By Dina Eliash Robinson
About 70 years ago, when a catastrophic Depression, Dust-Bowl and widespread hunger struck the United States, the government responded by devising well-intended agricultural policies which have resulted in some unintended—but almost equally catastrophic—consequences.
Those consequences include:
* The gradual, but often coercive takeover of family farms by large corporations. Which led to our current centralized food production and supply system, and its vulnerability to both tampering and widespread contamination of entire food crops—such as the recent spread of e-coli among batches of fresh spinach during packaging.
* Government subsidies tied to crops that can be stored—such as corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice—which lead to surpluses.
* The current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other health problems, caused by the byproducts of these surplus grains—such as high-fructose corn syrup (which render sodas, junk foods and even breads and other staples health-hazards); and soy additives hidden in countless processed foods and supplements, which then become minefields for breast cancer survivors, allergy sufferers and others.
*Mismanagement of the land through over-use, which depletes it of natural nutrients, and its subsequent poisoning with chemical fertilizers to keep it productive.
*Fraudulent claims by Big Ag that commercially grown and raised foods are safe, non-toxic and nutritious.
We are inviting you to join the growing number of consumers who are no longer content to live defensively, and who are tired of rummaging for safe and nutritious foods on supermarket shelves booby-trapped with additive-laden products pretending to be edible.
E-mail us your thoughts and food safety tips to the FRC . Help us sift through the spin and reassuring double-talk broadcast by the commercial food industry, and even certain government agencies that have failed to do their homework. We’ll fact-check and post your contributions in the Food Safety News and Information section below.
Since foods are traded around the globe and their methods of production and transportation affect both the Earth’s population and environment, we intend to cover food safety news from and about any place in the world.