Labelling

While we are on the subject of GMOs I would be amiss if I didn’t bring up the oft repeated topic of China rejecting shipments of American corn that contains some new GMO trait that hasn’t yet met the Chinese government’s approval process. That’ll allegedly be approved in the near future. The shipments started to be redirected last winter. Never mind that the Chinese government has stated that they are going to eliminate the large stockpiles of corn (and other commodities) they have been keeping in exchange for a more market oriented approach. I can only liken the Chinese storage as a hedge against starvation. Much like the old American corn reserve that paid farmers to store excess corn holding it off the market until a shortage showed up. Creating a definite moderating effect on the market price. As long as the market knew that corn was in storage the less it had to ramp up prices to stifle demand. There was always a cushion built in.

Where would corn prices have topped two years ago without Chinese stockpiles? Parity perhaps?

The commodity market commentators have repeatedly pointed out that the GMO issue was only the Chinese way of implementing this switch. An easy scapegoat to point to to explain why they are reneging on a sales contract once prices worked lower due to world and American farmers ramping up corn production in the wake of the great green energy movement into the corn bins of the Midwest. Think ethanol. How we can tell that this GMO issue is more politics than reality is the simple fact that at least one Chinese corn seed company executive is currently cooling his heels in jail and many more are on the run for trying to steal the very technology from American seed companies that their governments are trying to deny entry into their country. They won’t buy it but they will steal it to grow it over there. How disingenuous is that?  It’s like buying a car but refusing delivery as you try to steal one at the same time. Quite comical actually.

While we’re on the subject of where things come from I want to broach the subject of labeling meat. Specifically I’m talking about the COOL law. Also known as the country of origination label law. A couple of years ago our Congress passed the COOL law. A law that mandates that meat list on it’s label where on earth it came from. It has yet to be implemented. Now my thought that it aught not have to be a law because good business practices dictate it already will be put aside for the duration of this post. The fact that Canada and Mexico have threatened to “retaliate” for us wanting to know who raised our meat is another of those warning sirens and flashing lights moments in time. What are the Canadians and the Mexicans trying to hide? What are they doing to their animals that would make them not want us to know they came from over the borders?

I would think that like a Rolls Royce they would be proud of their meat and would want to differentiate the product on the store shelves. Not too many a Rolls Royce are re branded Chevrolet to slip them past the consumers. Why would the Canadians and the Mexicans be trying to do basically the same thing with their meat? Why only meat? When I buy Crown Royal I know it came from Canada and I buy it just the same. When I buy Jose’ Cuervo I know that it comes from Mexico and I buy it just the same. Grapes from Chile have a label that says so and I buy them just the same. As does most of the fruit and vegetables that are sold fresh in the supermarket. How can meat be any different? I would argue that given the huge amount of resources that are consumed in the raising of meat and the diverse and varied ways to raise meat a label on meat explaining at least where they came from would be prudent. But obviously not in the hallowed halls of NAFTA.

Maybe it’s time to scrap NAFTA. Like Ross Perot said, that giant sucking sound proves NAFTA sucks.

From the corn patch …….

Cc

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