This article in The New Republic suggests that the U.S. government and U.S. corporations may use their control of the global supply of corn to solidify political leverage and increase their market dominance in nations that increasingly need the food. How can powerful multinationals locate opportunities to produce necessary foodstuffs and generate profit while benefitting society and the environment? The multi-faceted transnational processes that lead to complex relationships between companies, governments, and the communities they should be serving, can lead to practices that undermine people, their livelihoods, and their resilience. What are the opportunities, in situations like the one described here, to create shared value? Comments welcome.
"Activists in both China and the United States have raised concerns about just two corporations having so much influence over the world food supply, with so little transparency. (Despite repeated requests, DuPont Pioneer declined to participate in this story.)
But these fears, while well founded, miss the larger point of what such companies represent: the intent of the U.S. government to use food as an ever-more powerful point of leverage to wield over large, increasingly hungry nations like China. The prosecution of Mo Hailong and his circle stands as a warning to the Chinese government, issued through its proxy companies. The ears in the field, the seeds in the ground, even the pollen on the wind, are American-owned and American-protected. They are available to the world as food only if you agree to our conditions and are willing to pay our price."