Thursday, July 7, 2016


    While the US Congress and Courts have spent the last week tearing down religious freedom, expanding gun control, upholding racial quotas, and exonerating Hilary Clinton's crimes, the Russian Parliament has also been active---though in a different way. President Putin signed into law new counterterrorism measures, funding for energy infrastructure, a new trade deal with China, and military upgrades.

     Another interesting law Russia enacted was to join a growing number of other nations in banning the production of GMO foods. Genetically-modified foods have fallen out of favor everywhere other than the United States where agribusiness cartels dominate the food supply. Non-GMO foods are available in the US, but at very high prices and the hazy labeling laws in force here do not always guarantee that the contents are as advertised.

      Russian agriculturalists had already, for the most part, voluntarily stopped using GMO foods. Many believe that such products have inherent health risks---and when compares the healthcare burdens and obesity rates in the US to Russia and other non-GMO countries, there is at least circumstantial evidence that health risks do exist. US agribusiness cartels, who pump millions of dollars into the US media claim that GMO foods raise production levels. Yet Russia remains a net exporter of grains and even distributed tons of humanitarian aid to countries like Syria and Donbas.

       Russian lawmakers also understand that GMO products are subject to international patents---which is largely how American Agribusiness controls the US food supply. Russian experience with the Soviet system taught them the dangers of monopolistic control over vital economic infrastructures like farming. Today, the 'bread lines' are gone in Russia; while in the US, long lines at food-banks are a common sight in most major cities.

        The US has not had a functional agricultural policy in decades. President Lincoln established the US Department of Agriculture in 1862 to assist American farms in efficiency and quality controls. Up until recent times, farming was one of America's main occupations, affordable food was taken for granted, and the US was a net exporter of foodstuffs. Today, the family farm has largely disappeared and the government pays subsidies to corporate farmers, who give us rising food costs in return.

        None of our political candidates or media outlets, of course, bother talking about American Agricultural Infrastructure, which is dangerously close to collapse. Reasons for this are manifold; not the least of which are the Agribusiness Cartels' profit-margins on Wall Street. Phony environmental regulations have nearly wiped out the US fishing industry as well as rice and sugar production. Ranchers are being jailed---or shot down in cold blood by the police---for exercising grazing rights on federally-owned lands. The American Society of Civil Engineers states that our system of levees---which mostly control flooding and irrigation in farmlands are in a state of complete failure. There haven't even been inventories or inspections of American levees in years---most of them were constructed 50 or more years ago.

       Unequal taxation too; has driven many independent farmers out of existence; lacking the tax loopholes which protect corporate agriculture.

       The US Pacific Coast has been experiencing the worst drought in 1,250 years, which has crippled California especially. California is our major producer of fruits, vegetables, and nuts---and a leading poultry state. Five years into the drought, practically nothing has been done, except to increase foreign imports of these products at much higher prices. However, in all the Pacific States, marijuana has become the leading cash crop---which likely speaks volumes about Ameroboob indifference to the situation.

       So while record numbers of Americans go to food banks and are receiving government food assistance, record numbers of Russians enjoy access to healthier, less-expensive foodstuffs---locally produced by independent farmers. But we, at least, have increasing access to legal marijuana. 



No comments:

Post a Comment