The Danger of Bill Gates Owning Huge Portions of U.S. Farmland
What is the danger of Bill Gates buying up massive amounts of farmland? The principal danger not his professed support of sustainable agriculture (often found in philanthropic work) – it’s the monopolistic role they play in determining our food systems and land use patterns. He’s not alone in the pursuit of farmland monopoly. China is also in the hunt and buying up land.
From Flopping Aces. [Bill Gates] . . . is buying up farmland at an alarming rate.
They own the soil where the potatoes in McDonald’s french fries grow, the carrots from the world’s largest producer and the onions that Americans sauté every night for dinner. But they’re far better known for their work in tech and in trying to save the climate.
Bill and Melinda Gates, who recently announced they’re getting divorced and are dividing their assets, are deeply invested in American agriculture. The billionaire couple, in less than a decade, have accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, more than the entire acreage of New York City. The farmland was purchased through a constellation of companies that all link back to the couple’s investment group, Cascade Investments, based in Kirkland, Washington.
Nick Estes puts a point on it
The principal danger of private farmland owners like Bill Gates is not their professed support of sustainable agriculture often found in philanthropic work – it’s the monopolistic role they play in determining our food systems and land use patterns….
He’s not alone in the pursuit of farmland monopoly. China is also in the hunt.
In less than a decade, China’s stake in American farmland has grown exponentially. Records from the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act show that Chinese acquisitions “rose from less than 10 annually” before 2008 to “12 to 25 each year during 2008-13.” In 2007, China bought six farms, all in California. The next year, they had bought 30 outside California, in Arizona, Texas and Missouri….
It’s getting scary.
The biggest Chinese agricultural investment in the U.S. came in 2013, when the Bank facilitated the largest acquisition of an American company to date: the $4.7 billion purchase of Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork producer, by the Shuanghui Group. The 146,000 acres of land that Shuanghui thereby gained made it one of the largest foreign owners of U.S. property.
Higgins says that this kind of consumption of farmland by foreign entities is starting to cause concern. “One of the main reasons that we’re watching this … is because once a foreign entity buys up however many acres they want, Americans might never be able to secure that land again. So, once we lose it, we may lose it for good….”
It’s said that China wants to solidify a food supply chain. Supply chain- that might sound familiar to you.
These two stories alone are bad enough but there is a glue that binds them.
Money. Bill Gates is no longer pro-America. Gates no longer considers himself an American but rather a transcendent world citizen. He, though, is an overt ally of China….
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(Excerpt from Flopping Aces. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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