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ADM [Archer Daniels Midland] and Cargill

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Nov. 27 (EIRNS)--ONLY TWO FIRMS, ADM AND CARGILL, CONTROL THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL GRAIN TRADED BETWEEN NATIONS, estimates Dr. William Heffernan in his interview with EIR, which will appear in the Dec. 3 issue, headlined "Cartel Monoculture Threatens Nations' Food Supplies." Heffernan, based in Missouri, has documented the increasing control over agriculture commodities, processing, and marketing that has taken place in the past 30 years. In his Nov. 17 interview, he said, that "the two companies prefer to say that 'they have only 8% or 9% of the grain that moves in the world' today.... That is within nations, as well as between countries. So I'm looking at what moves between countries, and they're up over three-fourths."

"But when I say, 'handle'--Cargill has their own steel mills. They make their own barges. They have their own barge lines. They have their own shipping lines. They have their own telecommunications system basically, all set up. They're in the commodity markets all over the world." Heffernan stresses the control all along the line, from the grocery shelf back through to the seedstocks and farm inputs.

RETAIL FOOD: In only a three to four year period, since 1999, in food retailing, "the top five firms--usually we use top four, but in this case, the top five firms--had basically gone from 24% of the market share to about 42%." Heffernan describes the rapid pace of this takeover process, "the globalization of the retail firms. So that Carrefour out of France, Royal Ahold out of the Netherlands, and Wal-Mart are, basically, just going gangbusters in Central and South America.

"In Africa, the Big Three global players are not there yet, but firms out of Southern Africa, especially the Union of South Africa [sic], are doing the same in Africa even.... And it sets the stage for these other three to, probably, move into Africa, once the chains get established."

"So now we're really talking {on a global basis}--the system that we talked about earlier in terms of those who provide the chemicals, and the seeds, and those types of things, now it really is all the way to the retail sector."

SEEDSTOCKS: "You basically have five firms at the global level now that really control the seed stocks... Monsanto; DuPont; Dow; Syngenta, which is out of Europe; Bayer....And, those same five firms, and one other firm with them,

probably have well over 75% of the agri-chemicals. And now come some changes in fertilizers. For instance, in this country, as of 2005, about 50% to 60% of the fertilizer used in this country will be from Cargill. Thus, he continued, 'all three of the major inputs are really controlled--seedstocks, chemicals, and fertilizers--' and Cargill has about 15% of the global production of potash and the potassium."

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