Archives

Tagged ‘Monsanto‘

Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for Corporate Cannabis

Counterpunch

 

shutterstock_357883577

As detailed in my recent article “The War on Weed is Winding Down,” 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 of Seeds 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 writerMike 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.]

Bono: A Complete Fraud

Hang the Bankers

September 23, 2013

 

“In separate remarks at the UN on Saturday, Zuckerberg said Facebook has partnered with global advocacy organization One in a global call to action for universal Net access by the year 2020.” — September 26, 2015, CNET

 

“… today I’m pleased to announce that Facebook is partnering with the one campaign 21 organization and leaders and public figures all over the world to launch a global campaign to support a conductivity declaration a declaration recognizes internet access
is an important enabler of human rights… I’m also most pleased to announce today that Facebook will be partnering with the UN to advance our common goals.” — Mark Zuckerberg, September 26, 2015

 

Bono+Holds+Press+Conference+AzcBXQfoLBXl

U2’s Bono (L) visits with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations Headquarters on February 13, 2008 in New York City. (Credit: Michael Nagle) [Further reading: Who Shapes the United Nations Agenda?]

‘Bono’s positioning of the west as the saviour of Africa while failing to ­discuss the harm the G8 nations are doing has undermined campaigns for justice and accountability.’

It was bad enough in 2005. Then, at the G8 summit in Scotland, Bono and Bob Geldof heaped praise on Tony Blair and George Bush, who were still mired in the butchery they had initiated in Iraq.

At one point Geldof appeared, literally and figuratively, to be sitting in Tony Blair’s lap. African activists accused them of drowning out a campaign for global justice with a campaign for charity.

But this is worse. As the UK chairs the G8 summit again, a campaign that Bono founded, with which Geldof works closely, appears to be whitewashing the G8’s policies in Africa.

Last week I drew attention to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launched in the US when it chaired the G8 meeting last year. The alliance is pushing African countries into agreements that allow foreign companies to grab their land, patent their seeds and monopolise their food markets. Ignoring the voices of their own people, six African governments have struck deals with companies such as Monsanto, Cargill, Dupont, Syngenta, Nestlé and Unilever, in return for promises of aid by the UK and other G8 nations.

Bono of U2 new world order puppet

A wide range of activists, both African and European, is furious about the New Alliance. But the ONE campaign, co-founded by Bonostepped up to defend it. The article it wrote last week was remarkable in several respects: in its elision of the interests of African leaders and those of their people, in its exaggeration of the role of small African companies, but above all in failing even to mention the injustice at the heart of the New Alliance – its promotion of a new wave of land grabbing. My curiosity was piqued.

The first thing I discovered is that Bono has also praised the New Alliance, in a speech just before last year’s G8 summit in the US. The second thing I discovered is that much of the ONE campaign’s primary funding was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, two of whose executives sit on its board. The foundation has been working with the biotech company Monsanto and the grain trading giant Cargill, and has a large Monsanto shareholding. Bill Gates has responded to claims made about land grabbing in Africa, asserting, in the face of devastating evidence and massive resistance from African farmers, that “many of those land deals are beneficial, and it would be too bad if some were held back because of western groups’ ways of looking at things“. (Africans, you will note, keep getting written out of this story.)

The third thing I discovered is that there’s a long history here. In his brilliant and blistering book The Frontman: Bono (in the Name of Power), just released in the UK, the Irish scholar Harry Browne maintains that “for nearly three decades as a public figure, Bono has been … amplifying elite discourses, advocating ineffective solutions, patronising the poor and kissing the arses of the rich and powerful”. His approach to Africa is “a slick mix of traditional missionary and commercial colonialism, in which the poor world exists as a task for the rich world to complete”.

Bono, Browne charges, has become “the caring face of global technocracy”, who, without any kind of mandate, has assumed the role of spokesperson for Africa, then used that role to provide “humanitarian cover” for western leaders. His positioning of the west as the saviour of Africa while failing to discuss the harm the G8 nations are doing has undermined campaigns for justice and accountability, while lending legitimacy to the neoliberal project.

Bono award from Queen Elizabeth II

Bono and awards from Queen Elizabeth II

Bono claims to be “representing the poorest and most vulnerable people“. But talking to a wide range of activists from both the poor and rich worlds since ONE published its article last week, I have heard the same complaint again and again: that Bono and others like him have seized the political space which might otherwise have been occupied by the Africans about whom they are talking. Because Bono is seen by world leaders as the representative of the poor, the poor are not invited to speak. This works very well for everyone – except them.

The ONE campaign looks to me like the sort of organisation that John le Carré or Robert Harris might have invented. It claims to work on behalf of the extremely poor. But its board is largely composed of multimillionaires, corporate aristocrats and US enforcers. Here you will find Condoleezza Rice, George W Bush’s national security adviser and secretary of state, who aggressively promoted the Iraq war, instructed the CIA that it was authorised to use torture techniques and browbeat lesser nations into supporting a wide range of US aims.

Here too is Larry Summers, who was chief economist at the World Bank during the darkest days of structural adjustment and who, as US Treasury secretary, helped to deregulate Wall Street, with such happy consequences for the rest of us. Here’s Howard Buffett, who has served on the boards of the global grain giant Archer Daniels Midland as well as Coca-Cola and the food corporations ConAgra and Agro Tech. Though the main focus of ONE is Africa, there are only two African members. One is a mobile phone baron, the other is the finance minister of Nigeria, who was formerly managing director of the World Bank. What better representatives of the extremely poor could there be?

Bono & Buffett

June 5, 2013: Bono gave Warren Buffett the inaugural Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy. In presenting the award, Bono serenaded Buffett, singing a special version he penned of “Home on the Range”.

U pay tax 2

As Bono and his bandmates took to the Pyramid Stage, activists from direct action group Art Uncut inflated a 20ft balloon emblazoned with the message “U Pay Your Tax 2?” exposing U2’s offshore tax avoidance.

If, as ONE does, an organisation keeps telling you that it’s a “grassroots campaign”, it’s a fair bet that it is nothing of the kind. This collaboration of multimillionaires and technocrats looks to me more like a projection of US and corporate power.

I found the sight of Bono last week calling for “more progress on transparency” equally revolting. As Harry Browne reminds us, U2’s complex web of companies, the financial arrangements of Bono’s Product RED campaign and his investments through the private equity company he co-founded are all famously opaque. And it’s not an overwhelming shock to discover that tax justice is absent from the global issues identified by ONE.

There is a well-known if dubious story that claims that at a concert in Glasgow Bono began a slow hand-clap. He is supposed to have announced: “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.” Whereupon someone in the audience shouted: “Well fucking stop doing it then.” It’s good advice, and I wish he’d take it.

Bono hanging out with some other NWO criminals: 

Bono with Obama

Obama…the teleprompter reading president who bombs kids for a living and gets a peace prize.

Bono and Al Gore

The inconvenient lie that is Al Gore.

Bono and Clinton

Bill Clinton…where do I even start with this guy?

George W. Bush, Bono

Wanted war criminal George W. Bush Jnr.

Bono with Lindsey Graham

War mongering senator John McCain.

Bill Gates and Bono

Mr Eugenics himself Bill Gates.

Bono and Tony Blair

Wanted war criminal Tony Blair.

Bono and the Queen

Madame evil and best friend of mass pedophile Jimmy Savile, Queen Elizabeth II.

bono 2

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) speaks with Angela Merkel (left), Chancellor of Germany, and Bono, activist and lead singer of the rock band U2, at the United Nations Private Sector Forum 2015, organized by UN Global Compact. (UN Photo/Kim Haughton) [Further reading: Celebrity “Activists” Change Everything: UN Forum to Adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]

India: Destroying Biodiversity, The Devastating Social Impacts of GMO “Killer Seeds”

Arun

Arun Shrivastava: 3 Dec 1951 – 19 Dec 2015
HIS WORK WILL GO ON & WILL BE SHARED
SOON TO BE PUBLISHED; 2016. EXPOSE ON NGO’s

Arun’s greatest work that exposes the NGO’s and their criminality. He was doing the most important expose and research about world wide role of NGO’s. It would have changed completely the way we talk about NGO’s. It was of MONUMENTAL global significance and he was not far from completion of this work.”

Andrew Korybko: “What Arun was doing right before his passing was remarkable – he was assembling a team of investigative researchers to document all physical proof (he was very adamant that it had to be verifiable and not connective analysis) of NGO illegal activity all across the world. Russia, India, China, you name it, that’s what he was doing. He was also a exposing the Vatican’s role in all of this. It’s such a tragedy that he left us, but it is imperative that his family and those physically close to him that were involved in the project save his work, continue it, and publish it. It is truly his legacy and must absolutely see the light of day, God willing.” (Andrew Korybko, 20 December, 2015)

+++

Global Research

March 11, 2014

by Arun Shrivastava

GMO-India

India’s Prime Minister’s approval of GM food and Environment Minister Moily’s disregard for rules, illegally permitting open field trials of 120 food crops will destroy India at the genetic level, namely its biodiversity. In an election year Manmohan Singh is leaving behind a scorched India. A blind, deaf, dumb and bigoted Prime Minster said ‘the government should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against GE seeds and foods.’ [1]

Manmohan Singh said,

‘use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yields.’ [2]

Actually this unscientific, prejudiced and utterly spineless PM backed a failed technology. Behind his rise to infamy and many treasonous acts since 1991 is conspiring with the US Government and the European Globalists who want to cull the global population to about 1 billion, not even sparing their own people. His desperate effort to release GMO food crops will turn India into a dead land with sterile population within a few decades.

While Manmohan Singh will go down in history as the most treacherous man that ever occupied the position of Prime Minister, his Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and the Environment Minister Veerappa Moily will disgrace historiography provided historians survive. 

There is nothing ‘unscientific’ or ‘prejudiced’ when people oppose genetically engineered [GE or GMO] seeds and foods. The opposition is grounded in solid verifiable science. As early as 2003, when the first ever Bt cotton crop was harvested in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Gene Campaign evaluated the performance of Bt Cotton. [3] These studies proved that GE seeds don’t increase yield. Either Singh does not understand science or can’t read; he only follows US and NATO orders like their puppets in 30 other countries.

The Impleadment to ban GMOs was backed by 6.5 million farmers through their respective associations. It was admitted by the Supreme Court in April 2007 and contains a long list of hard scientific evidences. [4]

Members of the Technical Experts’ Committee [TEC] appointed by the Supreme Court to assess the biosafety of GMOs concluded that GE seeds should not be allowed in India. The sole dissenting voice in TEC was of Government imposed scientist CD Mayee. Dr CD Mayee is an industry lobbyist and has the dubious distinction of actually knowing well in advance that Bt Cotton crop would never match the yields of non-Bt organic or non-Bt inorganic cotton. This industry lobbyist became a key member of the approvals’ committee and squirmed his way into the TEC. His was the only dissenting note! This man is a disgrace to science.    

Cutting across party lines the Standing Committee on Agriculture in Parliament unanimously and unequivocally concluded that GE seeds and foods are dangerous to human, animal and environmental health and directed the Government of Manmohan Singh to ban GMOs. The 400-page report was submitted to Parliament in October 2012. [5]

Perhaps Manmohan Singh reads only unscientific and prejudiced reports of agriculture biotechnology lobbyists headed by Sharad Pawar on behalf of Monsanto and other multinational corporations like Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, etc al. Even Satan would be ashamed of Pawar, India’s ‘perpetual’ Minister for Agriculture. Time is ripe that his kin and he be consigned to the dust bin of history for ushering a dreadful historical period in Indian agriculture.

Four UPA rogues – PM Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Sharad Pawar and now Moily – have destroyed India’s farmers and agriculture system, paving the way for Western multinational corporations to take over India’s farmlands. To these rogues’ list one more name should be added – Raghuram Rajan – the present Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, chosen for his proximity to global banksters. He is the first Governor who ever said that ‘farmers drag the economic growth rate down.’ What does Raghuram eat for breakfast? Genetically engineered Kellogg’s cornflakes in pus laced American milk? Or, reconstituted foods from the advanced labs of global food companies that often contain sanitized and reconstituted human and animal shit? Does he even know that he is presiding over a central bank that can suck the life of 8,000 years of agriculture and food history?

 A short history of what happened

GMO foods already here: India never approved the sale of GMO food crop seeds but as early as 2001 an independent food testing laboratory confirmed that 21 out of 30 samples sent from Delhi’s grocery stores had tested positive for GMO contamination. The desultory tentative moves by the Supreme Court, from 2005 to now, have already ensured poisoning of India’s food. In fact, the Standing Committee on Agriculture in Parliament under the Chairmanship of Basudev Bhattacharya, MP, did a far better job than any expert in the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Biotechnology. Foods exported by the American and European companies are on Indian grocery shelves, and, given the evidences, contaminated and poisonous. Oil from cotton seeds is used as food and feed; Bt cotton seeds have already entered our food/feed chain.     

Food and Nutrition Security [FNS]: It is also important to note that years ago the Supreme Court appointed NC Saxena and Harsh Mander as Commissioners to report on the progress of various state governments’ performance on Food and Nutrition Security [FNS] issue following a Public Interest Litigation filed in 2001. Not once have Saxena or Mander mentioned in their reports to the Supreme Court that food and nutrition security of India will be utterly compromised by GMOs of criminal multinational corporations.   

International concerns

The potential for misuse of recombinant DNA technology was anticipated as far back as the early 1970s. In 1975 a group of about 140 leading scientists, lawyers, doctors, primarily biologists, and microbiologists [microbiology was an emerging field then] met to discuss the biosafety hazards and draw up a voluntary guideline to ensure the ethical use of recombinant DNA technology. The Asilomar Conference was organised by Paul Berg who had worked with Dr Sanger and Dr Gilbert, early pioneers in recombinant technology; all three Nobel laureates. However, it was Berg who anticipated the dangers. Around the same time microbiologist Dr Pushp M Bhargava had expressed his fears and concerns on the potential for misuse of agriculture biotechnology. Dr Bhargava was one of the experts in the TEC.

Until 1979, the US Patent office had consistently refused to grant patent on life form. An Indian, Dr. Ananda Chakrabarty, found a method for directed evolution of Pseudomonas bacteria, also known as oil eating bacteria, at General Electric Company’s [GEC] facility. GEC applied for protection but the patent office refused until the case finally reached the Supreme Court. In the (in)famous Diamond versus Chakrabarty, perhaps influenced by big money because the case was fought for many years, patent was granted by the US Supreme Court (Diamond v. Chakrabarty), in a 5-4 decision [with serious dissenting notes], on the logic that “a live, human-made micro-organism is patentable subject matter under [Title 35 U.S.C.] 101. Respondent’s micro-organism constitutes a “manufacture” or “composition of matter” within that statute.

The judgment paved the way for patent on life forms. [6] A key sentence in the judgment is “While laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable, respondent’s claim is not to a hitherto unknown natural phenomenon, but to a nonnaturally occurring manufacture or composition of matter — a product of human ingenuity “having a distinctive name, character [and] use.”

 On this premise the court accepted that Chakrabarty’s innovation was unnatural, an unknown natural phenomenon, a product of human ingenuity, having a distinctive name, character, and use. However, this decision opened the floodgate of life form patenting and widespread misuse of biotechnology in agriculture because companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow Chemicals and others could use exact same principles to claim patent right on their innovations now known as Genetically Engineered or Genetically Modified seeds. The raison d’être is that their seeds are a product of their ingenuity has ‘a distinct character and use [application]. They can claim that they have invented “an unknown non-natural event, a product of human ingenuity, having a distinctive name, character and use” and get patent protection.

Seed theft starts on a global scale

Ag-biotech firms knew that they can’t create life form. They needed natural seeds to modify and engineer for patenting.  From that time onward systematic globalised theft of indigenous seeds started. The first large scale theft of seeds in India was done by Swiss company Syngenta that stole 19,000 rice varieties collected by Dr Riccharia, a case known as ‘The Great Gene Robbery’ in which another ‘ever-present’ crony scientist Swaminathan was implicated. And some years ago Dr Mangla Rai, who actually believes in Vedic farming, personally deposited millions of India’s natural seeds at Svalbard Seed Vault which is controlled by a conglomerate of biotech seed corporations and Western Governments.     

Unknown, non-natural, even product of human ingenuity!!! Is GMO a non-natural, unknown event, product of human ingenuity, requiring patent protection? Can any company create a seed in the laboratory? If they can create an unknown, non-natural seed that is a product of human ingenuity, why are they stealing seeds from all over the world? Obviously, they can’t create a new seed type but they can create a new genetic sequence but is it non-natural and unknown?[A1]  If they can create a genetically engineered seed which is “unknown, non-natural and a product of human ingenuity, and by what standard it is “substantially equivalent” to natural seeds? If it is not, why has no company done serious biosafety studies?

What is the track record of GE seeds? 

The natural and known seeds produce healthy foods, do not harm the environment, and do not destroy human and animal health. If they had, human civilization would be extinct long ago before this current bunch of plunderers was born of their depraved, sub-human ancestors through inter-generational trait transfer.

What is the track record of GE seeds?  In late 1990s Dr Arpad Pusztai, head of the Rowett Institute, UK, was asked to test GM foods on animals. He found that GM foods destroy normal functioning of vital organs. Around the same time Dr Irina Ermakova of Russian Academy of Sciences also started her studies on rats and found that the offspring of experimental rats were half the normal size compared with those of the control groups, with severe vital organ malfunction. In 2013 Dr Irina Ermakova came out powerfully and said “It has been proved that, not only in Russia but also in many other countries, GMO is dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMO are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous.She further said that “one of the techniques uses tumor-causing soil bacteria” and thatconsumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. [7]

Using 20-year database on yields from GMO seeds, Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman proved that the yields actually dropped and says “hard-nosed assessment of this expensive technology’s achievements to date gives little confidence that it will play a major role in helping the world feed itself in the foreseeable future.”[8] 1.2 billion Indians should repeat these lines for the benefit of Manmohan Singh.

Don Huber with 55 years of experience as plant pathologist proved that the ability of the roots of GE plants’ to absorb vital nutrients from the soil is seriously compromised. Huber went on to say that GE crops are destroying the agriculture system. [9]

Now, this is something Dr KP Prabhakaran Nair had warned of GMOs over a decade ago, but he was ignored because his scientific analysis was ‘inconvenient truth’ to the agriculture biotechnology janitors who masquerade as scientists. [10]

A Russian study [2010] by Dr Alexander Surov proved that by the third generation the offspring were infertile. [11] Educated Indians should ask Manmohan Singh, “Is this what you want to do to us?”

Seralini studies, first of its kind over the normal life cycle of rats, which is about 700 days, showed massive malignancies and vital organ failure. This research conclusively proved that experimental animals did not complete their normal life. The experimental rats he used have a life cycle of around 700 days. Up until 90th day, his team did not observe problems with GMO fed rats. From 90th day onward his team observed tumours. Now, 90th day out of 700 days is 12.85% of the entire life-cycle. Average human life is about 80 years. So, if a person eats GM food now, the onset of severe and cataclysmic health impact would show after about 10 years. Since there is no labelling in countries where GMOs are approved as food, there can be no traceability. Evidence is based on traceability. Since there is no traceability, culpability for premeditated murder or genocide can’t be established.

That is why all GM seed companies are bribing political leaders, bureaucrats and regulators to prevent labelling around the world including India. Does the Manmohan Singh gang named above understand this simple scientific fact? [12] What health catastrophe the USA is facing right now with obesity, cancers, diabetes and other degenerative diseases where GM foods were introduced in the 1990s without biosafety studies?

And this is most recent. Egyptian scientists carried out three studies and concluded that (a) GE foods were not equivalent to natural foods, (b) GE diet caused significant changes in body and organ weight indicating toxicity, and (c) histopathological examination showed severe impairment to vital organs and ‘examination of the testes revealed necrosis (death) and desquamation (shedding) of the spermatogonial cells that are the foundation of sperm cells and thus male fertility.’ [13]

The latest bad news came last week. GM foods are nutrition deficient. [14] This is the first time that we have clear scientifically validated evidence that GM foods are deficient in vital nutrients. GM soy, non-GM soy grown conventionally [using chemicals] and organic soy [with no chemicals] were tested. Organic soy was found to be far superior; GM Soy was found most nutrition deficient. The three sources of soy were tested on ‘35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterize each soy sample.’[15]

The scientists whose works I have cited are neither ‘unscientific’ nor ‘prejudiced.’ In fact, as young scientists, they seriously believed that genetic engineering technology will serve humanity in a novel way. Some of the best scientific minds were attracted to this emerging discipline in science and technology. Little did they know that the field of ‘Eugenics’ that developed in the USA, was actually legalized, was tried on a  mass scale in Nazi Germany on Europeans, Germans, Jews and ethnic minorities and would be renamed ‘Genetic Engineering’ or ‘Biotechnology.’ Majority of scientists had no clue of the real dark agenda of agriculture biotechnology.

Perhaps Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar, Veerappa Moily, Montek Singh, and Raghuram Rajan are all part of the global conspiracy of mass culling of the ‘poor, coloured and useless eaters,’ exactly as desired by Henry Kissinger in his National Security Study Memo 200 in 1974, and earlier by the Eugenicists in the USA with first colossal trial in Hitler’s genocide in Europe.

Who is unscientific and prejudiced?

The citations show that GMOs neither increase yield nor nutrition in food. On the contrary, GMOs have adverse effect on plant and soil health. Most significantly, GMOs trigger lethal diseases and cause sterility in those who regularly ingest these foods. Premature mortality is the norm rather than exception.

Judge for yourself who is unscientific and prejudiced.

Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar and Veerappa Moily are not the only ones who genuflect to the eugenicist brigade. The emerging neo-fascists known as Aam Aadmi Party’s [AAP] think tank includes senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan who has fought the anti-GMO case in the Supreme Court since 2005. When his party won the December Delhi state election and formed the Government he could have banned GMOs in Delhi. That act alone would have won the hearts of millions across the world. Instead, Prashant did not even have the guts to respond to a simple letter asking him to clarify his stand on GMOs. The reason is not far to seek: AAP is almost entirely funded by CIA’s ‘civilized’ front Ford Foundation.

It is the same foundation that laid the groundwork to break USSR up. The break-up of India was planned even before India became independent in 1947. Perhaps the young goons brought up on foreign funds want to straddle over a dead India. The issue of GMOs is a cosmological event with which they have nothing to do although they all eat three meals every day. Or perhaps they are already been made tolerant of the Ford Foundation, UN-Framework Team and USAID nation-destroying Monsanto Roundup and Ready nation destroying herbicide.

These seeds are “engineered to kill,” patent protected, highly profitable silent weapons. The global war of globalists is being fought by other means, by eliminating the survival options. It’s the same old colonial strategy. But the political class and the NGO brigade of India has been genetically modified to remain silent on vital issues.       

[Arun Shrivastava was a journalist based in South Asia. An accredited management consultant, Arun was also a highly experienced researcher and writer. He studied in India and England and returned to India in 1989, after a brief stint as senior officer with Economic Development Unit of Birmingham (UK). From 1989 to 1994, he taught Strategic Management and Long Range Planning to MBA students at International Management Institute in Delhi.]

Notes

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-brings-hope-for-scientists-over-introducing-GM-food-crops-in-India-after-safety-trials/articleshow/29812575.cms

[2] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/at-science-meet-pm-pitches-for-gm-crops/article5648525.ece

[3] http://www.genecampaign.org/policy_for_GM_Crops.php

[4] An Impleadment was admitted by the Supreme Court of India in April 2007 signed by Dr. Krishna Bir Chaudhary and Arun Shrivastava which was supported by around 6.5 million farmers.

[5] “Cultivation of Genetically Modified Food Crops,” Committee on Agriculture, 37th Report, August 2012. Summary of the report: http://www.gmwatch.eu/index.php/report-on-gm-crops-and-food-security-from-india-s-parliamentary-standing-committee-on-agriculture

[6] Full judgement: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/447/303/case.html

[7] http://rt.com/news/gmo-ban-russian-scientists-293/

[8] Failure to Yield-Evaluating the performance of Genetically Engineered Crops; Union of Concerned Scientists; 2009;  http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/failure-to-yield.pdf

[9] http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/dr_hubers_warning/

[10] http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2711

[11] http://voiceofrussia.com/2010/04/16/6524765/

[12] http://www.gmoseralini.org/faqs/    

[13] http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15260-another-rat-feeding-study-shows-gm-bt-corn-toxic-to-mammals

[14] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/compositional-differences-soybeans-market-glyphosate-accumulates-roundup-ready

[15] Food Chem. 2014 Jun 15 ;153:207-15. Epub 2013 Dec 18. PMID: 24491722  by  T Bøhn, M Cuhra, T Traavik, M Sanden, J Fagan, R Primicerio

Other Works of Arun Shrivastava

Arun Shrivastava: “It Holds No Water”, 30 July 2004.
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/35654/it-holds-no-water/

Arun Shrivastava: “Depleted Uranium is “blowing in the wind”,2 March 2006
http://www.globalresearch.ca/depleted-uranium-is-blowing-in-the-wind/2057

Arun Shrivastava “Mass Suicides by Indian Farmers, Shape of Things to Come”, 11 September 2006
http://www.globalresearch.ca/mass-suicides-by-indian-farmers-shape-of-things-to-come/3204

Arun Shrivastava: “Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India Take on Monsanto” , 9 October 2006
http://www.globalresearch.ca/genetically-modified-seeds-women-in-india-take-on-monsanto/3427

Arun Shrivastava: “Biotech GM Seeds Buccaneers destroy India’s Rice Economy”, 21 December 2006
http://www.globalresearch.ca/biotech-gm-seeds-buccaneers-destroy-india-s-rice-economy/4230

Arun Shrivastava,: “The Power of Corporate Greed in Himachal” April 2007
http://hillpost.in/2007/04/the-power-of-corporate-greed-in-himachal/1859/

Arun Shrivastava, The Massacre at Nandigram, 21 November 2007
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_arun_shr_071121_the_massacre_at_nand.html

Arun Shrivastava: “Sustainable Development and the Vulnerable”, 4 May 2008.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/sustainable-development-and-the-vulnerable/8887

Arun Shrivastava: “The Death of Rice in India” , 11 July 2008.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-death-of-rice-in-india/9562

Arun Shrivastava: “ For Whom the Bell Tolls”, 15 March 2009.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/for-whom-the-bell-tolls/12717

Arun Shrivastava. “Poverty and Food Insecurity in the Developing World: For Us, Tolls the Bell”, 7 May 2009.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/poverty-and-food-insecurity-in-the-developing-world-for-us-tolls-the-bell/13527

Arun Shrivastava (with John Kaminski): “Second Israeli state emerging in India
‘New Jerusalem’ movement eyes takeover of three eastern states, near center of opium production.” 19 August 2009.
http://johnkaminski.info/pages/the_next_chapter/second_israeli_state_emerging_in_india.htm

Arun Shrivastava: “Asia’s Rice Culture Threatened”, 20 November 2009.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/asia-s-rice-culture-threatened/16199

Arun Shrivastava: “The Neo-Liberal Invasion of India”, 28 April 2010.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ARU20061009&articleId=3427

Lead Author Arun Shrivastava: “Natural Resource Management In South Asia”,
Pearson, Delhi 2011

Arun Shrivastava: “Was 911 Necessary?”, 3 September 2011.
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/september032011/911-necessity-ar.php

Arun Shrivastava: “The Attack on our Seeds”, 11 January 2012.
https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/the-attack-on-our-seeds-arun-shrivastava/

Arun Shrivastava: ” Depleted Uranium Contamination: A Crime against Humanity “, 26 March 2012.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/depleted-uranium-contamination-a-crime-against-humanity/29974

Arun Shrivastava: “INDIA’S URBAN SLUMS: Rising Social Inequalities, Mass Poverty and Homelessness” 8 May 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/india-s-urban-slums-rising-social-inequalities-mass-poverty-and-homelessness/30756

Arun Shrivastava: “The Political Crisis in Nepal”, 19 June 2012.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-political-crisis-in-nepal/31494

Arun Shrivastava: “Nepal Privatized and Sororized”, 16 July 2012.
http://nsnbc.me/2012/07/16/nepal-privatized-and-sororized/

Arun Shrivastava: “US Soldiers in Nepal on China’s Tibet Border, On a Reconnaissance “Humanitarian Mission”, 22 September 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-soldiers-in-nepal-on-chinas-tibet-border-on-a-reconnaissance-humanitarian-mission/5305643

Arun Shrivastava: “Towards a “Colored Revolution” in Nepal? Foreign Interference Triggers Political Chaos”, 11 October 2012
http://www.globalresearch.ca/twards-a-colored-revolution-in-nepal-foreign-interference-triggers-political-and-social-chaos/5307747,

Arun Shrivastava: “From nutrition-dense to nutrition-deficient: Decline in food quality & corruption of science”, 24 November 2012
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2561

Arun Shrivastava: “India’s anger exposes gormless leaders and media”, 31 December 2012
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2624

Arun Shrivastava: “Hard Choices for Nepali People”, 17 January 2013.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2644

Arun Shrivastava: “India’s Genetically Modified Seeds, Agricultural Productivity and Political Fraud”, 31 March 2013.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2741
http://www.globalresearch.ca/india-genetically-modified-seeds-agricultural-productivity-and-political-fraud/5328227

Arun Shrivastava: “The Himalayas-Once Moaning, now Groaning”, 18 May 2013
http://hillpost.in/2013/05/the-himalayas-once-moaning-now-groaning/79018/

Arun Shrivastava: “The Himalayan floods: man-made disaster”, 22 June 2013.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2844

Arun Shrivastava: “9/11: Year 12+, Obama continues the colonial wars… and Syria is not the end”, 13 September 2013.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2948

Arun Shrivastava: “Manmohan Singh’s Atomic Pile”, 22 September 2013.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/AuthorProfile.aspx?pid=577

Arun Shrivastava: “The Japan-India Nuclear Energy Deal “, 22 September 2013.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-japan-india-nuclear-energy-deal/5350939

Arun Shrivastava: ““Color Revolution” in Nepal: The World Converges to “Observe Elections”, 16 November 2013.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/color-revolution-in-nepal-the-world-converges-to-observe-elections/5358385

Arun Shrivastava: “Kejriwal deception and the energy conundrum”, 3 February 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/AuthorProfile.aspx?pid=577

Arun Shrivastava: “India: Destroying Biodiversity, The Devastating Social Impacts of GMO “Killer Seeds”, 11 March 2014.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/india-the-devastating-social-impacts-of-gmo-killer-seeds/5372919

Arun Shrivastava: “Leaving a Scorched India”, 12 March 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3134

Arun Shrivastava: “ Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation”, 9 April 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3303

Arun Shrivastava: “India Elections 2014”, 5 May 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3188

Arun Shrivastava: “Exploring energy options for resurgent India”, 11 June 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3229

Arun Shrivastava: “Mangal Pandey strategy for food and nutrition security”, 9 July 2014.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3258

Arun Shrivastava: “Ban GMOs in India immediately”. 20 August 2014
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3303

Arun Shrivastava: “Weaponization of the Food System: Genetically Engineered Maize Threatens Nepal and the Himalayan Region” 17 April 2015. (written on 24 April 2012)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/weaponization-of-the-food-system-genetically-engineered-maize-threatens-nepal-and-the-himalayan-region/30512

Gates Foundation’s “Corporate Merry-Go-Round”: Spearheading The Neo-liberal Plunder Of African Agriculture

East by Northwest

January 21, 2016

by Colin Todhunter

gates monsanto

 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is dangerously and unaccountably distorting the direction of international development, according to a new report by the campaign group Global Justice Now. With assets of $43.5 billion, the BMGF is the largest charitable foundation in the world. It actually distributes more aid for global health than any government. As a result, it has a major influence on issues of global health and agriculture.

Gated Development – Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?’ argues that what BMGF is doing could end up exacerbating global inequality and entrenching corporate power globally. Global Justice Now’s analysis of the BMGF’s programmes shows that the foundation’s senior staff are overwhelmingly drawn from corporate America. As a result, the question is: whose interests are being promoted – those of corporate America or those of ordinary people who seek social and economic justice rather than charity?

According to the report, the foundation’s strategy is intended to deepen the role of multinational companies in global health and agriculture especially, even though these corporations are responsible for much of the poverty and injustice that already plagues the global south. The report concludes that the foundation’s programmes have a specific ideological strategy that promotes neo-liberal economic policies, corporate globalisation, the technology this brings (such as GMOs) and an outdated view of the centrality of aid in ‘helping’ the poor.

The report raises a series criticisms including:

1) The relationship between the foundation and Microsoft’s tax practices. A 2012 report from the US Senate found that Microsoft’s use of offshore subsidiaries enabled it to avoid taxes of $4.5 billion, a sum greater than the BMGF’s annual grant making ($3.6 billion in 2014).

2) The close relationship that BMGF has with many corporations whose role and policies contribute to ongoing poverty. Not only is BMGF profiting from numerous investments in a series of controversial companies which contribute to economic and social injustice, it is also actively supporting a series of those companies, including Monsanto, Dupont and Bayer through a variety of pro-corporate initiatives around the world.

3) The foundation’s promotion of industrial agriculture across Africa, pushing for the adoption of GM, patented seed systems and chemical fertilisers, all of which undermine existing sustainable, small-scale farming that is providing the vast majority of food security across the continent.

4) The foundation’s promotion of projects around the world pushing private healthcare and education. Numerous agencies have raised concerns that such projects exacerbate inequality and undermine the universal provision of such basic human necessities.

5) BMGF’s funding of a series of vaccine programmes that have reportedly lead to illnesses or even deaths with little official or media scrutiny.

Polly Jones the head of campaigns and policy at Global Justice Now says:

“The Gates Foundation has rapidly become the most influential actor in the world of global health and agricultural policies, but there’s no oversight or accountability in how that influence is managed. This concentration of power and influence is even more problematic when you consider that the philanthropic vision of the Gates Foundation seems to be largely based on the values of corporate America. The foundation is relentlessly promoting big business-based initiatives such as industrial agriculture, private health care and education. But these are all potentially exacerbating the problems of poverty and lack of access to basic resources that the foundation is supposed to be alleviating.”

The report states that that Bill Gates has regular access to world leaders and is in effect personally bankrolling hundreds of universities, international organisations, NGOs and media outlets. As the single most influential voice in international development, the foundation’s strategy is a major challenge to progressive development actors and activists around the world who want to see the influence of multinational corporations in global markets reduced or eliminated.

The foundation not only funds projects in which agricultural and pharmaceutical corporations are among the leading beneficiaries, but it often invests in the same companies as it is funding, meaning the foundation has an interest in the ongoing profitability of these corporations. According to the report, this is “a corporate merry-go-round where the BMGF consistently acts in the interests of corporations.”

Uprooting indigenous agriculture for the benefit of global agribusiness

The report notes that the BMGF’s close relationship with seed and chemical giant Monsanto is well known. It previously owned shares in the company and continues to promote several projects in which Monsanto is a beneficiary, not least the wholly inappropriate and fraudulent GMO project which promotes a technical quick-fix ahead of tackling the structural issues that create hunger, poverty and food insecurity   But, as the report notes, the BMGF partners with many other multinational agribusiness corporations.

Many examples where this is the case are highlighted by the report. For instance, the foundation is working with US trader Cargill in an $8 million project to “develop the soya value chain” in southern Africa. Cargill is the biggest global player in the production of and trade in soya with heavy investments in South America where GM soya mono-crops have displaced rural populations and caused great environmental damage. According to Global Justice Now, the BMGF-funded project will likely enable Cargill to capture a hitherto untapped African soya market and eventually introduce GM soya onto the continent. The end markets for this soya are companies with relationships with the fast food outlet, KFC, whose expansion in Africa is being aided by the project.

Specific examples are given which highlight how BMGF is also supporting projects involving other chemicals and seed corporations, including DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta and Bayer.

According to the report, the BMGF is promoting a model of industrial agriculture, the increasing use of chemical fertilisers and expensive, patented seeds, the privatisation of extension services and a very large focus on genetically modified seeds. The foundation bankrolls the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in pushing industrial agriculture.

A key area for AGRA is seed policy. The report notes that currently over 80 per cent of Africa’s seed supply comes from millions of small-scale farmers recycling and exchanging seed from year to year. But AGRA is promoting the commercial production of seed and is thus supporting the introduction of commercial seed systems, which risk enabling a few large companies to control seed research and development, production and distribution.

In order for commercial seed companies to invest in research and development, they first want to protect their ‘intellectual property’. According to the report, this requires a fundamental restructuring of seed laws to allow for certification systems that not only protect certified varieties and royalties derived from them, but which actually criminalise all non-certified seed.

The report notes that over the past two decades a long and slow process of national seed law reviews, sponsored by USAID and the G8 along with the BMGF and others, has opened the door to multinational corporations’ involvement in seed production, including the acquisition of every sizeable seed enterprise on the African continent.

At the same time, AGRA is working to promote costly inputs, notably fertiliser, despite evidence to suggest chemical fertilisers have significant health risks for farm workers, increase soil erosion and can trap small-scale farmers in unsustainable debt. The BMGF, through AGRA, is one of the world’s largest promoters of chemical fertiliser.

Some grants given by the BMGF to AGRA have been specifically intended to “help AGRA build the fertiliser supply chain” in Africa. The report describes how one of the largest of AGRA’s grants, worth $25 million, was used to help establish the African Fertiliser Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) in 2012, whose very goal is to “at least double total fertiliser use” in Africa.  The AFAP project is being pursued in partnership with the International Fertiliser Development Centre, a body which represents the fertiliser industry.

Another of AGRA’s key programmes since its inception has been support to agro-dealer networks – small, private stockists of transnational companies’ chemicals and seeds who sell these to farmers in several African countries. This is increasing the reliance of farmers on chemical inputs and marginalising sustainable agriculture alternatives, thereby undermining any notion that farmers are exercising their ‘free choice’ (as the neo-liberal evangelists are keen to tell everyone) when it comes to adopting certain agricultural practices.

The report concludes that AGRA’s agenda is the biggest direct threat to the growing movement in support of food sovereignty and agroecological farming methods in Africa. This movement opposes reliance on chemicals, expensive seeds and GM and instead promotes an approach which allows communities control over the way food is produced, traded and consumed. It is seeking to create a food system that is designed to help people and the environment rather than make profits for multinational corporations. Priority is given to promoting healthy farming and healthy food by protecting soil, water and climate, and promoting biodiversity.

Recent evidence from Greenpeace and the Oakland Institute shows that in Africa agroecological farming can increase yields significantly (often greater than industrial agriculture), and that it is more profitable for small farmers. In 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (Olivier de Schutter) called on countries to reorient their agriculture policies to promote sustainable systems – not least agroecology – that realise the right to food. Moreover, the International Assessmentof Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was the work of over 400 scientists and took four years to complete. It was twice peer reviewed and states we must look to smallholder, traditional farming to deliver food security in third world countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable.

In a January 2015 piece in The Guardian, the director of Global Justice Now said that ‘development’ was once regarded as a process of breaking with colonial exploitation and transferring power over resources from the ‘first’ to the ‘third world’, involving a revolutionary struggle over the world’s resources. However, the current paradigm is based on the assumption that developing countries need to adopt neo-liberal policies and that public money in the guise of aid should facilitate this.

If this new report shows anything, it is that the notion of ‘development’ has become hijacked by rich corporations and a super-rich ‘philanthrocapitalist’ (whose own corporate practices have been questionable to say the least, as highlighted by the report). In effect, the model of ‘development’ being facilitated is married to the ideology and structurally embedded power relations of an exploitative global capitalism.

The BMGF is spearheading the ambitions of corporate America and the scramble for Africa by global agribusiness.

 

 

[Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher, based in the UK and India.]

 

WATCH: Toxic Philanthropy: The Gates Foundation, Public Health and Imperialism

American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 74, No. 4 (September, 2015)

By Jacob Levich

The Gates Foundation, Ebola, and Global Health Imperialism

ABSTRACT. Powerful institutions of Western capital, notably the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, viewed the African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2015 as an opportunity to advance an ambitious global agenda. Building on recent public health literature proposing “global health governance” (GHG) as the preferred model for international healthcare, Bill Gates publicly called for the creation of a worldwide, militarized, supranational authority capable of responding decisively to
outbreaks of infectious disease—an authority governed by Western powers and targeting the underdeveloped world. This article examines the media-generated panic surrounding Ebola alongside the response and underlying motives of foundations, governments, and other institutions. It describes the evolution and goals of GHG, in particular its opposition to traditional notions of Westphalian sovereignty. It proposes a different concept—“global health imperialism”—as a more useful framework for understanding the current conditions and likely future of international healthcare.

Download: Levich-2015-American_Journal_of_Economics_and_Sociology

[Jacob Levich (jlevich@earthlink.net) is an independent scholar and an administrator at Stony Brook University. Portions of this article draw on a paper by the author in Aspects of India’s Economy (Levich 2014).]

 

A panel presented at Left Forum, June 1, 2014. Sponsored by the Research Unit for Political Economy. Speakers: Jacob Levich, Kwame Fosu; Brenda Biddle.

 




Marching for Monsanto

Public Good Project

November 29, 2015

by Jay Taber

change paris2

 

The Climateers are back. Seeking to recapture the euphoria of the 2014 Rockefeller-funded People’s Climate March, the Wall Street-backed, World Bank-approved Paris Climate 2015 charade is meant to build momentum for removing all barriers to privatization of the planet.

Championed by the UN and transnational corporations like Monsanto, this globalized ‘new economy‘ — hyped by Social Capitalists like World Wildlife Fund and 350 — is integral to Sustaining Privatization. The usurping of civil society by these Wall Street-funded NGOs means the annihilation of civil liberties is just A Click Away.

The Architects of the Final Solution will be pleased at the resounding success of their investments in Controlling Consciousness; the whole world is becoming A Culture of Imbeciles.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

 

Further reading: TckTckTck: The Bitch is Back

Paris Climate 2015: To Steal Everything, We Deceive Everyone

change paris2

WWF: One of the founding NGOs of TckTckTck, the organization behind the global climate marches. Further reading: TckTckTck: The Bitch is Back

The Silence of the Pandas is a must watch documentary on what the non-profit industrial complex actually means when it echoes to change everything we need everyone.

As documented in the film:

“The WWF Argentina established cooperation with several soy companies thanks to Dr. Hector Laurence. Interestingly, Laurence did not only work for the WWF but was also the president of an agro association and the director of a genetic engineering company at that time. “I am independent and that is why I was able to establish cooperation between an environmental organisation and the industry,” explains Laurence.

The soy business is huge in Argentina. The size of the soy desert is as big as Germany. Argentina and the company Monsanto plan to double the size of the plantation – with the support of WWF.

The Fund claims that the forests are substandard and useless. Although jaguars, monkeys and many other species habitat that forest. People living in the soy desert are facing water shortage and illnesses due to the herbicide Roundup. Genetically modified seeds from Monsanto have to be sprayed with this herbicide. Roundup is a successor to Agent Orange. It is dangerous for humans; it can change genes, cause cancer and abnormalities. The house of family Rojas was once sprayed by accident. All of their food crops died, Mr Rojas got skin rash and his pregnant wife gave birth to a dead baby with strong abnormalities. Several doctors found that the abnormalities were due to changes in the baby’s genes, most likely caused by Roundup.

Despite the dangerous herbicide and unproven risks of genetically modified food, Monsanto has been certified by the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) in 2010. The WWF is officially against genetic engineering but is a member of RTRS.”


MUST WATCH DOCUMENTARY: WWF: The Silence of the Pandas:

 

The Secret History of the EPA

by Carol Van Strum

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts,” Richard Feynman famously declared in 1966. Ever quick to challenge accepted wisdom, he distinguished the laudable ignorance of science, forever seeking unattainable certainties, from the dangerous ignorance of experts who professed such certainty.

Twenty years later, he would drop a rubber ring into a glass of ice water to show a panel of clueless rocket experts how willful ignorance of basic temperature effects likely caused the Challenger shuttle disaster (1).

Experts with delusions of certainty create imitative forms of science, he warned, producing “the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisors.” (2)

POISON SPRING-VALLLIANATOS

Feynman’s warning against faith in the phony trappings of “cargo cult science” fell on deaf ears. Policies affecting every aspect of our lives are now based on dangerous forms of ignorance.

A prime case in point is the noble edifice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where a high-ranking EPA official was recently jailed and fined for collecting pay and bonuses for decades of non-existent work while he claimed to be working elsewhere for the CIA. Such long-standing fraud would hardly come as a surprise to Evaggelos Vallianatos, who toiled for a quarter of a century in the EPA’s Pesticide Division, ostensibly responsible for protecting human health and the environment from commercial poisons. His new book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, documents a culture of fraud and corruption infesting every corner and closet of the agency.

The EPA, created with much fanfare by Richard Nixon in 1970, was an agency crippled at birth by inadequate funding, political hypocrisy, and laws protecting industry profits above all. Vallianatos points out that one of the fledgling agency’s greatest handicaps was its initial staffing with personnel from USDA, steeped in the religion of corporate agriculture and lethal technologies. With USDA staff came also USDA’s outdated pesticide registrations, which were to be reviewed and reregistered by EPA.  In addition, hundreds of new pesticide applications accumulated every year, each supported by industry-produced safety studies to meet new federal requirements. Hired as scientists, EPA staffers spent their time cutting and pasting industry studies and conclusions into rubber-stamped registration approvals. Under industry-crafted laws, once a pesticide was registered, it could never be unregistered without massive, unequivocal evidence of harm.

As if such misuse of science weren’t bad enough, audits by FDA and EPA soon found that most of the thousands of industry safety studies used to approve pesticide registrations were fraudulent. Alerted by FDA scientist Adrian Gross, EPA had discovered in 1976 that Industrial BioTest Laboratories [IBT], which had conducted many of the pesticide safety tests submitted to EPA by manufacturers, had been routinely faking tests, falsifying data, and altering results for years.  Subsequent investigations of other testing laboratories found similar practices poisonspringin more than half the labs whose tests supported EPA registrations of pesticides.

“IBT was not a unique case of scientific fraud,” Vallianatos writes, “it was emblematic of a dark and deviant scientific culture, a ‘brave new science’ with deep roots throughout agribusiness, the chemical industry, universities, and the government.” (3)

In 1979, during the seven years of EPA dithering over this scandal, Vallianatos came to work at EPA. He soon learned that not a single pesticide registration was to be canceled due to fraudulent or nonexistent test data. Instead, he notes, EPA’s reaction was to outsource science. It shut down its own testing laboratories, closed its own libraries of toxicity data on thousands of chemicals, and outsourced all evaluations of industry-sponsored studies. “The unspoken understanding in this outsourcing of government functions has been the near certainty of finding industry data satisfactory – all the time.” This issue is relevant today, given that chemicals such as 2,4-D and glyphosate (Roundup™), whose uses have been vastly increased by GMO practices, were originally registered on the basis of invalid IBT studies.

During Vallianatos’s first year at EPA,1980, some 1.1 billion pounds of pesticide active ingredients were applied to U.S. food crops, a number that does not include home and garden uses, parklands, golf courses, playing fields, and municipal landscapes. In 2011, two billion pounds of pesticides were sold in the U.S.  Most if not all of those pesticides lacked valid testing data then, and still lack such data today.  Furthering the fraud, Vallianatos points out, the active ingredient is only the tip of the iceberg, being as little as one percent of the product; the remainder is a trade secret stew of untested, unknown “inert” ingredients that are often more toxic than the active ingredients. What he calls “The Big Business of Fraudulent Science” has replaced even the semblance of environmental protection.

Poison Spring chronicles some of the consequences of that fraud in an agency snared in its own tangled lies: cover-ups of dioxin levels in drinking water and in dead babies; routine suppression of data linking pesticides to soaring rates of cancer, birth defects, and chronic disease; industry access to everything; “revolving door” administrators serving corporate bosses; political appointees dismantling EPA labs and data libraries to dispose of damaging evidence; the cutting of research funds for nontoxic alternatives; the harsh retribution visited on whistleblowers; and ever and again, bureaucrats, with full knowledge of the consequences, setting policies that result in death and suffering. For 25 years, Vallianatos saw and documented it all.

“EPA officials know global chemical and agribusiness industries are manufacturing science,” Vallianatos writes. “They know their products are dangerous…. [EPA] scientists find themselves working in a roomful of funhouse mirrors, plagiarizing industry studies and cutting and pasting the findings of industry studies as their own.”

“This entire book is, in a sense, about a bureaucracy going mad,” Vallianatos adds.

Bureaucracy does not go mad by itself, however. Public indifference to the ignorance of experts and public tolerance of lies are what allow such madness to flourish, enabled by the scientific community’s silence. Inexorably, Vallianatos found, “science and policy themselves have been made a prop to the pesticides industry and agribusiness.”

Such monumental fraud demands drastic remedies, which Vallianatos bravely urges: rebuild an EPA completely independent from industry and politics, remove incentives for huge scale, chemically-dependent corporate agriculture, and address the underlying problem by encouraging small family farms and agriculture without chemical warfare.

“Traditional (and often organic) farmers – until seventy-five years ago, the only farmers there were – are slowly beginning to make a comeback.  They have always known how to raise crops and livestock without industrial poisons,” Vallianatos points out.  “They are the seed for a future harvest of good food, a healthy natural world, and democracy in rural America – and the world.”

These are facts, and this is a book that scientists and citizens alike ignore at great peril.

 

[Carol Van Strum is a writer, editor, farmer, parent, and chronic thorn in the side of those who endanger the health and safety of people and the environment. She lives and works in the Oregon Coast Range. She is the author of  A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights.]

 

Footnotes

(1) See his account of the investigation into the Challenger disaster in What Do You Care What Other People Think? By Richard P. Feynman, 1988.

(2) Richard Feynman, What is Science? Presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966 in New York City, and reprinted from The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313-320 by permission of the editor and the author.

(3) For more information about the extent of this lab fraud, see A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights, by Carol Van Strum, 1983, revised 2014 with full texts of Peter von Stackelberg’s exposé of the issue in a new appendix.

This review originally ran on Independent Science News.

 

WATCH: At Top Level, WWF is Pro-GMO & Advocates Genetic Engineering

Wrong Kind of Green

October 26, 2014

Read: Panda Leaks

“Monsanto, Cargill, Unilever and Syngenta are the joint founders of a powerful international lobbyist association, the Food & Agriculture Trade Policy Council. Its mission is to spread the gospel of GMOs throughout the world. The council propagates a new “green revolution” that would use genetic engineering to overcome famine on earth. The WWF is the only NGO represented in this lobbyist organization – by Jason Clay.

In the summer of 2010, at a Global Harvest Initiative conference in Washington D.C., spokespeople for Monsanto and DuPont took to the stage, beating the drum for the intensive farming of the future. Jason Clay of the WWF was next up to the podium. In his speech he professed unambiguous faith in genetic engineering: “We need to freeze the footprint of agriculture. We think there are 7 or 8 things –and you can disagree with that, and that’s great, let’s get the discussion started – that we need to work on to do that. ONE IS GENETICS. We have got to produce more with less. We’ve got to focus not just on temperate crops, and not just on annual crops, but on tropical crops, on ‘orphan’ crops, on crops that produce more calories per input, per hectare, with fewer impacts.”

As an example of the potential of genetic modification Jason Clay referred to a study financed by mega grain wholesaler Cargill. It concluded: with genetic engineering the production of palm oil could be doubled. And: the food supply problems of the world’s poorest countries could –according to Jason Clay –only be solved with the help of GMOs, which would enable each tree to deliver the harvest of three times the conventional amount of mangos, cacao beans, or bananas. “We need to get our priorities right. We need to start focusing on the food production. Where it’s needed, what’s needed, and how to move forward. It takes 15 years at least (and maybe longer as we go along), to bring a genetically engineered product to market. If we don’t start today, we’re already at 2025. The clock is ticking we need to get moving.” (Jason Clay, senior vice president of WWF)

See in comments below a link to the video that shows the talk where Jason Clay advocates genetic engineering:

Avaaz’s Global ‘Ebay of Seeds’

WKOG editor: Note that Tom Periello, c0-founder of Avaaz , served one term as a U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 5th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Currently, he serves as President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.In 2013, U.S. president Barack Obama (Democrat) signed the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ written by Monsanto-sponsored senator. More recently, it has been announced that Michelle Obama will be “teaming up with Monsanto to promote children’s food“. Further, MoveOn.org, an NGO serving as a front group for the U.S. democrats, is also a founder of Avaaz. [“In 2006 MoveOn combined its membership list with that of Res Publica (New York City) to launch Avaaz.org.” ][Further reading: http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/09/18/avaaz-imperialist-pimps-of-militarism-protectors-of-the-oligarchy-trusted-facilitators-of-war-part-ii-section-iii]

The Ecologist

July 16, 2014

by Julian Rose

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global ‘internet seed swap’ initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide.

We never asked Avaaz for anything and have never heard about an organization of small farmers in the world that could conceive of such a project.

What happens when a major internet campaigning organisation gets it 100% wrong?

Answer: tens of thousands of people end up pledging donations for something that can’t be put into effect – and the NGO’s motives are called into question.

Such is the position of Avaaz at this time.

In a controversial communication to its supporters the internet campaigns group, on behalf of the Center for Food Safety (CFS, a non profit US public interest and environmental advocacy organization) calls for support for an international ‘eBay’ style portal that will circulate seeds to wherever they are needed, as a counteraction to monopolization of the seeds market by the Monsanto corporation.

Already over 56,000 people have donated or pledged to do so.

A Noah’s Ark to sink Monsanto?

Under the title Let’s build a Noah’s Ark to stop Monsanto Avaaz claims to have been asked by farmers to back their desire to establish this “first ever, non-profit ‘eBay’ of seed” as an online marketplace where “any farmer, anywhere can source a wide variety of plants cheaper than the genetically modified seeds from chemical companies.”

“This global online store could re-flood the market with with all kinds of seeds and slowly break the monopoly that is putting our food future at risk.”

They also make the claim that this would be a “legal” way of getting around current prohibitive seed laws.

At first glance this all sounds pretty worthy. It is critically important that farmers have the ability to save their seeds. Corporate lobbying has caused national governments, the EU, US and other global trading blocks – to severely restrict the free flow of seeds – increasingly outlawing ‘non registered’ seeds completely.

The Avaaz statement concurs on these dangers, but then comes up with an unworkable and downright dangerous way of getting around them.