This week’s cover photo, showing corn piled on the ground, out in the open, near Minnesota grain elevators, is representative of the disintegration of the food supply system the world over. While the U.S. Midwest corn and soybean harvests were coming in this fall, the U.S. rail freight system broke down. After years of financial mergers, asset stripping, and rail track removal, such companies as Union Pacific, which are considered to be financial “successes,” failed miserably on the economic front, and could not even supply engines to move the grain cars. Millions of bushels of grain are sitting, rotting on the ground.
This grain transport breakdown is but one recent example of breakdown in the food supply in what is considered the most food-secure nation in the world, and illustrates the fact that “natural disasters”—bad weather, floods, droughts—are not the cause of the world’s food crises. These examples, and equivalent situations all around the world, are “unnatural” disasters, caused by years of takedown of agriculture infrastructure under wrong policies and assumptions, in particular, serving the interests of private financial and commodities control circles, centered mostly in London.
The worldwide food crisis is measurable in the decline of grains, of all types, produced per capita yearly. To provide every person with a daily diet of their preference, with sufficient calories and nutrients, would require well over 3 billion tons of grain produced annually. But as of around 1990, less than 1.9 billion tons were being produced yearly, and since then, world annual production has declined.
An estimated 800 million people are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. Besides the nearly continentwide food supply crisis in Africa, there are other locations, such as Russia and former Soviet bloc nations, plunged into crisis. Even under the Soviet command economy, Russia’s annual grain production averaged 100 million tons. But output has fallen each year since 1991, to only around 65 million tons this year.
What does the international community say? Officially, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and sister U.N. agencies—the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)—blame hunger on “poverty.”
The FAO gala conference in Quebec City in October, for the FAO’s 50th anniversary, celebrated the fact that world tonnages of food have increased over five decades, but lamented that 800 million people don’t have enough to eat—a “paradox,” according to the conference speakers. But most of the 100 or more agriculture ministers present knew better.
The last 25-30 years have seen a consistent decline of agriculture output potential in almost all countries. Necessary ratios of infrastructure (water, transport, electricity) and inputs (chemicals, mechanization, quality seeds and stock) have fallen, to the point where output per capita is sharply declining.
At mid-century, after World War II, there were mobilizations to improve agriculture output potential on every continent.
In western Europe, the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) of the European Community saw spectacular rises in agriculture productivity.
In Africa, the wave of newly independent nations, such as Sudan (1956), made technology-based agriculture the keystone of national development plans. The “Atoms for Peace” movement backed such designs as the continental electrification of Africa, and the provision of nuclear-power-based energy grids in Egypt, Iran, and other countries.
In North America, plans were drawn up for the North American Water and Power Alliance (Nawapa), which would divert river runoff from flowing into the Arctic Ocean, southward. The Mexico College of Engineers produced plans for sister hydraulic projects.
In Eurasia, blasting was started on Siberian water diversion projects to channel flow southward from the Ob and Irtysh watersheds, to relieve the endangered Aral Sea Basin.
Development of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and improvements in the Indian subcontinent, were outlined.
But by 1975, most of these projects were shelved. In the eyes of today’s “countercultured” generation, they have receded into the mists of science fiction, if they’ve heard of these projects at all.
Over the 1970s, the shift was made to “post-industrial” policies, casino economics (speculation, derivatives), and free trade demands, enforced by the IMF Bretton Woods system. And now that financial system itself is in the process of blowout. The food crisis is the evidence.
Dozens of nations, once self-sufficient in many food staples, have been forced into food import dependency over the past 30 years. And now, neither the food stocks, nor the financing, exists for their food supplies. The GATT launched the “Uruguay Round” for free trade in 1986, under the slogan, “One World, One Market,” which culminated in the creation in 1995 of the World Trade Organization. But the cupboard of the “World Market” is bare.
Nevertheless, in 1996, the U.N. plans another World Food Summit, on the theme of “food security,” while millions more people go hungry.
Behind the scenes, the private financial interests served by the U.N., IMF, and other Bretton Woods agencies, are making sweeping moves to acquire food stocks for hoarding, and to take controlling positions in food commodities production, processing, and shipping.
This is the last phase of an era of food-as-a-weapon politics, officially ushered in in 1974, when then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (now Sir Henry KCMG) gave the keynote speech at the Rome World Food Conference, the predecessor to the 1996 Food Summit. In 1974, Kissinger publicly talked of food security, while privately he worked to use food control as a weapon against a target list of nations.
Name the names
In this Special Report, we have assembled the documentation required to understand the crisis situation in depth, in order to intervene, and reverse it.
the statistical overview of the past 30 years of forcing food import dependency on nations;
the record of Henry Kissinger and the use of food control as a weapon;
the names of the companies and individuals who make up the financial and commodities cartels controlling food supply lines.
These reviews are not the usual representation of today’s food crisis. The “common-sense” reasons for food shortages that you usually hear—bad weather, backwardness, civil strife, etc.—are all wrong.
Worse, the “authorities” on food and agriculture who are usually presented by the media, will tell you specific lies that have been pre-approved for public consumption by the financial and commodities cartel interests that created and continue to back such bogus authorities. For example, Lester Brown, of Worldwatch Institute, who spoke at the U.N. FAO 50th anniversary, is constantly in the media, charging that the world’s population has outstripped the world’s resources base, and demanding that population be cut because it cannot be fed. We supply the pedigree of Lester Brown, and other hired hands of the food cartels, so you know where the lies are coming from.
Emergency measures required
The information below (with more to come in follow-up reports in 1996), has been assembled in order to spur the mobilization for emergency financial and economic measures to deal with food shortages and the overall physical economic breakdown.
Several rear-guard actions were launched in 1995. They are well motivated, but they will not do the job. A bill is before Congress, sponsored by Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and others, to create a special commission to investigate control over the U.S. food supply by a “concentration” of processors. An Agriculture Department investigation is under way of the monopolistic actions of IBP, the Nebraska-based, London-associated, largest meat processor in the world. The Justice Department Anti-Trust Division has grand juries working on international price-fixing charges against the London-associated cartel companies Cargill Inc., ADM, Tate & Lyle (A.E. Staley), and CPC.
But dealing with the famine-scale food crisis, and financial disintegration, requires more than prosecution of isolated acts of wrongdoing, or mere “bigness.” Read on, to find out what every citizen needs to know to do the right thing.