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December 31, 2003 | From Associated Press
Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry, warning of the growing encroachment of corporations into food production, called Tuesday for more money for conservation programs and revamped farm subsidies. As control by agribusiness has grown, Kerry said, family farmers have been squeezed. "When you consider that two-thirds of our agriculture support payments go to the largest 10% of firms, it's no surprise," the Massachusetts senator said. Visiting a family farm in northern Iowa, Kerry said four giant companies control 81% of the nation's beef production.
June 24, 2003 | Eric Bailey and Rhashad Pittman, Times Staff Writers
Foes of genetically modified food, some dressed as butterflies and giant tomatoes, paraded through the cordoned-off streets of the capital for the second day in a row Monday, as top federal officials and representatives of 120 nations opened an international conference on farm technology. The largely subdued protests turned Sacramento's normally busy downtown core unusually quiet.
November 19, 2002 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Ventura grower Phil McGrath knows all about the challenges facing the small farmer. Between the competition with corporate growers and the headaches involved in getting his produce to market, the fifth-generation family farmer says it was getting harder each year to keep his 23-acre operation afloat. That's why he carved a niche as an organic farmer a decade ago and threw himself headlong into direct marketing, selling his goods to local restaurants and at farmers markets and roadside stands.
October 26, 2002 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
Ask hog farmer Juan Manuel Maya what free trade has done for him, and he'll tell you in a broken voice, standing amid his silent and empty pens, that it has destroyed him. Maya called it quits this month after 20 years, selling off the last of the 1,200 sows that once produced thousands of piglets annually for feedlots all over Mexico. A veterinarian, Maya loved hog farming, plowed $2 million into leading-edge technology and was considered a pillar of his industry.
August 23, 2002
Re "EU Fear-Mongers' Lethal Harvest," Opinion, Aug. 18: It becomes obvious from a brief review of Ronald Bailey's work that he believes more in the rights of a corporation to generate profits than the rights of the public to enjoy a diverse and healthy source of food. The primary intent of agribusiness is to gain control of the vast "people have to eat" market. Widespread distribution of genetically modified organisms puts complete control of human nutrition into the hands of a few corporations.
June 24, 2001
Until the FDA develops a reliable test and conducts a thorough investigation, we will never know whether or not this genetically engineered corn causes allergies ["Testing Finds No Link Between Gene-Modified Corn, Illnesses," June 14]. The government must not cave in to pressure from agribusiness to approve StarLink-contaminated foods on supermarket shelves. Bill Freese Health and Environment Program Friends of the Earth Washington
December 10, 2000 | From Associated Press
At first glance, Allen Troyer is typical of the Amish: living simply, traveling by horse and buggy and likely to have his sons follow him into the family business. Except, as is true of a growing number of Amish, Troyer's business isn't farming. Troyer, 33, runs a sawmill, one of dozens that dot the heart of northwestern Pennsylvania lumber country in Crawford County, about 30 miles southeast of Erie. "I just never really had the urge for it," Troyer said of farming.
Spring is in the air and the Ojai Pixie is flirting with fame. Small in size but growing in stature, the tiny tangerine is the focus of a grass-roots campaign by Ojai Valley ranchers determined to gain a foothold in California's competitive citrus industry. The movement is sprouting supporters far and wide, as tangerine lovers turn on to the bite-sized fruit--renowned for its tangy taste--at farmers' markets and boutique grocery stores from New York to Los Angeles.
Just west of Bakersfield, in the tiny community of Buttonwillow, workers are pouring the foundation of what will be the first tomato-processing facility in Kern County when it opens later this year. The $35-million plant, built and financed by a group of 23 local growers organized as Rio Bravo Tomato Co., is a reminder that in California agriculture is still a growth industry.
November 14, 1999
The bipartisan bill to give amnesty to half a million illegal immigrants to satisfy the agribusiness lobby is proof, if more was needed, that "soft money" is corrupting our political system ["Farm Worker Amnesty Measure to Be Introduced," Oct. 27]. IAN ROBERTS San Francisco
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