Sickening Profits : The Global Food System’s Poisoned Food and Toxic Wealth  – New open-access e-book 

The modern food system is being shaped by the capitalist imperative for profit. Aside from losing their land to global investors and big agribusiness concerns, people are being sickened by corporations and a system that thrives on the promotion of ‘junk’ (ultra-processed) food laced with harmful chemicals and cultivated with the use of toxic agrochemicals.  

sickening profits colin todhunter

It’s a highly profitable situation for investment firms like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity and Capital Group and the food and agribusiness conglomerates they invest in. But BlackRock and others are not just heavily invested in the food industry. They also profit from illnesses and diseases resulting from the food system by having stakes in the pharmaceuticals sector as well. For them, it’s a win-win situation.  

Lobbying by agrifood corporations and their well-placed, well-funded front groups ensures this situation prevails. They continue to capture policy-making and regulatory space at international and national levels and promote the (false) narrative that without their products the world would starve.  

They are now also pushing a fake-green, ecomodernist agenda and rolling out their new proprietary technologies in order to further entrench their grip on a global food system that produces poor food, illness, environmental degradation, dependency and dispossession. 

The prevailing globalised agrifood model is built on unjust trade policies, the leveraging of sovereign debt to benefit powerful interests, population displacement and land dispossession. It fuels export-oriented commodity monocropping and regional food insecurity.  

This model is responsible for increasing rates of illness, nutrient-deficient diets, a narrowing of the range of food crops, chemical runoffs, increasing levels of farmer indebtedness and the eradication of biodiversity. And it relies on a policy paradigm that privileges urbanisation, global markets and agrifood corporations’ needs ahead of rural communities, local markets, on-farm resources and food sovereignty.     

In addition, there are also the broader geopolitical aspects of food and agriculture in a post-COVID world characterised by food inflation, hardship and multi-trillion-dollar global debt. 

There are huge environmental, political, social and health issues that stem from how much of our food is currently produced and consumed. A paradigm shift is required. 

All of this is set out in Sickening Profits: The Global Food System’s Poisoned Food and Toxic Wealth (December 2023), published as an open-access (free) e-book by Global Research (it can be read directly on the Global Research website or downloaded as a pdf) and is a follow up to the author’s book Food, Dispossession and Dependency: Resisting the New World Order (2022). 

That book contains substantial sections on the agrarian crisis in India and issues affecting the agriculture sector. Aruna Rodrigues — prominent campaigner and lead petitioner in the GMO Mustard Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India — stated the following about the book:  

“This is graphic, a detailed horror tale in the making for India, an exposé on what is planned, to hand over Indian sovereignty and food security to big business.” 

‘Sickening Profits’ continues in a similar vein. By describing situations in Ukraine, India, the Netherlands and elsewhere, it is another graphic horror tale in the making that is being intensified across the globe. The question is: Can it be stopped?  

The Centre for Research on Globalization (Global Research) is “an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists” and believes in “open access to truthful information and nuanced reporting”. It is committed to publishing e-books that are free of charge. 

Colin Todhunter is a writer and researcher interested in food, agriculture and development. 

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