- US corn, soy prices hit records as drought lingers (France 24/AFP, Aug 22, 2012):
US corn and soybean prices closed at new record highs Tuesday as a new survey showed worse-than-expected crop damage from a brutal drought across the country’s central breadbasket.The price of corn jumped 1.7 percent to $8.3875 a bushel, while soybeans finished at $17.3025 a bushel, up 2.8 percent from Tuesday.
That left the corn price up 68 percent from June and soybeans 39 percent higher.
- The Growing Threat Of Soybean-Inspired Social Unrest In China (ZeroHedge, Aug 19, 2012):
Two weeks ago we explained why the drought-inspired soaring price of Soybeans – specifically from the US – would notably influence global central-planners’ actions – and more specifically the Chinese (given its high impact on food price inflation). Food prices remain elevated and the PBoC is undertaking Reverse Repos – the exact opposite of an RRR-driven easing program so many expected. However, there is a further, deeper, and more troubling consequence than ‘simple’ inflationary arguments – that of social unrest. Confirming our insight, the LA Times points out,
Soybean oil is the most important edible oil in China with more than two-thirds of cooking oil consumed in China coming from soybeans – and most of those soybeans are supplied by the US (more than half of US exports are to China and the US is China’s number 1 supplier). According to one official this “makes [China] vulnerable to the drought” and bound to the fortunes of farmers in the American heartland. The Chinese devote more than 20% of their income to food (three times more than Americans – according to the USDA).
- New GMO ‘Agent Orange Soy’ Silently Backed by USDA (Activist Post, July 20, 2012):
Millions of pounds of herbicides are applied to crops around the nation each year. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone; this is a 20-fold increase from the 4.9 million pounds in 1994, the year before Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds were introduced.
Well, now, biotechnology giant and creator of pesticides and herbicides, Dow AgroSciences is bringing forth brand new GMO soybeans and GMO corn to the market that will ultimately cause more herbicides than ever to be sprayed across the nation. What’s more, the USDA is all over the idea. Continue reading »
Tags: Agriculture, Barack Obama, Corn, Dow Agrosciences, Environment, Farmers, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, Glyphosate, GMO, Government, Health, Herbicides, Monsanto, Obama administration, Politics, Roundup, Roundup Ready, soy, soybeans, U.S., USDA
Avoid also cottonseed oil.
- Are you eating pesticides? Canola oil, soybean oil used as key ingredients in pesticide products (Natural News, June 29, 2011):
In a shocking new video, Mike Adams (the Health Ranger) reveals that common cooking oils such as canola oil and soybean oil are used as key active ingredients in pesticide products because they work so effectively to kill bugs. The video shows how one pesticide product that kills insects is made with 96% canola oil and is so dangerous that the label says, “Hazards to humans and domestic animals.”
The label of the product, made almost entirely with canola oil, goes on to explain “CAUTION: Avoid contact with skin or clothing.” If you get it on yourself, you are directed to take off all your contaminated clothing, take a 15-20 minute shower to rinse the canola oil off your skin, and then “Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice.”
Again, this is a for an insecticide that’s made of 96% canola oil — an oil that’s found throughout the food supply and especially in products such as salad dressings and snack chips. Canola oil is also in ingredient often used in so-called “vegetable oil” shown on the ingredients label.This canola oil-based pesticide also says on the label: “Environmental Hazards: Do not apply directly to water. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment…”
In case you haven’t noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?
Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.
There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.
Let’s look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.
The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming…. Continue reading »
Companies that genetically engineer crops have a lock on what we know about their safety and benefits.
Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola — most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered. “Transgenic” seeds reduce the use of some insecticides. But herbicide use is higher, and respected experts argue that some genetically engineered crops may also pose serious health and environmental risks. The benefits of genetically engineered crops may be overstated.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 17, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 19 Editorial Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Seeds: In a Feb. 13 Op-Ed about seed-company barriers to independent research on genetically modified crops, the owner of the seed company Pioneer was incorrectly identified as Dow Chemical. DuPont owns Pioneer.
We don’t have the complete picture. That’s no accident. Multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto and Syngenta, have restricted independent research on their genetically engineered crops. They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they’ve set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.
This is legal. Under U.S. law, genetically engineered crops are patentable inventions. Companies have broad power over the use of any patented product, including who can study it and how.
Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it’s likely that the companies fear something else as well: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn’t perform as promised.
“Because Canada’s labeling law do not require disclosure of genetically modified content, Canadian consumers in fact have been using and eating genetically modified food for about 10 years, mostly corn, soya and canola.”
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz hailed the defeat of the bill because GMO provides an innovative technology that allows Canadian farmers to be competitive in the world market.
Canadian MPs voted Wednesday evening to reject stronger export rules for crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Legislators crossed party lines and cast 178 votes in favor of quashing the bill; 98 MPs were in favor of more stringent export regulations for GMO crops.
ST. LOUIS — U.S. reserves of corn have hit their lowest level in more than 15 years, reflecting tighter supplies that will lead to higher food prices in 2011. Increasing demand for corn from the ethanol industry is a major reason for the decline.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday that the ethanol industry’s projected orders this year rose 8.4 percent, to 13.01 billion bushels, after record-high production in December and January.
That means the United States will have about 675 million bushels of corn left over in late August when this year’s harvest begins. That’s roughly 5 percent of all corn that will be consumed, the lowest surplus level since 1996.
The USDA report, which measures global supply and demand for grains, oilseeds and other crops, said its projections for wheat and soybean stocks remained unchanged at historical low levels for reserves.
Washington—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued Jan. 25 the following statement on the reported sale of 2.74 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans to China in the 2011-12 marketing year:
“Today’s sale of 2.74 million tons of U.S. soybeans to China is the single largest daily soybean sale since USDA began issuing daily sales reports in 1977.
“…historically low low stockpiles of grain…”
Here is what that really means:
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.
Every month, JPMorgan Chase dispatches a researcher to several supermarkets in Virginia. The task is to comparison shop for 31 items.
In July, the firm’s personal shopper came back with a stunning report: Wal-Mart had raised its prices 5.8% during the previous month. More significantly, its prices were approaching the levels of competing stores run by Kroger and Safeway. The “low-price leader” still holds its title, but by a noticeably slimmer margin.
Within this tale lie several lessons you can put to work to make money. And it’s best to get started soon, because if you think your grocery bill is already high, you ain’t seen nothing yet. In fact, we could be just one supply shock away from a full-blown food crisis that would make the price spikes of 2008 look like a happy memory.
Fact is, the food crisis of 2008 never really went away.
True, food riots didn’t break out in poor countries during 2009 and warehouse stores like Costco didn’t ration 20-pound bags of rice…but supply remained tight.
Prices for basic foodstuffs like corn and wheat remain below their 2008 highs. But they’re a lot higher than they were before “the food crisis of 2008” took hold. Here’s what’s happened to some key farm commodities so far in 2010…
- Corn: Up 63%
- Wheat: Up 84%
- Soybeans: Up 24%
- Sugar: Up 55%
What was a slow and steady increase much of the year has gone into overdrive since late summer. Blame it on two factors…
- Aug. 5: A failed wheat harvest prompted Russia to ban grain exports through the end of the year. Later in August, the ban was extended through the end of 2011. Drought has wrecked the harvest in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – home to a quarter of world production
- Oct. 8: For a second month running, the Agriculture Department cut its forecast for US corn production. The USDA predicts a 3.4% decline from last year. Damage done by Midwestern floods in June was made worse by hot, dry weather in August.
America’s been blessed with year after year of “record harvests,” depending on how you measure it. So when crisis hits elsewhere in the world, the burden of keeping the world fed falls on America’s shoulders.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Soy Diet for Illinois Prisoners
When Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002, he immediately made a change in the prison diets. Beginning in January 2003, inmates began receiving a diet largely based on processed soy protein, with very little meat. In most meals, small amounts of meat or meat by-products are mixed with 60-70 percent soy protein; fake soy cheese has replaced real cheese; and soy flour or soy protein is now added to most of the baked goods.
The governor’s justification for replacing nutritious meat and cheese with toxic soy protein was financial-to lower the enormous costs of running the Illinois Department of Corrections. However, the likely reason is payback for campaign contributions from Archer Daniels Midland, the main supplier of soy products to the Illinois prisons.
Suffering of Inmates
Early in 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation began hearing from inmates who were suffering from a myriad of serious health problems due to the large amounts of soy in the diet. These prisoners had found us through the Soy Alert! section of our website. Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract, especially after consuming soy, passing out, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, insomnia, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and enlarged thyroid gland. Since soy contains anti-fertility compounds, many young prisoners may be unable to father children after their release.
The suffering of these men is intense and medical care is palliative at best. Many have had sections of their digestive tract removed, but all requests for a soy-free diet are denied. The men are told, “If you don’t like the food, don’t eat it.” That means that unless they can afford to purchase commissary food, they must eat the soy food or starve.
The Weston A. Price Foundation has hired an attorney to represent several inmates incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections system. The Foundation’s attorney has entered his appearance on behalf of three inmates, has had contacts with several other inmates, has served several subpoenas upon the wardens of several facilities for documents and other information, and has informed the Court that additional inmates will soon be named in an amended complaint. Continue reading »
Russia has started the annual Days of Defence against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans, which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GM organisms. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya, which was found with great difficulty in Serbia because 95 percent of soya in the world is transgenic.
Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov has this to say. “We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always,” says Alexei Surov. “We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs,” Dr. Alexei Surov said.
Another surprise was discovered by scientists in hamsters of the third generation. Hair grew in the mouth of the animals that took part in the experiment. It’s unclear why this happened. The researchers cannot understand why a programme of destruction is launched when animals take GMO foodstuffs. They say that this can be neutralized only by stopping to eat these foods. Consequently, scientists suggest imposing a ban on the use of GM foods until they are tested for their bio-security. The results of Russian scientists coincide with those of their colleagues from France and Austria. For one, when scientist proved that GM maize was harmful for mammals, France banned immediately its production and sale. The scientists who carried out the experiment say that it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions about the health hazards of the GMO. They insist that there is a need to carry out comprehensive research. They suggest implementing the project, “Safety Gene Technology” at the innovation centre, “Skolkovo” which is being set up near Moscow. Continue reading »
It all began with the ruling that a corporation is legally a ‘person’, which undermined the constitution and was dead wrong.
Then in another case (1980 Diamond v. Chakrabarty) those idiot supreme court judges ruled that it is OK to patent life forms, were before life forms were considered a part of nature and were not patentable.
This ruling lead to corporations patenting the genes of everything they can think of, that could later on bring them profit.
March 12 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co., facing antitrust probes into its genetically modified seeds, may benefit from previous court rulings in which intellectual property rights trumped competition concerns, antitrust lawyers say.
The Department of Justice and seven state attorneys general are investigating whether the world’s largest seed company is using gene licenses to keep competing technologies off the market. At issue is how the St. Louis-based company sells and licenses its patented trait that allows farmers to kill weeds with Roundup herbicide while leaving crops unharmed. The company’s Roundup Ready gene was in 93 percent of U.S. soybeans last year.
“Justice is clearly trying every way it can to see whether Monsanto is exceeding its rights under the patent,” said James Weiss, a Washington-based attorney at K&L Gates LLP who helped defend Microsoft Corp. against a federal antitrust probe. “At the end of the day, they may not be able to do much with it because of the scope of those patents. In almost all the cases, the courts come out on the side of intellectual property.” Continue reading »
- Monsanto lobbyists to be placed in charge of food safety by Obama
– US Association of Physicians calls for Moratorium on GMO Foods
– Greenpeace: No need for condoms – GE corn can do the job
– Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety
– The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see.
– Life running out of control – Genetically Modified Organisms
– At stake is no less than control of the world’s food supply.
– BIODIVERSITY: Privatisation Making Seeds Themselves Infertile
– Biotech giants demand a high price for saving the planet
– Exposed: the great GM crops myth:
The biggest study of its kind ever conducted – the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development – concluded that GM was not the answer to world hunger.
Professor Bob Watson, the director of the study and chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when asked if GM could solve world hunger, said: “The simple answer is no.”
GM food is all about profit and it kills you.
Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed maker, plans to charge as much as 42 percent more for new genetically modified seeds next year than older offerings because they increase farmers’ output.
Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will cost farmers an average of $74 an acre in 2010, and original Roundup Ready soybeans will cost $52 an acre, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in presentations on its Web site. SmartStax corn seeds, developed with Dow Chemical Co., will cost $130 an acre, 17 percent more than the YieldGard triple-stack seeds they will replace.
“Our pricing has the flexibility built in to ensure the grower captures the greatest return from his seed investment, irrespective of market volatility,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said today in a statement.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has just issued a call for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Manipulated (GMO) Foods.
In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the AAEM states that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk’ and calls for a moratorium on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes ‘there is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects’ and that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.’ The report is a devastating blow to the multibillion dollar international agribusiness industry, most especially to Monsanto Corporation, the world’s leading purveyor of GMO seeds and related herbicides.
In a press release dated May 19, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which describes itself as ‘an international association of physicians and other professionals dedicated to addressing the clinical aspects of environmental health,’ called immediately for the following emergency measures to be taken regarding human consumption of GMO foods:
* A moratorium on GMO food; implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labelling of GMO food.
* Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GMO foods.
* Physicians to consider the role of GMO foods in their patients’ disease processes.
* More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GMO foods on human health.
The AAEM chairperson, Dr Amy Dean notes that ‘Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health.’ The President of the AAEM, Dr Jennifer Armstrong stressed that ‘Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions. The most common foods in North America which are consumed that are GMO are corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil.’ The AAEM’s position paper on Genetically Modified foods can be found at http:aaemonline.org.
The paper further states that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) technology ‘abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years.’
The AAEM paper further states, ’several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signalling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.’
Tags: canola, Corn, Corporations, Cotton, Environment, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, GMO, Health, Immune System, Medicine, Monsanto, reproductive problems, soybeans, toxicity, U.S., William Engdahl
Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) — Food prices will rise next year, prompting a revival of protectionism from food-growing nations and risking a renewed bout of rioting, according to Jochen Hitzfeld, an analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich.
“Agricultural commodities will outperform the broad commodity indices in 2009,” Hitzfeld wrote in a research note this week. “If key crop-producing countries then impose export bans again and speculators drive up prices via physical stockpiling and futures contracts, new food unrest is even conceivable in the second half of 2009.”
The CHART OF THE DAY shows food prices for the past 10 years as measured by an index compiled by UBS AG and Bloomberg that tracks at least 13 foodstuffs, including wheat, soybeans, sugar, cocoa and coffee. The index has declined 35 percent since peaking in July.
“The prices of many agricultural commodities are now clearly below their production costs,” Hitzfeld wrote. “We expect the coming year to bring a cutback in area under cultivation as well as a decline in the yield per hectare.”
CASH CROP: Soybeans are harvested at a farm in Brazil. The record prices for soybeans and other commodities have fallen, spurring anxiety
Once confident that soaring demand would guarantee high prices for goods such as soybeans, beef and minerals, Argentina, Brazil and other countries are feeling the effects of tightening credit.
BUENOS AIRES — The abrupt end of the worldwide commodities boom has stunned Latin American nations that had bet the farm on the idea that raw materials were a ticket to boundless prosperity in the globalized economy.
A galloping sense of insecurity has replaced the swaggering confidence that insatiable demand would keep prices up for products such as soybeans, copper, wheat and coffee. But commodities have tumbled in value in the wake of the financial meltdown.
(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.