01 Apr '11, 7am

Spelt linked to cancer & other health problems, even as Big Ag muscles in on the market via @grist

Spelt linked to cancer & other health problems, even as Big Ag muscles in on the market via @grist

Even if the effort works -- no guarantee, given that no "drought-tolerant" GM crop has yet reached market, despite much hype -- the Gates/Monsanto tie-up sounds to me like a recipe for peonage for smallholder farmers. Flooding a highly consolidated commodity market with yet more boatloads of product merely drives prices down, benefiting the big buyers like Cargill while plunging farmers into cycles of debt. Any "Third World farmer" interested in signing on to this scheme should first consult Vietnamese smallholders who signed on to the World Bank's great coffee idea of the 1990s . Financed and egged on by the Bank, farmers there put in millions of acres of coffee plants and flooded the market with low-quality beans. Their efforts caused coffee prices to plunge (in inflation-adjusted terms) last seen in the early 1900s, causing waves of misery throughout the coffee-producin...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/scary-food/2011-04-01-spelt-linked-c...

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