19 Nov 13
It is not the first time that Frederick William Engdahl has come to Pollenzo, Italy; home to the University of Gastronomic Sciences. An expert in geopolitics, a freelance journalist and the author of many publications, including Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, Engdahl first met students from the university a few years ago.
The core topic of his speech - held in front of a large and engaged audience - is what he calls the “connections”: the links between oil, food and money. Engdahl began by quoting Kissinger: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people. If you control the money you control the entire world.”
His tale starts from the end of World War II, when the United States took on the role of undisputed world superpower. More specifically in 1939, when the Rockefeller Foundation funded a study called “The War and Peace Studies”. Carried out by a group of academics, including geographers, economists and political scientists, the study was focused on one thing: US world domination. Since then, the story we are telling has taken on a more global dimension, based on a free market and the concentration of power in the hands of only a few: five or six Wall Street banking groups, four or five oil companies, and the military industry - all deeply connected to the Rockefeller name.
But what about food? What role does it play in this imperialist view of the world? After the war, the Rockefeller Foundation started doing with food exactly what it had already done with oil: created a monopoly cartel in order to take global control. This is why, back in the 1950s, it funded the Harvard Business School to carry out a project around the newly created concept of agribusiness. The goal of the study was to show how farming and food production could be brought under the control of 20 or 30 cartels – such as the three to four corporates in the poultry and beef sectors, funded in turn by the animal feed industry. And this is where genetically modified organizms (GMOs) come into play - especially soy (100% of soy produced in Argentina is genetically modified) and corn (where the GM percentage in the US is about 83-84%) needed for fodder production. Again, the Rockefeller family had something to do with this, as it was involved in a study on eugenics – what began being called genetics after the war. Agribusiness is also known by a different name: “Green Revolution,” coined by Norman Borlaugh (who strangely enough carried out his research within the Rockefeller group). The intent of the Green Revolution may have seemed noble, as the idea was to make food available in areas affected by malnutrition and hunger, but what it actually resulted in was the disintegration of family farming, and local and traditional production systems. The connection between oil and food powerfully emerges at this stage, when farming was strongly pushed towards mechanization and chemicals. The goal of taking global control over food – hidden behind the false promise of eradicating hunger – also becomes clearer.
In Engdahl’s vision, GMOs are one of the most effective tools to obtain total control over food, and to strengthen the links between the food industry and politics. It is not by chance that the US Government has been defending and protecting GMOs in all possible ways: the validation of the principle of substantial equivalence, the ban on GM food labeling and the restraints imposed on independent studies, to name just a few.
Control over food, destruction of local economies, dangerous connections. The solution that Engdahl suggests is simple: Take on part of the responsibility. Become informed and aware. Make choices.
Click here to watch the video of the conference.
About Frederik William Engdahl.
After earning a degree in engineering and jurisprudence from Princeton University in 1966 (BA) and graduate study in comparative economics at the University of Stockholm from 1969 to 1970, Engdahl worked as an economist and free-lance journalist in New York and in Europe.
His first book his A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. In 2007 he completed Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation.
Engdahl is also a frequent contributor of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
Search the Slow Stories archive
Latest Slow Stories
17/04/2014 | From a discussion between five friends around a kitchen table to a key occasion in Europe’s good food...
16/04/2014 | With governments discussing the TTIP behind closed doors, Slow Food President Carlo Petrini asks what will be...
15/04/2014 | Canadian marine biologist Alexandra Morton on the perils of farmed salmon…
United Kingdom | 11/04/2014 | Guest blog from Gerry Danby on the recent Food Standards Agency raw milk consultation held in London…
10/04/2014 | A Mexican artist depicts threats to his indigenous community - a Slow Food Presidium for honey - through a...