Fed Up!

Fed Up!

2002, Environment  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 6.82/10 from 313 users.

In the harvest of 1999, 60% of Canada's canola crop, 90% of Argentina's soybean crop, 50% of the US' soybean crop, and 33% of the US' corn crop was genetically engineered. Industrial agriculture is damaging the basis for future production. We've got soil erosion, soil compaction, salinisation, water logging, destruction of beneficial biodiversity, loss of natural enemies of pest... and all that is occurring in an alarming rate.

Three things needed to come together to make the Green Revolution work. One was the development of specific high yield and often dwarf varieties of wheat, rice and corn that were derived by special outcrossing and hybridization techniques that Norman Borlaug perfected, working in Mexico and South-Western United States. Secondly there was a tremendous investment of funds from the Rockefeller foundation and the World Bank to assist poor countries to develop broader food base based on these resources. And third, there was tremendous availability, input and requirement for pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation which combined reinforced the value to a merchant commerce of supporting this type of agriculture.

The Ford and Rockefeller foundations in the '50s were concerned that if the issue of hunger in the third world wasn't addressed, than poor people in those countries would be ripe for communist subversion. The Green Revolution, which is really the introduction of chemical agriculture under forced circumstances, in India acted as an antidote to social change and reinforced the patterns of inequality. The smaller peasants lost their land because they couldn't afford to keep up with the credit payments linked to the Green Revolution, the usage of water skyrocketed which left huge land regions basically desertified, the agricultural diversity has been wiped out, and yes the production of rice and wheat has increased but that was not an absolute increase in food.

Faced with a choice of crop failures and resulting worldwide starvation, the use of pesticide and herbicides seems inevitable. Pesticides came out of the defense industry. The first modern synthetic chemical pesticides were derived from nerve gases developed by the Germans in World War II. They were made by simple changes in the molecules and instead of having their greatest toxicity for human beings they could have their greatest toxicity for insects.

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alonzo garcia
6 years ago

does anyone know where this film was filmed

7 years ago

I enjoyed this film so much I bought a copy for my home library. I appreciate the clips from old US propaganda films that were used a lot in our schools pre-1970.

This is a great film.

Claire Talltree
9 years ago

These statistics are 15 years old... just imagine what it is now! :-(

9 years ago

Thanks Magoo! I am already confused. I thought it was the same movie!

9 years ago

Why does the synposis say 60% of canola oil is genetically manufactured? It should be 100%, canalo oil is a GMO of rapeseed.

9 years ago

This is not the same movie as the big budget Katie Couric narrated movie coming out next month. It would be nice if they had googled the title of their movie before coming out with another food movie with the same name. It will lead to confusion. Incidentally, the original Fed Up is still quite relevant 12 years after it's release.

9 years ago

I'm hearing about this moving being released in theaters next month. This isn't the same movie is it?

9 years ago

Knowledge is power. We are products of our choices.

Unfolding pattern of the World
9 years ago

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Harry Nutzack
9 years ago

yeah, pretty much one sided, but at least they presented the opposing viewpoint, even if mostly in a dismissive manner. the quality of the doc is kind of spotty. some great old footage and propaganda, but too often short clips are used as background video to annoying music tracks, and narration that kind of gets drowned out. some decent points made, and i actually liked the use of cherry picked footage of the glassy eyed adherent of gmo from canada peppered through the doc. she comes off as a bit whacky, but also sincerely altruistic in her advocacy. it at least made her LOOK like she genuinely believed she was doing something "good" and "right", not just "legal", when they could have just as easily made her a personification of "corporate evil incarnate". their use of her counter-pointing assertions by protesters was also quite fair, in my eyes. the obvious source of the genetic contamination in the legacy mexican corn was completely ignored (those self same monarch butterflies that were killed off en masse by the variety of GMO corn that produced insecticidal pollen, who just happen to winter in northern mexico). so, a film of persuasion without a doubt, but not "over the top" propaganda. worth the watch, even if just to see the iron worker chowing down on a surfboard sized sandwich, lolol

Andy Gable
9 years ago

I don't think of this as a documentary film. This is presenting one side of the debate, which is less than what I expect from documentaries, though you can decide for yourself.
I wasn't impressed by the mixing of fact and opinion. For instance, an edit I would be happier with in the third paragraph would be "... were concerned with the issue of hunger in the third world being addressed. Some people believe this was because..." This is not a statement anyone could argue with. The filmmaker would retain their impartiality (if they want it) and the trust of most viewers.
The appropriate place to begin a scientific, unbiased look at an issue is at the beginning. Since there are many quotes in this film acknowledging that we don't know the danger of GMOs, perhaps that would have been something to investigate.
I enjoyed the retro clips at the beginning, but this piece seems as one sided and comical as those outdated films, albeit on the other side of the issue.