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Posts Tagged ‘Dupont’

Control over your food: Why Monsanto’s GM seeds are undemocratic

February 24, 2011 Comments off

Large biotech agribusinesses like Monsanto control much of the global seed market with genetically modified (GM) crops. This centralization of GM seeds threatens food safety, food security, biodiversity, and democratic ideals.

By Christopher D. Cook / February 23, 2011

www.csmonitor.com

Question: Would you want a small handful of government officials controlling America’s entire food supply, all its seeds and harvests?

I suspect most would scream, “No way!”

Yet, while America seems allergic to public servants – with no profit motive in mind – controlling anything these days, a knee-jerk faith in the “free market” has led to overwhelming centralized control of nearly all our food stuffs, from farm to fork.

The Obama administration’s recent decision to radically expand genetically modified (GM) food – approving unrestricted production of agribusiness biotech company Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” alfalfa and sugar beets – marks a profound deepening of this centralization of food production in the hands of just a few corporations, with little but the profit motive to guide them.

IN PICTURES: From Field to Fork: The foreign and domestic food chain

Even as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials enable a tighter corporate grip on the food chain, there is compelling evidence of GM foods’ ecological and human health risks, Read more…

The Fed is Wrong About Commodity Prices

February 17, 2011 Comments off

Author: David Weinstein

I imagine he has to say it, but Bernanke is wrong when he says US monetary policy has nothing to do with international commodity prices. At the height of the Egyptian crisis, which was partly driven by rising food prices, Bernanke couldn’t say, “Oh yea, US policy economic policy is part of the problem in Egypt.” This attitude, however, is both prevalent and respected, and it’s largely wrong.

First of all, commodities as a group are not commoditized – they are not all the same. For instance, the amount of gold in the world is largely fixed relative to annual gold production. Along with its historical position as a store a value, Gold’s consistent volume about ground is a primary reason for its currency-like quality; i.e. almost entirely driven by overall liquidity. Corn production, on the other hand can vary greatly from year to year given the amount of land devoted to it and the weather. Oil is somewhere in the middle because production can vary, but the worlds known reserves are relatively fixed. The resulting differences in price volatility have been studied ad nauseam and are most simply articulated by the so-called ‘cob-web model’ (see chart below).

Very simply put: Read more…