Food Production

by JASON | 8:05 AM in |


WASHINGTON, -- Large plastic pallets used to ship, cool and store produce contain decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca), a flame retardant chemical and known neurotoxin that may leach onto the fruits and vegetables inside.

In a letter sent today, Richard Wiles, senior Vice President and for Policy and Communications of Environmental Working Group (EWG), urged Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration, to order the food industry to stop using plastic pallets made with Deca.

Wiles pointed out that significant levels of Deca could accumulate during the standard food industry practice of “hydro-cooling” produce by submerging stacked pallets filled with fruits or vegetables in water or by dripping water over the pallets. As the water is recycled, its Deca concentration intensifies and leaves Deca residues on the produce.

Citing concerns that this practice could lead to Deca contamination of food, on April 29, 2009 Dr. Elizabeth Sánchez of the FDA’S Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition advised a Washington, D.C.-area consulting firm that Deca is “not authorized” as a component of plastic pallets used in the hydro-cooling produce. She said that FDA required pre-market approval for the chemical “to be used in contact with food.”

According to statements by iGPS , the shipping industry’s largest plastic pallet supplier, plastic pallets are now being used by General Mills, Borders Melon Company, PepsiCo, Cott, Okray Family Farmsand Martoni Farm. The company said that Dole Foods and Kraft Foods are conducting trials of plastic pallets. If the iGPS statements are accurate, the food industry’s ongoing transition from wooden to plastic pallets raises the threat of Deca food contamination.

“This is yet another example of our tattered food and chemical safety net,” Wiles said in a separate statement. “Highly toxic chemicals creep into the food supply while no one in government is paying any attention.”

According to studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and academic scientists, Deca, like other flame-retardants, can disrupt brain and reproductive system development.

The EPA website says that some research on Deca has yielded "suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential." It cites studies showing increased incidence of four different cancers and non-cancerous tumors in rats and mice.

Other research cited by EPA has found that activity levels and behavior of mice exposed to Deca for a single day undergo notable changes associated with neurotoxicity. EPA says that “the neurotoxic effect of neonatal decaBDE exposure was persistent and also worsened with age.”

“Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, but contaminated produce pallets could cause millions of men, women and children to consume harmful levels of a chemical neurotoxin,” Wiles said. “A toxic chemical designed to suppress fire should not be allowed to taint the food we eat.”

Environmental Working Group (EWG) is writing to request an immediate halt to the use by the food industry of plastic pallets made with the neurotoxic flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca). Based on an EWG review of publicly available information it appears likely that Deca treated pallets are being used in ways that could contaminate food with Deca without the necessary pre-market approval. Food contaminated with Deca used in plastic pallets without pre-market approval could be deemed adulterated under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, Sec. 402 (21 USC 342).

Deca is a neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen that persists in the environment and accumulates in human tissue. Millions of plastic pallets, each containing 3.4 pounds of Deca (according to industry estimates) are currently in use. These contaminated pallets could introduce millions of pounds of toxic fire retardant into the environment each year.

According to a series of public statements by the shipping industry’s largest plastic pallet user, iGPS, plastic pallets are now being used by General Mills, Borders Melon Company, PepsiCo, Cott, Okray Family Farms, and Martoni Farms, with trials up and running at Dole Foods and Kraft. This widespread use, if true, creates a significant opportunity for food contamination with Deca.

It is standard practice in the food industry to “hydro-cool” produce by submerging food stacked on pallets in water or by dripping water over stacked pallets containing produce. Preliminary studies strongly suggest that Deca leaches from pallets into the cooling water. Because water is recycled numerous times during the hydro-cooling process, considerable levels of Deca residue could be left on hydro-cooled produce.

In an April 29, 2009 letter, Dr. Elizabeth Sánchez Furukawa of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made clear that plastic pallets containing Deca were “not authorized” for use in hydro-cooling, given the potential health risks and the likelihood that the chemical would come in contact with food. Furukawa wrote that “in order for it (Deca) to be used in contact with food under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, it must have pre-market approval.”

Public health authorities in Maine and Washington have restricted Deca, and legislators in 13 states have proposed Deca bans this year.

In addition, Deca can break down into related chemicals – Penta and Octa bromodiphenyl ether – whose production and importation is banned in the United States and Europe.

There are an estimated 4 million Deca-treated plastic pallets in use today, with a significant portion used in the food industry. In September 2008, iGPS, a major plastic pallet shipping company, announced an agreement with Netherlands-based Schoeller Arca Systems to buy 30 million Deca treated plastic pallets over the next five years.


The numbers for this year’s wheat output are horrible.

1) Romania = output wheat down -30%

2) Ukraine = output wheat down -27%

3) Hungary = output wheat down -28.5%

4) Czech = output wheat down -20%

5) Bulgaria = output wheat down -30%

6) Poland = output wheat down -10%

7) Spain = output wheat down -42%

8) Australia = output down -10-35%

9) Argentina = output down -34%

10) China = output down -20% or more

11) US = output down -20% or more

12) Canada = output down -12%

13) Russia = output wheat down -21.5%

Conclusion: Nothing has changed. Estimates for agricultural production are being continuously downgraded every month. Droughts, under planting, and lack of credit have devastated global agricultural output. The world is still facing food shortages in 2009.

There is really scary idea. What if China’s 60 million tons of wheat reserves don't actually exists?

1) The Chinese wheat crop is the single largest wheat crop in the world, roughly equal to the entire US and Russian wheat crops put together.

2) A serious crop failure in China would have major global implications, if China’s wheat reserve don’t actually exist.

3) Considering it (theoretically) has an amount of wheat roughly equal to the anticipated entire US 2009 production in state reserves, the Chinese government is making an extreme effort to save its crops (spending $12.69 billion in drought-hit areas).

4) There was a huge scandal in China not that long ago when it was discovered that storekeepers were getting paid by the government to store grain that wasn't actually there.

5) China’s 60mmt wheat reserves could be a giant Madoff-style grain storage scheme.

6) China imported wheat last month.

Conclusion: If this is even remotely true, 2009 is going to be a really interesting year.

WASHINGTON - Larry Matlack, President of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), has raised concerns over the issue of U.S. grain reserves after it was announced that the sale of 18.37 million bushels of wheat from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.

“According to the May 1, 2008 CCC inventory report there are only 24.1 million bushels of wheat in inventory, so after this sale there will be only 2.7 million bushels of wheat left the entire CCC inventory,” warned Matlack. “Our concern is not that we are using the remainder of our strategic grain reserves for humanitarian relief. AAM fully supports the action and all humanitarian food relief. Our concern is that the U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve. The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 2.7 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make 1⁄2 of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America.”

Currently there are ZERO wheat reserves (CCC Inventory) in the US....

As if farmers didn’t already have enough problems, now Kansas custom cutters are saying they may not come into Oklahoma or Texas because of poor wheat conditions.

Drought and freeze have damaged the wheat crops in both states to the point many cutters are making the decision to cut their losses. Officials estimate Oklahoma’s crops will be about half of its normal yield.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma’s wheat crop is estimated to total 80.5 million bushels, less than half the 166.5 million bushels harvested last year.

Russia will harvest 90 MMT of grain in 2009, according to the Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Elena Skrynnik.

That's a reduction of 16.7% on last year's 108.1 MMT.

Russian exports of grains in the current 2008/09 MY will total a record of about 20 MMT, including 1 MMT of maize, she added.

Russia's previous grain exports record was reached in the 2002-2003 agricultural year when the country exported 15.8 MMT of grain. Last year, Russia exported 13.6 MMT of grain.

Spring grains have so far been planted on 27.5 million hectares, or 88% of the planned area, said the Ministry. That's 2 million hectares lower than in 2008.

After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world

To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.

Some observers are anticipating “competitive currency devaluations” in addition to deflation for 2009 (nations devalue their currencies to help their export sector). The coming global food shortage makes this highly unlikely. Depreciating their currency in the current environment will produce the unwanted consequence of boosting exports—of food. Even with export restrictions like those in China, currency depreciation would cause the outflow of significant quantities of grain via the black market.

Instead of “competitive currency devaluations”, spiking food prices will likely cause competitive currency appreciation in 2009. Foreign exchange reserves exist for just this type of emergency . Central banks around the world will lower domestic food prices by either directly selling off their reserves to appreciate their currencies or by using them to purchase grain on the world market.

Appreciating a currency is the fastest way to control food inflation. A more valuable currency allows a nation to monopolize more global resources (ie: the overvalued dollar allows the US to consume 25% of the world's oil despite having only 4% of the world's population). If China were to selloff its US reserves, its enormous population would start sucking up the world's food supply like the US has been doing with oil.

On the flip side, when a nation appreciates its currency and starts consuming more of the world's resources, it leaves less for everyone else. So when china appreciates the yuan, food shortages worldwide will increase and prices everywhere else will jump upwards. As there is nothing that breeds social unrest like soaring food prices, nations around the world, from Russia, to the EU, to Saudi Arabia, to India, will sell off their foreign reserves to appreciate their currencies and reduce the cost of food imports. In response to this, China will sell even more of its reserves and so on. That is competitive currency appreciation.

When faced with competitive currency appreciation, you do NOT want to be the world's reserve currency. The dollar is likely to do very poorly as central banks liquidate trillions in US holdings to buy food and appreciate their currencies.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Argentine Wheat Plantings In A Stunningly Bad Way
If ever you needed some news to proof that tonight's losses on CBOT were overdone then this surely has to be it.

The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said in it's weekly crop report Wednesday that Argentine farmers will now only plant 3.2 million hectares of wheat in 2009.

To try and attempt to put that into perspective, get a grip on this:

That is half a million hectares less than they were forecasting just a week ago, and the figure then was the lowest on record.

This number is now almost half the area planted with wheat just two years ago.

The revised acreage now amounts to a 30.4% decrease on what was planted last year.

If you want any worse you can have it:

Soil moisture profiles are so poor that the final planted area could fall further the Exchange say. Well, if it can drop half a million hectares in a week then anything can happen.

Not only that, but the area planted so far amounts to just 420,000 hectares, slightly more than half of what was planted at this time last year, and little more than a third of what was seeded in 2007 at this time.

As well as the severe drought, which has now lasted almost eighteen months, lack of credit and political concerns are also behind the dramatic fall in plantings the Exchange say.

Food for thought: if Argentina only gets the same yield as last year, then they will be looking at a crop of less than 6 MMT in 2009. That's 10 MMT below their output just two years ago, and well below their domestic requirements, turning them from fifth largest exporter in the world to net importer in just two years!

What’s with the secret squirrel business? Some of America’s billionaires (now, what would it be like to be a billionaire!) have been meeting secretly. They are not plotting a secret new world government. They have been meeting to discuss how their combined humongous wealth could be used to curb global population and improve health and education. I’m all for the latter, not so sure I like the sound of rich dudes thinking they have the right or power to control population numbers. Smacks of that dark bit of history – eugenics – and we know what the Nazis did with eugenics.

So the likes of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, George Soros, David Rockefeller Jr, Ted Turner and Michael Bloomberg (is he a billionaire?) are known as the Good Club. They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist, on May 5 in Manhattan, US and even some aides didn’t know the real purpose of the meeting, being told their boss was off to a security briefing (Oprah goes to security briefings?). I guess over some top notch champagne and caviar they had a friendly chat and at some point Bill Gates dropped the clanger – that he wants to cap the world’s population at 8.3 billion people. So whilst these “philanthropists” will no doubt throw millions at schools and better health care, I’m wondering how they’re thinking of “curbing the population”. And I’m sure that Ted Turner would have trumped Gates by outlining his plans – bringing the world’s population down to two billion through a global voluntary one-child policy (guess his plans wouldn’t run to himself as he has five kids). Perhaps they even discussed Henry Kissinger’s secret 1974 “food control genocide” plan (a covert plan to reduce population growth through birth control, war and famine).

Possibly, Gates even mentioned that his dad, William H Gates Sr is a board member of Planned Parenthood and a quick search of the American Eugenics Society Records shows Bill’s dad crops up in their records. And no doubt David Rockfellers Jr confessed that his own dad, John D. Rockefeller, bankrolled the eugenics programme in Nazi Germany through the Kaiser Wilhelm institute.

We know the planet cannot sustain a projected world population of 9 billion by 2050. And I’m sure the Good Club discussed many initiatives around health and education that would benefit Third World countries but when you delve into the backgrounds of some of the gathered few and note the link to eugenics, a feeling of uneasiness occurs. The eugenics movement has never really gone away; it’s simply moved into a new era and has converged with concerns over the sustainability of our planet and global population. Some interesting quotes:

* “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal”. Ted Turner, CNN founder & UN supporter – quoted in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, June 1996

* “Even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically & psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable”. Sir Julian Huxley, first director general of UNESCO (1946-1948)

* “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels”. Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund – quoted in “Are You Ready For Our New Age Future?” Insiders Report, American Policy Center, December 1995

* “In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it”. Jacques Cousteau

* “The world has a cancer and that cancer is man”. Merton Lambert, former spokesman for the Rockefeller Foundation.

* “…The first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size”. Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb. pp 130-131.

There is even a suggestion that the Human Genome Programme is eugenics in disguise – that the genetic code can be altered to produce designer babies and that ultimately our world will consist of GenRich and GenPoor (those who can afford to have their DNA tinkered with and those who can’t – the latter being referred to as naturals or God children and who may form a future class of lowly-paid service workers or labourers. This of course was depicted in the movie Gattaca).

This secret billionaire club business makes me a tad nervous, with their talk of trying to shrink the world. As though they, due to their humongous combined wealth, believe they have some sort of moral imperative to decide the world’s population numbers. Creepy. It’s like the recent Australian Government announcement that should swine flu hit us, then half the population (10 million) will be inoculated – which half would that be? Who makes the decision as to who gets the jab and who doesn’t and on what basis?

SOME of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education.

The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.

Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.

These members, along with Gates, have given away more than £45 billion since 1996 to causes ranging from health programmes in developing countries to ghetto schools nearer to home.

They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5. The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at “security briefings”.

Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, said the summit was unprecedented. “We only learnt about it afterwards, by accident. Normally these people are happy to talk good causes, but this is different – maybe because they don’t want to be seen as a global cabal,” he said.

Some details were emerging this weekend, however. The billionaires were each given 15 minutes to present their favourite cause. Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an “umbrella cause” that could harness their interests.

The issues debated included reforming the supervision of overseas aid spending to setting up rural schools and water systems in developing countries. Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority.

This could result in a challenge to some Third World politicians who believe contraception and female education weaken traditional values.

Gates, 53, who is giving away most of his fortune, argued that healthier families, freed from malaria and extreme poverty, would change their habits and have fewer children within half a generation.

At a conference in Long Beach, California, last February, he had made similar points. “Official projections say the world’s population will peak at 9.3 billion [up from 6.6 billion today] but with charitable initiatives, such as better reproductive healthcare, we think we can cap that at 8.3 billion,” Gates said then.

Patricia Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gives more than £2 billion a year to good causes, attended the Rockefeller summit. She said the billionaires met to “discuss how to increase giving” and they intended to “continue the dialogue” over the next few months.

Another guest said there was “nothing as crude as a vote” but a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat.

“This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers,” said the guest. “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.”

Why all the secrecy? “They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government,” he said.

Kissinger's 1974 Plan for
Food Control Genocide

by Joseph Brewda

On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, "National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests." The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 "to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population." The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since "a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production." The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, "might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West," especially effecting "military strength and security."

NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 "key countries" in which the United States had a "special political and strategic interest": India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

For example, Nigeria: "Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria's population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa." Or Brazil: "Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically." The study warned of a "growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the world scene over the next 25 years."
Food as a weapon

There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs. He also warned that "population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably before they begin to decline," even if such measures were adopted.

A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targetted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies: "There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion."

"Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now," the document continued, adding, "Would food be considered an instrument of national power? ... Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can't/won't control their population growth?"

Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance on birth control programs unnecessary. "Rapid population growth and lagging food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter of century and beyond," he reported.

The cause of that coming food deficit was not natural, however, but was a result of western financial policy: "Capital investments for irrigation and infrastucture and the organization requirements for continuous improvements in agricultural yields may be beyond the financial and administrative capacity of many LDCs. For some of the areas under heaviest population pressure, there is little or no prospect for foreign exchange earnings to cover constantly increasingly imports of food."

"It is questionable," Kissinger gloated, "whether aid donor countries will be prepared to provide the sort of massive food aid called for by the import projections on a long-term continuing basis." Consequently, "large-scale famine of a kind not experienced for several decades—a kind the world thought had been permanently banished," was foreseeable—famine, which has indeed come to pass.

For more on Kissinger see my post...

One thing Microsoft founder Bill Gates can’t be accused of is sloth. He was already programming at 14, founded Microsoft at age 20 while still a student at Harvard. By 1995 he had been listed by Forbes as the world’s richest man from being the largest shareholder in his Microsoft, a company which his relentless drive built into a de facto monopoly in software systems for personal computers.

In 2006 when most people in such a situation might think of retiring to a quiet Pacific island, Bill Gates decided to devote his energies to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest ‘transparent’ private foundation as it says, with a whopping $34.6 billion endowment and a legal necessity to spend $1.5 billion a year on charitable projects around the world to maintain its tax free charitable status. A gift from friend and business associate, mega-investor Warren Buffett in 2006, of some $30 billion worth of shares in Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway put the Gates’ foundation into the league where it spends almost the amount of the entire annual budget of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

So when Bill Gates decides through the Gates Foundation to invest some $30 million of their hard earned money in a project, it is worth looking at.

No project is more interesting at the moment than a curious project in one of the world’s most remote spots, Svalbard. Bill Gates is investing millions in a seed bank on the Barents Sea near the Arctic Ocean, some 1,100 kilometers from the North Pole. Svalbard is a barren piece of rock claimed by Norway and ceded in 1925 by international treaty (see map).

On this God-forsaken island Bill Gates is investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in what is called the ‘doomsday seed bank.’ Officially the project is named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.

The seed bank is being built inside a mountain on Spitsbergen Island near the small village of Longyearbyen. It’s almost ready for ‘business’ according to their releases. The bank will have dual blast-proof doors with motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick. It will contain up to three million different varieties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future,’ according to the Norwegian government. Seeds will be specially wrapped to exclude moisture. There will be no full-time staff, but the vault's relative inaccessibility will facilitate monitoring any possible human activity.

Did we miss something here? Their press release stated, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future.’ What future do the seed bank’s sponsors foresee, that would threaten the global availability of current seeds, almost all of which are already well protected in designated seed banks around the world?

Anytime Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta get together on a common project, it’s worth digging a bit deeper behind the rocks on Spitsbergen. When we do we find some fascinating things.

The first notable point is who is sponsoring the doomsday seed vault. Here joining the Norwegians are, as noted, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the US agribusiness giant DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred, one of the world’s largest owners of patented genetically-modified (GMO) plant seeds and related agrichemicals; Syngenta, the Swiss-based major GMO seed and agrichemicals company through its Syngenta Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation, the private group who created the “gene revolution with over $100 million of seed money since the 1970’s; CGIAR, the global network created by the Rockefeller Foundation to promote its ideal of genetic purity through agriculture change.

CGIAR and ‘The Project’

As I detailled in the book, Seeds of Destruction, in 1960 the Rockefeller Foundation, John D. Rockefeller III’s Agriculture Development Council and the Ford Foundation joined forces to create the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, the Philippines.1 By 1971, the Rockefeller Foundation’s IRRI, along with their Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and two other Rockefeller and Ford Foundation-created international research centers, the IITA for tropical agriculture, Nigeria, and IRRI for rice, Philippines, combined to form a global Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR).

CGIAR was shaped at a series of private conferences held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s conference center in Bellagio, Italy. Key participants at the Bellagio talks were the Rockefeller Foundation’s George Harrar, Ford Foundation’s Forrest Hill, Robert McNamara of the World Bank and Maurice Strong, the Rockefeller family’s international environmental organizer, who, as a Rockefeller Foundation Trustee, organized the UN Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972. It was part of the foundation’s decades long focus to turn science to the service of eugenics, a hideous version of racial purity, what has been called The Project.

To ensure maximum impact, CGIAR drew in the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Development Program and the World Bank. Thus, through a carefully-planned leverage of its initial funds, the Rockefeller Foundation by the beginning of the 1970’s was in a position to shape global agriculture policy. And shape it did.

Financed by generous Rockefeller and Ford Foundation study grants, CGIAR saw to it that leading Third World agriculture scientists and agronomists were brought to the US to ‘master’ the concepts of modern agribusiness production, in order to carry it back to their homeland. In the process they created an invaluable network of influence for US agribusiness promotion in those countries, most especially promotion of the GMO ‘Gene Revolution’ in developing countries, all in the name of science and efficient, free market agriculture.

Genetically engineering a master race?

Now the Svalbard Seed Bank begins to become interesting. But it gets better. ‘The Project’ I referred to is the project of the Rockefeller Foundation and powerful financial interests since the 1920’s to use eugenics, later renamed genetics, to justify creation of a genetically-engineered Master Race. Hitler and the Nazis called it the Ayran Master Race.

The eugenics of Hitler were financed to a major extent by the same Rockefeller Foundation which today is building a doomsday seed vault to preserve samples of every seed on our planet. Now this is getting really intriguing. The same Rockefeller Foundation created the pseudo-science discipline of molecular biology in their relentless pursuit of reducing human life down to the ‘defining gene sequence’ which, they hoped, could then be modified in order to change human traits at will. Hitler’s eugenics scientists, many of whom were quietly brought to the United States after the War to continue their biological eugenics research, laid much of the groundwork of genetic engineering of various life forms, much of it supported openly until well into the Third Reich by Rockefeller Foundation generous grants.2

The same Rockefeller Foundation created the so-called Green Revolution, out of a trip to Mexico in 1946 by Nelson Rockefeller and former New Deal Secretary of Agriculture and founder of the Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Company, Henry Wallace.

The Green Revolution purported to solve the world hunger problem to a major degree in Mexico, India and other select countries where Rockefeller worked. Rockefeller Foundation agronomist, Norman Borlaug, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, hardly something to boast about with the likes of Henry Kissinger sharing the same.

In reality, as it years later emerged, the Green Revolution was a brilliant Rockefeller family scheme to develop a globalized agribusiness which they then could monopolize just as they had done in the world oil industry beginning a half century before. As Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population.’

Agribusiness and the Rockefeller Green Revolution went hand-in-hand. They were part of a grand strategy which included Rockefeller Foundation financing of research for the development of genetic engineering of plants and animals a few years later.

John H. Davis had been Assistant Agriculture Secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower in the early 1950’s. He left Washington in 1955 and went to the Harvard Graduate School of Business, an unusual place for an agriculture expert in those days. He had a clear strategy. In 1956, Davis wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in which he declared that “the only way to solve the so-called farm problem once and for all, and avoid cumbersome government programs, is to progress from agriculture to agribusiness.” He knew precisely what he had in mind, though few others had a clue back then--- a revolution in agriculture production that would concentrate control of the food chain in corporate multinational hands, away from the traditional family farmer.3

A crucial aspect driving the interest of the Rockefeller Foundation and US agribusiness companies was the fact that the Green Revolution was based on proliferation of new hybrid seeds in developing markets. One vital aspect of hybrid seeds was their lack of reproductive capacity. Hybrids had a built in protection against multiplication. Unlike normal open pollinated species whose seed gave yields similar to its parents, the yield of the seed borne by hybrid plants was significantly lower than that of the first generation.

That declining yield characteristic of hybrids meant farmers must normally buy seed every year in order to obtain high yields. Moreover, the lower yield of the second generation eliminated the trade in seed that was often done by seed producers without the breeder’s authorization. It prevented the redistribution of the commercial crop seed by middlemen. If the large multinational seed

companies were able to control the parental seed lines in house, no competitor or farmer would be able to produce the hybrid. The global concentration of hybrid seed patents into a handful of giant seed companies, led by DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto’s Dekalb laid the ground for the later GMO seed revolution.4

In effect, the introduction of modern American agricultural technology, chemical fertilizers and commercial hybrid seeds all made local farmers in developing countries, particularly the larger more established ones, dependent on foreign, mostly US agribusiness and petro-chemical company inputs. It was a first step in what was to be a decades-long, carefully planned process.

Under the Green Revolution Agribusiness was making major inroads into markets which were previously of limited access to US exporters. The trend was later dubbed “market-oriented agriculture.” In reality it was agribusiness-controlled agriculture.

Through the Green Revolution, the Rockefeller Foundation and later Ford Foundation worked hand-in-hand shaping and supporting the foreign policy goals of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and of the CIA.

One major effect of the Green Revolution was to depopulate the countryside of peasants who were forced to flee into shantytown slums around the cities in desperate search for work. That was no accident; it was part of the plan to create cheap labor pools for forthcoming US multinational manufactures, the ‘globalization’ of recent years.

When the self-promotion around the Green Revolution died down, the results were quite different from what had been promised. Problems had arisen from indiscriminate use of the new chemical pesticides, often with serious health consequences. The mono-culture cultivation of new hybrid seed varieties decreased soil fertility and yields over time. The first results were impressive: double or even triple yields for some crops such as wheat and later corn in Mexico. That soon faded.

The Green Revolution was typically accompanied by large irrigation projects which often included World Bank loans to construct huge new dams, and flood previously settled areas and fertile farmland in the process. Also, super-wheat produced greater yields by saturating the soil with huge amounts of fertilizer per acre, the fertilizer being the product of nitrates and petroleum, commodities controlled by the Rockefeller-dominated Seven Sisters major oil companies.

Huge quantities of herbicides and pesticides were also used, creating additional markets for the oil and chemical giants. As one analyst put it, in effect, the Green Revolution was merely a chemical revolution. At no point could developing nations pay for the huge amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They would get the credit courtesy of the World Bank and special loans by Chase Bank and other large New York banks, backed by US Government guarantees.

Applied in a large number of developing countries, those loans went mostly to the large landowners. For the smaller peasants the situation worked differently. Small peasant farmers could not afford the chemical and other modern inputs and had to borrow money.

Initially various government programs tried to provide some loans to farmers so that they could purchase seeds and fertilizers. Farmers who could not participate in this kind of program had to borrow from the private sector. Because of the exorbitant interest rates for informal loans, many small farmers did not even get the benefits of the initial higher yields. After harvest, they had to sell most if not all of their produce to pay off loans and interest. They became dependent on money-lenders and traders and often lost their land. Even with soft loans from government agencies, growing subsistence crops gave way to the production of cash crops.5

Since decades the same interests including the Rockefeller Foundation which backed the initial Green Revolution, have worked to promote a second ‘Gene Revolution’ as Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway termed it several years ago, the spread of industrial agriculture and commercial inputs including GMO patented seeds.

Gates, Rockefeller and a Green Revolution in Africa

With the true background of the 1950’s Rockefeller Foundation Green Revolution clear in mind, it becomes especially curious that the same Rockefeller Foundation along with the Gates Foundation which are now investing millions of dollars in preserving every seed against a possible “doomsday” scenario are also investing millions in a project called The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

AGRA, as it calls itself, is an alliance again with the same Rockefeller Foundation which created the “Gene Revolution.” A look at the AGRA Board of Directors confirms this.

It includes none other than former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as chairman. In his acceptance speech in a World Economic Forum event in Cape Town South Africa in June 2007, Kofi Annan stated, ‘I accept this challenge with gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign.’

In addition the AGRA board numbers a South African, Strive Masiyiwa who is a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. It includes Sylvia M. Mathews of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mamphela Ramphele, former Managing Director of the World Bank (2000 – 2006); Rajiv J. Shah of the Gates Foundation; Nadya K. Shmavonian of the Rockefeller Foundation; Roy Steiner of the Gates Foundation. In addition, an Alliance for AGRA includes Gary Toenniessen the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.

To fill out the lineup, the Programmes for AGRA includes Peter Matlon, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation; Joseph De Vries, Director of the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems and Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation. Like the old failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, the new Africa Green Revolution is clearly a high priority of the Rockefeller Foundation.

While to date they are keeping a low profile, Monsanto and the major GMO agribusiness giants are believed at the heart of using Kofi Annan’s AGRA to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the deceptive label, ‘bio-technology,’ the new euphemism for genetically engineered patented seeds. To date South Africa is the only African country permitting legal planting of GMO crops. In 2003 Burkina Faso authorized GMO trials. In 2005 Kofi Annan’s Ghana drafted bio-safety legislation and key officials expressed their intentions to pursue research into GMO crops.

Africa is the next target in the US-government campaign to spread GMO worldwide. Its rich soils make it an ideal candidate. Not surprisingly many African governments suspect the worst from the GMO sponsors as a multitude of genetic engineering and biosafety projects have been initiated in Africa, with the aim of introducing GMOs into Africa’s agricultural systems. These include sponsorships offered by the US government to train African scientists in genetic engineering in the US, biosafety projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank; GMO research involving African indigenous food crops.

The Rockefeller Foundation has been working for years to promote, largely without success, projects to introduce GMOs into the fields of Africa. They have backed research that supports the applicability of GMO cotton in the Makhathini Flats in South Africa.

Monsanto, who has a strong foothold in South Africa’s seed industry, both GMO and hybrid, has conceived of an ingenious smallholders’ programme known as the ‘Seeds of Hope’ Campaign, which is introducing a green revolution package to small scale poor farmers, followed, of course, by Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. 6

Syngenta AG of Switzerland, one of the ‘Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse’ is pouring millions of dollars into a new greenhouse facility in Nairobi, to develop GMO insect resistant maize. Syngenta is a part of CGIAR as well.7

Move on to Svalbard

Now is it simply philosophical sloppiness? What leads the Gates and Rockefeller foundations to at one and the same time to back proliferation of patented and soon-to-be Terminator patented seeds across Africa, a process which, as it has in every other place on earth, destroys the plant seed varieties as monoculture industrialized agribusiness is introduced? At the same time they invest tens of millions of dollars to preserve every seed variety known in a bomb-proof doomsday vault near the remote Arctic Circle ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future’ to restate their official release?

It is no accident that the Rockefeller and Gates foundations are teaming up to push a GMO-style Green Revolution in Africa at the same time they are quietly financing the ‘doomsday seed vault’ on Svalbard. The GMO agribusiness giants are up to their ears in the Svalbard project.

Indeed, the entire Svalbard enterprise and the people involved call up the worst catastrophe images of the Michael Crichton bestseller, Andromeda Strain, a sci-fi thriller where a deadly disease of extraterrestrial origin causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood threatening the entire human species. In Svalbard, the future world’s most secure seed repository will be guarded by the policemen of the GMO Green Revolution--the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, Syngenta, DuPont and CGIAR.

The Svalbard project will be run by an organization called the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT). Who are they to hold such an awesome trust over the planet’s entire seed varieties? The GCDT was founded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Bioversity International (formerly the International Plant Genetic Research Institute), an offshoot of the CGIAR.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust is based in Rome. Its Board is chaired by Margaret Catley-Carlson a Canadian also on the advisory board of Group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, one of the world’s largest private water companies. Catley-Carlson was also president until 1998 of the New York-based Population Council, John D. Rockefeller’s population reduction organization, set up in 1952 to advance the Rockefeller family’s eugenics program under the cover of promoting “family planning,” birth control devices, sterilization and “population control” in developing countries.

Other GCDT board members include former Bank of America executive presently head of the Hollywood DreamWorks Animation, Lewis Coleman. Coleman is also the lead Board Director of Northrup Grumman Corporation, one of America’s largest military industry Pentagon contractors.

Jorio Dauster (Brazil) is also Board Chairman of Brasil Ecodiesel. He is a former Ambassador of Brazil to the European Union, and Chief Negotiator of Brazil’s foreign debt for the Ministry of Finance. Dauster has also served as President of the Brazilian Coffee Institute and as Coordinator of the Project for the Modernization of Brazil’s Patent System, which involves legalizing patents on seeds which are genetically modified, something until recently forbidden by Brazil’s laws.

Cary Fowler is the Trust’s Executive Director. Fowler was Professor and Director of Research in the Department for International Environment & Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He was also a Senior Advisor to the Director General of Bioversity International. There he represented the Future Harvest Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. In the 1990s, he headed the International Program on Plant Genetic Resources at the FAO. He drafted and supervised negotiations of FAO’s Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by 150 countries in 1996. He is a past-member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the US and the Board of Trustees of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, another Rockefeller Foundation and CGIAR project.

GCDT board member Dr. Mangala Rai of India is the Secretary of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), and Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). He is also a Board Member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which promoted the world’s first major GMO experiment, the much-hyped ‘Golden Rice’ which proved a failure. Rai has served as Board Member for CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), and a Member of the Executive Council of the CGIAR.

Global Crop Diversity Trust Donors or financial angels include as well, in the words of the Humphrey Bogart Casablanca classic, ‘all the usual suspects.’ As well as the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, the Donors include GMO giants DuPont-Pioneer Hi-Bred, Syngenta of Basle Switzerland, CGIAR and the State Department’s energetically pro-GMO agency for development aid, USAID. Indeed it seems we have the GMO and population reduction foxes guarding the hen-house of mankind, the global seed diversity store in Svalbard. 8

Why now Svalbard?

We can legitimately ask why Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation along with the major genetic engineering agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Syngenta, along with CGIAR are building the Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic.

Who uses such a seed bank in the first place? Plant breeders and researchers are the major users of gene banks. Today’s largest plant breeders are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Chemical, the global plant-patenting GMO giants. Since early in 2007 Monsanto holds world patent rights together with the United States Government for plant so-called ‘Terminator’ or Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT). Terminator is an ominous technology by which a patented commercial seed commits ‘suicide’ after one harvest. Control by private seed companies is total. Such control and power over the food chain has never before in the history of mankind existed.

This clever genetically engineered terminator trait forces farmers to return every year to Monsanto or other GMO seed suppliers to get new seeds for rice, soybeans, corn, wheat whatever major crops they need to feed their population. If broadly introduced around the world, it could within perhaps a decade or so make the world’s majority of food producers new feudal serfs in bondage to three or four giant seed companies such as Monsanto or DuPont or Dow Chemical.

That, of course, could also open the door to have those private companies, perhaps under orders from their host government, Washington, deny seeds to one or another developing country whose politics happened to go against Washington’s. Those who say ‘It can’t happen here’ should look more closely at current global events. The mere existence of that concentration of power in three or four private US-based agribusiness giants is grounds for legally banning all GMO crops even were their harvest gains real, which they manifestly are not.

These private companies, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical hardly have an unsullied record in terms of stewardship of human life. They developed and proliferated such innovations as dioxin, PCBs, Agent Orange. They covered up for decades clear evidence of carcinogenic and other severe human health consequences of use of the toxic chemicals. They have buried serious scientific reports that the world’s most widespread herbicide, glyphosate, the essential ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that is tied to purchase of most Monsanto genetically engineered seeds, is toxic when it seeps into drinking water.9 Denmark banned glyphosate in 2003 when it confirmed it has contaminated the country’s groundwater.10

The diversity stored in seed gene banks is the raw material for plant breeding and for a great deal of basic biological research. Several hundred thousand samples are distributed annually for such purposes. The UN’s FAO lists some 1400 seed banks around the world, the largest being held by the United States Government. Other large banks are held by China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany and Canada in descending order of size. In addition, CGIAR operates a chain of seed banks in select centers around the world.

CGIAR, set up in 1972 by the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation to spread their Green Revolution agribusiness model, controls most of the private seed banks from the Philippines to Syria to Kenya. In all these present seed banks hold more than six and a half million seed varieties, almost two million of which are ‘distinct.’ Svalbard’s Doomsday Vault will have a capacity to house four and a half million different seeds.

GMO as a weapon of biowarfare?

Now we come to the heart of the danger and the potential for misuse inherent in the Svalbard project of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller foundation. Can the development of patented seeds for most of the world’s major sustenance crops such as rice, corn, wheat, and feed grains such as soybeans ultimately be used in a horrible form of biological warfare?

The explicit aim of the eugenics lobby funded by wealthy elite families such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman and others since the 1920’s, has embodied what they termed ‘negative eugenics,’ the systematic killing off of undesired bloodlines. Margaret Sanger, a rapid eugenicist, the founder of Planned Parenthood International and an intimate of the Rockefeller family, created something called The Negro Project in 1939, based in Harlem, which as she confided in a letter to a friend, was all about the fact that, as she put it, ‘we want to exterminate the Negro population.’ 11

A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto.

In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus, a sickness arising from such things as stepping on a rusty nail. The vaccine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are presumably equally liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curious anomaly, Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization became suspicious and had vaccine samples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vaccine being spread by the WHO only to women of child-bearing age contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.

It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller’s Population Council, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved in a 20-year-long project begun in 1972 to develop the concealed abortion vaccine with a tetanus carrier for WHO. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault, donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine. 12

Is it a coincidence that these same organizations, from Norway to the Rockefeller Foundation to the World Bank are also involved in the Svalbard seed bank project? According to Prof. Francis Boyle who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by the US Congress, the Pentagon is ‘now gearing up to fight and win biological warfare’ as part of two Bush national strategy directives adopted, he notes, ‘without public knowledge and review’ in 2002. Boyle adds that in 2001-2004 alone the US Federal Government spent $14.5 billion for civilian bio-warfare-related work, a staggering sum.

Rutgers University biologist Richard Ebright estimates that over 300 scientific institutions and some 12,000 individuals in the USA today have access to pathogens suitable for biowarfare. Alone there are 497 US Government NIH grants for research into infectious diseases with biowarfare potential. Of course this is being justified under the rubric of defending against possible terror attack as so much is today.

Many of the US Government dollars spent on biowarfare research involve genetic engineering. MIT biology professor Jonathan King says that the ‘growing bio-terror programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population.’ King adds, ‘while such programs are always called defensive, with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely.’ 13

Time will tell whether, God Forbid, the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Bank of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation is part of another Final Solution, this involving the extinction of the Late, Great Planet Earth.

The World Bank study confirms what we wrote more than a year ago about the madness of bio-fuels. It fits the agenda described in the 1970’s by Henry Kissinger, namely,

‘If you control the food you control the people.’

According to the London Guardian newspaper which has been given a copy of the suppressed report, the World Bank study was completed in April, well before the June Rome Food Summit, but was deliberately suppressed as "embarrassing to the position of the Bush Administration."

The President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, is a former top Bush Administration official. Washington is trying to use a crisis which its bio-fuel subsidies created, since a new Farm bill passed in 2005, to advance the spread of Genetically Manipulated Organisms such as GMO maize, soybeans, rice and other crops patented by Monsanto and other "gene giants."

Their strategy is to use the explosive rise in grain prices worldwide, a rise fuelled by hedge funds and troubled US and European banks and investment funds pouring billions of dollars into speculation that grain prices will continue to soar.

In other words, the food "crisis" is a crisis of speculation in food futures.

The planned EU and USA bio-fuel acreage quotas and the periodic droughts and floods in key growing regions such as the USA Midwest then provide backdrop for speculative price run-ups.

But the main driver is that tens of millions of hectares of prime agriculture land in the world’s two largest food export regions - the USA and the EU - are being permanently removed from food production in order to grow raw material to be burned for vehicle fuel.

It seems the powers-that-be are steering us into a Solylent Green or a 2001: Space Odyssey future where food as we know and enjoy it no longer exists. Gone will be our daily bread, to be replaced with some genetically engineered wafer. Potatoes will be gone too - and rice. And meat. Right now we're in the stage where they are villifying our basic foods and training people to no longer eat them. Next the farmers will no longer grow them.

The Atkins diet that is all the rage is an example of them changing peoples' mindsets and eating habits away from bread and potatoes. The mega-mega fast food outlets like MacDonalds are starting to push hamburgers without the bun. Same price, of course.

Meat is being phased out too, with attacks from various directions - the latest being Mad Cow, which gives them an excuse to destroy cattle and drive ranchers out of business, and Bird Flu, with the destruction of chickens.

This section of Orwell Today will be comprised of stories relating to the vilification and the elimination of food from our diets, toward which WEATHER CONTROL is a major component. ~ Jackie Jura

THE rice harvest has been ravaged by both drought and flooding, with the NSW Riverina expected to deliver just 5 per cent of its normal output.

About 65,000 tonnes are expected to be harvested this year in the nation's rice growing heartland - down from 1.2 million tonnes in a typical year - while trial crops in northeast NSW have been destroyed by heavy rainfall. Mike Hedditch, from the ricegrower-owned company SunRice, said so far 56,000 tonnes of paddy had come in.

"We expect harvest to wrap up with receives of around 65,000 tonnes," he said.

Early forecasts for a 75,000-tonne crop in the Riverina were not realised, after a heatwave in February damaged flowering.

"That is a disappointment to the growers and to us, because we were hoping in another drought-affected year to maximise production through good management and (otherwise) good weather conditions," Mr Hedditch said.

But despite the poor conditions, this year's crop is bigger than last year's, when just 19,300 tonnes were harvested - the smallest crop since the industry began in 1928.,25197,25459210-30417,00.html

In case you missed it that was a 95% reduction...

Winter Wheat: Production is forecast at 1.50 billion bushels, down 20 percent from 2008. Based on May 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 44.2 bushels per acre, 3.0 bushels below last year. Expected grain area totals 34.0 million acres, down 14 percent from last year. Hard Red Winter (HRW) harvested acreage is down about 9 percent from the previous year. Soft Red Winter (SRW) harvested acreage is estimated to be down 30 percent from last year.

In the United States, when people say “eat your veggies,” they are essentially urging you to take a bite out of California—or, more to the point, take a a big swig of its increasingly scarce water supply.

How much do we rely on California for fruits and veg? With its rich soils, variety of microclimates, long growing season, and huge geographical footprint, California should be a major ag producer—certainly a regional food-production hub for the southwest. But its sheer dominance of U.S. fruit and veg production (numbers from the the California Department of Food and Agriculture (PDF)) is dizzying.

The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes consumed in the U.S., half of asparagus , a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, 86 percent of cauliflower, 93 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market corned: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks out a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S. - and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and these fruits store relatively well. Ninety percent of avaocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches? Eighty-six percent of fresh strawberries?

We in the other 49 states can do better. And will probably have to, soon. California’s most ag-centric counties, mostly clustered in the fertile Central Valley, are also its most heavily irrigated. And the Central Valley is locked in a three-year drought that shows no sign of easing up. From NPR:

California is in its third year of drought, and many farmers in the state’s crop-rich Central Valley are looking at dusty fields, or worse, are cutting down their orchards before the trees die.

Hardest hit is Westlands, the biggest irrigated region in the country, where much of the nation’s fruit, nuts and produce come from. This year, farmers have been told they are getting only a small fraction of the water they need.

Across northern California, livestock ranchers are being forced into making difficult choices due to the shortage of forage on ranchlands caused by three years of drought.

Some ranchers can't afford the extra cost of hay and are selling their cattle a year younger than they otherwise would, according to Kevin Devine, a spokesman for Shasta Livestock Auction Yard in Cottonwood.

"You can foresee that you're not going to have feed, so you cull," Devine said.

"It's the first time in 30 years we've had to feed hay in the winter months," said Prather Ranch manager Jim Rickert, who estimated that he spent an additional $30,000 in feed on his 1,500 cows.

Grass on the open range is a cheaper source of feed. But after three years of drought, it's not in abundance.


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