Pay The Farmer Or Pay The Pharma: The Pharmaceutical Food Industrial Complex

It’s your choice.

Consuming poison seems to have become normal in society today. How a supposed civilized and educated society can drag itself down to a place where this has become acceptable behavior seems beyond comprehension. Why do so few people care about what they put in their mouths? Or worse, care about what they put in the mouths of their children?

 To feed your children products that contain aspartic acid, genetically modified organisms, residue of antibiotics (which are shamelessly used to cover up contamination caused by revolting work practices), large amounts of corn sweeteners, industrial waste and other unsavory ingredients on a regular basis is child abuse. Seriously. For most of us, it’s no longer acceptable to plead ignorance of these detestable facts since this information is readily available to anyone who can read and has a library card.

Numerous studies done around the world have shown definite links between many of the ingredients in our foods and debilitating illnesses. The only people who contest this fact are the morally bankrupt people who have lost touch with their humanity by making obscene profits from this behavior (whether in the agriculture, “food” manufacturing or pharmaceutical fields). They continue to feed on ignorance and apathy thanks to networking with the fear industry experts in corporate media who’ve become expert at pushing the buttons of obedience in their fellow citizens.

Adopting a societal system that revolves around economics was the first serious step on this journey toward systematic suicide. Worse, choosing an economic system that promotes dishonesty, greed, competition and obsession has caused these vile traits to grow exponentially – a vicious cycle that continues to cause humanity to spiral into an abyss of self-destruction.

One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three quarters keeps your doctor alive.” – Old Egyptian proverb

                                              A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Nutrition used to be an important part of life. Now it is simply a minor detail in an existence of excessive consumption and obsessive distractionShining lights, obsession with possessions, constant noise (inside and outside our heads) and colorful images demand our attention leaving little time for the important things in life.

Supermarkets today are nothing more than products of show business. Glossy photos of healthy foods are used to disguise the fact that most of what occupies the shelves of our grocery stores lacks the nutrition contained in food before agriculture was transformed into a cold, sterile industry run by wealth-obsessed manipulators. We are shown pretty pictures of picturesque farms, smiling cows, silly chickens and happy-go-lucky pigs on the multitude of items for sale. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of being run by hard-working families who tend their land and livestock with natural methods, farms are factories that profit from incredible misery due to criminal negligence – including animal abuse and circumvention of health and environmental regulations.

In the land of rBGH milk and artificially flavored honey, Pharmageddon is upon us…

“Let food be thy medicine.” 

Today, food is something to be quickly consumed and enjoyed instead of being a source of necessary vitamins and nutrients. Healthy food is becoming more difficult to find in the U.S. (and elsewhere) every day despite the industry pulling in record profits. The above quote is attributed to Hippocrates – considered by many to be the Father of modern medicine. We used to understand the importance of nutrition. Today we abuse our bodies incessantly, then spend trillions of dollars trying to fix the problems that could have been avoided by heeding the advice of the person after whom the Hippocratic Oath is named. In the past, we understood the wisdom of preventing problems instead of allowing them to fester.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Today, most of us recklessly go about our lives and wait until sickness is upon us to think about health. To this end, we have allowed an incestuous relationship to flourish between pharmaceutical corporations and the industry that previously dealt with nutrition. The food industry would be more appropriately known as the Toxin Delivery Industry.

Despite the recent attention in the media regarding the chemicals in our food, if the veil of obfuscation were lifted most people would probably not eat what we call food these days. Some of the pesticides in our produce and drugs in our livestock are incredibly destructive to the well-being of every living being on the planet. The most distressing aspect of this issue is that the FDA has been so corrupted by corporate interests that they rely on inadequate studies conducted by pharmaceuical companies who are insidiously foisting these dangerous drugs on us in the first place. The conflict of interest is off the scale.

Profit is always the main concern of those in commerce and the food industry is no exception. Cutting costs is one way to increase the profit margin.  In the meat industry, larger animals is another way. One of the purposes of feeding drugs to livestock is growth. Unnatural growth.

Zilmax is a non-hormonal drug used in cattle feed since 2003 specifically for this purpose –  to increase growth. It was banned for use in horses in the U.S. due to serious side effects affecting the heart, liver, kidneys, blood chemistry and muscles. In 2013 the manufacturer, Merck, announced they would discontinue all sales in the U.S. and Canada pending new research.

Well, “new research” to Merck apparently means new warning labels. They decided that making changes in the warning label (lower doses and a different feeding method) would be an acceptable alternative to fixing the problem and continued sales of this dangerous drug. The sale price of Merck stock increased on the day this was announced.

To get an idea of how disastrous this drug can be, a comparison to the more popular growth hormone drug ractopamine should be made. Manufactured by Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co. (with a connection to war profiteers Dow Chemical), ractopamine has killed & sickened hundreds of thousands of pigs since it was first used in feed in 1999. It has been banned in 160 countries and residue of it is tested in most countries before U.S. meats can be imported.

And Zilmax is considered by some in the medical field to be more than 100 times as potent.

Crimes against nature are simply business as usual

                                                   ANIMAL ABUSE

Animals aren’t perceived as living beings by the people who run food corporations. They are products to be processed and marketed. Soulless corporations like ConAgra, Tyson Foods, Cargill and Smithfield Foods own the animals in the livestock industry from the time they are born until they are sadistically slaughtered to provide tidy packages of delicious, chemically-enhanced products.

Despite being removed from the actual work of raising animals, the executives in these companies decide exactly how they are treated. This means as many animals as possible in as small an area as possible fed the cheapest feed possible containing the most effective drugs as possible to collect as much money as possible.

Most chickens in the livestock industry never see sunlight. They spend their entire existence in dark, filthy jail cells teeming with infectious bacteria. It’s a veritable banquet for communicable diseases. Not only is this a serious health hazard for humans, a lifetime spent in defecation without adequate nutrition or water on death row is torture. A civilized society would have compassion for all living beings.

Most people like white meat when they eat chicken? No problem. We’ve genetically engineered chickens to have larger breasts. They’re trying to get out of their cells? No problem, keep them drugged.

Overworked and underpaid employees “catch” the chickens and coldly stuff them into transportation to the slaughterhouses. Some chickens die in the process? Oh well, it’s an acceptable write-off for the faceless corporations that despicable people hide behind.

Inadequately designed sewage systems cause factory farm runoff to contaminate soil and water which, in turn, contaminates fruits and vegetables sold in our stores. So even if we didn’t douse our fruits and vegetables with toxic pesticides, we’d be consuming toxins due to the filthy practices from the livestock industry.

Greed feeding abusive behavior increasing profits which encourages more greed…

Considering eating less chicken and more turkey? That won’t help. Ractopamine has been in use in turkey feed in the U.S. since 2008.

Seafood? Think again. Most of the seafood sold in the U.S. is imported and about half is farmed. Michael Doyle, director at the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, had something interesting to say about tilapia production in China:

“The farmers there grow the fish in ponds that are maybe one or two acres in size. That’s their livelihood. And they use excessive antibiotics.”

China is the leading supplier of tilapia to the U.S.

“It’s not just antibiotic residue on the seafood. It’s antibiotic-resistant microbes that come with the fish or the shrimp. A primary source of salmonella is the raw manure that is used to feed the shrimp and fish.”

Many of these farmers also raise poulty. “The fecal waste of these animals is fed directly into these ponds, which is the source of nutrients for these fish and shrimp… and many of these little farms have the family outhouse just feed directly into the ponds.” Unsanitary conditions in fish farms are not limited to just China or to just tilapia.

                                       FAST “FOOD” – FAST ILLNESS

You want fries toxins with that?

Fast “food” restaurants spread poison around like payoffs in Washington before a big vote. We consume more toxins today than ever, yet advertisement campaigns give the appearance of them promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle.  This section of the restaurant and food service industry is simply a Capitalist experiment gone horribly out of control, turning the preparation of nutritious food into an efficient machine spitting out consumable, uniformly-processed packages of toxins and fillers.

It wasn’t always this way. The transformation from selling affordable, somewhat nutritious food into an enormous industry structured solely around corporate profit has its roots in the U.S. of the 1930s. McDonald’s changed their drive-in restaurants into drive-through mass consumption outlets designed for maximization of profits through efficient mechanization – regardless of the impact on the health of its consumers and the environment.

These efficiencies, along with added chemicals and slick promotions, have led to increases in unemployment, illness, healthcare costs and, consequently, despair. People aren’t fellow citizens anymore, they’re only consumers to extract money from.

It’s sad people don’t realize that going along with this twisted plan of the ruling fooling class is allowing ourselves to be used as livestock. They don’t eat our flesh, they consume our minds, but we’re still soulless products to them.  We continue to obey the dogma drilled into us since birth like cattle in pens. Are we much different than the animals we consume? 

Speaking of cattle, cows have subsisted on grass for millenia. They’ve evolved over this long span of time to get the nutrition they need from it. We’ve changed that. We cage them in jail cells and force them to eat corn to fatten unnaturally. This causes them to endure an entire lifetime of pain and discomfort. We do this so we can lower the financial cost of eating drug-infested meat and fattening ourselves unnaturally just like the cows (of course mindlessly excluding healthcare costs from the equation). They spend their entire lives in defecation spreading infectious diseases like acid-resistant E. coli (and mutations of that deadly pathogen) to each other. Then, they are slaughtered and sold to the “food” manufacturers.

Mmmm, anyone want a burger?

                                       CORPORATE INTERVENTION

Here are more facts to consume…

In 1972, the FDA made approximately 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2008, they made about 9,000. Hmmm…

The failure to properly assess the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals in livestock is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.

Failure to address the impact of toxic pesticides on our food supply is a violation of the Delaney Clause.

In 1958 Congress passed the Food Amendment Act which contained the aforementioned Delaney Clause. It set a zero cancer risk standard for food additives stating that no food additive, including pesticides, could be considered safe if found to “induce cancer when ingested by man or animal”.

So, what happened? Why do we ignore such important legislation meant to protect us? Do we not want to live in a democracy? Do we not care about our health – or the health of our children? Is that why we’ve allowed a regression back toward the robber baron days?

One event that “happened”: The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. This was a cleverly manipulated piece of corporate intervention in government which allowed food manufacturers to legally continue using dangerous pesticides in food products. Signed into law by Bill Clinton, it was designed specifically to bypass the Delaney Clause.

The real reason it happened is what should concern us most. Too many of us allowed the fear industry experts to keep us distracted from what matters. We passively gave carte blanche to multinational corporate executives to profit by distributing unhealthy food products without holding a debate on the impact this would have for generations.

Food should be medicine, not drugs. And, we need nutrition, not addiction. Since corporations have purchased the majority of the U.S. government, we no longer have a democracy. Because of this, the USDA has become a chamber of commerce for Big Agriculture.

Another down side of this is the exploitation of farm workers. One of the commandments of Capitalism is to keep costs down by any means necessary. This not only increases corporate profits, it keeps workers barely able to support themselves so they have little time to organize. It also lowers the incentive to do so since competition for jobs becomes intense.

However, even though our elections have become selections, there is something we can do. We can vote with our purchases. Every purchase of organic food leads toward an improvement in the food supply. And every purchase of food grown naturally without toxins – and without animal or worker abuse – leads us toward a better world. We’re all needed to accomplish this.

What’s your choice – nutrition or addiction?

6 comments on “Pay The Farmer Or Pay The Pharma: The Pharmaceutical Food Industrial Complex

  1. Excellent article. The only solution I can see is for people to organize and reclaim their food and health system – even if it means leaving their debilitating wage slavery jobs to do so. Increasingly people are forced to make a decision between good health (and life itself) and working for the man. If they are thinking clearly their health must win out.

    It’s very encouraging to see the growing Spanish movement in which citizens are self-organizing to provide their own food, health care, housing and education instead of relying on the corporate state to meet these needs.

  2. Yes, you’re definitely right about that. That’s why fear is such an important part of the indoctrination we’re subjected to every day of our lives. People are afraid of losing their income so they meekly accept the premise that obeying the dominant culture is the only way to survive. It’s amazing that so many of us have been convinced that possessions are more important than things like nutritious food, good health, justice, truth and integrity. That’s how far we’ve fallen.

    True, Podemos has made incredible strides in Spain in a relatively short time. It’s the second largest political party there. In addressing inequality through land reform, corporate tax reform, lobbying regulation, focusing on education and eradicating poverty; they are taking their country back from the predators who push austerity economics.

    Bolivia, under the direction of MAS, has set a great example (though still a work in progress) for throwing off the yoke of imperialism and charting a course toward a more just and fair society. Respect for the planet (and for organic farming) is an integral part of th philosophy.

    Thanks for the comment. Peace.

  3. Brilliant article.

    My mother was a young child during the Great Depression, grew up on a farm. My father was 8 years older than her, grew up in a city. They were both impacted by the Depression for life. Producing and storing food became nearly an obsession.

    During the American Dream years, my father had a good trade job. But Mom still planted a huge vegetable garden and raised her own chickens. She had her own compost heap. In the Fall she canned the vegetables and made jams. We had a cellar in the basement filled with preserved foods! Dad (and brothers) helped with the labor. My sister and I were called upon to do weeding.

    In the winter Mom sewed clothes. She quilted with her friends. She attended church and PTA meetings. She never wasted anything, not even time.

    In protest, and for survival, we need to get back to a similar lifestyle. Seems like one parent, at least, needs a good job, though. And people now might need to think in terms of communal gardens. And we’ll need to brush up on some traditional skills 🙂

  4. Agreed. We’ve been taught for decades that humanity must move forward and that this forward movement means technological advances. The problem comes from mindlessly accepting all technological advances without weighing the moral implications that come with them (as well as the effect on quality of life and long term survival).

    We lack balance. We accept mechanization of virtually all forms of labor without properly addressing how to replace the lost jobs. We set up transportation and utility infrastructure without addressing the impact on the environment and our health. We allow the dumping of toxic chemicals into our drinking water and then wonder why cancer rates are astronomical.

    Not only do we need to get back to a simpler lifestye, we need to start using the critical thinking skills that have atrophied from unconscious obsession with distractions and intellectual laziness.

    Yes, it is difficult to decrease income while simplifying our lives, but a balance can be struck. We can eliminate frivolous things and cut down on others in a reassessment of priorities. And you’re right about needing to make a concerted effort to make the transition. It will take hard work and discipline – two traits that are severely underrated these days. Hopefully more people will wake up to the harsh reality of what we need to do to reverse the societal suicide we’re heading toward.

    Thanks for the comment. Peace.

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