Note: In my opinion, this, next to Global Climate Change, is one of the most critical issues facing the human (and many other) race. Seed diversity, family farms, and chemical free farming are critical for health and well being. The use of patented genetically modified seeds is the doom of the small farmer, and the small family farm is essential for the health of the planet. This is a long article, but every word in it is important.Home Grown Axis of Evil
by Heather Gray
"In June 2005 I attended the National Media Reform Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. While there I visited the historic St. Louis courthouse and the huge Gateway Arch by the Mississippi River that symbolizes St. Louis as the gateway to the west. It was here that US corporate agribusiness, the US occupation of Iraq and the Dred Scott decision intersected in reality as well as symbolically."
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Why would corporate agribusiness be salivating??? Some history here. It is thought that agriculture started 13,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent - in the area now called Iraq - where the Tigress and the Euphrates rivers intersect. The Iraqi ancestral farmers and this fertile land brought us major crops such as wheat, barley, dates and pulses (see Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies"). The area is hugely important in world history. Given they are considered the initiators, for thousands of years the contributions of the Iraqi farmers to the world's agriculture production system have been unquestionably profound.
It is also likely that women were the initiators of agriculture. Women were the gatherers in hunting and gathering pre-agricultural societies. As women were the ones gathering nuts and roots for their communities, they would have been the observers of seeds and their growth patterns. This is likely why the majority of the African farmers today are women and throughout our human history the world's farmers have largely been women.
Now comes the corporate connection. Food is something everyone needs. There is no question about this and no need for a survey - the market is a given. Huge profits are in the offing. Controlling all aspects of food its production, packaging, distribution and commodity markets - is the dream world of corporate agribusiness.Much More