Jul 01

Related info:

Chinese Ministry Newspaper: GMO Soybeans Harm Health Of China’s 1.3 Billion People

 – Chinese Army Bans ALL GMO Grains And Oil From Supply Stations

Chinese Government Cafeterias Go Non-GMO

Chinese Finance Ministry Bans GMO Oil For Staff To Safeguard Health

In China, What You Eat Tells Who You Are … And Organic Food Is Only For The Power Elite

I ate Hu Jintao’s dinner; China’s president, and the rest of the politburo eat only organic food


China-Map

China halts GMO grain imports from the U.S. (Natural News, July 1, 2014):

The Chinese government has suspended issuance of permits to import American-produced animal feed ingredients made from corn, according to three trading executives who talked of the development with Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

The trio, whose applications were denied, said that effective June 6, U.S. shipments of dried distillers’ grains, which are known in the industry as DDGS, can no longer exported into the country because the Chinese government has declared them to have a high risk of contaminating MIR 162, a GMO strain that China hasn’t approved, the executives – who asked not to be identified because they were not permitted to speak to the media – told BusinessWeek.

The report continued: Continue reading »

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May 21

Chinese Army Bans All GMO Grains and Oil from Supply Stations (Sustainable Pulse, May 14, 2014):

The Chinese army has ordered all military supply stations to only allow the purchase of non-GMO grain and food oil due to health safety concerns over GMOs.

This move by the Chinese army is being seen as yet another step towards the Chinese government’s expected ban on the import of all GMO grains and oilseeds within the next 2 years, due to growing public concern over GMOs. The expected ban would be a huge blow to the Biotech industry worldwide.

The Hubei Province Xiangyang City Grain Bureau’s website announced on May 6, 2014: Continue reading »

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Jul 22

Some non-organic foods contain upwards of 180 times the fluoride level of tap water, says expert (Natural News, July 22, 2013):

As a follow-up to our earlier report on fluoridated food crops (http://www.naturalnews.com/036753_fluoride_pesticides_grapes.html), the following report explains a bit more about the true toxicity of the food supply in regards to fluoride chemicals. According to fluoride expert Jeff Green, many non-organic foods contain extremely high levels of fluoride because of the pesticide chemicals sprayed on them — and in some cases, non-organic produce contains up to 180 times the amount of fluoride found in tap water.

Fluoride-based pesticide chemicals such as cryolite (sodium hexafluoroaluminate) are commonly used on non-organic food crops because they are highly effective at both killing pests and protecting crops against pest damage. But these same chemicals tend to persist in, and on, produce, where unsuspecting consumers regularly consume them with their everyday meals. According to Green, about one-third of the average person’s fluoride exposure comes from non-organic food grown using fluoride chemicals.

“Cryolite is actually sodium aluminum fluoride … this sodium aluminum fluoride is especially effective at killing bugs,” says Green. “It’s also very sticky, so when they spray it, it’s more likely to stick on your produce, unless you’re … really working at trying to get it off of it.”

Many common fruits, vegetables loaded with fluoride

Citrus fruits, it turns out, are allowed by law to be contaminated with up to 95 parts per million (ppm) of sodium aluminum fluoride, while potatoes are permitted to have up to 22 ppm on the outside skin, and two ppm on the inside flesh. Raisins are allowed to have 55 ppm of the chemical, while romaine lettuce can have up to 40 ppm. But perhaps the worst offender is iceberg lettuce, which is allowed to have a whopping 180 ppm of sodium aluminum fluoride, or 180 times the amount of fluoride typically added to municipal water supplies.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

Say goodbye to gluten: Over 200 clinically confirmed reasons to avoid wheat (Natural News, Oct 17, 2012):

This title is the same as a recent GreenMedInfo.com. It contains a list of over 200 health problems, with celiac disease at the top and including many more not normally associated with gluten intolerance.

The author and founder of GreenMedInfo.com, Sayer Ji, prefers the term gluten toxicity to gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance… “in order to shift the focus away from the victim back to the aggressor, the gluten itself.”

Sayer Ji’s GreenMedInfo.com article lists all the disorders linked to gluten. They are hyperlinked to articles and abstracts of clinical studies recorded in MedLine since 1971. Continue reading »

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Jul 24

UN Alarmed Over Sharp Rise in Grain Prices (VOA, July 21, 2012):

A 20-percent spike in maize and wheat prices in just the past three weeks is raising concerns with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO economist Shukri Ahmed said the increase in price was sharp and sudden. He said that until May, experts were hoping for a huge increase in worldwide maize production.

Continue reading »

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Jul 03

Flashback:

USDA: No strategic grain reserves … they sold them!


Heatwave threatens US grain harvest (Fianacial Times, July 2, 2012):

An intense heatwave is threatening havoc with this year’s US grain harvest, burning up hopes of blockbuster yields and sending prices soaring.

Even a modest reduction in crops could send ripples through global food commodities markets, as the US is the world’s top exporter of corn, soyabeans and wheat, and stocks of the first two are relatively low.

Continue reading »

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Feb 15

The world’s biggest farm has put up the for-sale sign, after being hit by a collapse in grain prices during the world financial crisis, and then by the droughts and the fires that raged across its territories last summer.

Ivolga, a farming conglomerate which controls 1.5m hectares of land across Russia and Kazakhstan, is presently negotiating with Royal Bank of Scotland, which leads its creditors, to restructure a $300m loan it arranged in 2007.

The company’s immense holding, an area a third the size of Wales, easily outstrips that of El Tejar, the Argentine conglomerate which is the largest farm in the Western hemisphere, with 1.1m hectares under cultivation. Analysts estimate that a sale could value the farm at £500m-£1bn.

Ivolga last year asked a team of investment banks from Europe and Russia to try and find a buyer for a stake in the company, after deciding it needed a strategic partner to fund further development. Vasily Rozinov, the company’s owner, is thought to be keen not to lose ultimate control of the company.

Continue reading »

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Jan 15

“…historically low low stockpiles of grain…”

Here is what that really means:

–  USDA: No strategic grain reserves … they sold them!



Soybeans


DES MOINES, Iowa — A surprising drop in the U.S. corn and soybean crop sent grain prices surging to their highest levels in 2 1/2 years Wednesday. The price increases stoked concerns about higher food prices and tighter supplies of feedstock for food and biofuels.

Wet weather and abnormally high temperatures contributed to lower U.S. corn production in 2010, according to a report from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The report also showed declines in soybean, wheat and grain sorghum production.

March corn futures jumped 4 percent to settle at $6.31 a bushel. Soybean prices jumped 4.3 percent to $14.15 a bushel.

The report confirmed traders’ fears that historically low stockpiles of grain and oilseeds could leave little buffer in coming months as demand rises with a growing global economy. Prices reached their highest points since the financial crisis of 2008 caused a collapse in global demand for food and fuel.

Continue reading »

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Nov 23

Source: The PPJ Gazette

As recently as 2008, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the USDA, reported that there was virtually no grain stores left in the US.  Of the 24.1 million bushels in reserve, only 2.7 million bushels remained after the bulk of the grain stores were given for humanitarian relief. While some of the grain may have been used for humanitarian purposes, there is no evidence to support this contention. Furthermore, the use of the term humanitarian does not necessarily mean that the grain wasn’t sold, its just meant to condition public thinking into believing the grain was given away to hungry people.  I would bet that wasn’t the case at all.

There has been no effort by USDA or CCC to re-establish our strategic grain reserves.  The purpose of the CCC is to maintain a balanced supply of food commodities as a strategic backup in case of emergency and is charged with distributing those back up supplies to the population should they be needed. The strategic reserves which had been established as a result of the Great Depression were depleted in the 1980’s and USDA at that time announced it would not re-establish this back up and of course our current bio-tech pandering Ag secretary isn’t about to re-establish them either.

S.510 would insure the capture of the markets for corporations whose only interest is exporting whatever our land can produce to other nations, for commodities profit.  Nothing will be held back for the US as “free trade” and export will be first and foremost. Instead of focusing on securing a back up supply for the US, the USDA continues to push for ever more exportation of our food supply.  Now why would USDA and congress be promoting export over securing the food supply for the US?

This “free trade” thing is killing us economically. The cost of free trade needs to be measured not by whether or not a few selected individuals make a ton of money, but, by whether or not the economy is benefited by allowing it to continue.  Free trade has morphed into rape and pillage, leaving economic destruction in its wake and we are about to be left in the dirt and wondering where our next meal is coming from as multi-national corporations line up to seize control of the worlds food supplies.

Along with this loss of strategic grain reserves, there is no butter, cheese, dry milk or any other food commodity stockpiled for the American people in the event the predicted food crisis occurs.  Nearly one third of all corn crops are now diverted to ethanol production and are not grown for food; this while the coming food crisis begins.

It is our belief that this refusal by USDA and CCC to establish a food store for emergencies goes hand in hand with the intent of S.510, the fake food safety bill. This bill will effectively centralize food production not only geographically, but also in the marketplace by eliminating family and independent producers and centralizing food production in CAFO operations and other concentrated farming applications.

Continue reading »

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Aug 05

See also:

Russia Declares State Of Emergy Emergency As Forest Fires Rage

Russia: Worst drought in a decade, high temperatures damaged 32 percent of land under cultivation, grain prices may double


wheat

WINNIPEG Manitoba (Reuters) – Chicago wheat markets jumped 8 percent to near two-year highs on Thursday, twice triggering trading curbs to restore order before easing back after Russia said it would temporarily halt grain exports.

Russia’s worst drought on record has devastated crops in parts of the country and sent international grain prices soaring as markets placed bets that without shipments from one of the world’s leading exporters, global supplies would be restricted.

Wheat has risen seven of the past eight days at the Chicago Board of Trade and buying by funds and traders spilled across the grain markets. Corn and soybeans were 2 and 0.5 percent higher, respectively.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed an order banning grain and flour exports from August 15 to December 31, with a spokesman saying this would apply to contracts that had been already signed. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

Russia’s Drought Raises Bondholder Risk on Prices

russia_worst-drought-in-a-decade-high-temperatures-damaged-32-percent-of-land-under-cultivation-grain-prices-may-double
A farmer driving his tractor to harvest flax at a collective farm in the village of Mirny, in the Tver region (Reuters)

Russia’s worst drought in a decade will probably generate losses for bondholders as food prices rise and the government may be pushed to tap debt markets for funds to support farmers.

High temperatures, which rose to a record 37.4 Celsius (99 Fahrenheit) yesterday in Moscow, have damaged 32 percent of land under cultivation and forced Russia to declare states of emergency in 23 regions. Grain prices may double this year because of the drought, according to the Grain Producers’ Union.

Inflation may quicken to 8.1 percent by the end of December, compared with the government’s annual forecast of 6 percent, according to Yaroslav Lissovolik, Deutsche Bank AG’s head of research in Moscow. That will put pressure on Bank Rossii to raise its benchmark rate by year-end for the first time since December 2008, said Natalia Orlova, Moscow-based chief economist at Alfa Bank.

Higher rates “may cause a correction in short-term sovereign bonds and, later, in long-term sovereign bonds,” said Evgeniy Nadorshin, senior economist at Trust Investment Bank in Moscow.

The government, which plans to sell 1.2 trillion rubles ($39.3 billion) of bonds on the domestic market this year to finance its budget deficit, may increase that figure to pay for subsidies and contain the drought’s fallout, Nadorshin said. Continue reading »

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Jul 23

China’s ban on GM rice questioned as environmental activists discover unapproved transgenic products at two grain sources

greenpeace_gm-rice-contamination-in-chinas-emergency-grain-stores
A Chinese rice farmer in the Hunan province of China. (Getty Images)

China’s state grain reserves have been contaminated by illegal, genetically modified rice, according to an investigation by Greenpeace.

The environmental group says it has found tainted samples at two rice processing enterprises that source their products from the strategic food reserve.

It is feared the transgenic products, which have not been approved as safe for public consumption, will spread nationwide because the reserves sell food and distribute emergency supplies during floods, droughts and other disasters.

The affected rice is believed to have originated in Hubei province – a centre of grain production and the site of field tests for strains containing the Bt63 gene, which repels insects.

Earlier this year, Greenpeace activists said they had found batches of genetically modified rice seeds in Hubei and its neighbouring province, Hunan.

They also found illegal GM rice on sale at Wal-Mart and Zhongbai supermarkets. Continue reading »

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Sep 13

(Updates with closing grain prices; additional analyst comments)

CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday cut its projections for 2008 U.S. corn and soybean production, keeping supplies of the commodities tight and helping lift grain prices.

The reduction in crop size, which was the result of poor growing weather in August, could be the start of a trend, especially because the crops were already lagging developmentally because of delayed planting and spring floods in parts of the Midwest, grain analysts warned.

The USDA estimates U.S. 2008 corn production at 12.072 billion bushels, down 216 million from the agency’s August estimate. The soybean crop is expected to come in at 2.934 billion bushels, down 39 million bushels from last month’s forecast. In both cases, the agency said, weather during August lowered the average yield for each crop, thereby lowering total production.

Continue reading »

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Sep 09

Britain is facing its worst harvest for at least 40 years as 30 per cent of the country’s grain lies in waterlogged or sodden ground. Hilary Benn, the Rural Affairs Secretary, is expected to give the go-ahead today for farmers to salvage what is left of their crops by using heavy machinery on wet fields.

European Union rules ban farmers from using combine harvesters on wet land to protect soil quality. Those who flout the ban can be prosecuted. The exemption is expected to last for about three weeks.

Continue reading »

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Jul 13

Life is hard for wheat and livestock farmers in the south, as they face a possible third year of nearly no rain.

July 12, 2008 POOCHERA, AUSTRALIA — Glen Phillips kneels down, scoops up a handful of dirt and squashes it in his fist to test whether the soil in this dry patch of the Australian Outback is ready to take a crop of wheat.

“It should clump together when you squeeze,” says Phillips, whose family has lived off the land on the edge of the Great Australian Bight since 1949. “That’s how you know it’s good to plant, it’s moist enough to hold the roots.”

He opens his hand and the earth sifts dustily between his fingers. Phillips looks up, lifts his hat slightly and squints into an empty blue sky with no sign of rain.

“We’ll plant anyway,” he says. “We don’t have a choice.”

Australia is suffering one of its worst droughts on record, hurting wheat farming just as the world faces a food crisis. Australia is usually the world’s third or fourth-largest exporter of wheat. But exports dropped 46% from 2005 to 2006, then fell 24% last year.

Most of its exports go to the Middle East and Southeast Asia to make bread and cereals, but the fall in supply has led to soaring prices. A ton of Australian wheat costs $367, compared with $258 in early 2007, an increase poorer countries can ill afford.

Related articles:

Worsening Drought Threatens Australia’s “Food Bowl”
Drought devastates Iraq’s wheat crops
Floods may boost world food prices for years
Floods wipe out US crops
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR
Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser

“When they pay high prices, they pass on an increase to their poorest people, who can no longer afford it,” says Kunhamboo Kannan, director of agriculture, environment and natural resources at the Asian Development Bank. “Just look at Egypt.” Riots over rising bread prices and shortages have led to at least 10 deaths there this year.

Continue reading »

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Jul 13


An agricultural region that produces over 40 percent of Australia‘s fruit, vegetables, and grain is seriously threatened by the country’s ongoing drought, which has been developing into a crisis over the last decade. Scientists say that the two mighty rivers that irrigate the Murray-Darling Basin (an area the size of France and Germany combined) received the lowest amount of replenishing autumn rain since record-keeping began over a century ago.

Neil Plummer, acting head of the National Climate Centre, described rainfall during the southern hemisphere autumn as “an absolute shocker”, and said: “I’m gasping for good news”. Wendy Craik, chief executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, said the river system’s condition was “critical… tending towards flatlining”. She added: “We have got it on life support” [The Independent].

Related articles:
Drought devastates Iraq’s wheat crops
Floods may boost world food prices for years
Floods wipe out US crops
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR
Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser

The degrading ecosystem may cause strife between farmers and environmentalists, as the government has said it might be forced to compulsorily acquire water from irrigators, a move that would anger and devastate farm families [The Daily Telegraph]. Conservationists say the mandatory water buy-backs are necessary to protect the wetland habitat of native birds, turtles and fish.

Continue reading »

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Jul 02

Related articles:
Floods may boost world food prices for years
Floods wipe out US crops
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR

A catastrophe for Iowa farmers will not be just a catastrophe for Midwestern Americans. In the Iowa floods, we’ll see more evidence of how the problems of weird weather (climate change) combine and ramify the problems associated with Peak Oil. In this particular case they lead to an inflection point sometime around the 2008 harvest season, which will also be our time of political harvest.

These are not your daddy’s or granddaddy’s floods. These are 500-year floods, events not seen before non-Indian people started living out on that stretch of the North American prairie. The vast majority of homeowners in Eastern Iowa did not have flood insurance because the likelihood of being affected above the 500-year-line was so miniscule – their insurance agents actually advised them against getting it.

The personal ruin out there will be comprehensive and profound, a wet version of the 1930s Dust Bowl, with families facing total loss and perhaps migrating elsewhere in the nation because they have no home to go back to.

Iowa in 2008 will be an even slower-motion disaster than Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Beyond the troubles of 25,000 people who have lost all their material possessions is a world whose grain reserves stand at record lows. The crop losses in Iowa will aggravate what is already a pretty dire situation. So far, the US public has experienced the world grain situation mainly in higher supermarket prices.

Cheap corn is behind the magic of the American processed food industry – all those pizza pockets and juicy-juice boxes that frantic Americans resort to because they have no time between two jobs and family-chauffeur duties to actually cook (note: reheating is not cooking).

Continue reading »

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Jun 29

Related articles:
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Floods wipe out US crops
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR

The meat prices will very soon go through the roof too, because the livestock is fed with corn, soybeans and hay. And the prices will continue to rise because of accelerating inflation, the missing bees, flooding and more natural disasters coming. – The Infinite Unknown
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Source: Cattle Network

May

May

Percent

Meat & Dairy

Unit

2007

2008

Change

Ground Chuck Lb 2.766 2.798 1.16%
Ground Beef Lb 2.307 2.313 0.26%
Steak Round, Choice Lb 4.134 4.178 1.06%
Bacon, Sliced Lb 3.651 3.637 -0.38%
Pork Chops Lb 3.194 3.268 2.32%
Chicken Breast Lb 2.312 2.392 3.46%
Turkey, Frozen Lb 1.146 1.258 9.77%
Eggs, Grade A Doz 1.504 1.930 28.32%
Milk, Fresh Gal 3.259 3.760 15.37%
Cheddar Cheese Lb 3.976 4.397 10.59%
Source: ERS/USDA – Retail Prices

Field Crops

Unit

2007

2008

Change

Barley Bu $3.12 $4.76 52.56%
Beans, Dry Edible Cwt $3.08 $5.06 64.29%
Corn Bu $3.49 $5.12 46.70%
Cotton Lb $0.44 $0.61 37.95%
Flaxseed Bu $7.08 $16.60 134.46%
Hay Ton $138.00 $166.00 20.29%
Lentils Cwt $13.20 $32.70 147.73%
Oats Bu $2.49 $3.46 38.96%
Peanuts Lb $0.18 $0.20 12.29%
Peas, Dry Edible Cwt $10.10 $16.40 62.38%
Potatoes Cwt $7.95 $9.21 15.85%
Rice, Rough Cwt $10.00 $15.00 50.00%
Sorghum Cwt $6.49 $9.18 41.45%
Soybeans Bu $7.12 $12.30 72.75%
Sunflower Cwt $16.60 $27.40 65.06%
Wheat Bu $4.88 $8.80 80.33%
Source: USDA/NASS – Ag Prices Received

May

May

Percent

Fruits

Unit

2007

2008

Change

Apples Lb $0.27 $0.34 26.02%
Grapefruit Box $4.49 $5.12 14.03%
Lemons Box $8.14 $20.77 155.16%
Oranges Box $11.12 $6.95 -37.50%
Peaches Ton $820.00 $948.00 15.61%
Pears Ton $651.00 $525.00 -19.35%
Strawberries Cwt $68.60 $66.70 -2.77%
Tangerines Box $17.01 $5.98 -64.84%
Source: USDA/NASS – Ag Prices Received

May

May

Percent

Vegetables

Unit

2007

2008

Change

Asparagus Cwt $91.90 $99.80 8.60%
Broccoli Cwt $26.70 $27.30 2.25%
Carrots Cwt $32.00 $25.50 -20.31%
Cauliflower Cwt $24.90 $37.40 50.20%
Celery Cwt $18.30 $37.70 106.01%
Cucumbers Cwt $28.50 $17.50 -38.60%
Lettuce Cwt $13.60 $16.80 23.53%
Onions Cwt $24.20 $31.70 30.99%
Snap Beans Cwt $38.80 $39.60 2.06%
Sweet Corn Cwt $21.40 $23.10 7.94%
Tomatoes Cwt $35.60 $40.40 13.48%
Source: USDA/NASS – Ag Prices Received
Prepared By: Rob Cook, rob@cattlenetwork.com

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Jun 24

The crest of the swollen Mississippi River moved downstream yesterday as volunteers manned sandbagged levees and coped with the costs of the Midwest’s worst flooding in 15 years. “At times like these you don’t know whether to cry or laugh. But here in the Midwest we tend to favour the latter,” said Charlotte Hoerr, who, with her husband Brent, farms land not far from the river in this small Missouri town.

The river overcame more than two dozen levees last week, submerging small towns and vast stretches of prime farmland as the nation’s most vital waterway absorbed the run-off of torrential rains that put many Iowa towns under water. The Midwest flooding and storms are expected to push US and world food prices higher. Up to five million acres of newly planted crops have been lost at the heart of the world’s top grain and food exporter. Prices for corn, cattle and pigs all set records this week owing to the floods, as a world economy already hit by inflation from rising energy prices absorbed the blow.

Related articles:
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR

(Wake up: “World Situation” & Prepare yourself: “Solution” – The Infinite Unknown)

Continue reading »

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Jun 10

WASHINGTON – Larry Matlack, President of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), has raised concerns over the issue of U.S. grain reserves after it was announced that the sale of 18.37 million bushels of wheat from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.

“According to the May 1, 2008 CCC inventory report there are only 24.1 million bushels of wheat in inventory, so after this sale there will be only 2.7 million bushels of wheat left the entire CCC inventory,” warned Matlack. “Our concern is not that we are using the remainder of our strategic grain reserves for humanitarian relief. AAM fully supports the action and all humanitarian food relief.

Our concern is that the U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve.

The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 2.7 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make 1⁄2 of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America.”

Related articles:
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis

Time to Stockpile Food?

Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.

UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus

THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR

More here: World Situation “Stock up FOOD and WATER NOW!” – The Infinite Unknown

The CCC is a federal government-owned and operated entity that was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. CCC is also supposed to maintain balanced and adequate supplies of agricultural commodities and aids in their orderly distribution. Continue reading »

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May 26

The 2008 winter was the coldest in 40 years for the upper Midwest, Plains states and most of Canada. Minnesota newspapers report that this year’s opening of the locks to Mississippi barge traffic, delayed by three weeks, was the latest since the modern waterway opened in 1940.

Eau Claire, where “old-fashioned winters” have been a thing of the past, recorded 43 days of below-zero temperatures, while folks down in Madison shoveled away at a 117-year record snowfall throughout the season, as did many in New England and Canada.

Rare snowfalls struck Buenos Aires, Capetown, and Sidney during their mid-year winter, while China continually battled blizzards. Even Baghdad experienced measurable snowfall.

Antarctic pack-ice far exceeded what Captain Cook saw on his 18th century voyage into the Southern Ocean. On the continent itself the miles-thick ice continues to accumulate despite peripheral melting along the Antarctic Peninsula and occasional calving of an ice block. At the opposite pole, flow-ice once again spans the entire Arctic Ocean, and by April it had extended into the Bering Strait, making up for the much heralded melt-back last summer.

From January 2007 through the end of January 2008, the average global temperature fell by nearly a degree Fahrenheit, based on data obtained by the MET Office in Great Britain and other international temperature monitoring networks.

What are we to make of this? The recent climate conference held in New York City, sponsored by the Heartland Institute, provides some answers. Several hundreds climatologists in attendance dispelled notions that the global warming debate is over. Most attendees, who readily acknowledge the existence of post-Little Ice Age warming, believe man-made emissions are unlikely to cause major climate change and signed a declaration to that effect. Continue reading »

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May 14

Fidencio Alvarez abandoned his bean and corn farm in southern Honduras because of the rising cost of seeds, fuel and food. After months of one meal a day, he hiked with his wife and six children to find work in the city.
“We would wake up with empty stomachs and go to bed with empty stomachs,” said Alvarez, 37, who sought help from the Mission Lazarus aid group in Choluteca in January. “We couldn’t afford the seeds to plant food or the bus fare to buy the food.”

Honduran farmers like Alvarez can’t compete in a global marketplace where the costs of fuel and fertilizer soared and rice prices doubled in the past year. The former breadbasket of Central America now imports 83 percent of the rice it consumes — a dependency triggered almost two decades ago when it adopted free-market policies pushed by the World Bank and other lenders.

The country was $3.6 billion in debt in 1990. In return for loans from the World Bank, Honduras became one of dozens of developing nations that abandoned policies designed to protect farmers and citizens from volatile food prices. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee in Washington today explored the causes of the global food crisis and possible solutions.

The committee examined whether policies advocated by the bank and the International Monetary Fund contributed to the situation. Governments from Ghana to the Philippines were pressured to cut protective tariffs and farm supports and to grow more high-value crops for export, reports by the Washington-based World Bank show.

Haiti Pressure

The IMF pressed Haiti, as a condition of a 1994 loan, to open its economy to trade, Raj Patel, a scholar at the Center for African Studies in the University of California at Berkeley told the committee. When trade barriers fell, imports of subsidized rice from the U.S. surged, devastating the local rice farmers, Patel said.

“That is very odd,” said committee chair Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. “For anyone to have looked at Haiti at that time and thought that it was a functioning economy is a sign I think of ideology going rampant.”

“Of course they got it wrong,” said Robert S. Zeigler, director-general at the International Rice Research Institute, southeast of Manila. “It will work if you’re an extremely wealthy country and you can import rice at any price. But if you’re not an extremely wealthy country, I think that’s very poor advice.” Continue reading »

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May 12

There is a time for food, and a time for ethical appraisals. This was the case even before Bertolt Brecht gave life to that expression in Die Driegroschen Oper. The time for a reasoned, coherent understanding for the growing food crisis is not just overdue, but seemingly past. Robert Zoellick of the World Bank, an organization often dedicated to flouting, rather than achieving its claimed goal of poverty reduction, stated the problem in Davos in January this year. ‘Hunger and malnutrition are the forgotten Millennium Development Goal.’

Global food prices have gone through the roof, terrifying the 3 billion or so people who live off less than $2 a day. This should terrify everybody else. In November, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization reported that food prices had suffered a 18 percent inflation in China, 13 percent in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10 percent or more in Latin America, Russia and India. The devil in the detail is even more distressing: a doubling in the price of wheat, a twenty percent increase in the price of rice, an increase by half in maize prices. Continue reading »

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May 09

The global free market for food and energy is facing its biggest threat in decades as a host of countries push through draconian measures to hold down prices, raising fears of a new “resource nationalism” that could endanger world food security.


Somali’s demonstrate against high food prices in the capital Mogadishu. At least two people were killed in clashes

India shocked the markets yesterday by suspending trading in futures contracts for a range of farm products in a bid to clamp down on alleged speculators and curb inflation, now running at 7.6pc.

The country’s Forward Markets Commission said contracts for soybean oil, chana (chickpeas), potatoes, and rubber had been banned for four months, even though a report by the Indian parliament last month concluded that soaring food costs had almost nothing to do with the futures contracts. Traders in Mumbai slammed the ban as an act of brazen political populism.

The move has been seen as a concession to India’s Communist MPs – key allies of premier Manmohan Singh – who want a full-fledged ban on futures trading in sugar, cooking oil, and grains.

As food and fuel riots spread across the world, a string of governments have resorted to steps that menace the free flow of food and key commodities. Argentina has banned beef exports, while Egypt and India have stopped shipments of rice.

Kazakhstan has prohibited wheat exports. Russia has slapped a 40pc export duty on shipments, and Pakistan a 35pc duty.

China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philipines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam have all imposed export controls or forms of rationing to ease the crisis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that this lurch towards national controls is becoming a threat to the open global system we all take for granted. “If not handled properly, this crisis could result in a cascade of others and affect political security around the world,” he said.

A new report by UBS says the scramble for scarce raw materials is turning ever more political, with ominous implications for ill-endowed societies that rely on imports.

“The bottom line is that countries with resources, particularly in food and energy are becoming more protective of these resources,” it said.

(I know I am repeating myself and I know that many are already well prepared. This is for the ones that are not:
Store food and water “NOW”. Do this in a relaxed manner because your brain shuts down when you are under stress and in survival mode. – The Infinite Unknown)

Continue reading »

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May 05

We need to overturn food policy, now!

GRAIN

For some time now the rising cost of food all over the world has taken households, governments and the media by storm. The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year.[1] Rice has doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone,[2] and just last week it hit record highs on the Chicago futures market.[3] For most of 2007 the spiralling cost of cooking oil, fruit and vegetables, as well as of dairy and meat, led to a fall in the consumption of these items. From Haiti to Cameroon to Bangladesh, people have been taking to the streets in anger at being unable to afford the food they need. In fear of political turmoil, world leaders have been calling for more food aid, as well as for more funds and technology to boost agricultural production. Cereal exporting countries, meanwhile, are closing their borders to protect their domestic markets, while other countries have been forced into panic buying. Is this a price blip? No. A food shortage? Not that either. We are in a structural meltdown, the direct result of three decades of neoliberal globalisation.

Farmers across the world produced a record 2.3 billion tons of grain in 2007, up 4% on the previous year. Since 1961 the world’s cereal output has tripled, while the population has doubled. Stocks are at their lowest level in 30 years, it’s true,[4] but the bottom line is that there is enough food produced in the world to feed the population. The problem is that it doesn’t get to all of those who need it. Less than half of the world’s grain production is directly eaten by people. Most goes into animal feed and, increasingly, biofuels – massive inflexible industrial chains. In fact, once you look behind the cold curtain of statistics, you realise that something is fundamentally wrong with our food system. We have allowed food to be transformed from something that nourishes people and provides them with secure livelihoods into a commodity for speculation and bargaining. The perverse logic of this system has come to a head. Today it is staring us in the face that this system puts the profits of investors before the food needs of people. Continue reading »

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May 05

For decades, wheat was king on the Great Plains and prices were low everywhere. Those days are over.

At Stephen Fleishman’s busy Bethesda shop, the era of the 95-cent bagel is coming to an end.

Breaking the dollar barrier “scares me,” said the Bronx-born owner of Bethesda Bagels. But with 100-pound bags of North Dakota flour now above $50 — more than double what they were a few months ago — he sees no alternative to a hefty increase in the price of his signature product, a bagel made by hand in the back of the store.

I’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years,” he said. “It’s a nightmare.”

Fleishman and his customers are hardly alone. Across America, turmoil in the world wheat markets has sent prices of bread, pasta, noodles, pizza, pastry and bagels skittering upward, bringing protests from consumers.

But underlying this food inflation are changes that are transforming U.S. agriculture and making a return to the long era of cheap wheat products doubtful at best.

Half a continent away, in the North Dakota country that grows the high-quality wheats used in Fleishman’s bagels, many farmers are cutting back on growing wheat in favor of more profitable, less disease-prone corn and soybeans for ethanol refineries and Asian consumers.

“Wheat was king once,” said David Braaten, whose Norwegian immigrant grandparents built their Kindred, N.D., farm around wheat a century ago. “Now I just don’t want to grow it. It’s not a consistent crop.”

In the 1980s, more than half the farm’s acres were wheat. This year only one in 10 will be, and 40 percent will go to soybeans. Braaten and other farmers are considering investing in a $180 million plant to turn the beans into animal feed and cooking oil, both now in strong demand in China. And to stress his hopes for ethanol, his business card shows a sketch of a fuel pump. Continue reading »

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Apr 30

April 28 (Bloomberg) — As farmers confront mounting costs and riots erupt from Haiti to Egypt over food, Garry Niemeyer is paying the price for Wall Street’s speculation in grain markets.

Commodity-index funds control a record 4.51 billion bushels of corn, wheat and soybeans through Chicago Board of Trade futures, equal to half the amount held in U.S. silos on March 1. The holdings jumped 29 percent in the past year as investors bought grain contracts seeking better returns than stocks or bonds. The buying sent crop prices and volatility to records and boosted the cost for growers and processors to manage risk.

Niemeyer, who farms 2,200 acres in Auburn, Illinois, won’t use futures to protect the value of the crop he will harvest in October. With corn at $5.9075 a bushel, up from $3.88 last year, he says the contracts are too costly and risky. Investors want corn so much that last month they paid 55 cents a bushel more than grain handlers, the biggest premium since 1999. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Rationing of rice by retail stores has spread as far as Israel since The New York Sun reported on the phenomenon in Northern California last week.

The Blue Square and Supersol supermarket chains have begun limiting purchases of rice, Israeli newspapers said yesterday. Supersol is restricting each customer to “three bags per type of grain product,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Meanwhile, Asian grocery stores seem to be joining their larger wholesale-style competitors in curbing purchases. A supermarket chain which caters to Chinese Americans, 99 Ranch, is imposing two-bag-per-customer limits on most of its 20-pound and 50-pound sacks of rice, according to signs at its store in Cupertino, Calif. That store and others in the chain were selling rice without limitation a week ago. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.

“Where’s the rice?” an engineer from Palo Alto, Calif., Yajun Liu, said. “You should be able to buy something like rice. This is ridiculous.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 22

A farmer harvests soy beans on the outskirts of Gualeguaychu, north of Buenos Aires.(Andres Stapff/Reuters)

Soaring food prices and global grain shortages are bringing new pressures on governments, food companies and consumers to relax their longstanding resistance to genetically engineered crops.

In Japan and South Korea, some manufacturers for the first time have begun buying genetically engineered corn for use in soft drinks, snacks and other foods. Until now, to avoid consumer backlash, the companies have paid extra to buy conventionally grown corn. But with prices having tripled in two years, it has become too expensive to be so finicky.

“We cannot afford it,” said a corn buyer at Kato Kagaku, a Japanese maker of corn starch and corn syrup.

In the United States, wheat growers and marketers, once hesitant about adopting biotechnology because they feared losing export sales, are now warming to it as a way to bolster supplies. Genetically modified crops contain genes from other organisms to make the plants resistance to insects, herbicides or disease. Opponents continue to worry that such crops have not been studied enough and that they might pose risks to health and the environment.

(Genetically modified crops have been studied long enough to know that GM food weakens the immune system within days, increases the cancer risk dramatically etc. – The Infinite Unknown) Continue reading »

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