America’s Food Supply Is Compromised and Congress Helped It Happen

A month ago I posted about the Wold Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the United States over disclosing the country of origin on the meat Americans buy and eat.  (see post)

Congress voted for HR 2393 which was a vote to abolish COOL on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. – siting Canadian and Mexican tariff retaliations.  Here’s how members of Congress voted: click here.

As it turns out – the World Trade Organization gave Canada and Mexico the approval to impose import tariffs on American goods sold in the two countries – to the tune of $3 billion.  As I said last month, experts believe this will probably cause a decline in the American workforce (unemployment) as less goods are bought by Canadians and Mexicans.

There is a conspiracy and it goes much deeper than our North American neighbors, it involves the WTO and China.

Newsweek published an article back in 2014 revealing China’s attempt to import chicken processed in four Chinese plants that basically have no USDA oversight.  What’s worse is that China’s health and food standards are atrocious – even dog food made from imported Chinese processed chicken byproducts has killed over one thousand U.S. dogs – and American researchers still aren’t quite sure why or what was in the dog food to begin with.

As Representative Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey, noted in a June 2014 hearing on Chinese food issues, the country produced “meat that glows in the dark, exploding watermelons, bean sprouts containing antibiotics, rice contaminated with heavy metals, mushrooms soaked with bleach, and pork so filled with stimulants that athletes were told not to eat it lest they test positive for banned substances.” Since 2007, more than a 1,000 dogs in the U.S. have died after eating Chinese-made pet food containing poultry. “[The FDA has] tested for all the pathogens they know of,” says Barbara Kowalcyk, the Senior Food Safety Risk Analyst at RTI International, a nonprofit research organization. “There is something in there causing dogs to die. It’s baffled officials here in the U.S. for years. Why on earth would we allow it to come into the U.S. for human consumption?”

The WTO comes into play because when the USDA decertified the four Chinese chicken processing plants – they protested the WTO to open them back up – and they did. 

The take-a-way is that the WTO actually controls more  meat Americans eat and the quality (or lack of quality standards) of the food – more so than the United States government. 

And, when our own government does the right thing by passing laws – giving Americans the right to know where our food comes from – the WTO has the ability to punish Congress and American workers for doing it.

Follow the money –

Check out this report from the US Meat Export Federation:

Legislation to renew TPA cleared the U.S. Senate on May 22 and is expected to be taken up soon in the House of Representatives. Renewal of TPA is especially critical now that the United States is in the final stages of TPP negotiations, including important bilateral talks with Japan. TTIP negotiations between the U.S. and European Union have not advanced nearly as far as the TPP talks, but EU officials are also watching the TPA debate carefully.

The WTO Appellate Body recently upheld an earlier ruling that found U.S. COOL requirements for red meat to be out of compliance with our international trade obligations. On May 20, the House Agriculture Committee advanced legislation to repeal COOL requirements for red meat and chicken. The issue will now be taken up by the full House. The timeline for addressing COOL in the Senate is not yet clear.

In a nutshell – the WTO is the world’s governing body that controls what countries can and cannot export/import.  They also have the ability to hold the United States Congress hostage in economic terms.

Multinational food companies lobby Congress heavily because they make a lot of money importing and exporting foods to and from the United States.  They also stand to make a lot more money once China lifts its import ban on the United States meat industry.

To get that ban lifted – they’re willing to sacrifice jobs in other areas of the U.S economy and they’re willing to allow China (through the WTO) to import food to America that has the potential to kill.

Keep in mind that from WikiLeaks we’ve learned that almost all companies who have lobbied for TPP and have helped write the language of this secret trade agreement will benefit hugely in import/export tax incentives.

The realization is not about the general scheme of American politics as we’ve gotten used to seeing it on TV – it’s the realization that Congress is as much hostage in this convoluted mayhem as the American citizens.

It’s the multinational companiesthe globalization and reach of these massive corporations to control the American and the rest of the world food supply.  Because whoever (or whatever) controls the food will control the world.

A 2008 article points to a chilling possible reality – food shortages pop up from time to time – this one happened to be in Africa:

In recent weeks, food riots have also erupted in Haiti, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Protests have also flared in Morocco, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mexico and Yemen. In most of West Africa, the price of food has risen by 50 percent — in Sierra Leone, 300 percent. The World Food Program has issued a rare $500 million emergency appeal to deal with the growing crisis.

I talked to an agricultural expert in eastern North Carolina a few days ago and here is what he said:

It’s not like it was 50 years ago and that’s what people don’t understand.  It use to be plenty of companies to buy seed and fertilizer – now there’s only a couple a farmer can deal with.  It’s all under one umbrella now.  There’s a lot of retailers out there – but when it comes down to who they buy from, it’s a small number.  For the first time since I’ve been alive – I can see where  people could be one or two crop cycles away from going hungry.”

He who controls the seed controls the food supply; and he who controls the food supply controls the world.

Unfortunately for the global community Monsanto is accomplishing their purpose. They currently own 90% of the world’s patents for GMO seed including cotton, soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/jul/26/gmcrops

From FoodSaftyNews – it’s easy to see how things can turn ugly fast – even if the United States had a strong handle on its food supply and proven safety net for protection.

The March 26, 2015, Food Safety News article, “LA TV Station Reports Health Department’s Failure to Announce Salmonella Outbreak,” exposed how some county health departments “do not typically alert the public when they are in the midst of an investigation.” Unfortunately, Brent’s Deli in Westlake Village, CA, stayed open and customers knew of no health concerns even though the Ventura County Health Department noted that serious violations at that restaurant date back to 2007.

[I talk] with victims or their families who have seen just how devastating foodborne illnesses can be. They often tell me that they never thought that something like this could happen in America, let alone to them. Their worst fears came about due to violations along the way from the farm to fork. ALL of us, including restaurants and local governments, play a role in making sure that the family meal ordered at a restaurant or served at home does not come with a side of fear or regret.

What goes around comes around: an excerpt from a radio conversation — Amy Goodman – Democracy Now with Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

 Raj, can you talk about the corporations that have so much control over the food supply? Give us a history from, oh, United Fruit to, well, Duane Andreas’s company, Archer Daniels Midland, that sponsors so much of the media that we watch today.

Yes. I mean, of course, the history of industrial capitalism and food is very long indeed. I mean, the East India Company, for example, the British East India Company was responsible for driving the colonization of India and of the subsequent imposition of markets in food.

But in the twentieth century, the poster child for corporate malfeasance is the United Fruit company. The United Fruit Company controlled vast swathes of Central America, and it’s for their control of that part of the world for growing bananas that we have the term “banana republic.” And “banana republic” is a sort of abject case of blaming the victim. These banana republics existed because the tin-pot dictators who ran them were in the thrall and responsible to the United Fruit Company, rather than actually to the people over whom they ruled. Now, the United Fruit Company found itself in Guatemala, where a democratically elected president wanted to institute just a basic fair system of taxation. And so, he wanted — this was Jacobo Guzman, I believe, who wanted to tax the land at a fair market value. Now, rather than allow that, the United Fruit Company called its friends in the CIA, who instigated a coup. And as a result of that coup, there was a bloody civil war for forty years; 200,000 people died; and also, we could have cheap bananas. Now, that kind of utter manipulation of international economies is something that isn’t just happening in the global south; it’s happening right here in the United States.

And, finally from NaturalNews:  The probability of what might happen in the UK is an indication of what could very well happen in the United States – not only with seeds but with the American meat supply.

NaturalNews) According to The Guardian, the United Kingdom’s growing population is bound to face food shortages within the next generation. As self-sufficiency is surrendered away to the demands of corporate monoculture, the people not only lose touch with their food but become dependent on a select agricultural science that dictates the DNA of what is grown, while controlling the volatile markets. When this science fails and farm productivity is stalled, everyone is put at the mercy of its failure. All the while, the diversification of crop and seed is drowned out by these highly profitable, corporate-patented seeds.

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About George Fisher

George is a freelance writer, an author and a Democratic political consultant. He has worked as Deputy Communications Director for a Senatorial campaign and Campaign Manager for several NC House races and one congressional race. He previously worked as a news producer for a local television station.
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