EU must act against Cargill says watchdog

| 24th September 2009
A field of wheat
Although it is not legally possible to make Wales GM-free, the nation's government is legislating to keep GM crops to a minimum

Cargill has too much influence over staple food prices, says the watchdog

US company has too much influence over market and is partly to blame for recent high food prices
 

Cargill, the billion-dollar agribusiness giant, gained record profits by driving up grain and fertiliser prices in 2008, says a consumer watchdog.

Research undertaken by Food & Water Europe (FEW) claims the high prices led to food instability and starvation around the world.

The watchdog says the EU must enforce competition laws to ensure companies like Cargill do not control such an unfair proportion of the markets.

‘Cargill has gained control over huge swaths of the world’s agricultural system, and its ability to influence food prices is pushing millions of people around the world to the brink of starvation,’ said FWE executive director in Europe, Wenonah Hauter.

Other findings FEW's report

•    Cargill’s involvement in so many areas of the market helped create artificially high prices, resulting in global food instability

•    Cargill’s involvement in soybean and palm oil operations are linked to numerous destructive environmental practices, including clearing vast swaths of rainforest for plantation in Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia

•    Cargill has been blamed for numerous human rights violations, including forced child labour in Uzbek and Asian cotton fields and slave labour in cocoa plantations in Cote d’Ivoire

See also

Donate

The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate here