America at Bat: NAFTA, Bailouts, and now the Food Supply

greedBy Patrick Henry

It is well-planned — one, two, three strikes for destruction of the country.

1.  Bill Clinton outsourced our industry under NAFTA (how did Hillary get a single vote in Ohio?).  Since then, the US has been stripped of virtually all its industrial base.

2.  George W. Bush “outsourced” our economy, setting up the bailout that funded international banking interests.  Obama followed, even signing an agreement in May with the G-20 arranging that the US has only one vote in its own banking system now.

3.  And now the final grab, one which puts the loss of jobs and money into pale comparison – corporations are going after control of the US food supply.

Under S 510, corporations now intend to take over all farming, industrialize it, eliminate local farmers (local industry) and get them off their land.  To the largest degree possible, it intends to outsource farming and food so the US is dependent on corporate CAFOs and unregulated foreign countries for food.

A once abundantly productive and proud country has been reduced to massive joblessness, to homelessness, to extreme debt by corporations now seemingly without bounds. Following strike one and strike two, they are going after strike three, the last and only true basic need of any country and of all human beings – food.

This would seem impossible to believe but for Clinton having accomplished the literal dismantling of our entire industrial base in a few short years, and for the blitzkrieg rapidity with which the banking industry destroyed the home market and then stole our economy.  Looking back, we see these were not accidental disasters but worked carefully into complex plans long in advance and all in the same direction – the loss of US control over itself to multinational corporations.  [Read “The 2009 Food ‘Safety’ Bills Harmonize Agribusiness Practices in the Service of Corporate Global Governance.”]

A bit of history indicates the direction of things and gives the lie to S 510 having anything whatever to do with food safety.

From “Food Safety Bills: More Dangerous than the Patriot Act, or, How to Bypass the US Constitution by using Food Safety” by Gail Combs:

Between the 1950’s and 1990’s a few corporations had consolidated their power by buying or forcing out their competition and then vertically integrating from “Farm to Fork.”  In the quest to eliminate competition and increase their ability to dictate prices, corporations bought up railroads, shipping lines, packing facilities, even supermarkets and banks at staggering rates. For example by 1986 Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, André and Bunge, all privately owned by seven families, controlled 85-90 percent of global grain trade….

To further consolidate their death grip on the food supply, agribusiness insisted that agriculture be put on the international trading table for the first time at the GATT talks in Uruguay.…

What were the key issues place[d] on the table?

  • First, open borders and no tariffs so cheap tax subsidized grain from the EU and USA would bankrupt third world farmers.
  • Second, worldwide patents on plants and animals allowing corporations to control all food production.
  • Third, unlike other trade agreements, WTO [World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture] was given teeth by way of trade sanctions for enforcement and a complete blackout on any information leading to the sanctions placed by the three WTO judges.
  • Fourth, and the worst for the US consumer, was the replacement of the “precautionary principle” (do no harm) with “scientific risk based assessment” or the “if it doesn’t look like it will kill anyone, go for it” principle.
  • And fifth, the last issue, was “harmonization” of food safety regulations. That means the US, Europe and third world countries must bring their food safety regulations in line so they are essentially the same. In other words, the EU and USA are expected to lower their food standards so they can be met by third world members of WTO!

Clinton pushed us into the WTO Ag Agreement, promising it would never usurp US sovereignty over its own food safety, yet that was the plan and that is what it did. Combs continues:

But once the transnational corporations and their friends in government got WTO ratified, they leaped into action to consolidate their positions. By 1996 the first two pieces were in place.

The first was Dan Amstutz with the “Freedom to Farm Act of 1996.” Aside from bankrupting so many farmers that Congress had to step in, the act dismantled the United States food reserve system.  Despite scientific studies from Cornell showing bio-fuels use from 29 to 57% more fossil fuel than they replace, laws were passed mandating escalating use of bio-fuels and an ongoing artificial grain shortage was created. …

The second action taken in 1996 was the adoption of the international HACCP rules.  [Read “History, HACCP, and the Food Safety Con Job“]

HACCP replaces the old US government’s “hands on, in your face” type inspection.  Now the corporations are doing the testing and the government inspects corporate paperwork instead of product.  [For a powerful article on how Clinton promoted “science-based food safety” which undermined actual food safety, US sovereignty and turned power over the multinational corporations, read “The beginnings of deregulation, and how feces became an approved part of the American diet“]  Since corporations are now the inspectors, is it any wonder that in July 2003, after the Con-agri E. coli recall, GAP [Government Accountability Project] released a major report titled “Shielding the Giant: USDA’s ‘Don’t Look, Don’t Know’ Policy for Beef Inspection“?  …

The Joint Communication from the African Group said the WTO patent agreements (TRIPS) “could damage the livelihoods of 1.4 billion farmers worldwide and undermine food sovereignty and food security.”

With the passage of the bogus “food safety” bills here, [like S 510] the transnational Agri-corporations will be handed the final weapon needed to drive out independent farmers and even home gardeners. The bills allow “the Administrator” to confiscate farmland, conduct surveillance and warrantless entry on anyone “holding food” (that’s everyone) with no judicial review over even the appropriateness and validity of punishments for as yet unstated “crimes.”

The US was blindsided by strike one – the utter loss of our industry – and then by strike two – the astronomical theft of our economy.  But in seeing both now, it becomes evident that the bankers and corporations are breaking down the country and removing national sovereignty in every way possible (Cap and Trade, for instance, would set up international control over industry here).

Without seeing the scope and predation of strike one and strike two, it might be impossible to conceive that corporations would move to take utter control of food here, get rid of farmers, crush all local food production, outsource food to the greatest degree possible, and undermine the rule of law itself.  But the takeover of food is the Kissinger plan – control food, control people – and that is step three.  Prices can be set at any level corporations decide, supplies limited at will, and any protests in any cities could lead to cut off of food supplies (and S 510 includes just such martial law provisions).  It is the ultimate political destabilizing tool.

Yet with a local food economy, the entire country would slowly come back.

Strike one:  We can live without jobs.  Strike two:  We can live without money.  Strike three:  We are out.  No country can live without food.

S 510 must be shredded.

2 responses to “America at Bat: NAFTA, Bailouts, and now the Food Supply

  1. Your post is so comprehensive that it will require a second read from me, but basically what I read is so very true and frightening. Twenty years ago someone was complaining about life in the US. I believe I thought- love it or leave it. Now, sadly I feel much like this disgruntled American. America is no longer the land of the free. It is the land of corporate greed which has even invaded the lives of our poor farm animals. CAFOs are a cruel scourge and these corporate heads are infiltrating everywhere they can. They managed to hoodwink the people of Ohio into passing a bill which would give them almost complete control of the livestock board which will be actually written into the constitution. I have so little respect for people who don’t do their homework and that includes the Bishops of Ohio who supported it. In an editorial they did mention that there were real concerns and that hopefully the animal rights organizations would address them. Sadly, they needed the churches help and did not get it to ensure protection for our farm animals.

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