Part 1: Corporate Power
- While 95.3% of US farms are small and midsize family-owned operations, large-scale operations dominate the production of the US food system. For example, a mere 4.7% of US farms account for 49.7% of the total value of agricultural production in the United States.13 Furthermore, twelve companies now account for almost 53% of ethanol production capacity and own 38% of all ethanol production plants.14
- As of 2007, four corporations owned 85% of the soybean processing industry, 82% of the beef packing industry, 63% of the pork packing industry, and manufacture about 50% of the milk, while five corporations control 50% of grocery retail.15 Globally, fewer than 500 companies control 70% of food choice.16
- As of 2011, the large majority of corporate directors of Fortune 500 companies were white men (74.4 %) white women (13.3%), although white men and women make up 72.4% of the US population.17 Despite making up 12.6% of the US population, only 3.1% of the corporate directors were Latinos/as (2.4% Latino men, 0.7% Latino women). Finally, only 6.8% of corporate directors were Black, despite making up 13.6% of the US population (5.3% Black men and 1.5% Black women).18
AT-A-GLANCE CORPORATE POWER
Corporate Consolidation can take two forms.
- Horizontal—consolidation of ownership and control within one part of the food system, such as production, processing, and distribution.
- Vertical—consolidation of ownership and control within more than one part of the food chain, such as upstream suppliers or downstream buyers.
Corporate Control refers to the control of political and economic systems by corporations in order to influence trade regulations, tax rates, and wealth distribution, among other measures, and to produce favorable environments for future corporate growth.
CORPORATE POWER HAS LONG PLAYED A ROLE in the institutions, processes, practices, and infrastructure that make up the US food system: how food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed.
Part I provides a snapshot of the state of corporate consolidation and control in the US food system (above) then addresses the history of the US food system with regard to the relationship between the federal government, corporate consolidation and control, and structural racialization: first, from the 1930s to the 1950s with the Great Depression and New Deal farm programs; and second, from the 1950s to the late 1970s with the erosion of such programs. It then addresses the emergence of neoliberal economic and political restructuring in the late 1970s and early 1980s—characterized by privatization, free trade, deregulation, and cuts in government spending in favor of the private sector—and the emergence of the neoliberal corporate-controlled food system.
Part I then elaborates upon two major domains within which corporate influence under neoliberalism remains particularly salient. The first domain is that of food production, processing, distribution, and service—with such influence exerted by way of commodity support and crop insurance programs, labor regimes, and international food aid. The second domain is that of education, research, and development—with such influence exerted by way of lobbying efforts, private funding, strategic mergers, and the “revolving door” between corporate employees and government officials. Significantly, corporations continue to exert such influence via lobbying efforts, private funding, strategic mergers, and the “revolving door” between corporate employees and government officials. Ultimately, Part I argues that the Farm Bill, from the first Farm Bill in 1933 to the Farm Bills of the 1980s onward, is defined by the long term shift from the subsidization of production and consumption to the subsidization of agribusiness, and that low-income communities and communities of color have been structurally positioned on the losing side of such shifts.
It is important to note that corporate consolidation and corporate control are two related, yet different, phenomena. Corporate consolidation can take the form of horizontal consolidation, which refers to the consolidation of ownership and control within one part of the food system, such as production, processing, or distribution; or vertical consolidation, which refers to the consolidation of firms at more than one part of the food chain, such as upstream suppliers or downstream buyers.iv The term “agribusiness” is often deployed in reference to corporations that exhibit one or both sets of processes within the food system.
Corporate control, however, refers to the control of political and economic systems by corporations in order to influence trade regulations, tax rates, wealth distribution, among other measures, and to produce favorable environments for further corporate growth. It should be noted that corporate consolidation is a prerequisite to corporate control. In other words, it can be looked at as a two-part process: once corporate consolidation has been achieved, corporations are much better suited to assert their control over political and economic systems as they have little competition in their respective sectors and industries. Thus, as Susan George states: “It is not just their size, their enormous wealth and assets that make the [corporations] dangerous to democracy. It is also their concentration, their capacity to influence, and often infiltrate governments, and their ability to act as a genuine international social class in order to defend their commercial interests against the common good.”19
A New and Changing Farm Bill: Toward Low Prices and Big Buyers
The period of agricultural policy between the 1930s and the 1950s was greatly informed by the Great Depression—a consequence of the stock market crash of 1929. The crash marked the disruption of capital accumulation in every sector of the economy, including agricultural production.20 During the 1930s, the massive drought and soil erosion that characterized the Dust Bowl intensified the impact of the Depression upon agricultural production and had far-reaching social, economic, and environmental consequences. The Dust Bowl affected over 100 million acres and prompted the largest migration in US history within a short period of time.v Approximately 3.5 million people moved out of the Great Plains states in search of work between 1930 and 1940.21
Pressured by the need to support remaining farmers and thwart massive farm loss, Congress passed the New Deal-era 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act, which aimed to raise the value of crops and reduce crop production and surplus. The 1933 Farm Bill reduced agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies not to plant on part of their land and to kill off excess livestock. However, the goal of agricultural policy did not remain tied to the support of production. Rather, by the end of the 1940s, “doctrine of parity” set standards for commodity prices and undergirded the 1941 Steagall Amendment, the Agricultural Acts of 1948 and 1949, and the permanent funding of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The goal of agricultural policy had shifted from support of production to the support of commodity prices.22vi
For the next few decades, particularly between the 1950s and 1970s, agricultural production was characterized by high-yielding varieties of a few cereals (wheat, maize, rice), the heavy use of subsidized fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation and machinery, and their global proliferation under the “Green Revolution.”23 Furthermore, from 1952 onward, the “parity” farm programs of the New Deal era were eroded, as price floors were lowered and supply management was reduced.24 Beginning in 1973, policy changes during the Nixon Administration precipitated the drastic deregulation of the corn market in particular by dismantling New Deal era supply management policies, selling off federal grain storage reserves, and implementing “fencerow to fencerow” planting, ultimately promoting overproduction and the consolidation of farm operations.vii
Simultaneously, the system of loans and land idling schemes that supported farmers was replaced with a system of direct subsidies that supported low prices for corporate purchasers by encouraging farmers to sell crops at any price and ensuring that direct payments from the government would make up the difference.25 Ultimately, these changes not only reflected and upheld corporate consolidation and control, they also resulted in massive farm loss: the number of farms decreased from 7 million in 1935 to 1.9 million in 1997, with the greatest drop occurring from 1935 to 1974.26
The Farm Bill and Corporate Profit
The changes from both the 1930s to the 1950s, and the 1950s to the 1970s, were tied to corporate power, as reflected by several key moments in the history of the Farm Bill. First, the money for production subsidies under the 1933 Farm Bill was originally generated by way of an exclusive tax on corporations that processed farm products. Yet, according to the 1938 Supreme Court case, United States v. Butler, the act’s tax provision unfairly targeted corporations and was thus deemed unconstitutional. Subsequently, under the 1938 Farm Bill, the federal government, and not a processor’s tax, would finance such subsidies, thus relieving corporations of any responsibility to maintain high commodity prices or profitable farms. Significantly, this funding structure was held in place during the shift in agricultural policy from the support of production to the support of prices by way of the doctrine of parity.
The ongoing erosion of the doctrine of parity from 1952 onward, which included the lowering of price floors and reduction of supply management practices, sent farm prices crashing and ushered in a period of agricultural policy driven by agribusiness. Specifically, corporations such as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill were instrumental in helping replace New Deal-era loan programs and land-idling arrangements with direct subsidies that supported low prices for corporate purchasers themselves. Anticipating the 1973 Farm Bill, for example, and alongside Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, Cargill and the Farm Bureau argued that crashing farm prices would be a plus. They argued that not only would greater exports and new uses such as ethanol and sweeteners remedy the drop in price, but also that farms would remain profitable with the support of government subsidies.27 The winners and losers were clear under such policies: corporate buyers could acquire commodity crops for record low prices that were subsidized by the federal government while farmers continued to lose their lands and their income. Such policies, furthermore, constituted part of the larger trend in corporate growth, not limited solely to agribusiness. For example, according to a 2013 Bureau of Economic Analysis, corporate profit (after tax) as a percentage of GDP more than doubled between 1980 and 2013, rising from less than 5% to over 10%; before tax, corporate profit, as a percent of GDP, rose from less than 8% to over 12.5% between 1980 and 2013.28
A Project of Racial Exclusion: Federal Agricultural Policy and Program Administration
Both periods, from the Great Depression and New Deal farm programs, to their erosion over the following decades, were characterized by structural racialization. Although New Deal-era legislation was geared toward pulling Americans out of poverty, it was itself a project of racial exclusion, with Black communities and other communities of color systematically barred from such supports.29 Southern committee members in Congress, for example, blocked efforts to include agricultural workers and domestic workers in the Social Security Act—the New Deal’s centerpiece legislation—largely because of the high concentration of black workers within those lines of work. In the 1930s, 60% of Black workers held domestic or agricultural jobs nationally while, in the southern United States, domestic and agricultural occupations employed almost 75% of Black workers, and 85% of Black women.30 Furthermore, although the National Recovery Administration set wages within the cotton industry at $12 a week, many Black workers had jobs that were not covered by the law and thus had their wages reduced by employers so that white workers could be paid more.31 Finally, Black agricultural workers were also left out of New Dealera agricultural union programs—namely the National Labor Relations Act, enacted and signed into law on July 5, 1935—while Black landowners in particular were excluded from federal farm support under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.32 Significantly, the distribution of federal support during this period resulted in the dramatic decrease in the number of Black farms, from about 900,000 in 1930 to 682,000 in 1939.33
Although these programs were slowly eroded over the next few decades, farmers of color continued to face great hardship relative to white farmers. The period of agricultural mechanization and industrialization after World War II, marked by the widespread adoption of scientific and technological innovations (e.g., the mechanical cotton-harvester, the new herbicides, pesticides, and hybrid seed) is usually credited with weeding out supposedly “non-productive, inefficient” farmers.34
Yet farmers of color and particularly Black farmers, in the context of the uneven application of New Deal era supports and years of discriminatory practices, were at a great disadvantage during this period because they were prevented from attaining the requisite access to capital and thus economic stability for such a transition.35
Historian and USDA Economic Research Service analyst Joel Schor recounts several other major factors that caused Black-owned farm loss during this period, including: “the vulnerability of small-scale farms,” which were the type Black farmers most frequently operated; “the lack of knowledge about tax and credit policies, inheritance transfer mechanisms, eminent domain, and legal instruments for maintaining or acquiring land”; and, the failures of agricultural policies and programs to reach Black farmers, whether “due to ineffectiveness, discrimination in implementation, poor design, lack of funding, or other unintended shortcomings.” viii36 While in 1939 there were still 682,000 Black farms, by 1978 only 6,996 Black farms remained.37
CORPORATE CONTROL AND THE FARM BILL
The Emergence of the Neoliberal Corporate Food System
From the late 1970s and early 1980s until today, corporations have taken on a new and more deeply entrenched set of relationships within the food system. In short, this period is defined by neoliberal capitalist expansion and corporate control that began with the global economic shocks of the 1970s and 1980s.38 During the 1980s, and working for the interests of multinational corporations in securing markets abroad for agricultural commodities produced domestically, Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) broke down foreign tariffs, dismantled national marketing boards, and eliminated price guarantees in the Global South.39 Alongside this destructive guarantee of foreign markets, the 1950s-onward trend of dismantling domestic safety net programs for farmers, guaranteeing low prices for commodity purchasers (i.e., corporate buyers), and making up the potential loss for farmers with government direct payments continued. Such trends culminated in the 1996 Farm Bill—the “Freedom to Farm” bill. This Farm Bill eliminated the structural safety nets that had long protected producers during lean years. Corporate buyers and groups such as the National Grain and Feed Association, composed of firms in the grain and feed industry, pushed the 1996 Farm Bill to completely eliminate price floors, the requirement to keep some land idle, and the grain reserves that were meant to stabilize supplies and therefore stabilize prices, while simultaneously encouraging farmers to plant as much as possible.40
The 1996 Farm Bill thus marked the culmination of the shift from the federal government subsidizing production and consumption to diminishing price supports and the subsidization of agribusiness itself. The dismantling of such price controls drove prices down and allowed corporate buyers to profit off heavily subsidized commodities while securing their power over producers. Specifically, deregulation left farmers increasingly vulnerable to market fluctuations caused by speculation, price volatility, and the profit-motives of corporate buyers. The shifts under the 1996 Farm Bill were deemed a failure by both farmers and legislators, and by 1997, rapidly falling farm prices resulted in direct government emergency payments to farmers, despite the fact that the legislation was designed to completely phase out farm program payments.41 Between 1996 and 1998, expenditures for farm programs rose dramatically, from $7.3 billion to $12.4 billion. They then soared to $21.5 billion in 1999 to over $22 billion in 2001.42 From 1996 to 2001, US net farm income dropped by 16.5% despite these payments.43 Rather than address the underlying cause of the price drop—overproduction—Congress voted to make these “emergency” payments permanent in the 2002 Farm Bill.44 As outlined below, neoliberal corporate influence remains particularly salient within two domains: the first is food production, processing, distribution, and service, and the second is education, research, and development.
Strategies of Neoliberal Corporate Influence
A. Food Production, Processing, Distribution, and Service
Commodity Supports: One major way corporations continue to profit and exert their influence on food production, distribution, and consumption is through commodity support programs. Once the safety nets of the New Deal farm programs were cut back during the 1980s and 1990s, and completely eliminated in the 1996 Farm Bill, farmers began to produce much more corn, soybeans, wheat, and other commodity crops. Specifically, the 1996 Farm Bill eliminated the requirement to keep some land idle, which encouraged farmers to plant far more than they had before. As a result, the higher supplies of these crops brought down their prices, which drastically hurt farmer incomes and greatly increased the profits corporate purchasers reaped from purchasing even cheaper commodities.
These low prices undermined the economic viability of most crop farms in the late 1990s, and subsequently, Congress provided a series of emergency payments to farmers. Furthermore, because continued oversupply kept prices from recovering, Congress eventually made such payments permanent in the 2002 Farm Bill.45 The dismantling of direct payment support for farmers thus ushered in another form of federally subsidized cheap commodities for corporate buyers that still leaves farmers themselves relatively vulnerable: disaster assistance programs and other emergency aid. The 2014 Farm Bill in particular cut funding allocated to direct payments by about $19 billion over 10 years—the most drastic policy change in this Farm Bill—with much of this money going into other types of farm aid, including disaster assistance for livestock producers, subsidized loans for farmers, and, most significantly, the crop insurance program.ix
Crop Insurance: As fundamental as direct payments and emergency payments have been for subsidizing agribusiness profits, under neoliberal political and economic restructuring, crop insurance has surpassed them as the most egregious and expensive subsidy for agribusiness. For decades, farmers have been able to buy federally subsidized crop insurance in order to protect against crop failure or a decline in commodity prices. However, private insurance corporations and banks that administer the program, such as Wells Fargo, benefit the most from crop insurance subsidies. In 2011, these corporations received $1.3 billion for administrative expenses with $10 billion in profits over the past decade.46 In order to help cushion the blow from the reduction of direct payments, under the 2014 Farm Bill, $90 billion over 10 years will go toward crop insurance, which is $7 billion more than the previous farm bill. However, much of this money will go to private insurance corporations and banks instead of farmers.47
On the production side, the increase in government support will be directed toward the deductibles that farmers have to pay before insurance benefits begin. In other words, unlike non-farm insurance policies (i.e., home, business, etc.), crop insurance insures not only the crops, but also the expected revenue from selling those crops. Thus, Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage only pays out when prices drop below a certain threshold.x As of early 2015, corn crops have already reached this threshold.48 There exists a risk that this insurance program could cost far more than expected depending on how crop prices continue to shift: therefore, this is one of the more contentious aspects of the 2014 Farm Bill. Another contentious part is the uneven distribution of benefits. A 2014 report by the Environmental Working Group estimates that 10,000 policyholders receive over $100,000 a year in subsidies, with some receiving over $1 million, while the bottom 80% of farmers collect only $5,000 annually.49xi In short, under the guise of cutting subsidies by repealing unpopular direct payments to farmers, the 2014 Farm Bill instead increases more costly crop insurance subsidies.
Food Chain Workers: xii The pressure for corporate profit and the history of corporate consolidation with regard to the food system, both vertical and horizontal, has driven corporations to continue to lower wages for millions of food system workers and accumulate more wealth. A 2011 national survey of over 630 food system workers conducted by the Food Chain Workers Alliance found that the median hourly wage was $9.65 per hour. More than 86% of food system workers were paid poverty wages while 23% of food system workers were paid less than the minimum wage.50 Despite their significant role in every part of the food system—from production to processing to distribution and service—food system workers experience a greater degree of food insecurity than the rest of the US workforce. For example, according to the Food Chain Workers Alliance report, food system workers use SNAP at more than one and a half times the rate of the remainder of the US workforce.51 Additionally, as of 2014, twice as many restaurant workers were food insecure compared to the overall US population; as of 2011, in Fresno County, the country’s most productive agricultural county, 45% of farmworkers are food insecure. The situation is even worse in other parts of the country: in 2011, 63% of migrant farmworkers in Georgia were food insecure.52
Women and people of color disproportionately feel the economic pressure experienced by food system workers as a result of corporate consolidation. A comprehensive 2011 study of food workers and economic disparity found that people of color typically make less than whites working in the food chain.53 It found that half of white food workers earn $25,024 a year while workers of color earn $19,349. The study found that women of color in particular suffer the most, earning almost half of what white male workers earn.54 Furthermore, workers of color experience wage theft (i.e., the illegal withholding of wages or the denial of benefits) more frequently than white workers. More than 20% of all workers of color reported experiencing wage theft, while only 13.2% of all white workers reported having their wages misappropriated.55 Significantly, the study found that such discrepancies exist in all four sectors of the food system: production, processing, distribution, and service.56 Furthermore, such trends hold across the overall workforce. As of 2012, 11.8% of executive and senior level officials and managers, and 21% of all first- and mid-level officials and managers were people of color, despite people of color comprising over 25% of the US population.57
Agricultural workers in particular experience ongoing and widespread violations of the limited protections afforded to them by federal law. This is oftentimes the result of competing producers aiming to drive down their costs by not complying with employment laws. Between 2010 and 2013, for example, among agricultural employers, the Department of Labor found 1,901 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor rules, and payroll recordkeeping requirements.58 A 2009 survey of approximately 200 farmworkers paid by “piece-rate” (i.e., pay per unit of work) in Marion County, Oregon, found that workers experienced extensive violations of the state’s minimum wage law. Almost 90% of workers surveyed reported that their “piece-rate” earnings frequently amounted to less than minimum wage, averaging less than $5.30 per hour—37% below hourly minimum wage.59 Furthermore, a 2013 survey of farmworkers in New Mexico found extremely low wages and high levels of wage theft: 67% of field workers surveyed were victim to wage theft within the year prior to the survey; 43% stated that they never received the minimum wage, and 95% said they were have never been paid for the time spent waiting each day in the field to begin working.60
The combination of employers’ exploitation of the immigration system, and workers’ low (and withheld) income, limited formal education, limited command of the English language, and undocumented status, greatly hinders farmworkers from seeking any retribution or recognition of their rights. For example, as of 2009, the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) found that 78% of all farmworkers were foreign born, with 75% born in Mexico; 42% of farmworkers surveyed were migrants, with 35% of migrants having traveled between the United States and another country, primarily Mexico. Furthermore, 44% said they couldn’t speak English “at all” and 26% said they could speak English only “a little”; and the median level of completed education was sixth grade, with a large group (38%) of farmworkers completing fourth to seventh grades.61 With limited legal aid, many agricultural workers fear that challenging the illegal and unfair practices of their employers will result in further abuses, jobs losses, and, ultimately, deportation. Worse yet, few attorneys are available to help poor agricultural workers, and federal legal aid programs are prohibited from representing undocumented immigrants.62
The exploitation of migrant agricultural workers begins long before they reach the United States, and this migration has largely been driven by US trade and foreign policy in Central and Latin America. Specifically, most agricultural workers are in the United States as part of the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers program, which allows US employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary or seasonal agricultural jobs. However, nearly all such employers rely on private recruiters to find available workers in their home countries and arrange their visas and transportation to the fields. US agricultural employers thrive and rely upon an immigration system and recruitment network that provides “cheap” labor (i.e., exploitable laborers), and, as such, this recruitment network outside US borders remains unregulated and highly exploitative.
Among the most grievous of such practices, for example, is the collection of fees from workers as a prerequisite to being hired. Many growers are willfully ignorant of recruiters’ activities, despite recently revised regulations that require growers to promise that they have not received any such fees. With many potential workers striving to escape poor conditions in their respective homelands, there is much incentive for recruiters to charge “recruiting fees” for personal profit, leaving H-2A workers with a great deal of debt upon their arrival to the United States. While some have paid upwards of $11,000 for such opportunities to work, others have given the deed to their house or their car to recruiters as collateral so as to ensure “compliance” with the terms of their contract. Many fear for their physical safety and safety of their family members if they are not able to repay their debts. Many farmworkers been deceived about their wages and working conditions (e.g. crops to be picked, length of their visa, and type of housing), and, to make matters worse, many workers are tied to one employer and therefore have no choice but to work regardless of the low pay and abysmal working conditions of their employers. Ultimately, the H-2A program and US labor market creates conditions ripe for debt-peonage.63
Furthermore, although H-2A program regulations require employers to give job preference to qualified US workers, in practice the H-2A program ultimately puts US workers out of work given the seeming cost benefits of employing H-2A workers.xiii Toward this end, employers go to great lengths to unlawfully exclude qualified US workers in favor of H-2A workers, many of whom have themselves migrated to the United States during prior seasons. For example, employers schedule interviews at inconvenient times or locations; hire too early in the season, lead workers to arrive for work when there is none; limit their hours in order to discourage them from continuing to work; use employment contracts that demand that workers forfeit their right to sue a grower for lost wages and/or other illegalities; and impose productivity quotas and other unrealistic work demands on employees. These practices greatly discourage US workers from applying to these jobs, which then allows employers to “legally” hire H-2A workers.
Additionally, the profits reaped by large agricultural employers and by corporations at all levels of the food system not only come at the expense of the food system worker’s livelihoods and US job loss, but are also subsidized by taxpayers themselves. For example, Walmart, which sells 25% of all the groceries in the United States and is the largest employer in the US and world, has among the lowest wages across the retail industry.64 Walmart workers cost US taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance that would counteract the consequences of their low wages, including SNAP, Medicaid and subsidized housing.65 Because 58% of food system workers surveyed reported having no health care coverage, more than one-third of workers surveyed have used the emergency room for primary care, which taxpayers help cover.66
Finally, corporations like Walmart are able to determine wages and benefits for workers throughout their entire supply chain, given their massive procurement power and ability to dictate purchasing prices to its suppliers. This pressure and influence forces suppliers to lower their worker’s wages, multiplying the number of workers robbed of fair and livable wages and taxpayer subsidization of corporate profits. In short, when food system workers require public assistance, the onus rests on taxpayers and the federal government, rather than on those that are responsible for creating these unhealthy outcomes—corporations.xiv
B. International Food Aid and Domestic Supports
After over thirty years of liberal trade policies beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many developing countries have been left with a great dependence on the global market for basic food and grains. Developing countries had yearly agricultural trade surpluses of $1 billion in the early 1970s. Yet by 2000, the food deficit in such countries had grown to $11 billion per year. At the height of the 2007–2008 global food price crisis, Low-Income Food Deficit Countries import bills reached over $38 billion for basic cereal grains.67 Such systemic vulnerability is, in part, a result of international finance institutions, structural adjustment, free trade agreements, and a broader divestment of the state from agricultural development.68 Furthermore, not only are overproduction and US food aid to blame, but also corporate actors use such international crises as opportunities to make additional calls for emergency aid coupled with further trade liberalization and increased investment in agricultural productivity.69
The Farm Bill in particular has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining such systemic vulnerability. For example, although the 2014 Farm Bill authorizes $80 million annually for the Local and Regional Procurement Program, which encourages greater use of food that is locally or regionally grown for food aid, it pales in comparison to the $1.75 billion Food for Peace Title II through which United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides food assistance. Furthermore, foreign economies are undermined not only by such efforts that directly shuttle surplus and heavily subsidized commodities—produced for the benefit of corporate entities—to developing countries, but also by production support programs themselves, such as commodity payments or crop insurance. For example, a 2012 International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development report found that the shift from direct payments to crop insurance support for farmers is likely to have far reaching effects on global trade and prices because of the anticipated change to cropping patterns. Specifically, the likelihood that the new programs will influence planting decisions is greatly enhanced because payments in all the new programs are calculated using actual planted acreage. Ultimately, if planting decisions are influenced enough, then program-induced changes in US crop acreage will be reflected in trade flows that have the potential to harm farmers in developing countries and cause fluctuations in global food prices.70
C. Education, Research, and Development
Academic Research and Development: One major way corporations profit and exert their control with regard to education, research, and development is their influence over academic research and development. Agricultural research in the United States is carried out primarily by three entities: the federal government, largely through the US Department of Agriculture; academia, primarily through land-grant universities; and the private sector. Over the past several decades, corporate interests have co-opted publicly-oriented agricultural research and land-grant university research efforts in particular. The federal government created land-grant universities in 1862 by deeding tracts of land to every state to pursue agricultural research to support agricultural production in the United States. Although public investments have maintained agricultural research since the creation of these universities, over recent decades public funding has stalled, prompting land-grant universities to appeal to agribusiness to remedy such financial shortcomings.
Significantly, the landmark 1980 Bayh-Dole Act pushed universities to take this particularly entrepreneurial role, generating revenue through producing patents from which the private sector could profit.71 The Bayh-Dole Act, as part of the neoliberalization of science and academic research itself, prompted greater industry influence over land-grant research, as university research agendas became oriented toward the needs of corporate partners.72 Major agribusiness donors to land-grant universities across the United States, including Syngenta, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Nestle, Dow Agroscience, Chevron, DuPont and others, now push research carried out by faculty and students toward developments in biofuels, commodity crops research, genetically engineered foods, and other areas of interest. Land-grant universities today not only carry out corporate-directed research but also depend on agribusinesses to underwrite research grants, endow faculty chairs, sponsor departments, and finance the construction of new buildings.73
Even USDA research and USDA-funded research itself reflects corporate interests. The USDA spends roughly $2 billion per year on agricultural research, which goes toward funding USDA researchers and researchers at land-grant universities.74 This money, however, is largely directed toward a corporate-friendly industrial agriculture research agenda: the National Academy of Sciences found that USDA research prioritizes commodity crops, industrialized livestock production, technologies geared toward large-scale operations, and capital-intensive practices.75 The Farm Bill does not prioritize funding for more sustainable farming programs, with programs such as the Organic Agriculture Research and Education Initiative and Specialty Crop Research Initiative accounting for only 2% of the USDA’s research budget. Most research funding is directed toward commodity crops research.76 In 2010, for example, the USDA funded $204 million to research all varieties of fruits and vegetables, and spent $212 million to research just four commodity crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.77
Seed Patents: Another major way private industry continues to profit and exert their influence vis-à-vis relations of education, research, and development, is seed research and patents. Since the early 1980s, the global seed industry has grown substantially and is now worth an estimated $44 billion and is expected to grow to an estimated $85 billion by 2018. The cumulative effect of seed legislation has facilitated the massive consolidation of corporate power, thus securing corporate control of one of the most crucial agricultural inputs. This history of seed legislation began shortly before the New Deal, beginning with the US Plant Patent Act of 1930 and continued with the 1970 Plant Variety Protection Act.78 Significantly, seed legislation did not move into the judicial system until the 1980 Supreme Court decision Diamond v. Chakrabarty, which laid the legal groundwork for the privatization and commodification of the genetics of seeds.79
In 1985, Ex Parte Hibberd, an administration decision by the US Patent and Trademarks Office, extended property rights to the individual components of organisms, including genetic information, thus anticipating some of today’s contentious Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) debates. Ten years later, Asgrow Seed v. Winterboer denied the rights of farmers to save and resell patented seed products, marking the continuation of a series of legislation that progressively placed power in corporate hands.80 In 2001, J.E.M. AG Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a legal dispute between a large seed company and small seed supply center, affirmed that newly developed plant breeds are covered by expansive utility patents. In 2013, furthermore, Bowman v. Monsanto held that patent “exhaustion doctrine” does not cover farmers’ reproduction of patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent owner’s permission, further reflecting and securing corporate profit and influence.81
D. Lobbying, Private Funding, Strategic Mergers, and the “Revolving Door”
Lobbying: Although inadequate disclosure laws make it difficult to determine the exact amount expended on the Farm Bill and on other pieces of legislation, during the two years preceding the passage of the Farm Bill on February 7, 2014, at least 600 companies spent over $500 million in lobbying. The largest spenders ranged from Fortune 500 leaders in banking, trade, transportation and energy to non-profit organizations.82 A joint investigation by Harvest Public Media and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that the top 18 corporations and groups spent at least $5 million each in total lobbying from 2012 to the First Quarter of 2014. These corporations and groups include: the US Chamber of Commerce, Exxon Mobil, Du Pont, the American Bankers Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Wells Fargo, AARP, Monsanto, Independent Community Bankers of America, Coca-Cola, Association of American Railroads, Nestle, Nextera Energy, BNSF Railway Company, PMI Global Services Inc., Bayer Corporation, and American Forest & Paper Association.83
The commodities support programs outlined above make up one major set of Farm Bill issues influenced by such lobbying efforts. These direct payments have long received the attention of growers groups and other interest groups that are beholden to corporate interests. Specifically, alongside the Farm Bureau, the Farmers Union, and other general farm organizations, all major agricultural commodities (e.g., corn, cotton, rice, beef, pork, poultry, and dairy) are represented by a lobbying organization that aims to keep the Farm Bill’s commodity programs intact as per the supposed interest of the producers of such commodities. These organizations include: the National Cotton Council, the Sugar Association, and the National Corn Growers, among others.84 While indeed all industries are represented by lobbying organizations, the relative political and economic strength of actors within the US food system that are already oriented toward large-scale production, processing, distribution, and service—such as those above—highlights their significance, particularly concerning contemporary campaign finance reform efforts.
Crop insurance programs are also highly influenced by corporate lobbying efforts. With the change to crop insurance as the safety net centerpiece, banks and insurance companies spent at least $52.6 million in lobbying the 2014 Farm Bill and other issues in the two years prior to its passage. For example, Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest US bank, spent approximately $11.3 million in lobbying efforts, signaling the potential gain to be had by the company’s Rural Community Insurance Services, the largest crop insurance provider in the country. The American Bankers Association, another group that will benefit most from the boost to crop insurance, reported spending $14 million on lobbying, including advocacy for crop insurance and other rural lending plans. Other lobbyists for crop insurance included Independent Community Bankers of America, ACE INA Holdings and Zurich (both global insurance companies), the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and Deere & Co., the large equipment manufacturer that also has a crop insurance arm.85
Private Funding: Private sector spending on agricultural research has risen steeply since the 1970s and 1980s, exceeding public sector spending on agricultural research. From 1970 to 2006, private agricultural research expenditures—both in-house research and donations to land-grant universities—rose from $2.8 billion to over $8 billion, in inflation-adjusted 2014 dollars.86 Yet total public funding—directed toward land-grant universities and the USDA—rose from $3.1 billion to $6.1 billion in that same period. Federal funding of land-grant universities in particular reflect such trends: by the early 1990s, industry funding had already surpassed USDA funding of agricultural research at land-grant universities and by 2009, private sector funding had soared to $822 million, compared to $645 million from the USDA.87 Significantly, the economic recession substantially restricted research funding. Yet USDA land-grant university funding dropped twice as fast as private funding between 2009 and 2010, from 39.3% and 20.5%, respectively, reflecting the increasing dependence of university research on corporate funds, particularly during economic downturns.88
Strategic Mergers: During the 1990s there were numerous mergers between agricultural, pharmaceutical, and chemical firms tied to the global seed industry that aimed to take advantage of potential synergies (becoming “life science” firms) and secure even greater corporate profit and strength. Because the mergers took place within the globalized market where most seed industry markets exist beyond one nation-state, however, these expected synergies were not realized and resulted in the spinoff of numerous agricultural divisions: Monsanto, for example, merged with Pharmacia and Upjohn before a new Monsanto division, now focusing on agriculture, separated to form a new entity. Syngenta began with the merge between the agribusiness divisions of Novartis and Zeneca. However, AstraZeneca, which focuses on pharmaceuticals, remains a separate company. Bayer acquired the agribusiness operations of Aventis, yet Sonofi-Aventis remains a financially distinct pharmaceutical company. By 2009, six companies with pharmaceutical and chemical origins held control over 67% of the global seed industry.89
“Revolving Door”: Collectively, in addition to the lobbying strength they exert and the private funding they funnel into public institutions, corporations have also been effective in translating their economic power into political power by way of the “revolving door” between corporations and the government.90 In 1999, for example, Monsanto was described as a “virtual retirement home for members of the Clinton administration.”91 The outcome of such tight relationships between corporations and governments is readily apparent in federal legislation that upholds agribusiness power. The “Farmer Assurance Provision,” for example—a provision of a bill that was signed into law in March 2013 by President Obama, yet only remained in effect for six months—undermined the Department of Agriculture’s authority to ban genetically modified crops, even if the court ruled that such crops posed human and environmental health risks. Significantly, Republican Senator Roy Blunt worked directly with Monsanto employees to draft the initial provision. Although supporters stated that the provision was necessary to protect farmers from endless legal complaints by opponents of GMOs that hold up critical research, the Farmer Assurance Provision would have ensured a lack of corporate liability.92
- 13. Robert A. Hoppe, “Structure and Finances of US Farms: Family Farm Report, 2014 Edition” (Washington, D.C.: USDA Economic Research Service, December 2014), http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1728096/eib-132.pdf.
- 14. McDermott, “Finding Business Success in a Changing Ethanol Industry.”
- 15. “The Economic Cost of Food Monopolies.”
- 16. Beth Hoffman, “Behind the Brands: Food Justice and the ‘Big 10’ Food and Beverage Companies” (Oxford: Oxfam, 2013).
- 17. “The White Population: 2010,” 2010 Census Briefs (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-05.pdf.
- 18. Richard L. Zweigenhaft, “Diversity Among CEOs and Corporate Directors: Has the Heyday Come and Gone?” (American Sociological Association, New York, August 12, 2013), http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/diversity_among_ceos.html.
- iv. For example, ConAgra, a corporation that owns and runs grain elevators, distributes seed, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides; manufactures animal feed; and raises and processes chickens for sale.
- 19. Susan George, “State of Corporations: The Rise of Illegitimate Power and the Threat to Democracy” (Amsterdam: Transnational Institute, 2014), http://www.tni.org/files/download/state_of_corporation_chapter.pdf.
- 20. Eric Holt Giménez and Annie Shattuck, “Food Crises, Food Regimes and Food Movements: Rumblings of Reform or Tides of Transformation?,” The Journal of Peasant Studies 38, no. 1 (2011): 109–44.
- v. It is important to note that the Dust Bowl was in fact caused by industrial agriculture and a poor understanding of the local and regional ecologies of the Midwest. Farmers destroyed the Great Plains, whose deep-rooted grasses had trapped top soils and acted as natural defenses to high winds and drought. Once farmers plowed through these grasses, the drought of the 1930s had a tremendous impact, causing huge billows of dust to travel across the sky, reaching the East Coast of the US, which also, as mentioned previously, rendered many farmers jobless.
- 21. Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
- 22. “Chapter 5: War, Peace, and Prosperity: 1940-1959” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, December 31, 1998), 5, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CDOC-105sdoc24/html/ch5.html.
- vi. The doctrine of parity held that US agriculture should be as profitable as it was between 1909 and 1914, when food prices and farm incomes were particularly high. The doctrine of parity grounded agricultural price control efforts beginning in the 1920s in order to restore the “terms of trade” of those few years as farming and food price declined. It was long critiqued, however, for ignoring changes in agricultural productivity and for setting an artificial standard. Bordo, Michael D., Claudia Goldin, and Eugene N. White. The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
- 23. Cynthia Hewitt de Alcantara, “Modernizing Mexican Agriculture: Socioeconomic Implications of Technological Change 1940-1970” (Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 1976), http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19786724002.html; Bruce H. Jennings, Foundations of International Agricultural Research: Science and Politics in Mexican Agriculture (Boulder: Westview Press, 1988); Vandana Shiva, “The Green Revolution in the Punjab,” The Ecologist 21, no. 2 (1991): 57–60; Cited in Holt Giménez and Shattuck, “Food Crises, Food Regimes and Food Movements.”
- 24. “Farm Bill Was Steagall, New Deal Stimulus,” DailyKos, February 2, 2009, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/02/06/693903/-Farm-Billwas-Steagall-N....
- vii. “Fencerow to fencerow” was a phrase coined by Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz. During this period, and under this production regime, the USDA asserted that “free trade” would negate any potential issue of overproduction.
- 25. Daryll E. Ray, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte, and Kelly Tiller, “Rethinking U.S. Agricultural Policy: Changing Course to Secure Farmer Livelihoods Worldwide” (University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, 2003), http://www.sidalc.net/cgi-bin/wxis.exe/?IsisScript=EARTH.xis&method=post&- formato=2&cantidad=1&expresion=mfn=007132.
- 26. Marty Strange, Family Farming: A New Economic Vision (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988); Cited in Holt Giménez and Shattuck, “Food Crises, Food Regimes and Food Movements.”
- 27. Ian T. Shearn, “Whose Side Is the American Farm Bureau On?,” The Nation, July 16, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168913/qwhose-side-american-farm-bureau.
- 28. Ed Dolan, “U.S. Corporate Profits at All-Time High as GDP Growth Holds at 2.5 Percent,” accessed May 1, 2015, http://www.economonitor.com/dolanecon/2013/09/26/us-corporate-profits-at....
- 29. john a. powell, “Poverty and Race Through a Belongingness Lens,” PolicyMatters 1, no. 5 (April 2012).
- 30. Meizhu Lui, The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide (New York: The New Press, 2006), 92.
- 31. Ibid., 94.
- 32. Ibid., 255.
- 33. Ibid., 93.
- 34. Joel Schor, “Black Farmers/farms: The Search for Equity,” Agriculture and Human Values 13, no. 3 (1996): 49, doi:10.1007/BF01538227.
- 35. Ibid.
- viii. These are two major points that will be discussed in further detail in Part III.
- 36. Ibid., 49–50.
- 37. “Black Farming History: Reconstruction (1866-1877) and Beyond,” PBS: Homecoming, n.d., http://www.pbs.org/itvs/homecoming/history1.html.
- 38. Holt Giménez and Shattuck, “Food Crises, Food Regimes and Food Movements.”
- 39. Ibid.
- 40. Sara Wyant, “Memories of Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz,” Agri-Pulse, February 10, 2008, http://www.agripulse.com/uploaded/021008.pdf; “Farm Bill 101” (Washington, D.C.: Food and Water Watch, 2012), http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/FarmBill101Report.pdf
- 41. Ray, De La Torre Ugarte, and Tiller, “Rethinking U.S. Agricultural Policy”; Cited in “Farm Bill 101.”
- 42. “Direct Government Payments by Program, United States, 1996-2009” (Washington, D.C.: USDA Economic Research Service), accessed May 2, 2015, http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products.aspx; Cited in “Farm Bill 101.”
- 43. Ray, De La Torre Ugarte, and Tiller, “Rethinking U.S. Agricultural Policy”; Cited in “Farm Bill 101.”
- 44. “Farm Bill 101.” Food and Water Watch, 2012, http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/FarmBill101Report.pdf
- 45. Ibid.
- ix. Part IV addresses in greater detail how exactly such commodity support programs disadvantage low-income communities and communities of color in particular.
- 46. David J. Lynch, “Safety Net for Crops Means $14 Billion Tab for Taxpayers,” Bloomberg, September 17, 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-09-10/crop-insurers-14-billi....
- 47. Dayen, “The Farm Bill Still Gives Wads of Cash to Agribusiness. It’s Just Sneakier About It.”
- x. Thus, a producer could have a sizeable harvest yet still receive an insurance payment if the amount they sold it for is less than what was established under the policy, which is generally the historical average.
- 48. Amy Mayer, “Farmers’ Farm Bill Decisions Will Influence Price Tag,” Iowa Public Radio, February 11, 2015, http://iowapublicradio.org/post/farmers-farm-bill-decisions-willinfluenc....
- 49. “Government Records Show Crop Insurance Subsidies Are A Boon To Big Farm Interests” (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Working Group, 2012), http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2012/05/31/government-records-show....
- xi. Although under current law, the names of individual businesses receiving support are withheld, a provision that maintained in the 2014 Farm Bill.
- xii. While labor is generally under the purview of the US Department of Labor, the Farm Bill’s role in helping increase corporate consolidation and influence with regard to the US food system highlights the importance of labor as major line of inquiry within this report.
- 50. “The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain” (Los Angeles: Food Chain Workers Alliance, 2012).
- 51. Ibid.
- 52. “Food Insecurity of Restaurant Workers” (New York: Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA), Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), Restaurant Opportunities Center of the Bay (ROC the Bay), Food First, 2014), http://rocny.org/ foodinsecurity/; Gail Wadsworth and Lisa Kresge, “Hunger in the Fields,” Civil Eats, September 26, 2011, http://civileats.com/2011/09/26/hunger-in-the-fields/; Brittany G. Hill et al., “Prevalence and Predictors of Food Insecurity in Migrant Farmworkers in Georgia,” American Journal of Public Health 101, no. 5 (May 2011): 831–33, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.199703.
- 53. “The Color of Food: Production, Processing, Distribution, and Service.”
- 54. Ibid.
- 55. “The Hands That Feed Us.”
- 56. Ibid.
- 57. “2012 Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in Private Industry (EEO-1), National Aggregate Report” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.).
- 58. “U.S. Department of Labor Enforcement in Agriculture: More Must Be Done to Protect Farmworkers Despite Recent Improvements” (Washington, D.C.: Farmworker Justice, 2015), http://www.farmworkerjustice.org/sites/default/files/FarmworkerJusticeDO....
- 59. “Report of Wage Survey of Willamette Valley Farmworkers Engaged in Piece-Rate Harvest of Selected Agricultural Products During 2009” (Woodburn, OR: Northwest Tree Planters and Farmworkers United (PCUN), 2009), http://www.ocpp.org/2011/Wage%20theft%20fact%20sheet%203.17.11.pdf
- 60. “Human Rights Alert: New Mexico’s Invisible and Downtrodden Workers” (Albuquerque: New Mexico Center on Law and Policy, 2013), http://nmpovertylaw.org/WP-nmclp/wordpress/WP-nmclp/wordpress/wp-content... Etan Newman et al., “No Way to Treat a Guest: Why the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program Fails U.S. and Foreign Workers” (Washington, D.C.: Farmworker Justice, 2012).
- 61. “Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Demographics” (Buda, TX: National Center for Farmworker Health, 2009), http://www.unctv.org/content/sites/default/files/0000011508-fs-Migrant%2....
- 62. “U.S. Department of Labor Enforcement in Agriculture: More Must Be Done to Protect Farmworkers Despite Recent Improvements.”
- 63. Newman et al., “No Way to Treat a Guest: Why the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program Fails U.S. and Foreign Workers.”
- xiii. According to a 2012 report by Farmworker Justice, there are several reasons why agricultural employers use guest workers in particular: (1) Foreign workers are economically desperate, as most H-2A workers come from home countries plagued by economic crises and poverty, the result, in part, of US foreign policy itself; (2) temporary workers lack full rights and cannot stay in the US beyond their work term with a particular employer; (3) employers can “hand-pick” a certain demographic of workers (mostly young men removed from daily family obligations), wherein US anti-discrimination laws do not apply to H-2A recruitment efforts abroad; (4) H-2A employers are exempt from paying Social Security and unemployment taxes on guest workers’ wages; (5) employers can avoid the wage demands of the labor market. Newman, Etan, Bruce Goldstein, Adrienne DerVartanian, Weeun Wang, Virginia Ruiz, and Jessica Felix-Romero. No Way to Treat a Guest: Why the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program Fails U.S. and Foreign Workers. Washington, D.C.: Farmworker Justice, 2012.
- 64. “Grocery Goliaths: How Food Monopolies Impact Consumers” (Washington, D.C.: Food and Water Watch, 2013), http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/grocery_goliaths.pdf#_ga=1.93....
- 65. “Walmart on Tax Day: How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family” (Washington, D.C.: Americans for Tax Fairness, April 2014), http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/files/Walmart-on-Tax-Day-American....
- 66. “The Hands That Feed Us.”
- xiv. Part II addresses in greater detail the subsidization of corporate profit vis-à-vis SNAP and other public assistance programs
- 67. Olivier de Schutter, “Building Resilience: A Human Rights Framework for World Food and Nutrition Security,” in Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development (Geneva: United Nations, 2008), http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/ docs/A.HRC.9.23.pdf.
- 68. Holt Giménez and Shattuck, “Food Crises, Food Regimes and Food Movements.”
- 69. Eric Holt- Giménez and Raj Patel, eds., Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (Oakland: Food First, 2009).
- 70. Bruce Babcock and Nick Paulson, “Potential Impact of Proposed 2012 Farm Bill Commodity Programs on Developing Countries” (Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, October 2012).
- 71. Paul Heisey, Kelly Day-Rubenstein, and John L. King, “Government Patenting and Technology Transfer,” SSRN Scholarly Paper (Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, February 1, 2006), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=899085; Cited in “Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agriculture.”
- 72. Philip Mirowski, Science-Mart: Privatizing American Science (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2011).
- 73. “Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agriculture.”
- 74. “USDA CRIS Annual Funding Http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/fsummaries.html,” n.d.
- 75. Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources et al., Publicly Funded Agricultural Research and the Changing Structure of U.S. Agriculture (National Academies Press, 2002); Cited in “Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agriculture.”
- 76. “Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agriculture.”
- 77. Ibid.
- 78. Haley Stein, “Intellectual Property and Genetically Modified Seeds: The United States, Trade, and the Developing World,” Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 3 (2004): 160.
- 79. Diamond v. Chakrabarty 447 U.S. 303 (1980), accessed May 2, 2015, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/447/303/case.html.
- 80. Stein, “Intellectual Property and Genetically Modified Seeds.”
- 81. Bowman v. Monsanto 569 U.S.11 (2013), n.d., accessed March 25, 2015; James Matson, Minli Tang, and Sarah Wynn, “Seeds, Patents, and Power: The Shifting Foundation of Our Food System,” SSRN Scholarly Paper (Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, November 1, 2014), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2525120.
- 82. Lowe, “Hundreds of Lobbying Interests Influenced the Farm Bill”; “Legislation and Records: Lobby Disclosure Act” (U.S. Senate Office of Public Records (OPR)), accessed April 22, 2015, http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/g_three_sections_with_tease....
- 83. Lowe, “Hundreds of Lobbying Interests Influenced the Farm Bill”; “Legislation and Records: Lobby Disclosure Act.”
- 84. John Ikerd, “Corporatization of Agricultural Policy,” Small Farm Today, 2010.
- 85. Lowe, “Hundreds of Lobbying Interests Influenced the Farm Bill.”
- 86. “Agricultural Research Funding in the Public and Private Sectors, 1970- 2006.”
- 87. Ibid.
- 88. “Public Research, Private Gain: Corporate Influence Over University Agriculture.”
- 89. Philip H. Howard, “Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008,” Sustainability 1, no. 4 (2009): 1266–87
- 90. Ernesto Dal Bó, “Regulatory Capture: A Review,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 22, no. 2 (2006): 203–25.
- 91. Philip H. Howard, “Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry.”
- 92. Zoë Carpenter, “How Congress Just Stuck It to Monsanto,” The Nation, October 17, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/blog/176719/howcongress-just-stuck-it-monsanto.