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Corporate Agriculture: The Hollow Men

(Monday, Jan. 5, 2004 -- CropChoice news) -- From a news release:

Corporate Agriculture: The Hollow Men, a segment of The Nature of Things with Dr. David Suzuki
CBC TV, January 7, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

The pastoral images of farm life – the Old MacDonald version with green pastures, cows in a field and a yard full of chickens and pigs – are now far from reality. It’s been a long battle by corporations to turn agriculture into agribusiness. The struggle between individual farmers and corporate factory farms is being fought across North America.

Corporate Agriculture: The Hollow Men, examines the growth of corporate factory agriculture – an industry that generates severe environmental, social and cultural problems. There is a growing backlash against a form of agriculture that many believe is unsustainable. Alternative Agriculture: Food For Life, looks at alternatives to corporate farming. Ecological, organic and ethical farming could be a tremendous benefit to the environment and help preserve rural society and culture.

Farming in North America has become a ‘cash cow’ for a handful of multinational corporations. Agri-business has taken the principles of the assembly line and applied them to what was traditional animal husbandry. Massive and powerful corporations have become enormously wealthy at the cost of the environment and rural culture. Dilapidated farm buildings keep an eerie watch over the changing landscape.

Alternative Agriculture: Food For Life, looks at alternatives to factory farming and the growing demand for nature-based or organic foods. Animals, grains, fruits and vegetables are raised to thrive in a natural environment – the antithesis of factory farming. Increasingly, consumers are looking for food produced without the use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. Even though organic food is more expensive to produce, shoppers are willing to pay the added cost. They believe that by buying factory food, they are supporting a socially and environmentally destructive form of agriculture.

The extinction of family farms has become a lightning rod issue for environmental activist and lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr., who believes, “Thomas Jefferson’s view of American democracy was rooted in tens of thousands of yeoman farms. People who had a stake in our country, who controlled the land…these vital commodities… see (corporate farming) as the final nail in the coffin of that vision. And our landscapes are now being occupied by a few pirate multinational corporations who care nothing about our country or its losses.”

Corporate Agriculture: The Hollow Men and Alternative Agriculture: Food for Life are written, produced and directed by Ray Burley. Michael Allder is executive producer of THE NATURE OF THINGS.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/