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Seeds of Destruction: The Diabolical World of Genetic Manipulation
« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2016, 08:22:37 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/seeds-of-destruction-the-diabolical-world-of-genetic-manipulation/25303


Seeds of Destruction: The Diabolical World of Genetic Manipulation
PREFACE. This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO.
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, January 26, 2016
Global Research 12 September 2013
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO


“Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”* -Henry Kissenger

“Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by F. William Engdahl is a skillfully researched book that focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread.

This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO.  Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms. The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.

Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and world peace.

What follows is the Preface to ”Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by F. William Engdahl (available through Global Research):

Introduction

    “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so,we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”
    -George Kennan, US State Department senior planning official, 1948

This book is about a project undertaken by a small socio-political elite, centered, after the Second World War, not in London, but in Washington. It is the untold story of how this self-anointed elite set out, in Kennan’s words, to “maintain this position of disparity.” It is the story of how a tiny few dominated the resources and levers of power in the postwar world.

It’s above all a history of the evolution of power in the control of a select few, in which even science was put in the service of that minority. As Kennan recommended in his 1948 internal memorandum, they pursued their policy relentlessly, and without the “luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”

Yet, unlike their predecessors within leading circles of the British Empire, this emerging American elite, who proclaimed proudly at war’s end the dawn of their American Century, were masterful in their use of the rhetoric of altruism and world-benefaction to advance their goals. Their American Century paraded as a softer empire, a “kinder, gentler” one in which, under the banner of colonial liberation, freedom, democracy and economic development, those elite circles built a network of power the likes of which the world had not seen since the time of Alexander the Great some three centuries before Christ—a global empire unified under the military control of a sole superpower, able to decide on a whim, the fate of entire nations.

This book is the sequel to a first volume, A Century ofWar: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. It traces a second thin red line of power. This one is about the control over the very basis of human survival, our daily provision of bread. The man who served the interests of the postwar American-based elite during the 1970’s, and came to symbolize its raw realpolitik, was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Sometime in the mid-1970’s, Kissinger, a life-long practitioner of “Balance of Power” geopolitics and a man with more than a fair share of conspiracies under his belt, allegedly declared his blueprint for world domination: “Control the oil and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”

The strategic goal to control global food security had its roots decades earlier, well before the outbreak of war in the late 1930’s. It was funded, often with little notice, by select private foundations, which had been created to preserve the wealth and power of a handful of American families.

Originally the families centered their wealth and power in New York and along the East Coast of the United States, from Boston to New York to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. For that reason, popular media accounts often referred to them, sometimes with derision but more often with praise, as the East Coast Establishment.

The center of gravity of American power shifted in the decades following the War. The East Coast Establishment was overshadowed by new centers of power which evolved from Seattle to Southern California on the Pacific Coast, as well as in Houston, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Miami, just as the tentacles of American power spread to Asia and Japan, and south, to the nations of Latin America.

In the several decades before and immediately following World War II, one family came to symbolize the hubris and arrogance of this emerging American Century more than any other. And the vast fortune of that family had been built on the blood of many wars, and on their control of a new “black gold,” oil.

What was unusual about this family was that early on in the building of their fortune, the patriarchs and advisors they cultivated to safeguard their wealth decided to expand their influence over many very different fields. They sought control not merely over oil, the emerging new energy source for world economic advance. They also expanded their influence over the education of youth, medicine and psychology, foreign policy of the United States, and, significant for our story, over the very science of life itself, biology, and its applications in the world of plants and agriculture.

For the most part, their work passed unnoticed by the larger population, especially in the United States. Few Americans were aware how their lives were being subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, influenced by one or another project financed by the immense wealth of this family.

In the course of researching for this book, a work nominally on the subject of genetically modified organisms or GMO, it soon became clear that the history of GMO was inseparable from the political history of this one very powerful family, the Rockefeller family, and the four brothers—David,Nelson, Laurance and John D. III—who, in the three decades following American victory in World War II, the dawn of the much-heralded American Century, shaped the evolution of power George Kennan referred to in 1948.

In actual fact, the story of GMO is that of the evolution of power in the hands of an elite, determined at all costs to bring the entire world under their sway.

Three decades ago, that power was based around the Rockefeller family. Today, three of the four brothers are long-since deceased, several under peculiar circumstances.However, as was their will, their project of global domination—“full spectrum dominance” as the Pentagon later called it—had spread, often through a rhetoric of “democracy,” and was aided from time to time by the raw military power of that empire when deemed necessary. Their project evolved to the point where one small power group, nominally headquartered in Washington in the early years of the new century, stood determined to control future and present life on this planet to a degree never before dreamed of.

The story of the genetic engineering and patenting of plants and other living organisms cannot be understood without looking at the history of the global spread of American power in the decades following World War II. George Kennan, Henry Luce, Averell Harriman and, above all, the four Rockefeller brothers, created the very concept of multinational “agribusiness”. They financed the “Green Revolution” in the agriculture sector of developing countries in order, among other things, to create new markets for petro-chemical fertilizers and petroleum products, as well as to expand dependency on energy products. Their actions are an inseparable part of the story of genetically modified crops today.

By the early years of the new century, it was clear that no more than four giant chemical multinational companies had emerged as global players in the game to control patents on the very basic food products that most people in the world depend on for their daily nutrition—corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, even vegetables and fruits and cotton—as well as new strains of disease-resistant poultry, genetically-modified to allegedly resist the deadly H5N1 Bird Flu virus, or even gene altered pigs and cattle. Three of the four private companies had decades-long ties to Pentagon chemical warfare research. The fourth, nominally Swiss, was in reality Anglodominated. As with oil, so was GMO agribusiness very much an Anglo-American global project.

In May 2003, before the dust from the relentless US bombing and destruction of Baghdad had cleared, the President of the United States chose to make GMO a strategic issue, a priority in his postwar US foreign policy. The stubborn resistance of the world’s second largest agricultural producer, the European Union, stood as a formidable barrier to the global success of the GMO Project. As long as Germany, France, Austria, Greece and other countries of the European Union steadfastly refused to permit GMO planting for health and scientific reasons, the rest of the world’s nations would remain skeptical and hesitant. By early 2006, the World Trade Organization (WTO) had forced open the door of the European Union to the mass proliferation of GMO. It appeared that global success was near at hand for the GMO Project.

In the wake of the US and British military occupation of Iraq, Washington proceeded to bring the agriculture of Iraq under the domain of patented genetically-engineered seeds, initially supplied through the generosity of the US State Department and Department of Agriculture.

The first mass experiment with GMO crops, however, took place back in the early 1990’s in a country whose elite had long since been corrupted by the Rockefeller family and associated New York banks: Argentina.

Seeds of DestructionThe following pages trace the spread and proliferation of GMO, often through political coercion, governmental pressure, fraud, lies, and even murder. If it reads often like a crime story, that should not be surprising. The crime being perpetrated in the name of agricultural efficiency, environmental friendliness and solving the world hunger problem, carries stakes which are vastly more important to this small elite. Their actions are not solely for money or for profit. After all, these powerful private families decide who controls the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and even the European Central Bank. Money is in their hands to destroy or create.

Their aim is rather, the ultimate control over future life on this planet, a supremacy earlier dictators and despots only ever dreamt of. Left unchecked, the present group behind the GMO Project is between one and two decades away from total dominance of the planet’s food capacities. This aspect of the GMO story needs telling. I therefore invite the reader to a careful reading and independent verification or reasoned refutation of what follows.

F. William Engdahl is a leading analyst of the New World Order, author of the best-selling book on oil and geopolitics, A Century of War: Anglo-American Politics and the New World Order,’ His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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Capitalism & Global Agribizness
« Reply #91 on: April 12, 2016, 02:33:13 AM »
More on the Food Frackers.

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/capitalism-and-global-agribusiness-from-ford-to-monsanto-its-for-your-own-good/5519546

Capitalism And Global Agribusiness: From Ford To Monsanto, “It’s For Your Own Good”
By Colin Todhunter
Global Research, April 10, 2016
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Global Economy

Capitalism, Agribusiness and the Food Sovereignty Alternative

“We must… build our own local food systems that create new rural-urban links, based on truly agroecological food production… We cannot allow Agroecology to be a tool of the industrial food production model: we see it as the essential alternative to that model, and as the means of transforming how we produce and consume food into something better for humanity and our Mother Earth… Agroecology is political; it requires us to challenge and transform structures of power in society. We need to put the control of seeds, biodiversity, land and territories, waters, knowledge, culture and the commons in the hands of the peoples who feed the world.” – Extract from The Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology, Nyeleni, Mali, 27 February 2015

The above extract is something that the US government and the agribusiness interests it serves do not want to hear. It represents a grass-root challenge to their intertwined commercial and geopolitical interests. Rather than wanting to transform society and food and agriculture, these state-corporate interests require business as usual.

Global agribusiness is threatening food security and food sovereignty. It has been able to capture government regulatory/policy agendas, important trade deals and global trade policies. Monsanto itself is a major player and wields enormous influence and receives significant political support. That company has a history of knowingly contaminating the environment and food with various harmful substances and engaging in cover ups and criminality.

In recent times, much resistance to the power of agribusiness has centred on seed patenting, the deleterious impacts of glyphosate-based herbicide and the dangers that GMOs pose to human and animal health and the environment. For instance, there is a massive campaign in North America to get GMOs labelled (despite the fact they were put on the market fraudulently in the first place), and there is the on-going debate over the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.

But if mandatory labelling is successful and glyphosate is banned, what next? Years of debate, deception, industry-funded science and PR over RNA interference, synthetic biology or some other ‘cutting-edge’ technological development and regulatory bodies and government agencies colluding with companies?

That would suit powerful corporations just fine. By the time they surrender ground on one issue (if they ever do), the next technology is ready to be rolled out and be promoted or protected by their army of lawyers, PR departments, front groups, glove-puppet politicians and officials. Then it is left to the public and various civil organisations to fight the good fight all over again and engage in another rear guard action that could take decades to resolve. In the meantime, profits are secured, while health, agriculture and the environment are further degraded.

In this respect, Christina Sarich makes a valid point:

    “What should be concerning is the money trail supporting the ‘funny’ science that keeps coming out about biotech foods. Or that according to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe, which can fund lawsuit after lawsuit against the people who are tired of being poisoned.

Power, hegemony and commercial interests

In capitalism, private commercial entities are legally obliged to maximise profit, thereby serving shareholder interests ahead of any notion of the public good. According to the description of liberal democracy in textbooks, the state will act to protect the public interest.

What is missing from the term ‘liberal democracy’ is the word ‘capitalist’. In capitalist liberal democracies, the state serves the interest of private capital, first and foremost, and does its best to convince the public that commercial interests and the public and national interest are one and the same.

A recent piece in Truth Out describes how the people at Monsanto work inside a (well-paid) bubble defined by a business model that is aimed at market capture and profit maximisation.

As if to underline this, Jack Kasky on Bloomberg reports:

    “Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant is focused on selling more genetically modified seeds in Latin America to drive earnings growth outside the core U.S. market. Sales of soybean seeds and genetic licenses climbed 16 percent, and revenue in the unit that makes glyphosate weed killer, sold as Roundup, rose 24 percent.”

In the same piece, Chris Shaw, a New York-based analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co states: “Glyphosate really crushed it,” implying its sales a major boost.

The bottom line is sales and profit maximisation – and the unflinching defence of glyphosate. Monsanto might like to think all of this forms a good business model and that a ‘good business model’ and what is good for the public is one and the same, whether the public likes it or not. This is clearly deluded thinking, given the health impacts of glyphosate and, for example, the overall impacts of GMO crops throughout South America.

But through massive PR and advertising, this warped mindset or ideology is perpetuated not only within the confines of the company but is also rolled out to try to convince the public of the same. And through political influence, policies are put in place on Monsanto’s behalf. The public is expected to sit back and take the poison. It’s for their own good!

But this is the nature of hegemony: power holders strive to manipulate beliefs, explanations, perceptions and values so that their imposed worldview becomes accepted as valid, which in turn justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural, inevitable and beneficial for everyone. So Monsanto and other powerful corporations are regarded as acting in the public interest (although in Monsanto’s case, at least among the more informed members of the public, that belief died many years ago).

With the nominations for the US election upon us, much is being written about commercial influence that determines the structure of power in the US (not least Monsanto’s role). However, things are not too much different elsewhere.

In 2012, British Labour MP Austin Mitchell described the UK’s big four accountancy firms as being “more powerful than government.” He said the companies’ financial success allows them privileged access to government policy makers. Similar sentiments concerning ‘privileged access’ could also be forwarded about many other sectors, not least agritech companies which armed with their poisons, unsustainable model of industrial agriculture and bogus claims have been working hand in glove with government to force GMOs into the UK despite most people who hold a view on the matter not wanting them.

The impact and power of think tanks, lobbying and cronyism means that the major political parties merely provide the illusion of choice and democracy to a public that is easily manipulated courtesy of a toothless and supine corporate media. All the main parties have accepted economic neoliberalism and the financialisation of the British economy and all that it has entailed: weak or non-existent trade unions, an ideological assault on the public sector, the offshoring of manufacturing, deregulation, privatisation and an economy dominated by financial services.

The economy is now based on a banking and finance-sector cartel that specialises in rigging markets, debt creation, money laundering and salting away profits in various City of London satellite tax havens and beyond. Despite his sound bites about cracking down on tax avoidance and tax havens, PM David Cameron is also implicated in offshoring his wealth to avoid taxes. This article in The Ecologist shows he and his political cronies are up to their eyeballs in such practices. The banking industry applies huge pressure on governments and has significant influence over policies to ensure things remain this way.

But the mainstream political narrative concerns itself with welfare scroungers, immigration, terror threats or personality politics. Anything to divert attention from the tax-avoiding super rich, the destructive neoliberal agenda they have forced on people and the pushing of policies that would guarantee further plunder, most notably the Transatlantic Trade andInvestment Partnership (TTIP). Anything to avoid discussing profiteering cartels, how taxpayers’ money was turned into corporate welfare for the banks or how the richest 1,000 families in the UK having seen their net worth more than double since 2009, in the worst recession since the Great Depression, to £547bn, while ‘austerity’ is imposed on everyone else. Again, the media, politicians and commentators try to convince this is all for their (the public’s) own good.

In India, the links between the Monsanto-Syngenta-Walmart-backed Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the associated US sanctioning and backing of the opening up of India’s nuclear sector to foreign interests indicate the type of pro-corporate ‘development’ being pushed through.

The combined wealth of India’s richest 296 individuals is $478 billion, some 22% of India’s GDP. This is larger than the GDPs of the UAE, which stood at $402 billion, South Africa ($350 billion) and Singapore ($308 billion).

While the state facilitates the enrichment of a wealthy elite, the plight of ordinary Indians is summed up in this quote from a piece by Sukumaran CV on the Countercurrents website:

    “We build cyber cities and techno parks and IITs at the cost of the welfare of the downtrodden and the environment. We don’t think how our farmers on whose toil we feed manage to sustain themselves; we fail to see how the millions of the poor survive. We look at the state-of-the-art airports, IITs, highways and bridges, the inevitable necessities for the corporate world to spread its tentacles everywhere and thrive, depriving the ordinary people of even the basic necessities of life and believe it is development.”

The global elite

Taking this discussion to a global level, Andrew Gavin Marshall states that at the top of the list of those who run the world, we have the major international banking houses. He adds that these dynastic banking families created an international network of think tanks, which socialised the ruling elites of each nation and the international community as a whole, into a cohesive transnational elite class. The foundations they established helped shape civil society both nationally and internationally, playing a major part in the funding – and thus coordinating and co-opting – of major social-political movements.

The model of neoliberal state-capitalist development being imposed on the world effectively serves the vested interests of an increasingly globalised and integrated elite.

To underline this point, David Rothkopf, in his book ‘Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making’, argues that the world’s superclass constitutes approximately 0.0001 percent of the global population. This class comprises the money-encrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world: people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They set agendas at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, G-8, G-20, NATO, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization and are largely from the highest levels of finance capital and transnational corporations.

Further evidence indicates that a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, hold disproportionate power over the global economy. This elite ensures the corporate media says what it wants it to say, opposition is controlled, wars are fought on its behalf and the corporate control of every facet of life is increasingly brought under its influence – and that includes food: what is in it, who grows it and who sells it.

Aside from outlining how the Rockefeller-backed green revolution reshaped agriculture, which has been documented elsewhere, this film report by James Corbett also describes how Rockefeller, Ford and Firestone conspired to destroy aspects of US transport infrastructure and rebuild it for their own financial gain. It is but one example from the many that Corbett presents to show that, from WW1 to the Arab-Israeli War in 1973 and from the 1979 Iranian revolution to Syria, powerful oil and associated financial interests have had a hand in recasting the world in their own image, regardless of loss of life, environmental degradation or the wholesale destruction of economies.

Transformation

Transnational agribusiness is very much embedded within the power structures outlined above and plays a key role in determining global and regional policies. While tackling agribusiness on an issue by issue basis is necessary, there is a need to appreciate the nature of capitalism, power and neoliberal globalisation itself.

The more this is understood, the more urgent the need becomes to establish societies run for the benefit of the mass of the population and a system of food and agriculture that is democratically owned and controlled. This involves encouraging localised rural and urban food economies that are shielded from the effects of rigged trade and international markets. It would mean that what ends up in our food and how it is grown is determined by the public good and not powerful private interests, which are driven by commercial gain and their compulsion to subjugate farmers, consumers and entire regions, while playing the victim each time campaigners challenge their actions.

There are enough examples from across the world that serve as models for transformation, from farming in socialist Cuba to grass-root movements centred on agroecology in Africa and India.

But in finishing, let us return to where this article began.

The 2015 Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology sets out a framework for action. The Declaration emerged from a meeting of delegates representing diverse organisations and international movements of small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples, communities, hunters and gatherers, family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists and fisherfolk. These diverse constituencies provide 70 percent of the food consumed by humanity, and, as such, are the primary global investors in agriculture, as well as the primary providers of jobs and livelihoods in the world.

The Declaration can be read here. The delegates regard agroecology as being the answer to how to transform and repair a food system and rural world that has been devastated by industrial food production and the green revolution.

While agroecology may not be where transformation begins and ends for everyone, it must at least be regarded as a key form of resistance by food producers and rural communities to an increasingly globalised economic system that puts profit before the environment and puts the needs of agribusiness ahead of life itself.
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Colin Todhunter, Global Research, 2016
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Has Monsanto Poisoned Most People In The United States?
« Reply #92 on: May 27, 2016, 07:13:43 AM »
Has Monsanto Poisoned Most People In The United States?

 

93% of People in the United States Have Glyphosate in their System

Glyphosate, the most used herbicide in the World, has been found in the urine of 93% of the American public during a unique testing project that started in 2015.

Glyphosate, labeled a ‘Probable human carcinogen’ by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC in 2015, has now been revealed to be ubiquitous in the first ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America.

The European Union is currently in the process of putting restrictions on the use of glyphosate due to health concerns, with Member States so far unable to agree on the re-approval of the chemical beyond June 2016.

Glyphosate-containing herbicides are sold under trademarks such as Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’.

Summary of Testing

  • Urine and Water Testing Results

93% of the urine tested by the University of California San Francisco lab tested positive for glyphosate residues. No glyphosate was found in the tap water samples. These results are only from a small percentage of the total samples collected. More data will be released later in 2016 that shows a very similar percentage contamination rate in a much larger number of people, according to the UCSF laboratory.

The results of this bio-survey come from the first in-lab validated LC/MS/MS testing method used for glyphosate testing of the general public in America.

  • Is Glyphosate Safe at Real-Life Exposure Levels?:

Glyphosate has never been studied by regulators or the chemical industry at levels that the human population in the U.S. is being exposed to (under 3 mg/kg body weight/day).This is a huge hole in the global risk assessment of glyphosate, as there is evidence suggesting that low levels of the chemical may hack hormones even more than at mid and high levels, according to independent science – a higher dose does not necessarily make a more toxic, hormone disruptive effect.

  • Unique Testing Project

The Detox Project is a unique platform for the testing of toxic chemicals in our bodies and in our food. The aim of the project is to cut out all conflicts of interest in chemical bio-surveys by allowing the public to pay directly for chemical testing that they are interested in.

Urine and Water Testing Results

In a unique public testing project carried out by a laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), glyphosate was discovered in 93% of urine samples during the early phase of the testing in 2015.

The urine and water testing was organized by The Detox Project and commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association.

The unique project, which has already provided more urine samples for testing than any other glyphosate bio-monitoring urine study ever in America, was supported by members of the public, who themselves paid for their urine and water samples to be analyzed for glyphosate residues by the UCSF lab.

The data released in a presentation by the UCSF lab only covers the first 131 people tested. Further data from this public bio-monitoring study, which is now completed, will be released later in 2016.

The Detox Project will be working alongside a new larger lab later this year to enable the public to once again test their urine for glyphosate residues.

The UCSF full presentation of these initial results can be found here.

The Results

Glyphosate was found in 93% of the 131 urine samples tested at an average level of 3.096 parts per billion (PPB). Children had the highest levels with an average of 3.586 PPB.

The regions with the highest levels were the West and the Midwest with an average of 3.053 PPB and 3.050 PPB respectively.

Glyphosate residues were not observed in any tap water samples during the early phase of the project, most likely due to phosphorus removal during water treatment.

The results from the UCSF urine testing in America showed a much higher frequency and average glyphosate level than those observed in urine samples in the European Union in 2013. The average level in Europe was around 1 PPB with a frequency of detection of 43.9%.

The Method

Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine ) is directly analyzed using liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Water and urine samples are prepared for analysis by solid phase extraction using an ion exchange column. Extracted samples are injected to the LC-MS/MS and the analyte is separated using an Obelisc N column (SIELC Technologies, Prospect Heights, IL) through isocratic elution. Ionization of glyphosate is achieved using an electrospray ionization source operated in negative polarity. The analyte is detected by multiple reaction monitoring using a 13C-labelled glyphosate as internal standard. Quantification of the analyte is done by isotope dilution method using an eight-point calibration curve.

The assay has a limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precision observed are 6-15% in concentrations that range 0.5-80 ng/mL. Recoveries for glyphosate range 70-80% at concentrations within the assay’s linear dynamic range.

Contact at UCSF lab:  Dr. Roy Gerona – Roy.Gerona@ucsf.edu

Is Glyphosate Safe at Real-Life Exposure Levels?

Glyphosate has never been studied by regulators or the chemical industry at levels that the human population in the U.S. is being exposed to (under 3 mg/kg body weight/day).This is a huge hole in the risk assessment process for glyphosate, as evidence suggests that low levels of the chemical may hack hormones even more than high levels – a higher dose does not necessarily mean a more toxic, hormone disruptive effect.

Industry funded science from the dark ages suggested that the higher the dose of a chemical the more dangerous it was. However, modern independent science has discovered that many toxic chemicals have as much or even more of an influence on our health at low doses– these chemicals are known as hormone hackers (endocrine disruptors).

A study from March 2015 stated that the health costs to the European Union of just some hormone hacking chemicals, in connection with a subset of illnesses known to be linked to hormone interference, is over EUR 150 Billion per year! The study stated that lower IQ, adult obesity and 5% or more of autism cases are all linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors.

Glyphosate is likely to be one of these hormone hacking chemicals at real-life exposure levels down to 0.1 ppb or below, according to independent science. Regulators and the chemical industry have simply not studied the toxic effects of glyphosate at real-life exposure levels. Find more information on this here.

More information: How safe are “safe” levels of glyphosate?

 

Scientist Contacts:

Regarding Real-Life Exposure Levels of Glyphosate:

Dr. Pete Myers, JPMyers@ehsic.org  , Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, http://www.ehsciences.org/staff/staff/jpmyers

Dr. Michael Antoniou, molecular geneticist, London, UK – michael.antoniou@kcl.ac.uk

“With increasing evidence from laboratory studies showing that glyphosate based herbicides can result in a wide range of chronic illnesses through multiple mechanisms, it has become imperative to ascertain the levels of glyphosate in food and in as large a section of the human population as possible. Thus the information gathered by the glyphosate public testing service being offered by the Detox Project is most timely and will provide invaluable information for the consumer and scientists like myself evaluating the toxicity of real world levels of exposure to this most widely used pesticide.”

For more comments on the Testing Results contact:

Henry Rowlands, Director, The Detox Project – [url=http://www.detoxproject.org]www.detoxproject.org[/url]  ,henry@detoxproject.org  

“These results show that both the U.S. regulators have let down consumers in America. Independent science shows that glyphosate may be a hormone hacker at these real-life exposure levels found in the food products. The safe level of glyphosate ingestion is simply unknown despite what the EPA and Monsanto would have everyone believe.”

“The Detox Project which organized this testing is a research platform that brings awareness to the public by testing for toxic chemicals in our bodies and in our food at a very personal level. We believe everyone has the right to know what man-made toxic chemicals are in our bodies and in our food.”

Ronnie Cummins, International Director, Organic Consumers Association –[url=https://www.organicconsumers.org/]https://www.organicconsumers.org/[/url] ,  katherine@organicconsumers.org 

“If consumers had any doubt about the extent to which they are being poisoned by Monsanto’s Roundup, these tests results should put those doubts to rest,” Cummins said.

“These test results highlight the massive failure of U.S. regulatory agencies, including the EPA, USDA and FDA, to protect us even as they continue to perpetuate the myth that low-level exposure to glyphosate is harmless. We must bring down this poison-for-profit model and build in its place a food and farming system that regenerates and heals, before it’s too late.”

 

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Re: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
« Reply #93 on: May 27, 2016, 08:42:51 AM »
And why don't we have some good studies, since they've been putting it on our food crops for nearly a generation?

And why did Congress arbitrarily decide to raise the levels considered safe (in 2013 if my memory serves)?

Because we are just alive so Monsanto can make profits. One assumes if the LD 50 for Round-up were high enough, then they would invent another chemical to poison us with, since dead consumers generally don't spend much money on high fructose corn syrup and twinkies.
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Corporate Cannabis: Monsanto Monopolizing Marijuana
« Reply #94 on: July 08, 2016, 09:44:23 PM »
Collapse is Monsanto taking over the Weed Biz.  :(

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on-weed-monsanto-bayer-and-the-push-for-corporate-cannabis/5534771

The War on Weed: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for “Corporate Cannabis”
Part II
By Ellen Brown
Global Research, July 08, 2016
The Web of Debt Blog 7 July 2016
Region: Latin America & Caribbean
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Global Economy, Law and Justice

California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterized as legalizing marijuana use. But critics warn that it will actually make access more difficult and expensive, squeeze home growers and small farmers out of the market, heighten criminal sanctions for violations, and open the door to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be purchased year after year.

As detailed in Part I of this article, the health benefits of cannabis are now well established. It is a cheap, natural alternative effective for a broad range of conditions, and the non-psychoactive form known as hemp has thousands of industrial uses. At one time, cannabis was one of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 deaths annually from alcohol abuse (not counting auto accidents), and 100,000 deaths annually from prescription drugs taken as directed. Yet cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance (“a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse”), illegal to be sold or grown in the US.

Powerful corporate interests no doubt had a hand in keeping cannabis off the market. The question now is why they have suddenly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization. According to an April 2014 article in The Washington Times, the big money behind the recent push for legalization has come, not from a grassroots movement, but from a few very wealthy individuals with links to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

Leading the charge is George Soros, a major shareholder in Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company and producer of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is the biotech giant that brought you Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, dioxin-based pesticides, aspartame, rBGH (genetically engineered bovine growth hormone), RoundUp (glyphosate) herbicides, and RoundUp Ready crops (seeds genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate).

Monsanto now appears to be developing genetically modified (GMO) forms of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but still tightly enough controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Competition could be suppressed by limiting access to homegrown marijuana; bringing production, sale and use within monitored and regulated industry guidelines; and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant having such low psychoactivity that only GMO versions qualify. Those are the sorts of conditions that critics have found buried in the fine print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.

Patients who use the cannabis plant in large quantities to heal serious diseases (e.g. by juicing it) find that the natural plant grown organically in sunlight is far more effective than hothouse plants or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives. Letitia Pepper is a California attorney and activist who uses medical marijuana to control multiple sclerosis. As she puts it, if you don’t have an irrevocable right to grow a natural, therapeutic herb in your backyard that a corporation able to afford high license fees can grow and sell to you at premium prices, isn’t that still a war on people who use marijuana?

Follow the Money to Uruguay

Monsanto has denied that it is working on GMO strains. But William Engdahl, author ofSeeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, presents compelling circumstantial evidence to the contrary. In a March 2014 article titled “The Connection Between the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in getting the law passed. He sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for cannabis legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:

    Studies show that Monsanto without much fanfare conducts research projects on the active ingredient in marijuana, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in order to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch company Hortapharm has since 1990 created the world’s largest collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Hortapharm that gives GW Pharma the rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.

    In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technology with . . . Monsanto . . . . Thus Monsanto has discreet access to the work of the cannabis plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a cannabis plant and patented a new breed of cannabis.

Monsanto could have even greater access to the Bayer/GW research soon. In March 2016, Monsanto approached the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG with a joint venture proposal concerning its crop science unit. In May, Bayer then made an unsolicited takeover bid for Monsanto. On May 24th, the $62 billion bid was rejected as too low; but negotiations are continuing.

The prospective merger would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and chemicals. Environmentalists worry that the entire farming industry could soon be looking at sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for simply saving seeds from year to year, something they have done for millennia. Organic farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to prevent contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s GMOs.

In Seeds of Destruction, Engdahl quotes Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. Kissinger notoriously said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Engdahl asserts that the “Green Revolution” was part of the Rockefeller agenda to destroy seed diversity and push oil- and gas-based agricultural products in which Rockefeller had a major interest. Destruction of seed diversity and dependence on proprietary hybrids was the first step in food control. About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery store are now genetically manipulated, in what has been called the world’s largest biological experiment on humans.

Genetic engineering is now moving from foodstuffs to plant-based drugs and plant-based industrial fibers. Engdahl writes of Monsanto’s work in Uruguay:

    Since the cultivation of cannabis plants in Uruguay is allowed, one can easily imagine that Monsanto sees a huge new market that the Group is able to control just with patented cannabis seeds such as today is happening on the market for soybeans. Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it clear he wants a unique genetic code for cannabis in his country in order to “keep the black market under control.”

    Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant such control. For decades Monsanto has been growing gene-soybean and GM maize in Uruguay too. George Soros is co-owner of agribusinesses Adecoagro, which planted genetically modified soybeans and sunflowers for biofuel.

Other commentators express similar concerns. Natural health writer Mike Adams warns:

    [W]ith the cannabis industry predicted to generate over $13 billion by 2020, becoming one of the largest agricultural markets in the nation, there should be little doubt that companies like Monsanto are simply waiting for Uncle Sam to remove the herb from its current Schedule I classification before getting into the business.

In a 2010 article concerning Proposition 19, an earlier legalization initiative that was defeated by California voters, Conrad Justice Kiczenski noted that criminalization of cannabis as both industrial hemp and medical marijuana has served a multitude of industries, including the prison and military industry, the petroleum, timber, cotton, and pharmaceutical industries, and the banking industry. With the decriminalization of cannabis, he warned:

    The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use through the only practical means available to the corporate system, which is through genetic engineering and patenting of the Cannabis genome.

AUMA: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Suspicions like these are helping to fuel opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a 2016 initiative that would rewrite the medical marijuana laws in California. While AUMA purports to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the bill comes with so many restrictions that it actually makes acquisition more difficult and expensive than under existing law, and makes it a criminal offense for anyone under 21. Critics contend that the Act will simply throw access to this medicinal wonder plant into the waiting arms of the Monsanto/Bayer/petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex. They say AUMA is a covert attempt to preempt California’s Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996 by voter initiative.

Prop 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, but it did give ill or disabled people of any age the right to grow and share the plant and its derivatives on a not-for-profit basis. They could see a doctor of their choice, who could approve medical marijuana for a vast panoply of conditions; and they were assured of safe and affordable access to the plant at a nearby cooperative not-for-profit dispensary, or in their own backyards. As clarified by the 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines, Prop 215 allowed reimbursement for the labor, costs and skill necessary to grow and distribute medical marijuana; and it allowed distribution through a “storefront dispensing collective.” However, the sale of marijuana for corporate profit remained illegal. Big Pharma and affiliates were thus blocked from entering the field.

At the end of 2015 (effective 2016), the California state legislature over-rode Prop 215 with MMRSA – the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015/16 – which effectively rewrites the Health Code pertaining to medical marijuana. Opponents contend that MMRSA is unconstitutional, since a voter initiative cannot be changed by legislative action unless it so provides. And that is why its backers need AUMA, a voter initiative that validates MMRSA in its fine print. In combination with stricter California Medical Association rules for enforcement, MMRSA effectively moves medical marijuana therapy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative, one that must follow an AUMA or American Pharmaceutical Association mode of delivery. MMRSA turns the right to cultivate into a revocable privilege to grow, contingent on local rules. The right to choose one’s own doctor is also eliminated.

Critics note that of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that AUMA is expected to generate from marijuana and marijuana-related products, not a penny will go to the California general fund. That means no money for California’s public schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. Instead, it will go into a giant slush fund controlled by AUMA’s “Marijuana Control Board,” to be spent first for its own administration, then for its own law enforcement, then for penal and judicial program expenditures.

Law enforcement and penalties will continue to be big business, since AUMA legalizes marijuana use only for people over 21 and makes access so difficult and expensive that even adults could be tempted to turn to the black market. “Legalization” through AUMA will chiefly serve a petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex bent on controlling all farming and plant life globally.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, Founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. She can be heard biweekly on “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.
The original source of this article is The Web of Debt Blog
Copyright © Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt Blog, 2016
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California classifies Roundup as CANCEROUS
« Reply #95 on: June 27, 2017, 01:12:17 AM »
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/weed-killer-ingredient-california-list-cancerous-48295768

Ingredient in popular weed killer going on list as cancerous

    By scott smith, associated press

FRESNO, Calif. — Jun 27, 2017, 2:37 AM ET


In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, photo, containers of Roundup, left, a weed killer is seen on a shelf with other products for sale at a hardware store in Los Angeles. California regulators are taking a pivotal step toward requiring the popular weed killer Roundup to come with a warning label. The state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced Monday, June 26, 2017, that the weed killer's main ingredient, glyphosate, will be listed in July as a chemical known to cause cancer. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

more +

Regulators in California took a pivotal step on Monday toward becoming the first state to require the popular weed killer Roundup to come with a label warning that it's known to cause cancer.

Officials announced that starting July 7 the weed killer's main ingredient, glyphosate, will appear on a list California keeps of potentially cancerous chemicals. A year later, the listing could come with warning labels on the product, officials said.

However, it's not certain whether Roundup will ultimately get a warning label.

Monsanto, the chemical's maker, has filed an appeal after losing in court to block the labeling, arguing that Roundup doesn't cause cancer and that the labels will harm the company's business.

State health regulators must also decide if there's a high enough amount of the chemical in Roundup to pose a risk to human health. State officials received more than 1,300 public comments.

"We can't say for sure," said Sam Delson, a spokesman for California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. "We're reviewing those comments."

Glyphosate has no color or smell. Monsanto introduced it in 1974 as an effective way of killing weeds while leaving crops and plants intact.

It's sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers use it on 250 types of crops in California, the nation's leading farming state.

Attorney Michael Baum, who represents more than 300 people who claim a loved one became sick or died from exposure to Roundup, says the fight to protect Californians is not over.

He said that the state's failure to set the proper risk level would undermine protections California put in place by listing harmful chemicals.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto's vice president of global strategy, said in a statement that glyphosate does not cause cancer and there's no need to list it as harmful in California.

"This is not the final step in the process," Partridge said. "We will continue to aggressively challenge this improper decision."
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🌾 Fabricated Reality: Lobbying for GMO Agriculture in India
« Reply #96 on: February 11, 2018, 03:42:10 AM »
https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/fabricated-reality-lobbying-for-gmo-agriculture-in-india/5627645

Fabricated Reality: Lobbying for GMO Agriculture in India
By Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Research, February 10, 2018
Region: Asia
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Law and Justice, Media Disinformation


Featured image: Richard John Roberts

Richard John Roberts is a prominent biochemist and molecular biologist. On his recent visits to India, he has talked about the supposed virtues of genetically modified (GM) food and crops, while attacking people who have valid concerns about the technology.

In 2015, while in Mysore, he implied the denial of GM food to people in developing nations is a crime against humanity. He also argued that the present engineering of GM crops is precise and is little different from conventional breeding.

Roberts has claimed on more than one occasion that “millions of people in the third world would die” of starvation unless GM crops are introduced and that Greenpeace is in the business of scaring people and should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.

As a Fellow of the Royal Society, Roberts should be aware of the Society’s misleading and exaggerated statements that it has used to actively promote genetically modified organisms (GMOs) since the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, Roberts himself reads from a similar script.

In an open letter to the Royal Society, author of ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth’ Steven Druker argued that the scientific institution has engaged in a campaign of disinformation and the smearing of credible research that has showed firm evidence pointing to health dangers of GM. He added there is not now nor never has been a consensus within the scientific community that GM foods are safe.

The World Health Organization cautions that

    “Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.”

Renowned geneticist Mae-Wan Ho has addressed the “central dogma” of molecular biology, which provides a “simplistic picture” of the precision involved in GM.

In 2018, Roberts has been in India again. In a short interview, he agrees that GM mustard should be introduced to ease the edible oil import bill and then goes on to attack critics of GM:

    “But cotton has been incredibly successful…very popular, good for the economy, get better yields… there’s just no reason not to be doing this… The rest of the world really needs them [GMOs]… by trying to pretend that they are dangerous, they are actively killing people. I think it’s just disgusting.”

Baseless claims: GM mustard and cotton

Campaigner Aruna Rodrigues says Roberts’s statements on GM cotton are just plain fabrications. She adds that there is no science nor integrity in what he says, and he has no understanding of the Indian context:

    “GMOs are self-replicating organisms and genetic contamination of the environment, of non-GM crops and wild species through gene flow, is certain: it cannot be contained, reversed, remedied or quantified. Our seed stock will also be contaminated at the molecular level. Any toxicity that there is will remain in perpetuity. The traits for disease, saline and drought resistance, yield, etc. are found in nature, not biotech labs. We must maintain India’s still-rich genetic diversity for the future of our agriculture.”

It must be re-iterated that India’s edible oils import bill has risen not because the indigenous sector is unproductive and thus needs GM mustard to boost yields (it has no GM trait for improved yield and is anyhow outperformed by existing non-GM varieties). Until the mid-1990s, India was virtually self-sufficient in edible oils. Then import tariffs were reduced, leading to an influx of cheap (subsidised) edible oil imports that domestic farmers could not compete with. This devastated the home-grown edible oils sector. Roberts seems ignorant of this basic fact. It is essentially a trade policy issue which proponents of GM misrepresent.

Rodrigues has gone to the Supreme Court to seek a moratorium on the release of any GMOs in India in the absence of comprehensive, transparent and rigorous biosafety protocols and biosafety studies conducted by independent expert bodies. A recent report (p.5) by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forests is scathing in its criticism of the regulation and risk assessment of GMOs in India, including GM mustard. The Committee strongly believes that, given the situation, no GM crop should be introduced into the country. This report is entirely in agreement with four previous official government reports.

In her various submissions to the Supreme Court, Rodrigues has made it clear – supported by a good deal of data – that GM mustard does not improve yields and that there is in fact no need for it. Field trails have been based on invalid tests, secrecy, poor science and a lack of rigour and there has been an outright case of unremitting fraud and regulatory delinquency.

From the issue of labelling GM food to ‘substantial equivalence’, the science around GM in general has been distorted, debased and bypassed to serve commercial interests. Not a single long-term epidemiological study has been conducted with GMOs despite claims about ‘safety’.

As far as GM cotton in India is concerned, despite what Roberts claims, Rodrigues’s evidence to the Supreme Court makes it patently clear that yields have stagnated and insecticide use has increased to pre-GM cotton levels as new highly damaging pests have emerged and pest resistance to the technology is spreading. Add to that the high costs of GM seed, continued insecticide use and usury costs and the situation has become economically devastating for poor farmers and is likely the proximate cause of the increase incidence of suicides.

The myth that GM will feed the world

GM crops that are on the market today are not designed to address hunger. Four GM crops account for almost all of worldwide GM crop acreage, and all four have been developed for large-scale industrial farming systems and are used as cash crops for export, to produce fuel or for processed food and animal feed. Roberts talks about GM being necessary for feeding the hungry millions, yet GM crops deliver no traits for yield.

Consider that “GM crops have not consistently increased yields or farmer incomes or reduced pesticide use in North America or in the Global South (Benbrook, 2012; Gurian-Sherman, 2009)” (from the report ‘Persistent narratives, persistent failure’). Consider too that GM agriculture is not ‘feeding the world’, as described in the 2016 New York Times piece ‘Broken promises of GM crops’. Evidence shows that, across the globe genetic engineering has not increased the yield of a single crop.

Numerous high-level reports have argued that to feed the hungry in poorer regions like India we need to support diverse, sustainable agroecological methods of farming (not GM) and strengthen local food economies. Agroecological approaches account for the ecological aspects of agriculture, including the building of soil fertility, the need to ensure biodiversity such as natural pest enemies and pollinators and the genetic diversity of crops and breeding and adapting crops to local or regional agroecological conditions. All the things that chemical-intensive industrial agriculture has undermined, as underlined in this very revealing open letter to Indian officials by Bhaskar Save, which Roberts should certainly read.

While Roberts makes various fanciful claims about the benefits of GM, they just do not stack up.

Aruna Rodrigues:

    “There are promises of GMOs with traits for disease, drought etc., but these are complex, multi-gene traits and remain futuristic. What is abundantly clear is that traditional breeding outperforms GMOs hands down.”

In the report GMO Myths and Truths, the evidence presented shows that conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in delivering crops that yield well, resist disease, are nutritious and tolerate drought and other types of extreme weather.

Roberts’s approach is just plain reductionist. His attitude to the politics of GM is also one dimensional. It is not Greenpeace or a bunch of green-oriented elitist ideologues that is contributing to world hunger but the power, influence and ambitions of a very wealthy and politically well-connected group agribusiness concerns that is promoting a highly profitable GM technology.

The GM approach and the model of agriculture it is linked to is ecologically unsustainable and upheld by taxpayer handouts: in the US, the average costs of production for (GM) commodity crops is often greater than the price farmers get; farmers rely on subsidies that are often more than the crop value, while most profits in the chain are secured by the seed and pesticide corporations. At the same time, GM has resulted in the increased use of herbicides as well as the coating of most seed with powerful and harmful insecticides and fungicides.

Moving beyond reductionism

For all the talk about GM ‘feeding the world’ and scaremongering about the actions of critics of GM, Roberts opts to sidestep the root causes of hunger and poverty. Eric Holt-Giménez:

    “The World Bank, the WTO, the World Food Program, the Millennium Challenge, The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the US Department of Agriculture and industrial giants like Yara Fertilizer, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Syngenta, DuPont and Monsanto carefully avoid addressing the root causes of the food crisis. The ‘solutions’ they prescribe are rooted in the same policies and technologies that created the problem in the first place: increased food aid, de-regulated global trade in agricultural commodities, and more technological and genetic fixes. These measures only strengthen the corporate status quo controlling the world’s food.”

To serve the interests of these corporations, a number of treaties and agreement over breeders’ rights and intellectual property have been enacted to prevent peasant farmers from freely improving, sharing or replanting their traditional seeds. Large corporations with their proprietary seeds and synthetic chemical inputs have eradicated traditional systems of seed exchange. They have effectively hijacked seeds, pirated germ plasm that farmers developed over millennia and have ‘rented’ the seeds back to farmers. As a result, genetic diversity among food crops has been drastically reduced, and we have bad food and diets, degraded soils, water pollution and scarcity and spiraling rates of poor health.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that globally just 20 cultivated plant species account for 90% of all the plant-based food consumed by humans. This narrow genetic base of the global food system has put food security at serious risk.

The corporate-dominate industrial model is not only an attack on biodiversity and – as we see the world over – on the integrity of soil, water, food, diets and health but is also an attack on the integrity of international institutions, governments and officials which have too often been corrupted by powerful transnational corporations.

Image below is Aruna Rodrigues


It is very convenient for Roberts to ignore issues surrounding international trade policy, inappropriate development strategies, the impacts of commodity market speculation, sovereign debt repayment issues, land speculation, the nature of export-oriented monocropping, sustainable agriculture, fluctuating oil prices, the dynamics of structural inequality and poverty or any of the other issues that impact global and regional food security and which create food deficit areas and fuel hunger and malnutrition.

Perhaps it is convenient for him to overlook all of the above issues, which in reality, not in the fantasy world of a pro-GMO lobbyist, determine humanity’s ability for feeding itself effectively and properly.

It certainly does not lie in an already failed pesticide resistant GM plant technology in India or herbicide resistant plants which would be wholly inappropriate for a dominated by small multi-cropping farms.

Aruna Rodrigues:

    “There is serious concern that Monsanto may have known for 30 years that glyphosate is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor; no regulatory agency anywhere regulates for endocrine disruption despite overwhelming evidence from Argentina of horrendous birth defects because of glyphosate used in herbicide-tolerant (HT) soybeans. In this context, Bayer’s glufosinate, the herbicide linked with Indian HT mustard, is an acknowledged neurotoxin banned in the EU. The Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee recommended a ban on any HT crop in India for this among several other reasons.”

The globalised industrial food system that transnational agribusiness promotes is not feeding the world, has destroyed rural economies and is responsible for some of the planet’s most pressing political, social and environmental crises.

But for Roberts to acknowledge any of this would derail his agenda. What many might find “disgusting” is a scientist who ignores available evidence to lobby for GM and seems unable or unwilling to come to terms with the wider issues. Willful ignorance is no excuse for promoting inappropriate technology in India or for denigrating critics who have valid concerns.

The original source of this article is Asia-Pacific Research
Copyright © Colin Todhunter, Asia-Pacific Research, 2018
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🌽 The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light
« Reply #97 on: April 10, 2018, 12:10:39 AM »
Monsanto and Bayer. A Marriage Made in Hell:evil4:

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http://www.businessinsider.com/bayer-monsanto-merger-has-farmers-worried-2018-4

The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified
Dana Varinsky


Corn farmer Illinois Jim Young/Reuters

    Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and chemical company, has won approval in the US to buy agricultural giant Monsanto.
    But farmers are worried about what the consolidation might mean for prices and their future business.
    Whereas Bayer and Monsanto claim the move will spur innovation, other analysts have expressed skepticism.

A blockbuster deal between Bayer and Monsanto appears to be moving ahead.

On Monday, the US Department of Justice approved the German pharmaceutical and chemical group's bid to buy the US seed giant for more than $60 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. Bayer agreed to sell off additional assets to alleviate anti-trust concerns.

The two companies first announced the potential deal in September 2016, saying the move would boost agriculture research and innovation.

"By the time 2050 rolls around, the world will have 10 billion people, and the demand for food will double," Robb Fraley, Monsanto's chief technology officer, told Business Insider last year. "The whole point here is that the business combination between Monsanto and Bayer will allow the companies to invest in and create more innovation, and it's going to take a huge amount of innovation in order to double the world's food supply."

Farmers aren't so sure.

"From my perspective, they're saying the exact opposite of what most people in the industry actually believe," Clay Govier, a farmer in central Nebraska, told Business Insider in January 2017. Govier is the fifth generation to work on his family farm of 3,000 acres, which primarily grows corn and soybeans. The farm has used Monsanto products for at least 12 years, and Govier's family expects seed and chemical prices to increase due to the merger.

That could put many small family farms in tough positions.

"I just sat down to chat with my banker the other day, and fortunately we're in a position that I don't think we're going to have to have a hard conversation when it comes to loans for next year," Govier said. "But he said there are a lot of guys out there that are going to have a really hard conversation."
Consolidation on the rise

According to the US Department of Agriculture, farm production in the US has consistently shifted away from smaller farms, to larger ones. Whereas just 15% of all cropland was held by farms with at least 2,000 acres in 1987, that percentage had jumped to 36% by 2012.

With the increasing consolidation of the agriculture supply industry (Monsanto-Bayer is the biggest of three major mergers — preceded by Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina), Govier doesn't expect things to get easier anytime soon.

"They're locking in their profit and they're cornering the market by getting bigger, not by creating new products," he said of Bayer and Monsanto. "They're just choking out the rest of the competition."

Hugh Grant MonsantoHugh Grant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters
The size of the Bayer-Monsanto deal — it was the biggest merger announced in 2016 after AT&T and Time Warner — means the companies have to seek approval from regulators in 30 countries.

Last month, the deal won antitrust approval in the European Union. US approval was expected as well, given that the CEOs of Bayer and Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, visited President Donald Trump before he took office and said in a statement that the three had a "very productive meeting" at Trump Tower.

Baumann and Grant suggested that Trump shared their view of the agriculture industry's need for innovation. To that end, the companies highlighted their plan to spend $16 billion on research and development worldwide over six years — an average of $2.67 billion a year.

But a look at their past R&D budgets reveals that, added up, the two companies already spent approximately $2.59 billion a year as of early 2017, so the combined increase in funds amounts to less than $500 million over six years.

"Let's just cut to the chase: These companies want to make more money, they want to raise prices," Mark Connelly, an agriculture analyst at the brokerage and investment group CLSA Americas, previously told Business Insider. "No company in this industry needs these deals in order to innovate."
Higher costs for farmers

Data compiled by the Farmers Business Network, a data-distribution network that collects crowd-sourced information from members, backs up Connelly's concern. FBN analyzed corn-seed yield (the number of bushels farmers can produce per acre) in relation to the seed brands' market share, based on data from 5.75 million acres of corn. It found that while greater market share was correlated with higher yield — a primary goal of agricultural innovation — the rise wasn't proportional.

"After you got to a few percent market share, it really tapered off quite quickly," FBN cofounder Charles Baron told Business Insider in 2017. "So going from 5 or 10% to 20 or 30% market share didn't lead to a massive yield increase."

Corn seed price vs market share Farmers Business Network Farmers Business Network
When plotting seed prices in relation to market share, FBN data also showed that greater market dominance was correlated with higher corn seed and chemical prices.

That doesn't bode well for farmers, since the newly consolidated agricultural companies already make up a significant portion of the market, according to Connelly's analysis.

"If you look at how much of the farmers' seed and pesticide dollars are going to these companies, Monsanto-Bayer — if it were one company today — would be getting $1 out of every $3," Connelly says. "Dow-Dupont would be taking one out of every $4. Think that's a problem? Holy crap, right?"

Such consolidation isn't the only headache for farmers under the Trump administration. Some farm owners who depend on immigrant workers have concerns about Trump's immigration policies, since they say they can't find enough American citizens to fill their staffs. Agriculture industry groups also strongly opposed Trump's trade restrictions on China, since the country is likely to retaliate with high tariffs of its own.

"We'll make it up to them," Trump reportedly said on Monday, according to Politico. "The farmers will be better off than they ever were."
Bayer and Monsanto's motivation to merge

Bayer representatives acknowledged in a 2017 statement to Business Insider that they were often confronted with the allegation that the merger would raise prices and reduce innovation and competition.

Werner Baumann BayerWerner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
"We disagree with this and are convinced the opposite is true," the company wrote. "We are competing with other very strong companies that offer similar products and have strong R&D capabilities. We will only succeed with pricing and selling our products if our value proposition to our customers is better than that of our competitors and if we continue to innovate. We are also convinced that in a competitive business such as the agriculture industry, the efficiency gains generated by innovation will increase returns for farmers."

Monsanto's Fraley estimated that, under the current system, it takes about a decade for a company to develop and get approval for a new herbicide. Then if that product is popular, it'll take the company another 10 years to make a seed trait that responds to the new chemical. But since Bayer and Monsanto's combined resources might allow them to develop paired products in tandem, he said they could halve the time it takes to bring those new products to farmers.

Connelly has a different hypothesis. Monsanto has historically sought out partnerships and joint ventures with other companies that are developing innovative products. But that means dividing up profits. So Connelly predicts the size of a combined Monsanto-Bayer will lead the new company to favor a mediocre product or solution that it can develop in-house over a more promising one that would require a revenue-sharing partnership.

"We're not going to be chasing the best solution anymore — we're going to be chasing the good-enough solution," Connelly said.

Soybean farmer IllinoisFarmer Jim Schielein inspects a field of soybeans on his farm in Dixon, Illinois Jim Young/Reuters

Todd Eney, a fourth-generation farmer in central Montana, previously told Business Insider that as suppliers of seeds and chemicals have become more consolidated, he hasn't seen many benefits.

"These corporate bigwigs, are they really going to do what they say?" he said. "Our farm has been out here since 1935, and I'm 40 years old and I've watched a lot of small family farms in our area go under. They can't compete because they can't pay the price of input because of what these companies are wanting to charge for input now."

Eney's farm grows wheat, malt barley, and field peas, and it uses Roundup, Monsanto's popular weed killer. Last year, he said, he and his father decided to use 50% less fertilizer to cut costs. The possibility of further consolidation has him on edge.

Clay Govier has a similar feeling.

"You know, it's almost like you shrug your shoulders and cross your fingers that your regulators are going to have a backbone and not let it happen," he said last year.

That scenario does not seem to be playing out as he'd hoped.

This is an updated version of a story originally published February 5, 2017.
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Re: 🌽 The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light
« Reply #98 on: April 10, 2018, 05:20:00 AM »
Monsanto and Bayer. A Marriage Made in Hell:evil4:

RE

http://www.businessinsider.com/bayer-monsanto-merger-has-farmers-worried-2018-4

The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified
Dana Varinsky


Corn farmer Illinois Jim Young/Reuters

    Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and chemical company, has won approval in the US to buy agricultural giant Monsanto.
    But farmers are worried about what the consolidation might mean for prices and their future business.
    Whereas Bayer and Monsanto claim the move will spur innovation, other analysts have expressed skepticism.

A blockbuster deal between Bayer and Monsanto appears to be moving ahead.

On Monday, the US Department of Justice approved the German pharmaceutical and chemical group's bid to buy the US seed giant for more than $60 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. Bayer agreed to sell off additional assets to alleviate anti-trust concerns.

The two companies first announced the potential deal in September 2016, saying the move would boost agriculture research and innovation.

"By the time 2050 rolls around, the world will have 10 billion people, and the demand for food will double," Robb Fraley, Monsanto's chief technology officer, told Business Insider last year. "The whole point here is that the business combination between Monsanto and Bayer will allow the companies to invest in and create more innovation, and it's going to take a huge amount of innovation in order to double the world's food supply."

Farmers aren't so sure.

"From my perspective, they're saying the exact opposite of what most people in the industry actually believe," Clay Govier, a farmer in central Nebraska, told Business Insider in January 2017. Govier is the fifth generation to work on his family farm of 3,000 acres, which primarily grows corn and soybeans. The farm has used Monsanto products for at least 12 years, and Govier's family expects seed and chemical prices to increase due to the merger.

That could put many small family farms in tough positions.

"I just sat down to chat with my banker the other day, and fortunately we're in a position that I don't think we're going to have to have a hard conversation when it comes to loans for next year," Govier said. "But he said there are a lot of guys out there that are going to have a really hard conversation."
Consolidation on the rise

According to the US Department of Agriculture, farm production in the US has consistently shifted away from smaller farms, to larger ones. Whereas just 15% of all cropland was held by farms with at least 2,000 acres in 1987, that percentage had jumped to 36% by 2012.

With the increasing consolidation of the agriculture supply industry (Monsanto-Bayer is the biggest of three major mergers — preceded by Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina), Govier doesn't expect things to get easier anytime soon.

"They're locking in their profit and they're cornering the market by getting bigger, not by creating new products," he said of Bayer and Monsanto. "They're just choking out the rest of the competition."

Hugh Grant MonsantoHugh Grant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters
The size of the Bayer-Monsanto deal — it was the biggest merger announced in 2016 after AT&T and Time Warner — means the companies have to seek approval from regulators in 30 countries.

Last month, the deal won antitrust approval in the European Union. US approval was expected as well, given that the CEOs of Bayer and Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, visited President Donald Trump before he took office and said in a statement that the three had a "very productive meeting" at Trump Tower.

Baumann and Grant suggested that Trump shared their view of the agriculture industry's need for innovation. To that end, the companies highlighted their plan to spend $16 billion on research and development worldwide over six years — an average of $2.67 billion a year.

But a look at their past R&D budgets reveals that, added up, the two companies already spent approximately $2.59 billion a year as of early 2017, so the combined increase in funds amounts to less than $500 million over six years.

"Let's just cut to the chase: These companies want to make more money, they want to raise prices," Mark Connelly, an agriculture analyst at the brokerage and investment group CLSA Americas, previously told Business Insider. "No company in this industry needs these deals in order to innovate."
Higher costs for farmers

Data compiled by the Farmers Business Network, a data-distribution network that collects crowd-sourced information from members, backs up Connelly's concern. FBN analyzed corn-seed yield (the number of bushels farmers can produce per acre) in relation to the seed brands' market share, based on data from 5.75 million acres of corn. It found that while greater market share was correlated with higher yield — a primary goal of agricultural innovation — the rise wasn't proportional.

"After you got to a few percent market share, it really tapered off quite quickly," FBN cofounder Charles Baron told Business Insider in 2017. "So going from 5 or 10% to 20 or 30% market share didn't lead to a massive yield increase."

Corn seed price vs market share Farmers Business Network Farmers Business Network
When plotting seed prices in relation to market share, FBN data also showed that greater market dominance was correlated with higher corn seed and chemical prices.

That doesn't bode well for farmers, since the newly consolidated agricultural companies already make up a significant portion of the market, according to Connelly's analysis.

"If you look at how much of the farmers' seed and pesticide dollars are going to these companies, Monsanto-Bayer — if it were one company today — would be getting $1 out of every $3," Connelly says. "Dow-Dupont would be taking one out of every $4. Think that's a problem? Holy crap, right?"

Such consolidation isn't the only headache for farmers under the Trump administration. Some farm owners who depend on immigrant workers have concerns about Trump's immigration policies, since they say they can't find enough American citizens to fill their staffs. Agriculture industry groups also strongly opposed Trump's trade restrictions on China, since the country is likely to retaliate with high tariffs of its own.

"We'll make it up to them," Trump reportedly said on Monday, according to Politico. "The farmers will be better off than they ever were."
Bayer and Monsanto's motivation to merge

Bayer representatives acknowledged in a 2017 statement to Business Insider that they were often confronted with the allegation that the merger would raise prices and reduce innovation and competition.

Werner Baumann BayerWerner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
"We disagree with this and are convinced the opposite is true," the company wrote. "We are competing with other very strong companies that offer similar products and have strong R&D capabilities. We will only succeed with pricing and selling our products if our value proposition to our customers is better than that of our competitors and if we continue to innovate. We are also convinced that in a competitive business such as the agriculture industry, the efficiency gains generated by innovation will increase returns for farmers."

Monsanto's Fraley estimated that, under the current system, it takes about a decade for a company to develop and get approval for a new herbicide. Then if that product is popular, it'll take the company another 10 years to make a seed trait that responds to the new chemical. But since Bayer and Monsanto's combined resources might allow them to develop paired products in tandem, he said they could halve the time it takes to bring those new products to farmers.

Connelly has a different hypothesis. Monsanto has historically sought out partnerships and joint ventures with other companies that are developing innovative products. But that means dividing up profits. So Connelly predicts the size of a combined Monsanto-Bayer will lead the new company to favor a mediocre product or solution that it can develop in-house over a more promising one that would require a revenue-sharing partnership.

"We're not going to be chasing the best solution anymore — we're going to be chasing the good-enough solution," Connelly said.

Soybean farmer IllinoisFarmer Jim Schielein inspects a field of soybeans on his farm in Dixon, Illinois Jim Young/Reuters

Todd Eney, a fourth-generation farmer in central Montana, previously told Business Insider that as suppliers of seeds and chemicals have become more consolidated, he hasn't seen many benefits.

"These corporate bigwigs, are they really going to do what they say?" he said. "Our farm has been out here since 1935, and I'm 40 years old and I've watched a lot of small family farms in our area go under. They can't compete because they can't pay the price of input because of what these companies are wanting to charge for input now."

Eney's farm grows wheat, malt barley, and field peas, and it uses Roundup, Monsanto's popular weed killer. Last year, he said, he and his father decided to use 50% less fertilizer to cut costs. The possibility of further consolidation has him on edge.

Clay Govier has a similar feeling.

"You know, it's almost like you shrug your shoulders and cross your fingers that your regulators are going to have a backbone and not let it happen," he said last year.

That scenario does not seem to be playing out as he'd hoped.

This is an updated version of a story originally published February 5, 2017.

There was a very amusing piece on NPR yesterday that suggested that Monsanto and some other mega-giant Big Ag companies are promoting regenerative farming and organic soil rebuilding in the US midwest. I almost pissed myself laughing. They are rebuilding alright. Their public image. If the truth was ever widely disseminated, they'd be sued into bankruptcy. Very clever, these Planet Poisoners.
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☠️ King Kong mates with Godzilla: Monsanto & Bayer Merge
« Reply #99 on: June 08, 2018, 12:45:12 AM »
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/jun/08/bayer-finally-closes-deal-for-monsanto-/

Bayer finally closes deal for Monsanto to cap $63B merger

By BRYCE GRAY ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH


Posted: June 8, 2018 at 1:56 a.m.

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Nearly two years after Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto was first announced, the financial part of the $63 billion merger was finally completed Thursday.

"Today's closing represents an important milestone toward the vision of creating a leading agricultural company, supporting growers in their efforts to be more productive and sustainable for the benefit of our planet and consumers," said Hugh Grant, outgoing chairman and chief executive officer of Monsanto.

But amid a still-ongoing marathon to secure regulatory approval of the deal, Thursday's closing simply marks Bayer's purchase of the Creve Coeur, Mo.-based agribusiness giant. Many details -- including those about personnel changes and specific strategies of the new company -- are still months away from any resolution, with other stages of the integration process yet to unfurl.

"That basically means we transfer an awful lot of money and hope all the account numbers are correct," said Liam Condon, head of Bayer's crop science division, describing the close of the acquisition on a call with reporters earlier this week. "Bayer will then become the sole shareholder of Monsanto."

But it will still require more patience before Bayer, the German life sciences company, gets the keys to the Monsanto kingdom. Condon explained that information about the joint company's future remains scarce because they must continue to operate independently for about a two-month period while Bayer sells off certain parts of its business to the chemical company, BASF.

"This is only a matter of process, not a matter of content," said Condon. "So [the deal] is definitely going to happen."

During that two-month window when the companies continue to operate as competitors, the Monsanto name -- which will be dropped once the companies unite -- will see its final days.

Only after that period lapses can Bayer finally peer under the hood at confidential information about Monsanto's business operations. Condon said that access is needed before any changes can be assessed in earnest.

Even so, some comments have painted at least broad strokes of what to expect -- particularly for Monsanto's footprint in the St. Louis area.

The region will become Bayer's North American headquarters and retain its presence as a leading hub of biotech research. Bayer's crop science researchers, for instance, will join Monsanto's research campus in Chesterfield after moving from their current home in North Carolina.

The timing of that move -- and the precise scope of how many employees will come and go from St. Louis-area facilities -- remains uncertain, with Condon saying that it "is going to take probably a year" to unfold.

"Some people will move immediately, some people will take longer," said Condon. "This also depends on family situations -- kids at school and whatever."

And while it's not yet clear what broader personnel changes might be in store, Condon did say that employment numbers will fluctuate in the short term.

"There will be some fluctuation and there will be some changes in some jobs, but over time this is going to be an innovation engine and we're going to have to be investing," said Condon. "A lot of that investment is going to be in R&D in the U.S. And as the company grows, there's also a need for supporting functions. ... So over time, my assumption is that there will be more employment, as opposed to less. But, for sure, there will be some impacts that we can only detail out after this initial two-month period."

Looking ahead to when Bayer can finally review Monsanto's internal metrics, Condon added that he "wouldn't expect any kind of sudden people decisions in this year."

Bayer has already identified an estimated $1.2 billion in "synergies" that it could realize from the merger within a four-year period. Of that figure, about $200 million stems from projected sales, while roughly $1 billion is tied to overlapping "infrastructural-type costs," according to Condon.

Condon did not talk about potential overlap in terms of personnel, but cited separate real estate and licenses for IT systems as two significant areas where the companies could save money just by teaming up.

"There's a huge opportunity to simply bring everything into one place," he said.

Speculation about the company's new look also extends to philanthropic circles in St. Louis, where Monsanto has long been a strong corporate presence in charitable giving. Condon, though, said that Bayer would maintain -- and even expand -- commitments to the community.

"We both feel highly committed to the communities in which we are based," he said of the two companies. "That will continue, particularly now that the bigger footprint is going to be in St. Louis. Our ties in St. Louis are, if anything, going to be strengthened."
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37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field
« Reply #100 on: July 06, 2018, 03:26:42 AM »
37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field

37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Two of Bayer’s best-selling pesticides, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The marketing of these drugs also coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European countries and the United States.

Nathan Carey another local farmer says that this spring he noticed that there were not enough bees on his farm and he believes that there is a strong correlation between the disappearance of bees and insecticide use.

In the past, many scientists have struggled to find the exact cause of the massive die-offs, a phenomenon they refer to as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). In the United States, for seven consecutive years, honeybees are in terminal decline.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. “We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies,” said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS’s bee research laboratory.

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute over 30 billion to the global economy.

A new study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that neonicotinoid pesticides kill honeybees by damaging their immune system and making them unable to fight diseases and bacteria.

After reporting large losses of bees after exposure to Imidacloprid, banned it for use on corn and sunflowers, despite protests by Bayer. In another smart move, France also rejected Bayer’s application for Clothianidin, and other countries, such as Italy, have banned certain neonicotinoids as well. After record-breaking honeybee deaths in the UK, the European Union has banned multiple pesticides, including neonicotinoid pesticides.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
« Reply #101 on: July 06, 2018, 05:11:51 AM »
Ugh. 600 hives.

Great.
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🚜 Monsanto MUST DIE: Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against Roundup
« Reply #102 on: August 12, 2018, 02:29:01 AM »
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/lawsuit-brings-289-million-verdict-against-maker-of-roundup-weed-killer/

Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against maker of Roundup weed killer
Jury finds fault with herbicide manufacturer despite lack of scientific evidence.

John Timmer - 8/11/2018, 10:45 AM


Enlarge / A weedkiller has gotten its manufacturer in very large legal troubles.
Erich Ferdinand / Flickr

On Friday, a California jury hit Monsanto with $289 million in damages in a lawsuit brought by a patient suffering from terminal cancer, accepting the plaintiff's claims that his disease was caused by the company's popular herbicide, Roundup. The suit neatly sidestepped the complicated epidemiology of the active ingredient in the herbicide—glyphosate—and instead made the claim that the cancer was the result of glyphosate's interactions with other chemicals in Roundup—a claim for which there is even less evidence.

The suit is one of hundreds in progress and will almost certainly be appealed by Monsanto, which was recently purchased by chemical giant Bayer.

According to CNN, the suit was filed by a former groundskeeper for a school system near San Francisco named Dewayne Johnson. As part of his job, Johnson regularly used the popular herbicide and claimed that he suffered extensive exposure during two accidents within the past decade.

The degree of exposure can be an issue with glyphosate. High levels of exposure in animal testing has hinted that the chemical could cause cancer, and some small epidemiological studies found a link between cancers and extensive exposure during agricultural work. That was enough for the World Health Organization to label the idea that glyphosate caused cancer as "probable."

But there have been questions raised about the significance of the animal studies even as the WHO report was being prepared. And a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies found no consistent association of glyphosate with cancer. European safety regulators have come to an opposite conclusion to that of the WHO, determining that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

Exposure outside of working directly with the chemical produces levels that are widely considered safe. For example, FactCheck.org calculated that people would have to eat over 35 kilograms of agricultural products containing glyphosate a day just to reach the strictest safety limits.

So it would be difficult to judge whether Mr. Johnson's two accidental exposures would cause any cancer risk whatsoever. But that issue was sidestepped during the trial, as Johnson's lawyers argued that his cancer was caused by the combination of glyphosate and other chemicals present in Roundup. The evidence there is even less certain: glyphosate has been off patent for decades, and is found in products from many manufacturers beyond Monsanto. As a result, most studies focus specifically on the herbicide, since studying individual formulations would leave the work without much statistical power.

For Bayer and its recently purchased subsidiary Monsanto, the verdict is a disaster. A quarter-billion of it is purely punitive damages, meant to punish the company for "acting with malice and oppression." There are also thousands of other cases focusing on Roundup pending. The company has already stated that it plans to appeal the verdict, and a Bayer spokesman has told the BBC that glyphosate is safe to use.
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⚖️ Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism
« Reply #103 on: October 08, 2018, 12:09:37 AM »
https://www.globalresearch.ca/food-justice-violence-and-capitalism/5656337

Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism
By Colin Todhunter
Global Research, October 07, 2018
Region: Asia
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Law and Justice, Poverty & Social Inequality

In 2015, India’s internal intelligence agency wrote a report that depicted various campaigners and groups as working against the national interest. The report singled out environmental activists and NGOs that had been protesting against state-corporate policies. Those largely undemocratic and unconstitutional policies were endangering rivers, forests and local ecologies, destroying and oppressing marginalised communities, entrenching the corporatisation of agriculture and usurping land rights.

These issues are not unique to India. Resistance against similar practices and injustices is happening across the world. And for their efforts, campaigners are being abused, incarcerated and murdered. Whether people are campaigning for the land rights of tribal communities in India or for the rights of peasant farmers in Latin America or are campaigning against the fracking industry in the UK or against pipelines in the US, there is a common thread: non-violent protest to help bring about a more just and environmentally sustainable world.

What is ultimately fuelling the push towards the relentless plunder of land, peoples and the environment is a strident globalised capitalism, euphemistically termed ‘globalisation’, which is underpinned by increasing state surveillance, paramilitary-type law enforcement and a US-backed push towards militarism.

The deregulation of international capital movement (financial liberalisation) effectively turned the world into a free-for-all for global capital. The ramping up of this militarism comes at the back end of a deregulating/pro-privatising neoliberal agenda that has sacked public budgets, depressed wages, expanded credit to consumers and to governments (to sustain spending and consumption) and unbridled financial speculation. In effect, spending on war is in part a desperate attempt to boost a stagnant US economy.

We may read the writings of the likes of John Perkins (economic hitmen), Michel Chossudovsky (the globalisation of poverty), Michael Hudson (treasury bond super-imperialism) or Paul Craig Roberts (the US’s descent into militarism and mass surveillance) to understand the machinations of billionaire capitalists and the economic system and massive levels of exploitation and suffering they preside over.

Food activists are very much part of the global pushback and the struggle for peace, equality and justice and in one form or another are campaigning against violence, corruption and cronyism. There is a determination to question and to hold to account those with wealth and power, namely transnational agribusiness corporations and their cronies who hold political office.

There is sufficient evidence for us to know that these companies lie and cover up truth. And we also know that their bought politicians, academics, journalists and right-wing neoliberal backers and front groups smear critics and attempt to marginalise alternative visions of food and agriculture.
Corporate Spin: Genetically Modifying the Way to Food Security?

They are first to man the barricades when their interests are threatened. Those interests are tied to corporate power, neoliberal capitalism and the roll out of food for profit. These companies and their cheerleaders would be the last to speak up about the human rights abuses faced by environmentalists in various places across the world. They have little to say about the injustices of a global food regime that creates and perpetuates food surpluses in rich countries and food deficits elsewhere, resulting in a billion people with insufficient food for their daily needs. Instead all they have to offer are clichés about the need for more corporate freedom and deregulation if we are to ‘feed the world’.

And they attempt to gloss over or just plain ignore the land grabs and the marginalisation of peasant farmers across the world, the agrarian crisis in India or the harm done by agrochemicals because it is all tied to the neoliberal globalisation agenda which fuels corporate profit, lavish salaries or research grants.

It is the type of globalisation that has in the UK led to deindustrialisation, massive inequalities, the erosion of the welfare state and an increasing reliance on food banks. In South America, there has been the colonisation of lands and farmers to feed richer countries’ unsustainable, environment-destroying appetite for meat. In effect what Helena Paul once described in The Ecologist as genocide and ecocide.  From India to Argentina, we have witnessed (are witnessing) the destruction of indigenous practices and cultures under the guise of ‘development’.

And from various bilateral trade agreements and WTO policies to IMF and World Bank directives, we have seen the influence of transnational agricapital shaping and benefitting from ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘structural adjustment’ type strategies.

We also see the globalisation of bad food and illness and the deleterious impacts of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture on health, rivers, soils and oceans. The global food regime thrives on the degradation of health, environment, labour and communities and the narrowing of the range of crops grown resulting in increasingly monolithic, nutrient-deficient diets.

Whether it includes any or all of the above or the hollowing out of regulatory agencies and the range of human rights abuses we saw documented during The Monsanto Tribunal, what we see is the tacit acceptance of neoliberal policies and the perpetuation of structural (economic, social and political) violence by mainstream politicians and agricapital and its cheerleaders.

At the same time, however, what we are also witnessing is a loosely defined food movement becoming increasingly aware of the connection between these issues.

Of course, to insinuate that those campaigning for the labelling of GM food, the right to healthy food or access to farmers markets in the West and peasant movements involved with wider issues pertaining to food sovereignty, corporate imperialism and development in the Global South form part of a unified ‘movement’ in terms of material conditions or ideological outlook would be stretching a point.

After all, if you campaign for, say, healthy organic food in your supermarket, while overlooking the fact that the food in question derives from a cash crop which displaced traditional cropping systems and its introduction effectively destroyed largely food self-sufficient communities and turned them into food importing basket cases three thousand miles away, where is the unity?

However, despite the provisos, among an increasing number of food activists the struggle for healthy food in the West, wider issues related to the impact of geopolitical IMF-World Bank lending strategies and WTO policies and the securing of local community ownership of ‘the commons’ (land, water, seeds, research, technology, etc) are understood as being interconnected.

There is an emerging unity of purpose within the food movement and the embracing of a vision for a better, more just food system that can only deliver genuine solutions by challenging and replacing capitalism and its international relations of production and consumption.

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Colin Todhunter is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.
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