Reviews

Video: "Making a Killing: Philip Morris, Kraft and
Global Tobacco Addiction"

- by Murray Horton

In the 25 years of our existence, CAFCA has never devoted very much attention to the tobacco transnational corporations (TNCs). You will search decades of back issues of Watchdog in vain to find anything other than passing mentions in the context of various approvals by the Overseas Investment Commission. Because of our limited resources, and because many other New Zealand organisations, official and unofficial, have done such a very good job battling the tobacco plague, we have given that particular bloc of TNCs scant attention. As for smoking itself, CAFCA’s attitude has been rather similar to our attitude towards republicanism – it seems so glaringly obvious that we’ve never bothered discussing it. It’s worth mentioning that of CAFCA’s current six man committee, five are non-smokers.

As for me personally, I have dabbled with tobacco. I was the only child of smoking parents. My octogenarian father, who gave up decades ago, started in the Army during WW11, as did so many other NZ men of his generation (smokes were part of the soldiers’ rations). He recently told me that, on one of the US ships that brought him home, the daily cigarette allowance from the PX was one carton per man. My mother was a chain smoker – you could literally find her by following the trail of ash through the house. She died, aged 60, of cancer (when I was 21).

I grew up in the 1960s, where it was expected that everyone smoked. It was portrayed as sophisticated, sexy and adult. I took up cigarettes as a young and silly schoolboy, to attract girls (they didn’t). When I wanted to be regarded as a pretentious young intellectual, I wore corduroy jackets, frequented folk music clubs and smoked a pipe. I was violently ill when I tried to smoke my only ever Havana cigar (in the middle of Siberia, of all places), to the intense delight of my then partner, a ferocious anti-smoker. I had a weakness for Indonesian clove cigarettes at one stage, undeterred by being told by one friend that they "smelled like a Bombay whorehouse" (how did she know?).

I worked for many years in manual jobs, in very close proximity to large numbers of smokers (union meetings, mass stopwork meetings and socialising in pubs were all conducted in a cloud of smoke. And where do you think that "smoko" got its name from?). I am the proud owner of a Monica cigar, an example of Filipino marketing genius, which I am under strict instructions not to smoke. I am married to an Asian former Philip Morris brand smoker, the biggest target market for this most deadly of TNCs. I have been a nearly totally abstaining non-smoker for my whole adult life and personally believe that everything to do with tobacco should be banned, the industry closed down, and treated like any other criminal narcotic syndicate.

The Fight For A Global Tobacco Control Treaty

In 2000, CAFCA was approached by INFACT, one of our highly valued American contacts, and invited to join the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT). This somewhat surprised us, precisely because smoking is not our issue, and we have no track record of campaigning against or researching the tobacco TNCs (indeed, NZ is not even infested by the same tobacco TNCs which are the target of INFACT’s global campaign). To the best of our knowledge, we are the only NATTy organisation in NZ. It must be said that, because of the limitations I’ve already spelled out, CAFCA’s membership has been considerably less active than many other groups in it. But we’re proud be part of the NATT that’s fighting the Tyrannosaurus rex of the tobacco TNCs.

INFACT and NATT’s global campaign has been focused throughout 2000 on getting an enforceable global treaty on tobacco. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been proactive on this, and is debating a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). For the first time ever, WHO held public hearings on a public health matter, recognising it as a huge public health issue. It is estimated that, by 2030, smoking will kill ten million people per year. The tobacco TNCs and their allies (tobacco growing countries, governments that reap huge tax revenues from tobacco – outright ownership of tobacco companies and/or monopolies, in some cases – advertising TNCs, etc) recognise the dangers from this proposed treaty, and are doing their level best to defeat it, subvert it, co-opt it, sideline it, whatever it takes. At the time of writing, the battle is still being fiercely waged on a worldwide stage and the result is not known. The power and ruthlessness of the tobacco TNCs is immense (I refer you to the excellent, very recent Hollywood movie, "The Insider" for a true illustration of this, as it affected one whistleblower from one American tobacco company). As part of the global campaign, INFACT and NATT ran an International Week of Resistance To Tobacco Transnationals, in October 2000 (CAFCA was unable to play any part). Which, finally, brings us to this excellent video, "Making A Killing". It was released globally, to be screened during that week (we couldn’t do that either, but did show it, in November, in Christchurch).

This 29 minute long documentary is excellent. INFACT has a proven track record in documentary making – a previous one, "Deadly Deception" (about US TNC behemoth, General Electric) won an Oscar for Best Documentary. "Making A Killing" pulls no punches – it starts with an American smoker who lost both his parents and his larynx (plus other body parts) to cancer. He reminded me of the macabre Voicebox Choir conducted by anti-corporate gadfly, Michael Moore, who took them to sing Christmas carols in the foyer of Philip Morris’ HQ, on one of Moore’s TV shows (those choristers are all dead now). A black American woman talks about how smoking killed her father. One of the State politicians involved in the epochal class action (that led to all the American tobacco companies paying a $US200+ billion settlement in 1998) makes the key point that tobacco companies make a product that addicts, then kills their customers. Therefore, they need a constant supply of new, young addicts, from whom to profit during their smoking lives.

Sidestepping Advertising Bans

Tobacco TNCs have been hammered in the US, and they’ve been hammered throughout the First World (New Zealand can be very proud of its record in this field. In my lifetime, smoking has gone from something everyone did, to a situation where smokers have to stand outside their workplaces, on wet and windswept streets, and where they are regarded as pariahs). Philip Morris is a $US62 billion conglomerate and is not planning on quitting anytime soon. Its board includes global power figures such as Rupert Murdoch, the biggest media owner in NZ (one flyspeck in his global empire). It has spent megabucks establishing its brands (Marlboro and Camel, neither of them on sale in NZ), and its distinctive advertisements – the Marlboro Man cowboy (appropriately, the first actor who portrayed him died of smoking-induced cancer) and Joe Camel, aimed at kids. "Making A Killing" is fascinating when it screens old American TV ads – my favourite is the one advising that "More doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarette" (I’ve had plenty of experience of smoking GPs). Ronald Reagan used to be Philip Morris’ frontman, but you’d expect that, wouldn’t you? There are old clips of company scientists assuring us that smoking isn’t harmful, that even too much apple sauce can be harmful (but I’ve never heard of anyone dying from passive apple sauce). "Cigarette scientists" has become such a pejorative term that it is used to describe any group of scientists in the pocket of various controversial and harmful industries.

Direct cigarette advertising is now banned on US TV, but Philip Morris still gets its name on primetime by screening ads telling young people not to smoke. It gets around the direct advertising ban elsewhere by setting up brand name shops that sell all manner of clothing and products (none of them to do with smoking) bearing the Philip Morris logo or corporate colours. The simple silhouette or face of the Marlboro Man on any number of buildings, billboards and products does the trick, without any need for any other wording, let alone mention of cigarettes, because the brand has such high global recognition. This trick is not available to tobacco TNCs in NZ, where all direct or indirect advertising is banned, including all sponsorships. About the only place where NZ TV viewers now see tobacco advertising is on coverage of foreign sports events e.g. Formula One car racing.

Philip Morris Lights Up The World

Philip Morris, and the other tobacco TNCs, have behaved like true transnationals. They have expanded out from their "home" countries, and gone global. Philip Morris is a major corporate contributor to the election campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans. The big money is now to be made in the former Soviet bloc countries, and in Asia. The explosion in smoking in those countries is directly attributable to the US tobacco TNCs pressuring the US Government to use the global instruments of free trade to crack open previously offlimits markets for them. Funnily, we never hear the mouthpieces of globalisation extolling the virtues of a global explosion in cancer and other smoking-induced diseases. Not a word from our Mike Moore.

"Making A Killing" goes to the Czech Republic, where Philip Morris wined and dined the politicians of this newly "free" country, and got permission to buy the State cigarette factory, churning out billions of cigarettes per year. Czechs interviewed say that there was no cigarette advertising during the 40 years of Communist rule; now that they are a capitalist country, they’re saturated in it, specifically aimed at young people. The filmmakers went to Malaysia and Vietnam. In the latter, socialist, country, the American military was driven out at gunpoint. But Philip Morris and its insidious cigarette imperialism are in there now, circumventing a ban on cigarette advertising by employing beautiful young women in the corporate colours and miniskirts to walk the streets and hand out free sample cigarettes to young men, inducing them to buy a packet and become a Philip Morris smoker (despite the company having publicly pledged that this "sampling" and similar tactics had been stopped years ago). Surprise, surprise, there is an explosion in smoking-induced cancers in Vietnam – no sign of Philip Morris putting any money into that.

I have personally witnessed the smoking plague in both the Second and Third worlds. The first foreign country I visited was China, on a 1970s student delegation. Everywhere we went plates of local cigarettes were put out for us to help ourselves, much as we here would offer snacks or biscuits. After several weeks of this, I asked one of the Mao-suited officials if he wasn’t worried about lung cancer. He replied: "No, lung cancer is caused by the stresses and strains of capitalism". There are 500 million smokers in China; the State tobacco monopoly is the Government’s biggest single source of revenue. Now that China’s trade relations with the US have been normalised, and it is on the brink of joining the World Trade Organisation, US tobacco TNCs are salivating at the prospect of having that market opened to them.

The Philippines is paradise for these tobacco merchants of death. In May 2000, the Estrada government announced that Philip Morris is building a $US300 million plant in the country, to churn out 30 billion cigarettes (up from the 20 billion capacity of its present plant). One third of that production will be exported to other Association of South East Asian Nations countries. The Estrada government is looking at offering it export incentives; for its part, Philip Morris will buy two thirds of its raw materials from Filipino sources.

The TNC picked the Philippines in preference to Malaysia or Indonesia because of its strategic location, and Western style of business practices. As one newspaper commented: "The tobacco giant is expanding its operations in the region because of the anti-tobacco backlash sweeping the United States and Europe". In the Philippines smoking is the norm (including throughout the progressive movement), it’s very cheap and sales points are all pervasive and user friendly. The umpteen million "sari sari" stores that operate out of private homes sell smokes; kids work the rush hour traffic jams selling single cigarettes to captive drivers and lighting them for them too (single cigarette sales are the rule, not the exception; most people can’t afford to buy a whole packet at a time).

Filipino cigarettes have reassuring brand names such as Hope, and their relentless TV ads (during top rating programmes, such as the news) are full of bronzed white people diving off yachts, skiing, and eating turkey in log cabins. They are just like the cigarette ads that I grew up watching here during the movies – they project glamour, sex and money. Not a coughing, spitting, gasping, smokestinking, nicotine stained Filipino smoker to be seen amongst them. No Filipinos at all, actually. And, believe it or not, they film some of them right here in smokefree New Zealand.

When two of my Filipina in-laws visited us, in 1997, we took them all around the scenic highpoints of the South Island. One memorable trip was a drive up the terrifying Skipper’s Canyon, in central Otago. At the end of the journey, in one of the country’s most beautiful and isolated spots, while his passengers were calming their nerves and changing their underwear, the laconic Kiwi driver asked: "And where are you ladies from?". Told that it was the Philippines, he said that every winter he got regular driving work for a film crew shooting Filipino cigarette ads, featuring the mandatory clean white snow, breathtaking scenery and blonde American actors. It’s as close to home as that for us. But it’s worth pointing out that my wife, Becky, a Marlboro Cowgirl throughout her years in the Filipino progressive movement, gave up smoking before moving to New Zealand nine years ago, on grounds of both health and cost, and has never taken it up again. I’m very proud of her for that. She attributes her success in giving it up to New Zealand having predominantly smokefree workplaces.

Boycott Kraft

Philip Morris’ latest tactic is that old corporate standby – diversification. Into the food industry, which is where Kraft comes into the picture. By buying Kraft, Philip Morris became the owner of various iconic food brands favoured by American families. Politicians can take donations from Kraft, without having to hold their noses about taking money from a tobacco company. And, most recently, Kraft’s US TV ads have stressed the fact that it is owned by Philip Morris. Yet another way of circumventing the advertising ban on tobacco companies and getting its name on primetime TV, right there on products aimed at children and families.

INFACT has a specific response to that – boycott Kraft. It is an active movement in the US, and the video gives it ample coverage. INFACT has a sound track record on the use of boycotts, having run two highly successful previous ones, both lasting several years – against Nestle, for its involvement with infant breastmilk substitute formula (another scourge of the Third World), and against General Electric, to get it out of the nuclear weapons business. CAFCA has never got into boycotts, primarily because of the time and resource consuming need to build a specialist mass movement devoted to them. So they’re not our thing. But by all means, boycott Kraft, a food company providing respectability to a tobacco merchant of death. Kraft is in NZ, but has nothing like the dominant role in foodstuffs that it enjoys in countries such as the US. Why? Because that old dinosaur, the NZ Dairy Board (the single biggest company in NZ) dominates the dairy products business here. But note that NZ’s producer boards (of which the Dairy Board is far and away the biggest) are prime targets of the US government, which wants to throw open all world markets to US TNCs, and its local collaborators, such as the Business Roundtable. So, if the Dairy Board goes, we’ll suddenly have a whole lot more Kraft products on our supermarket shelves to boycott.

"Making A Killing" is primarily, and justifiably, aimed at an American audience. But it details a manmade global plague, so it applies to us, even if the details are different. New Zealand can be justifiably proud of being one of the most advanced smokefree countries on Earth. But we still have a way to go. California banned smoking in bars and restaurants years ago; that is the next big battle here. Our young people are still taking up smoking at too high a rate, specifically young women (I’ve always thought that a very effective slogan, aimed at them, would be "I Don’t Like Kissing An Ashtray", or how about, simply "You Stink"). Maori smoke much more than pakeha; Maori women have some of the world’s worst death rates from smoking-induced cancers and other diseases.

"Making A Killing" is a superbly made documentary about one of the biggest preventable problems facing every country in the world. Unlike so much other coverage of smoking, it doesn’t focus on the victims – the smokers – but on the root cause of the problem, the tobacco TNCs. It goes for the jugular of Philip Morris, one of the deadliest corporations on Earth, one which profitably advertises and sells a product that is right up there with famine, pestilence and war for the number of people it kills. Watching it enabled me to get a whole lot off my chest (pun intended) on a subject about which I’ve never written before. And that’s the best analogy for killers such as Philip Morris. Let’s get them off our chest. Let’s spit the bastards out.

"Making A Killing" is available for hire, for one week, at $10 (includes postage). Make cheques to CAFCA, Box 2258, Christchurch.

If you want to buy your own copy, the price for individuals is $US25; community groups $US50; and institutions $US75. All inquiries and payments to INFACT, 46 Plympton Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA. www.infact.org infact@igc.org If buying the tape to use in NZ, specify that you want a VHS PAL copy.

"Rats in the Grain:

The Dirty Tricks And Trials of Archer Daniels Midland The ‘Supermarket To The World’’.
By James B Lieber. Publisher, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York. 2000. $US26. 418pp, hardback, illustrated.

- Murray Horton

This is one fascinating book. Brand new too, it’s only been available since August 2000. The world is full of fascinating books about corporate miscreants (we first learnt about this book via the excellent American magazine, Multinational Monitor) which we don’t chase up and review in Watchdog. We got this one because its subject – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) – has just arrived in New Zealand. I refer you to the article elsewhere in this issue entitled "American Corporate Criminal Comes To NZ", and I won’t repeat the story here.

"Rats In The Grain" is a 400+ page study of the trial of three ADM executives arising from the 1990s price fixing scandal that saw the company plead guilty and be fined $US100 million (followed by similar scale fines in Canada and Europe, also for price fixing). The company had secretly met with its Japanese "competitors" and rigged the price of lysine, an animal feed additive. The same happened with citric acid and high fructose corn syrup, but no charges were ever brought in relation to them. Following the settlement of the civil case, three senior executives – Michael Andreas, Terry Wilson and Mark Whitacre – faced criminal charges arising out of the same international price fixing conspiracy.

Andreas was Executive Vice President, son of ADM Chief Executive Officer, Dwayne Andreas, and heir apparent. Terry Wilson was head of the corn processing division; Whitacre was head of the bioproducts division. Whitacre was also a whistleblower and informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Corporate whistleblowers enjoy quite a good press in the US (as evidenced by the excellent Hollywood movie, "The Insider", about a tobacco company manager who went public with evidence of a deliberate conspiracy to inculcate nicotine addiction). When Whitacre offered to be an FBI mole, they approached the job as they would any undercover assignment against an organised crime syndicate – he was fitted out with concealed cameras and tape recorders to secure evidence. Those tapes and photos played a key role in convicting Andreas and Wilson (plus some of the Japanese executives, who got very light sentences in exchange for cooperating with the US government). They comprise the most compelling photos in the book.

But, by the time the criminal trial started, in 1998, Whitacre was already in prison on other criminal matters – he had played a double game with the FBI and had been involved in money laundering and embezzling offences at ADM during the time he had been an informant. For this, he had been sentenced to nine years in prison – he was not present during the price fixing trial (having waived his right to be there), and was singled out by the judge for the toughest sentence, having prison time added to his sentence. It was unprecedented for an informant of this stature to be treated so harshly by the courts (the prosecution hadn’t asked for any extra time). By contrast, Andreas and Wilson only got a couple of years each (increased, on Federal appeal, in September 2000, to between 2 and three years). Whitacre was a far from ideal informant (he attempted suicide, at one point) but his undercover work was the winning of the case. Not that he got much thanks for it. He remains philosophical: "Life in prison has been better than life at ADM". Nicholas Hollis, president of the Agribusiness Council, an industry watchdog, saw Whitacre in a different light: "He’s one of the most productive informants in history and one of the most courageous…This was one of the most important antitrust cases of the century. It certainly was the most important in agriculture".

This company is virtually unknown to New Zealanders, but it is one of the very biggest agribusiness transnationals. Not for nothing does it call itself "The Supermarket To The World". It is a company with enormous clout in the US, and globally. Dwayne Andreas, ADM’s patriarch, had assiduously cultivated both the Democrats and Republicans for decades. He was among the first of the corporate CEOs to have 50c either way when it came to political parties (rather like what the beer barons have always done here). He was up to his elbows in the 1970s cesspit that was the Watergate scandal (Republican President Richard Nixon got a very large sum, in cash, for his re-election campaign); he’s been in the thick of the disgraceful business of Big Business buying elections by raining money on candidates. Senior Democrat Party figures were on the ADM board; the law firm that (successfully) represented President Clinton during his impeachment was involved in the trial. Andreas believed in the "key man" school of history. Globally, he cultivated national leaders, to advance the interests of ADM (there’s a photo of him with Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the former Soviet Union, in the book).

"When It Comes To Agriculture There Is No Such Thing As A Free Market"

That quote from Dwayne Andreas beautifully sums up the philosophy of the Big Business monopolist. ADM had no qualms about price fixing – the FBI investigation recorded the company’s unofficial motto as being: "The competitor is our friend and the customer is our enemy". So, senior management (including Whitacre) went merrily into cooking up deals with Japanese competitors, meeting covertly in hotel rooms around the world. There is an irony in this – ADM initially called in the authorities because the company thought that it was the target of industrial sabotage by rivals. Consistent with its modus operandi, ADM reported this to the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, which (theoretically) has no domestic US role, turned it over to the FBI. It was when the FBI was investigating this allegation (unfounded, as it turned out) that Whitacre spoke up about the price fixing and offered to be an undercover informant. The corporate culture at the top was spelled out by Terry Wilson: "The big problem is to remember what lies I’ve told. Always you have to do that. He (Dwayne Andreas) said that you should really write it down". Not that Wilson had any illusions about their prowess as conspirators: "You know, the main thing is if we’re trying to fix prices, we ought to be fired for being so fucking incompetent". The Government and judge disagreed: Wilson and Andreas went to prison.

The book is a fascinating study, one of those courtroom dramas that the Yanks do so well. American capitalism appears quaint viewed from the cowboy frontiers of the New Zealand variety – there’s no possibility of NZ executives going to prison, or even being prosecuted, for anti-trust offences. Price fixing gets a slap on the wrist in the civil courts here. Insider trading has never been prosecuted, and wasn’t even an offence until very recently. But that’s as far as our congratulations to the US system need to go – ADM itself got off scotfree, apart from fines that can be written of as just part of the cost of doing business. Dwayne Andreas, the patriarch, stepped down as CEO earlier than he intended, but nobody else in senior management faced any charges or a short stretch in a country club prison for white collar criminals. It is very much business as usual. And now ADM has got its very dirty hands into New Zealand. Join the queue.

AGRICULTURAL LESSONS FROM AMERICA

("Corporate Pigs And Other Tales Of Agribusiness" - Multinational Monitor, July/August 2000)

- selections with commentary by Dennis Small

The July/August 2000 issue of Multinational Monitor (MM) was focused on agribusiness ("Corporate Pigs and other Tales of Agribusiness"). Given the myopic fixation of the Government on free trade/foreign in-vestment and its consequent preoccupation in particular with "freeing up" agriculture no matter what the cost, MM had plenty of food for thought for Agriculture & Trade Negotiations Minister, Rockhead* Jim Sut-ton, and his fellow market enthusiasts in Cabinet, along with certain officials in our Ministry of Foreign Af-fairs & Trade (MFAT), Federated Farmers' proponents, etc. In fact, there was so much good material that we decided to reproduce some of it with comments as appropriate. * Sutton has described NZ opponents of unrestricted free trade as "having rocks in their heads".

Understanding the agricultural policies of the US is essential for a proper understanding of what free trade means for agriculture and food security (guaranteed access to sufficient food), and for NZ's role in the free trader Cairns Group of countries operating under the World Trade Organistion (WTO) umbrella. This par-ticular issue of MM can help provide plenty of ammunition for fighting the Government's programme to sell out our primary industry to international big business. It can also provide vital help in the related campaign to oppose the Government's aim (in reality - rhetoric aside!) of increasing world hunger.

Agribusiness Market Hypocrisy

In its editorial, MM first pointed out the contradictions and hypocrisy of the giant American agribusiness transnational corporations (TNCs) such as Archer Daniels Midlands (often known by its acronym, ADM. See article elsewhere in this issue on the crimes of ADM, which has recently come to NZ. Ed.), Cargills and Continental Grains: "On the one hand, these companies profess support for a deregulated marketplace . . . and they are pushing hard for a new WTO agricultural agreement that would force countries in the devel-oping world to expose their farmers to the global market, removing supports and regulations to protect local farmers" (p5).

"On the other hand, the agbiz goliaths fiercely protect the enormous assistance they receive for exports, and the de facto subsidy they receive by externalising the dramatic environmental costs of their factory farms. And they rail against any efforts to block, let alone undo, the mergers and restrictive contracts that are consolidating their oligopolistic control of agricultural product markets - a concentrated control making a mockery of the notion that agriculture is governed by free markets".

"What the US experience of the last several years has shown is that agriculture cannot be left to the whims of the market - especially a closed market that is dominated by a handful of giant corporations". These TNCs formulate and direct American agricultural trade policy. In actuality, whatever may be the public rela-tions hype, NZ government agricultural policy on free trade is tailored to the demands of the US TNCs and other global conglomerates in this field. American "agbiz" TNCs like Cargill, the huge private firm that is so influential in world trade, played a major role in initiating and shaping the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay Round negotiations on agricultural free trade. Cargill is the biggest exporter and trader in world cereals. The Uruguay Round, of course, resulted in the WTO (inaugurated in 1995), includ-ing its Agreement on Agriculture.

Cargill, indeed, is very relevant to NZ's world vision, in that former Cargill senior executive, Daniel Amstutz, wrote the original 1980s free trade proposal for agricultural "reform" promoted by the US in the GATT Uru-guay Round ('The International Rice Trade and Self-Reliance in Food in Asia and Africa', RONGEAD [European NGO Network on Agriculture and Development] Infos, vol. 88, no.2-3, p30). This was the so-called "zero option" intended to eliminate all production subsidies and import controls within ten years, the ultimate end goal of purist free market policy. NZ's then Trade Minister, Mad Mike Moore (now the WTO Director General), lavishly praised this proposal, even saying that the US had claimed the "moral high ground" (Press, 2/9/88). NZ has since worked very hard to help Cargill & co make the world safe for the TNCs. There is a huge twist to all this in that the American corporates are still counting on governmental subsidisation, as well as general support, for their activities while eliminating it for small and medium farm-ers.

Cargill, Continental and similar TNCs are intent then on subverting the food sovereignty of Third World na-tions and rolling back consumer regulation ('On Agriculture, Food Security and the Uruguay Round', GATT Briefing, RONGEAD, no. 4, November 1990). In the end, the finalised Agreement on Agriculture was a well watered down version of the most ambitious TNC goal for liberalisation but the global combines certainly gained significant new ground. Now they are pressing for more. NZ's free trade objectives would help en-sure market protection for these agribusiness TNCs.

Indeed, "Trading Ahead", the Government's statement of the GATT Uruguay Round results for NZ, blatantly argued that agriculture had been perverted by "countries' perceived need for self-sufficiency in food" (MFAT, 1994, p22). This was an explicit echo of the American "argument" articulated by proponents such as Mad Mike's mate, John Block, who, when US Secretary of Agriculture, aggressively bludgeoned "devel-oping countries" to yield sovereignty to US food imports as part of their Uruguay Round obligations (The Ecologist, vol. 23, no. 6, Nov/Dec. 1993, p221). As an example of the new opportunities, "Trading Ahead" noted appreciatively that Mexico had eliminated its quantitative restraints, including import licences, on dairy products (p30). When multiplied on the scale aimed at by US and NZ strategists such intrusions amount to an all out assault on the efforts of the Third World to feed itself - creating food dependence is the name of the real Western game.

Corporatising Contradictions

However, international resistance is rising. As the MM editorial signals: "A nascent global movement joining together small farmers, rural workers, environmentalists and, crucially, consumers, is beginning to chal-lenge agribusiness's market hypocrisy. In country after country, once the family farm sector has been wiped out, it will be extremely difficult to regenerate" (p5).

There can be Royal Commissions on "genetic modification"/engineering or biotechnology, or whatever other new manipulations of food that emerge from corporate, industrialised agriculture but, in the last analy-sis, unless democratic control is exercised throughout the agricultural/food system the various threats to the fundamental human rights centred on food will only grow. The roots of democratic control lie in the survival of the family farm however much peasant, or small farming, may have been seen and experienced at times as a source of conservatism by some of those appealing today for "progressive" change.

An article in the MM by Ben Lilliston and Niel Ritchie of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), an excellent activist/research organisation, shows how the US's 1996 seven year farm programme titled the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act (with the ironic acronym of FAIR!) is assisting agribusiness and pushing family farmers toward extinction (pp9-12). The FAIR Act has been lauded as "Freedom to Farm" by its advocates and condemned as "Freedom to Fail" by its critics. So far the Act has failed to increase exports and farmer incomes as originally touted. It "was designed to expose farmers to the so-called free market" and supposedly foster the most competitive producers (MM, p10). It eliminated price floor supports and removed production controls like farmer-owned grain reserves and "land set-asides" which enabled soil conservation. Witness the corresponding erosion of our own producer boards under constant TNC attack, in particular courtesy of the iniquitous foreign-controlled Business Round Table.

"The policies of Freedom to Farm have been such an unmitigated failure that Congress has had to appro-priate massive bailouts in each of the last three years to keep farmers on the land" (p10). Increased pro-duction and lower prices have not reaped the gains that were anticipated. "In 1998, 'emergency aid' to farmers totaled $US15 billion. In 1999, it grew to $23 billion. Another $15 billion will be spent this year" (p10). In comparison the total cost of farm programmes in 1996 was $4.6 billion and so these days the American Administration is bailing out its farmers on a much greater scale than in the mid-1990s, shortly after the inauguration of the new WTO. The ironies of politics and politico-economics never fail to fasci-nate.

It is appropriate at this point to note the very important contribution to the international campaign against free trade made by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy or IATP. At the international level, IATP has played a vital part in the critical analysis of US agricultural policy, especially through the work of its President, Mark Ritchie. The Institute defends the rights of American small/medium farmers, promotes sustainable development, environmental protection, and "multi-functional" agriculture, and, as well, vigor-ously challenges the inequities of globalisation. IATP operates a whole range of programmes connected with farming - from food safety to the integration of agriculture and forestry. It is indeed an organisation that thinks and works both locally and globally: one with a very informed, integrated approach that has much to offer NZ farmers.

In the US, Rightwing academics, thinktanks, etc have lauded the Freedom to Farm Act as embodying the principles of "fair" competition - the most efficient will win. The fact that the huge agribusiness TNCs back this programme is apparently irrelevant although, of course, in actuality these TNCs and their mates fund most of the free market propaganda. "'Freedom to Farm has really positioned the US very well to take ad-vantage of the opportunities in the world market,' Cargill's Dan Pearson, told the Ontario, Canada Financial Post in December 1996, shortly after the law's enactment" (MM, p10). Incidentally, Cargill is "gung-ho" on genetically modified foods and its boss has warned instead about "anti-science" activists and "the safety risks of organically grown corn, soybeans and other grains" (Press, 17/5/00).

To be sure, it is the large grain buyers/traders like Cargill, Continental Grains and Archer Daniels Midlands "who have reaped the benefits of Freedom to Farm, not farmers themselves" (MM, p10). As one Minneso-tan farmer put it, "Cargill is buying corn damn cheap - we're back to overproducing" to simply cover costs. "Critics point out how the Act stripped away (President Roosevelt’s 1930s) New Deal farm programmes de-signed to directly protect farmers from the wild fluctuations of the market, which had devastated farmers during the Depression" (p10).

"For nearly 50 years, agribusiness and grain traders, who thrive on the volatility of the market and low crop prices, have attacked the New Deal approaches to US farm policy. Family farmers throughout the country say the agribusiness success in Freedom to Farm has returned farmers to the Depression-era conditions that brought about the New Deal farm programme in the first place" (MM, p11). The "FAIR" Act and associ-ated policies have accelerated the long and steep decline in family farms. "The total number of farms in the US has declined from 6.5 million in 1935 to 2.05 million in 1997, with most of the decline among family farms, according to Willard Cochrane, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. More than 60% of the remaining farms are resource, residential or retirement farms. Since the enactment of FAIR, the num-ber of family farms has gone into free fall" (p11).

Concentrating Agro Clout

In the past in the US, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) had enabled farmers a measure of control over the marketing of their crops vis a vis the giant agribusinesses. Government had forwarded loans to farmers whenever prices "offered by the food processors or grain corporations fell below the cost of pro-duction" (p11). This arrangement had thus enabled better regulation of demand and supply since grain could be kept in reserve until prices improved. But the TNCs resented this governmental intervention be-cause it restricted their middleman role of buying cheap and selling dear (even though they were in fact of-ten the biggest beneficiaries of governmental largesse under the CCC system, given their strategic position in the market). So in recent times "Freedom to Farm has driven the move toward large, corporate farms and agribusiness partnerships and away from small and medium-sized producers" (MM, pp11-12). The top 10% of farmer recipients under the new FAIR regime have collected 61% of the money given in subsidies, further boosting the prosperity and power of the big farmers at the expense of the rest (p12). This is a similar situation to the way in which larger farmers benefit from the European Common Agricultural Policy.

With regard to NZ, the Briefing Papers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) for the incoming Labour/Alliance government provided a number of revealing insights into corresponding agribusiness con-centration in our own country. As MAF points out: "The average land area of sheep and beef, and dairy farms, has continued to increase, as have average stock numbers per farm, as farmers take advantage of economies of scale in order to minimise costs" (MAF Briefing Papers for Incoming Minister, updated 3/3/00). Some of us were drawing attention to this sort of trend back in the 1980s. In the South Island, "the average herd size of new dairy conversions is approximately 500 cows, compared to the national average herd size of 220. At the same time, the total number of herds has followed a generally declining trend as the national herd is consolidated into fewer, but larger herds". Moreover, "kiwifruit blocks have tended to increase in size over the past five years and the pipfruit industry is consolidating on bigger units with tightly managed debt levels. The number of small traditional family units in the pipfruit industry is shrinking".

The Briefing Papers went on to observe that: "For other horticultural crops, there is a perceived trend of growers consolidating into larger fulltime units, with a corresponding reduction in the number of part time/hobby operators. The arable industry trends show some farmers developing large grain enterprises, while others are developing very specialised seed crop varieties including vegetables. However, many growers are facing reduced opportunities to secure contracts and are uncertain about their future". Further up another food chain, the "trend in the dairy sector is towards the merger of existing processing compa-nies".

Overall, the Briefing Papers noted that "opportunities to get established in farming are decreasing as aver-age unit size (particularly dairy) and herd sizes are increasing in order to remain viable through economies of scale. The average cost of purchasing a viable farm is now about $1 million". Meantime, at the other end of the spectrum, the number of lifestyle blocks continues to grow. As one farmer news columnist la-ments, "we are losing the concept of the family farm. Our farms are rapidly becoming meat factories pro-viding less and less jobs" (Press, 13/10/00). In general, farming is characterised by cycles of relative "boom and bust". At last, after a long drought, many NZ farmers are experiencing the rains of good times owing to good weather, better prices and a low exchange rate. But it would be grossly mistaken to think that the fam-ily farmer will prevail against the long term trends of market centralisation unless the movement for sus-tainable, small/medium farming can find resurgent life into the future. And this means joining hands with similar farmers in the US and elsewhere . . . "Many agriculture experts believe the US has only a few years left to save its family farmers before they are either swallowed up by larger farms, or left in financial ruin" (MM, p12).

In the US, while "low commodity prices which benefit many large agribusiness interests erode family farms' viability", consumers are not seeing any gains. "Since 1984, the real price of a US Department of Agricul-ture market basket of food has increased 2.8% while the farm value of that food has fallen by 35.7%, ac-cording to C Robert Taylor, professor of agriculture and public policy at Auburn University. Taylor says there is a 'widening gap' between retail price and farm value of numerous components of the market basket . . ." (MM, p12). In NZ, the Consumers' Institute is currently investigating what is called "backdoor inflation", a creative way of agribusiness increasing its profit margins. "This is the practice of shrinking grocery items so that manufacturers can charge the same amount for less", e.g. a can of baked beans used to weigh 450g but now weighs 420g and a loaf of bread has dropped from 750g to 700g (Press, 19/10/00).

The WTO Problem

The FAIR Act was needed by the US if it was to retain any degree of credibility in its free trade stance. "The US needed to phase out its own systems of farm subsidies and programmes in order to begin pressuring other countries to do the same" (MM, p11) - or, more accurately, to keep up the momentum of its assault on protection in other countries. Ironically, when the US renewed its attack on "European farm subsidy pro-grammes, arguing that they violate WTO rules", the European Agriculture Commissioner responded in kind, launching "similar criticisms of Congressional bailouts for US farmers in the last three years" (p11). In their article, Lilliston and Ritchie indicate how strongly WTO rules are biased in favour of corporate agriculture, e.g. "WTO-illegal policies might include tax preferences for small farms or beginning farmers, labelling food as to country of origin or state origin, or providing low interest loans for smaller farms" (p11).

On the positive side, the general case for small farms is made effectively by Dr Peter Rosset, executive director of the Oakland, California-based Institute for Food and Development Policy (IFDP) - better known as Food First, an organisation which has done a great deal over the years to alert the world to the real causes and practical solutions of hunger (MM, pp29-33). Dr. Rosset is a co-author of "World Hunger: Twelve Myths", a book which in its various versions has a lot of influence on this commentator. The latest second edition is written by Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins and Rosset and revises/updates the ar-guments and material of the earlier versions (Grove Press, 1998 - I still have my copy of Lappe's and Collins's "World Hunger: Ten Myths", IFDP, 1979). Moore and Collins were also authors of the famous "Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity" (Houghton Mifflin, 1977), another groundbreaking publication in the campaign for development justice and the establishment of food as a fundamental human right. Food First regularly puts out publications on issues of concern.

In presenting the case for small farms, Peter Rosset said that his Institute had reviewed the evidence across the globe, comparing the "productivity" of smaller farms with that of larger farms. "By productivity, I mean the total output of agricultural products per unit area - per acre or hectare. For every country for which data is available, smaller farms are anywhere from 200 to 1000% more productive per unit area. The myth of the greater productivity of larger farms stems in part from the confusing use of the term 'yield' to measure productivity" (MM, p29). As Dr. Rosset expounds, yield refers to how much of a single crop you can get from a certain unit area of land - it applies to monocultures. In contrast, small farmers have a mix-ture of crops and animals, which uses the ecological space more efficiently, productively, and, ultimately, more sustainably.

Survival of the small farm, the family farm, is predicated on the outcome of the WTO negotiations. Rosset asserts: "I think the proposed agreements on agriculture in the WTO are the gravest threat to rural communities, small farmers and rural ecologies around the world, perhaps the gravest threat in his-tory. I've already described a system that's pretty bad, but despite all the odds, small farmers and peasants have clung to the land in incredible numbers all around the world. But the WTO Agreement on Agriculture threatens to remove virtually any ability on the part of individual countries to protect their agricultural sec-tors, to stop the flooding of their local markets with cheap imports from Northern countries or other large grain-exporting countries. It would take away the ability of countries to have programmes that promote or support small farmers or family farmers" (MM, pp31-32).

Rural Resurgence Versus The Fifth Column

The Cairns Group has currently taken export subsidies ("currently the preserve of a handful of rich coun-tries" in the words of a MFAT briefing paper!) as the main target to eliminate. While this has certainly some bearing on the dumping problem, the Group's general line is pretty much in harmony with American policy with even the US prepared to give up such subsidies according to its formal proposals (Press, 1/7/00). In fact, an MFAT report, obtained under the Official Information Act, indicates that: "Cairns Group dialogue with the United States is fruitful, showing that their thinking is not too dissimilar from that of the Cairns Group, and that we also share similar objectives, although we may differ on emphasis and approach. Both sides value the relationship which is evolving in a positive manner" (Cairns Group/United States: Senior Officials Meeting, Geneva, 27/6/00).

In the official version of events, the Cairns Group was informally initiated in 1986 and then formalised in August of that year at Cairns, Australia, just three weeks before the launch of the Uruguay GATT Round ("The New Zealand GATT Handbook", MFAT, March 1990, pp51-52). There were 14 Cairns Group mem-bers at the time: Canada, Australia, NZ, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hungary and Fiji. Today, the group has enlarged to a total of 18 members with the addition of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Paraguay and South Africa (and with Hungary dropping out).

Many of these countries have traditionally had strong ties with the US - all the Latin American countries have been client states as have been Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Significantly the three West-ern member countries - Canada, Australia and NZ - constitute a strategic grouping with the US, known as CANZUS, whatever trading rivalries the various members may happen to have from time to time. Chak-ravarthi Raghavan, who has closely monitored the GATT/WTO negotiations for many years and written the most incisive book on the GATT Uruguay Round, labelled the instigation of the Cairns Group as a US tactic in its divide and rule approach towards Third World opposition to the Round's agenda (See his "Recolonisa-tion: GATT, the Uruguay Round & the Third World", Zed Books and Third World Network, 1990, p76).

Oxfam development/trade analyst Kevin Watkins has noted how, in the GATT Uruguay Round, developing country members of the Cairns Group - "countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia" - failed to safeguard the rights of their staple food producers. Instead, "their governments opted to place the per-ceived interests of commercial exporters and expanded trade above those of food security. Throughout the Uruguay Round they distinguished themselves by playing the role of extras in a play scripted by Washing-ton and Canberra" ("Agricultural Trade and Food Security", Oxfam, 1995, p52). And we can add, sadly enough, that NZ was obviously one of the playwrights. At the same, TNCs like Cargill combined with the US Department of Agriculture and other such agencies, in breaking open domestic food markets in the Philip-pines and other Third World countries (e.g. see "Agricultural Trade and Food Security", pp 45-53). The lib-eralisation programme of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group was significant in this.

Today, IFDP's Rosset points to the rising rural resurgence against corporate globalisation: "Organisations representing small farmers, medium-sized farmers, farmworkers and the landless from all over the world were in Seattle last November (1999) protesting the WTO. We had the National Family Farm Coalition from the US, the National Farmers' Union from Canada, Mexican farmworker unions, the landless workers' union (MST) from Brazil, farmworker unions from Africa, farmers' organisations from Thailand, the United Farm Workers' union from the US - an incredible international coalition of rural organisations all saying that the proposed WTO rules for agriculture would be a death sentence for rural communities and rural areas around the world" (MM, p 32).

Rosset went on to stress how: "Many Third World countries have already been hurt by structural adjustment agreements. In exchange for renegotiating the debt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank forced them to open their borders to imports, among many other things. That meant opening their borders to the dumping of Northern food surpluses and cheap food and undercutting their local farmers" (p 32).

"What the WTO rules would do is raise those agreements to the level of treaty law, making it a violation of international law for a country to impose any kind of protection on its agricultural sector. I believe that every country, in order to have national security, has to have the most important dietary elements for its popula-tion produced within its borders. But under the WTO rules you would not be able to maintain policies to guarantee that. It would also require that Third World countries reduce any remaining tariffs much more dramatically than northern countries would have to reduce theirs" (p 32).

Furthermore, it should be noted here that such countries have already had to reduce their levels of protec-tion from a proportionately much lower existing amount than that enjoyed by the industrialised countries. In contradistinction, as a communique from the agricultural free trader Cairns Group has complained: "In 1998, agricultural support within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to-talled some US$362 billion - higher than the US$326 billion provided when the Uruguay Round began" (Global Issues, 19th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 29/8/99; it was pretty well the same figure for 1999 too). Meantime, as the American imposition of tariffs on Australasian lamb signals, the regime of administered protection in the US prevails as powerfully as ever, particularly evident against "dumped" or "subsidised" goods whenever the US "dollar appreciates or as members of Congress seek votes (or campaign contributions)" ("Administered Protection in the United States during the 1980s" by DA Stallings, Agmardt Series no. 1, Research Report no. 211, Lincoln University, May 1991, p 26). This regime is set to continue too, despite FAIR-type "reforms", or any limited success that NZ might have at WTO dis-pute tribunals on any specific issue like the lamb tariffs.

Trading Away Human Rights And Food Security

Dr. Rosset pertinently observes that: "Basically what happens with free trade or the integration of econo-mies is that you go from a relatively small sized national economy to a larger economy. If you have a small economy that's too small to support a Cargill or an Archer Daniels Midlands, and you have protection so that it's hard for those companies to get in, then you have a situation where smaller producers and smaller companies can flourish. When you open up into a larger economy, you create the conditions where the gi-ant conglomerates now have large enough market conditions to support themselves, and then they can un-dercut everyone else and drive everyone else out of business. So as we go from smaller economies to larger economies, we create the conditions where the largest multinationals can use their power in the mar-ketplace to drive everyone else out of business, with devastating social consequences" (MM, p 32).

One crucial concept used to counter free trade is that of "multifunctionality". Again, Rosset explains: "Mul-tifunctionality is a way of characterising agriculture that would set it apart from other kinds of economic ac-tivity, like industry. The notion is that farming isn't just producing corn the way that, for instance, a shoe factory produces shoes, because agriculture also involves the management of natural resources. Agricul-ture has impacts on culture and ways of life, and farmers are the custodians of those cultures" (p 32).

"The concept of multifunctionality was developed by the EU as a way of arguing that agriculture should re-ceive special treatment in the WTO and shouldn't be opened to free trade the way that industry has been. Unfortunately, that notion didn't have a lot of success in terms of trying to stop the US-driven juggernaut towards free trade in agriculture" (p 32). The Cairns Group has joined the US in attacking the multifunction-ality concept. Both the US and the Cairns Group share the goal of breaking down European protectionism and open up markets elsewhere.

In a Global Issues Ministerial statement (29/11/99), the Cairns Group mounted its criticism with the follow-ing sally: "Some WTO Members suggest that the so-called 'multifunctional' objectives of agriculture - rural employment, landscape and the like - justify maintaining high levels of agricultural support and protection. Just as it would not be acceptable to introduce 'multifunctionality' in the WTO for manufacturing and serv-ices, there is similarly no justification to apply it in agriculture. Non-trade objectives should not be used as a smoke screen for protectionist policies which perpetuate povery, hunger and environmental degradation. The WTO recognises non-trade concerns and these can be addressed through targeted and transparent policies which do not distort production and trade".

A number of points can be briefly made here. The WTO process certainly does not properly recognise non-trade concerns in the sense that its whole thrust is to reduce or exclude these concerns to the greatest de-gree possible. For instance, its track record on environment/trade disputes has demonstrated this over and over again with not one WTO dispute tribunal decision in favour of protection of the environment. Moreo-ver, these dispute and general process procedures are far from transparent. Indeed, the dispute procedures are now seen as notoriously highly secretive and undemocratic. Not only does multifunctionality recognise environmental values, it can be used to enshrine the right to food as a fundamental human right and this is absolutely essential to safeguard food security against the depredations of corporate free trade/foreign in-vestment.

Of course, multifunctionality can be cynically used a smoke screen for detrimental practices and we can again quote Rosset on this score: "The US was able to point out quite rightly that Western Europe was be-ing hypocritical in saying that they wanted protection for agriculture in order to preserve its multiple func-tions, given the way European export subsidies are destroying farming in the Third World. Of course, the US was also being hypocritical, since US export dumping is also destroying agriculture throughout the Third World. As a result of the US manoeuvring, this very interesting and I think potentially very useful concept fell by the wayside" (MM, p 33).

However, it can be revived as Dr. Rosset himself is trying to do. As he goes on to say: "It should be the ba-sis for excluding agriculture from the WTO altogether" (p 33). Food and agricultural products in general should not be treated just like other commodities as the NZ government is wanting to see happen. The long held goal of food security which has been given at least lip service by many Third World countries must not be sacrificed to the dictates of the TNC-driven market. Rosset sees export dumping ("at prices often below the cost of production") by the big developed countries, and "the taking over of local markets by multina-tional grain companies" as the primary causes of farmers in the Third World being driven off their land (p31). Furtherance of the "free market" will make all this even worse.

Corporate Games

Other articles in the July/August 2000 edition of MM cover a variety of topics with a continuing emphasis on corporate accumulation in the agricultural/food system. Among the findings are the following:

*In the US: "Meat packers - already heavily concentrated ten years ago, with four packers controlling 72% of the market - have vertically integrated. Now they have gained control of the cattle raising side of the business, either through long term supply contracts with huge feedlots or through outright ownership" (p13). So a formerly competitive supply market has been rendered captive.

*"Horizontal concentration, where a few firms control a high proportion of one level of the food chain, is at a historic high. The top four cattle processors, IBP, Montfort (owned by ConAgra), Excel (owned by Cargill) and Farmland National, collectively control about 80% of the market - double the rate of two decades ago. The top five hog processing companies, Smithfield, IBP, Excel, Montfort and Farmland, jointly control ap-proximately 63% of the market. Regional concentration levels - often more important to farmers, especially small farmers for whom it is often impractical to ship livestock long distances - are even higher" (p13). Such monopolistic/oligopolistic control looms for Aotearoa/NZ as TNCs take over.

*The spread of contract farming robs farmers of their independence and turns them into a new kind of ex-ploited rural workforce located at the bottom of the food chain. Prominent among the food chain clusters in their close, cooperative relationships are "Cargill/Monsanto, ConAgra and Novartis/Archers Daniels Mid-land" (p 15). A study headed by Dr. William Heffernan of the University of Missouri has identified and de-scribed the emergence of these food industry clusters - "groupings of big corporations that trade among themselves, not on the open market, until a processed product reaches the consumer", consequently plac-ing "the farmer at enormous disadvantage" (p14).

*The spread of factory farms or confined animal feeding operations is leading to huge problems of pollution and damage to the amenities of rural life, along with the flagrant abuse of animal rights. Irradiation is being pushed as corporate agriculture's "solution" to the associated food contamination (p25). The trend, as in NZ, is for supposed self-regulation by the food industry of food safety, health, environmental, and other prob-lematic issues. More generally, it can be said that industrialised agriculture in the US, and similarly else-where - including NZ - is rapidly eating away both national and world ecological capital. Free trade export-ing often amounts to ecological dumping as the indirect and direct costs of soil erosion, groundwater deple-tion, nitrate/phosphate pollution and resultant eutrophication, imported oil (demanding enormous military and economic outlays to safeguard sources), and so on are factored out of the economic equation (Agri-cultural Trade and Food Security, pp28-30). Moreover, various "agricultural subsidies artificially lower the prices of inputs, such as water, fertilisers and pesticides, encouraging their overuse" ("Environment and Trade: A Handbook" (United Nations Environment Programme, 2000, p52). Real and genuine accounting systems would clearly demonstrate the flagrant waste and inefficiency of so much modern farming.

*In Third World countries like Indonesia (and India, the Philippines, etc) peoples' movements continue to strongly challenge the policies of the World Bank/IMF/WTO/TNC complex.

*Family farmers worldwide are struggling to survive against a flood of corporate farming and TNC-generated influences.

While the American and, indeed, global trends are towards vertical integration, horizontal concentration, contract and factory farming, the brutal commodification of animal life, and bio-engineered harm to the en-vironment and consumers: "There is nothing inevitable about agricultural concentration. Family farms produce high quality food, are better stewards of the land and are more efficient in narrow economic terms than factory farms" (p15). But market structures, governmental policy and international trade rules all con-spire against small farmers. The same processes are clearly at work in Aotearoa/NZ. Society can still choose but time is running out for change that will become increasingly difficult to effect.

Yet in the end, as Peter Rosset points out, the "upside of the WTO proposals" and free trade/market trends in general "is that they have helped a new global food movement coalesce. It's got all of those rural actors - farmers, farmworkers and the landless - as well as environmentalists concerned about pesti-cides and genetically altered crops and consumers concerned about food safety, working together against the WTO" (p32) - and against agribusiness TNCs, etc. For sure, the majority of the people of the world have the power to turn the tide.

Contacts/Resources:

Organisations

Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
398 60th Street
Oakland, CA 94618
E-mail: foodfirst@foodfirst.org
www.foodfirst.org

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2105 1st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
E-mail: info@iatp.org
www.iatp.org

Publications (other than described fully in the text above)

Multinational Monitor
Essential Information, Inc.
1530 P St., NW, Washington, DC 20005 (subs to PO Box 19405, Washington, DC 20036: Personal - US$25; non-profit institutions - US$30 [add US$15 for airmail])
E-mail: monitor@essential.org

"The Corporate Reapers"
by AV Krebs
Washington, DC:
Essential Books, 1992
www.essential.org

"Invisible Giant: Cargill and its International Strategies"
by Brewster Kneen
Halifax, NS, Canada:
Fernwood Publishing, 1995

"The Paradox of Plenty: Hunger in a Bountiful World"
Edited by Douglas M. Boucher
Oakland, CA: Food First Books, 1999

"Concentration in the Food Agriculture System"
by Dr William Heffernan et al
Denver: National Farmers' Union, 1999
www.nfu.org/Publications/Studies/Concentration/whstudy.html


Foreign Control Watchdog, P O Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand/Aotearoa. December 2000.

Email cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

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