Transnational corporations seek to dominate the food

2006-03-22 00:00:00

With the goal of increasing food production and ending
hunger in the world, the corporations that produce
seeds for sale gained strength in the decade of the
50’s. However, the seeds they created do not present
regularity in production and depend on a large use of
agro-toxins. Conclusion: despite all the technological
development in agriculture, around 800 million people
in the world suffer from hunger.

Besides this, in various places in the world the
peasants remain hostages to the seeds and inputs from
the large corporations that increasingly seek to
control the market. Twenty-five years ago, 7,000
industries produced seeds on the planet. Currently,
ten businesses dominate half the market. Monsanto,
Syngenta, and Dupont control 30% of sales.

Besides hegemony in agriculture, this type of
production demands specific inputs, monopolizing the
market of agro-toxins and herbicides as well. "They
create seeds that can tolerate herbicides and
agrotoxins from other corporations", stated Silvia
Ribeiro, an activist from the ETC Group of Mexico.
According to her, the corporations want to profit from
the dependence of agricultural workers.

The expansion of the use of transgenics is going to
increase the control of corporations over farmers.
Monsanto alone, the major producer of seeds since
2005, sells 88% of transgenics. "They are seeking the
monopoly of industrialized and transgenic seeds",
warned Silvia.

One of the mechanisms to ensure a monopoly is to
de-stimulate and prevent the use of organic seeds by
farmers and to charge royalties by means of patents.
"It is robbing the patrimony of humanity created by
the farmers", she added.

Besides controlling seeds, the processing corporations
are also monopolies which work together and control
the production chain. For example, Monsanto owns part
of Cargill. The transnational corporations also make
partnerships with the large supermarket chains such as
Carrefour (France) and Wal-Mart (United States), the
group with the world’s biggest profits.

In this way, the monopolistic groups dominate
everything from the production of seeds to the inputs
and processing until it arrives at the consumer.
Currently the power of the transnational corporations
is such that of the 100 major economies in the world,
51 are corporations and 49 are countries. Coca-Cola,
for example, owns 80% of the world's bottled water.
"The transnational corporations are going to decide
what we are going to eat", Silvia predicted.