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Fact Sheets: Farming

Fact Sheets Count: 7
September 23, 2013

The World Food Prize: Recognizing Heroes or Promoting Agribusiness Interests?

Behind the World Food Prize are millions of dollars from agribusiness and prize recipients whose contributions have done little to reduce hunger.

April 12, 2013
Filed in: ,

Monsanto’s Seed Company Subsidiaries

The rise of genetic engineering (GE) has not only diminished the ability for farmers to practice their own methods of seed selection, but also turned another sector of agriculture into a business monopolized by a few corporations. Monsanto, the largest supplier of GE seed traits, now controls 60 percent of corn and 62.5 percent of soybean seeds and seed trait licenses in the United States.

December 5, 2012

The Economic Cost of Food Monopolies

The agriculture and food sector is unusually concentrated, with just a few companies dominating the market in each link of the food chain. In most sectors of the U.S. economy, the four largest firms control between 40 and 45 percent of the market, and many economists maintain that higher levels of concentration can start to erode competitiveness. Yet according to data compiled by the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012, in the agriculture and food sector, the four largest companies controlled 82 percent of the beef packing industry, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of broiler chicken processing.

July 19, 2012

How GE Crops Hurt Farmers

With the rise of GE crops, coexistence between organic, non-GE and GE production has become more diffi cult due to the potential for gene flow and commingling of crops at both the planting and harvesting levels.

May 24, 2012

Poultry Litter Incineration: An Unsustainable Solution

The poultry industry continues to influence lawmakers to prioritize corporate interests over public health, sound food policy and environmental concerns. Citizens in Maryland and in other states are being asked to bail the industry out of its massive waste problem by financing poultry litter incinerators.

February 24, 2011

A Farm Bill for Consumers

Our food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident. Rampant consolidation in the food industry has left control of much of our food in the hands of a few large firms which serve as a bottleneck between 2 million farmers and more than 300 million consumers. Farmers receive lower prices for their products while consumers face higher prices at the grocery store. As more farms bow to the economic pressure to “get big or get out,” intensive production practices, like raising livestock on factory farms, put public health and the environment at risk.

February 21, 2011

Farm Subsidies 101

Whether the topic is obesity, climate change or even the budget deficit, there are few debates these days when U.S. farm policy doesn’t get mentioned. One popular recommendation to fix our farm policy is slashing payments to farmers entirely, or redirecting that money into other programs. Proponents of this approach claim it would encourage farmers to shift to crops other than corn or soybeans and would protect the environment. It’s an appealing concept — save money and stop promoting industrial agriculture at the same time. The problem is, when it comes to the food system, it’s never quite that simple.