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18 ‘Food, Inc.’ Facts Everyone Should Know



This powerful film changed the way millions of Americans eat. Find out why.

1) In the 1970s, the top five beef packers controlled about 25% of the market. Today, the top four control more than 80% of the market.

2) In the 1970s, there were thousands of slaughterhouses producing the majority of beef sold. Today there are only 13.

3) Prior to renaming itself an agribusiness company, Monsanto was a chemical company that produced, among other things, DDT and Agent Orange.

4) In 1998, the USDA implemented microbial testing for salmonella and E. coli 0157h7 so that if a plant repeatedly failed these tests, the USDA could shut down the plant. After being taken to court by the meat and poultry associations, the USDA no longer has that power.

5) In 1996 when Monsanto introduced Round-Up Ready Soybeans, the company controlled only 2% of the U.S. soybean market. Now, over 90% of soybeans in the U.S. contain Monsanto’s patented gene.

6) In 1972, the FDA conducted 50,000 food safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted only 9,164.

7) During the Bush administration, the head of the FDA, Lester M. Crawford Jr., was the former executive VP of the National Food Processors Association.

8) During the Bush administration, the chief of staff at the USDA, James F. Fitzgerald, was the former chief lobbyist for the beef industry in Washington.

9) The average chicken farmer (with two poultry houses) invests over $500,000 and makes only $18,000 a year.

10) Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas was an attorney at Monsanto from 1976 to 1979. After his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion in a case that helped Monsanto enforce its seed patents.

11) Approximately 32,000 hogs a day are killed in Smithfield Hog Processing Plant in Tar Heel, N.C, the largest slaughterhouse in the world.

12) The average American eats over 200 lbs. of meat a year.

13) The modern supermarket stocks, on average, 47,000 products, most of which are being produced by only a handful of food companies.

14) About 70% of processed foods have some genetically modified ingredient.

15) The SB63 Consumer Right to Know measure, requiring all food derived from cloned animals to be labeled as such, passed the California state legislature before being vetoed in 2007 by Governor Schwarzenegger, who said that he couldn’t sign a bill that pre-empted federal law.

16) According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will contract early onset diabetes. Among minorities, the rate will be 1 in 2.

17) E. coli and salmonella outbreaks have become more frequent in America. In 2007, there were 73,000 people sickened by the E. coli bacteria.

18) Organics is the fastest growing food segment, increasing 20% annually.

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