August 6th, 2021 Newsletter

Farmers: scapegoats of corporate hegemony

Chicken farming exposed

One billion chickens are slaughtered every year in the UK. Viva! have investigated the three biggest killers – Avara, Hook2Sisters and Moy Park. At all three farms in this investigation, the life of a ‘meat chicken’ was found to be short and brutal.

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See this video clip taken by a Meat the Victims activist who, with several colleagues, staged a mass trespass at a factory pig farm. On discovery, they where they were kicked and beaten by the brutal livestock workers. When humans work in a brutal system of mind numbing cruelty and disease, they themselves become brutalised.

Local Futures

The award winning writer, James Rebank’s book ‘There Are No Winners in American Farming’, is a journey to the heart of America’s agri-businesses that warns of the type of farming imposed by our corporate bosses and why it must be stopped if the human race is to survive.

‘Our friend drove us around the county in his white pickup truck, with his sheepdog in the back and his red toolbox and wrenches in the footwell. He told us about his people, past and present, and introduced us to farmers who were holding on. They all told us the same thing: America had chosen industrial farming and abandoned its small family farms, and this was the result—a landscape and a community that were falling apart. They showed us fields of oilseed rape that were full of weeds because they were now resistant to the pesticides that had been overused. They spoke of mountains ripped open for minerals, and rivers polluted, and farming people leaving the land or holding on in hidden poverty. And the worse it all got, the more people seemed to gravitate to charlatans with their grand promises and ready-made scapegoats to focus all their anger on. I felt I had landed in a future that didn’t work, and the people I met sensed my unease. “You haven’t seen anything yet,” they told me.‘

Farmers are the scapegoats of the corporate hegemony

Boris Johnson plans to sign trade treaties with countries, not least the US, that will give corporations access to our markets is at the peril of our farmers. Though far from perfect, our standards are better in every way from consumer health and local economies to biodiversity and animal welfare. Though the Conservatives used to be the party to conserve small scale businesses like farmers, butchers and retailers, the political and corporate dystopia of sacrificing our farmers on the altar of free trade, is now across the political spectrum (except the green party) and is not new. Ferdinand Mount, explains the history of Britain’s free trade ideology where rural communities have been bankrupted through cheap imports and citizens’ culture of interdependence, cooperation and reciprocity has morphed into isolated and dependent workers and consumers.

‘When in 1879 Disraeli was twitted (meaning – teased/taunted) that all his warnings in the 1840s about the dire effects of repealing the Corn Laws had finally been proved right, he responded wearily that it was all very well to quote ‘rusty phrases of mine forty years ago’, but the issue was settled. Free trade and cheap food were here to stay. Any revival of protection was politically impossible. Other major European countries went on to introduce some form of agricultural tariffs; Britain stayed loyal to free trade. Then came the most startling reversal. The Second World War provoked a far more spectacular and long-lasting revival of agriculture than in 1914-18. ‘Dig for Victory’ was followed by the Labour government’s Agriculture Act of 1947 and a system of deficiency payments, topping up the incomes of farmers while ensuring consumers accessed food at world-market prices. It was only a short step from there to the Common Agricultural Policy, when Britain joined the EEC in 1973. Combined, these interventions produced such enormous results that, by 1983, the then minister for agriculture, Peter Walker, was able to claim that the UK was now 75 per cent self-sufficient in temperate foodstuffs and, more remarkable still, according to the boast of the Conservative Campaign Guide that year, 100 percent self-sufficient in wheat.

Free trade zealots retorted that this was nothing to be proud of. I remember Norman Tebbit, a former industry minister, telling Walker that ‘if I had had a Common Automobile Policy, we could be self-sufficient in motor cars.’ But public opinion at the time seemed reconciled to the need for some form of protection against the natural advantages enjoyed by farmers in Australia, New Zealand and the US, not to mention Brazil and Argentina. Even during the EU referendum campaign five years ago, the equanimity (if not relish) with which Brexiter economists such as Patrick Minford contemplated the possibility that Brexit might mean the disappearance of British agriculture and the British motor industry was regarded with horror.

Not any more. Farming is now regarded as politically expendable, even by the Conservative Party, its supposedly traditional ally and friend. There are at least two reasons for this. The story has often been told, notably by David Cannadine, of how the long agricultural depression broke the power of the British aristocracy, but it also drove tenant farmers and labourers off the land and into the cities and suburbs; a million or more had emigrated by 1914. As a legacy of this flight from the land and of ongoing mechanisation, agriculture can now muster only a handful of votes, peanuts compared to, say, the ever expanding millions of pensioners. At the same time, mechanised and chemicalised farming has become increasingly unloveable. The fashion for rewilding has spread from a few landowners rich enough to experiment and now encompasses a broader mass of bien-pensants who regard farmers as money-grubbing vulgarians polluting the countryside.’

African faith community appeal against Gates industrialisation

Similarly, through the centuries, Africa’s richest land has been stolen and destitute villagers, whether they be pastoralists or farmers, are marginalised to exploit as cheap labour to produce cheap commodities for distant markets. To survive, many are forced to abandon their family, language and culture to follow the money and products to the EU and US, but most wouldn’t choose to go any more than those populations choose to make room for them.  areas of Africa that the tentacles of the capitalist growth economy have yet to reach, small scale family farmers have food sovereignty and, seeing the destitution of their relatives on corporate owned monocultures or in the city, they want to stay.

Two months ago, nearly 500 African faith leaders sent an open letter to the Gates Foundation to raise concerns about his programs to industrialise African agriculture  – with not a single response. 

‘We, a collective of faith leaders from Africa, are experiencing first-hand now the Covid-19 pandemic is making visible failing food systems and fuelling hunger and poverty in Africa. Alongside our responsibility to be custodians of the Earth, faith networks are entrusted to ensure the just distribution and sharing of resources for all in need… While we are grateful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (The Gates Foundation) for its commitment to overcoming food insecurity, and acknowledging the humanitarian and infrastructural aid provided to the governments of our continent, we write out of grave concern that the Gates Foundation’s support for the expansion of intensive industrial scale agriculture is deepening the humanitarian crisis.”

The UN has sold out to Bill Gates

The UN has always worked alongside the development banks and corporations in their alleged mission to help Africa, as reported in Graham Hancock’s 1994 book about their involvement in Ethiopia, Lords of Poverty.

‘”Hancock cuts through the smoke screens and hot air of the “aristocracy of mercy” to provide a critical look at a multinational business that has never been subject to strict accountability.

The UN corporate sellout continues today, as Ms. Agnes Kalibata, the current President of Bill Gates’s brainchild; The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) whose mission is to industrialise African agriculture, is also Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit. So multinationals will continue to control Africa’s food system and diet. 

‘As many civil society members, as well as past and current Rapporteurs on the Right to Food, have denounced, this summit is yet another instrument to reinforce corporate control over food and agriculture, while attempting to restrain civil society’s role in global food governance.‘

Silencing debate

It is intolerable to see criticism of the corporate hegemony falling on deaf ears but increasingly we are being deprived of the criticism itself. Citizens who manage to exercise their right to free speech and successfully expose the truth – information of public interest – are likely to be smeared and silenced in a way not seen since the US McCarthy witch-hunt against people with left-wing views in the 1950s. Conformity to American values is still expected and is being imposed through the tyranny of fear.

After 7 years in asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to the US, Julian Assange is now in a UK top security jail awaiting our authoritarian judicial system to decide whether or not to pass him on to our US empire masters. If found guilty in the Virginia Court (headquarters of the CIA, NSA, etc members of the community which will make up the jury) of ‘espionage’ for revealing US and UK war crimes, human rights violations, illegal data collection, secret trade treaties and illegal spying operations, he faces 175 years in a supermax cell.

Another hero is Craig Murray who has been jailed for 8 months by the Scottish judicial system on a trumped up case. My fear is that the heavy sentence is a strategy to prevent Murray from attending Julian Assange’s court hearing and thereby preventing him from writing and publishing his widely-read blog about Assange’s deeply-flawed hearing proceedings.

Also Dr Mercola, one of the world’s most respected doctors of natural medicine and nutrition, a reliable source of health articles, optimal wellness products, medical news, and free newsletter featuring natural health experts, is at the top of Joe Biden’s list of “primary obstacles that must be removed”. He is in good company as second on the list is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, and Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Legal Counsel for Children’s Health Defense. Both are heroes in the eyes of millions of citizens for their work exposing the lies of big pharma and big ag. Due to blatant censorship, Dr Mercola will remove all his past work from the internet and all future work will be removed after 48 hours. In his words;

‘By now I am sure you know that there was a recent NY Times article attacking me and it was one of the most widely distributed stories in the world. The article was loaded with false statements made about me and my organization…The report would be laughed at if it were to be submitted for peer review, the groups that created it are funded by dark money and operated by an illegal foreign agent. The press never questioned it, but ran with their orders from above.

‘I can deal with the CNN crews that chase me by car while I bicycle from my home. I feel sorry for the people in the media that have to follow the orders they are given.

‘It is easy to dismiss the media pawns, but the most powerful individual on the planet has targeted me as his primary obstacle that must be removed. Every three letter agency is at his disposal, and the executive powers have grown beyond what an individual American’s rights can protect against. A dissenter of medical mandates is now a target and obstacle to be removed. I know – that’s 25 years’ worth of blood, sweat and tears coming down.

‘I can hardly believe these words are coming out of my mouth. It’s a testament of just how radical things have degenerated in the recent past. However, I will continue to publish new articles, BUT going forward, each article I publish will be available for only 48 hours and will then be removed from the website.

News round-up

🎉 Victory as Bayer ends sales of glyphosate-based US herbicides from the lawn and garden market in the USA

‘Beginning in 2023, AG Bayer’s Monsanto unit will stop selling glyphosate-based products in the U.S. and substitute them with “alternative active ingredients… The decision follows ongoing litigation regarding the carcinogenicity of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. Sustainable Pulse and Detox’s project director Henry Rowlands commented on Bayer’s announcement, saying, “It is a great victory in a small battle for the removal of glyphosate from the lawn and garden market.”‘

‘However, this is just part of a much larger war. We must all remember that this will not stop glyphosate being sprayed in parks, schools and on our food crops in ever greater amounts across the U.S. and the world. It is time to phase the chemical out globally and to replace it with safe alternatives.”‘

🤔 New study designed to investigate the contribution of MRSA from Chinese pig farms to human infection and carriage.

‘The presence of such high levels of MRSA isolates on pig farms is of considerable concern. The most likely driver of this is the overuse of antimicrobials in livestock which has been identified as an issue in China.’

😓 China is using 13-storey ‘hog hotels’ to solve the symptom of pig disease but in reality only exacerbating the problem of treating sentient beings as machine parts that can be taken out of their natural habitat and kept alive with medication.

✒️ Sounds good – Biden signs executive order to reduce the trend of corporate consolidation

‘‘President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that takes significant action to reduce the trend of corporate consolidation, increase competition, and deliver concrete benefits to America’s consumers, workers, farmers, and small businesses.‘

🐄 Is it the cow or the how? Article by the Sustainable Food Trust exposes the inadequacies of Gates technological solutions in his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.

‘… Even if fertiliser were carbon free, it would still be a contaminant. The same can be said for pesticides and herbicides. Nor does Gates address the way intensive farming is causing land degradation that is undoing some yield gains. Land degradation has reduced the productivity of 23% of the global land surface; up to $577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss.‘

⛔ Government bureaucracy twisting the knife in small abattoirs

‘…lack of government investment and restrictive red tape is ‘twisting the knife’ in small family-run abattoirs, with further closures announced across the UK.‘

🐝 Farm pesticides killing more bees, says study

‘Agricultural pesticides sold to farmers ready-mixed into “cocktails” can kill twice as many bees, according to an analysis of 90 studies.‘

Please donate

Forgive me for pointing out that, while we receive some one-off donations, I am funding Farms Not Factories myself, and if we are to continue to fight the cruel, antibiotic-led factory farm system, we will need some regular donations from like-minded people. Please consider a monthly subscription of £2/month and help us support a network of smaller scale, humane and healthy UK pig farms, local abattoirs and butchers.

“Our message is simple, we want to help bring an end to this dangerous, inhumane system. Vote for real farming over factory farming.”
– Tracy Worcester, Director

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