Government needs to change its policies on the food chain in the UK
The UK government seems hell-bent on pushing forward GM crops and a scientific approach to the growth of the food chain in UK. After all the scares we have had over the last 25 years with foot and mouth, BSE, bird flu and of course the horse-meat scandal; the government and the FSA try to reassure us that it is all good and safe! You can here all the politicians singing out the happy song of Monty pythons ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ shouting “Don’t worry!”
Nevertheless, here we are only a few months later after the horse-meat scandal, and we have more condemned meat entering the food chain on a large scale.
The government is quick to blame criminals as if there is a Mr Big controlling a meat network setup to foil the FSA’s so called water tight food chain system when in fact the Mr Big’s are a many and in charge of large global companies. The Mr Big’s of-course have the ‘foot soldiers’ who are the managers of the factories who all get a nice bonus for the large profits they make, all of these facts totally ignored by the politicians. So the food scams will continue and the ministers will continue to call them to downing Street and chastise the ‘Mr Bigs’ and tell them not to be ‘naughty little boys’ again “but of course our party will accept any donations to the party coffers!”.
Is the government waiting for the inevitable catastrophic epidemic before it changes its policies towards the food chain? We could have had a epidemic scenario when bird flu was imported to the country by the Bernard Mathews factory. All the government did was give them a huge grant! Unbelievable! Such an epidemic could have led to cries in UK streets of ‘bring out your dead’ reminiscent of the black plague imported once again from afar; today, we have to identify the modern day rats making profits and putting our health at risk, and act against them before it’s too late.
So, what can be done to stop the string of catastrophes in the food chain? Adam Smith over 200 years ago recommended a nation of farmers served by a nation of shop-keepers. The government needs to encourage a self sufficient food chain built on small community co-operations that shy away from the big multi-billion pound corporations that dominate the food chain today. We have plenty of excellent land for the growth of animals that can be fed on grass and to grow vegetables free from pesticides. Instead the country side is dominated by ‘yellow fields and soya plants.
So how can we protect our food chain? It can be achieved by a change in policy by government to down scale our food chains and encourage local co-operatives and small farm holders that will serve communities with food of real value to our health. It might sound complicated but it isn’t and will create employment and in the long term bring down prices, reduce packaging and reduce the wasted food mountain we have become accustomed to.
By providing grants and funds for small businesses that are easily accessible rather than the current schemes that are exploited by big companies and unknown and unattainable for small business. Recently, I applied for a grant from the government to help me develop my business but cancelled my application when I learned I had to pay £1500 per month to receive £1500 a month! On the other side, supermarkets and other big companies receive millions and millions of pounds in grants because they have the know how, money and people to exploit the schemes.
Also, whilst encouraging high street growth, they could stop supermarkets from dominating our shopping habits and our food chains.
The politicians have the knowledge to do this but not the ‘political will’ and I fear that we will have further catastrophes before the real questions are asked and answered; thus we will have to look forward to George Orwell’s green and blue tablets for our sustenance, god help us.