Monday, March 21, 2011

Food Inc.

On the weekend I watched the DVD Food Inc. This film looks at the way a few multi-nationals are increasing their control over food. It is essential viewing for anyone who has concern about the things they eat.

GM foods, cattle feedlots, the exploitation of farmers – are some of the topics examined. One of the more disturbing aspects is how these huge companies are able to use the legal system to strengthen their control – much of the time because they have the financial means to keep law suits going until their opposition is unable to defend themselves against charges.

One of the more shocking revelations is that it has been made more or less illegal for a farmer to save his own seed for future crops because most crops have been infected with patented, genetically modified material.

If a company pollutes a waterway that affects users down stream who is held accountable? Are the downstream users blamed? Are they made to pay the legal consequences of the acts of a company unable to prevent polluting agents from entering the waterways?

But if a multinational can’t prevent the spread of pollen from its genetically modified crops – if it can’t prevent the entry of its genetic material into neighbouring crops – guess who is made responsible? Clue: it is not the multi-national. The farmer pays the penalty, being unable to use any tainted seed because it contains patented genetic material that he didn’t want, didn’t ask for and would not have willingly introduced to his crop.

This is certainly one of those must-see films for anyone concerned about their food, where it comes from and who controls what food is available.

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