Soy and submission: On the subject of "solidarity soy"

Soy and submission: On the subject of

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By Luis E. Sabini Fernández

Hunger has to do with unemployment and unemployment with the expulsion of rural workers and small farmers, all of them "eliminated" through "economy of scale", as it is misleadingly called to mask the use of "technological packages. "programmed for large surfaces (" agro-industrial ").

When what happened is observed with the distance that time gives and with the attributes that one can then assign to such events, everything is easy, at least much easier than when one is immersed in the events, present, acting.

The country is, for example, in a process of relative monoculturation (but monoculturation in the end) and those of us who live immersed in it and in everyday life do not generally perceive such features. Instead, the process of progressive indebtedness of the country is visible; In other words, some areas of the present reality are at least relatively observable and others are hidden from the bulk of the population; they are invisible.

To understand the problem of time distance, let us go through an episode together, overwhelming for its results, which occurred just a few decades ago and just here, beyond the Atlantic. The Swiss company Nestlé, the largest dairy company in the world, surely, had launched breast milk substitute powders on the market. The markets of the rich countries had seized such products with relish. In order not to deform the breast, after all, women are not cows to have udders, to improve the nutrition of babies since laboratories conscientiously arrive at a hyper-balanced diet that ignorant mothers could never equate with natural, vulgar milk maternal.

The birth rate continued its decline in the enriched countries, jeopardizing the rates of profit obtained and, to top it off, the observations of some doctors and other scholars began to emerge, warning that breast milk gave the baby an immunity that industrial powders were totally incapable of to offer, that breast milk had a series of substances and trace elements that no synthetic preparation could achieve, that nutrition based on scientific and industrial preparations made babies fatter, portending endocrine and other diseases later in life, etc.

But the advertising machine had already installed the "technical advances" in the consumed or consuming heads. And that same machine was eager for new markets, that is, not to lower the returns on capital. For this reason, in the sixties, with "Lactogen", "Nan" and other brands landed in Africa. Once again the persuasive machinery: mothers of sub-Saharan Africa (the poorest region on the planet, almost forty more or less national states, more than twenty million km2, more than 450 million inhabitants, about ten Argentines) were given a jar powdered baby milk, substitute for breast milk. They were given that first jar. To start them. Then they started selling them.

The purchasing power of African families was not in line with First World prices. In most countries, the cost of feeding a baby this way absorbed more than half of any average salary. And situations surely not foreseen by anyone began to emerge. Mothers "stretched" the substitute milk to spend less. Without realizing that the children were being undernourished. "If she's so wonderful, a little less won't do anything to her," they would console themselves. On the other hand, the device created in Switzerland "worked" in countries such as Switzerland, Germany or France, with more or less reliable running water and with excess energy availability. But in the impoverished countries of South Africa, water was unreliable, often undrinkable, and boiling it cost energy that many households or mothers were unable to afford. The bottles were made, alas, too often with infected or contaminated water.

Babies also lost the natural immunity that breastfeeding provides. As a result, they began to be even much more exposed to diseases than before (in a very few years, infant mortality in the region doubled).

Some time later, in the nineties, it was going to be known that the polycarbonate bottles that were already being spread also altered the endocrine systems of those who ingested their contents (plastic is a very unreliable product as a container because it is not inert).

To top it all off, the modernizing wave, substituting breast milk for laboratory "milk", cut the rhythms of natural infertility that breastfeeding causes in more than 90% of mothers. As a result, African couples often had three babies in the same period in which they used to have only one (traditional breastfeeding is about two years). They had more babies. And many more were dying.

Nestlé's rampant "modernization" took the lives of millions of sub-Saharan children. The precise figures will surely never be known.

Although the company tried to maintain "the conquered market", clarifying that its objective was to reach only the rich (David Cox, president of Ross Laboratories, Economics of Feeding Infants and Young Children in Developing Countries, cit. P. French Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins, L'industrie de la faim, Éditions L'etincelle Quebec, Canada, will clarify that it is pure coincidence if the promotional campaigns reach the less well-off, something that the cited authors deny through categorical data: Nestlé staff propagated the products in maternity wards "duly" uniformed in white as if they were nurses; advertising was propagated in local, popular dialects), the progressive clarification of the situation, opposition from within the victimized countries and from outside, from solidarity networks, He managed - unfortunately late for millions of tragedies - to stop the genocide years later, with the damage nailed to African societies, with their families die with at least one generation totally altered and weakened (it would have to be seen, as a hypothesis, to what extent this episode has not had a primary impact on the devastation caused by SADI -acquired immune deficiency syndrome, called AIDS- in the Africa since the eighties).

And now let's go back to today's Argentina. The Association of Direct Sowing Producers, Argentine soybean seedlings, Boy Scouts, Rotarians, the media Lita de Lázzari, the mainstay of the military dictatorship, as well as Juan Alemann and the North American company Monsanto, which "is with Argentina." As stated in the publicity that it systematically gives to the progressive or "left" programs of the Argentine dial, they have launched a campaign called "Solidarity Soy" to feed the hungry.

Suspiciously, the publicized panacea comes from the hands of those who have used or caused, depending on the case, the present situation of hunger. Because hunger has to do with unemployment and unemployment with the expulsion of rural workers and small farmers, all of them "eliminated" through "economy of scale", as it is misleadingly called to mask the use of "packages. technological "programmed for large surfaces (" agro-industrial ").

The expelled leaves the field and languishes in the suburbs. And those who stayed with their land, who did without their arms are now approaching to give it beans, and fill its belly ...

This operation has different facets that deserve to be analyzed:

1. These crusaders speak of "teaching to eat." Because historically, soy is totally alien to our diets (except among vegetarians). As if the hungry don't know how to cook. And eat. And eat varied, as is the historically real thing in Argentina. With this pedagogical attitude they manage to place the poor and indigent in the condition of ignorant. They subalternize them a little more than they already are due to unemployment and hunger.

The hungry are thus subjected to the condition of pupils first. A new discipline to ward off all rebellion.

2. The representatives of the "Soja solidarity" say they offer the 1 & # 8240; of their crops. If the solidarity they proclaim was true, as Diego Domínguez and Pablo Sabatino (members of the GER, Rural Studies Group, UBA Social Faculty) point out very well, they could deliver the 1 & # 8240; of their lands, instead of beans; the fishing rod instead of the fish. With such an extension, millions of unemployed and deprived inhabitants of livelihood, could decently recover food, nutritious and varied through work. But nothing could be further from the soy donors than promoting dignity and autonomy; they seek, precisely the opposite, to deepen the dependence, charity and submission of the "graceful".

3. The soy produced in the country is more than 95% transgenic. GM soy is not the same as classic soy and it is not even the same as conventional soy (produced with agrochemicals). It has other levels of amino acids, isoflavones and other components. The presumed scientific foundation used by the investors of genetic engineering and the public regulators who approved its production by regulation (since not legally, since there are no laws on the matter in the country), the concept of substantial equivalence, is scientifically untenable. Jorge Kaczewer, physician and research analyst in this regard, summarizes the traits of GM soybeans as follows: "the positive qualities of soybeans decrease in GM, the defects inherent in soybeans are accentuated in GM".

4. 99% of the soy produced in the country is exported. Precisely because it is not socially incorporated into the country's diet. About half go to East and Southeast Asian consumer markets, for humans. Another half goes primarily to Europe, as fodder.
The soy that is offered to the indigent and poor in the country is the cheapest. It is the forage. The one that is exported for European pigs and cows. This soy can legally contain up to one hundred times more agrochemical residues than that destined for human consumption (20 ppm of glyphosate in forage versus 0.2 ppm in soy for human consumption).

5. In the Far East, 95% of soybeans are consumed fermented. Only 5% are consumed cooked (or raw). The various fermentation processes learned by the Chinese and Japanese over millennia have allowed them to make soybeans more digestible. Consequently, the recipe book for "the Argentine panacea", which is almost all based on cooked soybeans, ignores the serious drawbacks of this form of consumption. Ignorance will be paid for by the bodies of the poor who now want to feed themselves on soybeans. The aforementioned Kaczewer (author of Transgenic Soy, Glyphosate and Trout Science: The New Argentine Solidarity Combo) summarizes the state of the country: "Until December 2001 [through the policy of fait accompli], those who have the of people had succeeded in introducing (transgenic) soy to half the population who bought in supermarkets (because 70% of processed food contains soy in various variants, from textured protein to lecithin, in pastries, hamburgers, cookies, ice cream , stuffed with pasta, etc.); since then they have been trying to introduce the same soybeans to the other half of the population that does not have the purchasing power to buy processed food in supermarkets and is fed, increasingly, through municipal, school and school canteens. other more or less welfare forms. Thus, they have managed to put the whole country in the condition of guinea pigs. "

6. At the national meeting called by Hilda "Chiche" de Duhalde for a "National Food and Nutrition Plan" in July this year, hundreds of nutritionists and pediatric doctors called to define guidelines established "Soy incorporation criteria" ( p. 18 of the summary of the aforementioned meeting):

"Due to its high content of phytates, it interferes with the absorption of iron and zinc; it is not a good source of calcium either [...]

"It is recommended [...] not to name the drink obtained from soy (juice) as" milk "as it does not substitute it in any way.

[…] They discourage the use [of soy] in children under five years of age and especially in those under two years of age. "

The transcribed provisions have been suspiciously ignored by the "Soja solidaria" campaign and its spokespersons such as Clarín Rural and the rural organizations belonging to the soy complex. Despite the fact that these are resolutions stemming from a convocation of the Argentine national government, not from a league of fundamentalist ecologists or irreducible critics.

Attentive pediatricians understand it absolutely criminal to substitute any type of milk (preferably breast milk, but even the vaccine) for soy juice. Because soybeans have a direct decalcifying effect due to its phosphoric content. That is why they are considered risk groups for ingesting soy: pregnant, lactating, infants, mature women (due to osteoporosis), homeless (due to their deficiency in minerals such as iron and calcium).

7. Argentina has been characterized by having a relatively varied diet (the deployment of a cuisine such as Mediterranean or Mexican is not part of the national culture, but it is also far from a monodiet) fruit of the fertility of the soil. Not only the rich, but also the poor ate meat, vegetables, cereals in many different ways. Roasts, salads, stews, pasta, empanadas, creams, bread, pizza, cheeses, fruits, were not exclusive to the upper classes. Why this food redesign according to which the rich will continue to eat the traditional and the poor have to learn to eat soy and make it their staple food?

8. Imperial or imperialist networks have always configured single-producer countries. Concentrated on the export of "their" product (sometimes, not even indigenous), never for their own benefit, always for the satisfaction of the metropolis. It is a classic definition of a dependent relationship. To break any autonomous development. Thus, we have had Cuba as an example of a sugar monoculture and we still have the Dominican Republic with the same product, Honduras as the "banana republic" par excellence, Senegal as a single peanut producer, and similarly with other non-food products, such as Venezuela or Saudi Arabia with oil, Sudan, Chad or Mali with cotton, and a long etcetera. (In the case of the "cotton" countries, the hunger twist comes because for the monoproduction of cotton and the establishment of the textile industry that moved from Europe to Africa, subsistence agriculture and for local or internal consumption have been destroyed) .

What was colonialism if not the conversion of local economies to economies destined to "export" what the metropolises wanted? If it is the function that makes the organ, the turn so much touted by the United States to an economy of exporting basic products as a "path of development" is but the reissue on a much larger scale of the old unequal exchange now neocolonial or neo-imperialist between enriched zones and impoverished zones of the planet. Rather "path of dependency".

In Argentina, soybean cultivation displaces livestock, devastates native forest, shrinks corn, sunflower, and other legumes… are we on the way to monoculturation? If the holders of planetary food power manage to get away with it, they will turn one of the planet's orchards - the Pampas and foothills - into a huge factory supplying oilseeds of very low quality for the entire world. Losing meats and cereals of the best planetary quality. And further shackling the destiny of Argentine society to the ups and downs of agricultural markets ruled from Chicago, Philadelphia, or other emporiums of the same origin.

Will we get to import wheat or corn, being, yes, the main world exporters of soybeans? Such an occurrence now seems crazy to us. But we should learn to see the direction in which we are going. Taiwan was always a producer of rice, the basic food of the population. But the US "taught" them to eat wheat (poor food quality lactal-type bread chains) and succeeded in turning Taiwan into a rice exporter (due to the displacement suffered in food). The Taiwanese food conversion of the sixties and seventies was an excellent business for the US and its wheat surpluses ...

Monoculturation has always meant hunger, dependency, loss of quality of life for many, many inhabitants of the countries that suffer from it and sometimes, tragically, the destruction of the population. It is always carried out under the slogan of "modernization", now the addition of "technological" has become fashionable. That shapes societies with a huge and incredibly miserable base and a tiny and insanely powerful top (in the middle, a meager middle layer, for general functioning, administration, health, transportation, finance, entertainment, etc.).

9. In light of what is happening to the sub-Saharan countries that make up almost a tenth of humanity, in many of which there is a permanent decline in life expectancy (due to hunger, tuberculosis and SADI-AIDS ) and what some American hierarchs declare, very loose of language to base their food delivery policy: "Providing food to a country simply because its inhabitants are starving is a very, very weak reason" (cit. Moore Lappé and Collins, op.cit.), One cannot stop thinking about "the classification by thirds", the health policy that in a state of emergency and scarcity has been carried out in some war scenarios (the wounded are divided into three groups: the slightly wounded are left to themselves, the seriously wounded receive the concentrated efforts of the entire service, and the very seriously wounded who are deemed irrecoverable are also left to their fate). One wonders if sub-Saharan Africa is not taking the third third place.

The gulf that separates the living conditions of the enriched countries of the planet and black Africa continues to deepen. We could begin to wonder how far the holders of planetary power are capable of going.

The strong exclusion to which populations in particular in impoverished countries are being subjected, but even in enriched countries, suggests that those who have some control over the availability of the planet's goods have come to the conclusion that there is no way to universalize the assets available to the wealthy population of the planet today.

For example, increasing the current vehicle fleet until all the inhabitants of the planet have the number of cars available to the US population (almost one per inhabitant), that is to say, five times the number until it reaches at least five One billion units would be too much for the planet's air (regardless of how nightmarish such an "advance" could be for other reasons). The US, with 6% of the world's population, consumes between a third and a half of all the goods on Earth. Well, there is not enough material for the rest of the population to use as much water, as much steel, energy, wheat, plastics, paper, machines, telephones, meat, as the Americans and the majority of the inhabitants of a small number of countries and cities.

The strategists of US food policy know who they are directing their efforts to: André Van Dam, planner in the seventies of the entry into Latin America of processed foods such as mayonnaise, peanut butter or broth with glutamate, explained in 1975: "Within ten years Latin America will have 444 million inhabitants [it is also very bad statistics, the misnamed Latin American population walks by such figures in 2002, not in 1985] Of these, a fifth will have enough money to be able to buy almost all the products that you sell One third will have enough to buy some occasionally. The rest, half, will not be your customers and will continue to live with the minimum subsistence level. This market varies by country, depending on the product, but viewed globally it will double the size of the current market. " (cit. Moore Lappé and Collins, op. cit.). It is pristinely reflected how big capital is not concerned with the satisfaction of all human needs but precisely those of some (needs that, on the other hand, they themselves configure).

The excluded population thus becomes a "surplus" population. Surplus for a life project that preserves the waste and the standard of living available to a minority on the planet. An impoverishing food policy, a curtailed health care are ways of carrying out a policy to "shrink the surplus." In less mellifluous language, this is called genocide.

10. The damage of the campaign "Soya solidarity" is already beginning to be seen. Not yet the physical damage, but already the mental or ideological damage: there are poor and naive mothers who have suspended breastfeeding to give their beloved baby "the best"; "soy milk", accepting at once the propaganda of the soy complex (registered in hospitals in Greater Buenos Aires).

This type of episode shows the extent of the brainwashing underway. It may be a "snowball" that has just begun to move.

Those who have power are aware of the limits of the planet even if they do not confess it. That is why they are determined to lower the food quality of "others", of "those who do not count" (never their own, although the consumption of the rich per capita multiplies by several dozen that of the poor). That is why they are equally determined to "resize", never their own luxuries but the needs of others. Nor do they confess what resizing means or what it ends in: population reduction.

If Argentine society does not know how to defend itself against this new offensive by the centers of power, it will be increasingly "functional". Functional to current power, not to life.

* Luis E. Sabini Fernández
[email protected]

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