Friday, July 18, 2008

Biofuels, World Food Crisis, & Biotech...

This article was posted on Comfood. It is probably some of the scariest information I have read in a long time.

World Bank Secret Report confirms Biofuel Cause of World Food Crisis

By F. William Engdahl

Global Research, July 10, 2008

A secret study by the World Bank, which reportedly has not been made public on pressure from the Bush Administration, concludes that bio-fuel cultivation in especially the USA and EU are directly responsible for the current explosion in grain and food prices worldwide. The US Government at the recent Rome UN Food Summit claimed that "only 3% of food prices" were due to bio-fuels. The World Bank secret report says that at least 75% of the recent price rises are due to land being removed from agriculture—mainly maize in North America and rapeseed and corn in the EU—in order to grow crops to be burned for vehicle fuel. The World Bank study confirms what we wrote more than a year ago about the madness of bio-fuels. It fits the agenda described in the 1970’s by Henry Kissinger, namely, ‘If you control the food you control the people.’

According to the London Guardian newspaper which has been given a copy of the suppressed report, the World Bank study was completed in April, well before the June Rome Food Summit, but was deliberately suppressed as "embarrassing to the position of the Bush Administration." The President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, is a former top Bush Administration official. Washington is trying to use a crisis which its bio-fuel subsidies created, since a new Farm bill passed in 2005, to advance the spread of Genetically Manipulated Organisms such as GMO maize, soybeans, rice and other crops patented by Monsanto and other "gene giants."
Their strategy is to use the explosive rise in grain prices worldwide, a rise fuelled by hedge funds and troubled US and European banks and investment funds pouring billions of dollars into speculation that grain prices will continue to soar. In other words, the food "crisis" is a crisis of speculation in food futures. The planned EU and USA bio-fuel acreage quotas and the periodic droughts and floods in key growing regions such as the USA Midwest then provide backdrop for speculative price run-ups. But the main driver is that tens of millions of hectares of prime agriculture land in the world’s two largest food export regions—the USA and the EU-- are being permanently removed from food production in order to grow raw material to be burned for vehicle fuel.
The suppressed study
The World Bank study, the most detailed analysis of the global food crisis so far, concludes that bio-fuels have forced "food prices up by 75%." That is far more than previous estimates. That is a damning refutation of the politically-motivated US Department of Agriculture estimate that plant-derived fuels add only 3% to food prices. The report is expected to increase pressure on the European Union governments as well as Washington to change their present bio-fuel subsidy and support policies.
The report has been leaked just days before the important annual Group of 8 industrial nation leaders’ summit held in Hokkaido Japan. The food crisis will be a major topic there as pressure on governments grows to do something.
The World Bank report estimates that doubling and tripling of world food prices in the past three years have forced an added 100 million people below the poverty line. That has triggered food riots from Bangladesh to Egypt.
The report as well calculates that even the successive droughts in Australia and other major food regions have had only a "marginal" impact on food prices.
Within the EU, for example, as of April all vehicles in the UK must contain fuel with at least 2.5% bio-fuel. The EU has in place a target of mandatory 20% by 2020, a staggering amount.
George W. Bush has cynically claimed higher food prices are merely due to higher demand from India and China. The leaked World Bank study refutes that: "Rapid income growth in developing countries has not led to large increases in global grain consumption and was not a major factor responsible for the large price increases."
"Without the increase in bio-fuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate," the World Bank report states. The basket of food prices examined in the study rose by 140% between 2002 and February 2008. Higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15%. Bio-fuels have been responsible for a 75% jump over that period.
The study demonstrates that production of bio-fuels has distorted food markets in three main ways. First, it has diverted grain away from food for fuel, with over a third of US corn now used to produce ethanol and about half of vegetable oils in the EU going to production of bio-diesel. Second, farmers have been encouraged to set land aside for bio-fuel production. Third, it has sparked financial speculation in grains, driving prices up higher.
The real agenda behind the food crisis
The World Bank study is the first to include all three factors. What is missing from the World Bank study however is the longer-term geopolitical agenda behind the present global food and energy crises. As I document in great detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, the long term agenda of powerful leading circles in the West, particularly represented in tax exempt private foundations such as the Rockefeller, Ford and Gates foundations and the private wealth behind them, is a long term agenda of population reduction, in the interests of the global economic and financial elites.
Food scarcity, higher prices for basic foods in developing countries as well as control of food seeds through patent and Terminator suicide seed sales by Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, BASF, Bayer and a few select agriculture chemical seed giants—the "horsemen of the GMO Apokalypse," have been developed to advance the agenda of massive depopulation of the developing world.
The policy goes back, as the book documents in detail, to the early years of the 20th Century when Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman, Gamble, H.G. Wells, Margaret Sanger, and other wealthy circles backed the development of eugenics research. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the eugenics and forced sterilization research at the Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (today's Max Planck Institute) until it became too politically hot in 1939.
. After the end of the war, Rockefeller and others in the eugenics movement decided for political reasons to change the name of eugenics. The new name they chose was "genetics." GMO is a project, based on wrong science, financed with over $100 million of private money from the Rockefeller Foundation. The ultimate aim is for the first time in history to control life on the planet. As Henry Kissinger put in during the 1970’s food crisis, "control the food and you control the people."
In this light it is worth noting that as a solution to a crisis which it deliberately created by its massive government subsidies to farmers to grow bio-fuels instead of food, the Bush Administration made and continues to make a major pressure at the Rome Food Summit in early June and after, to open the doors to GMO as the alleged "solution" to world hunger.
On June 13, just after the Rome UN Food Summit, John Negroponte, US Deputy Secretary of State, stated, ""We therefore are strongly encouraging countries to remove barriers to the use of innovative plant and animal production technologies, including biotechnology," adding, "Biotechnology tools can help speed the development of crops with higher yields, higher nutrition value, better resistance to pests and diseases, and stronger food system resilience in the face of climate change." Washington and the GMO companies now use the more deceptive term, "biotechnology" instead of the controversial GMO term, in a linguistic ploy to overcome opposition.
Independent scientific studies and countless farmer reports have shown that long-term planting of GMO or bio-tech crops as the gene giants prefer to call it, far from giving higher crop yields, lowers the yields and development of resistant "super-weeds" usually mean more, not less Roundup or other GMO-paired chemical herbicides and pesticides are needed. In short the glorious claims for GMO are marketing fraud.
According to highly informed reports, Washington had been told that Pope Benedict XVI would endorse the spread of GMO, something the Vatican until now has been strongly opposed to on moral and other grounds, as a solution to world hunger. At the last minute that endorsement did not happen for reasons only the Pope perhaps knows. Groups like Greenpeace and the London Independent newspaper in the days before the Rome UN summit reported interviews with senior Church figures stating that the policy reverse was expected.
There is strong circumstantial evidence that the entire Rome UN Summit was orchestrated by Washington, London’s Gordon Brown and other Malthusian governments in part to try to convince the Pope to reverse its policy on GMO. The Roman Catholic Church today stands as one of the most important moral barriers to widespread acceptance of GMO in many developing countries such as the Philippines and Latin America.
The leak of the World Bank report adds a dramatic new element into what is becoming one of the major political issues along with oil price manipulation.

F. William Engdahl is a leading analyst of the New World Order, author of Seeds of Destruction, Global Research,2007 [see below], and the best-selling book on oil and geopolitics, A Century of War: Anglo-American Politics and the New World Order,’ His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

He may be contacted via his website at
and here is a blog on the subject from the Guardian:
and here is the World Bank Report pdf:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Calories...your right to know?

Photo by Center for Science in the Public Interest

The restaurant industry is diligently trying to avoid the implementation of the Calorie Count legislation that is trying to be passed in New York City and some cities in California. My question is, what do they have to hide? Well, obviously a lot.

For instance: this site tells us the 272 Fast Food Items Highest in Calories

I am personally COMPLETELY for this legislation. Opponents argue that there is no research to prove that it would make a difference. So what? In my opinion it is a right to know. I personally would use the information, and know from experience that the people I teach in my classes would consider the information in a food decision as well.

As the calories listings roll out in New York, it is interesting to hear how people are reacting to it. Most are flabbergasted at the amount of calories in their daily muffin or sandwich.

This article this morning from MSNBC was interesting to me. For those that don't care about their health, they will continue not to care and the knowledge won't make a difference. I think this legislation is for those who want to stay healthy. Good job New York City. I hope the rest of the states follow suit.

As our Student Nutrition Organization shirts during my undergrad at Texas State said:
"It's the Calories, Stupid"
Did I offend someone?

This website CalorieLab is a great resource on the calories in food if you don't live in New York. Happy eating!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

USDA Child Nutrition and WIC 2009 reuthorization

USDA held a listening session in Austin, Texas at the beautiful LBJ Wildflower Center. I was speaker #28.

Some highlights:
A lady pointed out the use of the euphemism--food insecure--as opposed to hunger or hungry. This is a point I made when they made the change. It acts to mask the issue of hunger in the United States and makes the society less aware of the widespread problem.

A man from Borden milk tauted their efforts to switch their milk cartons to plastic instead of paperboard. Well that's environmentally friendly! Apparently customers are buying less of the plastic jugs due to high prices. Duh...plastic is made out of petroleum. He also asked USDA to allow the use of artificial sweeteners in their flavored milks so they can stay below the sugar standards. Yuck! He complained about the decrease in milk consumption as kids get older. Yeah...I think you should stop drinking milk around, uh 2...2 1/2. Mothers milk that is; Cows milk is for cows.

My presentation was simple. I talked about the importance of strengthening the WIC Farmers Market voucher program.

On Childhood Nutrition I spoke of competitive foods and how they should be taken out of the schools once and for all. Competitive foods are just that, COMPETING with the healthy foods. I told them that I realized I don't have the amount clout or lobbying power as the beverage or snack industries to make a difference, but that it's about time we had an overhaul and a different approach.I described the nutrient-based criteria as being a slippery slope for companies to formulate products that slip under the cut points. Key word being a lab. The problem is the foods people are eating....adding more "soluble fiber" "vitamin C" and "calcium" to a snickers is all well and great, but you're still eating a SNICKERS.

I also quoted some research out this month from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Key Findings:

Vending machines were present in elementary (17%), middle (82%) and high schools (97%).

Food items sold separately (a la carte) were found in 71 percent of elementary schools, 92 percent of middle schools and 93 percent of high schools. Of these schools, almost 80 percent provided unhealthy food items in their a la carte options.

The food environment summary score was higher (healthier) in lower grade levels.

The food environment score was not significantly associated with the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch or the percentage of students who belong to a racial/ethnic minority.

I then asked:
What we can learn from foreign countries nutrition policies?-

Britain will ban junk food from school meals and in-school vending machines beginning in September. (Is it possible that we do the same? GASP?!)

In France Many schools already employ their own nutritionist(Registered Dietitian), who works with a parents' committee to ensure lunches provide a healthy, balanced diet.

Much more is spent per meal than in Britain, with a French school lunch costing anything from £1.50 to £4 a head, depending on region. Poorer parents pay only a portion of the total.

And there's no pandering to children's love of pizzas, burgers or chips; these are adult menus served in child-size portions, as the French believe good eating habits start early.

I finished with this from Alice Waters, Today’s American children, “are bombarded with a pop culture which teaches redemption through buying things.” But schoolyard gardens, like the one she helped create at the middle school a few blocks from her home in Berkeley, “turn pop culture upside-down: they teach redemption through a deep appreciation for the real, the authentic, and the lasting—for the things that money can’t buy: the very things that matter most of all if we are going to lead sane, healthy, and sustainable lives. Kids who learn environmental and nutritional lessons through school gardening—and school cooking and eating—learn ethics.”

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meat Conglmerates

I designed a flow chart of our nations beef manufacturers. Unfortunatly it is not too complicated. 3 companies now control 90% of the beef. Frightening. I will stick with the free range buffalo I get at the farmers market from my friend Patrick.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

G8 leaders feast on 8 courses after discussing world food shortages

G8 leaders feast on 8 courses after discussing world food shortages

G8 Leaders Statement on Global Food Security

July 8, 2008
1. We are deeply concerned that the steep rise in global food prices coupled with
availability problems in a number of developing countries is threatening global food
security. The negative impacts of this recent trend could push millions more back intopoverty, rolling back progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have taken additional steps to assist those suffering from food insecurity or hunger, and today renew our commitment to address this multifaceted and structural crisis.

The G8 Summit Menu:

First course:
Corn stuffed with caviar
Smoked Salmon and Sea Urchin "Pain Surprise style"
Hot Onion Tart
Winter Lily Bulb and Summer Savory

Second course:
Folding Fan Modeled Tray decorated with Bamboo Grasses for Tanabata Festival
Kelp-flavoured cold Kyoto Beef shabu-shabu, asparagus dressed with sesame cream
Diced fatty flesh of Tuna Fish, Avocado and Jellied Soy Sauce, and Japanese Herb "Shiso"
Boiled clam, tomato, Japanese Herb "shiso" in jellied clear soup of clam
Water Shield and Pink Conger dressed with Vinegary Soy Sauce
Boiled Prawn and Jellied Tosazu-Vinegar
Grilled Eel rolled around Burdock strip
Sweet Potato
Fried and Seasoned Goby with Soy Sauce and Sugar

Third course:
Hairy Crab "Kegani" Bisque Style Soup

Fourth course:
Salt-Grilled Bighand Thornyhead with Vinegary Water Pepper Sauce

Fifth course:
Poele of Milk Fed lamb from "Shiranuka" flavoured with aromatic herbs and mustard and roasted Lamb with "cepes" and Black Truffle with emulsion sauce of Lamb's stock and pine seed oil

Sixth course:
Our special selection Cheese, lavender honey and caramelized nuts

Seventh course:
G8 Fantasy dessert

Eighth course:
Coffee served with Candied Fruits and Vegetables

Le Reve Grand Cru Brut/La Seule Gloire Champagne
ISOJIMAN Junmai Daiginjo Nakadori (Sake)/Isojiman Shuzo Shizuoka
Corton Charlemagne 2005/Louis Latour Bourgogne
Ridge California Monte Bello 1997

Arkansas Rice Farmers sue Riceland Foods

The states rice farmers are claiming that Riceland Foods Inc. experiemented with GMO rice that susquently contaminated the commercial supply. The 4,000 rice farmers, who typically export their rice to the EU, are being denied access to the market.

From Arkansas news article:

Riceland collaborated with Aventis Crop Science, which later became Bayer Crop Science, on the rice, engineered to resist Liberty herbicide.

"Riceland Foods knew that that (European) market would not accept it, and they knew that there was a risk of contamination, but they still engaged in the collaboration," Byrd said, "obviously hoping that there would be customer acceptance by the time it ultimately was found that it was going to be contaminated."

The genetically modified rice somehow got into research plots or foundation seed production fields and increased across the state's rice production belt, said Terry Walker, director of the plant industry division of the state Plant Board.

Riceland Vice President Bill Reed declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the company had not yet been served papers.