Activists in both China and the United States have raised concerns about just two corporations having so much influence over the world food supply, with so little transparency. But these fears miss the larger point of what such companies represent: the intent of the U.S. government to use food as an ever-more powerful point of leverage to wield over large, increasingly hungry nations like China.
The study's authors were unable to provide sufficient evidence either that the study has been reviewed by a local ethics committee in China or prove that all parents and children involved in the study were provided with the full consent form for the study. Opponents also pointed out that the research was done using meals that are high in fat that would favor positive results of the experiment.
"Wilmar’s new plantations in Nigeria follow the same business model that has caused vast forest destruction and human rights abuse in Southeast Asia," says Friends of the Earth. "Aggressive government support for large scale plantations... has extracted wealth into the pockets of foreign business owners, leaving as little as possible in tax revenue; and has left communities landless, hungry, indebted, and in conflict."
Supermarket chain owned by one of Germany’s wealthiest families, Lidl and its sister chain Kaufland have benefited from almost $900m (£576m) in public development money over the past decade through loan funding from the World Bank and from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as it expands into eastern Europe.
Chinese food safety activists stated that Monsanto not only hid the information from the Chinese government and people, but also defrauded them with fake reports in order to obtain a safety license. Covering up Roundup’s carcinogenicity and the risks posed to human health by Roundup-tolerant GM soybeans and corn, Monsanto misled China to massively import and produce its products. After demanded to make public the report submitted by Monsanto for securing the safety certificate for its Roundup to enter Chinese market last year. This year during Global Day against Monsanto on May 23, a network of concern Chinese citizen launch ‘Monsanto out of China!’ website to showcases protests by people in China against Monsanto.
New report: communities taking control of the food revolution
The latest report by EJOLT, a global alliance of environmental justice organisations, on the nature and impact of the increasing global biomass trade. The report examines the global evolution of food production and international food trade and identifies related drivers of socio-environmental conflicts. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, global trade in agricultural products grew more than three times faster than agricultural production. Nearly all the new land that had been put into production since 1986 was used to produce export crops. The authors conclude that the EU should revise the Common Agricultural Policy to strengthen small-scale farming, promote shorter production chains, support fair trade schemes, as well as to increase organic and permaculture practices. Henk Hobbelink from GRAIN said that “On this topic, the only real policy recommendation that I see is that the expansion of the commodity crops should be stopped and reversed, and land should be reverted to food production in the hand of small farmers.”
The rapid expansion of Indonesian oil palm plantations creates serious environmental and social problems. A report analyse the ownership and financing of 25 large tycoon-controlled business groups that control 31% (3.1 million hectares) of the total planted oil palm plantation at present. These groups still have at least 2 million hectares of undeveloped land banks under control. The most important business groups - in terms of their planted areas - are Sinar Mas Group, Salim Group, Jardine Matheson Group, Wilmar Group and Surya Dumai Group.
A report on landgrabbing by GRAIN and the Mozambique small farmers movement UNAC has sparked quite some debate in the country. According to Chris Arsenault of Reuters: "Mozambique, a country wracked by hunger, has signed away land concessions three times larger than Greater London to outside investors in the past decade, displacing thousands of farmers in the process, said a report released on Thursday".
A street vendor in India would need to work for a staggering 350 million years to amass the same amount of wealth as the supermarket's owners, the Walton family – this is just one of the findings of new research by UNI Global Union ahead of worldwide protests against the family's role in global inequality today.