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Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall

By Siv O’Neall
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
axisoflogic.com
September 12, 2009

Yummy Juliet Tomatoes

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

The War of the Empire has many faces

The ‘war on terror’ has become nameless since our administration changed. But it is the same war, it has the same goals and it is as unwinnable as it always was. But certainly there are other ways of conquering the planet, says Washington. And so they impose the huge industries with their humungous profits on the entire world, corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, Dow, Bunge and others, giants that impose their own laws on world-wide agriculture and their goal is to make us eat only what they profit from.

Through lies and total lack of concern for the final outcome, they insert their hired crooks, their representatives, in top positions everywhere, make deals with corrupt governments all over the world, deals that make farmers the innocent victims of a world-wide scam. The result is disaster for the farmers and the poor people all over the world and enormous power for the Biotech Companies that suck the blood out of the earth and out of the people who used to cultivate it with their own millennia-old and environmentally safe methods.

Monsanto is just about the most callous, the most harmful, the most insidious of the whole gang of predators who are out to get on top of the world – and who are ruining it savagely in the process. They are busy ruining the environment irredeemably and the health of the inhabitants of this threatened world. Global warming doesn’t even have to play out its role, the biotech industry will play the part of the Grim Reaper, mowing down everything that does not add to their profits, ruining people’s health, playing hell with the earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity that has served the planet for millennia in a world that was mostly safe from predators, the kind of sharks that devour their prey without any afterthoughts.

Monsanto plays the part as the leader of the gang of predators in the destruction of age-old agriculture that provided the world population with natural foods that fitted into the ecosystems of the region where they were grown. And they go about this destruction with the fierce cruelty of the shark, with NO consideration for anything except the instant and short-term profit of the predators themselves.

Below are excerpts from a couple of essays, facts that need to be brought to the attention of the people of the world.

**********

See Stephen Lendman: ‘Food Standards Guidelines‘ Threaten Human Health – Codex Alimentarius (CA) serves corporate interests

*The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN)

“Whatever its founding purpose,* CA is much different today because corporate interests control it – global pharmaceutical, food, and banking giants in league with complicit UN and government agencies to promote GMOs over healthy foods, and drugs over natural remedies by restricting or banning vitamin and dietary supplements, except the ones they control.

“On December 31, 2009, Codex standards will be globally mandated unless legal challenges prevent it. In force, they’ll override food and drug laws of all member countries, including consumer protection laws and America’s 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). It classifies nutrients and herbs as foods, sets no dosage limits, and permits the sale of all dietary supplements unless expressly proved unsafe. Codex rules reverse things by prohibiting everything NOT proved safe, including high potency, therapeutically effective nutrients and supplements.

“In contrast, about 300 dangerous food additives will be allowed, including aspartame, BHA, BHT, potassium bromate, and tartrazine. New guidelines will authorize the worldwide proliferation of unlabeled GMO foods, drugs, and ingredients, known to harm human health.”

There is also another important point to make in President Obama’s choice of Michael Taylor to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Michael Taylor is the notorious revolving-door man who, during the George W. Bush era switched jobs between a high-level post for Monsanto and working for the government agencies that are supposed to regulate the food industry, such as Monsanto.

See ‘Monsanto’s Man in the Obama Administration

By ISABELLA KENFIELD

“Michael R. Taylor’s appointment by the Obama administration to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 7th sparked immediate debate and even outrage among many food and agriculture researchers, NGOs and activists. The Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corp. from 1998 until 2001, Taylor exemplifies the revolving door between the food industry and the government agencies that regulate it. He is reviled for shaping and implementing the government’s favorable agricultural biotechnology policies during the Clinton administration.

Yet what has slipped under everyone’s radar screen is Taylor’s involvement in setting U.S. policy on agricultural assistance in Africa. In collusion with the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations, Taylor is once again the go-between man for Monsanto and the U.S. government, this time with the goal to open up African markets for genetically-modified (GM) seed and agrochemicals.”

There are other proofs coming up constantly concerning the danger of GM foods.

See Jeffrey Smith ‘Lyme/Autism Group Blasts Genetically Modified Foods as Dangerous’

Stop eating dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods! That’s the upshot of the Lyme Induced Autism (LIA) Foundation’s position paper released today.” (August 25, 2009)

“The five main GM foods are soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. Their derivatives are found in more than 70 percent of the foods in the supermarket. The primary reason the plants are engineered is to allow them to drink poison. They’re inserted with bacterial genes that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of poisonous herbicide. Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal. Roundup Ready crops survive sprays of Roundup. Liberty Link crops survive Liberty. US farmers use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide because of these herbicide-tolerant crops, and the higher toxic residues end up inside of us.”

*********

The following essay by Siv O’Neall was written right after the first airing of the documentary ‘The World According to Monsanto’ (Le monde selon Monsanto) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin on the French/German television channel ARTE. In view of several recent events, among them the huge threat of the upcoming decision of a global mandate on Codex Alimentarius, we feel that it is of interest to republish this essay. If Codex Alimentarius is globally mandated, it would spell disaster for human health and victory for the Biotech Industry and their callous drive for maximized profits without taking into consideration any proven facts about the dangers to humans and to the future of the planet.

‘The World According to Monsanto’ – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (Republished from March 11, 2008)

The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years. The endless list of genetically modified seeds, sold and controlled by Monsanto, are putting at enormous risk age-old agricultural patterns under the presumptuous slogan of aiming at solving the huge problem of hunger in the world.

On March 11, 2008 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural TV channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, entitled ‘The World According to Monsanto’ [1]. Starting from the Internet over a period of three years Robin has collected material for her documentary, going on to numerous interviews with people of very different backgrounds. She traveled widely, from Latin America, to Asia, through Europe and the United States, to personally interview farmers and people in influential positions.

As an example of pro-Monsanto interviews, she talked at length with Michael Taylor who has worked as a lawyer for Monsanto and also for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he had great influence on the legalization of the genetically modified bovine growth hormone (rBGH). It also became FDA policy during Taylor’s tenure that GM seeds are declared to be “substantially equivalent[2] to non-GM seeds, hence proclaiming proof of the harmlessness of GMs to be unnecessary. Michael Taylor[3] is a typical example of technocrats employed via ‘the revolving door policy’. He is now head of the Washington, D.C. office of Monsanto Corporation.

The gospel according to Monsanto is that their patented GM seeds and their bovine growth hormone (BGH) will increase worldwide production of agricultural, dairy and meat products and Bt cotton to the extent that worldwide hunger and poverty will be eradicated.

The actual truth is rather the opposite. GMOs are creating serious damage all over the world and artificial rBGH injection in cows[4] cause numerous health problems, and even death.

Monsanto is not held back by any considerations of ethics and it hides the reality of its sordid machinations behind a wall of secrecy. Everything Monsanto does is exclusively with the intent of increasing its own profit – everything else be damned. If left to its own devices it will most certainly destroy the livelihood of millions of farmers – a process begun a decade ago in India and certainly in many other countries as well[5]. The planet’s ecosystems will be seriously threatened by unnatural ways of changing agricultural patterns. The dangers of GMO cultivation to the environment come in many forms:

  • Switching from age-old biodiverse crops that can tolerate low-level amounts of water to industrial monocultures of crops such as GM soya, cotton, sugarcane, etc. that require large amounts of irrigation.
  • Inundating cultivated lands with toxic herbicides, in particular the dangerous Monsanto product Roundup, to which the GMO seeds have been made biotechnically resistant. Any other growth should succumb to Roundup, were it not for the fact that weeds to a very large extent become Roundup resistant.
  • Putting an end to biological farming and poisoning non GM cultures through pollenization from GM crops and accidental exposure to Roundup herbicide.
  • Deforestation to make more land available for the culture of the GM seeds Monsanto sells at high prices to poor farmers.

On top of all these dangers to biodiversity and biological farming comes the fact that Monsanto has patented its products and farmers are legally bound not to save seeds for replanting for the following year. They must buy new seeds from Monsanto every year and the company has a sizeable staff that just deals with prosecuting farmers suspected of illegally using one year’s seeds for the planting of the next year’s crop.

Globalization and Poverty

Biological farming is adapted to existing ecosystems. But age-old biological farming has had to give room to industrial monocultures that enrich the few and cause poverty and despair for millions of small farmers. Now there is soil erosion, destruction of biodiversity and social/economic disasters in tow. Contrary to Monsanto promises that GM seeds and Roundup would reduce production cost, farmers now have to pay skyrocketing prices for herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer.[6]

The destructive effects of genetically engineered crops are worldwide, but the extensive damage done in India has been widely documented by Dr Vandana Shiva. She is a physicist and environmentalist as well as a tireless activist and author of many books concerning the nefarious consequences of GM farming as opposed to the wisdom of traditional family and biological farming. She is currently based in New Delhi.

Quote from Dr. Vandana Shiva:

“I am writing this statement from beautiful Doon Valley in the Himalaya where the monsoons have arrived, and our Navdanya (Nine Seeds—Our National Movement on Conservation of Biodiversity) team is busy with transplanting of over 300 rice varieties which we are conserving along with the rich diversity of other agricultural crops. Our farm does not use any chemicals or external inputs. It is a self-regenerative system which preserves biodiversity while meeting human needs and needs of farm animals. Our 2 bullocks are the alternative to chemical fertilisers which pollute soil and water as well as to tractors and fossil fuels which pollute the atmosphere and destabilise the climate.”[7]

Economic globalization has become a war against nature and the poor” says Dr. Vandana Shiva.

“Recently I was visiting Bhatinda in Punjab because of an epidemic of farmers’ suicides. Punjab used to be the most prosperous agricultural region in India. Today every farmer is in debt and despair. Vast stretches of land have become waterlogged desert. And, as an old farmer pointed out, even the trees have stopped bearing fruit because heavy use of pesticides has killed the pollinators — the bees and butterflies.

“And Punjab is not alone in experiencing this ecological and social disaster. Last year I was in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, where farmers have also been committing suicide. Farmers who traditionally grew pulses and millets and paddy have been lured by seed companies to buy hybrid cotton seeds referred to as “white gold”, which were supposed to make them millionaires. Instead they became paupers.”[8]

In India as well as in China it has been proven that the unscrupulous promises of Monsanto that Bt cotton (genetically engineered cotton) would produce a far higher yield and prove less costly in terms of herbicide and fertilizer required have been the exact opposite of what was promised. Bt cotton increases irrigation and water requirements where biological cotton would thrive without added irrigation. Thus the yield of Bt cotton has been far inferior to that of biological cotton and the costs of production significantly higher.[9]

Disastrous health problems caused by GMO products

In spite of the reassurances from Monsanto and its own lawyers and scientists that GMO cultures and Roundup herbicide are not health hazardous, it has been proven in their own research that rats have developed different forms of tumors and other health problems. However, instead of pushing the research further, they put a complete stop to it.

From: (‘Economic, health & environmental impactsof Roundup-type chemical and Roundup Ready soybeans, by Ronnie Cummins)

“As farmers know, there is a cancer epidemic in America’s heartland – partly resulting from exposure to chemicals like Roundup, and partly from ingesting contaminated food and drinking water.”

Particularly when Roundup is applied by aerial spraying, the risk of drift of the herbicide to close-by crops and trees is considerable. Both trees and nutritious and medicinal herbs have been proven to be killed or producing severely damaged fruit and leaves from the effect of Roundup being sprayed on nearby cultures, by air as well as by ground spraying.

From ‘New research on the impact of GMOs on health’

“Although some GMOs have been approved and marketed for several years, there was no body of scientific research on their impact on the biology of living organisms. This is partly because animal feeding trials are not required in the current safety approval process for GMOs in the EU or USA. Only now is a body of evidence starting to emerge from a small number of animal feeding trials into the health effects and progress in the new science of epigenetics. This indicates that genetic engineering is much more unpredictable and risky than traditional breeding.”[10]

Various health problems from GMO products have been identified, from serious skin problems in humans in Argentina at soya plantations (documented by Marie-Monique Robin in her film – The World According to Monsanto), to allergies in humans as well as tumors, damage to internal organs and internal bleeding in rats fed with genetically engineered potatoes.

From a lack of sufficient research and the fact that many health hazards develop over a long period of time, there is still no complete list of real health hazards to humans caused by GMO products. Monsanto who provides 90% of the world’s long list of genetically engineered products[11] (having bought up 50 smaller companies during the last decade) does their business with such complete secrecy that there are still sold-out individuals out there who praise the complete revolution of agriculture achieved by the culture of GMO crops. These corrupt people seem to be totally unaware of the health hazards and the drive to despair and ruin of small farmers caused by GMO products. They seem to still believe that genetically engineered seeds can save the world’s food problems. Or worse yet, they don’t care.

A high representative for Monsanto has openly admitted that “We want to control the world’s food supply.”[12] It is also very clear that they have no concern for health hazards or human disasters caused by the callous decisions of world leaders to give up on biological farming and opt for genetically engineered food production and monoculture industrial farming.

The proofs that GM huge industrial monocultures and Roundup herbicide are destroying the earth’s environment and human health are completely censured and ignored, due to intense lobbying and pressure from sold-out individuals at the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

Once again, only corporate profit counts and people as well as the environment are of no importance. And the neocon puppets are playing the game with great gusto.

Footnotes

[1] Also entitled ‘Monsanto, une enterprise qui vous veut du bien’ (Monsanto, a company that wants the very best for you.) Monsanto is the multinational producer of Agent Orange, dioxin, bovine growth hormone, Round Up and 90% of the world production of GMOs. New movie damns Monsanto’s deadly sins See also: Le Monde selon Monsanto

[2] [Michael Taylor] Attorney for Monsanto who rewrote the “regulations” for Genetically Modified foods. His brilliant addition is the “substantial equivalence” measure which says if the nutrition measures are the same for the GMO as the natural food it is nobody’s business what the chemical companies add.

[3] Michael Taylor, former legal advisor to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Bureau of Medical Devices and Bureau of Foods, later executive assistant to the Commissioner of the FDA – still later a partner at the law firm of King & Spaulding where he supervised a nine-lawyer group whose clients included Monsanto Agricultural Company – still later Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the United States Food and Drug Administration - and later with the law firm of King & Spaulding – now head of the Washington, D.C. office of Monsanto Corporation.

[4] Reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson Blow Whistle On News Station – Florida Milk Supply Riddled with Artificial Hormone Linked to Cancer. They Were Ordered to Lie About it on Fox-TV.

[5]1997 witnessed the first emergence of farm suicides in India. A rapid increase in indebtedness, was at the root of farmers taking their lives. Debt is a reflection of a negative economy, a loosing economy. Two factors have transformed the positive economy of agriculture into a negative economy for peasants – the rising costs of production and the falling prices of farm commodities. Both these factors are rooted in the policies of trade liberalization and corporate globalisation. (Vandana Shiva)

Also see : FARMERS IN INDIA ARE FIGHTING TO BAN MONSANTO’S GM COTTON

[6] The shift from farm-saved seed to corporate monopolies of the seed supply is also a shift from biodiversity to monocultures in agriculture. The District of Warangal in Andhra Pradesh ( India) used to grow diverse legumes, millets, and oilseeds. Seed monopolies created crop monocultures of cotton, leading to disappearance of millions of products of nature’s evolution and farmer’s breeding. Monocultures and uniformity increase the risks of crop failure as diverse seeds adapted to diverse ecosystems are replaced by rushed introduction of unadapted and often untested seeds into the market. When Monsanto first introduced Bt Cotton in India in 2002, the farmers lost Rs. 1 billion due to crop failure. Instead of 1,500 Kg / acre as promised by the company, the harvest was as low as 200 kg. Instead of increased incomes of Rs. 10,000 / acre, farmers ran into losses of Rs. 6400 / acre. (Vandana Shiva)

[7] Monocultures, monopolies, myths and the masculinisation of agriculture – Statement by Dr. Vandana Shiva

[8] Indian Agrarian Crisis

[9] “Several studies have shown Bt cotton yields to be substantially lower than non-Bt varieties.” Has the Bt cotton bubble burst? (Devinder Sharma)

[10] New research on the impact of GMOs on health

[11] New movie damns Monsanto’s deadly sins

[12] Greenpeace researcher uncovers chilling patent plans. One way or another, Monsanto wants to make sure no food is grown that they don’t own — and the record shows they don’t care if it’s safe for the environment or not. (Direct quote in Marie-Marianne Robin’s documentary)

[Watch the whole documentary:The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (video)]

The full documentary ‘The World According to Monsanto’ by Marie-Monique Robin can now be seen at SPRWORD.com at Underdog Cinnema and also at Wide Eye Cinema (second window)

© Copyright 2009 by AxisofLogic.com

Siv O’Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. Her insightful essays are republished and read worldwide. She can be reached at siv@axisoflogic.com. Read her Biography and more of her articles on Axis of Logic.

from the archives:

The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see (video)

Time for Action Against Monsanto By Siv O’Neall

The Real News Network: The World According to Monsanto

Patent For a Pig (vid) + Monsanto files patent for new invention: the pig (2005)

William Clinton & Monsanto – a Team for Mutual Profit

Letter to Hillary about Monsanto connections (02.03.08)

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

Monsanto

GMO

21 Responses

  1. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  2. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  3. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  4. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  5. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  6. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  7. Great news for us on the GMO front! Federal Judge rules against Monsanto’s GM sugar beets, mentioning USDA failures. Read http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Legislation/Judge-rules-against-Monsanto-s-GM-sugar-beets

  8. [...] Monsanto – Public Enemy No. 1 By Siv O’Neall [...]

  9. So at the end of the year we will lose our rights to eat organic foods or to heal ourselves with natural herbal remedies.

    With the over hyped flue season approaching, it’s a good thing the government will make sure we have enough mercury and squalene contaminated swine flu vaccines to go around this winter, especially with their offer you can’t refuse.

    If any of us are still alive or sane in the spring, perhaps we can muster up a constitutional revolution to end this madness caused by our one party system, which is really governed by K Street lobbyists for the benefit of their upper 1% plutocratic masters.

  10. I was told that Rosa DeLauro whose husband, Stanley Greenberg works for Monsanto introduced HR 875, the Food Safety Act. Rosa LeLauro should have been prevented from initiating this bill due to her familial ties with Monsanto. To me it is an ethics violation.

    What happens when the patent rights to their GMO seeds run out?

  11. We are what we eat. And people and government act as if they are in wonderment over H1N1 Swine Flu.

  12. A lot of people think when they are buying ‘organic’, they are fighting the likes of Monsanto and helping family farmers. If that is so wonderfuly true, why then did [edited] destroy me and my tiny dairy farm? I have been farming organic ever since I started farming in the late ’70’s, you would think I would know a thing or two about it. But that did not stop [edited] from destroying my livelihood. Yes, I said [edited] ….headquartered in [edited] .

    But of course, no one would or should believe me, it is so much more likely that bureacracy forms the truth., the one consistent truth that you can depend on.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your farm, Ned, however, it’s best not to name company names without proof/evidence of wrong doing. Doesn’t mean that you not correct, but you need to read up on libel/slander laws. You can write whatever you like on your own blog and take the consequences.

  13. One pertinent piece of information not covered here that should be noted, that Monsanto is controlled by the Rockfellers and the Rockefeller trusts. Truly evil money that has promoted eugenics for decades, and a good reason to rewrite inheritance laws so that huge fortunes cannot be passed on to create dynasties.

    • Shane Parker – You’re absolutely right. Generally speaking, Monsanto is so deeply tied into Big Money and government protection and support that it even seems doubtful that we will ever get them for their criminal acts. They need to be annihilated and organic farming brought back to an already badly damaged earth. When are people going to matter again? As of today, only Big Corporations have any influence on politics.

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