Ray Cross, President , SUNY (State University of New York) Morrisville State College has an interesting article in the January 15, 2010 issue of Farm shine, entitled "Buy local: Your health will thank you."
Above the headline is a caption, "Over 17 million shipments of imported food come into the country each year." Dr. Cross states, "What it all boils down to is this: Buying local is no longer just an issue of supporting our local economy -- it is a matter of health." Dr. Cross then focuses on China and the common pollutants found in China.
The article is good, and I have no disagreement with Ray Cross. I would like to do however, is to go one step further and ask why Americans are offered food from China?
The simple answer to the question is, "Agreement on Agriculture" which entered into force on January 1, 1995 with the establishment of the World Trade Organization. Our government, the United States of America, was an active force in bringing this about. Their so-called three pillars, the first is "domestic support", the second is “market access” and the third is export subsidies.
World trade is why the global financial meltdown is so huge. The food which Ray Cross talks about is not brought from China by Chinese farmers turned sailors, sailing the high seas in Chinese junks. The food is brought by multinational companies with the blessing of our government.
Does the government care? Apparently not.
We have seen a year of crisis and tragedy on American dairy farms. Does the government care? With very few notable exceptions, apparently not. The motivation appears to be the same whether it is trade or tragedy.