Prominent thought leaders, authors, farmers and activists join to resist corporate control of food systems.
(IP) – On February 27, an unprecedented alliance of more than 60 Occupy groups and 30 environmental, food and corporate accountability organizations joined together for Occupy our Food Supply, a global day of action resisting the corporate control of food systems as well as making healthy food accessible and coming to environmentally friendly solutions.
The call to Occupy our Food Supply, facilitated by Rainforest Action Network, is being echoed by prominent thought leaders, authors, farmers and activists. The theme of Occupy our Food Supply is to create local solutions and resist big agricultural and destructive practices of placing profits over people and the planet.
Prominent thought leaders, authors, farmers and activists including the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, Food Inc.’s Robert Kenner, music legend Willie Nelson, actor Woody Harrelson, and authors Michael Pollan, Raj Patel, Anna Lappe, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Marion Nestle, were amongst others joining the coalition.
“Nothing is more important than the food we eat and the family farmers who grow it,” said Willie Nelson, President of Farm Aid, who is a plaintiff in a suit against agribusiness giant Monsanto. As reported by Common Dreams, Nelson continues, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil, pollution of our water and health epidemics of obesity and diabetes. We simply cannot afford it. Our food system belongs in the hands of many family farmers, not under the control of a handful of corporations.” The lawsuit against Monsanto addresses allegations of harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland, according to Nation of Change. Judge Naomi Buckwald will hand down her decision on whether the lawsuit will move forward to trial on March 31st.
There is unity between farmers, parents, health care professionals, human rights activists, food justice advocates and food lovers around the world who are increasingly viewing their concerns as different manifestations of the same underlying problem: a food system structured for short term profit instead of the long term health of people and the planet.
Common Dreams states that there have never been so few corporations responsible for more of our food chain. Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations. Today, Tyson, Cargill and JBS are three companies that process more than 70 percent of all US beef. More than ninety percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one other company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain; and one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart.
Supporters of Occupy our Food System say that corporate control over the food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water, and health epidemics.