As we approach a winter of discontent [in the UK] and global food systems go from bad to worse, there’s trouble in paradise. At the root of these problems, government responses to Covid-19 have caused a six-fold increase in famine-like conditions as global supply chains collapse, and field trials for gene-edited crops and farm animals begin.
Against this perfect storm, the UN’s World Food Systems Summit convened last month, with member states joining the private sector, civil society groups and researchers to bring about ‘tangible, positive changes’ to the world’s food systems and, as the story goes, ‘drive recovery from Covid-19’.
Even if we could solve our problems using the same logic that created them, there are deeper institutional problems undermining the integrity of the summit. Specifically, its corporate capture by one man whose vision of the future of food security places the interests of civil society and farming communities in a different universe from the corporations he is beholden to.
A household name on the world stage of disaster-capitalism, there is more to Bill Gates than doomsayer-general terrorising the world’s population into a permanent state of suspended animation, and it typically involves the future of food security.
America’s fast-food impresario
In less than a decade, Gates has become America’s largest farmland owner, acquiring more than 269,000 prime acres including the 100 Circles Farm where potatoes are grown for fast food giant McDonald’s. Gates effectively owns McDonald’s fries, his commitment to public health aside.
On the one hand Gates is the most influential player in global public health, following in the footsteps of his spiritual leader, John D Rockefeller; on the other he backs a confederacy of fast food brands that are killing more people globally than tobacco and driving those who survive towards the very pharmaceuticals which he also wheels and deals to the 50 per cent of all Americans suffering from chronic health disorders.
When it comes to fast food, Gates owns 7.8 per cent of Warren Buffet’s investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, which controls 39 per cent of the largest Subway fast food franchise and 9.3 per cent of the Coca-Cola company. That’s in addition to the Gates Foundation’s 16.8 per cent stake in the largest Coca-Cola bottling franchise in the world, named for the fourth consecutive year the world’s biggest plastic polluter.
Gates’s environmental effrontery is only part of the problem…
Read the full story here.