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Comment Number: AGW-14097
|Sent:||Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:36 PM|
|Subject:||Comments on Corporate Control of Food Supply|
Aloha from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /??>Hawaii! My name is Eloise Engman. I am a parent. I am also developing a small family farm. I am an organic cook, and for four years I worked as an activist to educate my community about agricultural issues such as corporate control, genetically modified food, and pesticides.
I have been extremely concerned about the consolidation of corporate power in the food and agriculture sector for over 10 years.
Food prices are rising and farmers are struggling -- and big food companies have made record profits this year. Growing corn for fuel is making this problem worse in many countries. And the ethanol produced is wrecking havoc on cars and other engines!
Regulations continue to be put into practice favoring large agribusiness while making it harder for small family farms to compete. Outbreaks and spreading of bacteria like E. coli happens much faster when meat and vegetables are processed in big centralized locations.
Thousands of family farms are going and have gone out of business, because small farmers can't compete with prices set by industrial farms and consolidated buyers.
There aren't many decent jobs in food and farming anymore -- there's a real lack of opportunities for both urban and rural youth who are interested in growing and preparing healthful food.
There is a "revolving door" of personnel between corporate lobbyists and government regulators. Thus corporations aren't held to logical standards.
Many rural communities have become ghost towns. The farmers that have survived often find themselves entirely at the mercy of corporations who own all parts of the supply chain (called "vertical integration") and can set prices in such a way to drive competitors out of business.
Just one company, Monsanto, controls the majority of seeds in the US, and regularly threatens farmers who don't buy its seeds.
Cows, chickens, and pigs are being raised in squalid conditions on huge industrial feedlots and pumped full of unnecessary antibiotics, which is unhealthy for them and potentially unsafe for the people eating them.
The food most people can afford is not healthful; healthy food is expensive.
Food is grown and raised in ways that degrade and poison our environment, with methods that pollute the water, poison the soil, and threaten our long-term food security.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments.
22 Auoli Drive