Americas Food Security is Declining Fast
By: Tom Chatham
This past week two things happened that Americans need to be aware of and consider the ramifications of over the foreseeable future.
Smithfield foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S. is on the verge of being bought by the Chinese Shuanghui International Holdings LLC for $4.72 billion dollars. China is the largest pork market in the world and Smithfield is the largest pork producer. If this purchase is allowed to go through it could eventually give China the ability to sell it’s pork in the U.S. under the Smithfield brand. The lack of regulations in China makes the prospect of tainted pork even more likely than it is now with U.S. supplies.
I can see three possible outcomes with this sale.
The first would allow China to export much of the U.S. produced pork to China while replacing it with Chinese pork filled with who knows what.
The second could have China do to our food producers what it did to our manufacturing. It could sell Chinese pork on the U.S. market and obliterate the pork production in the U.S. This would leave us totally reliant on imported pork products which could be cut off if we ever do anything China does not like. Production can not be restarted with the flick of a switch. Livestock takes time and feed stocks to produce so it would take a while to restart U.S. production.
The destruction of the U.S. dollar could see the export of all of our pork production as Americans are forced to bid against other markets around the world leaving pork products in the U.S. too expensive to buy.
Any of these outcomes is not acceptable. Food production is a vital asset and strategic concern. The off shoring of food supplies would guarantee third world status at some future time. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment is not likely to block the sale. If you wondered how China would get rid of those U.S. dollars they are holding, wonder no more.
The second thing that became known this past week was the fact that a significant amount of GM wheat has been found in Oregon fields. The genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant wheat plants have never been approved for commercialization or sale. Field experiments across 16 states by Monsanto from 1998-2005 have allowed this GM crop to cause widespread GM pollution of conventional crops. Because of this revelation Japan has already halted all imports of U.S. wheat and they are likely to be followed by others. Scientists have warned that eating GMO wheat may destroy your liver. The USDA claims the GM wheat is safe and they know because Monsanto told them so.
One of the few exports that the U.S. has that the world needs is now being destroyed in a way that may even prevent Americans from using it. The machinations of corporations like Monsanto are destroying our ability to even feed ourselves and it is likely to get worse.
It is for reasons such as these that small diversified family farms are the only way to guarantee a safe, secure food supply. Large corporations are beholden to their investors but small farms are beholden to their customers as it should be. If the current trend is not reversed soon, this country may find itself in want of a most basic element, food.