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  • Writer's pictureMilton Mills

Corporate America’s Disease for Profit Food System

In previous articles, we’ve explored the key dynamics of America’s “Disease-for-Profit Food System”in which:

  • The consumption of meat and dairy is the #1 driver of chronic disease in the U.S.;

  • Chronic disease is the #1 driver of healthcare costs; and,

  • Healthcare expense is the #1 driver of bankruptcy and poverty in the US.

And the structural aspects by which US citizens are perennially charged the highest-priced healthcare of all developed nations:

  • Healthcare revenues account for ~20% of the US GDP at ~$4 TRILLION PER YEAR;

    • (That’s more than the entire GDP of Germany, the world’s 4th largest economy)

    • The fastest growing healthcare sector is pharmaceuticals/BigPharma...

  • It’s well established that the FDA is a “revolving door” agency for BigPharma;

    • BigPharma spends more on lobbying than any other US industry;

    • BigPharma can subsidize its corporate lobbying by price-gouging Americans:

      • US citizens pay on average 300% more for the same meds that BigPharma sells in other countries;

    • And 18 of the TOP 20 BigPharma meds treat diseases linked to meat & dairy

  • The USDA is a “revolving door” agency for the meat and dairy (BigMEAT) industry;

    • BigMEAT gets more corporate welfare than any other industry, including over $500 BILLION per year in Direct Subsidies and Externalized Costs:

      • The Direct Subsidies include ~$38 BILLION in taxpayer dollars that the USDA funnels to BigMEAT every year, mostly to profit BigMEAT corporations.

      • The Externalized Costs are the estimated cost-burden of damages* caused by BigMEAT corporations each year and paid for by US citizens.

*For example– in addition to its massive impacts on human health– BigMEAT is also the #1 driver of environmental destruction including: soil degradation, freshwater depletion, groundwater pollution, ocean dead zones, global deforestation, biodiversity loss and Climate Change (where BigMEAT is on track to account for over 80% of the GHG budget by 2050). BigMEAT is causing these damages, but BigMEAT corporations do not pay for the massive destruction they cause. Instead, the cost burden of ongoing remediation is pushed off on US taxpayers.

And to be clear– the $500 BILLION/yr in corporate welfare is a very conservative estimate, still evolving… For example, more and more independent scientists are proving that mainstream (corporate funded) “research” has grossly underestimated BigMEAT’s impacts on soil degradation and methane emissions to climate change.

Further still– more and more scientists are linking BigMEAT’s massive environmental impacts (esp., soil degradation, groundwater pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change) to “catastrophic declines” in the nutritional quality of our everyday fruits and vegetables.

Various analyses of nutrient data have found that over the past half century, the vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables have dropped as much as 50%, including calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, C and other essential micronutrients. Scientists say the primary culprits are the environmental degradation mentioned above and other impacts of industrial agriculture.

Of course- even with these disturbing trends– there’s no question that the health and environmental benefits of plant-based foods are still far superior to animal-based foods. Indeed, some scientists are advising we should double our portions of fruits and vegetables to improve and protect our health.Ditto for the environment.

But the USDA and its “revolving door” with BigMEAT corporations must account for these burgeoning crises.

That’s why we’re asking folks to please help get the word out – to sign and share the petition to DEFUND BIG MEAT”and “tell USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to defund subsidies to BigMEAT corporations and reallocate funds for the sustainable (small-scale, agroecological) farming and equitable distribution of fruits and vegetables instead.”

If you haven’t yet done so, please click here to add your name to the petition. It takes less than 30 seconds. Thank you!


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