On Friday, we got confirmation of what everyone already knew: the Greek economy is still mired in recession. GDP contracted 0.6% in Q4 after shrinking 1.4% in Q3.
We also found out that Greek farmers have most assuredly not calmed down since they parked their tractors in the middle of the street blocking traffic late last month.
Why are the farmers mad, you ask? Well, they’re not particularly enamored with the idea of having their social security contributions tripled and their income tax doubled as part of PM Alexis Tsipras’ push to satisfy creditors in Brussels who, six months after the country’s third bailout program was agreed, aren’t satisfied with the pace of fiscal consolidation.
Agri- and biotech giant Syngenta is being sued by hundreds of farmers in at least 20 states for shocking business practices, including using the American people as GMO guinea pigs.
According to Arkansas Business, one of the lawsuits against the Swiss seed manufacturer, which has been filed on behalf of two Newport-area farms, alleges that Syngenta “has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China (and) other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept” GMO corn.
The publication further reported in online editions:
In the first major protest by farmers in several years, bus-loads of men and women arrived from across Greece to protest the looming over-taxation and social security changes exclaiming that these government-enforced, Quadriga-mandated changes will affect the country’s primary production and crash those who sole income comes from farming, breeding and fishing. The infamous Syntagma Square saw oranges and water bottles met with police tear gas and sound cannons as European social tension continues to roil…
eering, tear gas, sound flares, water bottles and oranges were the highlights of the farmers’ protest outside the Greek Parliament at Syntagma Square on Wednesday. More than 3,500 farmers, breeders and fishermen from all over Greece had gathered in Athens to protest taxation and social security reforms in their sector.
Among the many examples of state power run amok is when armed law enforcers descend on small farms to carry out a war on food freedom.
Last month, 20 officials from the ministries of agriculture, natural resources and finance in Ontario, Canada raided Michael Schmidt’s milk farm with the help of local police. They began removing equipment and computers, intending to confiscate them for the crime of providing raw milk to people who freely choose to drink it.
BATHINDA: “It was just like the Japanese air strike in the film, Pearl Harbour,” said Naresh Kumar Lehri, a seed and pesticide dealer at Singho village in Punjab’s Bathinda district. “They appeared out of nowhere and left a trail of destruction.”
Lehri was referring to the devastating attack by whitefly, a common pest, on the cotton crop in Punjab’s Malwa region this year. It has affected about two-thirds of standing cotton crop in the state, causing an estimated loss of Rs 4,200 crore.
“We need a higher rate of growth in order to get close to meeting the demand,” said Laura Batcha, chief of the Organic Trade Association
Americans are increasingly hungry for naturally-grown and healthier foods and, according to a new USDA statistics, sales of the organic farms in the U.S. skyrocketed in 2014 with consumer spending up 72 percent since 2008.
The 2014 Organic Survey, released Thursday by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), indicated that in addition to the $5.5 billion dollars worth of organic products purchased by consumers last year, there is plenty of space for continued growth of organic sales nationwide.
– Meanwhile In Brussels, Farmers Take On The Riot Police With “Hay Cannon” (ZeroHedge, Sep 7, 2015)
– California Water Wars Escalate: State Changes Law, Orders Farmers To Stop Pumping (ZeroHedge, July 17, 2015):
“In the water world, the pre-1914 rights were considered to be gold,” exclaimed one water attorney, but as AP reports, it appears that ‘gold’ is being tested as California water regulators flexed their muscles by ordering a group of farmers to stop pumping from a branch of the San Joaquin River amid an escalating battle over how much power the state has to protect waterways that are drying up in the drought. As usual, governments do what they want with one almond farmer raging “I’ve made investments as a farmer based on the rule of law…Now, somebody’s changing the law that we depend on.” This is not abiout toi get any better as NBCNews reports, this drought is of historic proportions – the worst in over 100 years.
– Kentucky farmers dealing with flooded crops – Video (Ice Age Now, July 7, 2015):
“The flooding is affecting crops including soy beans, wheat and corn in cities along rivers all the way to the Tennessee border,” says this report out of Eddyville, KY. “We’ve had a lot of rain, and it’s now flooding rivers and damaging crops across the area.”
About 50 acres of soy bean crops in Livingston County now looks more like a river than a crop.