The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000 and has
$46.8 billion in assets (December 2018). It is the largest charitable
foundation in the world and distributes more aid for global health than
any government. One of the foundation’s stated goals is to globally
enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty.
The Gates Foundation is a major funder of the CGIAR system (formerly
the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) – a
global partnership whose stated aim is to strive for a food-secured
future. Its research is aimed at reducing rural poverty, increasing food
security, improving human health and nutrition and ensuring sustainable
management of natural resources.
In 2016, the Gates Foundation was accused of dangerously and
unaccountably distorting the direction of international development. The
charges were laid out in a report by Global Justice Now: ‘Gated Development – Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?‘
According to the report, the foundation’s strategy is based on
deepening the role of multinational companies in the Global South.
On release of the report, Polly Jones, the head of campaigns and policy at Global Justice Now, said:
“The Gates Foundation has rapidly become the most
influential actor in the world of global health and agricultural
policies, but there’s no oversight or accountability in how that
influence is managed.”
She added that this concentration of power and influence is even more
problematic when you consider that the philanthropic vision of the
Gates Foundation seems to be largely based on the values of ‘corporate
“The foundation is relentlessly promoting big
business-based initiatives such as industrial agriculture, private
health care and education. But these are all potentially exacerbating
the problems of poverty and lack of access to basic resources that the
foundation is supposed to be alleviating.”
The report’s author, Mark Curtis, outlines the foundation’s promotion
of industrial agriculture across Africa, which would undermine existing
sustainable, small-scale farming that is providing the vast majority of
food across the continent.
Curtis describes how the foundation is working with US agri-commodity trader Cargill in an $8 million project to “develop the soya value chain” in
southern Africa. Cargill is the biggest global player in the production
of and trade in soya with heavy investments in South America where GM
soya monocrops (and associated agrochemicals) have displaced rural
populations and caused health problems and environmental damage.
According to Curtis, the Gates-funded project will likely enable Cargill to capture a hitherto untapped African soya market and eventually introduce GM soya onto the continent. The Gates foundation is also supporting projects involving other chemical and seed corporations, including DuPont, Syngenta and Bayer. It is effectively promoting a model of industrial agriculture, the increasing use of agrochemicals and patented seeds, the privatisation of extension services and a very large focus on genetically modified crops.
There are thousands of types of bananas but Americans have eyes for only one kind — the very marketable yellow Cavendish, which accounts for 95% of global banana exports. But this multi-billion dollar industry is under threat. A fungus called Panama Disease is rapidly infecting the world’s Cavendish crops and could spell disaster for the monoculture-dependent worldwide banana trade. VICE correspondent Isobel Yeung heads to the heart of banana country in Latin American and the Philippines to see the devastating effects of the disease and to investigate what the loss of the banana would really mean besides a less colorful lunchbox.
These are the 10 most common mistakes people make when starting seeds indoors. In fact, I lost count so you get 12 mistakes. Keep this in mind when you start your seeds indoors and you will have better success!
Industrial agriculture is increasingly dominating the world market. It’s forcing small farmers to quit and taking over vast swathes of land. This documentary shows how destructive the lucrative agribusiness is.
Whether in the USA, Brazil, Mozambique or China, agricultural giants rule the market. Food production has become a gigantic business as climate change and population growth continue. This is having devastating consequences for small farmers and for the environment. On the banks of North Carolina’s New River, there’s a vile stench. Clean water activist Rick Dove takes a flight to show us what’s causing the smell. Scores and scores of pigs are living upriver, in so many pens the farms look more like small towns. “We have eight to ten million pigs here. And the problem is that they are kept so close together and their excrement pollutes and threatens the water and natural life on the North Carolina coastline.” From above, you can see large cesspools everywhere, shimmering red-brown in the sun. Dove is giving us a bird’s-eye view of industrialized agriculture. In the late 1970s, companies in the US began to industrialize farming. Large corporations like Smithfield built entire value chains, from raising livestock to slaughter to packaging and sales. A Chinese holding company bought Smithfield a few years ago. Industrial meat production is supposed to support increased Chinese demand for meat as the country’s prosperity grows. Dan Basse is the head of a company analyses global agriculture. He says calorie demand will also increase in countries like India, Bangladesh and Nigeria in the next few years.” And with it, the demand for even more inexpensive meat of the kind agribusinesses produce and market.
The Conscious Resistance – Feb 24, 2020 – Video 29 min
Journalist Derrick Broze interview Dr. Paul Connett of the Fluoride Action Network regarding the upcoming trial between FAN and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This trial could spell the end of the practice of water fluoridation. www.fluoridealert.org