Despite a new poll published Monday suggesting that 76% of Americans expect that a non-GMO dairy label would mean the cows were fed non-GMO feed, a “Trojan horse” paragraph in Bill H.R. 1599, also known as the DARK Act, is set to deliver the exact opposite to consumers, as well as a massive boost to the Biotech industry.
SUSTAINABLE PULSE EXCLUSIVE
Warren Taylor, Co-Owner of Snowville Creamery in Ohio, stated Monday; “The DARK Act affirmed the U.S. government’s refusal to require GMO labeling despite almost universal public desire for GMO labeling. It makes labeling a federal function, so individual states cannot pass unique labeling laws. This is a common sense requirement in today’s marketplace. The most egregious part of the Act went almost completely unnoticed. A single Trojan horse paragraph at the end of the non-GMO product labeling section allows meat, milk, and eggs from animals fed GMO feed to be labeled as non-GMO. In this way the DARK Act went from not telling to actively intentionally misleading the public about the GMO content of meat, milk, and eggs.”
Meat producers are angry, vegetarians are feeling vindicated, and cancer experts are welcoming the most comprehensive pronouncement yet on the relation between our modern meat-eating lifestyles and cancer.
On the surface, Canada’s 1.2% inflation is negligible, and barely enough to keep up with the pace of overall growth as mandated by a few central bank academics. It is below the surface, however, that one finds the scary truth. Because when stripping away the sliding energy prices (which at the recent pace of short covering among oil speculators are about to surge) some scary numbers emerge, such as a 3.8% monthly jump in food prices, primarily as a result of a whopping 30-40% increase in select meat prices in the last 8 months.
How do ordinary people – which excludes those who work in central banks and have taxpayers fund their everyday purchases, which allows them to fully ignore soaring food and rent costs – survive in an environment of soaring food prices?
As the following brief documentary by CBC’s The National reveals, food inflation means people have no choice but to eat “far less beef” than they used to, “or chicken.” Others are ok with the runaway food inflation: “it doesn’t matter to me, I buy the meat at the price it is and that’s fine with me” say a gentleman who likely works for a hedge fund and BTFD for a living.
In a food market driven by money, greed and power, our only hope for access to clean, sustainable and humanely treated food are watchdog groups whose sole purpose is to keep the industry under a microscope.
That’s exactly what The Cornucopia Institute does — a relentless organic watchdog group whose mission is to “draw attention to and rein in abuses from the rise of factory farm confinement dairy operations in organic agriculture.”
Germany’s top supermarkets, the powerhouses of Europe when it comes to retail, have delivered a blow to the biotech industry by forcing the German poultry industry to return to the use of non-GMO feed.
It was announced last Thursday that the German supermarkets, with a broad consensus, recently demanded from the German Poultry Association (ZDG) to stop using GMO feed for both egg and poultry meat production, starting from January 1st 2015. That is the date when the retailers want to receive GMO-free fed products again, meaning poultry suppliers will have to rush to get their feed supply chains free from GMO feed once more.
The Justice Department forced Tyson to sell its sow-buying business that competed head-to-head with Hillshire’s sow slaughter business. The Justice Department should be commended for recognizing the buyer-power that pork processors and marketers have over hog farmers and taking a necessary step to protect farmers from increased consolidation in the pork packing industry. The pork packing industry remains overly concentrated, but at least the Justice Department prevented it from getting any worse.
The last time we looked at the rather unpalatable issue of soaring bacon prices back in March, it was the direct result of exploding, no pun intended, prices of lean hogs stricken by the aptly named porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, which killed up to 7 million pigs and pushed the price of pork and its derivatives to record highs. We have bad news: according to Reuters an Indiana farm has become the first to confirm publicly it suffered a second outbreak of a deadly pig virus, fueling concerns that a disease that has wiped out 10 percent of the U.S. hog population will be harder to contain than producers and veterinarians expected. That’s right, the PEDv, aka pig diarrhea bug, is back, and this time it may have mutated.
A few months ago we reported that while the Fed is seeing nothing but hedonic deflation as far as the eye can see, food prices – for whatever reason but “certainly not” due to trillions in liquidity entering a close system so just blame it on the weather – were soaring to record highs. Among them was the price of beef, which in 2014 alone has soared by the most in over a decade. This led the US Department of Agriculture to warn of “sticker shock” facing home chefs on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of the U.S. summer grilling season.
According to the USDA, reported by Reuters, conditions in California could have “large and lasting effects on U.S. fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices,” as the most populous U.S. state struggles through what officials are calling a catastrophic drought. Alas, the USDA had nothing to say about the Fed’s unprecedented desire to reflate the US economy which is still suffering from the catastrophic depression which started nearly 7 years ago.
As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a “luxury item” for most American families? This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month. Leading the way is the price of shrimp. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of shrimp has jumped an astounding 61 percent compared to a year ago. The price of pork is also moving upward aggressively thanks to a disease which has already killed about 10 percent of all of the pigs in the entire country. And the endless drought in the western half of the country has caused the size of the U.S. cattle herd to shrink to a 63 year low and has pushed the price of beef to an all-time high. This is really bad news if you like to eat meat. The truth is that the coming “meat crisis” is already here, and it looks like it is going to get a lot worse in the months ahead.
The average price of USDA choice-grade beef has soared to $5.28 a pound, and the average price of a pound of bacon has skyrocketed to $5.46. Unfortunately for those that like to eat meat, this is just the beginning of the price increases. Due to an absolutely crippling drought that won’t let go of the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951. But back in 1951, we had less than half the number of mouths to feed. And a devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the United States before has already killed up to 6 million pigs in this country and continues to spread like wildfire. What all of this means is that the supply of meat is going to be tight for the foreseeable future even as demand for meat continues to go up. This is going to result in much higher prices, and so food is going to put a much larger dent in American family budgets in the months and years to come.
One year ago, the average price of USDA choice-grade beef was $4.91. Now it is up to $5.28, and the Los Angeles Times says that we should not expect prices to come down “any time soon”…
Come grilling season, expect your sirloin steak to come with a hearty side of sticker shock.