Henry Kissinger once said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people.” It is not a new concept in history. Thomas Jefferson once said that “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
In this century, the biotech industry is pioneering ambitious new concepts on how to take control of food. Big Food and Big Agra are employing a stealth plan to dominate food and its worldwide markets, mirroring that of Big Oil.
The Food Revolution Papers – A Primer on What is in Your Food by Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks will be published by Outskirts Press in September 2011. It is a compilation of blogs and essays chocked full of statistics, food politics, genetically modified foods, factory farms (CAFOs) and exposes on the deceptions and marketing practices of Big Food and Big Agra.
While the concept of a Food Revolution may seem radical or silly to many, there is ample precedent for this concept in American history because this is not the first Food Revolution in America. The first occurred in 1906 as a result of Upton Sinclair’s, seminal book The Jungle, which resulted in the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.
It is a time-honored American tradition to revolt against the oppressive policies of American corporations and the American government through boycotts, petitions, pamphlets and on election day.
On June 16, 2011 at 12:00 Noon EST, 11:00 AM CST and 9:00 AM PST, and every Thursday thereafter, Mannie Barling, Ashley F. Brooks and Simon Barrett will explore the politics of food.
The podcast will continue the traditions of Edward R. Morrow and others who have exposed deceit and corruption in American life. No stone will be left unturned. No Big Food, Big Agra, FDA nor USDA secret will be left hidden from the public. We will name names and take no political prisoners, including lobbyists, politicians, researchers and their smug organizations.
We will expose the dirty little secrets of the industry from the likes of Monsanto, the Corn Refiners Association, Washington lobbyists, politicians to other cohorts of the food industry. This will include fees paid to lobbyists, paid off college professors, self-serving food tests and industry political appointments in the FDA and USDA. If you are bothered by one of our government’s dirty little secrets about food or drugs, call in and tell everyone about it. We welcome and appreciate all callers and all opinions. Don’t be shy.
The show is about politics and money and how it affects the food you eat every day. We will expose every deception we can find from what is missing from the labels on your foods, their contents and the political journey your food takes to market. No fast food chain, food processor or government agency will be safe from exposure.
We will have guests to talk about the politics of food in their states, political contributions, testing of foods, CAFOs, factory farmed meats and why they are all so dangerous to your health. No ingredient on a food label will be safe from our investigative efforts.
We will look at specific brands of foods, analyze their ingredients and discuss all of the hidden ingredients in so-called Clean labels, how sizes are “masked” and how the industry uses dirty little tricks like “modified atmosphere packaging”, ethylene spraying and the use of carcinogenic’s like sodium nitrate in foods.
The American food supply should not be controlled by a few uncaring greedy corporations using their economic and political might to squash their opposition. The financial ability to make campaign contributions and to hire a herd of lobbyists should not be the basis of gaining control over food in a democratic society. There is no greater danger to capitalism than destroying free markets. Control should remain in the hands of the American public in an American democracy.
American freedoms were worth fighting for in the American Revolution and they are worth fighting for now in The Food Revolution of the 21st century. Granted we cannot carry guns or rifles in our quest. But we can equip ourselves with a pen, our voices and all of the benefits of the Internet.
If not, our country will become economic slaves to Monsanto, Cargil, Unilever, JBS and other Big Food and Big Agra companies much the same way Americans are now slaves to Big Oil. Only you can always, walk, ride a bus or take public transportation. But the human race can’t stop eating to survive.
The revolt is growing around the world. In Germany alone, more than 25,000 people attended a rally in opposition to Monsanto’s policies. In Belgium, more than 200 people stormed a field of genetically modified potatoes breaking through a security cordon in a raid that left police and 18 protesters injured. Not everyone in this revolution is acting peacefully, although they should. The number and frequency of anti-GMO rallies and their sizes are increasing worldwide. We will cover them all.
There is litigation in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. The battle is now expanding to the aisles of your local markets over the differences between organic food and genetically modified foods. There is a growing awareness of the dangers of factory farming with laws passed in three states banning the use of animal crates and cages.
But our government continues to sell out its citizens by creating such industry-friendly programs as the new two-year pilot program that will permit Monsanto and other Big Food corporations to conduct its own environmental assessments, or alternately outsource the work to contractors. Another big fox in the FDA and USDA henhouses.
Bill Freese, science policy analyst for the Centre for Food, observed that, “It’s like asking BP to write an assessment of an offshore drilling operation.” Self-regulation and in-house testing of food products has been and will continue to be a disaster because of the inherent self-interest involved. Consumers cannot expect otherwise.
An August 2009 article in Scientific American, states that “Agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers … Only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal.” More than 800 scientists have signed an open letter expressing their concerns about genetically modified crops. They were ignored.
Then there are the weekly food recalls plaguing Americans with Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and other food-bourne illnesses rarely announced to the general public and when announced, it is usually after all of the recalled foods have been sold and used by Americans. We will give recall information and websites where our readers can find this information for themselves.
Over the years, people have repeatedly asked us, “Aren’t the FDA and USDA there to protect us?” The answer is always, “No!” The FDA and USDA operate under the supervision of the executive branch of the government, the President of the United States. The agencies are influenced by the sitting president’s political affiliations and agenda. This means an application of the “spoils system” in which friends and campaign contributors are given jobs as a reward. It is not a merit system. This is one of the primary reasons for so many food recalls – mismanagement and political cronyism.
The industries’ political agendas are advanced by the application of immense pressure brought by their bevy of highly-paid in-house and Capital Hill lobbyists. It is no wonder that the FDA and USDA cannot protect the general public. The agencies support corporate interests on every issue until someone dies and the FDA and USDA are embarrassed. Such were the cases with the egg and Salmonella recalls of 2009 and 2010. It isn’t a pretty picture.
The American public has become so numb to self-interest and “power politics” that they rarely raise a voice in opposition to bills and laws that protect large corporate interests. Raising your voice to demand better food with no chemicals and free-range organic meats is the fuel that drives the current Food Revolution.
We are trying to give The Food Revolution as well as sustainable organic farmers a voice. Only by educating Americans about health and increasing public awareness about how the FDA and USDA are limited in protecting the public can the horrifying increases in cancer, diabetes and other illnesses and diseases be reduced or eliminated.
Only by voting with your checkbook can you affect change. We will offer suggestions on how to vote successfully and how to best achieve goals of forcing the industry to manufacture better and safer foods.
The new Food Revolution Papers podcast will be about truth in advertising, product disclosure, independent testing of food, truth in labeling, permitting independent scientific testing, unmasking deception, publicizing food recalls and protecting the health of all Americans from developing fetuses to the elderly.
You can sit at your desk with your morning coffee or at home in front of your computer and listen to valuable health facts that will help you navigate through the deceptions on market shelves and the smoke and mirrors marketing efforts of food manufacturers who are more concerned with selling their products than the health of Americans.
The information about food recalls, the chemical contents of packaged foods and the manner in which factory farmed meats are harvested is information that will impact your health, the health of your children and their children to follow.
We will also offer information that will help pregnant mothers safeguard the health of their fetuses, protect newborns from synthetic chemicals and children from food additives that contribute to or cause childhood diabetes, obesity, autism and other illnesses.
If Americans ignore this battle, it is likely that many will suffer from illness or disease caused by GMO and processed foods. And, sadly, many may die much younger than they should. In fact, this generation is already dying from increased cancer, diabetes and childhood diseases. We don’t want our listeners to become statistics too.
Much like Jack Webb’s character Joe Friday on Dragnet, it will be the truth and nothing but the truth. Where else can you find the truth about foods, uncensored by the food industry, the FDA or the USDA?
We will be passing out “torches and pitch forks” in the form of information to attack the companies that make genetically modified foods, Frankenfoods such as Franken-salmon and Enviropigs as well as Franken-medicines. It is truly a cause worth fighting for. Listen to our show and join The Food Revolution for the sake of your family, children and future grandchildren.
We look forward to speaking to you on Blog Talk Radio every Thursday morning. Bring your coffee and we will entertain you.