot.

Try this then.
http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ib52.pdf
a little more thorough an explanation. Should give you a more solid impression of the effect the global food market has on food pricing, and the effect food pricing has on poverty/starvation, and how prices have spiked considerably in recent years. Perhaps you can read it a little, and then step back on the pretense that I'm bullshitting you.
You should source all your food stuffs locally from now on. No more blueberries from Chile in February

You should source all your food from within a 50 mile radius....even in winter
though I can appreciate the idea of 'voting with my dollars', I honestly don't have enough of them for that. 20 bucks a month to Amnesty Int. and 40 bucks a month to Docs. without borders is already busting my financial balls enough, eating 'local only' would get real expensive for me. Besides, 'voting with my dollars' isn't a particularly expedient route to achieving corporate accountability, something the world needs desperately and soon.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
rofl... are you joking now..? Have you ever worked a really, really shitty job? If someone asked you in front of your boss what you thought of that job, would you tell them how shitty it was? Now imagine you're in that same situation, only a poor-as-fuck woman in a famine ridden country with next to no other options. No, I'm not calling her a liar. I'm calling her a VICTIM. I can't decide whether I find your disagreement with that more funny than sad. Was it you who suggested 'oppression is in the eye of the beholder?' I see that principle has been dragged up out of ancient and incomprehensible times and is now being applied to modern society. Who am I to suggest starving Tanzanians aren't perfectly happy living an entirely and obviously preventable famine, sucking decaying organs off of fish-bones? How dare I impose my values of a full belly every once in a while and being treated like a human being of value on others..!!!

Nice try.

You are calling her a liar...

You know nothing of her life - not before her job or after...and yet you make assumptions and pronouncements as if you know what is best for her.

"sucking decaying organs off fish bones" - Do you know for a fact that they were going to eat those fish? or were they being dried in the sun to be processed into fish meal?

That was her job- she was not picking up her personal meal in that clip.

I understand it is emotionally powerful to see the conditions she was working in...but if she truly IS better off than before- what then?

Preventable famine? How exactly do you prevent drought?

http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.ph...ine-looms-as-droughts-ravage-northern-regions
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
Try this then.
http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ib52.pdf
a little more thorough an explanation. Should give you a more solid impression of the effect the global food market has on food pricing, and the effect food pricing has on poverty/starvation, and how prices have spiked considerably in recent years. Perhaps you can read it a little, and then step back on the pretense that I'm bullshitting you.

Believe it or not- I have already read that....and I am well versed in the relationship between ag trade and pricing on the street...I do not believe you are trying to BS me- just that you do not seem to understand the entire picture and want to lay the world's hungry solely at the feet of global Ag trade. Indeed, as the article you linked says:

 

Grieves

Senior Member
You are calling her a liar...

You know nothing of her life - not before her job or after...and yet you make assumptions and pronouncements as if you know what is best for her.
Best for her? No. I know what is better for her than THAT. As do you. As does she. She's not some ignorant tribal peasant with no concept of a better life. She works right next to a city in which the wealthy live large enough for her to know all too well the hand she's been dealt by comparison.

"sucking decaying organs off fish bones" - Do you know for a fact that they were going to eat those fish? or were they being dried in the sun to be processed into fish meal?
They are indeed being sun-'cured' for human consumption. If you watch the whole film, you'll come to understand that.

I understand it is emotionally powerful to see the conditions she was working in...but if she truly IS better off than before- what then?
She still, without any question in my mind whatsoever, deserves better.

Preventable famine? How exactly do you prevent drought?

http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php...rthern-regions
You don't. You just use your lake, the biggest in Africa and with a relatively massive yield of fish, to feed your own starving people. With the export system some factory-workers and fishermen get half-decent jobs, and can feed themselves and their families, but the larger community starves. If the global food market was value-based instead of being driven by profit motivation, all that fish wouldn't be going anywhere. As stated in the conclusion of the article I posted above,
The construction of a better world calls for a value-based

approach. Economic analyses of the realities of poverty and food
insecurity must be coupled with ethical refl ections on current
social and economic structures. Globalization has generated levels
of wealth never seen before, making possible—and therefore,
morally inescapable—the previously utopian task of eliminating
poverty and hunger on the planet. This is now more urgent than
ever: while rising food prices are threatening the already precari-
ous livelihoods of many of the world’s most vulnerable people in
the short term and this requires concerted action; proper global
governance structures and institutions related to the four interre-
lated issues of food, energy, climate change, and natural resource
management will be crucial for the poor and the hungry—and,
indeed, for all humanity—in the medium and long terms
For so long as profit-motive rules the global food market, and corporations like Monsanto are at the forefront, there will be no value-based, morally centered approach to tackling global hunger. GMO's have the potential to revolutionize agriculture in a way that would make solving global hunger a real, concrete aim. Instead, they're being used by companies like Monsanto as a way to make agriculture a stronger market-force. That means increased demand. That means hunger.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
I've never felt truly afraid to speak my mind at work. If you think a woman rifling through maggoty fish-guts under the angry eye of her boss is being honest when she says she loves her job, I don't really know what to say to that. And I'm sorry Biggerdave, but I'm almost entirely confident no one in your family has ever worked in conditions remotely similar to those that woman was working in. I wager your family at the very least had shoes on.


http://www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture/Pages/drought-tolerant-maize-for-africa.aspx

As part of WEMA, drought-tolerant corn hybrids are being developed specifically for farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. These hybrids have been developed through advanced breeding practices to make the hybrids more tolerant to drought conditions.

I did say jobs similar to that, and I did say there were dodgy health and safety practices going on in the video. I am from a place called Hull and sone if the fish houses where rank to work in.

As to the fisheries I was under the impression the fishermen where self employed. Essentially they can land there catch at any country they want. These primary fish processors are usually locally owned and they go on to supply the main providers. Now I am not denying that there are not issues around famine and hunger, just you stated it was down to corporations controlling fisheries which is not the case. The fisheries are heavily regulated by all 3 countries and some if the issues now relate to illegal fishing.

http://www.stopillegalfishing.com/sifnews_article.php?ID=19


Can I add just add. Being from a developing nation does not give a person a monopoly on shit working conditions. Employers will exploit their workers whenever they can and conditions in sone of the small fish housed in Hull where horrendous right into the 80's until EU legislation kicked in.
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
For so long as profit-motive rules the global food market, and corporations like Monsanto are at the forefront, there will be no value-based, morally centered approach to tackling global hunger. GMO's have the potential to revolutionize agriculture in a way that would make solving global hunger a real, concrete aim. Instead, they're being used by companies like Monsanto as a way to make agriculture a stronger market-force. That means increased demand. That means hunger.

Without profit motive there would be no global food market.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
In most areas. globalization has decreased poverty. We often forget how hard folks in the 3rd world often have to work for a minimum amount of food. Long walks to get water, cooking over open fires. Jobs that we would refuse to do, are attractive to them. Darn it, that is why so many Hispanics immigrate to the US. What is not well known, is that immigrants from Central America are immigrating, illegally, to Mexico, to fill some of the jobs that the folks there found less attractive.

Do companies 'take advantage' of this? Yes they do, just like your boss might well take advantage of you, if there were not regulations in place.

Some years ago, I was hired to be a 'manager' of a kiosk selling Austrian crystal jewelry. This was just for the holiday season. As a manager, I was to be paid a flat salary and then a percentage of the sales. The 'owner' allowed me to hire ONE person then he decided that he wanted to do the the hiring. We were open 12 hrs a day. The first main issue came during the set up, he did not want to pay the workers for any time spent setting up the kiosk. He expected them to work for free. I pointed out that he couldn't do that. Then there was the problem that he didn't seem to find time to hire others. I was working 12 hr days with NO breaks, for lunch or other. He was even angry that I left to use the restroom. Then he wanted us to use lit candles, which he knew would break the fire code. Then my pay check was late. I quit, some folks didn't. In fact the one person I hired didn't. He was here in the US and he was taking advantage of his workers. He was not some big corporation, just a single owner company.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Does a GMO crop rule out adaptation to local conditions? I imagine a non-GMO crop would over generations become attuned and refined to it's local soil and climate conditions- ie, genetic diversity.
Would a GMO crop do the same, or are they essentially sterile clones that have to have any adaptation to local conditions forcibly installed by a bureaucratic decision?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Then there is NO poverty and starvation where there is NO capitalism? Tell that to the Russians and the Chinese and many others.

Why does the US provide food to many other countries? BTW, not everyone eats wheat, using wheat prices is a red herring. Rice is the major grain in many countries and other grains like millet are more important than wheat in areas of Africa.
 

someGuy

New Member
Does a GMO crop rule out adaptation to local conditions? I imagine a non-GMO crop would over generations become attuned and refined to it's local soil and climate conditions- ie, genetic diversity.
Would a GMO crop do the same, or are they essentially sterile clones that have to have any adaptation to local conditions forcibly installed by a bureaucratic decision?

I've read somewhere that some GMO seed's quality decrease a lot over generations and that some (yeah, I know, It's a lot "some" unbacked stuff) just can't be reused after the first use: you must buy new seeds each years
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
I've read somewhere that some GMO seed's quality decrease a lot over generations and that some (yeah, I know, It's a lot "some" unbacked stuff) just can't be reused after the first use: you must buy new seeds each years

I know Monsanto had identified a "terminator gene" and don't use it. However I would hazard it to be really expensive to constantly produce. One would presume that one of their seed crops will be viable for more than a generation. Shove a terminator gene in the are you end up constantly having to splice in. I only have first year undergrad biotech to go on, but it would seem U economical.

There are some posts floating around if someone wants to add a link. (I am on my phone)


Just for clarification btw for Grieves, I am anti GMO, but only due to corporate dominance. I like the way slow approach, and funding, the UK are taking.
 

someGuy

New Member
I know Monsanto had identified a "terminator gene" and don't use it. However I would hazard it to be really expensive to constantly produce. One would presume that one of their seed crops will be viable for more than a generation. Shove a terminator gene in the are you end up constantly having to splice in. I only have first year undergrad biotech to go on, but it would seem U economical.

There are some posts floating around if someone wants to add a link. (I am on my phone)


Just for clarification btw for Grieves, I am anti GMO, but only due to corporate dominance. I like the way slow approach, and funding, the UK are taking.

It depends also on the deal made between the seed producer and the farmer, the conditions of use
While it is technically possible for the farmer to re-use the seeds, he might not have the legal right to do so
I know there are strict rules regarding that matter
 

Grieves

Senior Member
Being from a developing nation does not give a person a monopoly on shit working conditions.
It's certainly a major factor, though.

Employers will exploit their workers whenever they can and conditions in sone of the small fish housed in Hull where horrendous right into the 80's until EU legislation kicked in.
No doubt. EU legislation is also responsible for the clean working conditions within the fisheries of Tanzania. The fisheries also employ laborers and fishermen. That's all well and good. That millions are starving in a country that would have the food to support its own people if only it stopped exporting it all elsewhere is ridiculous.

Originally Posted by Pete Tar
Does a GMO crop rule out adaptation to local conditions? I imagine a non-GMO crop would over generations become attuned and refined to it's local soil and climate conditions- ie, genetic diversity.
Would a GMO crop do the same, or are they essentially sterile clones that have to have any adaptation to local conditions forcibly installed by a bureaucratic decision?



I've read somewhere that some GMO seed's quality decrease a lot over generations and that some (yeah, I know, It's a lot "some" unbacked stuff) just can't be reused after the first use: you must buy new seeds each years
There has been mention of 'suicide genes' within some of Monsanto's products, which sounds a little more insidious than it is... apparently tweaking/removing the genes that instigate pollination.

Without profit motive there would be no global food market.
Eh, that's somewhat speculative... can you really say that, had the popular ethos not developed such a fetish for colonialism, global trade would have never come into being? Is profit motive solely responsible for all human progress?

In most areas. globalization has decreased poverty.
Can you explain to me how?

BTW, not everyone eats wheat, using wheat prices is a red herring. Rice is the major grain in many countries and other grains like millet are more important than wheat in areas of Africa.
Actually, wheat- more specifically 'hard red spring' as it's known, is the high-protein wheat-grain used in the production of bread who's prices are set by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the price of which informs the cost of most all bread on the planet. From the standpoint of global markets, the price of hard red spring is a major determining factor in most all food prices.

He was not some big corporation, just a single owner company.
And as such the most damage he could do was frustrate and rip off yourself and a few select others. Research the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, how it transformed real foodstuffs into abstract capital, and the effect this had on global food prices, and thus starvation. Your douchebag boss' bad behavior didn't end with anyone starving to death, let alone many people.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SR1419

Senior Member.
Eh, that's somewhat speculative... can you really say that, had the popular ethos not developed such a fetish for colonialism, global trade would have never come into being? Is profit motive solely responsible for all human progress?

The desire to make a profit is what drives trade. Do you really need a lesson in economics?


Actually, wheat- more specifically 'hard red spring' as it's known, is the high-protein wheat-grain used in the production of bread who's prices are set by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the price of which informs the cost of most all bread on the planet. From the standpoint of global markets, the price of hard red spring is a major determining factor in most all food prices.

Wow...A LOT of bunk in this comment.

The price is NOT set by the exchange- the price is set by the "market"- by the buyers and sellers...The exchange is merely the clearing house for the trades.

Spring wheat is not the "major determining factor in most all food prices"- thats simply false.

Perhaps you could explain how the price of a bushel of wheat in MPLS is the determining factor in the price of a bushel of rice in China?

[...]
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Or of millet in Africa? Or of corn in Mexico.

Bread is not common in many cultures. There is a simple reason for it, it is hard to bake. Bread requires the use of a bread oven, and the work cooking it. It is more common in more urban areas. Even in medieval Europe, few folks baked their own bread. Bread was either baked in communal ovens or by bakers.

 
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