MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Bretton Woods Institutions and the Accelerated Dystopian Transformation of the Food Industry

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2022

Subsequently, in 2020, the IMF stressed the importance of raising the prices of “land-intensive food (for example, beef).” This would help reduce the consumption of animal products by shifting “consumer preferences away” from items like meat, milk, and egg products. In essence, the IMF supports having “taxes levied” on “meat, dairy, and ultra-processed food” in order to “discourage their overconsumption.” 

Time for “World” and “International” institutions to go. Oh ya, guess who is paying for them.

https://mises.org/wire/bretton-woods-institutions-and-accelerated-dystopian-transformation-food-industry

Birsen Filip

The global food industry is currently undergoing a major transformation in the name of averting “climate change” that will involve the adoption of new technologies in the production process and the creation of alternative food products for consumption. Facilitating this transition has become a key priority of many international organizations and institutions, including the World Economic Forum (WEF), the United Nations, and the Bretton Woods institutions, which consist of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

However, while the role of the WEF in the “Great Food Transformation” has been garnering more attention in recent months, those of the IMF, World Bank and WTO have gone relatively unnoticed. Like the WEF, these institutions have been highlighting the negative effects of the agriculture sector on the climate over the past few years, primarily “crop cultivation and livestock production.” They also claim that, in addition to being detrimental to the environment, meat and dairy products are “unhealthy” foods. According to the IMF, “reducing livestock emissions” is among the key actions needed to meet the “climate neutrality target [also known as net-zero emissions] by 2050,” which will also include “replacing polluting coal, gas and oil-fired power with energy from renewable sources, such as wind or solar” in over 120 countries. With respect to agriculture, the IMF advises “diversifying away from beef production” by “applying enhanced farm management practices and new technologies.”

In fact, the IMF published an article in 2019 urging radical changes on the supply side of food production in order to decrease “emissions in agriculture.” Specifically, this article stated that

global production and consumption of red meat (especially beef) and dairy will need to be cut by about 50 percent, through substitution of proteins supplied by plants. Urgent action in the top three beef (United States, Brazil, European Union) and dairy (United States, India, China) producers is key. Second, a large-scale shift is needed away from conventional monoculture agriculture toward practices that support biodiversity, such as organic and mixed crop-livestock farming, sustainable soil management, and ecosystem restoration. Denmark and the Netherlands were among the first countries to announce ambitious organic transformation plans.

Subsequently, in 2020, the IMF stressed the importance of raising the prices of “land-intensive food (for example, beef).” This would help reduce the consumption of animal products by shifting “consumer preferences away” from items like meat, milk, and egg products. In essence, the IMF supports having “taxes levied” on “meat, dairy, and ultra-processed food” in order to “discourage their overconsumption.” According to the IMF:

The average US retail price of a Big Mac, for example, is around $5.60. But with all the hidden expenses of meat production (including health care, subsidies, and environmental losses) the full burden on society is a hefty $12 per sandwich—a price that, if actually charged, could more than halve the US demand for burgers…. Likewise, a gallon of milk would run $9 instead of $3.50 and a store-bought, two-pound package of pork ribs would jump from $12 to $32.

It appears that, much like the WEF, the IMF is so committed to achieving “a Great Food Transformation” that it openly endorses using a centrally planned system to set the quantities and prices of food products to be sold instead of allowing them to be determined through voluntary exchanges in the marketplace, even though this would bring about the demise of economic freedom. The IMF also supports measures aimed at preventing individuals from consuming “animal products for breakfast or lunch.” To encourage the acceptance of these ideas and changes on the part of the people, the IMF has called for promoting the notion that such “dietary changes would entail health benefits as well as public spending savings.”

According to the IMF, achieving “a Great Food Transformation” will also require the redirection of state subsidies and loans toward “sustainable farms producing plant-based protein for human consumption and toward incentives for innovation on alternative proteins and smart farming technologies.” It would also involve “removing tax expenditure favoring products with emission-intensity,” such as “dairy/meat products,” and “providing financial support to R&D initiatives on emission reduction and carbon capture in agriculture.” Additionally, the IMF is of the view that stripping financial institutions of the ability to “lend to nonsustainable agri-food firms” would “provide essential support to a Great Food Transformation.”

See the rest here

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