>operations. Please get your logic straight before you take pokes at one of
>the few groups successfully challenging the macdonaldization of the world's
It appears you didn't read my last paragraph.
The hormone ban is governmental policy throughout the EU, and was not
particularly spearheaded by the French, to say nothing of their
farmers. The credibility of EU "food purity" policies suffers with
incidents such as this, just as the US FDA's credibility suffers when
for seven years they knowingly allow a leading baby food manufacturer
to continue selling a completely synthetic substitute as 100% puree
apple juice. French farmers dumping manure in front of the Assemblee
Nationale in support of continued (expanded, even) subsidies is a
different issue entirely.
*Now,* I'll stir up the real hornet's nest, so don't anybody think I
accidentally whacked it, somehow believing it was a pin~ata .... (-:
I do not believe we have any hope of agricultural sustainability as
long as one nickel of direct government subsidy still flows to either
farmers or to agribusiness. Most indirect subsidies and preferential
treatment will need to go, too. Three examples, amongst many possible.
Sustainable vegetable production in the US will not really be possible
so long as California growers retain access to subsidised irrigation
water at a miniscule fraction of its market price, to say nothing of
Sustainable cash crop production will not really be possible so long as
farmers can over-produce and then run to a government Sugar Daddy for
"emergency" aid to compensate for low prices. Nor can they continue to
rely on "deficiency payments" (US), or similar regimes.
Sustainable agriculture in general will not really be possible so long
as corporate agribusiness continues to receive massive tax advantages,
such as the ability to deduct interest paid on moneys used to gobble up
an existing company, as opposed to moneys actually invested in new
The French farmers you so enthusiastically laud are in essence
advocating a system of subsidies that would effectively relegate them
to the status of exhibits in some kind of a social zoo, forever paid to
produce mountains of butter, cheese, wine, meat and pastry wheat that
cannot be sold, except to perpetually expanding government storehouses.
Please tell me how such a system is any more sustainable than an
agribusiness concentration fueled and maintained by corporate welfare
and tax advantages.
I, for one, am tired of the last 30 years' power struggle at the public
trough. The French wonderfully describe such struggles as a "tiraillage
de couverts" --- the grabbing of covers back and forth on a bed. It is
obviously not working. It's long since time to put an end to all of it,
and apply the money to something more productive.
Fat chance, eh? I'm looking at the long-term agronomic needs of the
land, and there is a lot of land farmed only because it opens the door
to more subsidies. I also believe that centralised decision-making is
innately un-sustainable. The Soviet experience clearly indicated not
only the inherent weakness of (state) corporate concentration and
centralisation, it also demonstrated the bankruptcy of the type of
socialism designed to prevent success.
I doubt that we in the west can effectively develop sustainable
agricultural systems until we, too, have allowed / enabled the
dismantling of not only our system of subsidised (private) corporate
concentration and centralisation, but also of the western system of
socialism, designed to prevent *failure.*
Until we get those distortions out of the way, at both the corporate
and the producer level, I suspect that much of what I and others try to
do agronomically for sustainability will frequently remain a rear-guard
action, too often a case of pissing into a strong wind.
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