Asserting Democratic Control of Food and Agriculture

By Julie Madsen
June 28, 2002 Issue
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Asserting Democratic Control of Food and Agriculture, Dave Henson, HopeDance
Ecological activists have productively battled corporate agriculture in the last few decades, but the state of local and global farming is still in distress. The essence of the problem is the omnipotence of corporate agriculture, explains Dave Henson in HopeDance. Agribusiness controls everything from production to distribution, Henson notes, "using a revolving door of corruption between corporate management and the very government agencies charged with enforcing regulations." With this system, any progress toward sustainable agriculture can be quickly marginalized by industry leaders. He devised a three-part strategy to battle corporate agriculture's control: persistently "fight the fires" created by corporate harm; invent alternative ecological models; and dismantle the mechanisms of corporate rule, which will help the first two strategies succeed by mending the root of the problem. To cease the damage inflicted by the corporate control of farming, says Henson, the public must align itself with the farmer and take legislative control--changing constitutions, laws, and codes from the town-level and up in a democratic way.

--Abbie Jarman

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