Cargill: Key Player in Global Food Crisis

New Food & Water Watch Report Reveals the Damaging Impacts of Agribusiness Giant

May 12, 2008
6:30 PM

CONTACT: Food & Water Watch
Patty Lovera or Erin Greenfield
(202) 683-2457


Cargill: Key Player in Global Food Crisis
New Food & Water Watch Report Reveals the Damaging Impacts of Agribusiness Giant


WASHINGTON, DC – May 12 – While millions of people around the world face severe hunger, the handful of agribusiness corporations that dominate the global agricultural market are seeing huge profits. One of the key players in the global food market, Cargill, is profiled in a new report released today by the national consumer group Food & Water Watch. The report, entitled Cargill: A Corporate Threat to Food and Farming, details Cargill’s vast influence over international trade and how the company threatens consumers, family farmers, workers, the environment, and even entire economies around the world.

“Cargill is making enormous profit from the international trade system that is causing all this food instability around the world,” stated Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “This corporate behemoth is behind almost every aspect of the worldwide agricultural system with no accountability for consumer health, the environment or human rights.”

The name Cargill largely goes unnoticed by many consumers, yet their products appear on shelves in grocery stores and in menus at fast–food chains across the world. According to the report, Cargill has gained control over huge swaths of the world’s agriculture processing, storage, transport and trade, operating numerous business sectors and divisions. Cargill produces and markets chicken and egg products to McDonald’s in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, in addition to Pizza Hut, Burger King, and school cafeterias in the United States.

Cargill’s meat and poultry divisions are just a fraction of the products they control. The company deals with oilseeds, wheat, corn, biofuels, oils, lubricants, salts, health and pharmaceutical products and animal feed and fertilizers –– products that have contributed to environmental degradation both in the United States and abroad.

The report details the numerous threats Cargill’s operations pose to air, water and rainforests. Cargill is responsible for spilling toxic chemicals into the San Francisco Bay, releasing hazardous compounds into the air, and clearing South American rainforests to expand its production of soy and palm oil.

And it is not just controversies over global trade or environmental impacts that surround the company. Cargill is also linked to questionable food technologies such as irradiation, genetically modified foods, and the use of carbon monoxide to artificially enhance the color of meat long past its expiration date.

The report recommends action by Congress and regulators to rein in this agribusiness giant, as well as telling consumers how to opt out of Cargill’s model of industrial meat production.

To view the report Cargill: A Corporate Threat to Food and Farming, visit:

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