Agriculture, Beverages & Food

The Xavante tribe in western Brazil and the Parakana tribe in the north-east are separated by a thousand miles of the Amazon basin but they face a common threat: the sprawling global beef export empire controlled by the Batista family from the state of Goiás.
December 3rd is both Pesticide Action Network's International Day of No Pesticides and the 18th anniversary of the explosion of the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India.
Jose Bové, French peasants' champion and hero of the international anti-globalism movement, was due back in court Thursday on trial for his part in the dismantling of a McDonald's restaurant.
Agricultural workers and their families are being poisoned, rural lands, forests, oceans and waters are devastated, biodiversity is being destroyed, and food is unfit for human consumption. With these words, 140 participants from 17 countries at the First Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific Congress in Manila last week warned the world that industrial agriculture as conducted by transnational corporations is undermining the resources needed to sustain food production.
EuropaBio, the European biotech lobby group, has recently suffered a major blow when it had to cancel its annual congress. The Fourth Annual European Biotechnology Congress was scheduled to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 9-13. According to the Dutch daily newspaper, De Volkskrant, EuropaBio, ''cannot deny that the conference was cancelled due to the fierce critique of genetic engineering in the UK and the resulting lack of sponsors.''
Today's meat packing industry relies increasingly on high-speed, treacherous disassembly lines. Perhaps that's why Tyson Foods, Inc. -- a giant in a flourishing industry -- is working to take apart a union that prioritizes safety over speed.
The tobacco industry offers a compelling case study in the breakdown of democratic principles. Facing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of their deadly product in the US, tobacco giants Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco set the pace for the spending frenzy of 1996. Philip Morris was the #1 contributor overall in the federal election cycle, and spent over $12 million to lobby federal officials in just the first six months of the election year. RJR Nabisco was a top corporate donor, especially of unregulated ''soft'' money, and is a pioneer in ''astroturf'' lobbying to rally its consumers behind the corporate agenda.
Ben & Jerry's "Lick Global Warming" campaign. Last month, in protest against the US government's proposed drilling for oil in Jerry Greenfield -- co-founder of Ben and jerry's is serious about preventing climate change. To protest the Arctic National Wildlife Park, the company made a 1,000lb Baked Alaska and left it to melt outside the Capitol. They've also has set up a Climate Change College, which, each year for three years, will train six spokespeople for the cause.
Stolen Harvest is the story of how those who labor, those who grow foods, nature and her amazing creatures, are all literally being stolen by tremendously clever mechanisms being put in place by global corporations trying to find new markets.