Food Politics, Mineral Deposits, Women Farmers and More – Link Round-Up

The Food Crisis “Food prices are soaring to record levels, threatening many developing countries with mass hunger and political instability. Finance ministers of the Group of 20 leading economies discussed the problem at a meeting in Paris last week, but for all of their expressed concern, most are already breaking their promises to help.” [NY Times]

Cartoon Satire on Tribal ‘Development’ Targets Indian Public “It’s a story we’ve heard time and time again. Big multinational mining corporations exploiting vast mineral deposits in the developing world with consequences – not always positive – for the indigenous tribes who’ve lived there for centuries.” [IRIN]

Women in Agriculture, By the Numbers “Big Ag is big business–and big profits. And when anyone raises questions about the billions of tax dollars lavished on the largest industrial growers of corn, soybeans and other commodity crops or points out the harm that these perverse incentives do to the environment, Big Ag’s lackeys lash out.” [Civil Eats]

The Politics of Food: How U.S. Food Policy Impacts Farmers Worldwide “Many experts have pointed out links between the recent revolution in Egypt and the fact that global food prices surged to a record high in January. While Egypt has wealth and a significant number of urban professionals, about 40% of the population still lives on an income of under $2 a day — 20% exist on a mere $1 a day. And in the best of times, the average Egyptian spends 40% of their income on food. As food prices have risen over 20% in Egypt, hunger and food insecurity has also risen.” [Huffington Post]

New Study: Half of Monsanto Cottonseed Workers are Kids “Monsanto is a major international producer of cottonseed, which becomes 40% of all the fibers in the world. But on Monsanto cottonseed plantations in India, over half the labor force of Monsanto cottonseed suppliers are children, many of whom are under 14. In the years since Monsanto begin a program to reduce child labor at cottonseed supplier plantations, child labor has actually increased. Why? Despite the company’s “prevention efforts,” they buy cottonseed from suppliers at such artificially low prices, adults won’t work for the resulting measly wages. And that means plantations end up paying children next to nothing to tend Monsanto’s seeds.” []