Food control as a Weapon
Stage 1- Farming
– inputs : Fertilizer , seeds and pesticides- ultimately controlled by these two families(Monsanto, ADM)
Stage 2 - Storage
-harvested grain requires massive storage silos. Cargill is one of several major Corporations that are big in this field.
Stage 3 - Processing
- Unilever, Nestle are giant multi-nationals that lead in the processing of grains into the finished product.
Stage 4 - Distribution
-Wholesale and retail of the finished product- like Wal-Mart etc.
Ten to twelve pivotal companies, assisted by another three dozen, run the world’s food supply. They are the key components of the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel, which is grouped around Britain’s House of Windsor. Led by the six leading grain companies—Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Born, André, and Archer Daniels Midland/Töpfer—the Windsor-led food and raw materials cartel has complete domination over world cereals and grains supplies, from wheat to corn and oats, from barley to sorghum and rye. But it also controls meat, dairy, edible oils and fats, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and all forms of spices.
Each year tens of millions die from the most elementary lack of their daily bread. This is the result of the work of the Windsor-led cartel. And, as the ongoing financial collapse wipes out bloated speculative financial paper, the oligarchy has moved into hoarding, increasing its food and raw materials holdings. It is prepared to apply a tourniquet to food production and export supplies, not only to poor nations, but to advanced sector nations as well.
The use of food as a weapon can be found at least four millennia ago in Babylon. Imperial Rome took this tack, as did Venice and various Venetian offshoots, including the Antwerp-centered, powerful Burgundian duchy, and the Dutch and British Levant companies, East India companies, and West India companies. Today, food warfare is firmly under the control of London, with the help of subordinate partners in especially Switzerland and Amsterdam. Today’s food companies were created by having had a section of this ancient set of Mesopotamian-Roman-Venetian-British food networks and infrastructure carved out for them.
Continue here: http://www.larouchepub.com/other/1995/2249_windsor_food.html
This Brotherhood cartel controls every aspect of the global economic network, the banks, insurance companies, raw materials, transportation, factories, finished products, major retail groups (and by market rigging all the rest), the stock and material markets, governments, media, intelligence agencies and so on.
This is coordinated through the secret societies and one of their most important vehicles is the City of London-House of Windsor operation called the Club of the Isles. It was named after King Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s son, who was the first to carry the title Prince of the Isles. The title is held today by Prince Charles. Edward was heavily involved with Black Nobility barons of the Square Mile London financial district and helped them to engineer the Crimean War, the Russia-Japan War, the preparations for the First World War and the Opium Wars with China.
Through the central organization of the Club of the Isles comes the fantastic web of interlocking directorships which hold apparently independent’ companies in a network of common control and common agenda. Some of this web include:
The Bank of England
Anglo-American Corp of South Africa
Minorco Minerals and Resources Corp
De Beers Consolidated Mines and De Beers Centenary AG
N.M. Rothchild Bank
Lloyds Insurance Market
National Westminster Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
S. G. Warburg
Toronto Dominion Bank
Klienwort Benson Group
J. P. Morgan and Co
Morgan Grenfell Group
Shell and Royal Dutch Petroleum
Assicurazioni Generali SpA, (Venice) Italy
Cazeenove and Co
HSBS Holdings (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank)
Imperial Chemical Industries
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P & 0)
Unilever and Unilever NV
And that is just a few of them! Each of these corporations have staggering lists of subsidiaries going on for page after page. Lonrho alone at the time of writing has 640 subsidiaries.
… and that my friends is how the tentacles are connected…the British elite..the Windsors… the Club of the Isles... did you really think this all just happens without a master plan? Look at the companies under their control..our food resources are being collected under one massive cartel..
by Richard Freeman
Here are strategic profiles of 11 of the principal companies that constitute the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel. The profiles confirm that through multiple forms of concentration, these companies dominate grain, meat, dairy, and other food production, and the processing and distribution system of food, all the way to the supermarket. Very little food moves on the face of the earth without the food cartel having a hand in it.
#1 U.S. grain trader/exporter (25% of market, which is equivalent to Cargill exporting 25.1 million tons or 1.0 billion bushels of grain); #1 world grain trader/exporter (25% of market, which is equivalent to Cargill exporting 52.9 million tons, or 2.11 billion bushels of grain); #1 U.S. owner of grain elevators (340 elevators); #1 world cotton trader; #1 U.S. manufacturer of corn-based high-protein animal feeds (through subsidiary Nutrena Mills); #2 U.S. wet corn miller; #2 U.S. soybean crusher; #2 Argentine grain exporter (10% of market); #3 U.S. flour miller (18% of market); #3 U.S. meatpacker, through Excel division (18% of market); #3 U.S. pork packer/slaughterer; #3 U.S. commercial animal feeder; #3 French grain exporter (15-18% of market); #6 U.S. turkey producer.
Cargill raises 350,000 hogs, 12 million turkeys, and 312 million broiler chickens. In the United States, it owns 420 barges, 11 towboats, 2 huge vessels that sail the Great Lakes, 12 ocean-going ships, 2,000 railroad hopper cars, and 2,000 tank cars.
Cargill and its subsidiaries operate 800 plants. It has 500 U.S. offices, 300 foreign offices. It operates in 60 countries.
History: Shortly after the Civil War, William Cargill, a Scottish immigrant sea merchant, bought his first grain elevator in Conover, Iowa. In 1870, with his brother Sam, William Cargill bought grain elevators all along the Southern Minnesota Railroad, at a time when Minnesota was becoming an important shipping route. But Cargill's biggest break came when he bought elevators along the line of James J. Hill's Great Northern railroad line, which went west of Minneapolis, and into the Red River Valley as far as North Dakota, and also into South Dakota. Hill was the business partner of Ned Harriman (father of Averell Harriman), who became the business agent for England's Queen Victoria's son, Prince Edward, later King Edward VII. Through a preferential rebate system, and other arrangements, Hill's rail line helped build the Cargill operation.
Twice during the twentieth century, the Cargill firm nearly went under. William Cargill, Jr., the son of company founder Will Cargill, made some bad investments in Montana during the first decade of the twentieth century, and between 1909 and 1917, Cargill hovered on the brink of bankruptcy. Some British capital came in to rescue the company. William Cargill, Sr. had a daughter, Edna, who married John MacMillan. The financiers designated John MacMillan and the MacMillan family to come in and reorganize Cargill. This was the period in which the MacMillan family started running Cargill.
Cargill also nearly went under following the 1929 U.S. stock market crash, and ensuing Great Depression. There is not a word of what happened to Cargill Co. during the depression in the History of Cargill, 1865-1945. But two forces came to the rescue: John D. Rockefeller's Chase National Bank, which sent its officer John Peterson to help run Cargill. Peterson became Cargill's top officer. The other force was a Byelorussian Jewish grain merchant, Julius Hendel, who joined the company in the late 1920s. It would seem odd at first that a European, and a Jew at that, would be admitted into the inner councils of a rock-ribbed Scottish-American firm, but this indicates the international scope of forces that shape the grain trade. Hendel would later also school Dwayne Andreas, when Andreas worked for Cargill after World War II.
During the mid-1930s, Cargill used cut-throat tactics. In September 1937, corn was a scarce commodity. The 1936 American crop had been a failure, and the new crop would not be harvested until October. Cargill bought up every available corn future, to the tune of several millions of dollars, and created a squeeze on the market. The Chicago Board of Trade ordered Cargill to sell some of its futures to relieve the squeeze. Cargill refused. The CBOT expelled Cargill from the Board of Trade. The U.S. secretary of agriculture accused Cargill of trying to destroy the American corn market.
In 1922, Cargill had opened up a New York office; in 1929, it opened an Argentine office, and it continued to expand, especially after the Second World War, as the United States exported large quantities of grain to Europe and other parts of the globe. In 1953, Cargill established Tradax International in Panama to run its global grain trade. In 1956, it set up Tradax Genève in Geneva, Switzerland, as the coordinating arm of Tradax. Tradax subsidiaries were set up in Germany (Deutsche Tradax, GmbH), England (Tradax Limited), Japan (Tradax Limited), Australia (Tradax Limited), France (Compagnie Cargill S.A.), and so forth. Thirty percent of ownership of Tradax is held by old-line Venetian-Burgundian-Lombard banking families, principally the Swiss-based Lombard, Odier, and Pictet banks. The financier for Tradax is the Geneva-based Crédit Suisse, which has been cited repeatedly for drug-money laundering. On Feb. 7, 1985, the U.S. government caught Crédit Suisse and other large banks laundering $1.2 billion in illegal money—much of it suspected drug money—to the First National Bank of Boston.
In 1977, Cargill's involvement in a "black peseta"-laundering operation at Cargill's offices in Spain was revealed.
Cargill has been repeatedly cited for "blending"—that is, adding foreign matter to its grain. For example, an export contract may allow for 8% of the grain volume that a company is exporting to be foreign matter. If Cargill's grain load is only 6% foreign matter, it will mix in dirt and gravel. A Cargill superintendent told the Kansas City Times in July 1982, "If we've got a real clean load, we'll make sure we hold it until we can mix it with something dirtier. Otherwise, we'd be throwing away money."
Cargill has expanded into every major crop and livestock on the face of the earth, in over 60 countries. It has also expanded into coal, steel (it is America's seventh largest steel producer, owning LTV), waste disposal, and metals. Today, Cargill runs one of the 20 largest commodity brokerage firms in the United States, trading on the Chicago and world markets, which is larger than those of most Wall Street brokerage houses. Another division, Cargill Investor Services, has offices throughout the United States, as well as in London, Geneva, and Zurich.
Key personnel and policy:
The combined Cargill and MacMillan families of Cargill own 90% of the company's stock (the rest is owned by company executives). They are one of the ten richest families in America: According to the July 17, 1995 Forbes magazine, the combined Cargill/MacMillan families are worth $5.1 billion, making them richer than the Mellons. Whitney MacMillan, W. Duncan MacMillan, John Hugh MacMillan III, and Cargill MacMillan, Jr., are each worth $570 million.
The British connections of the MacMillan family are evident. John Hugh MacMillan II (1895-1960) was the president of Cargill from 1936 until 1957, and was chairman from 1957 until 1960. He was a hereditary Knight Commander of Justice of the Sovereign Order of St. John, the chivalric order run by the international oligarchy grouped around the Anglo-Dutch monarchy. Whitney MacMillan, chairman of Cargill from 1976 until 1994, was educated at the exclusive British-modeled Blake School (where the chairman of General Mills was also educated), and then Yale University.
Showing the link with the gangster-ridden Democratic Party of Minnesota, Walter Mondale was elected a director of Cargill.
In 1983-84, the family-controlled Cargill Foundation contributed $50,000 to the University of Chicago's monetarist Economics Department.
#2 U.S. grain trader/exporter (20% of market), and #2 world grain trader/exporter (20% of market) (according to official Continental documents). #1 U.S. exporter of soybean products and derivatives (through joint venture called Conti-Quincy Export Co.); #1 world cattle feedlot operator (7 feedlots in southwestern and plains states of United States); #1 shrimp farm in Ecuador; reportedly #2 French grain exporter; #3 owner of U.S. grain elevators; #3 or #4 U.S. animal feed manufacturer (through subsidiary Wayne Feed Division); #3 or #4 world cotton exporter; #8 Argentine grain exporter (7% of market).
Continental processes and markets 2 billion pounds of poultry, beef, pork, and seafood, along with 5 million tons of animal feeds and wheat flour. The company transports nearly 75 million tons of grains, oilseeds, rice, cotton, and energy products annually, an amount that exceeds the annual production of almost every country in the world.
Continental owns a fleet of towboats and 500 river barges. It owns over 1,500 hopper cars. It has offices and plants in 50 countries, on 6 continents.
History: Simon Fribourg founded the predecessor organization as a commodity-trading company in Arlon, Belgium in 1813. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Fribourg family went into milling, building mills in Luxembourg and Belgium, especially Antwerp, which, with its deep harbors and connections to the Rhine River, transported Fribourg flour and wheat to and from the rest of Europe. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, Michel Fribourg, a great-grandson of founder Simon, went with bags of gold to Bessarabia (today Moldova and Romania) to buy grain. This was a large grain-producing region. By 1914, the heirs of the family, under the name Fribourg Frères, moved operations to London, to capitalize on the ability to trade grain internationally. In 1920, the headquarters moved again, this time to Paris, and the company's name changed to Compagnie Continentale. Thus, 100 years after its founding in 1813, the Continental Company had established firm links into the cities and channels of the European grain trade, as well as to Australia, through London.
In 1921, the Continental Company opened an office in Chicago, and another in New York. In 1930, it leased a terminal in Galveston, Texas. During the Depression of the 1930s, the Continental Company made out like bandits. As reported in one history, the head of the family, Jules Fribourg, instructed his New York agent to buy Midwest grain elevators, which were at depressed prices, with the instructions, "Don't bother to look at them—just buy them." The Fribourgs lived very, very well. René Fribourg, the co-head of the company, lived like a Medici prince, collected gold snuff boxes and Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture, and dined off eighteenth-century china. But when the Nazi Army invaded France in June 1940, the Fribourgs fled to America.
In 1968-69, the Fribourgs, working with the Cargill company, and through an agent of the grain cartel in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Clarence Palmby, helped destroy the American merchant fleet, by convincing President Nixon that the "50-50" provision, by which half of all American grain exports had to be carried on American vessels, should be abolished, in order to land a large Russian grain deal. Almost all of the grain went on Russian-bottom boats. Various favors paid off, for, in 1973, the Russians rewarded Continental by making an unprecedented purchase from the company of 6 million tons of grain and soybeans. The head of Continental was and remains Michel Fribourg. His personal financial adviser, Sasha Maximov, was the son of the last czarist ambassador to Constantinople, a post usually held by a Venetian agent.
In 1976, Continental was fined $500,000 for short-weighting ships. In the late 1970s, when Zaire, which was very poor, was unable to pay its bills, Continental cut off food shipments to that starving nation. In the 1970s, Continental became the first grain company to sell grain to China.
Key personnel and policy:
The heir apparent of the company is Michel Fribourg's son, Paul, who, at the age of 41, is president of Continental. Michel Fribourg, great-great-grandson of Continental's founder, and his immediate family, own 90% of Continental's stock (other members of the Fribourg family own the rest). The Oct. 17, 1994 issue of Forbes magazine lists the worth of Michel Fribourg alone at $1 billion.
#1 French grain exporter; #3 world grain exporter; #4 U.S. grain exporter; #5 Argentine grain exporter (8% of market); #1 world exporter of grain to Russia.
Louis Dreyfus operates 47 vessels—bulk carriers, lakers, panamaxes, and chemical and natural gas carriers—worldwide.
Léopold Louis Dreyfus, who was born in Sierentz, France, set up his wheat trading operations in Basel, Switzerland, at the age of 19, in 1852. He bought wheat from Vojvodina plain, which went to Budapest, Hungary, for milling, then the milling capital of the world. He also purchased grain from Moldova and Wallachia (present-day Romania) and shipped it to Liverpool for milling. In the process, he became close friends with King Carol I of Romania, whom he charmed so much that he was appointed a councillor at the king's court. In the first decade of the 1900s, Léopold Louis Dreyfus was appointed Romania's consul to Paris.
Léopold Dreyfus also invested heavily in grain elevators and the grain trade in Odessa, Ukraine. He began importing Russian wheat into Marseilles, France. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, he was marketing grain through a network of offices in Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Mannheim, Duisburg, in Germany, and Paris, thus having a healthy share of the German market. Léopold Louis Dreyfus expanded into corn, barley, and other crops, and as a wholesaler of grain, dealt with Canada, Australia, and the United States. He moved to Paris, married a Florentine baroness, and ran a newspaper, L'Intransigent.
In the 1940s, the company was run by Jean, François, and Pierre Louis Dreyfus. After the Nazis liquidated France's Vichy government in 1942, Jean and François left for Argentina and Pierre for London.
Louis Dreyfus, although privately owned, is also a cooperative under French law. It owns 49% of the shares of the co-op Union Française des Céréales (UFC, better known as La Cooperative Lafayette). Under this arrangement, UFC sells French grain exclusively for itself and Dreyfus, both within the European Union and to third markets. This allows Dreyfus to obtain credit at low interest rates from the quasi-official French banking institution Crédit Agricole, which terms are not available to purely private corporations.
Louis Dreyfus also has a bank bearing its name, which in the 1970s rose to become the fifth largest private bank in France.
Key personnel and policy:
The current head of the company is Gerard Louis Dreyfus. Gerard is the son of Pierre Louis Dreyfus and Pierre's first wife, who was the daughter of an American industrialist. Gerard was educated in the United States, attended Duke University, attended law school, and worked for a while at the organized crime-connected law firm Dewey Ballantine. Gerard now resides in France, and by conservative estimates, he and his immediate family are worth $0.5-1 billion.
#1 U.S. dry corn miller (through its subsidiary, Lauhoff Grain) (18% of the market); reportedly #1 Brazilian grain exporter; #2 U.S. soybean products (soymeal and soy oil) exporter; #3 U.S. grain exporter; #3 U.S. soybean processor; #4 world grain exporter; #4 U.S. grain elevator capacity; #7 Argentine grain exporter.
Bunge operates 50 grain elevators in the United States, most of them located along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans. It also has a giant grain export elevator in Quebec City, Canada.
History: In 1750, in Amsterdam, the Bunge family had started trading hides, spices, and rubber from Dutch overseas colonies. After a century of lucrative trade in this area, in 1850, Charles Bunge moved the family business to Antwerp, Belgium. Charles's two sons established a merchant monarchy straddling the Atlantic Ocean. Edouard Bunge stayed in Antwerp, and Ernest Bunge emigrated to Argentina in 1876. With his brother-in-law George Born, Ernest established the firm Bunge and Born. In 1897, a Mannheim Jewish grain trader by the name of Alfred Hirsch joined the firm in Buenos Aires. In 1927, Hirsch became president of Bunge and Born, and held that position for 30 years.
Hirsch and others at Bunge and Born accumulated estancias—plantations of hundreds of thousands and even millions of acres of land, many in the rich soil region of the Pampas plains. The extent of Bunge and Born domination of the Argentine economy was revealed in 1974, when the Montoneros terrorists kidnapped the heirs to the firm, Jorge and Juan Born, and held them for many months. During the time that the brothers were held in captivity, they revealed that Bunge and Born not only dominated Argentina's agriculture, but also that Bunge companies produced 40% of Argentina's paint, one-third of its tin cans, 20% of its textiles, etc.
Argentine President Juan Perón attempted to suppress the power of Bunge and Born and other grain cartel companies in Argentina. When Perón became President for the first time in 1946, he moved to have the government buy the grain from the Argentine farmer and export it. The profits were used to finance the industrialization of Argentina. In 1948, he established the Institute for the Promotion of Trade (IAPI) to achieve this purpose. However, the grain cartel companies, weakened by Perón's reforms, wanted him out of power. In 1955, Perón was deposed and the IAPI system he had set up was disbanded. When Perón returned to power in 1973, he established a National Grain Board for the same purpose. Again, Perón was fiercely opposed by the grain cartel companies. He died in 1974, and was succeeded by his wife, Evita. In 1976, Evita Perón was overthrown. The National Grain Board was dismantled, and control of grain and meat exports was returned to the private grain companies.
In the meantime, Bunge diversified a large share of its capital into Brazil and the United States. However, the power of Bunge and Born is still strong in Argentina. The first two ministers of economy in the government of President Carlos Menem, were executives of Bunge and Born, first Mor Roig, and Nestor Rapanelli.
Key personnel and policy:
The Born and Hirsch families, which run Bunge and Born today, are each conservatively estimated to be worth half a billion dollars.
#1 South African grain exporter; #5 world grain trader; #5 or #6 U.S. grain exporter.
Founded in 1877 by George André in Nyon, Switzerland. He imported hard durum wheat for pasta from Russia. The grain was unloaded at Marseilles and railed up to Switzerland. In 1937, Frederic Hediger, also Swiss, came to the United States and founded Garnac, using money from George André. Garnac became a subsidiary of the André Holding Company. In the 1970s, André was accused, along with Bunge Company, of wrecking the Spanish corn growers by importing corn at low prices into Spain from the United States. During the 1970s, after an embargo had been placed on the commercial activities of what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), André helped sell Rhodesian grain on the world market through illegal channels.
Key personnel and policy:
Georges André, a member of a very strict Calvinist sect, lived, until he died in 1942 at the age of 86, in an Alping chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. His neighbor was Axel Springer, the German publishing mogul. André's three sons, Henri, Pierre, and Eric, inherited the company. The André family is conservatively estimated to be worth more than $0.5 billion.
#1 U.S. soybean crusher (between 30 and 35% of market); #1 U.S. wet corn miller (approximately 50% of market); #1 world processor of combined grain and oil seed; #1 world producer of ethanol; #1 U.S. producer of corn-based additive (60% of market); #2 U.S. flour miller (23% of market); #2 in U.S. grain elevator capacity; #3 U.S. dry corn miller, through subsidiary Krause Milling (10% of market); #5 or #6 world grain export trader (combined ADM and Töpfer) (9% of market).
ADM/Töpfer makes enough flour every year to bake 16 billion loaves of bread and enough soybean meal to feed 13 billion chickens—twice as many broilers as the United States produces.
In 1878, John W. Daniels began crushing flaxseed to produce linseed oil and in 1902 formed Daniels Linseed Company in Minneapolis. George A. Archer, another experienced flaxseed crusher, joined the company in 1903. In 1923, the company bought Midland Products and adopted the name Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
In the United States, the use of the soybean had been pushed by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, brother of the Battle Creek, Michigan cereal magnate and a leading exponent of the cultish health-food "wellness" movement. Dwayne Andreas, who was born into a Mennonite family in Decatur, Illinois in 1918, joined his father's R.P. Andreas firm in the mid-1930s. In 1936, the Andreas family changed the name of the firm to the Honeymead Company, and in 1939, Honeymead began to diversify from linseed crushing to soybean crushing. In 1945, when Dwayne Andreas thought he was about to be drafted—by this time he was chief executive officer of Honeymead—he sold 60% of the family's Honeymead to Cargill.
From 1946 through 1952, Dwayne Andreas worked for Cargill, learning how to hedge and speculate in commodities from Julius Hendel, a top European Jewish grain trader who came to the United States to help salvage Cargill from disaster in the 1930s. In 1945, Dwayne Andreas met Hubert Humphrey, who was tied into organized crime. Andreas contributed $1,000 to Humphrey's first senatorial campaign in 1948. Later, writing about this contribution, Humphrey called it a "spectacularly large amount." Humphrey and Andreas became intimate. Humphrey was godfather to Andreas's son. Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O'Neill said of Andreas, "Hubert was his first love." In 1977, Humphrey, then on the Senate Agricultural Committee, wrote legislation to establish government supports for sugar, which saved Andreas from huge losses. In the 1980s, Andreas funded a Hubert Humphrey Room at the Anti-Defamation League's new headquarters at U.N. Plaza in New York City. While Humphrey lived, Andreas and Humphrey took 85 trips together.
In 1974, ADM entered into a price-fixing scheme that overcharged the U.S. government $19 million in sales of soy-fortified food to the Food for Peace program. As one reporter commented, the money was stolen "either from the taxpayers or the starving poor, depending on which devout Mennonite perspective you prefer." ADM was convicted. In 1976, the company pleaded no contest to federal charges that it had systematically short-weighted and misgraded federally subsidized grain that was being shipped abroad.
Andreas's investment in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) production prospered, when the soft-drink industry bought it. By 1983, HFCS accounted for 75% of sweeteners purchased by Coca-Cola and 50% of Pepsi's sweeteners.
Andreas became deeply involved in grain sales to Russia and was active in the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council, eventually becoming USTEC's chairman. In 1984, Andreas met Mikhail Gorbachov for the first time. In 1990, Andreas contributed $1 million to create a Gorbachov Institute in the United States and Russia.
ADM purchased a 50% stake in Alfred C. Töpfer International, one of the most powerful second-tier grain cartel companies. This purchase also works the other way, with the older, Hamburg-based Töpfer Company, with extensive roots in Europe, exercising an influence over ADM. The Töpfer Company has an over 70% equity position in two French firms—Compagnie Européene des Céréales and G. Muller. The remaining shares in these companies are held by the Rothschild Group in France. These two French companies and the Töpfer Company own at least ten large grain elevators in France and Germany. Also, before the Iron Curtain came down, Töpfer controlled 50% of the grain imports into East Germany.
Andreas was always close, as a result of his friendship with Hubert Humphrey, to the organized crime-linked Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith. During the 1980s, Andreas was persuaded by another major grain trader, Burton Joseph, of the Minneapolis-based S.I. Joseph Company, to contribute $1 million to the ADL. Andreas made the payments in amounts of $50,000 to $100,000 per year.
In 1995, the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into fraud and anti-competitive price-fixing in ADM's handling and marketing of corn sweeteners and lysine. The latter enhances growth in chickens and hogs, while making meat leaner.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Howard Buffett, vice president of ADM and son of Berkshire Hathaway (men's clothing brand) owner Warren Buffett (at the beginning of the Justice Department's investigation, Howard Buffett resigned from ADM board); Robert Strauss, George Bush's ambassador to Russia, 1991-93, and a long-time friend of Andreas. Strauss is also a member of the board of British intelligence's chief propaganda mouthpiece, the Hollinger Corp.; Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada, and associated with the Hollinger Corp.; several members of the Andreas family, including Dwayne's brother Lowell Andreas, and his son, Michael Andreas, who is also ADM's vice chairman and the heir apparent.
#1 U.S. flour miller (24% of market); #1 U.S. sheep slaughterer (33% of market), through Sipco and Montfort meats; #2 U.S. beef slaughterer (20% of market); #2 U.S. pork slaughterer; #4 U.S. dry corn miller (8% of market);
History: ConAgra was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1919 as Consolidated Mills, a grain processor. (The name was changed to ConAgra in 1971.) In 1982, ConAgra bought the Peavey Company. Peavey, along with its Minneapolis confederates, the Pillsbury and Washburn families, dominated the milling of American flour, which came up the Mississippi River or along the railroads from the American Midwest to Minneapolis. This immediately made ConAgra America's largest flour miller. This was followed by a slew of purchases in the meatpacking industry, including Armour (1983), Northern States Beef (1985), E.A. Miller (1987), Montfort (1987), and Swift (1987).
The purchase of Montfort Meats typifies the takeovers in the meat industry. The Colorado-based Montfort Meats was America's third largest meatpacker, and an independent. In 1986, Cargill Meat Company made a bid for Spencer Beef. Montfort Meats took legal action to block the takeover, on the grounds that it would make Cargill too large in the meatpacking industry, and thus it clearly violated U.S. anti-trust laws. Even though a local court and a district court ruled in Montfort's favor, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the takeover. Fearing it was just a matter of time, and that it could not survive on its own, Montfort tendered itself for takeover to the giant ConAgra.
ConAgra also bought Elders, the largest beef producer/processor in Australia and the largest beef and lamb exporter in the world. ConAgra continued its takeover binge: Since the mid-1970s, ConAgra has acquired over 100 companies. It bought the Chung King line of foods; Beatrice Foods, including Butterball Turkeys; Peter Pan peanut butter, and others.
Hunt's Tomato Sauce and Ketchup; Wesson Oil; Banquet TV dinners; Armour, Swift, Eckrich, and Hebrew National meats; Healthy Choice foods; Orville Redenbacher popcorn; Peter Pan peanut butter; LaChoy Chinese foods; Swiss Miss cocoa; Reddi-Whip whip cream.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Dr. Ronald Roskens, president of Action International, former president of the University of Nebraska, reportedly dismissed for pedophilia, and George Bush's director of the State Department Agency for International Development; Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of the Economist Newspaper Ltd. and Economist magazine, which is jointly owned by Britain's Rothschild and Lazard Frères banking houses, both close to Britain's royal family; Charles Harper, chairman and chief executive of RJR Nabisco.
#1 U.S. beef slaughterer (26% of market); #1 U.S. pork slaughter (12% of market). IBP, the largest butcher in the world, accounts for 9 billion pounds of meat a year, or about 14% of U.S. total. Japan, which consumes half of all U.S. meat exports, is a major market for IBP.
IBP was bought in 1981 by Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum Corp. Occidental sold 49.5% of the company in 1987, and the remaining 50.5% of IBP in 1991. FMR Corp. is the holding company for Fidelity Mutual Funds, the largest family of mutual funds in the United States, with over $300 billion in investments. FMR Corp. is run by Boston Brahmin oligarchical families, and owns 13% of IBP's stock. FMR is also a large owner of raw material cartel companies, including shares of 5% or more in: Homestake Mining, Coeur D'Alene Mines, and Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corp., three of the largest gold-mining companies in the United States.
Formed in 1960 by A. Anderson and C. Holman, as Iowa Beef Processors; the first plant was in Denison, Iowa. IBP broke with tradition: It built the plant in a rural area where the cattle was raised. In 1967, it took another step: Its Dakota City, Nebraska plant cut the meat and shipped it, pre-cut, in vacuum packs to stores (called boxed beef). IBP reached a marketing agreement with Cactus Feeders, the nation's largest commercial feeder, to supply it with beef cattle. In the early 1990s, it purchased 40 hog-buying stations from Heinhold Hog, Inc. in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
IBP makes money by driving down the wages of its workforce and the price of beef paid to farmers. IBP tried to ban union wages and the union. In 1965, a strike against this IBP policy became so violent that the governor of Iowa had to intervene to settle it. A 1969-70 strike, provoked by IBP, resulted in one death. A similar pattern prevailed in the 1980s. On Aug. 15, 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported: "In May, the Immigration and Naturalization Service arrested 24 illegal aliens, who worked for an IBP contractor, at the company's Council Bluffs plant: a month earlier, 35 illegals were arrested at an IBP plant in Minnesota."
For the third quarter of 1995, IBP's net income/profit rose to $85.4 million, an increase of 74% from its net income of $49.2 million during the third quarter of 1994. But IBP's quarterly sales, for the third quarter of 1995, were virtually the same as those of the third quarter of 1994, $3.3 billion and $3 billion, respectively. So how did IBP nearly double profits on the same sales volume? By driving down the price of beef paid to the farmer. It is now $60 per hundredweight of beef, when a price of $75 to $80 is needed for cattle ranchers to break even. Cattle ranchers are not selling, because they can't afford to accept the low price.
IBP attempted to get its meat into the New York market by forming ties with the Mafia, which was exposed in trials in the 1980s.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Wendy Graham, wife of the budget-cutting lunatic Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.). From 1988 to 1993, Wendy Gramm was George Bush's chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, during which time derivatives holdings at large U.S. financial institutions exploded from $2.5 billion to over $20 billion. In August of this year, IBP offered free tickets and bus transportation to its employees (paid for by the Gramm campaign), if they would go to the Iowa Republican Party Presidential straw poll and vote for candidate Phil Gramm, whom IBP backs, over local favorite, Kansan Bob Dole. Also on IBP's board is Alec Courtelis, a Florida real estate developer and the nation's largest Arabian horse breeder. Courtelis was National Finance co-chairman of the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign, and is now Finance Committee head of the Gramm for President campaign and chairman of the Armand Hammer United World College.
#1 world food company; #1 world trader in dry milk powder; #1 world trader of condensed milk; #1 seller of chocolate and confectionary products; #1 world seller of mineral water; #3 U.S. coffee firm.
In 1994, there were 13 countries in which Nestlé had 1 billion Swiss francs or more in sales; the countries (with sales in billions of Swiss francs in parenthesis): U.S. (SF 12.2); France (SF 6.5); Germany (SF 6.1); U.K. (SF 3.3); Italy (SF 3.2); Japan (SF 3.1); Brazil (SF 2.9); Mexico (SF 1.8); Spain (SF 1.8); Australia (SF 1.1); Switzerland (SF 1.1); the Philippines (SF 1.1); Canada (SF 1.0). Nestlé's has 400 manufacturing facilities on 5 continents.
In 1866 in Cham, Switzerland, Charles Page founded the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. In 1867, in nearby Vevey, Henri Nestlé founded Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé. In 1905, Nestlé and the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company merged.
In 1922, a banker, Louis Dapples, took over management of the company, and eventually became chairman of Nestlé. Over the next 70-odd years, Nestlé made one takeover after another, especially during the past ten years. It controls the export of powdered milk to the developing sector.
Nestlé's chocolate mix and chocolate milk; Nestlé's candy bars, including Crunch, Butterfinger, Kit-Kat, After Eight dinner mints; Peter-Cailler-Kohler Chocolats; Perrier, Vittel, Fuerst Bismarck, Spring, Arrowhead, and other brands of bottled mineral water; Libby fruit juices; Hills Brothers, Zoega, and Dallmayr roasted coffee; Carnation sweetened condensed milk and Carnation breakfast bars; Coffee-Mate creamer; Stouffer's restaurants, frozen foods, and other products; Findus and Surgela frozen products in Europe; Nescafe instant coffee; Taster's Choice coffee; Nestea instant tea; Buitoni spaghetti and Contadina tomato paste, sauce, and Italian food products; Friskies cat food; and Alpo dog food.
Nestlé's also owns Alcon eye products, such as Opti-Free, and 26.3% of L'Oreal, the world's largest shampoo and cosmetics company.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Nestlé chairman Helmut Maucher is also on the board of J.P. Morgan Bank, British intelligence's leading bank in the United States, and Allianz Versicherung of Munich, an insurance firm; Fritz Leutwiller, who was also chairman of Swiss National Bank and, in 1982-84, of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of the central banks; Paul Volcker, chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors 1978-85, currently chairman of Blackstone Group, a Wall Street investment firm.
#1 world producer of ice cream; #1 world producer of margarine; one of the top five world exporters of dry milk powder; #1 European tea seller; #2 or #3 world producer of soaps and detergents; one of the top five world crushers of palm oil and palm kernel; one of world's largest producers of olive oil.
In 1885, Englishman William Lever and his brother James formed Lever Brothers. It produces Lux, Lifebuoy, Rinso, and Sunlight soaps. In the Netherlands, rival buttermakers Jurgens and Van den Berghs were pioneers in margarine production. In 1927, they created the Margarine Union, a cartel that owned the European market. In 1930, the Margarine Union and Lever Brothers merged, forming Unilever. This paralleled the merger of Royal Dutch Oil Company and Britain's Shell Transport Company at the turn of the century, to form the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company, the world's largest. Both Unilever and Royal Dutch Shell are corporate entities that express the joint interests of the Anglo-Dutch monarchies.
Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum, Carte D'Or, and Popsicle brands ice cream; Bird's Eye and Iglo frozen foods; Ragú and Chicken Tonight pasta and meal sauces; Lipton Tea and Brooke Bond Tea (leading European tea company); Lipton soups; Continental Cup-a-Soup; Country Crock, Blue Bonnett, Flora, Becel and Rama margarines; Bertoli and La Masia olive oil; Wishbone salad dressing; Boursin and Milkana cheeses; Bon Vivant cookies; Pepsodent, Close-Up, and Mentadent tooth pastes; Dove, Lux, and Lever soaps; Wisk and Surf laundry detergents; Vaseline Intensive Care, Pond's Cold Cream, Elizabeth Arden, Fabergé (Brut, Chloe) and Calvin Klein skin care cosmetics.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Lord Wright of Richmond, GCMG, from 1986-91, permanent undersecretary of state at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and head of the Diplomatic Service, also a director of Barclay's Bank; Sir Derek Birkin, from 1985-91, chairman of London-based RTZ (Rio Tinto Zinc), the world's second largest mining company, in which the Queen of England has a substantial investment; Frits Fentener Van Vlissingen, from 1974 through 1991, member of the Supervisory Board of the giant Rotterdam Bank of the Netherlands; Sir Brian Hayes, former permanent secretary of Britain's Ministry of Agriculture; Viscount Leverhulme, KGTD, grandson of William Lever, largest stockholder in Unilever, and funder and builder of Prince Philip's World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the coordinating arm for British intelligence.
#2 world food company; #1 U.S. food company (10¢ of every $1 Americans spend on branded food items in the United States is for a Philip Morris/Kraft food product); #1 world processed cheese seller; #1 world cream cheese seller; #1 U.S. seller of luncheon meats; #1 U.S. seller of powdered soft drinks; #1 world cigarette producer; #1 U.S. and Japan cigarette producer (44.8% of U.S. market); #2 U.S. beer brewer, through Miller Brewing; #3 world beer brewer; #3 world confectionery business; #3 U.S. breakfast cereal company (Post cereals).
In 1847, Philip Morris opened a London tobacco store, and by 1854 he was making his own cigarettes. In 1919, U.S. financier George Whelan purchased the rights to market Philip Morris brands such as Marlboro, Ovals, Players, and Cambridge. Ten years later, Whelan's successor began manufacturing the cigarettes in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1985, Philip Morris bought General Foods, producer of Jello brand gelatin and Post cereals, for $5.75 billion. In 1988, Philip Morris spent $12.9 billion to acquire Kraft Foods.
Kraft Products, such as Kraft Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip and Kraft cheese; Velveeta; Philadelphia Cream Cheese; Dairylea; Cool Whip; Post cereals; Entenmann's Cookies; Jello; Kool-Aid, Country Time, Crystal Light and Tang powdered drinks; Maxwell House, Sanka, Maxim, Gevalia, Jacobs, Kaffe Hag, and Carte Noire coffees; Milka and Toberlone confectionery chocolates and candies; Jacobs Suchard, a Swiss maker of chocolate and coffee (Philip Morris bought it in 1990; Jacobs Suchard is one of the ten largest European food companies); Tombstone Pizza; Miller, Miller Lite, Molson, Lowenbrau, Red Dog beers; Oscar Mayer, Louis Rich, Simmenthal and Negroni lunch meats; Lender's Bagels; Budget Gourmet frozen dinners; Shake N' Bake; Stove Top Stuffing; Log Cabin syrup; Good Seasons salad dressing; Marlboro, Lark, Philip Morris, Benson and Hedges, Chesterfield, Virginia Slims, Merit cigarettes.
Key personnel and policy:
Board of directors: Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation. The Australian-born Murdoch runs major propaganda organs for the British, including his company's flagship newspapers, the Times and Sunday Times of London; Richard Parsons, president of Time Warner. The publisher of Time magazine and of Warner records, Time Warner is partially owned by the mob Bronfman family of Seagram's Liquor, which family is reputedly a major force in the world's illegal narcotic trade; Stephen Wolf, senior adviser of Lazard Frères investment bank.
Philip Morris is one of the largest corporate sponsors of Prince Philip's WWF. It is one of the largest smugglers of illegal cigarettes, both for sale and as barter for other illegal goods. It has been cited repeatedly in the Italian press as one of the world's largest marijuana dealers.
by Richard Freeman
Ten to twelve pivotal companies, assisted by another three dozen, run the world's food supply. They are the key components of the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel, which is grouped around Britain's House of Windsor. Led by the six leading grain companies—Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Born, André, and Archer Daniels Midland/Töpfer—the Windsor-led food and raw materials cartel has complete domination over world cereals and grains supplies, from wheat to corn and oats, from barley to sorghum and rye. But it also controls meat, dairy, edible oils and fats, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and all forms of spices.
Each year tens of millions die from the most elementary lack of their daily bread. This is the result of the work of the Windsor-led cartel. And, as the ongoing financial collapse wipes out bloated speculative financial paper, the oligarchy has moved into hoarding, increasing its food and raw materials holdings. It is prepared to apply a tourniquet to food production and export supplies, not only to poor nations, but to advanced sector nations as well.
The use of food as a weapon can be found at least four millennia ago in Babylon. Imperial Rome took this tack, as did Venice and various Venetian offshoots, including the Antwerp-centered, powerful Burgundian duchy, and the Dutch and British Levant companies, East India companies, and West India companies. Today, food warfare is firmly under the control of London, with the help of subordinate partners in especially Switzerland and Amsterdam. Today's food companies were created by having had a section of this ancient set of Mesopotamian-Roman-Venetian-British food networks and infrastructure carved out for them.
The Windsor-led oligarchy has built up a single, integrated raw materials cartel, with three divisions—energy, raw materials and minerals, and increasingly scarce food supplies.Figure 1 represents the situation. At the top is the House of Windsor and Club of the Isles. Right below are two of the principal appurtenances of the House of Windsor: the World Wide Fund for Nature, headed by the Doge of London, Prince Philip, which leads the world in orchestration of ethnic conflict and terrorism, such as the British-created afghansi movement; and British intelligence's Hollinger Corp. of Conrad Black, which is leading the assault to destroy Bill Clinton and the American Presidency.
The firms within each cartel group are listed. While they maintain the legal fiction of being different corporate organizations, in reality this is one interlocking syndicate, with a common purpose and multiple overlapping boards of directors. The Windsor-centered oligarchy owns these cartels, and they are the instruments of power of the oligarchy, accumulated over centuries, for breaking nations' sovereignty.
The control works as follows: The oligarchy has developed four regions to be the principal exporters of almost every type of food; the oligarchy has historically acquired top-down control over the food chain in these regions. These four regions are: the United States; the European Union, particularly France and Germany; the British Commonwealth nations of Australia, Canada, the Republic of South Africa, and New Zealand; and Argentina and Brazil in Ibero-America. Through the centuries, the oligarchy has taken control of these regions' markets, and thus over the world food supply. These four regions have a population of, at most, 900 million people, or 15% of the world's population. The rest of the world, with 85% of the population—4.7 billion people—is dependent on the food exports from those regions.
British food cartel control intensified after World War II. Regions such as America had long been seen as important areas in which to increase control, in order to maintain the cartel's global domination, especially around the turn of the twentieth century when Minneapolis, under the control of the Pillsbury and Peavey families, replaced Hungary as the world's major miller of grain. But before World War II, the amount of grain that crossed borders, or oceans, seldom exceeded 30 million tons a year. America's share of that was usually 10 million tons or less. This was a substantial amount, but small compared to the levels of trade that would follow. World War II ravaged the globe, creating mass hunger, especially in Europe and what is today the Third World. Under the impetus of American programs such as "Food for Peace," PL 480, the worldwide trade in grain shot up to 160 million tons by 1979. Today it is 215 million tons per year. In addition, tens of millions of tons of other foodstuffs, from meat to dairy, are traded each year.
It is proper for countries with grain, meat, dairy, and other surpluses to export them. But the cartel's four exporting regions were given preeminence in a brutal manner, while much of the rest of the world was thrust into enforced backwardness. The oligarchy denied these nations seed, fertilizer, water management, electricity, rail transportation, that is, all the infrastructural and capital goods inputs needed to turn them into self-sufficient food producers. These nations were reduced to the status of vassals: Either import from the cartel's export regions, or starve.
Meanwhile, the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel reduced the export regions, which supposedly enjoy favored status, to a state of servitude as well. During the last two decades, millions of farmers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Argentina have been wiped out. For example, in 1982, the United States still had 600,000 independent hog farmers. Today, that number is less than 225,000. The food cartel companies have concentrated hog production into their own hands. Farmers were paid far below a parity price, i.e., a price that covers costs of agricultural production plus a fair profit for investment in future production.
In 1983, Robert Bergland, President Jimmy Carter's agriculture secretary in 1976-80, told an interviewer concerning Cargill, the world's largest grain company: "Cargill's view is ... [that] they generally regard the United States as a grain colony." Bergland continued, "When [in 1979] the Russians invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy Carter asked how much grain the Russians had bought [from the United States] ... we couldn't tell him because we didn't know." But Cargill and the other grain cartel companies knew. In 1976, when Cargill, Continental, and other grain cartel companies sold the Russians a record 12.4 million tons of American and Canadian grain (creating a grain shortage in the United States), the administration of President Gerald Ford learned of the sales only after the fact. The grain may have been American grown, but the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss cartel disposes of it as it pleases.
This article will document, for the first time, the extent of concentration and control that the British-centered raw materials cartel exercises over both the international and domestic trade in food. It will look at the food cartel's international and domestic control of grains, milk, edible oils and fats, and meat. The article which follows provides a more detailed profile, with names and addresses, of the key forces in the cartel's control of the world's food supply.
Grains and grain products, milk and dairy products, edible oils and fats, and meat provide the majority of the intake of calories, as well as proteins and vitamins, which keeps the human species alive. Grain and grain products can be consumed as animal feed (especially corn and oats), and directly for human consumption, sometimes in grain form (the case of rice or barley), but often in a milled form, such as in bread and tortillas.
The "Big Six" leading grain cartel companies are: Minneapolis- and Geneva-based Cargill; New York-based Continental; Paris-based Louis Dreyfus; São Paulo, Brazil- and Netherlands, Antilles-based Bunge and Born; Lausanne, Switzerland-based André; and Illinois- and Hamburg, Germany-based Archer Daniels Midland/Töpfer. The first five of the companies are privately owned and run by billionaire families. They issue no public stock, nor annual report. They are more secretive than any oil company, bank, or government intelligence service. Just two of these companies, Cargill and Continental, control 45-50% of the world's grain trade.
We look at the food cartel's control over each of the four dominant food groups.
Grains, or cereals as they are often called, consist of wheat; the coarse grains, including corn, barley, oats, sorghum, and rye; and rice.
The Anglo-Dutch-Swiss cartel's control over wheat exports is shown in Figure 2. For the crop year 1994-95, the cartel's four food export regions produced and traded 88% of the world's wheat exports of 97.2 million metric tons.
But, the four cartel food export regions, while accounting for 88% of worldwide wheat exports, accounted for only 39% of all the world's wheat production of 522.4 million metric tons in the 1994-95 crop year (see Figure 2). That is, their share of world wheat exports was more than double their share of world wheat output. This underscores the point that the cartel built up four regions as the choke points over the world's food supply, even though these regions, collectively, are not often the largest producers.
Figure 3 shows, for the 1994-95 crop year, the percentages that the cartel's four food export regions control of the exports of the leading coarse grains. They control 95% of world annual corn exports, of 69.9 million metric tons; 76% of world barley exports, of 14.8 million metric tons; and 97% of world sorghum (milo) exports, of 6 million metric tons.
Within these export regions, the cartel's six leading grain companies have, historically, built up total domination of the external grain markets. While the cartel's export regions dominate 76-97% of the world's grain trade, depending on the grain, the cartel's six grain companies also control the exports of the four regions.
For example, in the 1994-95 crop year, the United States exported 102 of the world's 215 million metric tons in grain exports, nearly half the total. It accounted for 33% of world wheat exports, 83% of world corn exports, and 89% of world sorghum exports, making it the leading exporter in each of these three markets.
Now, let us turn to the leading grain companies' command of America's grain export market, with America itself controlling nearly one-half of all world grain exports. Figure 4shows that the cartel's Big Six grain trading companies own and control 95% of America's wheat exports, 95% of its corn exports, 90% of its oats exports, and 80% of its sorghum exports. A few smaller companies, almost all in the grain cartel's orbit, control the remaining market share. The grain companies' control over the American grain market is absolute.
The Big Six grain companies also control 60-70% of France's grain exports. France is the biggest grain exporter in Europe (the world's second largest grain exporting region), exporting more grain than the next three largest European grain exporting nations combined.
Figure 5 shows that the Big Six, along with some affiliated Argentine companies such as Nidera and ACA, control 67.8%, or two-thirds, of Argentina's grain exports. Argentina is the fourth largest grain exporter in the world.
Canada and Australia combined are the world's third largest grain exporting region, after America and Europe. Although they have their own unique internal picture, with a modicum of political influence from farmers, both are British Commonwealth nations, under the thumb of Queen Elizabeth II.
In sum, the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel dominates 80-90% of the world grain trade. In fact, however, the control is far greater than the sum of its parts: The Big Six grain companies are organized as a cartel; they move grain back and forth from any one of the major, or minor, exporting nations. Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus et al. own world shipping fleets, and have long-established sales relationships, financial markets, and commodity trading exchanges (such as the London-based Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange) on which grain is traded, which completes their domination. No other forces in the world, including governments, are as well organized as the cartel, and therefore, London's power in this area remains unchallenged.
Milk and Milk Products:
The big exporters of milk and milk products are three out of the cartel's four basic export regions: the United States; the European Union plus Switzerland (which is not an EU member); and the British Commonwealth countries of New Zealand, in particular, and Australia.
In 1994, the cartel's domination of dairy and dairy products was astonishing. Figure 6shows that the cartel's food export regions controlled 89% of the world's export of whole milk powder, of 1.08 billion metric tons; 94% of the world's export trade of 653 million metric tons of butter; and 86% of the world's export trade of 1.11 billion metric tons of cheese. It also controlled a huge portion of the export of condensed milk.
The case of whole milk powder exemplifies the process of the cartel's control. Milk is not usually exported in liquid form, except for short distances over nearby borders; it is usually exported either as whole milk or skim milk powder, or as condensed milk. When it is exported as whole milk powder, it is reconstituted upon delivery, usually at the ratio of 10 parts water to 1 part whole milk powder. Of the world's export of 1.08 billion metric tons of whole milk powder in 1994, the developing world imported 885 million metric tons, or 82% of the total.
Nestlé Corp., S.A., based in Vevey and Cham (near Geneva), Switzerland, and Borden, Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, are the two largest exporters of whole milk powder in the world. Founded in 1867, Nestlé grew significantly in 1905, when it merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, also of Switzerland. Nestlé S.A. illustrates the food cartel's global reach: It is the number-one world trader in whole milk powder and condensed milk; the number-one seller of chocolate, confectionery products, and mineral water (it owns Perrier); and the number-three U.S.-based coffee firm. Its products include Nestlé chocolate and candy; Libby fruit juice; Carnation Condensed Milk; Buitoni spaghetti; Contadina tomato paste; Hills Brothers and Nescafé coffees; and Stouffers' restaurants and frozen foods. (It also owns 26% of the world's biggest cosmetic company, L'Oreal.) All told, it is the biggest food company in the world. In 1994, there were 13 countries in which Nestlé had sales of 1 billion Swiss francs or more, including all advanced sector nations. Its total 1994 sales were SF 56.9 billion, or $45.5 billion. Its 1994 profits were $4.8 billion, bigger than all but a half-dozen companies.
Nestlé chairman Helmut Maucher is on the board of J.P. Morgan, British intelligence's leading bank in the United States. Its board of directors serves as a retirement home for the world's central bankers: Fritz Leutwiller, former chairman of the Basel, Switzerland Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of central banks, is on Nestlé's board, as is Paul Volcker, who, as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board in 1979 and the early 1980s, put the world economy through what was referred to as "controlled disintegration."
Borden is the second biggest milk powder producer, through its KLIM milk powder division. It is also one of the world's biggest condensed milk producers, through its Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. In 1995, Borden was bought by the leveraged buy-out firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which is headed by Henry Kravis, who was finance committee co-chairman of George Bush's 1992 Presidential campaign. As a result of the 1988 merger of R.JU. Reynolds and Nabsico, KKR now owns 33% of, and effectively controls, RJR Nabisco, which produces nine of the top ten cookies and crackers brands sold in America. KKR also owns a portion of Beatrice Foods, a conglomerate, which makes KKR one of the top five food companies in the world.
Completing the picture of world control of whole milk powder is Unilever, a large player in this area as well as the number-one world producer of ice cream and margarine. Typifying the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy's joint control over raw materials, Unilever, which is the result of a 1930 merger of a British and a Dutch firm, has headquarters in London and Amsterdam. On the Unilever board is Lord Wright of Richmond, GCMG. From 1986 through 1991, he was head of Britain's Diplomatic Service and also permanent undersecretary of state at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Lord Wright is also a director of Barclay's Bank, which is a major funder of Prince Philip's World Wide Fund for Nature.
Unilever is an example of how the different corporate entities operate as part of one interlocked syndicate. The former chairman of Unilever, M.F. Van den Moven, now sits on the board of the other Anglo-Dutch giant, Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum, the world's largest marketer of oil and a controlling force in the energy cartel.
The cartel's four major export source regions (the United States; the European Union; the British Commonwealth countries of New Zealand, Australia, and Canada; and the Ibero-American nations Argentina and Brazil) exert enormous dominance over meat exports. As well, a Chinese bloc of China, Taiwan, and Hongkong (the last nation a re-exporter) is important in pork and poultry exports.
Figure 7 shows that for 1994, the cartel's basic food export regions commanded 85% of the world's export of beef and veal of 4.95 million metric tons; when the Chinese market is added in, these regions commanded 92% of the world's export trade of 2.1 million tons of pork, and 93% of the world's export trade of 5.84 million metric tons of poultry. The export of pork and poultry in China and Taiwan is increasingly run by the food cartel.
Four of the cartel's biggest companies in beef export are Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland/Töpfer, ConAgra/Peavey, and Iowa Beef Processors, now called IBP. The Dakota City, Nebraska-based IBP exemplifies how the oligarchy employs its corporate offshoots. Once owned by Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum Co., today 13% of the stock of IBP is owned by FMR Corp., the holding company for Fidelity Investments, the largest family of mutual funds in the United States, which is run by the Boston Brahmin oligarchical families. FMR is interlocked with other parts of the Windsor cartel—it is a large owner of raw material cartel companies, including shares of 5% or more of Homestake Mining, Coeur D'Alene Mines, and Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corp., three of the world's largest gold mining companies.
Through IBP, the food cartel is intervening in the U.S. Presidential elections, giving heavy backing to the "free enterprise" Presidential campaign of Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.). On IBP's board of directors is Alec Courtalis, a Florida real estate magnate who was national finance co-chairman of the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign, and is currently chairman of the futuristic Armand Hammer United World College and finance committee chairman of the Gramm for President campaign. In addition, Gramm's wife, Wendy Gramm, is an IBP board member. From 1988 to 1993, Wendy Gramm chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, during which time the CFTC rigged the explosive growth in speculative derivatives instruments.
Edible oils and fats:
The United States, the European Union, and Argentina and Brazil thoroughly dominate the export market in the soybean and its by-products, the most basic source of edible oils and fats. Figure 8 documents that the food cartel export source sectors are the masters of 90% of the international trade in soybeans, of 32.1 million metric tons per year; 90% of the international trade in soybean meal, of 31.1 million metric tons; and, along with British Commonwealth member India, 92% of the 31.1 million metric tons of soybean meal exports.
According to spokesmen for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as private industry, the same six companies that dominate the international grain trade also dominate the international trade in soybeans and by-products. The one additional cartel member company which is influential in the soybean trade, and which is smaller than the leading six companies, is S.I. Joseph Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Burton Joseph, chairman of this company, is a former national chairman and a leading member of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. He is a longtime enemy of Lyndon LaRouche.
Feed and seed:
The cartel also controls feed for animals and seed for planting. British Petroleum, through its Nutrition division, is the largest feed producer in Europe. Having bought Purina Mills from Ralston Purina Company, British Petroleum, one of the House of Windsor's key energy companies, is now the second largest feed producer in America. Cargill, the world's largest grain exporter, through its Nutrena Feed division, is also the biggest producer of animal feed and hybrid seed in the world, while Continental Grain, through its Wayne Feed division, is one of the biggest producers of feed and a major force in hybrid seed production.
The cartel exercises an iron hand over the domestic agricultural economies of nations, especially those that comprise the four export source regions of the food cartel. This is exercised through the processing industries: If one controls the processing industries, one controls domestic trade. Except for use as animal feed, corn, wheat, and soybean cannot be eaten in their unrefined form (excluding sweet corn, which is eaten by humans, but which is a minuscule percentage of the annual corn harvest). The grain, or soybean (which is a legume), must be processed. The same is true of meat, which must be slaughtered and cut, before it is fit for human consumption.
This is where the processing-milling industries, in the case of grains and soybean, and the packing/slaughtering industries, in the case of meat, come in.
Taking America as the test case, in order to make the case generally, one can see the cartel's domination.
For example, Figures 9, 10, 11, and 12, demonstrate that the main grain companies of the oligarchy's food cartel control 71% of the milling of America's flour; 57% of the dry milling of America's corn; 74% of the wet milling of America's corn; and 76% of the crushing of America's soybeans.
(In the dry milling of corn, the corn is turned into corn meal, muffins, corn flakes, etc. In the wet milling of corn, the corn is turned into sweetener, starch, alcohol, ethanol, etc. Of America's corn crop of 7.4 million bushels, 5.6 million bushels will be consumed as animal feed; 1.5 million bushels will be wet milled; and 0.3 million bushels will be dry milled.)
Figures 13, 14, and 15 confirm that the largest meat companies in the food cartel (IBP, ConAgra, Cargill, and two smaller companies) control 72% of America's beef slaughtering/packing; 45% of its pork slaughtering/packing; and 70% of its sheep slaughtering/packing. The meatpacking industry demonstrates the accelerated rate at which the cartel is building its concentration in these industries. In 1979, the top four packers controlled 41% of the industry. Today, they control 72%.
Finally, as Figure 16 shows, four of the six leading grain cartel companies own 24% of America's grain elevator storage capacity. However, this figure is deceptive. Many of the grain elevators in America are in local areas, where there is a substantial degree of individual or cooperative ownership. When one gets to regional grain elevators, the grain cartel's ownership percentage is higher. And at ports, where grain is transshipped, the same four grain cartel companies own 59% of all American grain elevator facilities.
A farmer must sell his grain either to a grain elevator, or, in the rarer case where he can afford transport, to a grain miller. In either case, it is a grain cartel company to which he must sell. By this process, the grain cartel sets the price to the farmer—at the lowest level possible.
The control of food for use as a weapon is an ancient practice. The House of Windsor inherited certain routes and infrastructure. One finds the practice in ancient Babylon/Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago. In Greece, the cults of Apollo, Demeter, and Rhea-Cybele often controlled the shipment of grain and other food stuffs, through the temples. In Imperial Rome, the control of grain became the basis of the empire. Rome was the center. Conquered outlying colonies in Gaul, Brittany, Spain, Sicily, Egypt, North Africa, and the Mediterranean littoral had to ship grain to the noble Roman families, as taxes and tribute. Often the grain tax was greater than the land could bear, and areas of North Africa, for instance, were turned into dust bowls.
The evil city-state of Venice took over grain routes, particularly after the Fourth Crusade (1202-04). The main Venetian thirteenth century trading routes had their eastern termini in Constantinople, the ports of the Oltremare (which were the lands of the crusading States), and Alexandria, Egypt. Goods from these ports were shipped to Venice, and from there made their way up the Po Valley to markets in Lombardy, or over the Alpine passes to the Rhône and into France. Eventually, Venetian trade extended to the Mongol empire in the East.
By the fifteenth century, although Venice was still very much a merchant empire, it had franchised some of its grain and other trade to the powerful Burgundian duchy, whose effective headquarters was Antwerp. This empire, encompassing parts of France, extended from Amsterdam and Belgium to much of present-day Switzerland. From this Venetian-Lombard-Burgundian nexus, each of the food cartel's six leading grain companies was either founded, or inherited a substantial part of its operations today.
By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British Levant and East India companies had absorbed many of these Venetian operations. In the nineteenth century, the London-based Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange became the world's leading instrument for contracting for and shipping grain.
The five privately held grain companies were carved out from the centuries-old Mesopotamian-Venetian-Burgundian-Swiss-Amsterdam grain route, which today extends around the world. The Big Five are Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Born, and André. The Continental Grain Company is run by billionaire Michel Fribourg and his son Paul. Simon Fribourg started the company in 1813 in Arlon, Belgium. He moved the company to Antwerp, and then, in the 1920s, to Paris and London. Today, it has a New York office, along with a strong Swiss-French base.
In 1852, Léopold Louis Dreyfus, who was born in Sierentz, France, established wheat-trading operations in Basel, Switzerland. In this century, except during World War II, Louis Dreyfus has been headquartered in Paris (part of the old Lombard-Burgundian route).
Bunge and Born was founded by the Bunge family from Amsterdam in 1752. The company was eventually moved to Antwerp (today it is technically headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil and the Netherlands Antilles). The André Company was founded by Georges André in Nyon, Switzerland, and today is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Cargill Company, the world's largest grain company, is based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota suburb of Minnetonka. It was founded by Scotsman William Cargill, in Conover, Iowa in 1865, and has been run, since the 1920s, by the billionaire MacMillan family. But the true nexus of Cargill is in Geneva, Switzerland, where Cargill's international trading arm, Tradax, Inc., is headquartered, having been established there in 1956 (technically, Tradax is a Panamanian-registered company). Tradax has divisions all around the world, including in Argentina, Germany, and Japan. It is the major source for Cargill's international trading; Cargill has a lot of money invested in it, and Cargill reaps a large return from Tradax's operations. Tradax also has partial Swiss ownership. The Lombard, Odier Bank, as well as the Pictet Bank, both old, private and very dirty Swiss banks, own a chunk of Tradax. The principal financier for Tradax is the Geneva-based Crédit Suisse, which is one of the world's largest money-launderers.
Archer Daniels Midland's purchase of Töpfer, a Hamburg, Germany-based grain company, vastly increased ADM's presence in the world grain trade. Töpfer's trade is situated within the old Venice-Swiss-Amsterdam-Paris routes, and it has extensive business partnerships with the British Crown jewel, the Rothschild Bank.
The manner in which the grain cartel companies operate is highly secretive. All but ADM-Töpfer are private companies, and Bush ally and former Cargill employee Dwayne Andreas runs ADM as his personal fiefdom.
A strategic profile of each of the leading food cartel companies is contained in the following article, but it is worth noting here a few critical points about how they work. Much of their workings is shrouded in mystery, because they release little information to the public. People who have attempted to write books about the grain companies have spent years without getting a single interview from any of the reigning grain company families. Unlike many American companies, where the founding family has long since departed the scene, such as in the case of Morgan bank or Chrysler Corp., the grain cartel companies are run by the same families that have run them for centuries. The inter-married MacMillan and Cargill families run Cargill; the Fribourg family runs Continental; the Louis Dreyfus family runs Louis Dreyfus; the André family runs André; and the Hirsch and Born families run Bunge and Born.
However, the little that has been gleaned is very revealing. In 1979, Dan Morgan wroteThe Merchants of Grain, about the world grain trade. He disclosed that Cargill's Geneva-based trading arm, Tradax, operates not only such as to park sales of grain in order to escape taxes in the United States and most countries, but it confounds anyone trying to follow Cargill's grain movements. In his book, Morgan reported:
"When Cargill sells a cargo of corn to a Dutch animal-feed manufacturer, the grain is shipped down the Mississippi River, put aboard a vessel at Baton Rouge and sent to Rotterdam. On paper, however ... its route is more elaborate. Cargill first sells the corn to Tradax International in Panama, which will 'hire' Tradax/Geneva as its agent; Tradax/Geneva then might arrange the sale to a Dutch miller through its subsidiary, Tradax/Holland; any profits would be booked to Tradax/Panama, a tax-haven company, and Tradax/Geneva would earn only a 'management fee' for brokering the deal between Tradax/Panama and Tradax/Holland."
While evading taxes and inspection, Cargill also uses its network to move large shipments of goods anywhere on the globe, on split-second notice. It has an in-house intelligence service that matches the CIA's: It uses global communication satellites, weather-sensing satellites, a database that utilizes 7,000 primary sources of intelligence, several hundred field offices, etc.
Cargill is representative of all of the grain companies, and a brief examination of it gives insight into all the others. Cargill, which had $51 billion in annual sales in 1994, has a dominant position in many aspects of the world food trade. It is the world's and the United States' number-one grain exporter, and has a market share of 25-30% in each of several commodities. It is the world's number-one cotton trader; the number-one U.S. owner of grain elevators (340); the number-one U.S. manufacturer of corn-based, high-protein animal feeds (through subsidiary Nutrena Mills); the number-two U.S. wet corn miller and U.S. soybean crusher; the number-two Argentine grain exporter (10% of market); the number-three U.S. flour miller (18% of market), U.S. meatpacker (18% of market), U.S. pork packer/slaughterer, and U.S. commercial animal feeder; the number-three French grain exporter (15-18% of the market); and the number-six U.S. turkey producer. It also has a fleet of 420 barges, 11 towboats, 2 huge vessels that sail the Great Lakes, 12 ocean-going ships, 2,000 railroad hopper cars, and 2,000 tank cars.
Cargill has been able to place its people in top posts around the world. Daniel Amstutz, a 25-year Cargill man, was U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs in 1983-87, from which post he decided on the export policy of U.S. grains. He later became a leader of the U.S. trade commission in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations on agricultural trade. Meanwhile, the head of Bunge and Born, Nestor Rapanelli, became Argentina's economics minister within weeks of Carlos Menem coming in as Argentine President in 1989. Rapanelli began shifting Argentina from "State intervention to a 'market driven' economy."
Today, Cargill Company is privately owned and run by the MacMillan family. The MacMillan family's collective wealth, at $5.1 billion, according to the July 17, 1994 Forbesmagazine, is larger than that of the better-known Mellon family. The MacMillans have always been of service to the British. John Hugh MacMillan, president of Cargill from 1936 to 1957, and then chairman from 1957 through 1960, held the title of "hereditary Knight Commander of Justice in the Sovereign Order of St. John (Knights of Malta)," one of the British Crown's most important orders.
The food cartel continues to consolidate its worldwide control in the face of the oncoming financial disintegration. In the past four years, the food cartel has bought up many milling-processing plants and bakeries throughout the former Soviet Union and East bloc, bringing these nations under tight food control. Recently, IBP moved to dump cheap Mexican meat there, in order to bankrupt beef producers. The Clinton Agriculture Department has brought them up for investigation.
The food cartel has also built up its control, in the food distribution industries, through such combines as Philip Morris, Grand Metropolitan-Pillsbury, and KKR-RJR-Nabisco-Borden. In the case of Philip Morris, which owns Kraft Foods, General Foods (Post cereals), the Miller Brewing Company, and a host of other brand names, 10¢ of every $1 that an American spends on brand-name food items is for a Philip Morris product.
The food cartel's power must be broken. This year, the U.S. Justice Department's Anti-Trust division launched an investigation into price-fixing in the case of corn-based fructose and lysine, by Archer Daniels Midland and some of the other food cartel companies. The case, if brought to trial, could provide valuable information and help to expose and possibly halt, in a limited way, a few of ADM's practices. But the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss cartel is playing for high stakes—the ability to constrain the supply of raw materials, and above all, food, to turn back the clock of history, and reduce mankind from the 5.6 billion population it currently enjoys to the state of a few hundred million semi-literate souls scratching out a bare existence.
That assault cannot be fought timidly. The full truth about the food cartel must be known.
What We Can Do About It
Posted on Pakalert on July 19, 2011
We are all aware of escalating food prices, but what’s driving the shortages and the price hikes? The answer is multifaceted: global political unrest, inflation, weather anomalies, the nuclear incident in Japan and the rising price of oil that increases the cost of planting, harvesting and transportation have all played their part.
The US & Abroad Facing Food Shortages
Over the past several months, US cropland has been decimated by a one-two-three punch. Flooding and tornadoes have destroyed portions of Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma croplands, leading to crop failure for many US staples: rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and other crops. Livestock has also been negatively impacted in many of these regions.
In the US wheat belt, Texas and Oklahoma have suffered drought conditions, which lead to the failure of portions of the regions wheat crops.
Many outside US borders aren’t faring any better. France is experiencing drought and Russia is likewise battling drought along with an infestation of locust. Canadian farmers have reported late planting due to unseasonably wet conditions.
The price of coffee, sugar and cocoa hasn’t totally caught up with us yet, but recent political unrest in Africa has already impacted supplies of sugar, coffee and cocoa, driving up their price to unprecedented levels. Superfund Financial officials have stated it is possible prices for these commodities could increase five to ten-fold by 2014. Wal-Mart’s CEO, Bill Simon, has weighed in by warning the public there will be an across-the-board price hike for foods.
Already, the price of corn has nearly doubled over the past few years; partially due to one-third of the nation’s corn crop having been allocation for fuel production. Add in another 44% increase in soy bean prices, 47% increase in wheat prices, and projections for sugar, butter, oats, and orange commodity price hikes and you get the perfect storm for runaway food prices.
More To Come
Since the Fukushima meltdown, the F.D.A. says our food chain is still safe. In fact, safe enough that they do not seem to have committed to strict guidelines on testing fish caught in the Pacific Ocean (the one that Japan continues to spill nuclear waste into).
Responsible restaurants and sushi bars have turned to performing their own tests to extend peace of mind to their customers. Although the US media hasn’t reported extensively on the impact to the food chain over the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, the poisoning of Japan’s food crops, Kobe Beef and fish are a realistic concern. While radiation continues to leak into the Pacific Ocean and radiation plume particles are deposited globally from Fukushima through snowfall and rainwater, testing has shown Japan’s crops and fish to be contaminated. Fish contamination is especially problematic with regards to world food prices, as Japan exports 15% of the global catch, although fishing in the region has been significantly slowed due to heavy damages of fishing boats and production in the area. High concentrations of radioactive contamination have been reported in albacore, anchovy, and Japanese sand lance caught in their waters.
To date, Officials have underplayed the long term effects of consuming fish caught from the Pacific Ocean, yet recent studies reflect bottom fish and fish that travel close to surface of the Pacific near Fukushima are found to have high levels of radiation and new concerns are being reported on contaminated fish found in Iwa, Japan located 500 kilometers from Fukushima. Studies also warn of health risks with consumption of fish that have been affected by radiation poisoning near Fukushima that then travel beyond the affected area and are caught elsewhere in the Pacific-with tuna being at the top of list. Many countries have already placed a ban on fish imports from the belabored country.
Fortunately, the US imports less than 4% of its food supply-opposed to 15% of seafood’s– from Japan. However, the FDA has placed a ban on Japanese imports of milk products, vegetables, fruits and beef. Due to supply and demand, the recent ban on the relatively low percentage of Japan’s imports to the US market can have an effect on our food prices.
Problems with exports from Japan are egregious enough, but with regards to safe consumption of fish and shellfish, the Gulf oil spill must be taken in to consideration. B.P sprayed a reported 870,000 gallons of the dispersant Corexit over the gulf in an attempt to control the 2010 oil spill. Since then, cleanup workers and people living in the affected areas have reported illnesses, with some having to be hospitalized, who point to the Gulf oil spill as the cause.
Reports from the media and officials disagree there are health concerns while residents cry foul over B.P and the government’s urging that nothing is amiss. Those already effected, and others worried over the long-term effects of the dumping of Corexit dispersants aren’t buying the “there’s nothing to see…” stance on B.P’s part that is being reported by certain sectors of the mainstream media. In an attempt to uncover the truth, it’s worthwhile to understand Corexit readily claims, “No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product.” Many critiquing the impact on human and sea life claim the heavy dispersant spray did nothing but settle the oil below the surface of the Gulf waters; out of sight, out of mind. There seems to be judication of oil spill workers and resident’s health risk concerns as cleanup workers report being warned not to wear face masks during the clean up (ostensibly to calm resident’s fears and quash media attention). Further, many fisherman and cleanup workers have been told not to discuss concerns they have over health risks of Corexit, most specifically Benzene, one of the chemicals used to eradicate the oil spill which has been found to cause cancer.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has gone on record with their belief that it is not necessary to monitor fish and shellfish caught in the Gulf, as they do not consider the chemicals used in the dispersant Corexit to pose any health risks to humans.
It appears the consumer will need to practice due diligence with regards to consumption of sea food from both the Gulf and Pacific Ocean. If it is ever determined by officials the impact to sea life with the Gulf oil spill to be higher than limits set by the FDA, expect sea food prices to skyrocket.
Radiation Reaches Our Borders
Already, many states in the US have reported increased radiation contaminants in drinking water, with the highest concentration being reported in Chattanooga, Tennessee, although the EPA has assured the population that levels are far below the maximum containment level. Milk in Vermont was found to have the highest contamination of Cesilum-137, although Washington, Oregon, Phoenix and Los Angeles had varying degrees of contamination in milk, with some pushing the allowed limits of maximum containment set by the EPA.
Very concerning is recent high radioactive isotopes found in Boise, Idaho-one of the nation’s farm belts that ranks 3rd in nationally grown vegetables. The majority crop grown in Boise and surrounding areas is potatoes. Boise also produces Hay, Alfalfa, Kentucky Blue grass, barley, sugar beets, Lentils, sweet corn, carrot, onion, garden beans, turnip, lettuce, and grapes. It isn’t only crops that Boise contributes to the US food chain. They also raise a portion of the US market of beef. Although we must insist on the safety of the food we eat, and should expect the EPA to do their job of watch-dogging the food chain, should concentrations of radiation contamination be classified above acceptable EPA limits, crops and beef may cease to be distributed from this region, and the price of these crops will see a sharp price increase; again led mostly by supply and demand.
Should the Chain Be Broken
Many of us never consider how our food arrived to the grocer’s shelf, but rather that what we need is available. The truth is, grocers no longer carry back stock, and why just before a storm or a situation arises like the recent tsunami alert in Hawaii, the shelves are picked bare. Today’s modern grocer carries only a 72-hour food supply. But should an emergency arrive that has lasting effects, and deliveries are disrupted, shelves could remain bare. As Americans, we have relied too heavily on constant trips to the grocers.
Blame it on the Bankers
Grocers have long depended upon lines of credit, as they operate on profit and loss, with some stores locations pulling in more than others. But should bankers start tightening their belts on these lines of credit, as they have with consumer loans, the results could be disastrous to food supplies. Based upon the US dollar’s decline, we should all be preparing for such an eventuality.
Genetically Altered Food
Of course, none of the issues already discussed address the possible ramifications of GMO (genetically modified organisms) food, or GM (genetically modified) food. Studies preformed on lab rats and other mammals do not generally reach the public, but studies that have been released are alarming; infertility, allergic reactions, low birth rate, immune deficiencies, gastro-intestinal illness and more.
Many consumers have turned to organically grown fruits and vegetables, but it is possible these growers will be negatively impacted by Bill S.510, the Food Safety Bill which was recently passed. Tighter controls, documentation, and the high cost of mandated insurance coverage for organic growers may drive up the already higher costs of healthy fruits and vegetables, and some warn that regulations may disallow organic growers to sell their produce beyond a narrow geographical parameter-another words an organic grower in Oregon may not be allowed to sell to Washington grocers. Until new regulations begin to take effect, it is anyone’s guess what the backlash may be.
It is probable organic ranchers will experience an increase in their organic feed, which will drive up the cost of organic beef.
So, What are the Solutions?
None of what’s been discussed is good news to the consumer, especially with high unemployment, higher taxation, and lower income for those who have been forced to accept lower wages or part-time work during the continued economic downswing.
The good news is there are many ways we can cushion ourselves from rapidly increasing food prices and still eat healthy. The bad news is it takes work.
Growing a garden from heirloom seed is one of the few assurances we have against skyrocketing food prices. Why heirloom? Heirloom seed produces fruits and vegetables that are higher in vitamins and nutrients. Their seed can be saved from one season to the other. Another benefit with heirloom seed is knowing what you’re putting into your body, unlike the unknown health effects that may show up later when eating GMO and GM fruits, vegetables and grains. By growing your own food you control the use of pesticides, herbicides, and some fertilizers that have been found to contain carcinogens. If you haven’t already, study up on composting and small worm farms that will turn soil into a rich environment for the best garden yields possible.
If you already garden, think about a greenhouse and cold frames to extend the growing season; especially for those of you who live in colder climates.
If you’ve grown alarmed over eating seafood caught from the Gulf Coast and Japan, you may want to consider a fishpond. You’d be in good company; although not reported, many folks have turned to cultivating their own fish supply in response to questionable food safety measures with regards to the fishing industry. Internet websites, bloggers and You Tube offers free do-it-yourself instructions on building and maintaining fishponds. For those who live in cold climates, where the cost of heating a pond may be prohibitive, look for advice on large indoor fish tanks that can be maintained in a basement.
Two excellent sources of protein are chickens and goats. They offer high yield for minimal expenditure of time and money. Chickens will provide eggs and meat, and should you have the land, free-range chickens can forage for a portion of their food. It may a surprise to some living in urban areas, but since a resurgence of public interest in raising chickens, many municipalities allow them within city limits. There might be restrictions on roosters; neighbors don’t typically enjoy the 5:00 AM crow of a rooster. The good news is hens are resourceful and will lay eggs without benefit of a rooster.
Goats will yield milk, butter, yogurt and meat. For those living in rural areas, your biggest concern will be sturdy fencing, for goats are escape artists, so be sure to study up on fencing requirements before you bring home a goat. And should you decide to take the leap of goat ownership, you will need more than one because goats are very social animals.
So far we’ve covered gardening, fish farms and keeping chickens and goats for food security. There is one more step you might consider; food storage. While the price of food continues to escalate, foods that are purchased at current prices will be protected from inflation and shortages.
Food storage can come in many forms; bulk foods, canned goods, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, and MRE’S. However, it should be mentioned recent demand for dehydrated, freeze dried and MRE’S has lead to a sharp increase of price. Many suppliers of these long-term storage foods are back ordered because of demand relating to their long shelf life (usually between 5 – 15 years), so practice due-diligence with regards to back-order time lines. But before you place an order, be aware that some suppliers “pad” their shipping prices, while others charge a flat $5.00 shipping fee, no matter how much shipping weight your order entails.
Typically, the purchase of bulk foods can save upwards of 35% or more of the cost of food. Check with larger chain stores who sell in bulk and ask their price for beans, rice, baking mixes, pasta’s and spices so you can do a cost comparison. You should also check with a grower in your area. A grower’s prices are often much lower, as you are then cutting out the middle man-the grocers and their necessary profit margin. By purchasing bulk quantities from a grower, you can drastically reduce the price of beans, wheat, and fruits and vegetables. For those of you willing to home can fruits and vegetables, your pantry shelves can be filled for future use. Another benefit of buying from a grower is the ability to investigate whether pesticides, herbicides and certain fertilizers have been used.
The cost of canned goods can be greatly reduced through coupo
n clipping and checking weekly online circulars, newspaper inserts and purchasing canned goods during flat sales, usually held once or twice a year, which typically reduces their costs by 50% or more.
We have control over empty pantry shelves, even if it’s done one trip to the grocers at a time. With food storage comes freedom from worry, so we can get on with the business of living. But you’d better get busy now. There seems to be every indication we are in for a bumpy ride.
Visit Survival Diva Blog survivaldiva.com/ for more information on rural living, gardening, home canning, food storage, and tips on combating skyrocketing food prices.