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Archive for July 2nd, 2018

As in India, US Farmers Caught in Crushing Agribusiness Debt Trap Turn to Suicide in Spiking Numbers

With Bayer-Monsanto now the largest seed and agro-chemical company in the world, its near monopoly on prices and its disregard for farmers and environmental health mean that the despair that has consumed India’s farmers will soon be planted in the United States.

Over 12,000 farmers in India still committing suicide every year. US farmers developing a farmer-suicide epidemic 

June 27, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS – Over a decade ago, a disturbing trend among farmers in India captured headlines, as suicides among Indian farmers began to spiral out of control.

Many of those farmers were indebted to giant agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, which – after gaining access to India’s seed sector in 1998 – enticed poor farmers to buy new “bio-engineered” seeds every planting season along with the associated agro-chemicals required to grow them, promising bigger yields that would offset the costs.

When such benefits failed to materialize, many farmers – confronted with an ever-growing debt snowball – were faced with losing their land, leading many to take their lives by drinking the very same agro-chemicals that had helped trap them in debt.

Though it has faded from the headlines, the crisis has continued unabated, with over 12,000 farmers in India still committing suicide every year.

While the crisis in India may seem a distant problem to many Americans, new reports have indicated that the U.S. is developing a farmer-suicide epidemic of its own.

A new report in CBS News notes that farmers in America now die at a rate higher than that of any other occupation and 5  times higher than that of the general population, even as the national suicide rate as a whole has jumped over the last few decades.

As CBS notes, the increase in suicides mirrors a similar phenomenon in the 1980s, when U.S. farmers faced economic hardship related to debt, and suicides spiked.

Jennifer Fahy, communications director with Farm Aid, told CBS at the time that “the farm crisis was so bad, there was a terrible outbreak of suicide and depression.” Fahy now warns that the current situation is “actually worse.”

The newly reported increase in U.S. farmer suicides — much like the crisis for India’s farmers – is related to debt, specifically to global seed and agribusiness corporations that continue to raise prices as farmers’ incomes fall.

Farm income has been dropping steadily since 2013, with the average this year set to be 35% less than it was five years ago.

Meanwhile, farmers have seen a 300 % price increase in recent years on products like seeds, fertilizer and agro-chemicals produced by giant agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta and others.

Many farmers in the U.S. are dependent on “bio-engineered” seeds and their requisite chemicals, molded by decades of U.S. policy that pushed for farm consolidation and favored the adoption of these products.

As a result, most American farmers have become dependent on these commodities and, because they must be purchased again every planting season, have been taking out loans just to be able to plant. (In order to get subsidies, farmers must cooperate with these agro multinationals?)

As Todd Eney, a fourth-generation farmer in central Montana, told Business Insider last month:

Our farm has been out here since 1935, and I’m 40 years old and I’ve watched a lot of small family farms in our area go under. They can’t compete because they can’t pay the price of input because of what these companies are wanting to charge for input now.”

The growing debt burden has been known for some time, with reports warning five years ago that U.S. farmers would be the next group to “be slammed by debt.”

Yet now — in addition to the massive debt accumulated by many farmers — President Trump’s trade and tariff war, as well as the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates, have compounded to put even more financial pressure on the nation’s farmers.

Bayer-Monsanto merger leaves American farmers fearing worst is yet to come

Activists protest against the acquisition of the US agrochemical company Monsanto by the German Bayer company outside the annual shareholders meeting of Bayer in Bonn, Germany, Friday, May 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Activists protest the acquisition of the US agrochemical company Monsanto by the German Bayer in Bonn, Germany, May 25, 2018. Martin Meissner | AP

Unfortunately, the situation for American farmers is soon likely to get much worse, thanks to the merger of agribusiness giants Monsanto and Bayer, which concluded earlier this month.

The resulting mega-company now controls around a third of the U.S. seed and pesticide market and has inspired the other largest agribusinesses in the world to plan mergers, including Dow Chemical and DuPont.

After the merger was announced, many farmers voiced their concerns that it would allow Bayer-Monsanto to consolidate even more of the seed market and use its privileged position to further increase prices.

Beyond an imminent jump in prices for farmers, the merger affects farmers in yet another way, as their products, time and again, have been shown to cause mass die-offs of farmers’ most important pollinator: bees.

Many Bayer and Monsanto products have been found to harm bee populations, even in studies they themselves funded. As a result, over 340 native bee populations are facing extinction and over half of all bees in the U.S. are actively declining.

With the bee population facing unprecedented die-offs, any worsening of their precarious situation will have a major impact on U.S. farms and, by extension, farmers.

With Bayer-Monsanto now the largest seed and agrochemical company in the world, its near monopoly on prices and its disregard for farmers and environmental health mean that the despair that has consumed India’s farmers will soon be planted in the United States.

Top Photo | File – A 70-year-old former farmer at his farm north of Hope, N.D. Ann Arbor Miller | AP

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 214

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Dans chaque corps crible’ de balles, on doit assumer que notre tour est prochain. Dans cet univers de forces aveugles et mercenaires. Partout, l’humanite’ est en cause et tout est cause’ par l’homme.

Horror stories recounted by US soldiers: the CIA encouraged our behavior of smothering Iraqi girls in plastic bags before raping them

Social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger identified this all-too-frequent cognitive bias of “illusory superiority.” In a nutshell, the people who know the least are convinced they know the most. What is worse than an incompetent boss is one who thinks he’s a genius. The two often go together.

Mushroom management” is a slangy term for the communication style that many inept managers practice with their underlings: typical instructions for fungi cultivation: “Kept in the dark and periodically given a load of manure.

If you can detect an aroma, it’s likely that an expert Nose was involved. Largely behind the scenes, fragrance and odor experts are in high demand. Noses not only create fine fragrances, they also formulate the smell of dish-washing soap, candles, food, kitty litter, trash bags, car interiors, and even luxury condos.

The use of the word Federal in the name Federal Reserve leads the public to believe that the Federal Reserve is a government institution, when it is really a private corporation owned by foreign and domestic banks and operated for profit.

The Federal Reserve controls America’s money supply and interest rates, and they manipulate the entire economy, in violation of many articles in the Constitution

The definition of dollar has changed to hide the fact that a dollar is Not money, but a unit of measurement for gold and silver coin. For example: 1. Title 12 United States Code Section 152 says: “The terms lawful money or lawful money of the United States shall be construed to mean gold or silver coin of the United States.”

Ce n’est pas ta responsibilite’ de changer les individus: la communaute’ doit offrire les opportunites pour que l’individu se transforme. C’est le but des activites de masses. Les institutions des pays Nordiques furent etablis pour cet effet.

3am befteker bi yalleh raa7ou: kaanou kellon shabab bi wakta

Al khotyar bi yet3arraf 3a jhanam: kasha77 zounoun al ta3afi

Drouri kel dawa ye koun mghalaf bi protein wa B12: naasss 3am taakhod edwiyat aktar min ta3aam

Nafsi 7azinat. Can’t watch someone more into a state of coma than awake wa t7ess bi al raghbeh bil 3aysh

Bouza 3ala ta3m al janarek, lel metwa7meen wa al metwahmaat, el khayfeen 3ala shou bi seeb wladon wa 3oukoulon al fadiyat

The two Shi3a towns of Fou3a and Kefraya in Edleb province have been encircled since 2013 and pounded by terrorist factions. Has the UN forgotten about these kinds of Syrians?

Ba3d ma al listaat tektemel, 3melouli jardeh bil mourasha7een elleh “mush ebn Bayt” 3atee2 aw mou3ata2

Part 6. How Israel in 1948 committed Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians, about 400,000 within days in first stage

Who Started the War in 1948?


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adonis49

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