National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association is a coalition of Independent Consumer and Farmer groups united in a common mission and purpose :
~To promote and preserve unregulated direct farmer-to-consumer trade that fosters availability of locally grown or home-produced food products.
~To oppose any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.
International agricultural trade must be ethical
before it is economic
Is free trade hindering food sovereignty? By Pascal Lamy
The term "food sovereignty" is not defined anywhere in the dictionary and tends to designate different things for different people. For some people, food sovereignty means the sovereign right for governments to define their food policy to best feed their population. For others, it means the necessity to produce food locally and the right to protect their importations.
In fact, an increasing number of consumers call themselves today "locavores" - another word which is also not in the dictionary - referring to the will to consume locally produced food. Indeed, the concept of "food sovereignty" can only be useful depending on the meaning which it will ultimately be given. Let's examine the first definition - the sovereign right to determine food policy. This sovereign right is for me absolute and implies the sovereign power of each of the 153 members of the World Trade Organization to elaborate the WTO rules pertaining to agricultural products and to subscribe to them.
This right implies, for example, to subscribe to certain fundamental principles, such as basing a food policy on hard scientific data, while including a precautionary margin and avoiding arbitrary or unjustified discrimination between food products of different origins.
These fundamental common sense principles that governments have chosen to establish at the international level are nothing else than the sovereign expression of their wish to institute a reliable multilateral trade system in the food sector, as the international trade plays a vital role when it allows the supply to meet the demand at the world level, while acknowledging that production and consumption of food products do not work by the same rules as shirts and tires.
The second definition - i.e. the necessity to produce locally - is more questionable. Let's take the example of the recent devastating floods in Pakistan. We must ask ourselves how, after these floods, Pakistanis will succeed to feed themselves. Would it be reasonable to expect that Pakistan feeds itself as the locavores would have it.
International agricultural trade is nothing but a transmission belt between lands of opulence and lands of shortage. It throws a bridge between abundance and scarcity. It is not surprising that those who advocate local production are those who have the greatest agricultural wealth and who are already able to feed themselves. I have never heard yet of locavores from the arid regions such as Yemen.
In fact, during the 2008 food crisis, the World Food Program complained because restrictions to exportation of food products prevented it to accomplish its vital mission, which is to provide food to people who need it.
International trade of food products must not be considered as a purely economic activity. It is first an ethical responsibility. Those who live in lands of abundance have a responsibility towards those who live in lands of scarcity. A responsibility which will probably grow with the effect of climatic change.
Economical to be Ethical
Is Food Sovereignty Hindering Free Trade?
A Response to Pascal Lamy
by the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
A false premise produces false argument. Lamy, via straw argument, attempts confusion to control dialogue. "Food sovereignty" is an individual right expressed in local trade. Individuals do not trade across borders, corporations do. Price control belongs to the people, yet the corporate entity usurped this power. Let us address what is truly at stake.
The sovereign right of a government is to protect the rights of individuals. Beyond that is usurpation of power against the individual. Lamy confuses "power" and right". Food sovereignty is each individual's God given inalienable right to earn his sustenance from the wealth of the land responsibly and self-determine food consumption. If people were fully empowered in their own food production and consumption, free-trade as it stands now--built on exploiting labor pools in countries desperate enough to work for low wages' could not exist. In other words, food sovereignty would do away with free trade. But what we have instead is state enforcement of WTO rules, and their ramifications into food policy, against the rights of individuals.
Data show no ethical or economic basis for free trade. Karl Marx advocated its destructive nature to hasten world revolution. In the United States, for instance, food policy moved from private to public domain with the 1930's depression-induced Agricultural Adjustment Act - clever manipulation. The "get big or get out" policy promoted after 1952 depressed earned income and concentrated food policy corporate power by a series of compensatory schemes to make up for farmers' lost income.
The consumer wants low food prices; the farmer must have earnings that reflect capital and labor costs to avert insolvency: this is the tension exploited by banks, corporate distributors and free traders, all the people who add to the cost of production but nothing to the value of what is produced. Indeed, as wage earners seek low food prices to save money, the farmer absorbs low prices as lost income. His recourse is to mortgage the farm, hoping for price increases. Simultaneously, lost income reduces his ability to make purchases that pay the wages of those who make what he needs. Lost income cannot be recovered and is made evident by capital debt that grows exponentially.
1980's news broadcasts on foreign trade ended with "free trade means lower prices for consumers," leaving out that it means lower prices for producers. This Goebbels like propaganda beguiled Americans to accept NAFTA (North-American Free Trade Agreement). Production x price = earned income. Under-priced imports cause surplus, decrease earned income and purchasing power, increase unemployment, and cause unserviceable debt that grows exponentially. Should farmer and herdsman be impoverished to benefit concentration of wealth and power?
The U.S. bankruptcy is now evident. The U.S. faces 14.3 trillion dollars federal debt, growing a million dollars per 16 seconds. Fundamental common sense principles' such as what prevailed in 1940's American public policy, were ignored. Back then, demand created by properly priced domestic supply resulted in full national employment and local trade experiencing up to 40% profit; bankers loaned only 16 cents per dollar on deposit.
Agriculture is the foundation of any economy. Equity of trade, balanced payments across borders, allows food sovereignty to flourish. Even arid regions can be prosperous if allowed. When you deal with agriculture with unsound economic principles, however, you create the kind of disparity we witness today. The WTO is a transmission belt to deliver the world's wealth and raw material resources to a few globalists at the expense of everybody else. It is a toll bridge run by corporate interests sucking profit for their non-living entity selves. Predatory international organizations and corporations are always ready to remove the rural populations for mineral and oil thievery. Savings and inventory for economic growth and disaster management have been replaced by IMF (International Monetary Fund) economic development loans. When predatory loans can't be serviced, capital is plundered and currency debased. Food sovereignty is ruined. Look at the tragedy of Pakistan.
The truth of the matter is that international free trade creates international disparity. The world now faces (in U.S. dollars):
- 8.1 trillion in uncirculating capital
- 516 trillion in derivatives
- 100 trillion in world stock and bond markets - inflated collateral
- 15 trillion U.S. money supply based on debt
A 50 trillion dollar world gross product is collateral for world debt. Paying off loans diminishes the money supply. Insolvency is imminent. The domination of the WTO by the British Commonwealth, whose member nations enjoy undue influence over the agency's consensus-seeking process among its 153 members, is of particular concern. Especially in light of the efforts put behind the U.N. Agenda 21 for sustainable development.
Food sovereignty is food security. In its absence, desperate people work for pence, beg, steal, or revolt. Equity of trade, not "free trade," will correct the imbalance, raise world standard of living, and encourage self-determination.
Doreen Hannes, NICFA Research Director:
RAW MILK CHEESE PLANT FIGHT
GOES TO NEXT LEVEL
Morningland Dairy LLC, the Missouri farmstead raw cheese plant that has been shut down by embargo since August 26th, is finally going to get its day in court. On Tuesday January 11th, in West Plains, Missouri, at Howell County Court House, the trial will begin.
KY3 TV News Story on Morningland Dairy
Charges Filed Against Morningland Dairy
Co-Op Raid Draws in Morningland
The UnCheese Party-advocates for Morningland, several articles and history
Contact: Doreen Hannes 417 962 0030 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours for food freedom,
Deborah Stockton, Executive Director
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)
availability of locally grown or home-produced food products..
NICFA opposes any government funded or managed National Animal Identification System.
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Senate Bill 510 - To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.
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