how many times do we have to keep pointing this out before it sinks in? this is the greatest on-going event in human history, and it’s happening right now, all around us. tell me you haven’t noticed price increases at the grocery store.
International Speculation Culprit in Rising Food Prices by Umberto Mazzei
Henry Kissinger once said that whoever controls food controls people. In other words, everyone surrenders when they see their children starve. That is how the U.S. government subdued the American Indians defending their lands, by exterminating the bison that provided them food and instead handing out food on reservations. The British government did the same to subdue the Boer republics in South Africa by forcing the Boer civilian population into the first concentration camps ever and letting them starve.
International cartels now use their control over the global food supply to make huge profits. There are six major corporations that control the purchase and sale of agricultural products: Cargill, Kraft, Bunge & Born, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Nestlé and General Mills. Food prices are set at exchanges in Chicago, New York and London.
Some countries shield their population from commodity speculation on basic foods by restricting the export of their agricultural staples until domestic demand is satisfied. This has a clear and legitimate purpose: to stabilize domestic prices and ensure supply for their own people. Domestic prices are also an uncomfortable testimony of real prices and temper full international market control over pricing.
On January 22, agriculture ministers from 50 countries met in Berlin, to examine the rise of international prices of commodities during the second half of 2010. Before the assembly, World Trade Organization (WTO) director, Pascal Lamy, earned merits with the global food cartels by attacking export restrictions. No doubt hoping that the cartels will hire him when he loses his present position, Lamy attributed the record high international prices of agricultural products to the export limits that some countries apply. His claim was a classic case of sophistry—a distortion of the truth with a false arguments.
“Export restrictions are a prime cause of current and recent surges in global food prices, and countries should find other ways to secure domestic supplies,” the WTO chief said. “Export restrictions lead to panic in markets when different actors see prices rising at stellar speed,” he added. Mr. Lamy illogically ignores the fact that a sudden rise in agricultural commodity prices, as reported three weeks ago by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), cannot be attributed to controls that have always been there. Those controls, as he acknowledges, are imposed to assure supply to the population of the producing countries and, although Lamy did not say it, also to stabilize national and to an extent, international agricultural prices. This last point is very annoying to the cartels that dominate international food trade.
After attacking export restrictions, Mr. Lamy stated that exporting countries seek other ways to assure their own national supply. But here his proposals for a different approach are misleading. Lamy called for an increase in global food production, “more social safety nets, more food aid and food supplies and …humanitarian aid exempt from export restrictions.”
do you see their game? the WTO says publicly that governments should increase social services, but cuts off their funds funds if they do so. the policies of the IMF/WB demand that services be cut and/or privatised, or no more loans. the only countries that are not seeing food costs sky-rocketing are those who reject WTO and IMF/WB policies. a document released by wikileaks shows that governments are willing to starve people in order to force boitech agriculture upon people unwilling to adopt frankenfoods.
On January 11, Senators Charles Grassley and John Thune, together with the Deputy Chief of Mission, AgCouns and EconOff, met with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade,s Secretary of State for International Trade, Pedro Mejia, and Secretary General Alfredo Bonet. Senator Grassley emphasized the importance of science-based decisions in the agricultural biotechnology context. Mejia said that Spain had a relatively “liberal” view with respect to biotechnology. However, even in Spain the technology was controversial and faced NGO opposition, albeit not as strong as in some other EU member states. Senator Thune asked what influence Spain could exercise in Brussels on this issue. Bonet noted it was very difficult to get a qualified majority for biotech approvals in the EU Environment Council so in the end the Commission was taking decisions in favor of biotechnology. Both Mejia and Bonet noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports. (emphasis added)
soaring food prices are creating unrest across the world:
- egypt – Protesting on an Empty Stomach: How the Egyptian economy is fueling unrest in Egypt.
- pakistan – Soaring food prices hit Pakistan: Basic food items out of reach for many Pakistanis after food prices quadrupled.
- yemen – Like Egypt, Yemen Suffers from High Food Prices
- bolivia – Bolivia: protests over food prices
and these are just a few examples. most news reports, and even the UN, talk about the many factors that have caused this sudden rise in food prices worldwide, but these factors are always present, and food production is at an all-time high. it’s clearly not food shortages causing hunger, but food PRICES!
The same banks, hedge funds and financiers whose speculation on the global money markets caused the 2008 world financial meltdown are thought to be causing food prices to yo-yo and inflate. The charge against them is that by taking advantage of the deregulation of global commodity markets they are making billions from speculating on food and causing misery around the world. As food prices soar again to beyond 2008 levels, it becomes clear that everyone is now being affected. Food prices are now rising by up to 10% a year in Britain and Europe. What is more, says the UN, prices can be expected to rise at least 40% in the next decade.
and who didn’t see this coming?
first-generation biofuels — chiefly, ethanol made from corn or sugar cane, or biodiesel made from vegetable oil — have provoked intense backlash. They have been blamed for causing unintended environmental damage and for displacing production of food crops, which may have helped raise world food prices.
Amid these attacks, the political momentum of biofuels has slowed in the last couple of years. In principle, biofuels offer a huge advantage over fossil fuels. The source plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air as they are growing, and consequently, the carbon dioxide that is released when biofuels are burned does not represent a net addition of that greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. In practice, some fossil fuels, especially natural gas, are consumed in refining today’s biofuels, one source of controversy about them.
when biofuels were first proposed as a source of renewable energy, many people warned of the way this would affect food prices. adding billions of hungry engines to food demands was a catastrophic mistake.
finally, i have to mention that as i researched this online, some of the articles i had bookmarked as references were no longer available. many no longer turned up in searches. someone’s fucking with the internet, someone with loads of money and resources.