Monsanto And Cargill: The Thugs Of Big Food

By Rainforest Action Network

Just days before the massive global day of action to Occupy our Food Supply, I thought I’d take a look at just who some of these agribusiness thugs really are.

The deeper you dig the more clear it becomes that two corporate giants are responsible for a large part of the poisoning of our food system: Monsanto and Cargill. It’s time we call out these corporate criminals for trashing our food, literally.

Monsanto: Biotechnology giant

Monsanto’s biotech tentacles are strangling our food system. The despicable behavior of this offensive corporation ranges from suing small family farmers like Percy Schmeiser (and bankrupting many through legal processes) to refusing to compensate veterans and families for exposure to Agent Orange where the chemical is estimated to have killed 400,000, deformed another 500,000, and stricken another 2 million with various diseases.

When Monsanto began selling its genetically modified Roundup Ready soybeans in 1996, only 2% of soybeans in the U.S. contained their patented gene. By 2008, over 90% of soybeans in the U.S. contained Monsanto’s gene and now 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by Monsanto. This is especially alarming as soybeans account for the largest source of protein feed and the second largest source of vegetable oil in the world (after palm oil).

Among the many things we can thank Monsanto for: artificial sweeteners linked to cancer; oil-based plastics like styrofoam that never biodegrade and release cancer-causing benzene into the environment for a thousand years; Agent Orange (the deadly chemical cocktail that the U.S. Army dumped over Vietman and now ends up in our food); genetically-modified (GMO) seeds, and the nasty Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a carcinogenic, artificial growth hormone that is injected into cows (prevalent in the U.S. and banned in all 27 countries of the EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia).

From the Millions against Monsanto GMO labeling campaign to the 300,000 farmers that took Monsanto to court last month, no longer able to keep Monsanto’s genetically modified crops from contaminating their organic fields, Monsanto is getting slammed from all angles.

May justice be served.

Cargill, Inc.: Global agricultural commodities trader

Cargill is Monsanto’s evil twin.

With annual revenues of over $119 billion (bigger than the GDP of 70% of the world’s countries ), Cargill is the world’s largest trader of grains, the world’s largest privately held corporation and one of a handful of agribusiness giants that are shaping the increasingly globalized food system to their advantage. Operating in more than 66 countries, Cargill produces, trades, manufactures, and markets all manner of agricultural commodities touching almost every aspect of our food supply. And that’s only the beginning — check this Cargill Fact sheet out and tell me you don’t think it’s time to Occupy Cargill.

From Cargill’s shameful Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that are not only inhumane but undermine food safety, to the fact that along with Tyson and JBS it is responsible for processing more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Cargill is the shady thug stomping on family farmers to consolidate our food system in the name of profit (did I mention the colossus is owned by the McMillan-Cargill family, making them the richest family in America?).

Without proper supply chain safeguards in place, Cargill continues to purchase, trade and profit from palm oil grown on lands stolen from local communities and palm plantation areas with active ongoing social conflict and human rights violations, including slave labor. Not to mention pushing orangutans towards extinction.

Look at the photos below and ask yourself: Is this the way forward? I stand with Willie Nelson and say hell no. Industrial agriculture