Chicken killers leave at least 300,000 dead, millions lost in SC

3/3/2015 – Attacks the past two weeks on at least 16 farms across several rural South Carolina counties killed an estimated 300,000 chickens and cost the owners roughly $1.7 million.

Attacks the past two weeks on at least 16 farms across several rural South Carolina counties killed an estimated 300,000 chickens and cost the owners roughly $1.7 million….

Federal officials, SLED agents and officers from Clarendon, Sumter and Florence counties are among those involved in the investigation.

All of the victimized farms raise chickens for Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride, the nation’s largest poultry producer, law enforcement officials said. Officials did not say Monday why they think Pilgrim’s Pride and its contract farms are being targeted. Other details, including how many suspects might be involved, were not known Monday.

W.L. Coker, 81, is among roughly a dozen farmers hit in Clarendon County. He lost about $65,000 and 200,000 chickens in the attack on his farm….

By Harrison Cahill – The State –

Wyoming Food Freedom Act Becomes Law

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed into law legislation that would stop the government from interfering in certain transactions between consumers and farmers to procure food.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Tyler Lindholm and will “stop overregulation of locally produced foods typically sold at farmers markets and like venues. As long as there is only a single transaction between the producer and the informed end consumer, there would be no government regulation or inspection. Meats would not be allowed to be sold in this manner, except for chicken. Chicken meat is already allowed under federal regulations.”

Said Lindholm, “This law will take local foods off the black market. It will no longer be illegal to buy a lemon meringue pie from your neighbor or a jar of milk from your local farm.”

The government has long interfered in the relationship between local farmers and their communities to the detriment of the communities’ freedom and hurting small farmer’s abilities to sell, literally, the fruits of their labors….

By Liz Sheld – PJ Media –

Hundreds of Farmers Block Roads Protesting Monsanto

Poland’s largest farmer uprising ever has occurred as convoys of tractors took to the roads recently in protest of GMO infiltration and land grabs by biotech and Big Ag corporations.

More than 150 farmers blocked roadways and held numerous demonstrations in order to bring attention to the important issue of food sovereignty in Poland. Their focus is a ban on GMOs and a restoration of small farmer’s rights after decades of oppressive health and safety regulations which take rights away from small farms and give them to mono-cropping, poisoning Big Ag mega-companies.

The farmers have been stalwart – refusing to call off their demonstrations until their demands are met. Rallies and demonstrations have littered the country – in over 50 locations. Hundreds are picketing government offices in addition to the road blockades.

In the largest organized farmer’s protest the country has likely ever seen, the farmers are demanding that legislators protect the small farmer from exploitation by monopolizing companies and refuse the sell off of their country’s land to these behemoths. As the farmers point out, once the land is sold, the Big Ag model can’t be stopped, and the land is forever lost….

There are 4 simple key demands the farmers would like to be heard:
•Regulation of land grabs by primarily Western companies (translation – biotech and Big Ag) to prevent small farmers from losing their livelihoods.
•The legalization of direct sale of produce and other foods from farms to the people. This cuts out the middle man and allows the higher quality produce of many farms to reach its customers directly. Poland currently has some of the most extreme policies of all of Europe in this regard, making it nearly impossible for small farmers to compete with big food companies who are notorious for selling us fake and highly processed foods.
•Change inheritance laws so that families can rightly leave land under lease to their heirs.
•BAN THE CULTIVATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS!

One farmer stated:“We demand the introduction of legislation that will protect Polish land from exploitation by foreign capital! Agricultural land cannot be sold to commercial companies. It’s part of Polish territory. Once sold it will be lost….

By Christina Sarich – Natural Society –

GMO-Free Crops Prove Lucrative for Farmers

Last spring, for the first time in 20 years, Indiana farmer Jim Benham planted his fields entirely with soybean seeds that hadn’t been genetically modified to withstand herbicides.

It wasn’t because the 63-year-old suddenly had embraced the anti-GMO movement. Instead, he was drawn to a nearly 14% per-bushel premium for non-GMO soybeans offered by a local grain terminal, which sells them to Asian feed processors.

Mr. Benham is among a small but growing number of Midwestern farmers moving away from biotech seeds developed by Monsanto Co. , DuPont Co. and other companies in response to lower crop prices over the past two years that have slashed farm profits.

More U.S. consumers are seeking out non-GMO foods, which proponents perceive as healthier and friendlier to the environment. Retail sales of GMO-free cereal, salad dressing, eggs and other food products increased 15% to $9.6 billion last year, among the fastest-growing U.S. food segments, according to market-research firm Nielsen NV. Nielsen sharply increased its non-GMO food sales estimate last year after incorporating a broader range of products and stores….

By Jacob Bunge – Wall Street Journal –

GMO Imports Cause Unapproved “Mystery GMO Plants” Invasion

Emerging as the world’s second largest importer of GMO crops, South Korea seems to be a big believer in feeding its citizens GMOs. Oddly enough, though, the country already has a government ban on their cultivation – likely as a means to protect its land from potential GMO dangers while still ‘benefiting’ from GMO foods. But despite an in-house ban and only accepting imports, GMO mystery plants have been taking root all over the country – providing hard evidence that GMO contamination is real and that even importing GMOs can disrupt a local ecosystem.

A National Institute of Ecology (NIE) monitoring report on the effects GMOs have on the natural environment showed GM corn and cotton discoveries across the country in 2013. Corn was found in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province; Gimje, North Jeolla Province; and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. Cotton was found in no fewer than fifteen locations.

“Analysis of 521 suspected GM samples collected from 647 regions showed a total of 21 GM crops in eighteen regions,” the NIE said.

“The NIE says it’s expanding the area of its studies to prevent imported GMO spillage from disrupting the ecosystem, but it can’t possibly investigate every pathway of import or distribution,” said Shin Ji-yeon, secretary-general of the Korean Women Peasant Association. “Obviously the farmers are very worried about what kinds of GMOs are growing and where.”

“If they really want to prevent GMOs from spilling and sprouting in transit, then preventive measures are every bit as important as import and distribution pathway studies and after-the-fact measures,” Shin added. “We’re not seeing those kinds of efforts from the government.”

Indeed, GMO contamination is nearly impossible to control – especially if large amounts of GMO imports are being accepted – even despite an instituted ban of GMO crop cultivation. The claim by the biotech industry that GMO crops can be contained and kept away from organic farmers who have chosen not to use genetically modified ‘suicide’ seeds is being proven grossly fallacious. A third of organic growers are now reporting problems with cross contamination, according to a new survey. More than 80% of farmers who participated in the survey are ‘concerned’ about the impact of genetic seeds, and 60% are ‘very concerned.’

A report clarifies these issues by concluding that the GMO contamination issue is much more serious than previously thought, and the concerned experts couldn’t be more correct.

From HealthFreedoms.org –

Agriculture needs to take a few steps back

It’s easy to forget that, once upon a time, all agriculture was organic and grass-fed. Saving seeds, composting, fertilizing diverse crops with manure, not tilling and raising livestock entirely on grass was the norm over a century ago. Yet today, these are just the approaches we associate with sustainable food production.

We all know what happened as we modernized – the plow, the tractor, fossil fuels, monocrops, nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, feedlots, animal byproducts, e. coli, genetically modified organisms and erosion. We farmed faster, and we farmed more acreage. These are all practices and conditions that most Americans now consider “normal,” if they think about agriculture at all.

Fortunately, a movement to rediscover and implement “old” practices of bygone days has risen rapidly, abetted by innovations in technology, breakthroughs in scientific knowledge and tons of old-fashioned, on-the-ground problem-solving.

Take Dorn Cox, a young farmer in New Hampshire. He tossed away the plow, preferring to use no-till practices on his parent’s organic farm; then he developed a biodiesel alternative to fossil fuels. He measures the carbon content of the soil through sophisticated technology, aiming to raise the content as high as possible, and he also co-founded Farm Hack, an open-source virtual café for young and beginning farmers.

“Farming isn’t rocket science,” he likes to say, “it’s more complicated than that.”

Like Dorn, many young people in agriculture today are looking to the past and what they have discovered is that nature’s model works best. After all, nature has been using evolution and the laws of physics to beta-test what works for millions of years — billions in the case of photosynthesis.

Humans are pipsqueaks in this process by comparison and the idea that we know what’s best is increasingly looking like a dangerous form of hubris. That’s why a new generation of agrarians is returning to the roots of agriculture for a different approach that includes large helpings of science and social responsibility as well.

Soil carbon is a good example. As gardeners know, creating the dark, rich soil called humus is critical to plant vigor, mineral uptake and smart water use. At the farm and ranch scale, it helps prevent soil erosion. A short list of practices that build soil carbon include planting cover crops, mulching, composting, employing low or no-till and planning where livestock graze.

Building humus is a great way to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in the soil for potentially long periods of time, which means that “old” practices can address “new” challenges, such as climate change….

However, it is possible to help bring this level back down through the old-fashioned process of photosynthesis. Last spring, the Rodale Institute, a research and education nonprofit, released a white paper entitled Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming. It states boldly that we could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 emissions by switching to soil-creating, inexpensive and effective organic agricultural methods….

It is undeniably true that there are many obstacles to implementing these tried and true solutions to food and climate challenges. Some are economic, but many are policy-based, which is why it is important to support groups like the Organic Consumers Association (organicconsumers.org) and the National Young Farmers Coalition (youngfarmers.org) in their efforts to create an environment that favors old-style farmers and ranchers, not to mention eaters, which means all of us.

It all comes back to nature. I like the way the Rodale Institute put it recently: Farming like the Earth matters. Farming as if water and soil and land matter. Farming as if clean air matters. Farming as if human health, animal health and ecosystem health matter. Because all of this does matter and regenerative agricultural practices are the best way to preserve it.

By Courtney White – Albuquerque Journal –

Taming the Endangered Species Act

The increasing use of the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) places that agency on track to regulate a massive amount of the nation’s land as a habitat for one or more of the listed species and the ones that will be considered in the next few years.

Until now, FWS has been virtually unstoppable in its bid to become land manager of the nation. Recent actions however, have sought to push back on that power play, including a provision in the recent legislation to fund the federal government for 2015 that would prohibit funding for further rules to place sage-grouse on the Endangered Species List. Another attempt comes directly from the local citizens being affected by FWS listings; it is an event that pits man vs. dog.

This story begins with the Utah prairie dog. It lives only in the southwestern corner of Utah, a sparsely populated desert area, a four hour drive from Salt Lake City and consisting mostly of federal lands and two national parks (Zion and Bryce Canyon). The animal is 12 – 14 inches long and weighs up to three pounds. It constantly burrows, leaving parks, backyards, fields, and other public spaces pockmarked with holes and tunnels. There are even tales of it digging in cemeteries during funerals.

As an endangered species, its habitat, including areas that it might someday move to, is protected by the FWS, no matter how much it impacts communities. The population is stable, averaging 35,000. As a concession to farmers, FWS allows them to remove 5000 of these animals from agricultural lands for safety reasons. Everyone else must live with these diggers and must manage their property around them, no matter what the cost or impact, including not being able to develop private property.

Tired of having the little amount of private property available for use in Southwest Utah subject to federal regulatory restrictions, a group of citizens organized a coalition called “People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners” (“PETPO”) to take on the entire machinery of the federal government that protects the Utah prairie dog so it can continue to destroy their property.

PETPO challenged the constitutional authority of the federal government to protect the Utah prairie dog on private land. It argued that the prairie dog does not substantially affect interstate commerce, which is the only constitutional support for federal regulation of these animals. The government countered that even if the prairie dog has no value and no effect on commerce, it can still be regulated because federal regulation of all species has a substantial effect on commerce. In short, the government argues all regulation is constitutional because the purpose of regulation is to affect commerce.

Most of the time courts give deference to agency decisions, but in this case, the court ruled that the proper constitutional focus must be on the regulated activity not the fact that the government’s regulation impacts commerce. It reasoned that if the regulated activity impacts national markets, the federal government has the power to regulate. But if the regulated activity (in this case the Utah prairie dog) has no impact on national markets, the federal government does not have the power to regulate.

In applying the law to the facts, the court found in favor of PETPO because the Utah prairie dog lives only in southwestern Utah and its diminution would not significantly alter the supply or quantity of animals for which there is a national market.

What is most significant about this case is that the purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to protect ecosystems and on this point the court found that just the protection of an ecosystem may not be sufficient impact on commerce to be constitutional under the commerce clause….

By William Kovacs – Fox News –

Why Rockefellers Aim at Destroying Farmers Worldwide?

For the better part of the past century Western pop culture has systematically denigrated and devalued what should be the most honored profession of all. Those who labor with the land, day-in and day-out, to deliver the food that we eat have assumed a social status too often similar to the dirt of the soil they till. No one stops to ask a simple question: What do we do when we have killed off all our farmers?

Some of the more naïve city-dwellers would retort with little reflection, “But we have industrialized food production; we don’t need manual farm labor today.”

Indeed, the numbers are impressive.

Let’s take my homeland, the United States of America. In 1950, a time of general prosperity and strong economic growth, the total US population was 151,132,000 and the farm population was 25,058,000 making farmers just over 12% of the total labor force. There were 5,388,000 farms with an average size of about 87 hectares [215 acres]. Forty years later, in 1990, the year the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended, the USA had a total population of 261,423,000 of which the farm population numbered just under three million, 2,987,552, making farmers a mere 2.6% of the total labor force. The number of farms had shrunk to only 2,143,150, a loss of 60%, but because of industrial concentration, average size was 187 hectares [462 acres].

What we are told, those of us whose relation to meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables ends at the supermarket, is that this is a great progress, the liberation of almost 23 million farm workers to get city jobs and live a better life.

It isn’t that simple.

We are not told the true effects on food quality that has been created by the mechanization and industrialization of food production in America since the Harvard Business School, on a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, began what they termed “agribusiness,” the conversion of our food supply into a pure for-profit vertically integrated business modelled on the Rockefeller oil cartel.

The raising of hogs, dairy cows, beef cattle, chicken all became industrialized gradually after the 1950’s in the USA. The baby chicks were confined to spaces so tiny they could barely stand. To make them get fat faster, the owners would pump them full of antibiotics and feed them a diet of GMO corn and soya meal. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are for use on livestock and poultry, not humans. The majority are given to animals mixed in their food or water to speed growth. After all, time is money.

The traditional family farmer, of the sort my late grandfather was in North Dakota prior to the First World War, was driven largely from the land by USDA Government policy, policy that favored industrialization regardless of the quality of food nutrient that resulted. Tractors became computerized, mammoth machines driven by GPS. One such tractor could work remotely and do the work of many farmers of old.

The result was financially fabulous….for the industry owners—ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, for the packagers like Kraft Foods, Kelloggs, Nestle, Unilever, Toepfer, Maggi. The American Rockefeller-Harvard “agribusiness” business model was globalized, beginning with the GATT negotiations of the Uruguay Round of trade liberalization in the late 1980s where the EU dropped much of its traditional protection of domestic farmers in favor of free trade in agriculture products.

During the late 1980’s as the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations was about to give US agribusiness giants what they wanted—freedom to rape the EU and other protected agriculture markets with their highly efficient products, to destroy millions of EU farmers who had farmed with a passion for generations, I went to Brussels to make a background interview as a journalist with a high-level EU Commission bureaucrat responsible for agriculture. He was an apparently well-educated, multi-lingual bureaucrat, Danish-born as he noted. He argued in defense of free trade by declaring, “Why should I pay taxes from Denmark so that Bavarian farmers on their tiny plots of land can remain in business?”

The answer, which I kept to myself then, was simply because the traditional family farmer is uniquely suited to mediate with nature and us to produce food that is healthy for humans and animals to eat. No machine can replace the personal dedication or passion that I have seen again and again in every farmer I have met who truly cares about his livestock or crops.

Now the very same very rich and very loveless people, I call them the American Oligarchs, are systematically doing everything to destroy the human food quality. Clearly in my view, they are doing so with a goal of mass population reduction. There is no other reason the Rockefeller Foundation would spend hundreds of millions of (tax exempt) dollars to create GMO techniques, to support Monsanto and other chemical giants like DuPont, clearly knowing they are slowly poisoning the population to an early death.

By William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook –

The Politics of Food

By Nicole Faires – Utne.com –

You may not realize it yet, but you do not have the legal right to grow and eat anything that you want, and food has become a very complex issue. However, this right was not lost overnight, because originally food was not political. Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution would have included agriculture if any of the founding members or later leaders believed that the government had any say in the matter. Our relatively young food “industry” was still safe in the 1920s, when President Coolidge vetoed a complex price-fixing bill for various crops. He said, “I do not believe that upon serious consideration the farmers of America would tolerate the precedent of a body of men chosen solely by one industry who, acting in the name of the Government, shall arrange for contracts which determine prices…Such action would establish bureaucracy on such a scale as to dominate not only the economic life but the moral, social, and political future of our people.”

These politics of food he meant to avoid, however, is now a staple of most of the food industry legislation in America today. Only ten years after Coolidge, Hoover introduced the Farm Board, which fixed the price of wheat and cotton. The Farm Board had good intentions, but its policies had far-reaching consequences. If the price of wheat or cotton dropped too low, the government would step in and buy it at the fixed price. This relative financial security convinced many farmers to start producing wheat and cotton, and pretty soon they had too much of it. Supply far outstripped demand. That’s when President Roosevelt created the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Rather than paying farmers too much for a worthless crop, the government now paid them not to grow wheat or cotton. By that logic, any business that got into trouble by poorly estimating the market should be “bailed out” and paid to prevent stupidity. But this only applied to farmers.

….”Food is so vital for survival that it becomes a mechanism of control. If you don’t see it, your children will within the next sixty years”….

 
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