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USDA is not your friend
"I'm with the government, and I am here to help": WEF, Big Ag and Corporate food processors
“Who controls the food supply controls the people”
Attributed to Henry Kissinger (disputed)
As we head into the weekend of August 26, 2023, I turn back to one of the key themes of this substack- the family farm. We previously published an essay titled “The Harvest of Deception” by Texas Slim, which provides an introductory overview of current trends in American (and western) food agriculture. Here is a quote from that essay which gets to the heart of the matter:
The world's food supply is controlled by just a handful of companies, and the concentration of power in the food industry has increased over time. In the United States, less than 1% of the population is employed in agriculture, and most of the food sold in the country is controlled by a few large corporations.
The food cartel exercises a significant degree of control over domestic agricultural economies, especially in the processing industries. This includes the milling and packing/slaughtering industries, which are controlled by a few large companies. For example, in the case of grains and soybeans, the top four millers controlled 41% of the industry in 1979, and they now control 92%. In addition, four of the six leading grain cartel companies own 64% of America's grain elevator storage capacity, which means that farmers must sell their grain to these companies, and these firms collude to set the price to the farmer at the lowest possible level.
The food cartel's power must be broken, as they control the supply of raw materials, and above all, food. The food cartel apparently seeks to turn back the clock of history, and reduce mankind from the 7 billion population it currently enjoys to the state of a few hundred million semi-literate souls scratching out a bare existence. The full truth about the food cartel must be known, and the extreme globalization of the food chain must be eliminated. Nations have been forced into dependence on food from hundreds and thousands of miles away, and this is not sustainable in the long term.
In conclusion, the food industry's concentration of power has led to a lack of transparency and control over the world's food supply. The top seed companies account for two-thirds of the global proprietary seed market, and the top three seed companies control 65% of the proprietary maize (corn) seed market worldwide, and over half of the proprietary soybean seed market. The food cartel exercises significant control over the domestic agricultural economies of nations, and the extreme globalization of the food chain must be eliminated to ensure food security in the long term.
I often argue that the death warrant for small town America (and the decentralized family farms which supported it) was signed by Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture under the Nixon and Ford Administrations.
In theory , his mission as Secretary of Ag was to assist small farmers. However he wrote them off with a flip remark which has become infamous.
Get big or get out!
Earl Butz, 1909-2008, U. S. Secretary of Agriculture (Republican), Mantra to Small Farmers, early 1970s
To provide some sense of the man, Mr. Butz’ political career abruptly ended when John Dean (yes, that John Dean) reported the following exchange in an article published in the issue of Rolling Stone dated October 7, 1976:
Pat [Boone] posed a question: “John and I were just discussing the appeal of the Republican party. It seems to me that the party of Abraham Lincoln could and should attract more black people. Why can’t that be done?” This was a fair question for the secretary, who is also a very capable politician.
“I’ll tell you why you can’t attract coloreds,” the secretary proclaimed as his mischievous smile returned. “Because colored only wants three things. You know what they want?” he asked Pat.
Pat shook his head no; so did I.
“I’ll tell you what coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit. That's all!”
Pat gulped twice.
This is the man who almost singlehandedly destroyed the American small farm and the network of rural towns that supported them. Not a big thinker.
Fast forward to today, just a few decades later we have the “harvest of deception” described by Texas Slim, laboratory fermentation produced “meat” involving cultured cell lines (“cultivated meat”), and World Economic Forum (WEF) efforts to discourage meat consumption. Examples of the latter (WEF) include the following essays and position papers, among many others:
And then there is the issue of the advocacy for, and rapid deployment of mRNA-based genetic vaccination strategies in an attempt to overcome the infectious disease risks associated with intensive factory farming of concentrated livestock.
The following is a joint statement from Dr. Brooke Miller (Virginia family physician and nationally renowned Black Angus rancher) and myself, originally published on his substack “The Rancher Doctor Newsletter” in an essay titled “Same Old Tactics-Use Captured Industry Groups Spread Propaganda, Make Billions”.
USE OF m-RNA VACCINE PLATFORM IN LIVESTOCK AND BEEF CATTLE
Currently, there are no mRNA vaccines approved for use in cattle in the United States. However, animal health companies are working on mRNA-gene therapy-based platforms for use in developing mRNA vaccines in livestock. While rumors swirl, this research in food animals has remained opaque without adequate (full) transparency.
The tactics used to increase acceptance by livestock producers mirror the those used to create fear and acceptance by the world population of the new and still experimental COVID mRNA injections. Industry groups pushing for public acceptance of this therapy in livestock often mislead and misinform the public. Examples include:
They state mRNA is a naturally occurring molecule in living organisms which is quickly broken down and metabolized. They also imply that the mRNA will not travel outside the immediate injection site. These statements are misleading as the RNA used in the vaccine platform is NOT natural. It is encased in a lipid nanoparticle which allows it to spread throughout the body, crossing cell membranes in every organ in the body including the brain, heart, muscle, ovaries, testes, and mammary glands.
Furthermore, the chemical composition of this “pseudo” mRNA is heavily modified, both in terms of engineering “codons” (the three nucleotide bases which code for each amino acid in the final protein), and by incorporating and substituting a high level of the molecule pseudouridine for the uridine typical of mRNA. These are highly synthetic molecules, manufactured in a process which yields a wide range of molecules, and is often contaminated by (undisclosed) residual DNA from the manufacturing process.
The actual synthetic RNA used in this technology is modified to last prolonged periods of time and be resistant to breakdown in the body. It will potentially program cells to produce the toxic antigen for months following injection as well as persist in muscle and milk (projections based on the human data) for an indeterminant amount of time.
Some of these same propaganda groups insinuate that this technology is safe. We know of no long-term human or animal trials that can back up this claim.
Another erroneous statement is that mRNA vaccines cannot intermingle or change the genetic material of the person or animal receiving the vaccine. This is highly misleading. The current human mRNA vaccines have been shown to be contaminated with DNA that is known to be cancer-promoting (SV-40). Furthermore, scientists have determined this modified RNA can alter (turn on or off) gene expression. What are the unknown long-term effects of this long-lasting modified RNA? What is the need?
RESEARCH HISTORY: Advocates for development of mRNA vaccines to be used in food animals claim that the history of mRNA vaccine development goes back to the 1960s. They are conflating the history of mRNA research in general with the history of mRNA vaccines. The first patent applications involving mRNA vaccine technology were filed in 1990. Virtually all attempts to develop mRNA vaccines since that time have failed due to toxicity and lack of effectiveness, with the one exception being the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that have been deployed into the general human population since 2021.
CONSUMER ACCEPTANCE. Can humans (consumers) become ‘vaccinated’ or exposed to the mRNA through the milk, meat, or eggs they consume? This is a major unknown but is certainly possible. This technology is currently being developed for use in milk in China. University of California Riverside has been working on producing vaccines (including an mRNA vaccine) orally available through food for several years. We have seen a frenzy of Americans and people the world over who are extremely concerned about the safety of their food and mRNA vaccines in livestock is of the highest concern for millions of people. They have seen the disaster of ineffectiveness as well as profoundly serious health issues created by rushing the COVID-19 mod-RNA vaccines to market without fully transparent safety and efficacy trials. They have also seen the misrepresentation of facts promoted by the propaganda surrounding the toxic shots in humans.
INDEMNITY. The pharmaceutical industry is immune from liability for harms caused by all vaccines approved by the FDA. Since the granting of this indemnification, we have seen a flood of vaccines developed and placed on the childhood immunizations schedule in America. Coincidently, we have also seen a massive increase in chronic diseases and excess all-cause mortality in our population and throughout the world which strangely started not with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 but rather coincided with the deployment of gene therapy-based COVID vaccines (mRNA and adenovirus vectored).
The only way to improve consumer safety and confidence is to remove liability protection for the pharmaceutical companies and demand complete transparency in all efficacy and safety data. We must demand long term trials in which independent scientists without any conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are able to fully study all raw data.
Last but definitely NOT least, as the products are still experimental with the potential for great harm, all food exposed to this gene therapy must be labeled clearly before consumer consumption.
Not only will the use of modified RNA vaccinations in livestock adversely affect consumer confidence and the demand for beef domestically, but it will also adversely affect exports. In the end, it will drive consumers to alterative and less nutritious protein sources.
Any mRNA technology used in any food source, plant, or animal, should be classified as a medical therapy, and both patients and consumers should be informed and consent to its use in both their bodies and their food.
What can be done to turn this situation around?
David Brady, a Catholic libertarian and economics and finance undergraduate student at Florida Southern College, has recently published an excellent essay examining the problem of the longstanding USDA regulatory capture regarding the animal slaughter industry in “Mises Wire”, a publication of the Mises Institute.
August 24, 2023 by David Brady, Jr.
David begins by providing key historic context:
Most students in America are introduced to the writings of Upton Sinclair. While they aren’t shown his incredible cover-up of the Holodomor or his other Soviet apologisms, they are presented with his most famous work: The Jungle. This work tells the tale of Sinclair’s investigation into the wretched working conditions of the meat-packers of its age. Between lost limbs and failed inspections, Sinclair writes about the meat being contaminated and barbarously prepared.
This tale is meant to show the supposed failures of laissez-faire capitalism, with its disregard for workers and health. Readers are supposed to walk away with a firm belief in the need for the regulation of these firms. Hurrah! Here comes the mighty state to provide safety to the masses that would otherwise be made sick by crony corporations. That’s far from the truth.
Murray Rothbard himself documents in The Progressive Era the truth of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation. Rothbard observed that nearly every inspection passed in any form of legislature or bureaucracy was fueled by protectionism from existing firms. These regulations were not there to provide “safety” to consumers but rather to keep competition out of the marketplace by fiat. Rothbard states that the only meaningful definition of monopoly is an exclusive legal right granted by the state. Perhaps then, the only meaningful definition of so-called monopoly powers is a firm’s ability to push regulation that harms their competition through the state.
Even today, the USDA—and its regulations—threaten to crush small farmers under its heel. A small hobby farm, or even one that simply isn’t a factory farm, can hardly stand up to the regulations.
The essay proceeds to identify the key problem, although it overlooks the problem that massive industrialized centralized slaughter and processing of food animals is just about the best possible way imaginable to spread bacterial infection throughout the food chain.
The solution is, rather than increase the scale of operations, America must decentralize its meat packing and processing. This means opposing bureaucracy that forces family operations to pay for a bureaucrat who guarantees neither safety nor quality.
In a free market, quality and safety can be ensured by a variety of means. An organization like the USDA might arise, but it would be held accountable by profits and losses. Individual processing firms may pay the free-market USDA to verify the health of their product. However, if the free-market USDA fails to stop an illness from arising, through their own inspection failures, they may lose their credibility with both consumers and the producers that pay them. Profit and loss provide greater incentives for success than a bureaucracy that theoretically cannot “go under.”
Even better is the decentralization of the food processing industry altogether. Greater accountability can be held to more local institutions, such as farmers currently barred from processing their own food. Word of mouth spreads quickly among neighbors. Any exchange that a consumer is comfortable making, they should be allowed to, knowing full well the risks. Why should a government get between a farmer and their customer buying meat from them?
So is anything being done about this? Surprisingly, there are bills pending in both House and Senate specifically designed to address this.
Representatives Massie and Pingree Introduce Bipartisan PRIME Act to Empower Local Livestock Farmers, Meet Consumer Demand
Washington, D.C.-Today, Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) re-introduced the PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act to make it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers. The PRIME Act (H.R. 2814) would give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.
“Consumers want to know where their food comes from, what it contains, and how it’s processed. Yet, federal inspection requirements make it difficult to purchase food from trusted, local farmers,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). “It is time to open our markets to give producers the freedom to succeed and consumers the freedom to choose.”
“More and more, consumers want to know where their food is coming from, especially after the pandemic exposed break downs in our supply chains," said Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). "A farmer in Maine shouldn’t have to drive hours to get to a USDA-inspected processing facility when other safe options are available. The bipartisan PRIME Act will make it easier for local farms to compete with big meat companies and make locally raised livestock processing more widely available. This bill will address the needs of communities in a way that supports them by allowing America’s family farms to do what they do best – feed their neighbors.”
Current law exempts custom slaughter of animals from federal inspection regulations, but only if the meat is slaughtered for personal, household, guest, and employee use (21 U.S.C. § 623(a)). This means that in order to sell individual cuts of locally raised meats to consumers, farmers and ranchers must first send their animals to one of a limited number of USDA-inspected slaughterhouses. These USDA-inspected slaughterhouses are sometimes hundreds of miles away from farms and ranches, adding substantial transportation costs and increasing the chances of locally raised meat co-mingling with industrially-produced meat. The PRIME Act would expand the current custom exemption and allow small farms, ranches, and slaughterhouses to thrive.
Companion legislation (S. 907) has been introduced in the United States Senate by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
Other original co-sponsors of the PRIME Act include: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM), Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Rep. Victora Spartz (R-IN), and Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
Massie raises cattle on his off-the-grid farm in northeast Kentucky. Pingree raises grass-fed beef and chickens on her island farm in North Haven, Maine.
The text of the PRIME Act is available at this link:
Pretty much precisely the solution which Texas Slim and his Beef Initiative have proposed.
In the meanwhile (back at the farm), what can you do? I can tell you what Jill and I are doing. We have been buying local Virginia grass-fed beef from other farmers in our area. In fact, when we get back from vacation we will be picking up a packaged quarter carcass of grass fed beef from Dr. Brooke Miller and his Ginger Hill Angus farm at a local small custom slaughter house. Think global, act (and buy) local has long been our motto. As far as I am concerned, if we all do what we can to support local small farmers and buy direct (farm to table), that is the best way (in the short term) to resist the national and globalist forces that want to control our food supply.
“Who controls the food supply controls the people”
In conclusion, I turn back to the analysis and advice of Mr. David Brady Jr.
If conservatives and libertarians care about competition for small farms, they should support defanging the federal bureaucracy used by large corporations to capture markets. The USDA should have its regulatory powers removed, and the ability to provide safety in food should be returned to the market. Markets provide a far more welcoming place for producers and a far safer result for consumers.
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