Journal, Fall 2003, Blood Pressure

Wise Traditions, Volume 4, Number 3

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President’s Message: Vulture Capitalism

by Sally Fallon

At the Northeast Organic Farming Association annual conference this August, I introduced the concept of Vulture Capital, money created from nothing that must devour real wealth in order to perpetuate itself. Industry, pharmaceuticals and agribusiness are natural targets for this bird of prey. Recently, Vulture Capital has spurred the corporate-ization of many areas of the economy that were once in the hands of small proprietors–office supplies, health food stores, coffee shops and hardware stores. In this issue we present several more instances of Vulture Capital at work, starting with new blood pressure guidelines that effectively turn the entire US population into patients. Irradiation is another Vulture Capital goal which, if declared mandatory, will put the entire food supply into the hands of giant multinational corporations. Linda Forristal looks at consolidation in the “natural” foods industry, readily apparent at this year’s Natural Products Expo East. And Mary Enig and Ron Schmid explore some of the tactics used to create monopolies–from the pseudo-science of Center for Science in the Public Interest, to the vendetta against Alta Dena and raw milk in California.

If you’d like to see a particularly sordid example of Vulture Capital in action, go to www.foodbevx.com and read about the planned Kids Nutrition 2003 conference in New Orleans, November 17-19. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Dean Foods, Nestle, Cargill, and various soy interests have teamed up with tame nutrition departments at prestigious universities to clothe their deadly products in a cloak of respectability. Very high registration fees make this conference off limits for the general public.

Fortunately, all is not going as planned for the forces of consolidation. Monique Mikhail describes how parental activism has soundly trounced the scheme to put irradiated meat into school lunches. Raw milk from family farmers is becoming increasingly available, lots of folks are switching to butter (vegetable oils are the quintessential Vulture Capital commodity), word on the dangers of soy is spreading and more and more people are turning to natural therapies instead of pharmaceutical drugs.

These themes will be taken up in our conference next year, entitled “What’s Happened to the US Food Supply: Problems and Solutions.” We’ll explore what agricultural industrialization, genetic engineering, irradiation and food processing do to the nutritional value of our food and present practical solutions that you can implement in your homes and communities. We’ll look at what’s wrong, but the emphasis will be on how to fix things. So mark your calendars. The conference will once again be held in the beautiful Sheraton National Hotel and we are already planning several scrumptious meals.

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