Doomstead Diner Menu => Environment => Topic started by: Surly1 on February 29, 2012, 03:17:51 AM

Title: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
Post by: Surly1 on February 29, 2012, 03:17:51 AM
Your daily conspiracy theory, although this article would seem to represent some decent research and connecting of dots than sheer speculation. And it helps us understand why the Gates Foundation underwrote the Arctic seed vault in Norway . . .

Like some roundup with that Wal-Mart corn?


Bill Gates, Monsanto, and eugenics: How one of the world's wealthiest men is actively promoting a corporate takeover of global agriculture

Read it here at http://www.naturalnews.com/035105_Bill_Gates_Monsanto_eugenics.html (http://www.naturalnews.com/035105_Bill_Gates_Monsanto_eugenics.html)       
   
(NaturalNews) After it was exposed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic brainchild of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, purchased 500,000 shares in Monsanto back in 2010 valued at more than $23 million, it became abundantly clear that this so-called benevolent charity is up to something other than eradicating disease and feeding the world's poor (http://www.guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk)). It turns out that the Gates family legacy has long been one of trying to dominate and control the world's systems, including in the areas of technology, medicine, and now agriculture.

The Gates Foundation, aka the tax-exempt Gates Family Trust, is currently in the process of spending billions of dollars in the name of humanitarianism to establish a global food monopoly dominated by genetically-modified (GM) crops and seeds. And based on the Gates family's history of involvement in world affairs, it appears that one of its main goals besides simply establishing corporate control of the world's food supply is to reduce the world's population by a significant amount in the process.

William H. Gates Sr., former head of eugenics group Planned Parenthood

Bill Gates' father, William H. Gates Sr., has long been involved with the eugenics group Planned Parenthood, a rebranded organization birthed out of the American Eugenics Society. In a 2003 interview with PBS' Bill Moyers, Bill Gates admitted that his father used to be the head of Planned Parenthood, which was founded on the concept that most human beings are just "reckless breeders" and "human weeds" in need of culling (http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_gates.html (http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_gates.html)).

Gates also admitted during the interview that his family's involvement in reproductive issues throughout the years has been extensive, referencing his own prior adherence to the beliefs of eugenicist Thomas Robert Malthus, who believed that populations of the world need to be controlled through reproductive restrictions. Though Gates claims he now holds a different view, it appears as though his foundation's initiatives are just a modified Malthusian approach that much more discreetly reduces populations through vaccines and GMOs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus)).

Gates Foundation has invested heavily in converting Asian, African agricultural systems to GMOs

William Gates Sr.'s association with Planned Parenthood and continued influence in the realm of "population and reproductive health" is significant because Gates Sr. is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (http://www.gatesfoundation.org/leadership/Pages/william-gates-sr.aspx (http://www.gatesfoundation.org/leadership/Pages/william-gates-sr.aspx)). This long-time eugenicist "guides the vision and strategic direction" of the Gates Foundation, which is currently heavily focused on forcing GMOs on Africa via its financing of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The Gates Foundation has admittedly given at least $264.5 million in grant commitments to AGRA (www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Documents/BMGFFactSheet.pdf (http://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Documents/BMGFFactSheet.pdf)), and also reportedly hired Dr. Robert Horsch, a former Monsanto executive for 25 years who developed Roundup, to head up AGRA back in 2006. According to a report published in La Via Campesina back in 2010, 70 percent of AGRA's grantees in Kenya work directly with Monsanto, and nearly 80 percent of the Gates Foundation funding is devoted to biotechnology (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm)).

The same report explains that the Gates Foundation pledged $880 million in April 2010 to create the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is a heavy promoter of GMOs. GAFSP, of course, was responsible for providing $35 million in "aid" to earthquake-shattered Haiti to be used for implementing GMO agricultural systems and technologies.

Back in 2003, the Gates Foundation invested $25 million in "GM (genetically modified) research to develop vitamin and protein-enriched seeds for the world's poor," a move that many international charities and farmers groups vehemently opposed (http://healthfreedoms.org (http://healthfreedoms.org)). And in 2008, the Gates Foundation awarded $26.8 million to Cornell University to research GM wheat, which is the next major food crop in the crosshairs of Monsanto's GM food crop pipeline (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm)).

If you control agriculture, you control the populations of the world

The Gates Foundation's ties with Monsanto and corporate agriculture in general speak volumes about its real agenda, which is to create a monopolistic system of world control in every area of human life. Vaccines, pharmaceuticals, GMOs, reproductive control, weather manipulation, global warming -- these and many other points of entry are the means by which the Gates Foundation is making great strides to control the world by pretending to help improve and save it.

Rather than promote real food sovereignty and address the underlying political and economic issues that breed poverty, Gates and Co. has instead embraced the promotion of corporately-owned and controlled agriculture and medicine paradigms that will only further enslave the world's most impoverished. It is abundantly evident that GMOs have ravished already-impoverished people groups by destroying their native agricultural systems, as has been seen in India (http://www.naturalnews.com/030913_Monsanto_suicides.html (http://www.naturalnews.com/030913_Monsanto_suicides.html)).

Some may say Gates' endeavors are all about the money, while others may say they are about power and control. Perhaps it is a combination of both, where Gates is still in the business of promoting his own commercial investments, which includes buying shares in Monsanto while simultaneously investing in programs to promote Monsanto.

Whatever the case may be, there is simply no denying that Gates now has a direct interest in seeing Monsanto succeed in spreading GMOs around the world. And since Gates is openly facilitating Monsanto's growth into new markets through his "humanitarian" efforts, it is clear that the Gates family is in bed with Monsanto.

"Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really "donating" anything, but instead of paying taxes to state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions," wrote Silvia Ribeiro in the Mexican news source La Jornada back in 2010.

"On the contrary, their 'donations' finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world ... Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the 'Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa' (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM)."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk)

http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org (http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org)

http://english.pravda.ru (http://english.pravda.ru)

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21606.cfm)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Eugenics_Society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Eugenics_Society)

http://www.naturalnews.com/033148_seed_companies_Monsanto.html (http://www.naturalnews.com/033148_seed_companies_Monsanto.html)
Title: Re: Bill Gates, Monsanto, and eugenics
Post by: RE on February 29, 2012, 12:43:47 PM
I added a link to this on the Blog Homepage.

I also want to get your OWS piece up as an Article, but I want your own Pics in it!

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 24, 2013, 02:33:43 AM
Look for information in your neighborhood to participate in Occupy Monsanto on Tuesday September 17, 2013.

Place any actions with Links and Information you become aware of in this thread.

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 25, 2013, 03:54:43 AM

OCCUPY MONSANTO Tuesday September 17, 2013


Off the keyboard of RE


Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook


Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 25, 2013


occupy-monsanto-tuesday-september17


Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner



A few months ago in May, 2.000.000 People in 50 Countries around the world organized to fight Monsanto.  It is only the BEGINNING.  The fight is revving up now, and the Net Heads and Bloggers can come together here to get the MESSAGE out better than ever.


September 17, 2013 there will be more Global Actions against Monsanto.  Here on the Diner, we will do everything we can to make this effort even more successful than the last one.


Look for further articles, Podcasts and Videos coming over the next few weeks to further raise awareness about the threat posed to Humanity by Monsanto and GMO Foods.


MONSANTO MUST DIE!


RE


Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 25, 2013, 04:21:00 AM
I am pulling out ALL the stops trying to get in touch with the OCCUPY MONSANTO people.

I have asked all the Admins to contact anyone they know who might have some contact with this group.  I will add to that any Diners please contact everyone you know in Permaculture and in the Doom Blogosphere to try to get in contact with Occupy Monsanto.

On a Tech Note, Haniel, check out the Video I dropped on here from the Video-Net Arm of this group.  WE NEED THIS TECHNOLOGY on the Diner.  If they can do it, we can do it.  I am trying to contact Mike Adams for hints and advice, but pretty sure you can figure this out also.

I will not accept the Diner being Out-Techied by anyone else.  I hope the Database Cavalry from California feels likewise.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3593/3419250126_4e8ca528c5.jpg)

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 04:27:45 AM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: WHD on August 27, 2013, 08:06:51 AM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.

I'm in. Though we need to do something to assure all the articles aren't basically the same. That, and the whole project will be swamped, if Obama with the big cock of the Military/Industrial/Banking juggernaut up his ass is bombing Syria, and Assad is retaliating.

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: luciddreams on August 27, 2013, 11:24:49 AM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.

I'm in. Though we need to do something to assure all the articles aren't basically the same. That, and the whole project will be swamped, if Obama with the big cock of the Military/Industrial/Banking juggernaut up his ass is bombing Syria, and Assad is retaliating.

WHD

How do we do that?  I mean make sure they aren't all the same?  I don't do reporting really.  I do opinion pieces gonzo style...that's about the extent of my blogging. 
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 12:47:36 PM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.

I'm in. Though we need to do something to assure all the articles aren't basically the same. That, and the whole project will be swamped, if Obama with the big cock of the Military/Industrial/Banking juggernaut up his ass is bombing Syria, and Assad is retaliating.

WHD

How do we do that?  I mean make sure they aren't all the same?  I don't do reporting really.  I do opinion pieces gonzo style...that's about the extent of my blogging.

Pick a subtopic to focus on perhaps.  Or we could pick an order and after the first person writes one, he/she sends it to next one down the line.

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: luciddreams on August 27, 2013, 04:48:05 PM
I don't know RE...aren't we sort of preachin' to the choir about Monsanto?  I mean everybody on the Diner knows that Monsanto is the apex of Evil in our civilization.  WTF are we gonna talk about other then that?  I mean without doing research that is.  Like Monsanto and the link to cancer what with GMO's and all.  Or the legal aspects involved with them...like if you eat some monsanto food (from grocery store) and shit it out and then it's not a terminator seed and it actually grows and bears fruit...you're breaking the law at that point due to patenting law.  Or the fact that most American's have no clue and don't care. 
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 05:06:03 PM
I don't know RE...aren't we sort of preachin' to the choir about Monsanto?  I mean everybody on the Diner knows that Monsanto is the apex of Evil in our civilization.  WTF are we gonna talk about other then that?  I mean without doing research that is.  Like Monsanto and the link to cancer what with GMO's and all.  Or the legal aspects involved with them...like if you eat some monsanto food (from grocery store) and shit it out and then it's not a terminator seed and it actually grows and bears fruit...you're breaking the law at that point due to patenting law.  Or the fact that most American's have no clue and don't care.

Lots of good topics right there LD!  There is also the Suicides of all the Indian Farmers unable to make a living anymore, the vulnerability of cloned organisms to disease blights, the economic control of a population dependent on large food corporations...endless really.

Preaching to the Choir?  Remember, people who actually participate inside the Diner are just a small fraction of the Lurkers which is a smaller fraction of the Blog Readers.

The purpose of the Blog-a-thon is to help spread the word about the September 17th demonstrations.  Surly could talk about its connection to OWS and the Move to Amend, since Monsanto is of course one of those Corporate Persons.

I nominate you to write the first article so no worries about duplicating anyone else's stuff.  LOL.

RE

Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 05:17:50 PM
I don't know RE...aren't we sort of preachin' to the choir about Monsanto?  I mean everybody on the Diner knows that Monsanto is the apex of Evil in our civilization.  WTF are we gonna talk about other then that?  I mean without doing research that is.  Like Monsanto and the link to cancer what with GMO's and all.  Or the legal aspects involved with them...like if you eat some monsanto food (from grocery store) and shit it out and then it's not a terminator seed and it actually grows and bears fruit...you're breaking the law at that point due to patenting law.  Or the fact that most American's have no clue and don't care.

Lots of good topics right there LD!  There is also the Suicides of all the Indian Farmers unable to make a living anymore, the vulnerability of cloned organisms to disease blights, the economic control of a population dependent on large food corporations...endless really.

Preaching to the Choir?  Remember, people who actually participate inside the Diner are just a small fraction of the Lurkers which is a smaller fraction of the Blog Readers.

The purpose of the Blog-a-thon is to help spread the word about the September 17th demonstrations.  Surly could talk about its connection to OWS and the Move to Amend, since Monsanto is of course one of those Corporate Persons.

I nominate you to write the first article so no worries about duplicating anyone else's stuff.  LOL.

RE


Monsanto is a criminal and the officers of the company all belong in the slammer, no doubt about it.

While not trying to detract from the crime of these pigs and what they have taken it upon themselves to do without consent,approval , or discussion;  is Orkin man material in my view.

With all respect to you RE and your difficult task of admin, I think the protest turns out to be ill timed.  The events in Syria and strong indications of a US missile attack on Thursday place this very important topic in the back burner for now.  Unfortunate occurrence, but not a major concern when weighed against a mid east attack in my opinion.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 05:28:14 PM

With all respect to you RE and your difficult task of admin, I think the protest turns out to be ill timed.  The events in Syria and strong indications of a US missile attack on Thursday place this very important topic in the back burner for now.  Unfortunate occurrence, but not a major concern when weighed against a mid east attack in my opinion.

The folks organizing the Protests could not have known even 2 weeks ago Syria would Explode.

In the end, the Protests may be larger because it will combine Anti-War people with Anti-Monsanto people.

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: g on August 27, 2013, 05:37:26 PM

With all respect to you RE and your difficult task of admin, I think the protest turns out to be ill timed.  The events in Syria and strong indications of a US missile attack on Thursday place this very important topic in the back burner for now.  Unfortunate occurrence, but not a major concern when weighed against a mid east attack in my opinion.

The folks organizing the Protests could not have known even 2 weeks ago Syria would Explode.

In the end, the Protests may be larger because it will combine Anti-War people with Anti-Monsanto people.

RE


I realize that, which is why I referred to it as unfortunate, perhaps bad luck would have been a better term.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: luciddreams on August 27, 2013, 06:17:12 PM
when do you need the essay RE? 
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 27, 2013, 08:43:14 PM
Lots of good topics right there LD!  There is also the Suicides of all the Indian Farmers unable to make a living anymore, the vulnerability of cloned organisms to disease blights, the economic control of a population dependent on large food corporations...endless really.
Oh yeah... or how Roundup doesn't actually kill weeds?  If you grow weeds in a sterilized soil and apply Roundup, it does stunt the weed some, but doesn't kill it, but the same kind of weed grown under the same conditions except in normal soil with the same application of Roundup is killed.  In other words, Roundup is actually making the plant more vulnerable to plant pathogens in the soil.  The danger with that is that that can give the pathogens a chance to multiply and grow stronger and start affecting everything planted in the soil.

Oh yeah, and in case you don't know the connection, Roundup is Monsanto's star weedkiller, and Roundup-resistant crops are a majority of GMO products.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 08:54:48 PM
Lots of good topics right there LD!  There is also the Suicides of all the Indian Farmers unable to make a living anymore, the vulnerability of cloned organisms to disease blights, the economic control of a population dependent on large food corporations...endless really.
Oh yeah... or how Roundup doesn't actually kill weeds?  If you grow weeds in a sterilized soil and apply Roundup, it does stunt the weed some, but doesn't kill it, but the same kind of weed grown under the same conditions except in normal soil with the same application of Roundup is killed.  In other words, Roundup is actually making the plant more vulnerable to plant pathogens in the soil.  The danger with that is that that can give the pathogens a chance to multiply and grow stronger and start affecting everything planted in the soil.

Oh yeah, and in case you don't know the connection, Roundup is Monsanto's star weedkiller, and Roundup-resistant crops are a majority of GMO products.

Thanks for volunteering to write the Round Up Article, JD.  :icon_mrgreen:

I am penciling in LD for Saturday, Surly for Sunday and you for Monday.

Please try to have your article ready 2 days before scheduled publication.  :icon_sunny:

Still need "Volunteers" for Tues-Sat of next week.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Slave Driver.  LOL.

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 27, 2013, 09:18:39 PM
Thanks for volunteering to write the Round Up Article, JD.  :icon_mrgreen:

I am penciling in LD for Saturday, Surly for Sunday and you for Monday.
Please try to have your article ready 2 days before scheduled publication.  :icon_sunny:

Still need "Volunteers" for Tues-Sat of next week.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Slave Driver.  LOL.
That's all I've got off the top of my head, but I'm sure I can get more with research.
What's the target word count?  Any other instructions?
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on August 27, 2013, 09:44:07 PM
That's all I've got off the top of my head, but I'm sure I can get more with research.
What's the target word count?  Any other instructions?

It doesn't have to be RE Length.  :icon_mrgreen:

Kunstler's articles run around 750 words, that would be fine.  Fewer even if you do a Photo Essay or find good Vids to Embed.  Or you might take your vid camera to the local Gardening Superstore and do a Cart-Cam  I Spy Doom episode.  LOL.

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: Surly1 on August 28, 2013, 03:40:31 AM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.

I'm in.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto Diner Blog-a-thon
Post by: RE on August 28, 2013, 04:05:52 AM
Beginning Friday, I would like the Diner Native Bloggers to write articles reflecting their perspectives on MONSANTO, GMO Foods and Food Security issues. Our last Blog-a-thon was for Turtle Island and Eustace Conway, this one I hope to be even bigger and better than that one.

I produced a Kickoff Coming Attractions I Spy Doom episode today which I will publish on Friday to Kick Off this Blog-a-thon.  I am hoping to have at least one MONSANTO related Blog each day from Friday until a Culminating Diner Round Table Vidcast on Sunday together with some of our Cross Posting Blogger friends.

This I Spy Doom video features my latest new Technical Innovation, SUV-CAM!  :icon_mrgreen:

I am particularly hopeful for Monsanto related articles from Surly, WHD, LD, GM, Agelbert, Roamer, Monsta, Haniel and perhaps a Newzy Joe Compilation of Storiez from around the Web related to Monsanto.  If everyone contributes 1 article on this topic, we can cover the week from Sat to Sat after my Kickoff I Spy Doom video teaser, to lead into the Premier Vidcast on the Diner on Sunday Sept 8th.

Get writing Diner Bloggers!  Submit in PM to me or Draft it on WP if you know how to do that.  Or submit as a Word Doc via email.

I'm in.

That's Good, since I already have you Penciled In for the Sunday Article.  :icon_mrgreen:

I also Published the Coming Attractitions I Spy Doom episode early as part of the Nicole Podcast intro article.

We will be doing another Test Vidcast tomorrow.  See if you can find a way to attend.

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto Blog-a-thon: Part 1
Post by: luciddreams on August 31, 2013, 02:11:26 AM

Off the keyboard of Lucid Dreams


Published on Epiphany Now on August 28, 2013


ninja fox


Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner



When RE, head admin and creator of the Doomstead Diner, asked me to write an article about the evils of Monsanto I was a bit confused by the request at first. “Aren’t we just preachin’ to the choir” I wanted to know. What am I going to write about that most people don’t already know? Most of what I know is from documentary films such as Food Inc., a Michael Pollan book or two (as well as many other books), the occasional internet article, as well as the annual report generated straight from Hell. Haven’t heard of that report? It’s called the Earth Rape Newspeak Players Ball Report and it’s discussed at the annual Newspeak Players Ball. This is the real purpose of the Bilderberger meeting every year. It’s where the awards are handed out by Satan himself. Monsanto has won four out of the last 10 awards with Satan praising their use of the word sustainability. He took the time to point out (at last years Earth Rape) how wonderfully crafted and full of diverse and pure Newspeak Monsanto’s “AboutUs” section of their website is:



At the heart of Monsanto is a very clear and principled code of conduct – one we expect all employees, contractors and management to live by every day. We operate under a genuine value system—our pledge—that demonstrates integrity, respect, ethical behavior, perspective and honesty as a foundation for everything we do.


A key part of fulfilling the promise of our value system is by engaging our communities in a significant and positive manner. Not only do we work hard to support the family farmer in a variety of ways, but we also:





  • provide extensive educational programs – particularly in science and agriculture – for students around the world





  • fund numerous research grants for graduate students





  • work in partnership with government bodies, non-profit agencies and advocacy groups to make agriculture more sustainable”





While I’m at it, here’s a video from Monsanto’s website that might make you throw up a few times.


This type of write up makes me very angry. Newspeak makes me angry in general. But this is particularly pernicious Newspeak. Monsanto making agriculture more sustainable? Is that why 16,196 Indian farmers killed themselves in 2008, with over 15,000 suicides a year from 2002 to 2008 according to Wiki. These deaths are mainly due to Monsanto’s BT cotton, but more to the point it’s due to Monsanto’s “sustainable” agriculture methods. Now, I study and practice permaculture methods, which are actually sustainable agriculture methods. Monsanto practices chemical mediated, genetically modified, monoculture. Sustainability with plants depends mostly on diversity. That’s why in nature you don’t see monocultures. You see thousands of different species of plants growing in a true melting pot of diversity.


Monsanto’s agriculture is the opposite of sustainable. They move into a country and get the farmers (whom practice sustainable agriculture passed on through generations) to plant their GM seeds which will not grow without Monsanto’s application of poisonous chemicals. So now the farmer is beholden to Monsanto to get their crops to grow. To add insult to injury the seeds are what are known as “terminator seeds” because subsequent generations of the plant are sterile and will not produce the next years crop. So the farmer must buy more seeds from Monsanto. By this time Monsanto has complete control of the farmer (and their land) since the farmer cannot afford to continue the charade without a hefty loan from the bank, which they will never be able to repay since they will never see a profit. No worries, cause Monsanto doesn’t give two shits about the farmers and their human needs. They’ve got huge machines that run by satellite programming to do the job of the farmer. This is the real reason why there has been an epidemic of Indian farmers committing suicide over the last ten years. So I guess if farmers killing themselves, genetically modified terminator seeds, and numerous application of deadly poisons is sustainable than Monsanto has nailed it. So this is the “variety of ways” that Monsanto “supports the family farmer”? By making them debt slaves whom find it practical to hang themselves?


There are many evils associated with what Monsanto is doing, but to my estimation, the most evil thing they have attempted to do is to patent life itself. Percy Schmeiser, of Saskatchewan Canada, can tell you all about that. His story is pretty well known, but in 1998 Monsanto sued him for growing their patented GM canola seed. Now, he didn’t grow their seeds, their seeds contaminated his 50 years of work cultivating an heirloom canola variety. That happened because nature has this amazing capacity to pollinate with pollinators. His fields got contaminated with Monsanto’s bull shit and then Monsanto sued Schmeiser for growing their crop without permission (luckily they did not succeed). I guess maybe next Monsanto will try to take the birds and the Bees to court for cross pollinating their patented genetic modifications?  What’s with the birds and bees anyways? Don’t they know there is law to follow?  Damn nature and it’s anarchic form of resilient life.


As far as genetically modifying natures design goes, this is what Monsanto has to say about that completely risk free practice:



 There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. DNA (and resulting RNA) is present in almost all foods. DNA is non-toxic and the presence of DNA, in and of itself, presents no hazard.



 Indeed, no need to test the effects of splicing non-plant DNA into plants such as the “fish tomato” with it’s winter flounder anitfreeze transgene spliced into it for better frost protection. Granted, this fish tomato was not brought to us by Monsanto, but their logic applies here, and they were the first company to apply genetic modification to food crops. There is no need to test whether or not this is a safe practice because “DNA is present in almost all foods” and DNA is “non-toxic.” Right, so sign me up for a “fish tomato” sandwich with round up ready corn on the cob. While I’m at it, why not some genetically modified soy formula for my 3 month old with a BT Cotton onesie. Might as well get him ready for his diet of mostly poisonous food so that he can get a head start on being sick for the rest of his life. But hey, at least he won’t be hungry while he’s dying from cancer.



The last thing we need is more chemicals on planet Earth. Monsanto is in the business of making humanity even more dependent on chemicals. A quick google search for “pollution in the womb” uncovered this gem:



Umbilical cord blood from 10 babies was tested for 413 industrial chemicals and pollutants. The tests found an average of 200 of these chemicals in each newborn, and a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of the 10 babies harboured pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline and garbage. Some of the chemicals found in the cord blood are banned or severely restricted in the US.

Among the chemicals found were:

- eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles, including the Teflon chemical PFOA. PFOA was recently characterized as a likely human carcinogen.

- 21 organochloride pesticides.

- dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and their toxic by products, used in TVs, computers, foam and many other products. They are also found in some foods.

Of the 287 chemicals detected in the study, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.





I wonder how many of those organochloride pesticides are brought to us by Monsanto and their ilk? So we’re going to Occupy Monsanto on September 17th. Everywhere. Not sure what my part will be short of writing this article. But maybe I’ll put a sign up on the busy roadside in front of my house that says something like “Monsanto pollutes our wombs.” Or “Monsanto causes cancer.” Anything to bring attention to the evil that is being perpetuated in the name of profit by this ridiculous company and the food production philosophy they labor to cultivate. We don’t need genetically modified foods in moncultures. It is not a sustainable practice. It is quite the opposite in fact. It causes more virulent and pesticide resistant pests for our food crops. It causes slaves to be made from simple farmers whom then kill themselves out of desperation. It causes humanity to ultimately be at the mercy of those who would seek to control all of our food for no other reason than profit via patents on plant DNA.



The question you have to ask yourself is do you want your food to be cheap, nutritionally deficient, and destructive to sustainable cultures throughout the world? Or do you want your food to be nutritious and produced using natural methods that mimic natures design while facilitating healthy human societies? We can do that as a species if we decide to. There is a lot stopping us from accomplishing the later goal, and Monsanto is behind a good bit of that reasoning. There is no reason why we can’t produce all of the food we need as a species in a way that is regenerative, healthy, and supportive of all life systems involved in the ecology of food production. It’s not a mystery. We know how to do it, and it does not require the use of man made chemicals that pollute the wombs of our unborn children, cause cancer, and convince simple farmers that killing themselves is a better option than remaining Monsanto slaves. We have the solutions. We can fix this mess. But we won’t if you don’t pull your head out of the sand and start paying attention to the evil’s being perpetuated by corporations whom care about nothing but profit. And at the expense of the health of our planet and all of the species on it. We don’t own the Earth, but we do share it with billions of other life forms, a healthy majority of which we are actively exterminating with the practices of our civilizations Big Agriculture headed up by the likes of Monsanto.

Title: Occupy Monsanto: "What a piece of work is man!"
Post by: Surly1 on September 01, 2013, 08:56:51 AM

From the keyboard of Surly1

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on August 12, 2013


What a piece of work is a man! How noble in

reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving

how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!

in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the

world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is

this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no,

nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem

to say so . . .


~Shakespeare, Hamlet, (Act II, Scene ii, 285-300)


Monsanto-DuPont-Roundup-war


Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.


The capacity for modern science to extend and improve life was brought home to me quite directly this past week. A childhood friend of 57 years standing was hospitalized last week with faintness and dizziness. My friend, aFor him professor of mathematics, is a former martial artist and has always been whippet-thin, wiry, and fit. Yet he presented with symptoms that required a battery of tests.


Long story short,  he had surgery to have a pacemaker implanted. It seems commonplace to us now, but such a miracle! An opening into shoulder cavity, insertion of wires through an artery into the surfaces of the heart, and voilà! A regulated heartbeat, with energy and color restored, and all right with the world.


Such advances in technology mean that through surgical and other means we can extend and save lives. A congenital heart condition and resulting arrhythmia are adjusted through the implantation of a small device– a moral and welcome use of technology. But what about immoral, and unjust uses? It seems apparent that our technological capacity has completely outstripped our moral dimension.


 Here’s one small example. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are, on their website, quite proud to claim 10 great public-health achievements in the 20th century that have added 25 years to the average life expectancy of people in the United States. Among these are:



Now I would argue the single greatest improvement to public health has been public sanitation. There are both aesthetic as well as public health virtues in getting shit out of the streets.


Beyond that, some quibbles. Without doubt  vaccinations have all but eradicated smallpox and polio from the United States. Yet other inoculations, such as Gardasil, are problematic. What “motor vehicle safety” and  ”workplace safety” are doing on this list I have no idea, except that CFC staff needed to pad out the list to get to ten. The “family planning” item is laughable in terms of our current politics, as right wing politicians have both demonized birth control and made women’s health clinics virtually unable to operate. A sizable contingent thinks that flouridated water is a communist plot. But of the ironies on this list, none is more poignant than the one that lists “safer and healthier foods.”



 The CDC list  and accompanying article completely ignores the phenomenon of genetically modified food.  Those of us who actually consume foods in the real economy cannot afford to adopt  the CDC’s  position.


GMO foods are plants and bacteria which have had specific changes introduced to their DNA using genetic engineering techniques. Such organisms are designed to be treated with toxic herbicides and pesticides, chemicals which have been suspected to increase allergies and have been linked to decreased fertility, asthma, organ failure even cancer.


To briefly review the bidding on the dangers posed by genetically modified foods, we offer the following:  Animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food. The GM process creates massive collateral damage in the plant, with side effects that are often unpredictable. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has even asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.


Most of us are aware that the FDA, like many agencies entrusted with the public welfare now held captive by corporate interests, decided to allow GMOs to be sold without labeling. State-level attempts to require labeling of GMO food have been met with intense lobbying and millions of dollars pitched in opposition.


Why the drama?


Consider this handful of research findings:



Problems posed by genetically modified food are magnified by the fact that unlike drugs, there are no human clinical trials for GM foods. The only published human feeding experiment revealed that genetic material transferred into GM soy stays inside our intestines and continues to function long after we quit consuming them. The food may be gone, but the altered proteins remain doing their work.


Thus we fail to study one possible vector of danger to public health that could conceivably create super diseases resistant to antibiotics, or, alternatively, turn our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories. Hopefully this will put the “good work” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and the captive FDA) in context.



Citizens are starting to get the word out and educating other citizens about the dangers of GMO foods.  As the Occupy movement  was suborned and destroyed by sweeps of militarized police under direction from DHS, the tents disappeared, yet the anger and disgust at our nonresponsive politicians has remained,  and has been transformed into specific, single-purpose movements.


One of these is  Occupy Monsanto, which has emerged to stage numerous protests at companies connected to the global trade of GMOs. Occupy Monsanto  is calling for a day of action on September 17 of this year.  Basic themes  include the idea that Monsanto’s push to control agriculture poses a threat only to consumers in this country, but also throughout Latin America Africa and Asia. Also, if GMO foods are perfectly safe, why not allow them to be labeled and compete in the market?


“There is something wrong when a chemical manufacturer, the same company who made Agent Orange, controls the US food supply.”  ~activist Jaye Crawford.


IMG_1245


 


IMG_1244


Local groups in southeastern Virginia staged an anti-GMO rally in May of this year. We handed out leaflets, engaged passersby in conversation, and otherwise did our best to create awareness. Much like our government, the last thing Monsanto wants is people talking to people creating awareness and providing education about the real issues posed by GMOs. To that end, Monsanto has mounted its own public relations counteroffensive:



Plant Biotechnology Companies Launch “GMO Answers”


7/29/2013


The following release was issued by the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI). Monsanto is a member of CBI.


Washington, DC (July 29, 2013) – The agricultural biotechnology companies that develop genetically modified seeds — or GMOs — are coming together to launch a broad, new initiative to provide accurate information and answer the toughest questions about GMOs and how our food is grown. GMO Answers (www.GMOAnswers.com) is a new conversation, public Q&A, and central online resource for information on GMOs, their background, use in agriculture, and research and data in one easy-to-access public resource for the first time.


“GMOs are a growing topic of discussion today, with a wide range of questions and emotions,” Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., spokesperson for GMO Answers, said. “Food is personal, so we want to open the door for personal discussions. We recognize we haven’t done the best job communicating about GMOs—what they are, how they are developed, food safety information—the science, data and processes. We want people to join us and ask their tough questions. Be skeptical. Evaluate the information and decide for yourself. We look forward to an open conversation.”


<snip>


GMO Answers is produced by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. Together, their commitment to openness and access to information is outlined in the GMO Answers five core principles:



  • Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families

  • Welcoming and answering questions on all GMO topics

  • Making GMO information, research and data easy to access and evaluate and supporting safety testing of GM products, including allowing independent safety testing of our products by validated science-based methods

  • Supporting farmers as they work to grow crops using precious resources more efficiently, with less impact on the environment and producing safe, nutritious food and feed products

  • Respecting farmers’ rights to choose the seeds that are best for their farms, businesses and communities and providing seed choices that include non-GM seeds based on market demands.


 




The statement of Dr. Enright notwithstanding, if Monsanto “wants people to join and ask tough questions,” and “looks forward to an open conversation,” then I am the rightful King of France.


IMG_1248


IMG_1263


You want the truth? Follow the money. Open labeling of GM foods would permit an “open conversation,” but that is the last thing that the members of the Council for Biotechnology Information want. What they want is for you is to put your head down, eat, work, consume, and die. The last thing they want you to do is to talk to one another, to educate yourself and others on the real-life dangers of the poisons that have already entered our food supply, and the failure our so-called government regulatory agencies to do any actual regulating.




IMG_1257


Find a local action group, get the word out, and resist, resist, resist. And plant your own food before it becomes a crime to do so, and the moving thugscrum that used to be local law enforcement comes to make you tear it out.


As David Cobb of Move to Amend recently said in an interview, “There is no doubt that this government is afraid of its people.”  So too are the agribusiness giants who have gathered together to control the food supply of the American people in the name of profit.


As we collectively chase the daily profit motive, and busy ourselves in continued worship of Mammon, our actions stand revealed as far different from those of “the Angels.” Neither noble in reason, nor infinite in faculty, certainly not admirable. And as to “apprehension like a God?” We would settle for the apprehension of a single conscious human being with a decent regard for the welfare of his fellow man.


Title: Seed Smugglin': Occupy Monsanto
Post by: GypsyMama on September 02, 2013, 04:07:14 PM










Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: "What a piece of work is man"
Post by: RE on September 02, 2013, 04:15:58 PM
Surly, so far I haven't had any luck contacting Occupy Monsanto people via emails I dug up.

Maybe you could try contacting them through Facepalm?

https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto (https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto)

I'd like them to at least be aware of our Blogathon and hopefully get somebody over for a Podcast or Vidcast.

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: "What a piece of work is man"
Post by: Surly1 on September 03, 2013, 03:09:33 AM
Surly, so far I haven't had any luck contacting Occupy Monsanto people via emails I dug up.

Maybe you could try contacting them through Facepalm?

https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto (https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto)

I'd like them to at least be aware of our Blogathon and hopefully get somebody over for a Podcast or Vidcast.

RE

No contact info available except for this
http://occupymonsanto360.org/blog (http://occupymonsanto360.org/blog)
which doesn't load this morning. Will keep trying.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: "What a piece of work is man"
Post by: RE on September 03, 2013, 03:26:35 AM
Surly, so far I haven't had any luck contacting Occupy Monsanto people via emails I dug up.

Maybe you could try contacting them through Facepalm?

https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto (https://www.facebook.com/occupymonsanto)

I'd like them to at least be aware of our Blogathon and hopefully get somebody over for a Podcast or Vidcast.

RE

No contact info available except for this
http://occupymonsanto360.org/blog (http://occupymonsanto360.org/blog)
which doesn't load this morning. Will keep trying.

I found another one GCU@Occupy-Monsanto.com.  Sent another invite there.

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto: Roundup
Post by: Guest on September 03, 2013, 05:02:58 PM

Off the keyboard of JD Wheeler


Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 3, 2013


occupy-monsanto-tuesday-september17


Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner


An eager young man strides in to the movie producer’s office.  He offers the man behind the desk a stack of pages stapled together.  The executive waves it off and says, “I’m a busy man. You have two minutes.  What’s your story?”


“An evil genius invents this spray that weakens the immune system, allowing germs to flourish, while helpful bacteria die.  Even after the victim’s death, the killing agent is released and can be retransmitted.  The spray can last in the soil for months, even years.  Genetic modification is developed to resist the effects of this spray.”


“So, it basically sounds like you want to make another zombie horror film…”


“No, it’s a documentary.”


———-


The above exchange is fictional — but it doesn’t need to be.  Such a spray already exists, except its primary (intended) victims are plants.  The generic name is glyphosate, but it is much more commonly known under Monsanto’s brand name, Roundup.


Roundup is a very broad spectrum herbicide.  It kills all kinds of plants.  The Scotts company, who sells Roundup to consumers, specifically warns people not to use it in their lawns unless they want to kill the grass.  Part of the reason for that warning is there are a number of narrower spectrum herbicides which don’t affect grasses but kill other “broad-leaved” weeds.


Roundup is actually a mixture of chemicals, glyphosate is only the active ingredient.  The way glyphosate works is it disables an enzyme found only in plants.  That enzyme is essentially part of the plant’s immune system.  Without it, the plant is unable to fight off disease organisms.  So it’s almost like giving the plants AIDS.  Not quite, because at least the glyphosate doesn’t reproduce, but neither is it necessarily used up when it kills the plant.  As the plant tissue breaks down, the glyphosate can be released again to kill again, continuing the cycle until the something does eventually break it down, or more likely, it gets bound to something that doesn’t break down.  Under ideal conditions, that can be in as little as a few days, which is what Monsanto likes to quote, but in heavy clay soils with little organic matter, it can persist for months.




This picture is a good demonstration of the action of Roundup.  The two plants on the left have been treated with Roundup.  The middle one was grown in normal soil, the leftmost one was grown in sterile soil.  The one on the right is the control, it is there to show you what the plants would look like without Roundup, or, if certain fungicides are applied, Roundup also has no effect.


This is where things really start to get scary.  One kind of disease organism that flourishes when you apply Roundup is Fusarium fungi.  Monsanto advertises that glyphosate is safe for animals and humans, because only plants have the enzyme that glyphosate targets.  I’m sure that last part is true.  One of many things Monsanto hasn’t taken into account are the toxins that the various Fusarium species produce.  Those definitely can be toxic to plants and animals.


Much of the GMO crops being produced are so-called “Roundup-Ready”.  These are meant to withstand the effects of the glyphosate.  While the plants do not die, that does not mean they are not being infected by things like Fusarium, however.


Of course, Monsanto isn’t the only one who can develop resistance to Roundup.  Weeds are doing it on their own, not only to the glyphosate, but to the disease organisms.  In the end we are breeding weeds that are healthier and more resilient than the crop plants.


Let’s say that you decide you’re going to grow things naturally.  No way you are going to use Roundup on your veggies.  You’re not even going to use chemical fertilizers, just chicken manure and compost.  Not so fast.  What did those chickens eat?  GMO corn?  Then there’s a really good chance there is Roundup in their manure.  Where did that compost come from?  Was it from Roundup-ready crop residue?  You could be killing your plants instead of fertilizing them.



Luckily there is a fairly simple test.  Watercress is extremely sensitive to any kind of herbicide.  If you mix some of the compost or chicken manure in some water and use it on some watercress, if it does not kill off the watercress then it is probably safe.


Another problem with glyphosate is that is binds itself to other minerals.  This can cause deficiency diseases in plants, animals, and people, and it also means that the supposedly deactivated glyphosate in the soil can be reactivated by application of a high phosphate fertilizer.  Talk about zombie plant killers!


And as I said in the beginning, glyphosate is merely the active ingredient in Roundup.  Inactive ingredients, such as POEA, are sufficiently toxic that drinking as little as half a cup of Roundup could lead to coma or death.


Back to plants, something that has been showing up in fields treated in previous years with Roundup is Sudden Death Syndrome.

The same kind of plants would be fine in one row and dying in the next, because the soil beneath the latter was treated with Roundup.


Monsanto has a lot to answer for, but much of the damage it has done has been because of their best-selling herbicide Roundup.  In the end it has the potential to kill a lot more than just weeds.


Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: Roundup
Post by: Eddie on September 03, 2013, 05:12:56 PM
Great article JD. I hate to admit I used to use that stuff on my yard. Not for a long time, though.
Can you elaborate about how to use the watercress. Where do you get live watercress? Can I grow it?
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: Roundup
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 03, 2013, 05:28:48 PM
Great article JD. I hate to admit I used to use that stuff on my yard. Not for a long time, though.
Can you elaborate about how to use the watercress. Where do you get live watercress? Can I grow it?
Watercress is fairly hard to come by as a plant, but any seed company that has a decent selection of herb seeds should have it available.  It's not too hard to grow, EXCEPT for the fact that it is so very sensitive to herbicides, and it needs fresh water.  My suggestion is to start the seeds in fresh vermiculite, that should not have any contaminants.  If you have an air conditioner that is constantly dripping water, that is an excellent place to put it.
Title: Occupy Monsanto: Hemp, the Plant Monsanto Fears
Post by: RE on September 04, 2013, 02:07:58 AM

Off the Microphones of Blair Longley, William Hunter Duncan, RE and Monsta666


Aired on the Doomstead Diner on September 4, 2013


logopodcast


Discussion at the Podcast Table inside the Diner



Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto/Svalbard
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 09:42:29 AM
Fascinating article that examines the root of the poison tree. Tying together eugenics, biowarfare, "the Great Culling," Monsanto, Syngenta, the "Green Revolution," and death-by-vaccine.

Can you spell Rockefeller?

“Doomsday Seed Vault” in the Arctic -
Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don’t
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, May 01, 2013
http://www.globalresearch.ca/doomsday-seed-vault-in-the-arctic-2/23503 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/doomsday-seed-vault-in-the-arctic-2/23503)

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/doomsday-vault-2.jpg)
doomsday-vault-2

One thing Microsoft founder Bill Gates can’t be accused of is sloth. He was already programming at 14, founded Microsoft at age 20 while still a student at Harvard. By 1995 he had been listed by Forbes as the world’s richest man from being the largest shareholder in his Microsoft, a company which his relentless drive built into a de facto monopoly in software systems for personal computers.

In 2006 when most people in such a situation might think of retiring to a quiet Pacific island, Bill Gates decided to devote his energies to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest ‘transparent’ private foundation as it says, with a whopping $34.6 billion endowment and a legal necessity to spend $1.5 billion a year on charitable projects around the world to maintain its tax free charitable status. A gift from friend and business associate, mega-investor Warren Buffett in 2006, of some $30 billion worth of shares in Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway put the Gates’ foundation into the league where it spends almost the amount of the entire annual budget of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

So when Bill Gates decides through the Gates Foundation to invest some $30 million of their hard earned money in a project, it is worth looking at.

No project is more interesting at the moment than a curious project in one of the world’s most remote spots, Svalbard. Bill Gates is investing millions in a seed bank on the Barents Sea near the Arctic Ocean, some 1,100 kilometers from the North Pole. Svalbard is a barren piece of rock claimed by Norway and ceded in 1925 by international treaty (see map).

On this God-forsaken island Bill Gates is investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in what is called the ‘doomsday seed bank.’ Officially the project is named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.

The seed bank is being built inside a mountain on Spitsbergen Island near the small village of Longyearbyen. It’s almost ready for ‘business’ according to their releases. The bank will have dual blast-proof doors with motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick. It will contain up to three million different varieties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future,’ according to the Norwegian government. Seeds will be specially wrapped to exclude moisture. There will be no full-time staff, but the vault’s relative inaccessibility will facilitate monitoring any possible human activity.

Did we miss something here? Their press release stated, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future.’ What future do the seed bank’s sponsors foresee, that would threaten the global availability of current seeds, almost all of which are already well protected in designated seed banks around the world?

Anytime Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta get together on a common project, it’s worth digging a bit deeper behind the rocks on Spitsbergen. When we do we find some fascinating things.

The first notable point is who is sponsoring the doomsday seed vault. Here joining the Norwegians are, as noted, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the US agribusiness giant DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred, one of the world’s largest owners of patented genetically-modified (GMO) plant seeds and related agrichemicals; Syngenta, the Swiss-based major GMO seed and agrichemicals company through its Syngenta Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation, the private group who created the “gene revolution with over $100 million of seed money since the 1970’s; CGIAR, the global network created by the Rockefeller Foundation to promote its ideal of genetic purity through agriculture change.

CGIAR and ‘The Project’

As I detailed in the book, Seeds of Destruction1, in 1960 the Rockefeller Foundation, John D. Rockefeller III’s Agriculture Development Council and the Ford Foundation joined forces to create the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, the Philippines. By 1971, the Rockefeller Foundation’s IRRI, along with their Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and two other Rockefeller and Ford Foundation-created international research centers, the IITA for tropical agriculture, Nigeria, and IRRI for rice, Philippines, combined to form a global Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR).

CGIAR was shaped at a series of private conferences held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s conference center in Bellagio, Italy. Key participants at the Bellagio talks were the Rockefeller Foundation’s George Harrar, Ford Foundation’s Forrest Hill, Robert McNamara of the World Bank and Maurice Strong, the Rockefeller family’s international environmental organizer, who, as a Rockefeller Foundation Trustee, organized the UN Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972. It was part of the foundation’s decades long focus to turn science to the service of eugenics, a hideous version of racial purity, what has been called The Project.

To ensure maximum impact, CGIAR drew in the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Development Program and the World Bank. Thus, through a carefully-planned leverage of its initial funds, the Rockefeller Foundation by the beginning of the 1970’s was in a position to shape global agriculture policy. And shape it did.

Financed by generous Rockefeller and Ford Foundation study grants, CGIAR saw to it that leading Third World agriculture scientists and agronomists were brought to the US to ‘master’ the concepts of modern agribusiness production, in order to carry it back to their homeland. In the process they created an invaluable network of influence for US agribusiness promotion in those countries, most especially promotion of the GMO ‘Gene Revolution’ in developing countries, all in the name of science and efficient, free market agriculture.

Genetically engineering a master race?


Now the Svalbard Seed Bank begins to become interesting. But it gets better. ‘The Project’ I referred to is the project of the Rockefeller Foundation and powerful financial interests since the 1920’s to use eugenics, later renamed genetics, to justify creation of a genetically-engineered Master Race. Hitler and the Nazis called it the Ayran Master Race.

The eugenics of Hitler were financed to a major extent by the same Rockefeller Foundation which today is building a doomsday seed vault to preserve samples of every seed on our planet. Now this is getting really intriguing. The same Rockefeller Foundation created the pseudo-science discipline of molecular biology in their relentless pursuit of reducing human life down to the ‘defining gene sequence’ which, they hoped, could then be modified in order to change human traits at will. Hitler’s eugenics scientists, many of whom were quietly brought to the United States after the War to continue their biological eugenics research, laid much of the groundwork of genetic engineering of various life forms, much of it supported openly until well into the Third Reich by Rockefeller Foundation generous grants.2

The same Rockefeller Foundation created the so-called Green Revolution, out of a trip to Mexico in 1946 by Nelson Rockefeller and former New Deal Secretary of Agriculture and founder of the Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Company, Henry Wallace.

The Green Revolution purported to solve the world hunger problem to a major degree in Mexico, India and other select countries where Rockefeller worked. Rockefeller Foundation agronomist, Norman Borlaug, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, hardly something to boast about with the likes of Henry Kissinger sharing the same.

In reality, as it years later emerged, the Green Revolution was a brilliant Rockefeller family scheme to develop a globalized agribusiness which they then could monopolize just as they had done in the world oil industry beginning a half century before. As Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population.’

Agribusiness and the Rockefeller Green Revolution went hand-in-hand. They were part of a grand strategy which included Rockefeller Foundation financing of research for the development of genetic engineering of plants and animals a few years later.

John H. Davis had been Assistant Agriculture Secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower in the early 1950’s. He left Washington in 1955 and went to the Harvard Graduate School of Business, an unusual place for an agriculture expert in those days. He had a clear strategy. In 1956, Davis wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in which he declared that “the only way to solve the so-called farm problem once and for all, and avoid cumbersome government programs, is to progress from agriculture to agribusiness.” He knew precisely what he had in mind, though few others had a clue back then— a revolution in agriculture production that would concentrate control of the food chain in corporate multinational hands, away from the traditional family farmer. 3

A crucial aspect driving the interest of the Rockefeller Foundation and US agribusiness companies was the fact that the Green Revolution was based on proliferation of new hybrid seeds in developing markets. One vital aspect of hybrid seeds was their lack of reproductive capacity. Hybrids had a built in protection against multiplication. Unlike normal open pollinated species whose seed gave yields similar to its parents, the yield of the seed borne by hybrid plants was significantly lower than that of the first generation.

That declining yield characteristic of hybrids meant farmers must normally buy seed every year in order to obtain high yields. Moreover, the lower yield of the second generation eliminated the trade in seed that was often done by seed producers without the breeder’s authorization. It prevented the redistribution of the commercial crop seed by middlemen. If the large multinational seed companies were able to control the parental seed lines in house, no competitor or farmer would be able to produce the hybrid. The global concentration of hybrid seed patents into a handful of giant seed companies, led by DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto’s Dekalb laid the ground for the later GMO seed revolution. 4

In effect, the introduction of modern American agricultural technology, chemical fertilizers and commercial hybrid seeds all made local farmers in developing countries, particularly the larger more established ones, dependent on foreign, mostly US agribusiness and petro-chemical company inputs. It was a first step in what was to be a decades-long, carefully planned process.

Under the Green Revolution Agribusiness was making major inroads into markets which were previously of limited access to US exporters. The trend was later dubbed “market-oriented agriculture.” In reality it was agribusiness-controlled agriculture.

Through the Green Revolution, the Rockefeller Foundation and later Ford Foundation worked hand-in-hand shaping and supporting the foreign policy goals of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and of the CIA.

One major effect of the Green Revolution was to depopulate the countryside of peasants who were forced to flee into shantytown slums around the cities in desperate search for work. That was no accident; it was part of the plan to create cheap labor pools for forthcoming US multinational manufactures, the ‘globalization’ of recent years.

When the self-promotion around the Green Revolution died down, the results were quite different from what had been promised. Problems had arisen from indiscriminate use of the new chemical pesticides, often with serious health consequences. The mono-culture cultivation of new hybrid seed varieties decreased soil fertility and yields over time. The first results were impressive: double or even triple yields for some crops such as wheat and later corn in Mexico. That soon faded.

The Green Revolution was typically accompanied by large irrigation projects which often included World Bank loans to construct huge new dams, and flood previously settled areas and fertile farmland in the process. Also, super-wheat produced greater yields by saturating the soil with huge amounts of fertilizer per acre, the fertilizer being the product of nitrates and petroleum, commodities controlled by the Rockefeller-dominated Seven Sisters major oil companies.

Huge quantities of herbicides and pesticides were also used, creating additional markets for the oil and chemical giants. As one analyst put it, in effect, the Green Revolution was merely a chemical revolution. At no point could developing nations pay for the huge amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They would get the credit courtesy of the World Bank and special loans by Chase Bank and other large New York banks, backed by US Government guarantees.

Applied in a large number of developing countries, those loans went mostly to the large landowners. For the smaller peasants the situation worked differently. Small peasant farmers could not afford the chemical and other modern inputs and had to borrow money.

Initially various government programs tried to provide some loans to farmers so that they could purchase seeds and fertilizers. Farmers who could not participate in this kind of program had to borrow from the private sector. Because of the exorbitant interest rates for informal loans, many small farmers did not even get the benefits of the initial higher yields. After harvest, they had to sell most if not all of their produce to pay off loans and interest. They became dependent on money-lenders and traders and often lost their land. Even with soft loans from government agencies, growing subsistence crops gave way to the production of cash crops.5

Since decades the same interests including the Rockefeller Foundation which backed the initial Green Revolution, have worked to promote a second ‘Gene Revolution’ as Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway termed it several years ago, the spread of industrial agriculture and commercial inputs including GMO patented seeds.

Gates, Rockefeller and a Green Revolution in Africa

With the true background of the 1950’s Rockefeller Foundation Green Revolution clear in mind, it becomes especially curious that the same Rockefeller Foundation along with the Gates Foundation which are now investing millions of dollars in preserving every seed against a possible “doomsday” scenario are also investing millions in a project called The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

AGRA, as it calls itself, is an alliance again with the same Rockefeller Foundation which created the “Gene Revolution.” A look at the AGRA Board of Directors confirms this.

It includes none other than former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as chairman. In his acceptance speech in a World Economic Forum event in Cape Town South Africa in June 2007, Kofi Annan stated, ‘I accept this challenge with gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign.’

In addition the AGRA board numbers a South African, Strive Masiyiwa who is a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. It includes Sylvia M. Mathews of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mamphela Ramphele, former Managing Director of the World Bank (2000 – 2006); Rajiv J. Shah of the Gates Foundation; Nadya K. Shmavonian of the Rockefeller Foundation; Roy Steiner of the Gates Foundation. In addition, an Alliance for AGRA includes Gary Toenniessen the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.

To fill out the lineup, the Programmes for AGRA includes Peter Matlon, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation; Joseph De Vries, Director of the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems and Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation. Like the old failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, the new Africa Green Revolution is clearly a high priority of the Rockefeller Foundation.

While to date they are keeping a low profile, Monsanto and the major GMO agribusiness giants are believed at the heart of using Kofi Annan’s AGRA to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the deceptive label, ‘bio-technology,’ the new euphemism for genetically engineered patented seeds. To date South Africa is the only African country permitting legal planting of GMO crops. In 2003 Burkina Faso authorized GMO trials. In 2005 Kofi Annan’s Ghana drafted bio-safety legislation and key officials expressed their intentions to pursue research into GMO crops.

Africa is the next target in the US-government campaign to spread GMO worldwide. Its rich soils make it an ideal candidate. Not surprisingly many African governments suspect the worst from the GMO sponsors as a multitude of genetic engineering and biosafety projects have been initiated in Africa, with the aim of introducing GMOs into Africa’s agricultural systems. These include sponsorships offered by the US government to train African scientists in genetic engineering in the US, biosafety projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank; GMO research involving African indigenous food crops.

The Rockefeller Foundation has been working for years to promote, largely without success, projects to introduce GMOs into the fields of Africa. They have backed research that supports the applicability of GMO cotton in the Makhathini Flats in South Africa.

Monsanto, who has a strong foothold in South Africa’s seed industry, both GMO and hybrid, has conceived of an ingenious smallholders’ programme known as the ‘Seeds of Hope’ Campaign, which is introducing a green revolution package to small scale poor farmers, followed, of course, by Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. 6

Syngenta AG of Switzerland, one of the ‘Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse’ is pouring millions of dollars into a new greenhouse facility in Nairobi, to develop GMO insect resistant maize. Syngenta is a part of CGIAR as well.7

Move on to Svalbard

Now is it simply philosophical sloppiness? What leads the Gates and Rockefeller foundations to at one and the same time to back proliferation of patented and soon-to-be Terminator patented seeds across Africa, a process which, as it has in every other place on earth, destroys the plant seed varieties as monoculture industrialized agribusiness is introduced? At the same time they invest tens of millions of dollars to preserve every seed variety known in a bomb-proof doomsday vault near the remote Arctic Circle ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future’ to restate their official release?

It is no accident that the Rockefeller and Gates foundations are teaming up to push a GMO-style Green Revolution in Africa at the same time they are quietly financing the ‘doomsday seed vault’ on Svalbard. The GMO agribusiness giants are up to their ears in the Svalbard project.

Indeed, the entire Svalbard enterprise and the people involved call up the worst catastrophe images of the Michael Crichton bestseller, Andromeda Strain, a sci-fi thriller where a deadly disease of extraterrestrial origin causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood threatening the entire human species. In Svalbard, the future world’s most secure seed repository will be guarded by the policemen of the GMO Green Revolution–the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, Syngenta, DuPont and CGIAR.

The Svalbard project will be run by an organization called the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT). Who are they to hold such an awesome trust over the planet’s entire seed varieties? The GCDT was founded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Bioversity International (formerly the International Plant Genetic Research Institute), an offshoot of the CGIAR.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust is based in Rome. Its Board is chaired by Margaret Catley-Carlson a Canadian also on the advisory board of Group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, one of the world’s largest private water companies. Catley-Carlson was also president until 1998 of the New York-based Population Council, John D. Rockefeller’s population reduction organization, set up in 1952 to advance the Rockefeller family’s eugenics program under the cover of promoting “family planning,” birth control devices, sterilization and “population control” in developing countries.

Other GCDT board members include former Bank of America executive presently head of the Hollywood DreamWorks Animation, Lewis Coleman. Coleman is also the lead Board Director of Northrup Grumman Corporation, one of America’s largest military industry Pentagon contractors.

Jorio Dauster (Brazil) is also Board Chairman of Brasil Ecodiesel. He is a former Ambassador of Brazil to the European Union, and Chief Negotiator of Brazil’s foreign debt for the Ministry of Finance. Dauster has also served as President of the Brazilian Coffee Institute and as Coordinator of the Project for the Modernization of Brazil’s Patent System, which involves legalizing patents on seeds which are genetically modified, something until recently forbidden by Brazil’s laws.

Cary Fowler is the Trust’s Executive Director. Fowler was Professor and Director of Research in the Department for International Environment & Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He was also a Senior Advisor to the Director General of Bioversity International. There he represented the Future Harvest Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. In the 1990s, he headed the International Program on Plant Genetic Resources at the FAO. He drafted and supervised negotiations of FAO’s Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by 150 countries in 1996. He is a past-member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the US and the Board of Trustees of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, another Rockefeller Foundation and CGIAR project.

GCDT board member Dr. Mangala Rai of India is the Secretary of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), and Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). He is also a Board Member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which promoted the world’s first major GMO experiment, the much-hyped ‘Golden Rice’ which proved a failure. Rai has served as Board Member for CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), and a Member of the Executive Council of the CGIAR.

Global Crop Diversity Trust Donors or financial angels include as well, in the words of the Humphrey Bogart Casablanca classic, ‘all the usual suspects.’ As well as the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, the Donors include GMO giants DuPont-Pioneer Hi-Bred, Syngenta of Basle Switzerland, CGIAR and the State Department’s energetically pro-GMO agency for development aid, USAID. Indeed it seems we have the GMO and population reduction foxes guarding the hen-house of mankind, the global seed diversity store in Svalbard. 8

Why now Svalbard?

We can legitimately ask why Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation along with the major genetic engineering agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Syngenta, along with CGIAR are building the Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic.

Who uses such a seed bank in the first place? Plant breeders and researchers are the major users of gene banks. Today’s largest plant breeders are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Chemical, the global plant-patenting GMO giants. Since early in 2007 Monsanto holds world patent rights together with the United States Government for plant so-called ‘Terminator’ or Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT). Terminator is an ominous technology by which a patented commercial seed commits ‘suicide’ after one harvest. Control by private seed companies is total. Such control and power over the food chain has never before in the history of mankind existed.

This clever genetically engineered terminator trait forces farmers to return every year to Monsanto or other GMO seed suppliers to get new seeds for rice, soybeans, corn, wheat whatever major crops they need to feed their population. If broadly introduced around the world, it could within perhaps a decade or so make the world’s majority of food producers new feudal serfs in bondage to three or four giant seed companies such as Monsanto or DuPont or Dow Chemical.

That, of course, could also open the door to have those private companies, perhaps under orders from their host government, Washington, deny seeds to one or another developing country whose politics happened to go against Washington’s. Those who say ‘It can’t happen here’ should look more closely at current global events. The mere existence of that concentration of power in three or four private US-based agribusiness giants is grounds for legally banning all GMO crops even were their harvest gains real, which they manifestly are not.

These private companies, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical hardly have an unsullied record in terms of stewardship of human life. They developed and proliferated such innovations as dioxin, PCBs, Agent Orange. They covered up for decades clear evidence of carcinogenic and other severe human health consequences of use of the toxic chemicals. They have buried serious scientific reports that the world’s most widespread herbicide, glyphosate, the essential ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that is tied to purchase of most Monsanto genetically engineered seeds, is toxic when it seeps into drinking water.9 Denmark banned glyphosate in 2003 when it confirmed it has contaminated the country’s groundwater.10

The diversity stored in seed gene banks is the raw material for plant breeding and for a great deal of basic biological research. Several hundred thousand samples are distributed annually for such purposes. The UN’s FAO lists some 1400 seed banks around the world, the largest being held by the United States Government. Other large banks are held by China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany and Canada in descending order of size. In addition, CGIAR operates a chain of seed banks in select centers around the world.

CGIAR, set up in 1972 by the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation to spread their Green Revolution agribusiness model, controls most of the private seed banks from the Philippines to Syria to Kenya. In all these present seed banks hold more than six and a half million seed varieties, almost two million of which are ‘distinct.’ Svalbard’s Doomsday Vault will have a capacity to house four and a half million different seeds.

GMO as a weapon of biowarfare?

Now we come to the heart of the danger and the potential for misuse inherent in the Svalbard project of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller foundation. Can the development of patented seeds for most of the world’s major sustenance crops such as rice, corn, wheat, and feed grains such as soybeans ultimately be used in a horrible form of biological warfare?

The explicit aim of the eugenics lobby funded by wealthy elite families such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman and others since the 1920’s, has embodied what they termed ‘negative eugenics,’ the systematic killing off of undesired bloodlines. Margaret Sanger, a rapid eugenicist, the founder of Planned Parenthood International and an intimate of the Rockefeller family, created something called The Negro Project in 1939, based in Harlem, which as she confided in a letter to a friend, was all about the fact that, as she put it, ‘we want to exterminate the Negro population.’ 11

A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto.

In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus, a sickness arising from such things as stepping on a rusty nail. The vaccine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are presumably equally liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curious anomaly, Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization became suspicious and had vaccine samples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vaccine being spread by the WHO only to women of child-bearing age contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.

It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller’s Population Council, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved in a 20-year-long project begun in 1972 to develop the concealed abortion vaccine with a tetanus carrier for WHO. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault, donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine. 12

Is it a coincidence that these same organizations, from Norway to the Rockefeller Foundation to the World Bank are also involved in the Svalbard seed bank project? According to Prof. Francis Boyle who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by the US Congress, the Pentagon is ‘now gearing up to fight and win biological warfare’ as part of two Bush national strategy directives adopted, he notes, ‘without public knowledge and review’ in 2002. Boyle adds that in 2001-2004 alone the US Federal Government spent $14.5 billion for civilian bio-warfare-related work, a staggering sum.

Rutgers University biologist Richard Ebright estimates that over 300 scientific institutions and some 12,000 individuals in the USA today have access to pathogens suitable for biowarfare. Alone there are 497 US Government NIH grants for research into infectious diseases with biowarfare potential. Of course this is being justified under the rubric of defending against possible terror attack as so much is today.

Many of the US Government dollars spent on biowarfare research involve genetic engineering. MIT biology professor Jonathan King says that the ‘growing bio-terror programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population.’ King adds, ‘while such programs are always called defensive, with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely.’ 13

Time will tell whether, God Forbid, the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Bank of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation is part of another Final Solution, this involving the extinction of the Late, Great Planet Earth.

Notes

1 F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction, Montreal, (Global Research, 2007).
2 Ibid, pp.72-90.
3 John H. Davis, Harvard Business Review, 1956, cited in Geoffrey Lawrence, Agribusiness, Capitalism and the Countryside, Pluto Press, Sydney, 1987. See also Harvard Business School, The Evolution of an Industry and a Seminar: Agribusiness Seminar, http://www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/agb/seminar.html. (http://www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/agb/seminar.html.)
4 Engdahl, op cit., p. 130.
5 Ibid. P. 123-30.
6 Myriam Mayet, The New Green Revolution in Africa: Trojan Horse for GMOs?, May, 2007, African Centre for Biosafety, www.biosafetyafrica.net (http://www.biosafetyafrica.net).
7 ETC Group, Green Revolution 2.0 for Africa?, Communique Issue #94, March/April 2007.
8 Global Crop Diversity Trust website, in http://www.croptrust.org/main/donors.php. (http://www.croptrust.org/main/donors.php.)
9 Engdahl, op. cit., pp.227-236.
10 Anders Legarth Smith, Denmark Bans Glyphosates, the Active Ingredient in Roundup, Politiken, September 15, 2003, in organic.com.au/news/2003.09.15.
11 Tanya L. Green, The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger’s Genocide Project for Black American’s, in www.blackgenocide.org/negro.html (http://www.blackgenocide.org/negro.html).
12 Engdahl, op. cit., pp. 273-275; J.A. Miller, Are New Vaccines Laced With Birth-Control Drugs?, HLI Reports, Human Life International, Gaithersburg, Maryland; June/July 1995, Volume 13, Number 8.
13 Sherwood Ross, Bush Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons for Offensive Use,’ December 20, 2006, in www.truthout.org (http://www.truthout.org).


Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto - Svalbard
Post by: WHD on September 04, 2013, 01:58:48 PM
Quote
Fascinating article that examines the root of the poison tree. Tying together eugenics, biowarfare, "the Great Culling," Monsanto, Syngenta, the "Green Revolution," and death-by-vaccine.

Surly1,

It is articles like this that make me a good deal more sympathetic to RE's Orkin Man theory. If even half of what this guy reports is true...I suppose the golden key for these people is the GMO virus 100% effective that they alone possess the anti-virus for. Even if they never achieve it, they could starve half or more of the planet in three years, just by withdrawing their GMO and hybrid seed.

How do you distinguish however, between the famine or the pestilence that is orchestrated, and the one that happens because it is inevitable? Really, you wouldn't need to make it happen. The cascading failure of the conduits would be enough to unleash all the viruses and bacteria we have been suppressing since the advent of antibiotics, let alone the starvation that would happen because the vast majority of humanity has nothing to do with food production.

It is a vexing question. Can't say I support the Orkin Man theory. Though, I can say i would be fine if the world were free from the likes of the Rockefellers and their ilk. I have the sense that they would have no qualms at all about dropping drone bombs on our SUN Project  :icon_sunny: if we ever got it up and running, if it and others like it ever became anything like a threat to industrial GMO corn fields, or their bloody god damn control over the entire planet.   

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto - Svalbard
Post by: Surly1 on September 04, 2013, 03:19:05 PM
Quote
Fascinating article that examines the root of the poison tree. Tying together eugenics, biowarfare, "the Great Culling," Monsanto, Syngenta, the "Green Revolution," and death-by-vaccine.

Surly1,

It is articles like this that make me a good deal more sympathetic to RE's Orkin Man theory. If even half of what this guy reports is true...I suppose the golden key for these people is the GMO virus 100% effective that they alone possess the anti-virus for. Even if they never achieve it, they could starve half or more of the planet in three years, just by withdrawing their GMO and hybrid seed.

How do you distinguish however, between the famine or the pestilence that is orchestrated, and the one that happens because it is inevitable? Really, you wouldn't need to make it happen. The cascading failure of the conduits would be enough to unleash all the viruses and bacteria we have been suppressing since the advent of antibiotics, let alone the starvation that would happen because the vast majority of humanity has nothing to do with food production.

It is a vexing question. Can't say I support the Orkin Man theory. Though, I can say i would be fine if the world were free from the likes of the Rockefellers and their ilk. I have the sense that they would have no qualms at all about dropping drone bombs on our SUN Project  :icon_sunny: if we ever got it up and running, if it and others like it ever became anything like a threat to industrial GMO corn fields, or their bloody god damn control over the entire planet.   

WHD

I have always argued with RE about The Orkin Man because history teaches that you never get the genie back in the bottle, and for every Robespierre, you get a Napoleon. That's at least a tweet of my premise, argued in voluminous, never-to-be-read-again blog posts.

Svalbard poses a challenge, though, to people who connect the dots, and who, along with you and I, share the same high opinion of the Rockefellers and the other members of the one per cent. Or in deference to Eddie, and more accurately, the upper one quarter of one per cent.

Why? What are they planning? What to do about it?

The time will come when it will become a crime to grow your own food of to traffic in seeds. As well as to criticize a corporate person in social media or in a public space. What worries me is that I may yet live to see it.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto - Svalbard
Post by: RE on September 04, 2013, 04:50:08 PM
The time will come when it will become a crime to grow your own food of to traffic in seeds. As well as to criticize a corporate person in social media or in a public space. What worries me is that I may yet live to see it.

Said time may arrive, but it won't last very long.  The power to control the vast conduit of food production will disappear along with the fossil fuels that run this system.

The Boot Stomping on the Face of Humanity is Powered by Oil.  It will NOT Last Forever.

In the meantime as the Oil runs OUT, the Planet will not support 7B people living on it, so SOMEBODY's gotta GO here.  We can hold a Referendum.   :icon_sunny: Who goes FIRST here?  I Vote Lloyd Blankfein off the Island first! :emthdown:

(http://www.infiniteunknown.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bankster-Lloyd-Blankfein.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto - Rooters Newz SirVis
Post by: WHD on September 04, 2013, 05:35:33 PM
Quote
Fascinating article that examines the root of the poison tree. Tying together eugenics, biowarfare, "the Great Culling," Monsanto, Syngenta, the "Green Revolution," and death-by-vaccine.

Surly1,

It is articles like this that make me a good deal more sympathetic to RE's Orkin Man theory. If even half of what this guy reports is true...I suppose the golden key for these people is the GMO virus 100% effective that they alone possess the anti-virus for. Even if they never achieve it, they could starve half or more of the planet in three years, just by withdrawing their GMO and hybrid seed.

How do you distinguish however, between the famine or the pestilence that is orchestrated, and the one that happens because it is inevitable? Really, you wouldn't need to make it happen. The cascading failure of the conduits would be enough to unleash all the viruses and bacteria we have been suppressing since the advent of antibiotics, let alone the starvation that would happen because the vast majority of humanity has nothing to do with food production.

It is a vexing question. Can't say I support the Orkin Man theory. Though, I can say i would be fine if the world were free from the likes of the Rockefellers and their ilk. I have the sense that they would have no qualms at all about dropping drone bombs on our SUN Project  :icon_sunny: if we ever got it up and running, if it and others like it ever became anything like a threat to industrial GMO corn fields, or their bloody god damn control over the entire planet.   

WHD

I have always argued with RE about The Orkin Man because history teaches that you never get the genie back in the bottle, and for every Robespierre, you get a Napoleon. That's at least a tweet of my premise, argued in voluminous, never-to-be-read-again blog posts.

Svalbard poses a challenge, though, to people who connect the dots, and who, along with you and I, share the same high opinion of the Rockefellers and the other members of the one per cent. Or in deference to Eddie, and more accurately, the upper one quarter of one per cent.

Why? What are they planning? What to do about it?

The time will come when it will become a crime to grow your own food of to traffic in seeds. As well as to criticize a corporate person in social media or in a public space. What worries me is that I may yet live to see it.

eXTRA! eXTRA! rEAD ALL ABOUT IT!

From Rooters Newz Sirvis:

After 99% of Americans voted for the winning candidate, the new Administration of Uber Meister declared henceforth, the trafficking in gold, seeds, water or paper with words written on them, would remain capital crimes. The price of slaves would be reduced by half, and sex of any kind, except between or with corporate associates, would be strictly verbotten. Internet access would remain universal, and another 10 million jobs would be created by the Office of Friendly People (OFP fka NSA Nobody Sees Athing.) 

Prezident Meister affirmed that an extra day would be added to every week, so that everybody could work one more day. New work hours would be universal, from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset. Night time electricity would be reserved for the out of doors, with a continued non-work hour curfew in all non-corporate enclaves. In an effort to curb the expression of joy, festival days will be reduced to the second Monday of every fourth month, during which it will be permissible to wear a white hat to match your white clothing.

Every hour on the hour every day, everyone will be required to speak into their neck bracelet, "Uber Meister and the corporate banking military state are making a better race of people." Miss any, and your GMO food rations will be reduced by half for the next eight day week, with a similar increase in your don't worry be happy (fukitol) pills.

God save Uber Meister. God bless America.
Title: Occupy Monsanto Locations
Post by: RE on September 06, 2013, 04:27:00 AM
I had to remove the auto-generated post here from my Occupy Monsanto Locations article.  The HTML is way fucked in this, and conversion to BBCode made it worse.


Fixing this table would take me a good deal of time, which I am not going to do.


On the blog, it is more or less legible.


RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 11:45:17 AM
(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1174764_624771180896682_68222223_n.jpg)

BREAKING NEWS: IT'S ABOUT TIME! THANK YOU Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) for taking this on. The movement is behind you 100%!!

READ: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs122/1104248386985/archive/1114774940086.html (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs122/1104248386985/archive/1114774940086.html)

LISTEN to Food Integrity Now's interview with Jim Gerritsen, President of OSGATA, lead plaintiff in the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto case (please wait for mp3 to load): http://media.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/p/content.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/FIN-2013-09-05-E107-Copy.mp3 (http://media.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/p/content.blubrry.com/foodintegritynow/FIN-2013-09-05-E107-Copy.mp3)

PHOTO CREDIT: JANET NASH

#OSGATA #Monsanto #patents #GMOpatents #gmo #nogmos #AmericanFarmers #OrganicFarmers #GECrops #gmofreecanada #FoodIntegrityNow #OccupyMonsanto #gmofreeusa
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 11:47:10 AM
(https://sphotos-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1236136_624705887569878_977923796_n.jpg)

Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, who caused a scientific storm with the publication of the first peer reviewed long term GMO feeding study, has challenged Monsanto to release the raw data from their own safety studies. Professor Séralini put his raw data in the hands of an independent notary until Monsanto does the same. Monsanto, scaredy-cat?

READ: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/05/gm-food-cancers-fsa? (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/05/gm-food-cancers-fsa?)
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: WHD on September 06, 2013, 12:01:54 PM
So I'm at the bar last night, talking to this girl sitting next to me at the bar. She is from Iowa, her Dad is a corn farmer, her boyfriend sitting next to her is from Brazil. She tells me she studied environmental science at the Univ of Colorado, Boulder. So I get around to mentioning that they are cutting down the Brazilian rain forest to plant Monsanto GMO soybeans. She said, "I thought is was poor cattle farmers?" I said, "No, it's giant agri-business. They are doing the same thing in Africa and India. Displacing poor subsistence farmers and tribal peoples and shuttling them into slums in the cities, if those poor farmers and tribal people don't kill themselves." "Oh," she said. "I just got my degree, and all I was ever told was that it was poor people doing it, the cutting of the forests." "No, I said, it's basically the same people who put you $18,000 into debt." She had already decided to go into chiropracty. I told her not to worry about the debt, because fiat currency is a ponzi scheme and the whole thing is coming down soon enough. She didn't say goodby when she left. Neither did that Liberal Boomer who loves drone bombing because "they have to keep us safe."  :icon_mrgreen:

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Eddie on September 06, 2013, 12:59:24 PM
For WHD

(http://thuttu.com/modules/upload/attachments/thumbs/-2047-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people--paperback--450x350-.jpg)

Addendum: Assuming there's a fly leaf, write the following words:

 Never tell strangers in bars more truth than they're ready to hear.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 01:51:45 PM
So I'm at the bar last night, talking to this girl sitting next to me at the bar. She is from Iowa, her Dad is a corn farmer, her boyfriend sitting next to her is from Brazil. She tells me she studied environmental science at the Univ of Colorado, Boulder. So I get around to mentioning that they are cutting down the Brazilian rain forest to plant Monsanto GMO soybeans. She said, "I thought is was poor cattle farmers?" I said, "No, it's giant agri-business. They are doing the same thing in Africa and India. Displacing poor subsistence farmers and tribal peoples and shuttling them into slums in the cities, if those poor farmers and tribal people don't kill themselves." "Oh," she said. "I just got my degree, and all I was ever told was that it was poor people doing it, the cutting of the forests." "No, I said, it's basically the same people who put you $18,000 into debt." She had already decided to go into chiropracty. I told her not to worry about the debt, because fiat currency is a ponzi scheme and the whole thing is coming down soon enough. She didn't say goodby when she left. Neither did that Liberal Boomer who loves drone bombing because "they have to keep us safe."  :icon_mrgreen:

WHD

You need a better bar.

Seriously, one of the reasons the education component is so important. Because as I noted in the Sunday blog post, Monsanto is already mounting a full bore PR campaign to tamp down any one who questions the received wisdom.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: luciddreams on September 06, 2013, 04:38:49 PM
For WHD

(http://thuttu.com/modules/upload/attachments/thumbs/-2047-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people--paperback--450x350-.jpg)

Addendum: Assuming there's a fly leaf, write the following words:

 Never tell strangers in bars more truth than they're ready to hear.

When I was tending bar, 2003, just after my navy nuke "operation enduring freedom" bit...I was a 911 truther when before it was cool to be a 9/11 truther.  Anyways, there I was, tending bar (I was known as "captain"  ;D by my patrons and the staff).  I informed anybody whom wanted to listen about the truth behind 9/11...that it was an inside job. I'm sure lots of people never came back because of me.  But at least half of them got drunk while they were there, and I'd perform a fer magic tricks, make their cigarette disappear before their eyes...coin tricks...shit like that...and they'd just forget about the craziness I was talking about and party on. 

That was a good life.  Now I'm domesticated  :-\

I mean  :exp-laugh:
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Surly1 on September 06, 2013, 06:04:07 PM
American Farmers Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court to Seek Protection from Genetic Contamination and Invalidate Monsanto's Patents on Genetically Engineered Crops.

Read more: http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2013/sep/5/american_farmers_appeal_supreme_court_vs_monsanto (http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2013/sep/5/american_farmers_appeal_supreme_court_vs_monsanto)

(https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1185219_10151924834044388_447435255_n.jpg)
Title: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: RE on September 09, 2013, 02:40:12 AM
GMO and the Corporate Patenting of Living Organisms: Monsanto’s Patents on Life (http://www.globalresearch.ca/gmo-and-the-corporate-patenting-of-living-organisms-monsantos-patents-on-life/5324781)

By Ronnie Cummins
Global Research, September 07, 2013
Organic Consumers Association 25 May 2013
Region: USA
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Law and Justice

By Katherine Paul, Ronnie Cummins

In May 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a seed patent infringement case that pits a small farmer from Indiana, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman, against biotech goliath Monsanto.

Reporters from the New York Times to the Sacramento Bee dissected the legal arguments. They speculated on the odds. They opined on the impact a Monsanto loss might have, not only on genetically modified crops, but on medical research and software.

What most of them didn’t report on is the absurdity – and the danger – of allowing companies to patent living organisms in the first place, and then use those patents to attempt to monopolize world seed and food production.

The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.

The press and public have fixated on the sticky legal details of the case, and the classic David vs. Goliath nature of the fight. But win or lose, Mr. Bowman’s predicament is part of a much bigger problem.

The real issue is this: Why have we surrendered control over something so basic to human survival as seeds? Why have we bought into the biotech industry’s program, which pushes a few monoculture commodity crops, when history and science have proven that seed biodiversity is essential for growing crops capable of surviving severe climate conditions, such as drought and floods?

As physicist and environmentalist Vandana Shiva explains, we have turned seed, which is the heart of a traditional diversity-rich farming system across the world, into a powerful commodity, used to monopolize the food system. According to a recent report by the Center for Food Safety and Save our Seeds, three companies – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market. They have pressured farmers to replace diverse, nutritional seeds, seeds that are resilient because they’ve been bred by small-scale farmers to adapt to local climates and soil conditions, with monocultures of genetically engineered seeds. In the U.S. these crops are predominately corn and soybeans. According to the report, entitled “Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers,” 93 percent of soybeans and 86 percent of corn crops in the U.S. come from patented, genetically engineered seeds.

Monsanto profits handsomely from selling its patented seeds. But the real profits are in selling farmers its proprietary pesticides, like Roundup. Farmers can spray huge amounts of Roundup on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans, killing everything except the soybean plants. It’s a win-win for Monsanto. And it’s sold as a win to farmers, who have been told that by following the Monsanto method, they’ll increase their yields and make more money. Monsanto even claims that its GE crops are the answer to world hunger.

But little of what Monsanto has promised, to farmers and the world, has proven true.

Since farmers first began buying into Monsanto’s scheme in 1995, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent, according to the Center for Food Safety’s report. Corn seed prices are up by 259 percent. Those increases don’t include the cost of the lawsuits Monsanto has aggressively filed against farmers the company claims have violated patent agreements. By the end of 2012, Center for Food Safety calculates that Monsanto had received over $23.5 million from patent infringement lawsuits against farmers and farm businesses.

And the rest of us? What have we gained from this aggressive monopoly of seeds and crops? Nothing. In fact, the losses continue to mount.

Monsanto promised that its GE crops would help the environment by reducing the need for pesticides. But according to the USDA, farmers used up to 26 percent more chemicals per acre on herbicide-resistant crops than on non-GE crops. And as several dozen aggressive “superweeds” have become resistant to glyphosate, the primary herbicide used on GE crops, the biotech industry is ramping up its war on weeds with a new generation of GE crops that can surviving spraying with 2,4 D, paraquat, and other super-toxic herbicides.

As for GE crops being necessary to feed the world, that promise has also been debunked. In 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned that the loss of biodiversity will have a major impact on the ability of humankind to feed itself in the future.

According to “A Global Citizens Report on the State of GMOs: Failed Promises, Failed Technologies:”

The fable that GMOs are feeding the world has already led to large-scale destruction of biodiversity and farmers’ livelihoods. It is threatening the very basis of our freedom to know what we eat and to choose what we eat. Our biodiversity and our seed freedom are in peril. Our food freedom, food democracy and food sovereignty are at stake.

It’s safe to say that the majority of the general public would love to see the small farmer from Indiana knock Monsanto down a peg. Last year, a Monsanto ally threatened to sue the state of Vermont if legislators passed a law requiring labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Lawmakers capitulated, despite the fact that voter support was running at more than 90 percent. Later in the year, Monsanto and large food corporations spent $46 million to defeat a citizens’ initiative in California that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Monsanto may be Public Enemy Number One, but a win for Mr. Bowman is hardly a win for mankind. It’s time we ask ourselves: How long are we going to let Monsanto bully farmers and politicians into controlling the very source of life on earth? How long will we tolerate the growing monopolization and genetic engineering of seeds by an aggressive cabal of chemical and pesticide corporations who pose a deadly threat to our health, our environment and the future of our food? And when does “how long” become too late?

Katherine Paul is director of development and communications at the Organic Consumers Association.

Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association. Cummins is author of numerous articles and books, including “Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers” (Second Revised Edition Marlowe & Company 2004).
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 09, 2013, 12:21:00 PM
The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.
I hate to say it, but Monsanto was smart in bringing this case to the Supreme Court.  Even I would have a hard time ruling against them, because he signed a contract.  Depending on the wording of the contract, Mr. Bowman could easily have breached it.  Had he bought them from a seed dealer, his claims of innocence would have much more merit, the onus thereby falling on the seed dealer, but I doubt the grain elevator operator made any claims as to the suitability of the soybeans he was selling for the purposes of planting.  It really sounds to me like Mr. Bowman was trying to weasel out of the contract he signed.  Much as I despise Monsanto, if we don't honor contract law, we are courting chaos.
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 12:32:06 PM
The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.
I hate to say it, but Monsanto was smart in bringing this case to the Supreme Court.  Even I would have a hard time ruling against them, because he signed a contract.  Depending on the wording of the contract, Mr. Bowman could easily have breached it.  Had he bought them from a seed dealer, his claims of innocence would have much more merit, the onus thereby falling on the seed dealer, but I doubt the grain elevator operator made any claims as to the suitability of the soybeans he was selling for the purposes of planting.  It really sounds to me like Mr. Bowman was trying to weasel out of the contract he signed.  Much as I despise Monsanto, if we don't honor contract law, we are courting chaos.


JD,

He didn't sign any contract that said he couldn't buy any unmarked bag of seeds, which this article and the facts claim that he did. Never mind, what is contract law, when monopolists rule the world? Too, Monsanto can effectively say all soybeans everywhere have their patented genetics in them, since they control 93% of the market, and soybeans cross pollinate easily. The Supreme Court is acting as if monopoly trumps nature, ie Monsanto is more important than anything. Come to think of it, has Monsanto ever lost a court case anywhere other than Europe?

WHD 
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 09, 2013, 01:27:30 PM
Quote
I hate to say it, but Monsanto was smart in bringing this case to the Supreme Court.  Even I would have a hard time ruling against them, because he signed a contract.  Depending on the wording of the contract, Mr. Bowman could easily have breached it.  Had he bought them from a seed dealer, his claims of innocence would have much more merit, the onus thereby falling on the seed dealer, but I doubt the grain elevator operator made any claims as to the suitability of the soybeans he was selling for the purposes of planting.  It really sounds to me like Mr. Bowman was trying to weasel out of the contract he signed.  Much as I despise Monsanto, if we don't honor contract law, we are courting chaos.
He didn't sign any contract that said he couldn't buy any unmarked bag of seeds, which this article and the facts claim that he did. Never mind, what is contract law, when monopolists rule the world? Too, Monsanto can effectively say all soybeans everywhere have their patented genetics in them, since they control 93% of the market, and soybeans cross pollinate easily. The Supreme Court is acting as if monopoly trumps nature, ie Monsanto is more important than anything. Come to think of it, has Monsanto ever lost a court case anywhere other than Europe?
The contract he signed might have said that he wouldn't plant seeds from Monsanto unless he purchased them from Monsanto.  And quite frankly, unless a seed grower is being very careful to prevent cross-contamination, I would assume their seeds are.  In fact, I think I am going to start using Roundup on a few test seedlings whenever I buy new seeds to make sure they aren't GMO contaminated.  And of course, the results don't go in the compost pile.  ;)
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 02:05:22 PM
Quote
I hate to say it, but Monsanto was smart in bringing this case to the Supreme Court.  Even I would have a hard time ruling against them, because he signed a contract.  Depending on the wording of the contract, Mr. Bowman could easily have breached it.  Had he bought them from a seed dealer, his claims of innocence would have much more merit, the onus thereby falling on the seed dealer, but I doubt the grain elevator operator made any claims as to the suitability of the soybeans he was selling for the purposes of planting.  It really sounds to me like Mr. Bowman was trying to weasel out of the contract he signed.  Much as I despise Monsanto, if we don't honor contract law, we are courting chaos.
He didn't sign any contract that said he couldn't buy any unmarked bag of seeds, which this article and the facts claim that he did. Never mind, what is contract law, when monopolists rule the world? Too, Monsanto can effectively say all soybeans everywhere have their patented genetics in them, since they control 93% of the market, and soybeans cross pollinate easily. The Supreme Court is acting as if monopoly trumps nature, ie Monsanto is more important than anything. Come to think of it, has Monsanto ever lost a court case anywhere other than Europe?
The contract he signed might have said that he wouldn't plant seeds from Monsanto unless he purchased them from Monsanto.  And quite frankly, unless a seed grower is being very careful to prevent cross-contamination, I would assume their seeds are.  In fact, I think I am going to start using Roundup on a few test seedlings whenever I buy new seeds to make sure they aren't GMO contaminated.  And of course, the results don't go in the compost pile.  ;)

That is the courts effectively enforcing monopoly. We might as well say it is illegal to route any information anywhere except through the NSA.

As for buying Monsanto product to test for Monsanto corruption of nature? I think it would be better to outlaw GMO. Which the Congress nor the courts would ever consider, unless it was proved conclusively that GMO caused cancer or deformities. After which they would legislate immunity for the key players and limit monetary judgements, no doubt. If that sounds cynical, what is the taking over of the food supply with mad scientist doctored food stuff, without any serious testing of potential dangers, and without labelling? Criminal behavior, that's what. Defending the contracts of these people is like saying a contract with the mafia should be enforced, for the sake of the integrity of contracts.

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: g on September 09, 2013, 02:47:56 PM
Quote
Criminal behavior, that's what. Defending the contracts of these people is like saying a contract with the mafia should be enforced, for the sake of the integrity of contracts.

WHD

Hi again Duncan, this very thing reminds me of a discussion I had yesterday with Monsta. He posted interest rates on payday loans upward of 6000 percent. I told him his sources were tabloids or people who couldn't add. CFS, I said to myself, how could anyone sane lend some poor bastard 10 bucks and present him with a contract to sign that he owed him around 600 at the end of a year. How could such a thing exist in the civilized world.  I posted an article with 500 percent rates here in the US which are just as incomprehensible.

Monsta was correct however and much to my shock I was proven wrong. There are contracts signed every day in England, the birth place of our legal system, for these criminal extortions.  Something is seriously wrong out there and beyond my understanding.  The Mafia is a better place to go  now for a loan it appears.  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch:
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 09, 2013, 03:04:23 PM
Monsta was correct however and much to my shock I was proven wrong. There are contracts signed every day in England, the birth place of our legal system, for these criminal extortions.  Something is seriously wrong out there and beyond my understanding.
What is wrong is an almost criminally negligent education system that turns out people without CFS when it comes to financial matters... 
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: g on September 09, 2013, 03:13:48 PM
Monsta was correct however and much to my shock I was proven wrong. There are contracts signed every day in England, the birth place of our legal system, for these criminal extortions.  Something is seriously wrong out there and beyond my understanding.
What is wrong is an almost criminally negligent education system that turns out people without CFS when it comes to financial matters...

Hi JD, that certainly is a problem, but don't you think we should have a legal system that disregards such contracts as criminal.

I would like to think we still have judges or magistrates in this world who would tear up such a contract and lock up the presenter of such an instrument in the pokey for a period of reflection.
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 09, 2013, 03:15:28 PM
If that sounds cynical, what is the taking over of the food supply with mad scientist doctored food stuff, without any serious testing of potential dangers, and without labelling? Criminal behavior, that's what. Defending the contracts of these people is like saying a contract with the mafia should be enforced, for the sake of the integrity of contracts.
There already is a legal principle that contracts to commit a crime are unenforceable.  But if the contract is for a perfectly legal service, like driving a limo, and is entered into without coercion or deception, yeah, it should be enforced, even if it is for someone in the mafia.

Now, what much of what Monsanto is doing should be criminal, but at this point it is not, and that's Congress's job, not the Supreme Court's.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 09, 2013, 03:21:14 PM
Hi JD, that certainly is a problem, but don't you think we should have a legal system that disregards such contracts as criminal.

I would like to think we still have judges or magistrates in this world who would tear up such a contract and lock up the presenter of such an instrument in the pokey for a period of reflection.
Actually, there are such laws, at the state level, against usury.  The way they get around them is by charging fees and limiting lifespans of the loans, but allowing people to take out new loans to cover their old ones.

I am curious if RE sees any payday loan places in Alaska, I've read they still consider anything over 10% APR usury.  Personally I think the big mistake was not tying the usury rate to the Fed rates.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: g on September 09, 2013, 03:34:14 PM
Hi JD, that certainly is a problem, but don't you think we should have a legal system that disregards such contracts as criminal.

I would like to think we still have judges or magistrates in this world who would tear up such a contract and lock up the presenter of such an instrument in the pokey for a period of reflection.
Actually, there are such laws, at the state level, against usury.  The way they get around them is by charging fees and limiting lifespans of the loans, but allowing people to take out new loans to cover their old ones.

I am curious if RE sees any payday loan places in Alaska, I've read they still consider anything over 10% APR usury.  Personally I think the big mistake was not tying the usury rate to the Fed rates.

I am quite aware of the laws and the methods of getting around them JD. My point is the same as Duncan's; reason and justice should be the determining factor in such cases of criminal extortion of the poor.

If you are dying of thirst and I offer to sell you glass of cold water for twenty grand and you sign the dotted line should a legal system worthy of it's name enforce such a contract? That is my only point.

Keep in mind when you go into a courtroom the Judge becomes the law, not the mumbo jumbo pieces of paper.
Title: Re: Monsanto's Patents on Life
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 10:13:19 PM
If that sounds cynical, what is the taking over of the food supply with mad scientist doctored food stuff, without any serious testing of potential dangers, and without labelling? Criminal behavior, that's what. Defending the contracts of these people is like saying a contract with the mafia should be enforced, for the sake of the integrity of contracts.
There already is a legal principle that contracts to commit a crime are unenforceable.  But if the contract is for a perfectly legal service, like driving a limo, and is entered into without coercion or deception, yeah, it should be enforced, even if it is for someone in the mafia.

Now, what much of what Monsanto is doing should be criminal, but at this point it is not, and that's Congress's job, not the Supreme Court's.

JD,

So what happens then when Congress and the Supreme Court are on-the-whole criminal? I mean, seriously, Hemp prohibition? I get your point about contracts, but coercion is the top to bottom daily practice of America. Hell, MONEY is coercion at this point, as in, participate or die. Grow hemp and we will take everything you own? So Monsanto populates the government with its minions, and that makes their contracts legit? 9-0 says the Supremecist Court in the Bowman case. The mafia MAKES the laws at this point, and ENFORCES them, ruthlessly. There is no real negotiation with Mafia, when the Mafia is the system.

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: WHD on September 09, 2013, 10:16:53 PM
Quote
Criminal behavior, that's what. Defending the contracts of these people is like saying a contract with the mafia should be enforced, for the sake of the integrity of contracts.

WHD

Hi again Duncan, this very thing reminds me of a discussion I had yesterday with Monsta. He posted interest rates on payday loans upward of 6000 percent. I told him his sources were tabloids or people who couldn't add. CFS, I said to myself, how could anyone sane lend some poor bastard 10 bucks and present him with a contract to sign that he owed him around 600 at the end of a year. How could such a thing exist in the civilized world.  I posted an article with 500 percent rates here in the US which are just as incomprehensible.

Monsta was correct however and much to my shock I was proven wrong. There are contracts signed every day in England, the birth place of our legal system, for these criminal extortions.  Something is seriously wrong out there and beyond my understanding.  The Mafia is a better place to go  now for a loan it appears.  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch:

Seriously, GO, the government at this point makes the mafia blush. Who the fuck wants to be in the mafia when you can be legit and do ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand times as well. America, England/where the scum of the pot rises to the top.

WHD
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on September 09, 2013, 10:30:07 PM
Who the fuck wants to be in the mafia when you can be legit and do ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand times as well. America, England/where the scum of the pot rises to the top.

(http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BE9jBngCQAAItFG.jpg:large)

RE
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto/It CAN Happen...
Post by: Surly1 on September 18, 2013, 11:12:52 AM
"Thousands and thousands of farmers poured their heart and soul into protests of "Law 970," which made it illegal for farmers to save seeds in order for transnational corporations and other companies to gain monopoly control over the market."

They shut down food production and rallied against GMOs and for control of their own seeds...and they won! This is how it's done, folks!
VIDEO: Colombian Farmers Win Back Control Of Their Seeds After Prolonged Strike
http://www.popularresistance.org/video-colombian-farmers-win-back-control-of-their-seeds-after-prolonged-strike/ (http://www.popularresistance.org/video-colombian-farmers-win-back-control-of-their-seeds-after-prolonged-strike/)

National Farmers and Social Strike gets seeds control law 970 suspended

In Colombia after 21 days of a nationwide strike by thousands of farmers, blocking more than 40 roads nationwide, protesting farmers forced the Colombian government to negotiate the rejection of a farm bill and the release of detained protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/v/9Vz0tiRKvD0&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto/It CAN Happen...
Post by: WHD on September 18, 2013, 10:26:12 PM
"Thousands and thousands of farmers poured their heart and soul into protests of "Law 970," which made it illegal for farmers to save seeds in order for transnational corporations and other companies to gain monopoly control over the market."

They shut down food production and rallied against GMOs and for control of their own seeds...and they won! This is how it's done, folks!
VIDEO: Colombian Farmers Win Back Control Of Their Seeds After Prolonged Strike
http://www.popularresistance.org/video-colombian-farmers-win-back-control-of-their-seeds-after-prolonged-strike/ (http://www.popularresistance.org/video-colombian-farmers-win-back-control-of-their-seeds-after-prolonged-strike/)

National Farmers and Social Strike gets seeds control law 970 suspended

In Colombia after 21 days of a nationwide strike by thousands of farmers, blocking more than 40 roads nationwide, protesting farmers forced the Colombian government to negotiate the rejection of a farm bill and the release of detained protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/v/9Vz0tiRKvD0&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

Awesome!

Unfortunately, there would need to be farmers in this country. The only one's left are tenant Agri-businessmen.

WHD 
Title: Patenting the Food Supply
Post by: RE on October 25, 2013, 02:14:23 AM
Patenting the Food Supply and the Monopolization of the Biosphere (http://www.globalresearch.ca/patenting-the-food-supply-and-the-monopolization-of-the-biosphere/5355452)

By James Corbett and Dr. Vandana Shiva
Global Research, October 24, 2013
Global Research TV 15 February 2012
Region: USA
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO

As the world begins to digest the implications of intellectual property for online censorship, another IP issue threatens an even more fundamental part of our daily lives: our food supply.

Backed by legal precedent and armed with seemingly inexhaustible lobbying funds, a handful of multinationals are attempting to use patents on life itself to monopolize the biosphere.

Find out more about the process of patenting life and what it means for the food supply on this GRTV Backgrounder, originally aired February 15, 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tPMd4u1MCDg?feature=player_embedded

The oft-neglected legal minefield of intellectual property rights has seen a surge in public interest in recent months due to the storm of protest over proposed legislation and treaties related to online censorship.[1] One of the effects of such legislation as SOPA and PIPA and such international treaties as ACTA is to have drawn attention to the grave implications that intellectual property arguments can have on the everyday lives of the average citizen.

As important as the protection of online freedoms is, however, an even more fundamental part of our lives has come under the purview of the multinational corporations that are seeking to patent the world around us for their own gain. Unknown to a large section of the public, a single US Supreme Court ruling in 1980 made it possible for the first time to patent life itself for the profit of the patent holder.

The decision, known as Diamond v. Chakrabarty, centered on a genetic engineer working for General Electric who created a bacterium that could break down crude oil, which could be used in the clean-up of oil spills.[2] In its decision, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger ruled that:

“A live, human-made micro-organism is patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101”

With this ruling, the ability to patent living organisms, so long as they had been genetically altered in some novel way, was established in legal precedent.

The implications of such a monumental ruling are understandably wide-reaching, touching on all sorts of issues that have the potential to change the world around us. But it did not take long at all for this decision’s effects to make itself felt in one of the most basic parts of the biosphere: our food supply.

In the years following the Diamond v. Chakrabarty decision, an entire industry rose up around the idea that these new patent protections could foster the economic incentive for major corporations to develop a new class of genetically engineered foods to help increase crop yields and reduce world hunger.

The first commercially available genetically modified food, Calgene’s “Flavr Savr” tomato, was approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration in the US in 1992 and was on the market in 1994.[3] Since then, adoption of GM foods has proceeded swiftly, especially in the US where the vast majority of soybeans, corn and cotton have been genetically altered.

By 1997, the problems inherent in the patenting of these GM crops had already begun to surface in Saskatchewan, Canada. It was in the sleepy town of Bruno that a canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser, found that a variety of GM canola known as “Roundup Ready” had infected his fields, mixing with his non-GM crop.[4] Amazingly, Monsanto, the agrichemical company that owned the Roundup Ready patent, sued Schmeiser for infringing their patent. After a years-long legal battle against the multinational that threatened to bankrupt his small farming operation, Schmeiser finally won an out-of-court settlement with Monsanto that saw the company agree to pay for the clean-up costs associated with the contamination of his field.

In India, tens of thousands of farmers per year commited suicide[5] in an epidemic labeled the GM genocide.[6] Sold a story of “magic seeds” that would produce immense yields, farmers around the country were driven into ruinous debt by a combination of high-priced seeds, high-priced pesticides, and crop failure. Worst of all, the GM seeds had been engineered with so-called “terminator technology,” meaning that seeds from one harvest could not be re-planted the following year. Instead, farmers were forced to buy seeds at the same exorbitant prices from the biotech giants every year, insuring a debt spiral that was impossible to escape. As a result, hundreds of thousands of farmers have committed suicide in the Indian countryside since the introduction of GM crops in 1997.

As philosopher, quantum physicist and activist Vandana Shiva has detailed at great length, the effect of the invocation of intellectual property in enabling the monopolization of the world’s most fundamental resources was not accidental or contingent.[7] On the contrary, this is something that has been self-consciously designed by the heads of the very corporations who now seek to reap the benefit of this monopolization, and the monumental nature of their achievement has been obscured behind bureaucratic institutions like the WTO and innocuous sounding agreements like the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Although the deck appears to be stacked in favour of the giant multinationals and their practically inexhaustible access to lobbying and legal funds, the people are by no means incapable of fighting back against this patenting of the biosphere.

In India itself, where so much devestation has been wrought by the introduction of genetically engineered crops, the people are fighting back against the world’s most well-known purveyor of GMO foods, Monsanto. The country’s National Biodiversity Diversity Authority has enabled the government to proceed with legal action against the company for so-called biopiracy, or attempting to develop a GM crop derived from local varieties of eggplant, without the appropriate licences.[8]

Although resistance to the patenting of the world’s food supply should be applauded in all its forms, what is needed is a fundamental transformation in our understanding of life itself from a patentable organism to the common property of all of the peoples who have developed the seeds from which these novel GM crops are derived.

This concept, known as open seeds, is being promoted by organizations around the globe, including Dr. Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya organization.[9]

To be sure, it will be a long and arduous uphill battle to bring this issue to the attention of a public that seems to be but dimly aware of what genetically modified foods are, let alone the legal ramifications of the ability to patent life, but as the work of such organizations as Navdanya continues to educate people about the issues involved, the numbers of those opposed to the patenting of the biosphere likewise increases.

From seed-saving and preservation projects to an increased awareness of and interest in organic foods, people around the globe are beginning to take the issue of the food supply as seriously as the companies that are quite literally attempting to ram their products down the consumers’ throats.

As always, the power lies with the consumers, who can win the battle simply by asserting their right to choose where and how they purchase the food, a lesson that was demonstrated once again earlier this month in Germany.[10]

[1] Beyond SOPA: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8uO9bw1TNw#ws)
[2]http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/447/303/case.html
[3]http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidance…
[4] http://www.percyschmeiser.com/ (http://www.percyschmeiser.com/)
[5] Vaayu'12 Fest- Documentary on Farmer Suicides.mp4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4RA4hbNRkY#ws)
[6] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousand (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousand)…
[7] Vandana Shiva - The Future of Food and Seed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYwOTLopWIw#)
[8] India Suing Monsanto for Biopiracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmIBvA1Tf20#)
[9] Vandana Shiva: Seeds of open source (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfNCCJECpss#)
[10] Genetically Modified Foods Not Welcome | People & Politics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqRbziwzVkk#ws)
Title: GMO Infographic
Post by: RE on October 31, 2013, 11:22:36 PM
(http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-gmo-laws-or-the-lack-there-of_52700214223e8_w1249.jpg)
Title: Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance
Post by: RE on November 27, 2013, 03:25:55 AM
Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance (http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-the-tpp-and-global-food-dominance/5359491)

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/125605.jpg)
“Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.  “Control food and you control the people.”

Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.

Profits Before Populations

Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. “Terminator” genes enable the production of sterile seeds, using a synthetic chemical catalyst appropriately called “Traitor” to induce seed sterility. Farmers must therefore buy seeds from their patent owners year after year. To cover these costs, food prices are raised; but the harm is far greater than to our pocketbooks.

According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.

Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.

Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.

The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.

Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.

A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.

Roundup’s Insidious Effects

Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.

Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.

According to researchers Samsell and Seneff in Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality (April 2013):

Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.

Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:

    Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.

Politics Trumps Science

In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.

In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.

Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:

    In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.

Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda, widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.

In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs,Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”

The TPP and International Corporate Control

As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:

    The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .

    The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique.  If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.

    . . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:

    No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .

    If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .

Return to Nature: Not Too Late

There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:

Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.

In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: luciddreams on November 27, 2013, 05:26:52 AM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

The second some ass shows up in a black SUV (or prius) to tell me I can't grow my own food is the second I take up arms against my oppressor. 

I will not raise children in a world that requires them to eat poison.  I'll die to keep that from being a reality. 
Title: Dust to Dust: Ambrose Goes Green
Post by: RE on November 28, 2013, 12:56:58 AM
Ambrose is worried today about Soil Fertility instead of Pitching out more Fiat to save the world.

Maybe we can get him to Invest in SUN  :icon_sunny:.

On the Semi-Positive side, at least it's making it out into the MSM now.

RE

Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10479872/Dust-to-Dust-a-man-made-Malthusian-crisis.html)

We must wake up to the global land crisis or face a very real threat of famine

(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02441/gm-crops_2441197b.jpg)

Paterson tells farmers to promote GM
Genetically modified maize in Shropshire Photo: ALAMY

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

11:52PM GMT 27 Nov 2013

American scientists have made an unsettling discovery. Crop farming across the Prairies since the late 19th Century has caused a collapse of the soil microbia that holds the ecosystem together.

They do not know exactly what role is played by the bacteria. It is a new research field. Nor do they know where the tipping point lies, or how easily this can be reversed. Nobody yet knows whether this is happening in other parts of the world.

A team at the University of Colorado under Noah Fierer used DNA gene technology to test the 'verrucomicrobia' in Prairie soil, contrasting tilled land with the rare pockets of ancient tallgrass found in cemeteries and reservations. The paper published in the US journal Science found that crop agriculture has "drastically altered" the biology of the land. "The soils currently found throughout the region bear little resemblance to their pre-agricultural state," it concluded.

You might say we already knew this. In fact we did not. There has never before been a metagenomic analysis of this kind and on this scale. Professor Fierer said mankind needs to watch its step. "We really know very little about one of the most productive soils on the planet, but we do know that soil microbes play a key role and we can't just keep adding fertilizers," he said.

The Colorado study has caused a stir in the soil world. It was accompanied by a sobering analysis in Science by academics from South Africa's Witwatersrand University. They fear that we are repeating the mistakes of past civilisations, over-exploiting the land until it goes beyond the point of no return, and leads to a vicious circle of famine, and then social disintegration.

Entitled "Dust to Dust", the paper argues that the erosion of soil fertility has been masked by a "soup of nutrients" poured over crop lands, giving us a false sense of security. It said 1pc of global land is being degraded each year, defined as a 70pc loss of the top soil.

Once the top soil crosses a crucial threshold, the recovery rate plunges. Chemicals can keep crop yields high for a while but the complex ecology beneath is being abused further. Yields have already fallen 8pc across Africa as a whole. The paper calls for a complete change of course as the "only viable route to feeding the world and keeping it habitable."

This degradation is courting fate given that the world's population is will grow by by over a quarter to nine billion before peaking in the middle of the century. It comes as China and emerging Asia switch to an animal protein diet, replicating the pattern seen in Japan and Korea as they became rich. As a rule of thumb it takes 4-8kg of grains in animal feed to produce 1kg of meat.

Professor Robert Scholes, one of the authors, said there comes a point when terrified governments make a Faustian pact, sacrificing their future to stop their people starving today. "We're seeing a massive arc of deforestation in Africa," he said.

Cautionary stories abound. The East side of Magdascar has been destroyed by slash and burn deforestation, perhaps irreversbily in any human time horizon. Iceland's Norse settlers turned their green and partly forested island into a Nordic desert in the 10th Century. They have yet to restore the fragile soil a thousand years later, despite careful husbandry.

"We're running out of new agricultural frontiers and we don't have the freedom to make errors any more. We are using up our nutrient capital and face a looming food crisis over the next 30 to 40 years. There is a risk that we are going to paint ourselves into a corner. Famine is a very real possiblity," he said.

The Sumerian civilisation that first pioneered cereal farming in the Tigris and Euphrates was almost certainly destroyed by soil erosion and over-cultivation. The Gilgamesh epic describes tracts of cedar forest in Iraq before it was cut down for the timber trade around 2,600 BC.

The story is usually the same, whether for the lowland Maya central America, or the Khmer Empire of Angkor, or Easter Island, recounted by Jared Diamond in "Collapse". Once the hillside trees are cut down, water flows are disturbed. It then becomes harder to feed saturated settlements. Societies take short-cuts to survive, leaving less land fallow . The spiral accelerates. It seems that a climate shock is the often the coup de grace, pushing them over the edge.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) says the world food demand will 50pc by 2030, requiring up to 170m- 220m hectares of fresh land. Yet it also expects land degradation to cut output by 12pc over the next 25 years.

Source: UN

The UNCCD is aiming for a global deal to achieve "zero net land degradation" from 2015, mostly by replanting forests. The body's environment chief Veerle Vanderweerde says it is not going well. "We know what to do to restore degraded land. It's not impossible but it takes time, money, dedication, and political will, and there is not a lot political will."

There have been heart-warming episodes. Yacouba Sawadogo, "the man who stopped the desert", began to revive the ancient zai technique thirty years to stop soil erosion on his little farm in Burkina Faso. It involved digging smal holes and filling them with compost and tree seeds to catch the seasonal rains, recreating a woodland of 20 hectares in the arid Sahel. Sadly, local officials then expropriated the land.

Mrs Vanderveerde said global agro-industrial companies are moving into new frontiers, stripping and degrading land for quick profit, more akin to mining than farm stewardship. "They can't just come in, take the resources, and then walk away. The big companies need to change their behaviour and they won't do it unless they are made to," she said.

A new Land Matrix Global Obervatory put together by five research centres says the world land rush by investors is not quite as bad as feared. An Agri-SA investment in the Congo proved to be just 80,000 hectares, not 10m as alleged.

The observatory has tracked deals equal to 48m hectares -- completed or in the pipeline -- an area the size of Spain. This may understate the figure since foreign firms have learned to tread carefully after a populist backlash in Africa and Latin America. They work through local ventures.

The registry found that the top investors came from the US, followed by Malaysia, the Arab Emirates, and the UK (mostly global funds in London). China was lower, though this may change after it struck a deal in September to lease 5pc of Ukraine's land surface for fifty years, on paper a 3m hectare prize as large as Belgium.

The top target is Papua New Guinea, home to one of the last great rain forests, now a third owned by foreign firms. It is followed closely by Indonesia, Sudan, the Congo, and Mozambique. Nobody is really policing this.

Famine worries have abated since the Malthusian scare of 2008 when corn and wheat prices tripled in three years and then stayed high, triggering the food riots that led to the Arab Spring. The UN says bumper crops in the US, Canada, and Ukraine have boosted world cereal output by 8pc this year: consumption has risen 3.5pc.

Global grain stocks have jumped 13pc to a slightly safer level, yet still cover just 69 days of global comsumption. Stocks averaged 107 days in the 1980s and 1990s. We are operating on a very thin margin. Nor have food prices returned to earlier levels. The UN's food price index is up by 105pc over the last decade.

We are becoming complacent again. The blunt truth is that the world cannot afford to lose one hectare of land a year, let alone 12m hectares. The added discovery that we doing even more damage than feared to the soil microbia should bring us to our senses. We argue too much about global warming, which may or may not be caused by man's actions, and may or may catch us this century.

The global land crisis is almost entirely our own doing. It is closing in on us right now. It can be reversed if world leaders choose to reverse it.
Title: Re: Dust to Dust: Ambrose Goes Green
Post by: Surly1 on November 28, 2013, 02:08:38 AM
THis was actually quite a compelling story.


There have been heart-warming episodes. Yacouba Sawadogo, "the man who stopped the desert", began to revive the ancient zai technique thirty years to stop soil erosion on his little farm in Burkina Faso. It involved digging smal holes and filling them with compost and tree seeds to catch the seasonal rains, recreating a woodland of 20 hectares in the arid Sahel. Sadly, local officials then expropriated the land.


It seems clear that "local officials" are much the same the world over.
Title: Re: Dust to Dust: Ambrose Goes Green
Post by: jdwheeler42 on November 28, 2013, 08:46:19 PM
It seems clear that "local officials" are much the same the world over.
Seems like the Orkin Man will be quite busy....
Title: Re: Dust to Dust: Ambrose Goes Green
Post by: RE on November 28, 2013, 09:10:02 PM
It seems clear that "local officials" are much the same the world over.
Seems like the Orkin Man will be quite busy....

"Wormer?  He's a dead man.  Marmalade? Dead.  NEIDERMEIR? DEAD!"

http://www.youtube.com/v/q7vtWB4owdE?feature=player_detailpage

 :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Monsanto Sues Vermont
Post by: JRM on June 17, 2014, 03:34:57 PM

Vermont’s landmark GMO-labelling law target of lawsuit by food trade groups

http://rt.com/usa/165860-vermont-gmo-labeling-lawsuit/ (http://rt.com/usa/165860-vermont-gmo-labeling-lawsuit/)


https://www.google.com/#q=monsanto+vermont&tbm=nws (https://www.google.com/#q=monsanto+vermont&tbm=nws)
Title: Re: Monsanto Sues Vermont
Post by: Eddie on June 17, 2014, 03:47:19 PM
If Satan had his own private chemical company, it would be Monsanto


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Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: RE on July 06, 2014, 10:33:50 PM
Forget Occupy.

MONSANTO MUST DIE!

RE

Monsanto’s GMO Food and its Dark Connections to the “Military Industrial Complex”

Monsanto-2.0

Monsanto, the world’s largest genetically modified (GM/GMO) seed producer, has been at the centre of controversy for decades as evidence of the harmful effects on humans of GM foods continues to mount.  Joined with the likes of DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Syngenta, Monsanto and partners comprise the corporate nexus of Big-Agri, where the control over our food supply is increasingly transferred into the hands of private trans-national corporations as opposed to local farmers and governments.

A US peer-reviewed study conducted last year which was published in the scientific journal Entropy, linked Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup – which is the most popular weed killer in the world – to infertility, cancers and Parkinsons Disease amongst other ailments. The authors of the study were Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. and a former private environmental government contractor. The main ingredient in Roundup is the “insidious” glyphosate, which the study found to be a deeply harmful chemical:

“Glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body [...] Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease” (Samsel and Seneff, 2013).

The Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) Jeffrey M. Smith has discovered a link between gluten disorders and GM foods in a study he conducted last year. Gluten disorders have sharply risen over the past 2 decades, which correlates with GM foods being introduced into the food supply. Smith asserts that GM foods – including soy and corn – are the possible “environmental triggers” that have contributed to the rapid increase of gluten disorders that effect close to 20 million American’s today:

“Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders [...] If glyphosate activates retinoic acid, and retinoic acid activates gluten sensitivity, eating GMOs soaked with glyphosate may play a role in the onset of gluten-related disorders” (Smith, 2013).

One of the more damming studies on the safety of GM foods was led by biologist Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, which was the first study to examine the long term affects on rats that had consumed Monsanto’s GM corn and its Roundup herbicide. The study was conducted over a 2 year period – which is the average life-span of a rat – as opposed to Monsanto’s usual period of 90 days. The peer-reviewed study found horrifying effects on the rats health, with a 200% to 300% increase in large tumours, severe organ damage to the kidney and liver and 70% of female participant rats suffered premature death. The first tumours only appeared 4 to 7 months into the research, highlighting the need for longer trials.

Initially the study was published in the September issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, but was then later retracted after the publisher felt the study was “inconclusive”, although there was no suspicion of fraud or intentional deceit. Dr. Seralini strongly protested the decision and believed “economic interests” were behind the decision as a former Monsanto employee had joined the journal. Monsanto is infamous for employing swaths oflobbyists to control the political, scientific and administrative decisions relating to the organisation, and this incident was a major whitewash by the GM producer to stop the barrage of negative media reports relating to the toxic effects of their products. The study led by Dr. Seralini was later published in a less well renowned journal, the Environmental Sciences Europe, which reignited the fears of GM foods safety.

France has recently implemented a ban on Monsanto produced maize (MON810) – a different variety of the Monsanto GM corn that was discussed in the study above (NK603) – citing environmental concerns as the reason for the ban. France joins a list of countries including Italy and Poland who have imposed bans on GM corn over the past few years. Additionally, Russian MPs have introduced a draft into parliament which could see GM producers punished as terrorists and criminally prosecuted if they are deemed to have harmed the environment or human health. In India, many of the GM seeds sold to Indian farmers under the pretext of greater harvests failed to deliver, which led to an estimated 200,000 Indian farmers committing suicide due to an inability to repay debts.

There is growing evidence to support the theory that bee colonies are collapsing due to GM crops being used in agriculture, with America seeing the largest fall in bee populations in recent years. Resistance to Monsanto and GM foods has been growing in recent years after the launch of the worldwide ‘March Against Monsanto’ in 2012, which organises global protests against the corporation and its toxic products within 52 countries. Monsanto was also voted the ‘most evil corporation’ of 2013 in a poll conducted by the website Natural News, beating the Federal Reserve and British Petroleum to take the top position.

Monsanto Produced and Supplied Toxic Agent Orange

Researching Monsanto’s past reveals a very dark history that has been well documented for years. During the Vietnam War, Monsanto was contracted to produce and supply the US government with a malevolent chemical for military application. Along with other chemical giants at the time such as Dow Chemical, Monsanto produced the military herbicide Agent Orange which contained high quantities of the deadly chemical Dioxin. Between 1961 and 1971, the US Army sprayed between 50 and 80 million litres of Agent Orange across Vietnamese jungles, forests and strategically advantageous positions. It was deployed in order to destroy forests and fertile lands which provided cover and food for the opposing troops. The fallout was devastating, with Vietnam estimating that 400,000 people died or were maimed due to Agent Orange, as well as 500,000 children born with birth defects and up to 2 million people suffer from cancer or other diseases. Millions of US veterans were also exposed and many have developed similar illnesses. The consequences are still felt and are thought to continue for a century as cancer, birth defects and other diseases are exponential due to them being passed down through generations.

Today, deep connections exist between Monsanto, the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ and the US Government which have to be documented to understand the nature of the corporation. On Monsanto’s Board of Directors sits the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of the giant war contractor Lockheed Martin, Robert J. Stevens, who was also appointed in 2012 by Barack Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. As well as epitomising the revolving door that exists between the US Government and private trans-national corporations, Stevens is a member of the parallel government in the US, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). A second board member at Monsanto is Gwendolyn S. King, who also sits on the board of Lockheed Martin where she chairs the Orwellian ‘Ethics and Sustainability Committee”. Individuals who are veterans of the corporate war industry should not be allowed control over any populations food supply! Additionally, Monsanto board member Dr. George H. Poste is a former member of the Defense Science Board and the Health Board of the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the CFR.

Bill Gates made headlines in 2010 when The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation bought 500,000 Monsanto shares worth a total of $23 million, raising questions as to why his foundation would invest in such a malign corporation. William H. Gates Sr. – Bill’s father – is the former head of Planned Parenthood and a strong advocate of eugenics– the philosophy that there are superior and inferior types of human beings, with the inferior type often sterilised or culled under the pretext of being a plague on society. During his 2010 TED speech, Bill Gates reveals his desire to reduce the population of the planet by “10 or 15 percent” in the coming years through such technologies as “vaccines”:

“The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s heading up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really good job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent” (4.37 into the video).

In 2006, Monsanto acquired a company that has developed – in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture – what is popularly termed terminator seeds, a future major trend in the GM industry. Terminator Seeds or suicide seeds are engineered to become sterile after the first harvest, destroying the ancient practice of saving seeds for future crops. This means farmers are forced to buy new seeds every year from Big-Agri, which produces high debts and a form of servitude for the farmers.

Sources:

Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff (2013) – Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases†

Jeffrey M. Smith (2013) – Are Genetically Modified Foods a Gut-Wrenching Combination?

Title: Occupy Monsanto: Roundup Linked to Kidney Disease in El Salvador
Post by: RE on July 17, 2014, 01:24:22 AM
MONSANTO MUST DIE!

RE

Monsanto's Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic: Could It Topple the Company? (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24876-monsantos-herbicide-linked-to-fatal-kidney-disease-epidemic-will-ckdu-topple-monsanto)

Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:18 By Jeff Ritterman, M.D., Truthout | News Analysis

(http://truth-out.org/images/images_2014_07/2014_710_mons_fw.jpg)
(Photo courtesy of Vivien Feyer)


Also see:

Dahr Jamail | Salvadoran Farmers Successfully Oppose the Use of Monsanto Seeds (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24811-el-salvadoran-farmers-successfully-oppose-the-use-of-monsanto-seeds)

Truthout Interviews Dr. Jeff Ritterman on Roundup and Chronic Kidney Disease (http://truth-out.org/news/item/24922-truthout-interviews-dr-jeff-ritterman-on-roundup-and-chronic-kidney-disease)

Monsanto's herbicide Roundup has been linked to a mysterious fatal kidney disease epidemic that has appeared in Central America, Sri Lanka and India.
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The "u" differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.

Dr. Catharina Wesseling, the regional director for the Program on Work and Health (SALTRA) in Central America, which pioneered the initial studies of the region's unsolved outbreak, put it this way, "Nephrologists and public health professionals from wealthy countries are mostly either unfamiliar with the problem or skeptical whether it even exists."

Dr. Wesseling was being diplomatic. At a 2011 health summit in Mexico City, the United States beat back a proposal by Central American nations that would have listed CKDu as a top priority for the Americas.

David McQueen, a US delegate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has since retired from the agency, explained the US position.

"The idea was to keep the focus on the key big risk factors that we could control and the major causes of death: heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And we felt, the position we were taking, that CKD was included."

The United States was wrong. The delegates from Central America were correct. CKDu is a new form of illness. This kidney ailment does not stem from diabetes, hypertension or other diet-related risk factors. Unlike the kidney disease found in diabetes or hypertension, the kidney tubules are a major site of injury in CKDu, suggesting a toxic etiology.

(http://truth-out.org/images/images_2014_07/2014_710_mons_2.jpg)
2014 710 mons 2Salvadoran farmer returning from the fields, Palo Grande, El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Vivien Feyer.

CKDu is now the second leading cause of mortality among men in El Salvador. This small, densely populated Central American country now has the highest overall mortality rate from kidney disease in the world. Neighboring Honduras and Nicaragua also have extremely high rates of kidney disease mortality. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, more men are dying from CKDu than from HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and leukemia combined. In one patch of rural Nicaragua, so many men have died that the community is called "The Island of the Widows."

In addition to Central America, India and Sri Lanka have been hit hard by the epidemic. In Sri Lanka, over 20,000 people have died from CKDu in the past two decades. In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, more than 1,500 have been treated for the ailment since 2007. Given the rarity of dialysis and kidney transplantation in these regions, most who suffer from CKDu will die from their kidney disease.

(http://truth-out.org/images/images_2014_07/2014_710_mons_3.jpg)
2014 710 mons 3Mural celebrating traditional agrarian life, Juayua, El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Vivien Feyer.

In an investigation worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes, a scientific sleuth from Sri Lanka, Dr. Channa Jayasumana, and his two colleagues, Dr. Sarath Gunatilake and Dr. Priyantha Senanayake, have put forward a unifying hypothesis that could explain the origin of the disease. They reasoned that the offending agent had to have been introduced into Sri Lanka within the last 30 years, since the first cases appeared in the mid-1990s. The chemical also needed to be able to form stable complexes with the metals in hard water and to act as a shield, protecting those metals from metabolism by the liver. The compound would also need to act as a carrier and be able to deliver the metals to the kidney.

We know that political changes in Sri Lanka in the late 1970s led to the introduction of agrochemicals, especially in rice farming. The researchers looked for likely suspects. Everything pointed to glyphosate. This herbicide is used in abundance in Sri Lanka. Earlier studies had shown that once glyphosate binds with metals, the glyphosate-metal complex can last for decades in the soil.

Glyphosate was not originally designed for use as an herbicide. Patented by the Stauffer Chemical Company in 1964, it was introduced as a chelating agent. It avidly binds to metals. Glyphosate was first used as a descaling agent to clean out mineral deposits from the pipes in boilers and other hot water systems.

It is this chelating property that allows glyphosate to form complexes with the arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals found in the groundwater and soil in Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The glyphosate-heavy metal complex can enter the human body in a variety of ways. The complex can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Glyphosate acts like a Trojan horse, allowing the bound heavy metal to avoid detection by the liver, since the glyphosate occupies the binding sites that the liver would normally latch onto. The glyphosate-heavy metal complex reaches the kidney tubules, where the high acidity allows the metal to break free of the glyphosate. The cadmium or arsenic then damages the kidney tubules and other parts of the kidneys, ultimately resulting in kidney failure and, most often, death.

At this point, this elegant theory advanced by Dr. Jayasumana and colleagues can only be considered hypothesis-generating. Further scientific studies will need to confirm the hypothesis that CKDu is indeed due to glyphosate-heavy metal toxicity to the kidney tubules. For the present, this may be the best explanation for the epidemic.

Another explanation is that heat stress may be the cause, or a combination of heat stress and chemical toxicity. Monsanto, of course, is standing behind glyphosate and disputing the claim that it plays any role whatsoever in the genesis of CKDu.

While the exact cause of CKDu has not been proven conclusively, both Sri Lanka and El Salvador have invoked the precautionary principle. El Salvador banned glyphosate in September 2013 and is currently looking for safer alternatives. Sri Lanka banned glyphosate in March of this year because of concerns about CKDu.

2014 710 mons 4Mural celebrating traditional agrarian life, Palo Grande, El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Vivien Feyer.

Glyphosate has had an interesting history. After its initial use as a descaling agent by Stauffer Chemical, scientists at Monsanto discovered its herbicidal qualities. Monsanto patented glyphosate as an herbicide in the 1970s, and has marketed it as "Roundup" since 1974. Monsanto retained exclusive rights until 2000, when the patent expired. By 2005, Monsanto's glyphosate products were registered in more than 130 countries for use in more than 100 crops. As of 2013, glyphosate was the world's largest selling herbicide.

Glyphosate's popularity has been due, in part, to the perception that it is extremely safe. The Monsanto website claims:

    Glyphosate binds tightly to most types of soil so it is not available for uptake by roots of nearby plants. It works by disrupting a plant enzyme involved in the production of amino acids that are essential to plant growth. The enzyme, EPSP synthase, is not present in humans or animals, contributing to the low risk to human health from the use of glyphosate according to label directions.

Because of glyphosate's reputation for both safety and effectiveness, John Franz, who discovered glyphosate's usefulness as a herbicide, received the National Medal of Technology in 1987. Franz also received the American Chemical Society's Carothers Award in 1989, and the American Section of the Society of Chemical Industry's Perkins Medal in 1990. In 2007, he was inducted into the United States' Inventor's Hall of Fame for his work on the herbicide. Roundup was named one of the "Top 10 Products That Changed the Face of Agriculture" by the magazine Farm Chemicals in 1994.

Not everyone agrees with this perception of glyphosate's safety. The first "Roundup resistant" GMO crops, soybeans, were introduced by Monsanto in 1996. The same year, the first glyphosate resistant weeds began to emerge. Farmers responded by using increasingly toxic herbicides to deal with the new super weeds that had developed glyphosate resistance.

In addition to the concern about the emergence of super weeds, a study in rats demonstrated that low levels of glyphosate induced severe hormone-dependent mammary, hepatic, and kidney disturbances. Recently two activist groups, Moms Across America and Thinking Moms Revolution, asked the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recall Monsanto's Roundup, citing a host of adverse health impacts in their children from the herbicide, including failure to thrive, leaky gut syndrome, autism and food allergies.

Glyphosate is no ordinary herbicide. Besides being the most used herbicide on earth, it is also the central pillar of Monsanto's temple. Most of Monsanto's seeds, including soy, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, sugar beets and sorghum, are glyphosate resistant. As of 2009, Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) products, which include its GMO seeds, represented about half of Monsanto's yearly revenue. This reliance on glyphosate products makes Monsanto extremely vulnerable to research challenging the herbicide's safety.

Glyphosate-resistant seeds are engineered to allow the farmer to drench his fields in the herbicide to kill off all of the weeds. The glyphosate resistant crop can then be harvested. But if the combination of glyphosate and the heavy metals found in the groundwater or the soil destroys the farmer's kidneys in the process, the whole house of cards falls apart. This may be what is happening now.

An ugly confrontation has been unfolding in El Salvador. The US government has been pressuring El Salvador to buy GMO seeds from Monsanto rather than indigenous seeds from their own farmers. The US has threatened to withhold almost $300 million in aid unless El Salvador purchases Monsanto's GMO seeds. The GMO seeds are more expensive. They are not adapted to the Salvadoran climate or soil.

The only "advantage" of Monsanto's GMO seeds is their glyphosate resistance. Now that glyphosate has been shown to be a possible, and perhaps likely, cause of CKDu, that "advantage" no longer exists.

2014 710 mons 5Mural, Concepcion de Ataco, El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Vivien Feyer.

What is the message from the United States to El Salvador exactly? Perhaps the kindest explanation is that the United States is unaware that glyphosate may be the cause of the fatal kidney disease epidemic in El Salvador and that the government sincerely believes that the GMO seeds will provide a better yield. If so, a sad mixture of ignorance and arrogance is at the heart of this foreign policy blunder. A less kind interpretation would suggest that the government puts Monsanto's profits above concerns about the economy, environment and health of the Salvadorans. This view would suggest that a tragic mix of greed and callous disregard for the Salvadorans is behind US policy.

Unfortunately, there is evidence to support the latter view. The United States seems to be completely behind Monsanto, regardless of any science questioning the safety of its products. Cables released by WikiLeaks show that US diplomats around the world are pushing GMO crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative. The cables also reveal instructions to punish any foreign countries trying to ban GMO crops.

Whatever the explanation, pressuring El Salvador, or any country, to buy GMO seeds from Monsanto is a tragic mistake. It is foreign policy not worthy of America. Let's change it. Let's base our foreign and domestic policies on human rights, environmental stewardship, health and equity.

Post script: After articles about the seed dispute appeared in the media, The New York Times reported that the United States has reversed its position and will stop pressuring El Salvador to buy Monsanto's seeds. Thus far, the aid money has not been released.
Title: Seeds of DEATH!
Post by: RE on July 26, 2014, 03:42:26 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/eUd9rRSLY4A?feature=player_embedded

“Seeds Of Death” and Big Agriculture. Monsanto, Dupont, Sygenta (http://www.globalresearch.ca/seeds-of-death-and-big-agriculture-monsanto-dupont-sygenta/5393105)

Award-winning documentary
By Dr. Gary Null
Global Research, July 24, 2014
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO

The leaders of Big Agriculture–Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta–are determined that world’s populations remain ignorant about the serious health and environmental risks of genetically modified crops and industrial agriculture.

Deep layers of deception and corruption underlie both the science favoring GMOs and the corporations and governments supporting them.

This award-winning documentary, Seeds of Death, exposes the lies about GMOs and pulls back the curtains to witness our planet’s future if Big Agriculture’s new green revolution becomes our dominant food supply.

A Question and Answer fact sheet deconstructing Monsanto’s GM claims and Big Agriculture’s propaganda to accompany the film is available online:

http://prn.fm/2013/05/24/gary-null-an (http://prn.fm/2013/05/24/gary-null-an)…
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: agelbert on July 26, 2014, 01:21:21 PM
Seeds of DEATH!
(http://mlkshk.com/r/3CER)

Yep.  :( :-[
Title: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93 Million to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
Post by: knarf on August 07, 2014, 08:02:29 AM
Big wins can happen in small places. The West Virginia State Supreme Court finalized a big blow to the biotech giant Monsanto this month, finishing a settlement causing Monsanto to pay $93 million to the tiny town of Nitro, West Virginia for poisoning citizens with Agent Orange chemicals.

The settlement was approved last year, but details were worked out only weeks ago as to how the funds were to be spent.

The settlement will require Monsanto to do the following:

(http://cdn.naturalsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/gmo_monsanto_crop_money-263x164.png)

$9 million will be spent to clean dioxin contaminated dust from 4500 homes.
$21 million will be spent to test to see if people have been poisoned with dioxin.
Citizens will be monitored for such poisoning for 30 years, not just a few months.
An additional $63 million is to be allotted if additional tests for dioxin contamination testing is necessary.
Anyone who lived in the Nitro area between Jan. 1, 1948, and Sept. 3, 2010 will be tested for dioxin. Although they must show proof they lived in the area, they will be eligible for testing even if they no longer live in Nitro.
Former or present employees of Monsanto are not eligible for any of these benefits.
An office will be set up to organize testing for Nitro citizens. The registration of participants is to be overlooked by Charleston attorney Thomas Flaherty, who was appointed by the court.
Residents have a right to file individual suits against Monsanto if medical tests show they suffered physical harm due to dioxin exposure.
Monsanto Produced Toxic Chemicals in Nitro
Just how were Nitro citizens exposed to dioxin? Monsanto was producing the toxic herbicide Agent Orange in Nitro, and dioxin is a chemical byproduct of the substance. It is known to cause serious health conditions. The factory which produced Agent Orange was opened in Nitro in 1948 and remained in operation until 2004, even though usage of this herbicide in the past (in Vietnam and other Asian countries) was fatal to millions of citizens and the war veterans who were exposed to it.

“There is no doubt that during and after the war, many Vietnamese absorbed this very toxic material [dioxin]. It is our belief from toxicological research and epidemiologicalstudies from many countries that this dioxin probably resulted in significant health effects in Vietnam.” – Arnold Schecter and John Constable

“It’s been a real long haul,” attorney Stuart Calwell told The Charleston Gazette. Calwell represented Nitro area residents in a class action suit that prompted Monsanto to make the settlement.

“The politics of dioxin has been bitterly debated since the Vietnam War, but … we know that there is a health issue there and hopefully people will get their houses cleaned and the risk will come to an end and those exposed in the past will have the benefit of keeping an eye on their health.”

The people of Nitro still need to fill out a register to receive the benefits outlined in the settlement. Due to the pivotal nature of this landmark settlement, Nitro citizens need to participate as fully as possible to set a precedent for other class action suits that farmers and consumers of GMO foods around the world might wage against Monsanto in the future to finally take them down. If enough of us do it at once, then even their bloated coffers will finally be depleted, and we can enjoy a world without being poisoned to death.

While this case did not involve glyphosate, another deadly toxin used in Monsanto herbicides such as RoundUp, its time will come soon.

found at: http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-ordered-pay-93-million-small-town-poisoned-herbicide/ (http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-ordered-pay-93-million-small-town-poisoned-herbicide/)


Title: Re: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93 Million to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2014, 08:28:58 AM
Now if the rest of us could only collect on what Monsanto has done to us.

When the chickens finally come home to roost for Monsanto, the company will fold up like Union Carbide and leave John Q. Public holding the bag.
Title: Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest
Post by: knarf on August 13, 2014, 12:23:23 PM
Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Southern Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest

In the 1970s, Monsanto introduced a new chemical to kill weeds. Known commonly as Roundup, it was capable of killing whatever weed got in its way. Seed companies later developed varieties of plants that were immune to Roundup’s killing power, enabling farmers to use one herbicide—Roundup—for all their crops.

Now, to put the problem in a nutshell: “You’ve heard of this guy called Chuck Darwin and evolution?” as Iowa State University agronomy professor Mike Owen put it to The Des Moines Register.

The herbicide, also known as glyphosate, became so ubiquitous in American agriculture that eventually Mother Nature started producing new weeds—16 so far—immune to the chemical. There are now enough glyphosate-resistant weeds in America to nearly cover the state of Oregon, Michael Wines reported at The New York Times.

(http://dvtfaqskbwkln.cloudfront.net/user_content/newsimages/191a8c03-ba36-4ab5-8dec-56044a3b870d.jpeg?app=278)
Palmer amaranth in a cotton field (photo: Ohio State University Extension)

Take the weed Palmer amaranth. It started showing up in cotton fields in the South, and before farmers knew it, it was everywhere. It can grow higher than six feet tall and spread a million seeds from each plant. Roundup was useless against it, leaving farmers the choice of pulling the weed by hand or using more powerful herbicides that could kill crops as well.

Now, it’s showing up in the Midwest.

“[Palmer amaranth’s] oval leaves and spindly seed heads blanket roadsides and jut above orderly soybean rows like skyscrapers poking through cloud banks,” Wines wrote. “It shrugs off extreme drought and heat. At up to six inches in diameter, its stalk is thick enough to damage farm equipment.”

Some of the blame for the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds goes to farmers, who have ignored traditional methods of crop diversification. “Even though we warned them, you understand the economics behind it,” Robert Hartzler, another ISU professor of agronomy, told The Register.

Some farmers are now growing different crops and making sure their tractors and combines are free of Palmer amaranth debris and seeds before moving them from one field to another.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley

To Learn More:

Invader Batters Rural America, Shrugging Off Herbicides (by Michael Wines, New York Times)

On Front Lines, Farmers Struggle Against Chemical-Resistant Weeds (by Amy Mayer, Harvest Public Media)

Resistant Palmer Amaranth Spreading Rapidly in Kansas (by Dallas Peterson and Curtis Thompson, Farm Talk Newspaper)

'Superweeds' Choke Farms (by Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register)

Pesticide Companies Use Clever Loophole to Avoid Regulation of Genetically Modified Grass(by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

EPA Approves Rise in Glyphosate Residue for Monsanto’s Herbicide (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)



Title: Re: Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest
Post by: JRM on August 13, 2014, 01:55:13 PM
Here's another headline (which I just made up):

Biologists everywhere are exclaiming, "I told you so".
Title: Re: Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest
Post by: Eddie on August 13, 2014, 02:12:24 PM
Permaculturists too.

This problem was discussed at length by Mark Shephard in Restoration Agriculture.
Title: Re: Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest
Post by: WHD on August 13, 2014, 03:40:14 PM
Palmer amaranth is my new favorite plant. From wiki:

The leaves, stems and seeds of Palmer amaranth, like those of other amaranths, are edible and highly nutritious.[1][2] Palmer amaranth was once widely cultivated and eaten by Native Americans across North America, both for its abundant seeds and as a cooked or dried green vegetable.[2] Other related Amaranthus species have been grown as crops for their greens and seeds for thousands of years in Mexico, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, India, and China.

Various amaranth grow in my garden, though the spiny one is the only one that persists, the more attractive red Hopi variety having been mostly edged out by more resilient natives. I don't see amaranth growing wild, though, here in Minnesota.

(BTW - shouldn't Monsanto and the others who have sold glyphosate, be liable for agricultural losses due to glyphosate resistant weeds?)

WHD
Title: Re: Monsanto Chemical-Resistant Weed Strikes Cotton Fields and Threatens Midwest
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 14, 2014, 06:47:37 AM
Palmer amaranth is my new favorite plant.

Various amaranth grow in my garden, though the spiny one is the only one that persists, the more attractive red Hopi variety having been mostly edged out by more resilient natives. I don't see amaranth growing wild, though, here in Minnesota.
Joseph's Coat, Amaranthus tricolor, is my favorite:
(http://explorer.monticello.org/resources/media/300/10485.jpg)

However, in this neck of the woods, redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus, is the one to know for its forage value, growing quite abundantly wherever there is a disturbance:
(http://ih0.redbubble.net/image.3427093.7492/flat,550x550,075,f.jpg)
Title: Autism Bomb: Bayer Herbicide Causes Autism, Even at Trace Levels
Post by: RE on December 05, 2014, 11:00:43 PM
This is the first time I have seen a DIRECT LINKAGE between glycophosphate/glufosinate herbicides and Autism. According to this article, there are other studies, but I haven't seen them. Anybody with an Autistic child should get in on a Class Action lawsuit against Monsanto and Bayer.

RE

Autism Bomb: Bayer Herbicide Causes Autism, Even at Trace Levels (http://www.globalresearch.ca/autism-bomb-bayer-herbicide-causes-autism-even-at-trace-levels/5417852)

By Christina Sarich
Global Research, December 04, 2014
Natural Society 3 December 2014
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO

Bayer’s Liberty Link GMO crops made to withstand glufosinate ammonium (GLA) herbicide are linked directly to autism-like symptoms, according to a new study. Even in low doses, both pre and post-natal exposure to GLA caused symptoms in laboratory mice.

Published in Frontiers of Behavioral Neuroscience, the study outlines how GLA, one of the most widely used herbicides in agriculture is harming neurological health.

Pointing to the findings of previous research linking herbicides and autism, as well as with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, the study explains that pesticide and herbicide exposure weakens the basic structure of the brain.

The developmental impact of GLA was examined by exposing female mice to low dose GLA during both pre- and postnatal periods and analyzed potential developmental and behavioral changes of the offspring during infancy and adulthood.

A host of neurobehavioral tests revealed some unsettling results:

    “. . .significant effects of GLA maternal exposure on early reflex development, pup communication, affiliative behaviors, and preference for social olfactory cues, but emotional reactivity and emotional memory remained unaltered. These behavioral alterations showed a striking resemblance to changes seen in animal models of Autistic Spectrum Disorders. At the brain level, GLA maternal exposure caused some increase in relative brain weight of the offspring. In addition, reduced expression of Pten and Peg3 – two genes implicated in autism-like deficits – was observed in the brain of GLA-exposed pups at postnatal day 15.

    Our work thus provides new data on the link between pre- and postnatal exposure to the herbicide GLA and the onset of autism-like symptoms later in life. It also raises fundamental concerns about the ability of current safety testing to assess risks of pesticide exposure during critical developmental periods.”

Bayer Crop Science will tell you:

    “High-performance LibertyLink traits are widely available across crops – canola, cotton, corn and soybeans – including leading brands such as FiberMax® and Stoneville® cotton, InVigor®canola and more than 100 brands of corn and soybeans, including HBK soybeans.”

Related: Cannabis Shows Promise in Treating Autism

This means that GLA is in use on thousands of acres of crops across the United States and in Canada.

The Institute for Responsible Technology has stated that:

    “Twice the number of chickens died when fed Liberty Link corn. The death rate for chickens fed Chardon LL GM corn for 42 days was 7%, compared to 3.5% for controls. GM-fed chickens also had more erratic body weight and food intake, and less weight gain overall. But these results were dismissed without follow-up.”

Were the results of this study ignored like so many other GMO tests because the makers were already well aware that GLA was toxic and deathly?

Bayer is working to defeat GMO labeling as well.

How convenient for Bayer, since it makes pharmaceuticals which also ‘treat’ neurological impairment like Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also convenient for Titan pharmaceuticals, which makes drugs to treat Parkinson’s. A new appointee to the board at Titan includes one former Bayer executive. And of course, Bayer makes drugs like selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that ‘treat’ autism as well.

It’s a tangled web.
Title: Arguments Against GMOs
Post by: RE on May 23, 2015, 01:54:22 AM

Arguments against GMOs

I recently decided to take an epidemiology course to fill in gaps in my knowledge base. The entire online graduate certificate in Environmental Health looked interesting, so I applied for the entire certificate. Environmental Health was the first course that I took online at this flagship Florida university. The online experience would be a separate post in itself — the online course was mechanically flawless but grossly deficient in interactions and building critical thinking skills.

One of my class assignments was to argue in a paper against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Since the course and the textbook were too reductionist for my tastes, I argued using macroscopic arguments. I doubt the teaching assistants read it–like all other assignments in this MOOC, it received a grade with no comments. Various friends are asking me what I think of GMOs, and most students in the class and most of my friends think that GMOs are a great solution for our food problems, so I am reposting the paper here.

Corporations promote GMOs as the solution to world hunger through expanded global food sources. That hopeful argument is not based on evidence, and there are many arguments against widespread GMO use. Most science and policy arguments are reductionist. But Einstein said that we cannot solve problems from the same consciousness that created the problems. We must learn to see the world anew, from a larger scale to see a complete picture of the processes involved. Reductionist science is not the answer to the problems engendered by a finite biosphere with a human population in overshoot. Therefore, the arguments presented here address macroscopic arguments against GMOS, including the impact of peak oil production on the current developed countries’ system of industrial agriculture, the rapidly expanding pesticide treadmill that accompanies GMOs, replacement of natural biodiversity, water and soil loss or degradation, and expanding corporate domination, with increasing social inequity, loss of small farmers, monopolization and unsustainability of our food system, and the potential link between gut health and inadequately studied GMOs.

Feed the hungry or “cows and cars?”

gmo-cartoon1Cassidy (2015) critiques the argument that GMOs can feed a rapidly growing global population this month in an Environmental Working Group paper. The author contrasts the reported need for a doubling in food supply in the next 50 years with the progress up to now in GMO crops, which primarily feeds “cows and cars” while expanding social inequity through monopolization and profit-making by large corporations. The expanding social inequity and loss of small farmers contributes to more poverty, which is the real source of hunger. Feeding cows and cars instead of people also puts added pressure on water use and soil degradation, while expanding nitrate pollution in our waters and nitrous oxide pollution in our air. Cassidy also argues that crop yields with GMOs are no better and are sometimes worse than yields of traditional crops. Holt-Giménez et al. (2012) add a different argument against the claim that GMOs can feed the world. We already grow enough food for a global population of 10 billion people, but because of social inequity and poverty, that food is not distributed evenly. Even if we expand food production faster than population growth, GMOs are not the answer.

High transformity agriculture

The most systemic argument against GMOs is the energy-intensive nature of high-tech agriculture that requires the extraction of profit, not letting Nature do the work through traditional diversity and seeds. Energy/emergy intensity of agriculture has increased many fold during the past century of agricultural industrialization (Rydberg and Hayden, 2006). Global energy production has plateaued and is forecast to decline, with a large discrepancy in available fossil fuels to support our current developed society (US-EIA, 2013). The Middle East retains about 2/3 of all proven reserves of oil, while the United States oil production peaked in 1970 (BP Statistical Review, 2014). These facts do not bode well for the sustainability of industrial agriculture, which has evolved to rely heavily on natural gas and fossil fuel subsidies for fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, over-sized tillers and harvesters, and now tech-intensive GMOs that are necessary to stay ahead of plant blights that impact monoculture farms. The research, marketing, law, and other complex necessities of high-tech agriculture each demand more emergy from society, which takes resources from other needed societal supports. Renewable energy sources have less net energy, so renewables are unable to sustain industrial society in the place of non-renewable liquid fuels (Day et al., 2009). GMOs make us less sustainable, as they make our food system increasingly dependent on fossil fuel inputs and increasingly centralized and high-tech.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx

The pesticide treadmill

Tilman et al., 2002

Tilman et al., 2002

The second controversial argument against GMOs relates to environmental health and the accumulation of increasing volumes of pesticides in the environment as a result of the pesticides treadmill. Annual proprietary seeds that demand concurrent use of changing, untested and expanding mixes of both fertilizer and proprietary pesticides leads to a pesticide treadmill (Tilman, 2002). The evidence on how much pesticide use is increasing globally varies greatly by report, ranging from a sympathetic meta-analysis report of a reduction in pesticide use by 37% over the past 20 years (Klumper & Qaim, 2014), to an increase of 7% over that same general period (Benbrook, 2012).

superweeds

The information on global pesticide production is proprietary and not widely touted, but the evidence is visible in healthy, growing corporate profits. Corporate pressure may influence scientific reports through funding and publication bias. Pesticide-resistant super weeds develop, old patents expire, and new GMO seeds are repeatedly developed for new crop categories in hopes of expanding corporate markets and profits, leading to increased costs for farmers and increasing damage to the environment. What is the relevant endpoint if corporate survival mandates ever-increasing growth of herbicides, which kill plants, insects, and birds in the environment? The loss of creatures who eat crop-eating insects leads to the need for more pesticides, and around we go again.

Stephanie McMillan Code Green http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

Monocultures replacing natural biodiversity

Stephanie McMillan Code Green http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

How much is too much pesticide for the planet as a whole, given the additive toxicity of many pesticides and non-food uses? The third large-scale argument against GMOs is the loss of biodiversity, water, and soil nutrients/erosion, through expansion of pesticides, replacement of natural systems with industrial-scale agriculture, and over-fertilization and irrigation. Replacing natural biodiversity and insects with insect-free monocultures hastens the demise of our environmental support systems that we cannot live without—witness dead zones in the ocean, depleting and nitrate-polluted aquifers, and so on. Rockstrom et al. (2009) name biodiversity loss as our greatest problem, and Rhodes’ excellent recent article describing the linkages between the problems of biodiversity and soil loss with bee declines and other problems illustrates this. Additionally, chemical and GMO-based agriculture is fertilizer and water-intensive, adding to ocean dead zones and water shortages, which some claim as the biggest problem of the 21st century. In essence, the idea that we can outsmart Mother Nature and replace her biodiversity with a genetically new agricultural system is arrogant.

Unsustainable corporatization and centralization

Bradford, J. Dec. 21, 2007. Does less energy mean more farmers? The Oil Drum

Bradford, J. Dec. 21, 2007. Does less energy mean more farmers? The Oil Drum

Stephanie McMillan Code Green http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

http://www.stephaniemcmillan.org/codegreen/

The fourth large-scale argument addresses expanding corporate domination of seed patents, farm ownership, research, marketing, and so on. Fossil-fuel-based industrial agriculture winnows small farmers and creates a trend towards large-scale production with an inverse correlation between per capital farmers and energy intensity (Bradford, 2007). Since we are now beginning energetic descent, we will need more small farmers, less intensive methods such as agroecology, and less reliance on technology to become sustainable and avoid collapse of societies. The loss of small farmers adds to social stratification and inequality within the farming industry, but also in society at large, as regulatory capture by corporations leads to weakened regulations, more GMOS, more pesticides, and so on, in an autocatalytic merry-go-round. Feedback loops for policies favorable to corporations beget more large corporations, which expands unsustainable trends into overshoot.

Poorly studied GMOs and health

Benbrook, 2012, Environmental Sciences Europe  (Bt Corn in Acres planted and CDC data)

Benbrook, 2012, Environmental Sciences Europe
 (Bt Corn in Acres planted and CDC data)

The fifth argument is the question of human health and poorly studied GMOs. The United States in particular places the burden of proof for regulation of hazardous chemicals on the Environmental Protection Agency and citizens to defend environmental health based on the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Laws in the last decade in the European Union assume a more precautionary approach by ruling that the proponent of an activity must bear the burden of proof in showing safety. One must wonder whether there is a correlation between the new “disease” of gluten intolerance and the recent rapidly expanding production of GMO foods. We do not know the human health or environmental results of gene manipulation of our food are. A quick search of the literature suggests that there is much research on genetic treatment of diseases, but very little study of the questioned link between human health and GMO-based diets. The only studies so far consist of 90-day rat-feeding trials. A small, longer-term study in 2012 of rat health by Seralini et al. (2014) received great criticism and the journal editors retracted the article. Large corporations can pay for biased research, and can control publication and news media. Who will fund neutral research on GMOs and human health?

What is the energy basis of GMOs?

The claim that GMOs exist to feed the world is a false one, derived from corporations’ desire for profit. This post has raised energetic, ecological, social, and health arguments against GMOs. Other arguments include the unknown, unintended consequences of intentional mutation of the gene pool of our food, and the biased funding and publication of research.

In an era of population overshoot and resource scarcity, being able to fall back on our biosphere’s ecosystem services will be critical for a society that prospers. An industrialized, high-tech food system that requires increasingly complex research, laws, profit-making corporations, and annexation of natural systems into massive fields sowed with machinery, sprayed with poisons, fertilized with fossil fuels, and irrigated with our children’s aquifers while being supported by massive research labs to stave off the next pesticide-resistant insect is not a sustainable model. In my opinion, the only way to avoid collapse of our food system is to return to agroecological systems which show four systemic properties: productivity, stability, sustainability, and equitability.

The land company—that’s the bank when it has land—wants tractors, not families on the land. Is a tractor bad? Is the power that turns the long furrows wrong? If this tractor were ours, it would be good – not mine, but ours. We could love that tractor then as we have loved this land when it was ours. But this tractor does two things – it turns the land and turns us off the land. There is little difference between this tractor and a tank. The people were driven, intimidated, hurt by both. We must think about this (Steinbeck, 1939, Chapter 14).

As Steinbeck suggests in The Grapes of Wrath, there may be a point at which technology owns us, and takes us to a place from which we cannot return without revolution of the system. We’re going to need a lot more farmers and less technology in a future with less fossil fuel, and more sustainable and ecologically based agricultural practices. GMOs only move us further towards an unsustainable goal of continued growth for a global economy in overshoot.

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Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: Eddie on May 23, 2015, 08:14:36 AM
the online course was mechanically flawless but grossly deficient in interactions and building critical thinking skills.

Then it would have been better than most, which are neither flawless nor interactive.

 While the internet is a godsend for autodidacts, it is hardly a replacement for the classroom, which is itself no replacement for excellent mentorship. I've decided that the main problem with most schools, including expensive colleges, is that we don't teach anyone much of anything.

Online courses are the biggest scam since mail-order diplomas.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto
Post by: MKing on May 23, 2015, 01:58:04 PM
I've decided that the main problem with most schools, including expensive colleges, is that we don't teach anyone much of anything.

It is worse than that. Because in addition to not teaching anyone much of anything, they are filled with confidence about the value of what they have learned. Schooled in self esteem building exercises, rote memorization, blogosphere levels of knowledge, and the fine art of warming a seat, they have zero understanding of generating results. They don't understand competition, they don't understand decision making under pressure,  they equate time pretending to learn something as equal value to having actually learned it, expect rapid advancement and recognition of their "skills" regardless of any real world demonstration of them. Fascinating to watch, and demoralizing as to what happens when these are what run the country in the near future.


Title: City of San Diego Sues Monsanto Over PCB Pollution
Post by: knarf on August 23, 2015, 03:22:10 PM
(http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/620*809/PCB+map.JPG)

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/investigations/City-of-San-Diego-Sues-Monsanto-Over-PCB-Pollution-322446342.html#ixzz3jSRdVc37 (http://www.nbcsandiego.com/investigations/City-of-San-Diego-Sues-Monsanto-Over-PCB-Pollution-322446342.html#ixzz3jSRdVc37)
Title: California Just Announced It Will Label Monsanto’s Roundup as Cancer Causing
Post by: RE on September 13, 2015, 11:57:03 PM
California Just Announced It Will Label Monsanto’s Roundup as Cancer Causing (http://theantimedia.org/california-just-announced-it-will-label-monsantos-roundup-as-cancer-causing/)

(http://d38zt8ehae1tnt.cloudfront.net/images/news/700_122aab57b742bbb452ed1d25635cc391.jpg)

Claire Bernish
September 12, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Sacramento, CA — California just dealt Monsanto a blow as the state’s Environmental Protection Agency will now list glyphosate — the toxic main ingredient in the U.S.’ best-selling weedkiller, Roundup — as known to cause cancer.

Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 — usually referred to as Proposition 65, its original name — chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm are required to be listed and published by the state. Chemicals also end up on the list if found to be carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — a branch of the World Health Organization.

In March, the IARC released a report that found glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen.”

Besides the “convincing evidence” the herbicide can cause cancer in lab animals, the report also found:

“Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the U.S.A., Canada, and Sweden reported increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustments to other pesticides.”

California’s decision to place glyphosate on the toxic chemicals list is the first of its kind. As Dr. Nathan Donley of the Center for Biological Diversity said in an email to Ecowatch, “As far as I’m aware, this is the first regulatory agency within the U.S. to determine that glyphosate is a carcinogen. So this is a very big deal.”

Now that California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has filed its “notice of intent to list” glyphosate as a known cancer agent, the public will have until October 5th to comment. There are no restrictions on sale or use associated with the listing.

Monsanto was seemingly baffled by the decision to place cancer-causing glyphosate on the state’s list of nearly 800 toxic chemicals. Spokesperson for the massive company, Charla Lord, told Agri-Pulse that “glyphosate is an effective and valuable tool for farmers and other users, including many in the state of California. During the upcoming comment period, we will provide detailed scientific information to OEHHA about the safety of glyphosate and work to ensure that any potential listing will not affect glyphosate use or sales in California.”

Roundup is sprayed on crops around the world, particularly with Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready varieties — genetically engineered to tolerate large doses of the herbicide to facilitate blanket application without harming crops. Controversy has surrounded this practice for years — especially since it was found farmers increased use of Roundup, rather than lessened it, as Monsanto had claimed.

Less than a week after the WHO issued its report naming glyphosate carcinogenic, Monsanto called for a retraction — and still maintains that Roundup is safe when used as directed.

On Thursday, an appeals court in Lyon, France, upheld a 2012 ruling in favor of farmer Paul Francois, who claimed he had been chemically poisoned and suffered neurological damage after inhaling Monsanto’s weedkiller, Lasso. Not surprisingly, the agrichemical giant plans to take its appeal to the highest court in France.

It’s still too early to tell whether other states will follow California’s lead.

This article (California Just Announced It Will Label Monsanto’s Roundup as Cancer Causing) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.
Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
Post by: RE on September 14, 2015, 12:36:19 AM
I consolidated several Monsanto and GMO threads sprinkled around the Diner and made this topic a Sticky in Environment for EZ relocating.

Drop all your GMO  articles in this thread!

Consolidation is a pain in the ass!

RE
Title: Occupy Monsanto on r/collapse
Post by: RE on September 14, 2015, 03:31:53 PM
hahahahahahaha

This is good.

I dropped the latest Monsanto link onto r/collapse last night.  It was ranked #1 for a while, and accumulated over 100 Link Points.

It also had a  nice stream going in the commentariat, with the main argument whether this was "collapse related" enough for the r/collapse website.

A few minutes ago, after my last response that the view this is not collapse related is ridiculously narrow, the whole thread got whacked from r/collapse listings.  It's still up, just Eleitl de-listed it.

https://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/comments/3kvox2/monsanto_stunned_california_confirms_roundup_will/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/comments/3kvox2/monsanto_stunned_california_confirms_roundup_will/)

I'm gonna keep pushing this until they ban me.   :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Monsanto’s ‘Hand of God’: Planned Obsolescence of the Indian Farmer
Post by: RE on September 17, 2015, 09:05:08 PM
Monsanto’s ‘Hand of God’: Planned Obsolescence of the Indian Farmer (http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsantos-hand-of-god-planned-obsolescence-of-the-indian-farmer/5476589)

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/monsanto-400x209.jpg)
The mantra of global agribusiness companies is that they care about farmers. They also really care about humanity and want to help to feed a growing world population, preferably by using genetically modified (GM) crops. They say that they want to assist poor farmers by helping them to grow enough to earn a decent income. It seems like a win-win situation for everyone.

To listen to the PR, however, you could be forgiven for believing that these companies are driven by altruistic tendencies and humanitarian goals rather than by massive profit margins and delivering on shareholder dividends.

To promote itself and its products, the US multinational company Union Carbide came out with a series of brochures in the nineteen fifties and sixties with powerful images depicting a large ‘hand of god’ in the sky, which hovered over a series of landscapes and scenarios in need of ‘fixing’ by the brave new world of science and the type of agricultural technology to be found in a pesticide canister. One such image is of a giant hand pouring chemicals from a lab flask upon Indian soil, with a pesticide manufacturing factory in the distance and Mumbai’s Gateway of India opposite.

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/hand-of-God.jpg)

It was a scene where science met tradition, where the helping hand of god, in this case Union Carbide, assisted the ignorant, backward Indian farmer who is shown toiling in the fields. The people at Union Carbide didn’t do subtlety back then.

We can now look back and see where Union Carbide’s helping hand got the people of Bhopal and the deaths caused by that pesticide factory depicted in the image. And we can also see the utter contempt its top people in the US displayed by dodging justice and failing the victims of Bhopal. There’s humanitarianism for you: playing god with people’s lives and denying responsibility.

The supposed humanitarian motives of global agribusiness are often little more than a sham. If these companies, their supporters and media shills and PR mouthpieces really want to feed the world and assist poor farmers in low income countries, as they say they do, they would do better by addressing the political, economic and structural issues laid out here which fuel poverty and hunger. And that includes the role of agribusiness itself in determining unfair world trade rules and trade agreements, such as the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which help grant it access to agriculture across the globe and recast it for its own ends. (In fact, US agribusiness and the transformation of food-sufficient countries into food-deficit ones has long been bound up with the projection of Washington’s global power – see this.)

They would also do better by acting on the recommendations of various reports that conclude agro-ecological approaches are more suitable for these countries and that GM and chemical-dependent practices are not required and are inappropriate (see this, this and this).

Many of the people these companies supply their inputs to and make a profit from are smallholder farmers who live on a financial knife edge in low income countries Monsanto has appropriated around $900 million from India’s farmers over the last decade or so – illegally according to this . By way of contrast, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant brought in $13.4 million in 2014 alone, according to Bloomberg.

Writing in India’s Statesman newspaper recently, Bharat Dogra illustrates the knife-edge existence of the people that rich agribusiness profits from by discussing the case of Babu Lal and his wife Mirdi Bai who have been traditionally cultivating wheat, maize, and bajra (millet) on their farmland in Rajasthan. Their crops provided food for several months a year to the 10-member family as well as fodder for farm and dairy animals which are integral to the mixed farming system employed.

Dogra notes that company (unspecified – but Monsanto and its subsidiaries dominate the GM cotton industry in India) agents approached the family with the promise of a lump-sum payment to plant and produce Bt (GM) cotton seeds in two of their fields. Babu Lal purchased pesticides to help grow the seeds in the hope of receiving the payment, which never materialised because the company agent said the seeds produced had “failed” in tests.

The family faced economic ruin, not least because the food harvest was much lower than normal as the best fields and most labour and resources had been devoted to Bt cotton. There was hardly any fodder too. It all resulted in Babu Lal borrowing from private moneylenders at a high interest rate to meet the needs of food and fodder.

Things were to get much worse though as the company’s agent allegedly started harassing Babu Lal for a payment of about 10,000 rupees in lieu of the fertilisers and pesticides provided to him. Several other tribal farmers in the area also fell into this trap, and reports say that the soil of fields in which Bt cotton was grown has been badly damaged.

The promise of a lump-sum cash payment can be very enticing to poor farmers, and when companies use influential villagers to get new farmers to agree to plant GM cotton, tribal farmers are reluctant to decline the offer. When production is declared as having failed, solely at the company’s discretion it seems, a family becomes indebted.

According to Dogra’s piece, there is growing evidence that the trend in tribal areas to experiment with Bt cotton has disrupted food security and has introduced various health hazards and ecological threats due to the use of poisonous chemical inputs.

What seed companies are doing is experimenting with farmers’ livelihoods and lives. ‘Success’, regardless of the impact on the farmer, is measured in terms of company profits. However, failure for the farmer is a matter of life and death. Look no further than the spike in suicides across the cotton belt since 1997. Even ‘success’ for the farmer may not amount to much when the costs of the seeds and associated chemical inputs are factored into any possible increase in yield or income.

Despite constant denials by Monsanto and its supporters in the media that Bt cotton in India has nothing or little to do with farmer suicides in India, a new study directly links the crisis of suicides among Indian farmers to Bt cotton adoption in rain-fed areas, where most of India’s cotton is grown. As outlined in the case of Babu Lal above, many fall into a cycle of debt from the purchase of expensive, commercialised GM seeds and chemical inputs that then often fail to yield enough to sustain farmers’ livelihoods.

Dogra’s story is about one family’s plight, but it is a microcosm of all that is wrong with modern agriculture and that could be retold a million times over in India and across the world: the imposition of cash monocrops and the subsequent undermining of local food security (leading to food-deficit regions and to a reliance on imports); the introduction of costly and hazardous (to health and environment) chemical inputs and company seeds; crop failure (or, in many cases, the inability to secure decent prices on a commercial market dominated by commodity speculators in the US or rigged in favour of Western countries); and spiralling debt.

The situation for India’s farmers is dire across the board. Consider that 670 million people in India’s the rural areas live on less than 33 rupees a day (around 50 US cents) a day. And consider that than 32 million quit agriculture between 2007 and 2012. Where did they go? Into the cities to look for work. Work that does not exist.

Between 2005 and 2015, only 15 million jobs were created nationally. To keep up with a growing workforce, around 12 million new jobs are required each year. Therefore, if you are going to place the likes of Babu Lal and millions like him at the mercy of the ‘helping hand’ of giant agribusiness companies or the whims of the market, you may well be consigning him and millions like him to the dustbin of history given the lack of options for making a living out there.

In fact, that is exactly what the Indian government is doing by leaving farmers like him to deal with agribusiness and the vagaries of the market and having to compete with heavily subsidised Western agriculture/agribusiness, whose handmaidens at the WTO demand India reduces import restrictions. Little wonder then that 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1997.

While the West tries to impose its neoliberal agenda of cutting subsidies to agriculture and dismantling price support mechanisms and the public distribution system that if effectively run would allow Indian farmers to receive a decent stable income, farmers are unsurprisingly leaving the sector in droves as agriculture becomes economically non-viable. Forcing farmers to leave the land is a deliberate strategy. Just like it is a deliberate strategy to give massive handouts to industry and corporate concerns who are not delivering on jobs. It’s all about priorities. And farmers are not a priority. They are being driven from farming, while all the advantages are being given to a failing corporate-industrial sector.

With 300,000 having killed themselves in the last 18 years and many more heavily indebted or existing on a pittance, what we are witnessing is the destruction of the Indian farmer. Structural violence doesn’t require guns or knives – economic policies and political choices will do just fine.

This type of violence involves the uprooting of indigenous agriculture and replacing it with a chemical-intensive Western model based of agriculture, whereby those farmers left on the land are to be recipients of the inputs and knowledge of agribusiness companies. This began with the ‘green revolution’ and is continuing apace today courtesy of GM cotton seeds and possibly GM food given that open field trials of GM food crops now taking place (GM is a fraudulent enterprise and is surrounded by various myths that are deconstructedhere).

It begs the question: are traditional skills and knowledge gained over thousands of years to be cast aside in favour of a model that stresses agribusiness inputs and the ‘knowledge’ required to make them work? Very often, these inputs (or products) result in a continuous process of crisis management (under the banner of ‘research and development’) and short-termism: new products – that are ultimately destined to fail – to replace the older products that have already failed. This scenario is only good for one thing – the profit sheets of the agribusiness cartel as it pushes its never-ending stream of ‘innovations’ onto the hapless farmer.

For example, going back a couple of years, a report in Business Standard (BS) stated that Bt cotton yields in India had dropped to a five-year low. India approved Bt cotton in 2002 and within a few years yields increased dramatically. However, most of the rise in productivity seemingly had nothing to do with Bt cotton itself.

What’s more, since Bt has taken over, yields have been steadily worsening. According to BS, bollworms are developing resistance. Contrary to what farmers were originally told, the Monsanto spokesperson quoted by BS says that such resistance is to be expected. However, when Bt cotton arrived in India, farmers were told that they wouldn’t have to spray any more. All that farmers had to do was plant the seeds and water them regularly. They were told that, as GM seeds are insect resistant, there was no need to use huge amounts of pesticides.

But, according to Monsanto’s spokesperson, the bollworm problem is all the Indian farmers’ fault because ‘limited refuge planting’ is one of the factors that may have contributed to pink bollworm resistance. Using the ‘wrong’ biotech seed is another. The answer from the biotech sector to combat falling yields is continuous R&D to develop new technologies and new strains of GM seeds to try to stay ahead of insect resistance or falling yields.

Agribusiness corporations are engaged in managing and thus profiting from the crises they themselves have conspired to produce with their destruction of traditional agriculture and local economies and their chemical inputs and genetic engineering. By its very nature – by tampering with nature – US agribusiness is designed to stumble from one crisis to the next. And it will do so by hiding behind the banners of ‘innovation’ or ‘research and development’. But, it’s all good business. And that’s all that really matters. There’s always money to be made from blaming the victims for the mess created and from a continuous state of crisis management.

Ultimately, this is what capitalism is all about: planned obsolescence – planned obsolescence of its products, in order that profits can be made from a stream of new ‘wonder’ products and, as far as India is concerned, planned obsolescence of its farmers as agribusiness sets out to uproot tradition and shape farming in its own corporate image. And part of the great con-trick is that it attempts to pass off its endless crises and failures as brilliant successes.

If anything highlights how this traditional knowledge and practices are being cast aside, it is the recent case of Bt cotton and whitefly. In the cotton belt of Punjab and Haryana, the tiny whitefly has caused extensive damage. They sprayed this way and that way with pesticides. The agritech companies blamed farmers for not spraying correctly. The companies blamed each other for selling the wrong chemicals to farmers. It’s a repeat of the bollworm blame game. In any case, the pesticide use failed to kill the whitefly that ravaged cotton crops.

Writing on his blog, food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma says that the only time whitefly did not destroy crops was when pesticides were not used. Instead, farmers used ‘insect equilibrium’ and their knowledge of which insects kill crop-predator pests. Knowledge built over centuries of trial and error and which did not come courtesy of a white-coated figure in a lab. Knowledge that is in danger of being wiped out as farmers are being turned into consumers of agritech products.

Sharma notes in that the areas where extensive pesticide use failed to defeat the whitefly, they “stand like an oasis in a heavily polluted chemical desert.” In the areas that were not ravaged, pesticides have not been used for several years. Benign insects are used to control harmful pests. They allowed the natural predators of whitefly to proliferate, which in turn killed the whitefly. Sharma says he has met women who can identify 110 non-vegetarian insects and also as many as 60 vegetarian insects (a few years back, he also reported how insect equilibrium was managing a mealy bug problem too).

For agribusiness, though, it is more profitable to hijack agriculture and recast it in its own ‘hand of god’ image. It can then serve up its industrial poisons and GMOs to farmers courtesy of politicians who handed agriculture to it on a plate.

Fast forward 50 years from that Union Carbide image and global agribusiness is today a bit more subtle in its approach. But the underlying messages and attitudes remain: that backward, ignorant farmers are in need of a giant ‘helping hand’, these companies know best and debt, economic distress and farmer suicides are not of its making or concern.

Global agribusiness is playing fast and loose with poor people’s lives and is profiting handsomely.
Copyright © Colin Todhunter, Global Research, 2015
Title: Seeds of Destruction: The Diabolical World of Genetic Manipulation
Post by: RE on January 27, 2016, 08:22:37 PM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/seeds-of-destruction-the-diabolical-world-of-genetic-manipulation/25303 (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


(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/125303.jpg)
“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.

Title: Capitalism & Global Agribizness
Post by: RE on April 12, 2016, 02:33:13 AM
More on the Food Frackers.

RE

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

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/108949.jpg)
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
Title: Has Monsanto Poisoned Most People In The United States?
Post by: Surly1 on May 27, 2016, 07:13:43 AM
Has Monsanto Poisoned Most People In The United States? (https://www.popularresistance.org/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.”

 

Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
Post by: Eddie 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.
Title: Corporate Cannabis: Monsanto Monopolizing Marijuana
Post by: RE on July 08, 2016, 09:44:23 PM
Collapse is Monsanto taking over the Weed Biz.  :(

RE

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

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Monsanto-1-400x230.jpg)
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
Title: California classifies Roundup as CANCEROUS
Post by: RE on June 27, 2017, 01:12:17 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/weed-killer-ingredient-california-list-cancerous-48295768 (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

(http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/WireAP_ce55848194d54047bba4f20a23a75e5c_12x5_1600.jpg)
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."
Title: 🌾 Fabricated Reality: Lobbying for GMO Agriculture in India
Post by: RE on February 11, 2018, 03:42:10 AM
https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/fabricated-reality-lobbying-for-gmo-agriculture-in-india/5627645 (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


(https://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/richard-roberts-biochemist.jpg)
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.

(http://www.hindustantimes.com/rf/image_size_300x200/HT/p2/2017/07/17/Pictures/northern-photo-field-mustard-farmer-casting-allahabad_07e8c340-6afe-11e7-90b5-ba41537c464e.jpg)
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
(http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article19226397.ece/alternates/FREE_960/Th07-LRC-Aruna)


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
Title: 🌽 The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light
Post by: RE on April 10, 2018, 12:10:39 AM
Monsanto and Bayer. A Marriage Made in Hell.  :evil4:

RE

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

(https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5894d3ef3149a11a008b5130-960-646.jpg)
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.
Title: Re: 🌽 The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light
Post by: Eddie 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 (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

(https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5894d3ef3149a11a008b5130-960-646.jpg)
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.
Title: ☠️ King Kong mates with Godzilla: Monsanto & Bayer Merge
Post by: RE on June 08, 2018, 12:45:12 AM
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/jun/08/bayer-finally-closes-deal-for-monsanto-/ (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

(https://img.cinemablend.com/filter:scale/cb/f/7/5/b/1/f/f75b1fe58a3cece5c4d532783b70c0b6cc6765fb60933ce45f063248ac7d06d7.jpg?mw=600)

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."
Title: 37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field
Post by: Surly1 on July 06, 2018, 03:26:42 AM
37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field (http://dailynativenews.site/2018/03/37-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.

Title: Re: Occupy Monsanto: Official GMO Foods MUST DIE Thread
Post by: Eddie on July 06, 2018, 05:11:51 AM
Ugh. 600 hives.

Great.
Title: 🚜 Monsanto MUST DIE: Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against Roundup
Post by: RE 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

(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/12323021424_ebd207206f_k-800x534.jpg)
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.
Title: ⚖️ Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism
Post by: RE on October 08, 2018, 12:09:37 AM
https://www.globalresearch.ca/food-justice-violence-and-capitalism/5656337 (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

(https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/monsanto.jpg)
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.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Colin Todhunter is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.
Title: 🌾 After two jury losses, Bayer's Roundup heads back to court with 11,200 suits
Post by: RE on March 23, 2019, 03:05:38 AM
https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/after-two-jury-losses-bayers-roundup-heads-back-to-court-with-11200-lawsuits-pending (https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/after-two-jury-losses-bayers-roundup-heads-back-to-court-with-11200-lawsuits-pending)

After two jury losses, Bayer's Roundup heads back to court with 11,200 lawsuits pending

By Jade ScipioniPublished March 21, 2019IndustriesFOXBusiness

http://www.youtube.com/v/RMH_7CVYdXM

Bayer shares fall on $289M Monsanto verdict

FBN's Ashley Webster on Bayer shares' falling on news a California jury ordering the company's newly acquired Monsanto unit to pay $289 million for not warning of cancer risks from the company's weed-killer Roundup.

The legal troubles keep mounting for German pharmaceutical giant Bayer Opens a New Window.  since it acquired Monsanto last June for $62.5 billion as its weedkiller Roundup Opens a New Window. has now been linked to a second man’s cancer, as more than 11,200 other plaintiffs are waiting in the wings.

This week Opens a New Window. , a federal jury in San Francisco found that Monsanto's Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The company denies the connection. The trial now moves to phase two, which will decide whether Monsanto's conduct makes it liable.

The loss follows last year's groundbreaking case when another California jury found that the weedkiller was responsible for Dewayne “Lee” Johnson Opens a New Window.  developing the same type of cancer. Last August, a jury awarded Johnson $289 million, which was later reduced to $78.5 million.

“Monsanto not only lost another trial this week but also this week the largest study ever done of 300,000 [farmers who were exposed to glyphosate]  showed an increased risk for the vast majority of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” attorney Michael Miller of the Miller Firm, who served as one of Johnson’s attorneys during the trial and now represents several thousand other Roundup victims across the country, told FOX

The new study Opens a New Window. , which was released Monday by the International Journal of Epidemiology, Opens a New Window. showed links between glyphosate (a chemical that Roundup uses) herbicides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, using data from more than 300,000 farmers and agricultural workers in France, Norway and the U.S. Researchers found that the specific type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma linked to glyphosate exposure was diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the same type of cancer Hardeman has.

Miller, who is currently in Oakland, California picking a jury for a husband and wife who both claim they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after long-term exposure to Roundup, said Bayer's management is still in denial about the weedkiller.

“The best move for Bayer is to settle with their victims before the company drowns in this litigation,” Miller added.

Christopher Loder, a spokesperson for Bayer, told FOX Business that despite the more than 11,200 pending litigations the company is facing across the country, it “stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”

“Roundup products and their active ingredient, glyphosate, have been used safely and successfully for over four decades worldwide and are a valuable tool to help farmers deliver crops to markets and practice sustainable farming by reducing soil tillage, soil erosion and carbon emissions. Regulatory authorities around the world consider glyphosate-based herbicides as safe when used as directed,” Bayer said in statement following Hardeman's verdict.

The company added that there have been more than 800 rigorous studies submitted to the EPA, European and other regulators in connection with the registration process that confirms that these products are safe “when used as directed.” Bayer, however, did not reply to a request for comment on the new study released this week on glyphosate.

However, glyphosate has been under scrutiny for years. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, identified the ingredient as a “probable carcinogen.”

Miller and his law firm are urging Bayer to put a bold warning on Roundup and restrict its use.
Title: 🌾 Glyphosate Worse Than We Could Imagine
Post by: RE on April 21, 2019, 02:45:11 AM
I don't know about that...I can imagine some pretty bad things.

(https://geneticliteracyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/extinction-e1507612898370.jpg)

MOAR Capitalism at work.

RE

https://journal-neo.org/2019/04/14/glyphosate-worse-than-we-could-imagine/

 14.04.2019 Author: F. William Engdahl
Glyphosate Worse Than We Could Imagine
Column: Society
Region: USA in the World

(https://journal-neo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/8811.jpg)

As new studies continue to point to a direct link between the widely-used glyphosate herbicide and various forms of cancer, the agribusiness lobby fights ferociously to ignore or discredit evidence of human and other damage. A second US court jury case just ruled that Monsanto, now a part of the German Bayer AG, must pay $ 81 million in damages to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman who contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. The ruling and a line-up of another 11,000 pending cases in US courts going after the effects of glyphosate, have hit Bayer AG hard with the company announcing several thousand layoffs as its stock price plunges.

In a trial in San Francisco the jury was unanimous in their verdict that Monsanto Roundup weed-killer, based on glyphosate, had been responsible for Hardeman’s cancer. His attorneys stated, “It is clear from Monsanto’s actions that it does not care whether Roundup causes cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about Roundup.” It is the second defeat for the lawyers of Monsanto after another jury ruled in 2018 that Glyphosate-based Roundup was responsible for the cancer illness of a California school grounds-keeper who contracted the same form of cancer after daily spraying school grounds with Roundup over years, unprotected. There a jury found Monsanto guilty of “malice and oppression” in that company executives, based on internal email discovery, knew that their glyphosate products could cause cancer and suppressed this information from the public.

New independent study shows that those with highest exposure to glyphosate have a 41% increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancer. A meta-analysis of six studies containing nearly 65,000 participants looked at links between glyphosate-based herbicides and immune-suppression, endocrine disruption and genetic alterations. The authors found “the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma).” Further, they stated that glyphosate “alters the gut microbiome,” and that that could “impact the immune system, promote chronic inflammation, and contribute to the susceptibility of invading pathogens.” Glyphosate also ”may act as an endocrine disrupting chemical because it has been found recently to alter sex hormone production” in both male and female rats.

In a long-term animal study by French scientists under Gilles Eric Seralini, Michael Antoniou and associates, it was demonstrated that even ultra-low levels of glyphosate herbicides cause non-alcoholic liver disease. The levels the rats were exposed to, per kg of body weight, were far lower than what is allowed in our food supply. According to the Mayo Clinic, today, after four decades or more pervasive use of glyphosate pesticides, 100 million, or 1 out of 3 Americans now have liver disease. These diagnoses are in some as young as 8 years old.

But glyphosate is not only having alarming effects on human health. Soil scientists are beginning to realize the residues of glyphosate application are also having a possibly dramatic effect on soil health and nutrition, effects that can take years to restore.

Killing Soils too

While most attention is understandably drawn to the human effects of exposure to glyphosate, the most widely used agriculture chemical in the world today, independent scientists are beginning to look at another alarming effect of the agrochemical– its effect on essential soil nutrients. In a study of the health of soils in the EU, the online journal Politico.eu found that the effects of spraying of glyphosate on the major crops in European agriculture is having disastrous consequences on soil health in addition to killing weeds.

Scientists at Austria’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna showed that casting activity of earthworms had nearly disappeared from the surface of farmland within three weeks of glyphosate application. Casting is the process of the worm pushing fertile soils to the surface as they burrow, essential for healthy soil and plant nutrition. A study at Holland’s Wageningen University of topsoil samples from more than 300 soil sites across the EU found that 83% of the soils contained 1 or more pesticide residues. Not surprisingly, “Glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, DDTs (DDT and its metabolites) and broad-spectrum fungicides… were the compounds most frequently found in soil samples and at the highest concentrations.”

The use of various pesticides, above all glyphosate-based ones like Roundup, has exploded over the past four decades across the EU much as across the USA. The agribusiness industry claims that this has been the key to the dramatic rise in farm crop productivity. However if we look more closely at the data, while average yields of major grains such as rice, wheat and maize have more than doubled since 1960, the use of pesticides like glyphosate-based ones has risen by 15-20-fold. Oddly enough, while the EU requires monitoring of many things, monitoring of pesticide residues in soil is not required at the EU level. Until recently the effects of heavy use of pesticides such as Roundup have been ignored in scientific research.

Evidence of soil experts is beginning to reveal clear links between use of pesticides such as glyphosate and dramatic drops in soil fertility and the collapse of microbe systems essential to healthy soil. Worms are one of the most essential.

It’s well-established that earthworms play a vital role in healthy soil nutrients. Soils lacking such are soils that deprive us of the essentials we need for healthy diets, a pandemic problem of soil depletion emerging globally over the past four decades, notably the same time frame that use of pesticides has exploded worldwide. Earthworms are beneficial as they enhance soil nutrient cycling and enhance other beneficial soil micro-organisms, and the concentration of large quantities of nutrients easily assimilable by plants.

The EU puts no limits on how much glyphosate can be put on crops even though it is established that glyphosate can kill specific fungi and bacteria that plants need to suck up nutrients in addition to its effects on earthworms. That is a major blind spot.

Where now?

What is becoming clearer is the colossal and obviously deliberate official blind eye given to potential dangers of glyphosate-based pesticides by regulatory bodies not only in the EU and the USA, but also in China, which today produces more glyphosate than even Monsanto. Since the Monsanto Roundup patent expired, Chinese companies, including Syngenta, Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Company, SinoHarvest, and Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry Company, have emerged as the world’s major producers of the chemical as well as largest consumers, a not good omen for the future of the legendary Chinese cuisine.

Glyphosate is the base chemical component for some 750 different brands of pesticides worldwide, in addition to Monsanto-Bayer’s Roundup. Glyphosate residues have been found in tap water, orange juice, children’s urine, breast milk, chips, snacks, beer, wine, cereals, eggs, oatmeal, wheat products, and most conventional foods tested. It’s everywhere, in brief.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, however, EU Commission bureaucrats and the USA EPA continue to ignore prudence in not banning the toxic chemical pending thorough independent investigation over longer time. If I were cynical, I would almost think this continued official support for glyphosate-based herbicides is about more than mere bureaucratic stupidity or ignorance, even more than simply corruption, though that for sure plays a role. The nutritional quality of our food chain is being systematically destroyed and it is about more than corporate agribusiness profit.
https://journal-neo.org/2019/04/14/glyphosate-worse-than-we-could-imagine/
Title: 🌾 Life Expectancy Falters in the UK: Slow Death but Fast Profits for the Agroch
Post by: RE on June 27, 2019, 02:09:44 AM
https://www.globalresearch.ca/life-expectancy-falters-uk-slow-death-fast-profits-agrochemical-sector/5681854 (https://www.globalresearch.ca/life-expectancy-falters-uk-slow-death-fast-profits-agrochemical-sector/5681854)

Life Expectancy Falters in the UK: Slow Death but Fast Profits for the Agrochemical Sector
By Colin Todhunter
Global Research, June 26, 2019
Region: Europe
Theme: Biotechnology and GMO, Law and Justice, Media Disinformation

(https://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/roundup-lawsuit-glyphosate.jpg)
A special report in the Observer newspaper in the UK on 23 June 2019 asked the question: Why is life expectancy faltering? The piece noted that for the first time in 100 years, Britons are dying earlier. The UK now has the worst health trends in Western Europe.

Aside from the figures for the elderly and the deprived, there has also been a worrying change in infant mortality rates. Since 2014, the rate has increased every year: the figure for 2017 is significantly higher than the one in 2014. To explain this increase in infant mortality, certain experts blame it on ‘austerity’, fewer midwives, an overstrained ambulance service, general deterioration of hospitals, greater poverty among pregnant women and cuts that mean there are fewer health visitors for patients in need.

While all these explanations may be valid, according to environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason, there is something the mainstream narrative is avoiding. She says:

    “We are being poisoned by weedkiller and other pesticides in our food and weedkiller sprayed indiscriminately on our communities. The media remain silent.”

The poisoning of the UK public by the agrochemical industry is the focus of her new report – Why is life expectancy faltering: The British Government has worked with Monsanto and Bayer since 1949.

What follows are edited highlights of the text in which she cites many official sources and reports as well as numerous peer-reviewed studies in support of her arguments. Readers can access the report here.

Toxic history of Monsanto in the UK

Mason begins by offering a brief history of Monsanto in the UK. In 1949, that company set up a chemical factory in Newport, Wales, where it manufactured PCBs until 1977 and a number of other dangerous chemicals. Monsanto was eventually found to be dumping toxic waste in the River Severn, public waterways and sewerage. It then paid a contractor which illegally dumped thousands of tons of cancer-causing chemicals, including PCBs, dioxins and Agent Orange derivatives, at two quarries in Wales – Brofiscin (80,000 tonnes) and Maendy (42,000 tonnes) – between 1965 and 1972.

Monsanto stopped making PCBs in Anniston US in 1971 because of various scandals. However, the British government agreed to ramp up production at the Monsanto plant in Newport. In 2003, when toxic effluent from the quarry started leaking into people’s streams in Grosfaen, just outside Cardiff, the Environment Agency – a government agency concerned with flooding and pollution – was hired to clean up the site in 2005.

Mason notes that the agency repeatedly failed to hold Monsanto accountable for its role in the pollution (a role that Monsanto denied from the outset) and consistently downplayed the dangers of the chemicals themselves.

In a report prepared for the agency and the local authority in 2005 but never made public, the sites contain at least 67 toxic chemicals. Seven PCBs have been identified, along with vinyl chlorides and naphthalene. The unlined quarry is still leaking, the report says:

    “Pollution of water has been occurring since the 1970s, the waste and groundwater has been shown to contain significant quantities of poisonous, noxious and polluting material, pollution of… waters will continue to occur.”

The duplicity continues

Apart from these events in Wales, Mason outlines the overall toxic nature of Monsanto in the UK. For instance, she discusses the shockingly high levels of weedkiller in packaged cereals. Samples of four oat-based breakfast cereals marketed for children in the UK were recently sent to the Health Research Institute, Fairfield, Iowa, an accredited laboratory for glyphosate testing. Dr Fagan, the director of the centre, says of the results:

    “These results are consistently concerning. The levels consumed in a single daily helping of any one of these cereals, even the one with the lowest level of contamination, is sufficient to put the person’s glyphosate levels above the levels that cause fatty liver disease in rats (and likely in people).”

According to Mason, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission colluded with the European Glyphosate Task Force and allowed it to write the re-assessment of glyphosate. She lists key peer-reviewed studies, which the Glyphosate Task Force conveniently omitted from its review, from South America where GM crops are grown. In fact, many papers come from Latin American countries where they grow almost exclusively GM Roundup Ready Crops.

Mason cites one study that references many papers from around the world that confirm glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup are damaging to the development of the foetal brain and that repeated exposure is toxic to the adult human brain and may result in alterations in locomotor activity, feelings of anxiety and memory impairment.

Another study notes neurotransmitter changes in rat brain regions following glyphosate exposure. The highlights from that study indicate that glyphosate oral exposure caused neurotoxicity in rats; that brain regions were susceptible to changes in CNS monoamine levels; that glyphosate reduced 5-HT, DA, NE levels in a brain regional- and dose-related manner; and that glyphosate altered the serotoninergic, dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems.

Little wonder, Mason concludes, that we see various degenerative conditions on the rise. She turns her attention to children, the most vulnerable section of the population, and refers to the UN expert on toxicity Baskut Tuncak. He wrote a scathing piece in the Guardian on 06/11/2017 on the effects of agrotoxins on children’s health:

    “Our children are growing up exposed to a toxic cocktail of weedkillers, insecticides, and fungicides. It’s on their food and in their water, and it’s even doused over their parks and playgrounds. Many governments insist that our standards of protection from these pesticides are strong enough. But as a scientist and a lawyer who specialises in chemicals and their potential impact on people’s fundamental rights, I beg to differ. Last month it was revealed that in recommending that glyphosate – the world’s most widely-used pesticide – was safe, the EU’s food safety watchdog copied and pasted pages of a report directly from Monsanto, the pesticide’s manufacturer. Revelations like these are simply shocking.

    “… Exposure in pregnancy and childhood is linked to birth defects, diabetes, and cancer. Because a child’s developing body is more sensitive to exposure than adults and takes in more of everything – relative to their size, children eat, breathe, and drink much more than adults – they are particularly vulnerable to these toxic chemicals. Increasing evidence shows that even at “low” doses of childhood exposure, irreversible health impacts can result.

    “… In light of revelations such as the copy-and-paste scandal, a careful re-examination of the performance of states is required. The overwhelming reliance of regulators on industry-funded studies, the exclusion of independent science from assessments, and the confidentiality of studies relied upon by authorities must change.”

Warnings ignored

It is a travesty that Theo Colborn’s crucial research in the early 1990s into the chemicals that were changing humans and the environment was ignored. Mason discusses his work into endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), man-made chemicals that became widespread in the environment after WW II.

In a book published in 1996, ‘The Pesticide Conspiracy’, Colborn, Dumanoski and Peters revealed the full horror of what was happening to the world as a result of contamination with EDCs.

At the time, there was emerging scientific research about how a wide range of man-made chemicals disrupt delicate hormone systems in humans. These systems play a critical role in processes ranging from human sexual development to behaviour, intelligence, and the functioning of the immune system.

At that stage, PCBs, DDT, chlordane, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, toxaphene, heptachlor, dioxin, atrazine+ and dacthal were shown to be EDCs. Many of these residues are found in humans in the UK.

Colborn illustrated the problem by constructing a diagram of the journey of a PCB molecule from a factory in Alabama into a polar bear in the Arctic. He stated:

    “The concentration of persistent chemicals can be magnified millions of times as they travel to the ends of the earth… Many chemicals that threaten the next generation have found their way into our bodies. There is no safe, uncontaminated place.”

Mason describes how EDCs interfere with delicate hormone systems in sexual development. Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor and a nervous system disruptor. She ponders whether Colborn foresaw the outcome whereby humans become confused about their gender or sex.

She then discusses the widespread contamination of people in the UK. One study conducted at the start of this century concluded that every person tested was contaminated by a cocktail of known highly toxic chemicals that were banned from use in the UK during the 1970s and which continue to pose unknown health risks: the highest number of chemicals found in any one person was 49 – nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of the chemicals looked for.

Corruption exposed

Mason discusses corporate duplicity and the institutionalised corruption that allows agrochemicals to get to the commercial market. She notes the catastrophic impacts of these substances on health and the NHS and the environment.

Of course, the chickens are now coming home to roost for Bayer, which bought Monsanto. Mason refers to attorneys revealing Monsanto’s criminal strategy for keeping Roundup on the market and the company being hit with $2 billion verdict in the third ‘Roundup trial’.

Attorney Brent Wisner has argued that Monsanto spent decades suppressing science linking its glyphosate-based weedkiller product to cancer by ghost-writing academic articles and feeding the EPA “bad science”. He asked the jury to ‘punish’ Monsanto with a $1 billion punitive damages award. On Monday 13 May, the jury found Monsanto liable for failure to warn claims, design defect claims, negligence claims and negligent failure to warn claims.

Robert F Kennedy Jr., another attorney fighting Bayer in the courts, says Roundup causes a constellation of other injuries apart from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

    “Perhaps more ominously for Bayer, Monsanto also faces cascading scientific evidence linking glyphosate to a constellation of other injuries that have become prevalent since its introduction, including obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, brain, breast and prostate cancer, miscarriage, birth defects and declining sperm counts. Strong science suggests glyphosate is the culprit in the exploding epidemics of celiac disease, colitis, gluten sensitivities, diabetes and non-alcoholic liver cancer which, for the first time, is attacking children as young as 10.

In finishing, Mason notes the disturbing willingness of the current UK government to usher in GM Roundup Ready crops in the wake of Brexit. Where pesticides are concerned, the EU’s precautionary principle could be ditched in favour of a US-style risk-based approach, allowing faster authorisation.

Rosemary Mason shows that the health of the UK populations already lags behind other countries in Western Europe. She links this to the increasing amounts of agrochemicals being applied to crops. If the UK does a post-Brexit deal with the US, we can only expect a gutting of environmental standards at the behest of the US and its corporations and much worse to follow for the environment and public health.
Title: Herbicide Warfare Against Gaza
Post by: azozeo on July 26, 2019, 07:33:16 AM

Herbicide warfare against Gaza farmers

Maureen Clare Murphy

23 July 2019

Israel’s military propagandists are at it again.

A video recently tweeted by COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military occupation, celebrates its efforts to teach Palestinian farmers in the West Bank about hybrid fruits and vegetables.

What the military doesn’t boast of in its cheerful short video is its systematic poisoning of besieged Gaza’s most fertile agricultural land.


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/herbicide-warfare-against-gaza-farmers