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Tagged ‘Genetic Engineering‘

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)

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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.]

 

USAID’s Dubious Allies in Paraguay

USAID’s Dubious Allies in Paraguay

Congress Democrats

Graffiti in Asunción (Natalia Viana)

Agência Pública | AGÊNCIA DE REPORTAGEM E JORNALISMO INVESTIGATIVO

| Por Natalia Viana: Para justificar assistência militar à ditadura, EUA diziam que tortura era exceção

by Natalia Viana

April 10, 2013  | The Nation

In the usually tranquil streets of Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, there is a growing sense of unease. The death of retired general and presidential candidate Lino Oviedo in February, in a suspicious helicopter crash, has heightened the tension marking an already fraught transition following the impeachment of the left-leaning President Fernando Lugo last June. On city walls, graffiti demands an answer to the question “Que pasó en Curuguaty?”—the rallying cry at a protest of 5,000 people last December, which refers to the rural border region where a clash between police forces and landless peasants culminated in the death of seventeen people (eleven civilians and six policemen) last year. The tragedy, which took place just one week before Lugo’s impeachment, was seized upon by his opponents, who pushed for his ouster on the grounds that the president had fomented “the fight between rich and poor” by holding talks with peasant leaders. As Paraguay prepares to elect a new president on April 21, a growing number of citizens believe that answering the question of what happened in Curuguaty is the key to the truth behind Lugo’s impeachment.