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The Big Business Food Industry


The Big Business Food Industry Who s in Charge of our diets? Six or fewer companies control around 70% of the world agricultural commodity trade They are making ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Big Business Food Industry

The Big Business Food Industry
Whos in Charge of our diets?
  • Six or fewer companies control around 70 of the
    world agricultural commodity trade
  • They are making huge profits at the expense of
    the small farmers who produce the food and people
    who pay more money each year to eat a less
    diverse and more processed diet
  • Small farmers are losing their farms, and more
    and more people are turning to food banks (9 in

Why you ask?
  • Few government restrictions or regulations to
    hold multinational corporations accountable for
    their actions
  • WTO World Trade Organization
  • NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Both of these allow these corporations to own
    and control larger portions of the global market

Advantages of Multinational Food Companies for
the Developing Nations
  • Foreign Investment
  • Increased Commerce
  • Increased Employment
  • Better Food Processing Technology
  • Increased Commercial Knowledge
  • Improved Safety of Food
  • Increased Food Assurance

The Public Health Paradox
  • We know about how multinational food companies
    work, grow and prosper.
  • We know about the nutritional sciences and what
    people should eat for good health.
  • BUT
  • Less is known on how to combine the two fields in
    public health programs for the benefit of the
    citizens both in the industrial countries and now
    in the developing countries ! (Big research

  • Land Distribution in most countries
    agribusinesses own most of the fertile land,
    local people do not have land to farm. Instead
    they are forced to work for the large businesses
    making low wages and in poor working conditions
  • Few of the profits go back into these countries

Genetic Engineering
  • Agribusinesses genetically engineer seed, which
    they then patent.
  • Farmers must buy seeds every year rather than
    gathering the ones from previous crops
  • 2001 Saskatchewan farmer, Percy Schmeiser, was
    sued by agribusiness Monsanto because some of
    Monsantos crops were found growing on his land.
    He claimed that the wind blew the seeds onto his
    land and that he hadnt harvested them illegally.
    Monsanto won.

  • Larger amounts of pesticides are used by the
    agribusinesses than by small farmers
  • Cause damage to farmers, soil, water, and
  • The World Health Organization estimates that 3
    million people a year are poisoned by pesticides,
    and 200,000 die. (Oxfam)

Cash Crops
  • Most agribusinesses grow food to export rather
    than food to be eaten in the country in which it
    is grown
  • This means that people in those countries rely on
    imported foods, making them more expensive
  • Cash crops tobacco, cocoa, coffee, wheat, rice,
    peanuts, etc.

WORLDs TOP 10 Food Beverage Companies
Home Country Food Sales 01
  • Nestle Switzerland 46.6 billions
  • Kraft Foods USA 38.1 billions
  • ConAgra USA 27.6 billions
  • PepsiCo USA 26.9 billions
  • Unilever NL/UK 26.7 billions
  • ADM USA 23.5 billions
  • Cargill USA 21.5 billions
  • Coca-Cola USA 20.1 billions
  • Diageo UK 16.6 billions
  • Mars USA 15.3 billions

Diagram 5
Ready-prepared Ready-to-Eat Foods
J. Tillotson
Whos in Control?
  • Lets look at a few of the Big Players

  • Nescafe
  • Golden Grahams
  • Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Libbys
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Baci
  • Baby Ruth
  • Butterfinger
  • Aero
  • Fancy Feast
  • Friskies
  • LOreal
  • Pharmaceutical products Alcon and Galderma
  • Tasters Choice
  • Magi
  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Carnation
  • Nesquik
  • Lucky Charms
  • Stouffers
  • Haagen Dazs
  • Chips Ahoy
  • KitKat
  • Smarties
  • Quality Street
  • Montego Sherbet
  • After Eight

Philip Morris
  • Kraft Products
  • Maxwell House
  • Crystal Light
  • Kool-Aid
  • Tang
  • Alpha-bits
  • Grape nuts
  • Honeycomb
  • Pebbles
  • Raisin Bran
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce
  • Terrys Chocolates
  • Toblerone
  • Jell-O
  • Dream Whip
  • Taco Bell dinner kits and salsa
  • Velveeta
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Oscar Meyer hot dogs
  • Tombstone Digiorno Pizza
  • Miller Brewing Co.
  • Philip Morris Cigarettes

  • Barge Operations
  • Beef
  • Broilers
  • Cattle feeding
  • Cocoa Trading
  • Coffee
  • Financial brokerages
  • Cotton
  • Corn Milling
  • Egg Products
  • Fats and Oils
  • Feed
  • Ferrous Metals
  • Flour Milling
  • Fertilizers
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grain
  • Malt
  • Molasses
  • Oil seeds
  • Peanuts/nuts
  • Petroleum
  • Nongrain feed
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Rice Milling
  • Rubber
  • Salt
  • Steel
  • Structured Finance
  • Sugar
  • Swine production
  • Turkeys
  • Wire
  • Wool
  • Leasing

Who are Monsanto?
  • Herbicide tolerant crops
  • RoundUp Ready crops include maize, soya, canola
    (oil seed rape), cotton and sugar beet.
  • Pipeline RoundUp Ready food crops include rice,
    wheat and potatoes.
  • Beyond food crops, developing GM RoundUp Ready
    (herbicide-tolerant) trees.
  • Bromoxynil tolerant cotton
  • Phosphinothricin (glufosinate ammonium) herbicide
    tolerant maize.
  • Insect Resistant Crops
  • Bollgard Cotton, Bollgard with Roundup Ready
    Cotton, Ingard Cotton
  • NewLeaf Potatoes
  • YieldGard Insect Protected Corn
  • Pipeline Monsanto insect resistant crops include
    rootworm-protected maize, insect-protected
    tomatoes, and boll weevil-protected cotton.
  • Bovine Growth Hormone
  • Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH or BST) called
    Posilac. Posilac is a genetically engineered
    growth hormone injected into cows to increase
    their milk production
  • Agricultural Chemicals
  • best known of these products is RoundUp, a broad
    spectrum herbicide.
  • Other GM Crops
  • a tomato with altered ripening characteristics.
  • the FlavrSavr tomato
  • an oil-seed rape with altered fatty acid
  • a multi-virus resistant squash.
  • Pipeline Monsanto disease resistant crops
  • maize resistant to fungal and viral diseases
  • potatoes resistant to fungal diseases
  • wheat resistant to fungal and viral diseases
  • virus protected tomatoes
  • Monsanto are also developing a range of crops
    with altered nutrient value including
  • altering the oil composition of oilseed rape and
  • altering soybean protein for use as meat
  • altering potatoes to reduced discolouration from
    bruising for commercial storage and also for
    lower moisture content thus absorbing less oil
    during cooking
  • Functional Foods Monsanto is likely to be one of
    the key players in the introduction of the second
    generation of GM crops, so called functional
    foods, engineered to have beneficial output
    traits beyond basic nutrition.

How can a seed company have influence?
  • Lobby Groups
  • Organizations that establish standards for farm
    trials, encouraging biotech supportive policies
    and support for GM foods.
  • Links with Government
  • Employees moving to and from the FDA helped
    bypass the regulatory process and get marketing
    consent in the US for their GM and other products
    with minimal safety checks. (and made it harder
    for other countries to create stricter
  • Influence Research and Education
  • Have employees that sit on boards that guide
    funding for biotech research for various
  • PR Companies
  • used several prominent public relations companies
    in an all out media assault to achieve public
    acceptance of their GM products.
  • Have been some successful lawsuits around the
    spreading of misinformation in the UK.
  • General Business Practices
  • Ex. Seeds have been genetically-engineered so
    that when the crops are harvested, all new seeds
    from these crops are sterile (e.g., dead,
    unusable). This forces farmers to pay Monsanto
    every year for new seeds if they want to grow
    their crops.
  • Patenting of Genetic Codes for seeds (ex. Cocoa

Pointing the finger?
  • People put governments in place who in turn
    create systems that allow for certain business

What if I dont like that?
  • Buy products that are locally grown
  • Buy organic foods to reduce the amount of
    pesticides and chemicals entering our bodies
  • Buy fairly traded items such as coffee
  • Support local business instead of big box
  • Contact your government representative and voice
    your opinion.