Monday, January 2, 2012

Food System Pays Dearly as Wall Street Occupies Washington

FDA Crushed
by: Ben Lilliston, OtherWords | Op-Ed 
It's nearly impossible to find a legislative or regulatory issue related to food and agriculture that hasn't been deeply shaped (if not outright written) by corporate lobbyists.

Despite the Occupy Wall Street movement's now month-long direct challenge to corporate and financial industry power, the machine keeps rolling along.

The 1 percent recently racked up two more big victories. President Barack Obama signed three new free-trade agreements and regulators watered down rules that govern commodity markets, which ultimately have a big impact on both farmers and consumers. Both developments make the protestors' point: Washington is occupied by corporate power.
In 2008, as the financial sector was barreling toward collapse, we at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reported on how excessive speculation by Wall Street firms was affecting farmers and the global food system. The result was record global rates of hunger caused by extreme price volatility in the agricultural markets. 

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