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Sat May 19, 2012, 04:24 AM

"Partnering" with Monsanto and Pepsi to end world hunger? Call me skeptical...

http://www.channel4.com/news/obamas-3-billion-plan-to-fight-world-hunger

<snip>
The US Agency for International Development is already partnering with multinational companies like WalMart, Chevron and Coca-Cola to provide the extra capacity and financial clout which it can't supply on its own. USAID dirctor Rajiv Shah offered one example of a joint initiative that he said was already showing results on many levels.

"We are working with Pepsi in Ethiopia to create a chickpea-based product that can both be sold in their own hummus business and also be packaged and provided to children who are deeply malnourished", he told Foreign Policy magazine. "That's going to help 30,000 farmers in Ethiopia move out of poverty, and it will help thousands of children improve their nutrition status."

President Obama's initiative will also involve twenty companies from Africa alongside agribusiness giants like DuPont and Monsanto to help farmers build local markets as well as improve their productivity. It is not simply about outside intervention, though: the United States wants local people, especially women - who produce as much as 90% of Africa's food - to drive the revolution forward.

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Reply "Partnering" with Monsanto and Pepsi to end world hunger? Call me skeptical... (Original post)
Matariki May 2012 OP
EFerrari May 2012 #1
djean111 May 2012 #2
postulater May 2012 #3
bluestate10 May 2012 #5
prairierose May 2012 #6
Matariki May 2012 #12
EFerrari May 2012 #15
NickB79 May 2012 #18
EFerrari May 2012 #7
polly7 May 2012 #9
Matariki May 2012 #13
EFerrari May 2012 #14
Matariki May 2012 #10
bluestate10 May 2012 #4
undeterred May 2012 #8
Odin2005 May 2012 #11
me b zola May 2012 #16
jwirr May 2012 #17
BrendaBrick May 2012 #19

Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 04:30 AM

1. I read that on the State Department's Twitter feed today and this is what I mean

when I say that State's tweets read like The Onion.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 05:28 AM

2. Are chickpeas genetically modified yet?

Will the "chickpea product" (shudder) be filled with fructose and other crap?
Will those farmers have to buy seeds from Monsanto?
Building productivity through American corporate methods sounds ominous, quite frankly.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Sat May 19, 2012, 06:37 AM

3. But what could go wrong?

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Sat May 19, 2012, 06:48 AM

5. I don't give a rat's ass who the seeds are purchased from.

As long as the seeds are economical to farmers and the farmers can produce chickpeas. I rather see a child eating a chickpea product that has fructose and other crap than to see that child starving to death. I don't let the fucking perfect get in the way of first step, first practicality. I also don't view the developing world through the prism of my middleclass, USA-centric lifestyle. None of what I read sounded ominous.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 10:03 AM

6. Do you know anything about how Monsanto operates their seed business?...

Their seeds are GMO and include a terminator gene so that no seeds can be harvested to be planted the next year. That way farmers have to buy from them every year. Their seeds require more pesticides and more water inputs than heritage seeds. So, it costs more to get a crop out of them (higher seed costs, pesticide costs, water costs) but the yields are the same or lower than heritage seeds. If pollen blows in the next farmer's field and end up fertilizing some of his heritage seed crops, then Monsanto can sue him and say that he stole their patented seed.

The proteins created by their gene-splicing have never before been seen on this planet. Therefore, none of the animals, including humans, have adapted to eat that protein string.

Does any of this sound altruistic to you?

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Response to prairierose (Reply #6)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:17 PM

12. Very good explanation. Thanks.

I was using 'skeptical' as a deliberated understatement. In truth I'm horrified and angry. I suppose it depends on how the 'partnering' is managed, but hearing Monsanto is involved left me feeling sick and unhopeful.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #12)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:34 PM

15. The Cablegate disclosures about State Department shilling for GMOs all over the world

is one of the main reasons Wikileaks is being destroyed, imo.

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Response to prairierose (Reply #6)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:02 PM

18. You are mistaken on one thing. There are no terminator seeds in production

It was something that Monsanto was working on in the early 2000's, but it was so widely reviled that they scraped the project.

Now they simply sue the living fuck out of anyone who tries to save seed from one year to the next.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:02 AM

7. Then you probably need to read some more.

Monsanto does not want to feed third world children, it wants to enslave third world economies. Ask the families of the Indian farmers who have committed suicide because they became so indebted to Monsanto that they lost their farms. None of them were middle class, USA-centric anything.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #7)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:10 PM

9. +1000 n/t.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #7)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:18 PM

13. Exactly.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:14 PM

10. As other people have pointed out, you REALLY need to educate yourself

about what Monsanto is up to. It is way more complicated than the choice between fructose and starving and has serious impact on food for the entire region, if not the planet.

Additionally, after doing a little reading about Monsanto, you could read about the effect that 'food aid' had on Haiti and how it just about destroyed their agriculture and ability to produce food at a local level. Google 'Haiti and US rice' for starts.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 06:41 AM

4. Sounds like a good idea. Congrats to the companies that are involved. nt

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:08 PM

8. Foxes partner with chickens to end fox hunger.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:16 PM

11. More RoundUp for everyone!

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:36 PM

16. Monsanto wants to end hunger?

Reminds me of george bush* bombing for peace.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 01:42 PM

17. "improve their productivity". There are good ways of improving productivity such as rotating crops

and using compost to improve the quality of the land but I strongly suspect that it is chemicals they are talking about. We have done so much damage already. If only corporations had some kind of ethical values other than the bottom line I would feel a lot better about this.

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Response to Matariki (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:13 PM

19. Kicking for more visibility

on this important issue, and to also include this interview which aired on PBS Friday evening: (about 9 minutes)

"President Obama outlined Friday a private-public partnership to work on global poverty issues ahead of the Group of Eight summit in Camp David this weekend. Ray Suarez and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah discuss the initiative to lift millions out of poverty and hunger through farming partnerships."

Suarez really did his homework on this one, imo and is one of my favorite correspondents. Some interesting comments follow.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june12/foodsecurity_05-18.html


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