Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact:

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Policy paper: Agribusiness in your food

The Nader - Camejo campaigen has released a major new policy paper on agribusiness, and its impact on the food that Americans eat. The issue of large corporations attempting to exert control of the food supply is not new - and has been addressed by activists such as Vandana Shiva, and groups such as Reclaim the commons.

Vandana Shiva discloses:

in a patent (EP 518577) filed in 1998 Unilever and Monsanto have claimed "invention" of an exclusive claims to the use of flour to make traditional kinds of Indian bread such as "chapattis".

Through these global patents based on biopiracy, Monsanto is literally seeking to control our daily bread. The wheat variety which has been pirated from India, has been recorded as NapHal in the gene banks from which Monsanto got the wheat and in Monsanto's patent claims.

The company is able to restrict not only the farming and processing of crops, but also trade in them, in the countries for which the patent has been granted. At the same time it can block the free exchange of the seed, thus preventing other growers and farmers from working with the patented seeds.

And in a May 22nd article the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, USA) points out that:

a new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization makes clear, GM crops have thus far delivered negligible benefits to the world's poor, while enriching the creators and their agribusiness clients in rich nations. There is little ndication that these trends will change

The Nader/Camejo campaigen highlights the findings of the Agribusiness Accountalbity Initiative's report: USDA Inc.: How Agribusiness has hijacked regulatory policy at the US Department of Agriculture

It is a prime example of how Washington, DC has become corporate-controlled territory. The Department of Agriculture epitomizes this big-business takeover of government.

For example:

Current USDA Secretary Ann Veneman previously served on the board of biotech company Calgene (later taken over by Monsanto)

USDA Deputy Secretary James Moseley was a co-owner of a large factory farm in Indiana, Infinity Pork LLC

Deputy Under Secretary Floyd Gaibler, was the executive director of the dairy industry-funded National Cheese Institute

Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations Mary Waters was a senior director and legislative counsel for ConAgra Foods, one of the country’s largest food processors.

The issues considered are far more comprehensive than simply identifying the corporate corruptions - there is a very important recognition of small , and independent farmers - that have, very unfortunately, become a dying breed in America.

"The voices of consumers, environmentalists, and family farmers are shut out," said Nader. "As a result of this agribusiness takeover, the short-term profits of a few economically powerful companies come before protection of the environment and the family farm, production of healthy food, and the interests of consumers."

These are concerns that have not even registered on the Kerry/Bush radar screen - and deserve to be considered together with all of the other important issues that we've identified here at Muslims for Nader/Camejo!