When Food is Used as a Bio-Weapon against Humanity by Rockefeller-controlled Corporations
Busted: Biotech Leader ‘Syngenta’ Charged Over Covering Up Animal Deaths from GM Corn
In a riveting victory against genetically modified creations, a major biotech company known as Syngenta has been criminally charged for denying knowledge that its GM Bt corn actually kills livestock. What’s more is not only did the company deny this fact, but they did so in a civil court case that ended back in 2007. The charges were finally issued after a long legal struggle against the mega corp initiated by a German farmer named Gottfried Gloeckner whose dairy cattle died after eating the Bt toxin and coming down with a ‘mysterious’ illness.
Grown on his own farm from 1997 to 2002, the cows on the farm were all being fed exclusively on Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn by the year 2000. It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company. Amazingly, 2 cows ate genetically modified maize (now banned in Poland over serious concerns) and died. During the civil lawsuit, however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was responsible. In fact, they went as far as to claim having no knowledge whatsoever of harm.
Millions against Monsanto: The food fight of our lives
Posted by truther on April 16, 2012
If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” — Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” — Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, quoted in the New York Times, October 25, 1998
For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture, aided and abetted by indentured politicians and regulatory agencies, supermarket chains, giant food processors, and the so-called “natural” products industry.
Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.
This November, in a food fight that will largely determine the future of what we eat and what we grow, Monsanto will face its greatest challenge to date: a statewide citizens’ ballot initiative that will give Californians the opportunity to vote for their right to know whether the food they buy is contaminated with GMOs.
A growing corps of food, health, and environmental activists – supported by the Millions against Monsanto and Occupy Monsanto Movements, and consumers and farmers across the nation – are boldly moving to implement mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in California through a grassroots-powered citizens ballot initiative process that will bypass the agribusiness-dominated state legislature. If passed, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and outlaw the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”
Passage of this initiative on November 6 will radically alter the balance of power in the marketplace, enabling millions of consumers to identify – and boycott – genetically engineered foods for the first time since 1994, when Monsanto’s first unlabeled, genetically-engineered dairy drug, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), was forced on the market,
As Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director for the Organic Consumers Association, pointed out at an Occupy Wall Street teach-in in Washington DC in early April: “The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ballot initiative is a perfect example of how the grassroots 99% can mobilize to take back American democracy from the corporate bullies, the 1%. By aggressively utilizing one of the last remaining tools of direct democracy, the initiative process (available to voters not only in California and 23 other states, but in thousands of cities and counties across the nation), we can bypass corrupt politicians, make our own laws, and force corporations like Monsanto to bend to the will of the people, in this case granting us our fundamental right to know what’s in our food.”
This is not the first time Monsanto has been challenged by citizens’ initiatives or state and local legislative efforts. But this time, the momentum is in our favor.
In the past, GMO “right-to-know” activists have been outmaneuvered and outgunned by Monsanto and its minions in every state, except Vermont and Connecticut, where passing a labeling bill is still, at least theoretically, a long-shot. (Monsanto recently threatened to sue the state of Vermont if legislators there pass a GMO labeling bill).
Efforts to pass GMO labeling laws at the federal level have gone nowhere, despite the fact that more than one million consumers have emailed “Just Label It” petitions to the FDA, demanding mandatory labeling. (The FDA counted only 394 of the signatures, claiming that the main petition was submitted as a single document, or docket, and therefore counted as only one signature.)
Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has introduced his perennial GMO labeling bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, though everyone knows it will never make it out of committee and come to a full House vote on the floor. Similar symbolic bills have been introduced in 18 state legislatures.
The battle has been raging for decades. But this time, it’s different.
Behind this historic California initiative is a broad, growing and powerful health, environmental, and consumer coalition, which includes the Organic Consumers Association, Organic Consumers Fund, Food Democracy Now!, Mercola.com, Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, LabelGMOs.org, Eden Foods, Alliance for Natural Health, Dr. Bronner’s, United Farm Workers Union, American Public Health Association, Cornucopia Institute, Institute for Responsible Technology, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, California Certified Organic Farmers, and scores of others.
This time, the industry faces informed – and alarmed – consumers who understand the danger of allowing out-of-control chemical and biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont – the very same corporations that have assaulted us with toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals, Agent Orange, carcinogenic food additives, PCBs, and now global warming – to dictate their food choices.
Blatant Corruption Exposed as EU Blocks France’s Ban on Monsanto’s GMO Maize
Posted by truther on May 25, 2012 /
Just after France legislators and officials moved to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified strain of GMO maize over environmental and health concerns, the European Union has decided to step in and re-secure Monsanto’s presence in the country — against the very will of the nation itself. This should come as no surprise when considering the fact that the United States ambassador to France, a business partner to George W. Bush, stated back in 2007 that nations who did not accept Monsanto’s GMO crops will be ‘penalized’. In fact, ambassador Craig Stapleton went as far as to say that the nations should be threatened with military-styled trade wars.
Monsanto’s GMO Seeds Contributing to Farmer Suicides Every 30 Minutes
Posted by truther on April 5, 2012
n what has been called the single largest wave of recorded suicides in human history, Indian farmers are now killing themselves in record numbers. It has been extensively reported, even in mainstream news, but nothing has been done about the issue. The cause? Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the past 16 years.
According to the most recent figures (provided by the New York University School of Law), 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 — about one death every 30 minutes. In 2008, the Daily Mail labeled the continual and disturbing suicide spree as ‘The GM (genetically modified) Genocide’. Due to failing harvests and inflated prices that bankrupt the poor farmers, struggling Indian farmers began to kill themselves. Oftentimes, they would commit the act by drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto supplied them with — a gruesome testament to the extent in which Monsanto has wrecked the lives of independent and traditional farmers.
Monsanto’s GMO Corn Contributing to Weight Gain, Disrupts Organs
Posted by truther on March 22, 2012
Are genetically modified foods making you sick andfat? Monsanto’s genetically modified creations have been pegged for causing a plethora of environmental and human harm, but are they also contributing to one of the country’s fastest growing health problems? A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences shows that GM food is indeed contributing to the obesity epidemic.
While being one of the first to report on a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data of rats fed GM corn, the study effectively ends the debate as to whether GMO foods are safe regarding health. The study found that GM corn fed to mice led to an increase in overall body weight of about 3.7 percent, while also increasing the weight of the liver by up to 11 percent.
Explosive: Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’ Causing Devastating Birth Defects
Posted by truther on April 12, 2012
In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psychomotor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.
Genetically Modified Food Labeling Initiative Gains Momentum
Posted by truther on March 5, 2012
As concerns over the consumption of genetically modified foods continue to grow internationally, legislation is increasingly being introduced to mandate the labeling of products containing genetically modified ingredients. With thousands — if not millions — of products lining the grocery store shelves containing at least some genetically modified organisms (GMOs), consumers are demanding action. A total of 18 states are now examining laws that seek to explicitly label products containing GMOs.
Needless to say, the initiative isn’t making Monsanto very happy – the leading producer of genetically modified seeds with 90 percent of the market cornered. In fact, Monsanto has admitted influencing previous decisions to root out their GMO crops in places like Boulder, Colorado. Accused of organizing phony protests in support of their crops and using their profile as a mega corporation to influence key legislators, Monsanto has openly admitted influence in the key Boulder decision amid serious heat from the press.
Seeds of doubt: Brazilian farmers sue Monsanto
Posted by truther on June 5, 2012 /
Five million Brazilian farmers are locked in a lawsuit with US-based biotech giant Monsanto, suing for as much as 6.2 billion euros. They say that the genetic-engineering company has been collecting royalties on crops it unfairly claims as its own.
The farmers claim that Monsanto unfairly collects exorbitant profits every year worldwide on royalties from “renewal” seed harvests. “Renewal” crops are those that have been planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest. While the practice of renewal farming is an ancient one, Monsanto disagrees, demanding royalties from any crop generation produced from its genetically-engineered seed. Because the engineered seed is patented, Monsanto not only charges an initial royalty on the sale of the crop produced, but a continuing 2 per cent royalty on every subsequent crop, even if the farmer is using a later generation of seed.
“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production,” Jane Berwanger, lawyer for the farmers told the Associated Press reports.
In the latest installment of the legal battle erupting in South America, the Brazilian court has ruled in favor of the Brazilian farmers, saying Monsanto owes them at least US$2 billion paid since 2004. Monsanto, however, has appealed the decision and the case is ongoing.
In essence, Monsanto argues that once a farmer buys their seed, they have to pay the global bio-tech giant a yearly fee in perpetuity – with no way out.
Farmers defend their right to grow food: Appeal filed in family farmers vs. Monsanto case
Posted by truther on April 16, 2012
Ethan A. Huff
The plaintiffs in a case seeking protection from Monsanto’s predatory patent lawsuits have filed a Notice of Appeal challenging the case’s recent dismissal by Judge Naomi Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and dozens of other food freedom advocacy groups and family farmers originally filed the suit on behalf of small growers everywhere in order to defend them against Monsanto’s crusade of agricultural terrorism.
In case you are unaware, Monsanto has a nasty little history of suing farmers whose crops become inadvertently contaminated by the biotechnology giant’s transgenic seeds and pollen. Between 1997 and 2010, in fact, Monsanto actually admits to having filed at least 144 lawsuits against farmers, and settled another 700 cases out of court, for so-called “patent infringement” involving non-genetically-modified (non-GMO) and organic crops that have become contaminated with GM materials and traits.
In one case, Monsanto targeted a 74-year-old seed cleaner named Mo Parr that the company claimed was infringing its patents. Though he vehemently denied the accusations, Parr ended up having his bank records subpoenaed, and his customers harassed. Monsanto eventually sued Parr for his supposed crimes, which did not exist, and actually won (http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-4048288.html).
With Rockefeller family funding, the Green Revolution laid the groundwork for the Gene Revolution, allowing a handful of Anglo-American agribusiness giants to gain worldwide control of the food supply.
Genetically Engineered Foods - An Experiment on the Masses
In 2003, Jeffrey Smith’s Seeds of Deception was published. It exposes the dangers of untested and unregulated genetically engineered or modified (GE/GM) foods that most people in the USA eat every day with no knowledge of the potential health risks. Efforts to inform the public have been quashed, and reliable science has been buried.
Consider what happened to the world’s leading lectins and plant genetic modification expert, UK-based Arpád Pusztai.
He was vilified and fired from his research position at Scotland’s Rowett Research Institute for publishing industry-unfriendly data that he was commissioned to produce on the safety of GM foods. His Rowett Research study was the first ever independent one conducted on them anywhere. He undertook it, believing in their promise, but became alarmed by his findings.
His results were startling and have implications for humans eating genetically engineered/modified foods.
Pusztai found that rats fed GM potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains, as well as damaged immune systems; they showed structural changes in their white blood cells, making them more vulnerable to infection and disease compared to other rats fed non-GM potatoes. It got worse. Thymus and spleen damage showed up, as did enlarged tissues, including the pancreas and intestines.
There were cases of liver atrophy as well as significant proliferation of stomach and intestinal cells that could be a sign of greater future risk of cancer. Equally alarming was that all this happened after only 10 days of testing, and the changes persisted after 110 days - that’s the human equivalent of 10 years.
GM foods today saturate our diet, particularly in the USA.
Over 80 per cent of all processed foods sold in supermarkets contain them. Other GM foods include grains like rice, corn and wheat; legumes like soybeans (and a range of soy products); vegetable oils; soft drinks; salad dressings; vegetables and fruits; dairy products including eggs; meat and other animal products; and even infant formula. There’s also a vast array of hidden additives and ingredients in processed foods (such as in tomato sauce, ice cream and peanut butter).
They’re unrevealed to consumers because such labeling is prohibited - yet the more of these foods that we eat, the greater the potential threat to our health.
Today, we’re all lab rats in an uncontrolled, unregulated, mass human experiment, the results of which are as yet unknown. The risks from it are beyond measure, and it will take many years to discover them. Once GM seeds are introduced to an area, the genie is out of the bottle for keeps.
Despite the enormous risks, however, Washington and growing numbers of governments around the world in parts of the UK, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa now allow these products to be grown in their soil or imported.
They’re produced and sold to consumers because agribusiness giants like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgriSciences and Cargill have enormous clout to demand it and a potent partner supporting them - the US government and its agencies, including:
- the Departments of Agriculture and State,
- the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
- the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- and even the defense establishment...
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) patent rules also back them, along with industry-friendly WTO rulings like the 7 February 2006 one.
The WTO favored a US challenge against European GMO (genetically modified organisms) regulatory policies in spite of strong consumer sentiment against these foods and ingredients on the continent. It also violated the Biosafety Protocol that should let nations regulate these products in the public interest - but it doesn’t because WTO trade rules sabotaged it.
Nonetheless, anti-GMO activism persists, consumers still have a say and there are hundreds of GMO-free zones around the world, including in the US. All this, and more, is needed to take on the agribusiness giants that so far have everything going their way.
Washington Launches the Gene Revolution
William F. Engdahl (Seeds of Destruction - The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation) explains that the science of “biological and genetic modification of plants and other life-forms” first came out of US research labs in the 1970s.
The Reagan administration was determined to make America dominant in this emerging field, and the biotech agribusiness industry was especially favored. Companies in the early 1980s raced to develop GMO plants, livestock and GMO-based animal drugs. Washington made it easy for them with an unregulated, business-friendly climate that has persisted ever since under Republicans and Democrats alike.
Leading the effort to develop GMOs is a company with a,
“long record of fraud, cover-up, bribery deceit and disdain for the public interest: Monsanto."
Its first product was saccharin, which was later proved to be a carcinogen. It then got into chemicals, plastics and became notorious for Agent Orange that was used to defoliate Vietnamese jungles in the 1960s and 1970s and exposed hundreds of thousands of civilians and troops to deadly dioxin, one of the most toxic of all known compounds.
Along with others in the industry, Monsanto is accused of being a shameless polluter. It has a history of secretly dumping some of the most lethal substances known into water and soil and getting away with it.
Today on its website, however, the company ignores its record and calls itself,
“an agricultural company [applying] innovation and technology to help farmers around the world be successful, produce healthier foods, better animal feeds and more fiber, while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment”.
Engdahl proves otherwise in his thorough research.
In spite of its past, Monsanto and other GMO giants got unregulated free rein in the 1980s and especially after George H. W. Bush became president in 1989. His administration opened “Pandora’s box” so that no “unnecessary regulations would hamper them”.
“not one single new regulatory law governing biotech or GMO products was passed then or later [despite all the] unknown risks and possible health dangers”.
In a totally unfettered marketplace, foxes now guard the henhouse because the system was made self-regulatory.
An elder Bush executive order assured it, ruling that GMO plants and foods are “substantially equivalent” to ordinary ones of the same variety like corn, wheat or rice. This established the principle of “substantial equivalence” as the “lynchpin of the whole GMO revolution”. It was pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo but was now law, and Engdahl equates it to a potentially biologically catastrophic “Andromeda strain” - but no longer science fiction.
Monsanto chose milk as its first GMO product, genetically manipulated it with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and marketed it under the trade name Posilac. In 1993, the Clinton-era FDA declared it safe and approved it for sale before any consumer-use information was available. It’s now sold in every US state and promoted as a way that cows can produce up to 30 per cent more milk.
Problems, however, soon appeared.
Farmers reported their stock burned out up to two years sooner than usual, serious infections developed and some animals couldn’t walk. Other problems included the udder inflammation mastitis as well as deformed calves being born.
The information was suppressed and rBGH milk is unlabelled, so there’s no way consumers can know. They also weren’t told that this hormone causes leukaemia and tumors in rats, and that a European Commission committee concluded that humans drinking rBGH milk risk breast and prostate cancers. The European Union thus banned the product, but the US did not.
Despite clear safety issues, the FDA failed to act and it allows hazardous milk to be sold below the radar. It was just the beginning.
Engdahl reviews the Pusztai affair, the toll it took on his health, and the modest vindication he finally received.
Pusztai was already out of a job when in 1999 the 300-year-old British Royal Society attacked him, claiming that his research was,
“flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis and that no conclusions should be drawn from it”.
This criticism had no basis in fact, and the attack was made because Pusztai’s bombshell threatened to derail Britain’s hugely profitable GMO industry and do the same thing to its US counterpart.
As for Pusztai, after five years, several heart attacks and a ruined career, he finally learned what had happened after he announced his findings. Monsanto was the culprit.
The company complained to US president Bill Clinton who, in turn, alerted the British prime minister Tony Blair. Pusztai’s findings had to be quashed and he had to be discredited for his discoveries. He was nonetheless able to reply with the help of the highly respected British scientific journal, The Lancet. In spite of Royal Society threats against Pusztai, the editor published his article but at a cost.
After publication, the society and the biotech industry attacked The Lancet for its action. It was a further shameless act. As a footnote, Pusztai now lectures around the world on his GMO research and is a consultant to start-up groups researching the health effects of these foods. Along with him and his wife, his co-author, Professor Stanley Ewen, also suffered.
He lost his position at the University of Aberdeen, and Engdahl notes that the practice of suppressing unwanted truths and punishing whistleblowers is the rule, not the exception. Industry demands are powerful, especially when they affect the bottom line.
The Blair government went even further. It commissioned the private firm Grainseed to conduct a three-year study to prove the safety of GMO food. London’s Observer newspaper later got hold of UK Ministry of Agriculture documents which showed that the tests were rigged and produced “some strange science”. At least one Grainseed researcher manipulated the data to “make certain seeds in the trials appear to perform better than they really did”.
Nonetheless, the Ministry recommended a GMO corn variety be certified, and the Blair government issued a new code of conduct under which,
“any employee of a state-funded research institute who dared to speak out on findings into GMO plants could face dismissal, be sued for breach of contract or face a court injunction”.
In other words, whistleblowing was now illegal, even if public health was at stake.
Nothing would be allowed to stop the agribusiness juggernaut from proceeding unimpeded.
The Rockefeller Plan for Agribusiness
In the Cold War era, food became a strategic weapon by masquerading as “Food for Peace”. It was a cover for US agricultural interests to engineer the transformation of family farming into global agribusiness, with food the tool and small farmers eliminated so their land could be used most effectively.
Domination of world agriculture was to be,
“one of the central pillars of post-war Washington policy, along with [controlling] world oil markets and non-communist world defense sales”.
The defining 1973 event was a world food crisis.
The shortage of grain staples, along with the first of two 1970s oil shocks, advanced a “significant new Washington policy turn”. Oil and grains were rising threefold to fourfold in price at a time when the US was the world’s largest food surplus producer with the most power over prices and supply. It was an ideal time for a new alliance between US-based grain-trading companies and the government.
It “laid the groundwork for the later gene revolution”.
Enter what Engdahl calls the “great train robbery”, with Henry Kissinger the culprit. He decided that US agriculture policy was “too important to be left in the hands of the Agriculture Department”, so he took control of it himself.
Readers will know the type of future that Kissinger had in mind when he said in 1970:
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people”.
The world desperately needed grain, America had the greatest supply, and the scheme was to use this power to “radically change world food markets and food trade”. The big winners were grain traders like Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Continental Grain; they were helped by Kissinger’s “new food diplomacy [to create] a global agriculture market for the first time”.
Food would “reward friends and punish enemies”, and ties bet w e e n Washington and business lay at the heart of the strategy.
The global food market was being reorganized, corporate interests were favored, political advantage was exploited and the groundwork was laid for the 1990s “gene revolution”. Rockefeller interests, including the Rockefeller Foundation, were to play the decisive role as events unfolded over the next two decades.
This reorganization began under President Richard Nixon as the cornerstone of his farm policy; free trade was the mantra, corporate grain traders were the beneficiaries, and family farms had to go so that agribusiness giants could take over. Bankrupting family farms was the plan to remove an “excess [of] human resources”.
Engdahl calls it a “thinly veiled form of food imperialism” as part of a scheme for the US to become “the world granary”. The family farm was to become the “factory farm” and agriculture was to become “agribusiness”, dominated by a few corporate giants with incestuous ties to Washington.
Dollar devaluation was also part of the scheme under Nixon’s New Economic Plan (NEP), which included closing the gold window in 1971 to let the currency float freely.
Developing nations were targeted as well with the idea that they forget about being food-self-sufficient in grains and beef, rely on America for key commodities and concentrate instead on small fruits, sugar and vegetables for export. Earned foreign exchange could then buy US imports and repay International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank loans that create a never-ending cycle of debt slavery.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was also used, as was later the WTO with rules written by corporations to suit their own bottom-line interests.
Drastic Population Reduction
In the midst of a worldwide drought and a stock-market collapse, consider Kissinger’s April 1974 classified memo.
National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) was shaped by Rockefeller interests and aimed to adopt a “world population plan of action” for drastic global population control, i.e., reduction. The US led the effort, making birth control in developing countries a prerequisite for US aid.
Engdahl sums it up in blunt terms:
“if these inferior races get in the way of our securing ample, cheap raw materials, then we must find ways to get rid of them”.
The Nazis also aimed big and sought control.
Population culling or “eugenics” was part of their scheme to target “inferior” races to preserve the “superior” one. Kissinger’s scheme of “simpler contraceptive methods through bio-medical research” almost sounds like DuPont’s old slogan, “Better things for better living through chemistry”.
Later on, DuPont dropped “through chemistry” as evidence mounted on the toxic effects of chemicals, and a changing company in 1999 began using a new slogan, “The Miracles of Science”, in its advertising.
NSSM 200 was tied to the agribusiness agenda that began with the 1950s and 1960s “Green Revolution” to control food production in targeted Latin American, Asian and African countries. Kissinger’s plan had two aims: securing new US grain markets and controlling population, with 13 “unlucky” countries chosen including India, Brazil, Nigeria, Mexico and Indonesia.
Exploiting their resources depended on instituting drastic population reductions to reduce home-grown demand.
The scheme was ugly and was pure Kissinger. It recommended forced population control and other measures to ensure US strategic aims. Kissinger wanted global numbers reduced by 500 million by the year 2000 and argued for doubling the 10 million annual death rate to 20 million thereafter. Engdahl calls it “genocide”, according to the strict definition of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide statute that defines this crime legally.
Kissinger is guilty under it for wanting to withhold food aid to “people who can’t or won’t control their population growth” - in other words, if they won’t do it, we’ll do it for them.
The strategy included fertility control, called “family planning”, that was linked to the availability of key resources. Rockefeller family members backed the plan; Kissinger was their “hired hand” and he was well rewarded for his efforts, e.g., he was kept from being prosecuted where he’s wanted as a war criminal and could be arrested overseas.
Besides his better-known crimes, consider what Kissinger did to poor Brazilian women through a policy of mass sterilization under NSSM 200. After 14 years of the program, the Brazilian Health Ministry discovered shocking reports of an estimated 44 per cent of all Brazilian women between ages 14 and 55 being permanently sterilized. Organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Family Health International were involved, and USAID directed the program.
USAID has a long, disturbing history of backing US imperialism, yet it claims on its website that it extends,
“a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover[ing] from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country”.
Even more disturbing is that an estimated 90 per cent of Brazilian women of African descent were sterilized in a nation with a black population second only to Nigeria’s. Powerful figures backed the scheme, but most influential were the Rockefellers, with John D. III having the most clout on population policy. In 1969, Nixon appointed him head of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.
The commission’s earlier work laid the ground for Kissinger’s NSSM 200 and its policy of extermination through subterfuge.
The Brotherhood of Death
Long before Kissinger (and his assistant, Brent Scowcroft) made population reduction official US foreign policy, the Rockefellers were experimenting on humans.
JD III led the effort. In the 1950s, while Nelson was exploiting cheap Puerto Rican labour in New York and on the island, brother JD III was conducting mass sterilization experiments on Puerto Rican women. By the mid-1960s, Puerto Rico’s Public Health Department estimated the toll: one-third or more of unsuspecting poor women of child-bearing age had been permanently sterilized.
JD III expressed his views in a 1961 UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) lecture:
“To my mind, population growth [and its reduction] is second only to control of atomic weapons as the paramount problem of the day”.
He meant, of course, reducing unwanted parts of the population to preserve valuable resources for the privileged. He was also influenced by eugenicists, race theorists and Malthusians at the Rockefeller Foundation who believed they had the right to decide who lived or died.
Powerful figures as well as leading American business families were behind the effort. So were notables in the UK, then and earlier, such as Winston Churchill and John Maynard Keynes.
Alan Gregg, the Rockefeller Foundation Medical Division chief for 34 years, said that,
“people pollute, so eliminate pollution by eliminating [undesirable] people”.
He compared city slums to cancerous tumors and called them “offensive to decency and beauty”. Better to remove them and cleanse the landscape.
This was Rockefeller Foundation policy, and it is “key to understanding [its later efforts] in the revolution in biotechnology and plant genetics”. The foundation’s mission from inception was to,
“[cull] the herd, or systematically [reduce] populations of ‘inferior breeds’”.
The problem for supremacists is that too many of a lesser element spells trouble when they demand more of what the privileged want for themselves. Solution: remove them, using anything from birth control and sterilization to starvation and wars of extermination.
JD III was right in step with this thinking. He was nurtured on Malthusian pseudoscience and embraced the dogma. In 1931 he joined the family foundation, where
he was influenced by eugenicists like Raymond Fosdick and Frederick Osborn, both of whom were founding members of the American Eugenics Society.
In 1952 he used his own funds to found the New York–based Population Council, at which he promoted openly racist studies on overpopulation dangers. Over the next 25 years, the council spent US$173 million on global population reduction and became the world’s most influential organization promoting these supremacist ideas.
However, it avoided the term “eugenics” because of its Nazi association and instead used language like “birth control”, “family planning” and “free choice”; it was all the same.
Before World War II, Rockefeller associate and foundation board member Frederick Osborn enthusiastically supported Nazi eugenics experiments that led to mass exterminations which were later vilified. Back then, he believed eugenics was the “most important experiment that has ever been tried”, and later he wrote a book, The Future of Human Heredity (1968), with “eugenics” in the subtitle. He stated that women could be convinced to reduce their births voluntarily and he began substituting the term “genetics” for the now out-of-favor “eugenics”.
During the Cold War, population culling drew supporters that included the cream of corporate America.
They backed private population reduction initiatives like Margaret Sanger’s International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The major media also spread the notion that “over-population in developing countries leads to hunger and more poverty [which, in turn, becomes] the fertile breeding ground” for international communism. American agribusiness would later get involved through a policy of global food control.
(Control of)Food is power.
When used to cull the population, it’s a weapon of mass destruction.
Consider the current situation with the UN FAO reporting sharply higher food prices along with severe shortages and warning that this condition is extreme, unprecedented and threatens billions of people with hunger and starvation. Prices were up 40 per cent in 2007, after a nine per cent rise in 2006, which forced developing states to pay 25 per cent more for imported food and be unable to afford enough of it.
The FAO cites various explanations for the problem, including growing demand, higher fuel and transportation costs, commodity speculation, the use of corn for ethanol production (taking one-third of the harvest, which is more than what’s exported for food) and extreme weather, while ignoring the above implications: the power of agribusiness to manipulate supply for greater profits and “cull the herd” in targeted Third World countries.
Affected nations are poor, and the FAO lists 20 in Africa, nine in Asia, six in Latin America and two in Eastern Europe that in total represent 850 million endangered people now suffering from chronic hunger and related poverty.
They depend on imports, and their diets rely heavily on the types of produce that agribusiness controls - wheat, corn, rice and soybeans.
If current prices stay high and shortages persist, millions will die - maybe by design.
The Subterfuge of “Food for Peace”
American elites in the late 1930s began planning an American century in the postwar world - a Pax Americana ( “American Peace”) to succeed the fading British Empire. The New York-based Council on Foreign Relations War and Peace Studies group led the effort, financed by Rockefeller Foundation money. As Engdahl puts it, they’d be paid back later “thousands-fold”. First, though, America had to achieve world dominance militarily and economically.
The US business establishment envisioned a “Grand Area” to encompass most of the world outside the communist bloc. To exploit it, they hid their imperial designs beneath a “liberal and benevolent garb” by defining themselves as “selfless advocates of freedom for colonial peoples [and] the enemy of imperialism”.
They would also “champion world peace through multinational control”.
Like today, it was just subterfuge for their real aims that were pursued under the banner of the United Nations, the new Bretton Woods framework, the IMF, the World Bank and the GATT.
They were established for one purpose:
to integrate the developing world into the US-dominated Global North so its wealth could be transferred to powerful business interests, mostly in the US.
The Rockefeller family led the effort, the four brothers were involved, and Nelson and David were the prime movers.
While JD III was plotting depopulation and racial purity schemes, Nelson was working “the other side of the fence...as a forward-looking international businessman” in the 1950s and 1960s. Preaching greater efficiency and production in targeted countries, he in fact schemed to open world markets for unrestricted US grain imports. This became the “Green Revolution”. Nelson concentrated on Latin America.
During WWII, he coordinated US intelligence and covert operations there, and those efforts laid the groundwork for postwar family interests. They were tied to the region’s military because friendly strongmen are the type of leaders preferred in order to guarantee a favorable business climate.
From the 1930s, Nelson Rockefeller had significant Latin American interests, especially in areas of oil and banking. In the early 1940s, he sought new opportunities and along with brother Laurance bought vast amounts of cheap, high-quality farmland so the family could get into agriculture - but it wasn’t for family farming: the Rockefellers wanted global monopolies, and their scheme was to do in agriculture what the family patriarch had done in oil, along with using food and agricultural technologies as Cold War weapons.
By 1954, the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, known as PL 480 or “Food for Peace”, established surplus food as a US foreign policy tool.
Nelson used his considerable influence on the State Department because every postwar department secretary, from 1952 through 1979, had ties to the family through its foundation: namely,
- John Foster Dulles
- Dean Rusk
- Henry Kissinger
- Cyrus Vance
These men supported Rockefeller views on private business and knew that the family saw agriculture the way it saw oil - as commodities to be “traded, controlled, [and] made scarce or plentiful” to suit the foreign policy goals of dominant corporations controlling their trade.
The family got into agriculture in 1947 when Nelson founded the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC).
Through it, he introduced,
“mass-scale agribusiness in countries where US dollars could buy huge influence in the 1950s and 1960s”.
Nelson then allied with grain-trading giant Cargill in Brazil, where they began developing hybrid corn seed varieties with big plans for them.
They would make the country “the world’s third largest producer of [these] crop[s] after the US and China”. It was part of the Rockefellers’ “Green Revolution” that by the late 1950s “was rapidly becoming a strategic US economic strategy alongside oil and military hardware”.
Latin America was the beginning of a food production revolution with big aims: to control the “basic necessities of the majority of the world’s population”. With agribusiness in the 1990s, it was “the perfect partner for the introduction...of genetically engineered food crops or GMO plants”. This marriage masqueraded as “free market efficiency, modernization [and] feeding a malnourished world”.
In fact, it was nothing of the sort. It cleverly hid “the boldest coup over the destiny of entire nations ever attempted”.
Agribusiness Goes Global
The “Green Revolution began in Mexico and spread across Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s”.
It was then introduced in Asia, especially in India. It was at a time when Americans claimed that their aim was to help the world through free-market efficiency. It was all one way, from them to us, so that corporate investors could profit. It gave US chemical giants and major grain traders new markets for their products. Agribusiness was going global, and Rockefeller interests were in the vanguard helping industry globalization take shape.
Nelson worked with his brother, JD III, who in 1953 set up his own Agricultural Development Council. They shared a common goal:
“cartelization of world agriculture and food supplies under their corporate hegemony”.
At its heart, it aimed to introduce modern agricultural techniques to increase crop yields under the false claim of wanting to reduce hunger.
The same seduction was later used to promote the “gene revolution”, with Rockefeller interests and the same agribusiness giants backing it.
In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson also used food as a weapon. He wanted recipient nations to agree to administration and Rockefeller preconditions that population control and opening their markets to US industry were part of the deal. It also involved training developing-world agricultural scientists and agronomists in the latest production concepts so they could apply them at home.
This “carefully constructed network later proved crucial” to the Rockefeller strategy to “spread the use of genetically engineered crops around the world”, helped along with USAID funding and CIA mischief.
“Green Revolution” tactics were painful and took a devastating toll on peasant farmers, destroying their livelihoods and forcing them into shantytown slums. These people, desperate to survive and easy prey for any way to do it, provided cheap, exploitable labour.
The “Revolution” also harmed the land. Monocultural practices displace diversity, destroy soil fertility and decrease crop yields over time. The indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides can eventually cause serious health problems. Engdahl quotes an analyst who called the “Green Revolution” a “chemical revolution” that developing states couldn’t afford. This revolution began the process of debt enslavement from IMF, World Bank and private bank loans. Large landowners could afford the latter; small farmers couldn’t, and as a result were often bankrupted.
That, of course, was the whole idea.
The “Green Revolution” was based on the “proliferation of new hybrid seeds in developing markets” - seeds that characteristically lack reproductive capacity. Declining yields meant farmers had to buy seeds every year from large multinational producers that control their parental seed lines in house. A handful of company giants held patents on them and used them to lay the groundwork for the later GMO revolution.
Their scheme soon became evident: traditional crops had to give way to high-yield varieties (HYV) of hybrid wheat, corn and rice, with major chemical inputs.
Initially, growth rates were impressive but they didn’t last for long. In countries like India, agricultural output slowed down and fell into decline. They were the losers so that agribusiness giants could exploit large new markets for their chemicals, machinery and other product inputs. It was the beginning of “agribusiness”, and it went hand in hand with the “Green Revolution” strategy that would later embrace plant genetic alterations.
Two Harvard Business School professors were involved early on: John Davis and Ray Goldberg.
They teamed up with Russian economist Wassily Leontief, got funding from the Rockefeller and Ford foundations and initiated a four-decade revolution to dominate the food industry. It was based on “vertical integration”, of the kind that Congress outlawed after giant conglomerates and trusts like Standard Oil used them to monopolize entire sectors of key industries and crush competition.
This vertical integration was revived under President Jimmy Carter, a Trilateral Commission founding member, and disguised as,
“deregulation” to dismantle “decades of carefully constructed... health, food safety and consumer protection laws”.
These laws would now give way under this new wave of industry-friendly vertical integration. A propaganda campaign claimed that government was the problem, that it encroached too much on our lives and had to be rolled back for greater personal “freedom”.
From early in the 1970s, agribusiness producers controlled US food supplies but soon they would go global on a scale without precedent. The goal: to make “staggering profits” by “restructur[ing] the way Americans grew food to feed themselves and the world”.
Ronald Reagan continued Carter’s policy and let the top four or five monopoly players control it. It led to an unprecedented “concentration and transformation of American agriculture”, with independent family farmers driven off their land through forced sales and bankruptcies so that “more efficient” agribusiness giants could move in with “factory farms”. The remaining small producers became virtual serfs as “contract farmers”.
America’s landscape was changing, with people trampled on for the sake of profits.
Engdahl explains the gradual process of,
“wholesale merger[s] and consolidation... of American food production... into giant corporate global concentrations” with familiar names:
- Archer Daniels Midland
- Smithfield Foods
As they grew bigger, so did their bottom lines, with annual equity returns rising from 13 per cent in 1993 to 23 per cent in 1999.
Hundreds of thousands of small farmers lost out; their numbers dropped by 300,000 from 1979 to 1998. It was even worse for hog farmers, with a drop from 600,000 to 157,000 in the same period, so that three per cent of producers could control 50 per cent of the market. The social costs were staggering (and continue to be), as “entire rural communities collapsed and rural towns became ghost towns”. Consider the consequences.
- the four largest beef packers controlled 84 per cent of steer and heifer slaughter: Tyson, Cargill, Swift and National Beef Packing
- four giants controlled 64 per cent of hog production: Smithfield Foods, Tyson, Swift and Hormel Foods
- three companies controlled 71 per cent of soybean crushing: Cargill, ADM and Bunge
- three giants controlled 63 per cent of all flour milling
- five companies controlled 90 per cent of the global grain trade
- four other companies controlled 89 per cent of the breakfast cereal market - Kellogg, General Mills, Kraft Foods and Quaker Oats
- Cargill, having acquired Continental Grain in 1998, controlled 40 per cent of national grain elevator capacity
- four large agrichemical/seed giants controlled over 75 per cent of the nation’s seed corn sales and 60 per cent of it for soybeans, while also having the largest share of the agricultural chemical market: Monsanto, Novartis, Dow Chemical and DuPont
- six companies controlled three-fourths of the global pesticides market
- Monsanto and DuPont controlled 60 per cent of the US corn and soybean seed market - all of it patented GMO seeds.
- 10 large food retailers controlled $649 billion in global sales in 2002, and the top 30 food retailers accounted for one-third of global grocery sales.
The Gene Revolution, spurred on by a handful of biotechnology transnationals
and aided by Rockefeller funding, has created a world where feeding the hungry is akin to an act of genocide.
Merging Big Pharma with Big Food
At the dawn of a new century, family farming was decimated by corporate agribusiness’s vertically integrated powers that surpassed their earlier 1920s heyday dominance.
The industry was now the second-most-profitable national one after pharmaceuticals, with domestic annual sales exceeding US$400 billion. The next aim was merging Big Pharma with Big Food-producing giants.
The Pentagon’s National Defense University took note in a 2003-issued paper:
“Agribusiness [now] is to the United States what oil is to the Middle East”.
It’s now considered a “strategic weapon in the arsenal of the world’s only superpower”, but at a huge cost to consumers everywhere.
Agribusiness was on a roll, the US government supporting it with tens of billions of dollars in annual subsidies. The 1996 Farm Bill suspended the US Secretary of Agriculture’s power to balance supply and demand, henceforth allowing unrestricted production. Food-producing giants took full advantage to control market forces. They crushed family farmers by overproducing and forcing down prices.
They also pressured land values as small operators failed, and thus created opportunities for land acquisition on the cheap for greater concentration and dominance.
Next came integrating the Gene Revolution into agribusiness, the way Harvard’s Ray Goldberg saw it coming. Entire new sectors were to be created from genetic engineering, including genetically engineered/modified drugs from GE/GM plants in a new “agri-ceutical system”. Goldberg predicted a “genetic revolution [through] an industrial convergence of food, health, medicine, fibre and energy businesses” in a totally unregulated marketplace.
Unmentioned was a threatening consumer nightmare hidden from view.
Food is Power
Rockefeller Foundation funding was the Gene Revolution’s catalyst in 1985, with big aims: to learn if GM plants were commercially feasible and, if so, to spread them everywhere. It was the “new eugenics”, says Engdahl, and the culmination of earlier research from the 1930s.
It was also based on the idea that human problems can be,
“solved by genetic and chemical manipulations... as the ultimate means of social control and social engineering”.
Foundation scientists sought ways to do this by reducing life’s infinite complexities to “simple, deterministic and predictive models” under their diabolical scheme - mapping gene structures to “correct social and moral problems including crime, poverty, hunger and political instability”.
With the development of essential genetic engineering techniques in 1973, they were on their way.
They’re based on what’s called recombinant DNA (rDNA), and it works by genetically introducing foreign DNA into plants and animals to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but not without risks.
London Institute of Science in Society chief biologist Dr Mae-Wan Ho explains that there are dangers because the process is imprecise.
“It is uncontrollable and unreliable, and typically ends up damaging and scrambling the host genome, with entirely unpredictable consequences” that might unleash a deadly unrecallable “Andromeda Strain”.
Research continued anyway, amidst lies that risks were minimal and a promised future lay ahead. All that mattered were huge potential profits and geopolitical gain - so let the good times roll and the chips fall where they may.
One project was to map the rice genome.
It launched a 17-year effort to spread GMO rice around the world, with Rockefeller Foundation money behind it. It spent millions funding 46 science labs worldwide.
It also financed the training of hundreds of graduate students and developed an “elite fraternity” of top scientific researchers at Foundation-backed research institutes. It was a diabolical scheme aiming big: to control the staple food for 2.4 billion people and, in the process, destroy the biological diversity of over 140,000 developed varieties that can withstand droughts and pests and can grow in every imaginable climate.
Asia was the prime target, and Engdahl explains the sinister tale of the Philippines-based, Foundation-funded, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It had a gene bank with “every significant rice variety known” that comprised one-fifth of all varieties. IRRI let agribusiness giants illegally use the seeds for exclusive, patented, genetic modification so they could introduce them in markets and dominate them by requiring farmers to be licensed and forced to pay annual royalty fees.
By 2000, a successful “Golden Rice” was developed that was enriched with beta carotene (vitamin A). It was marketed on the fraudulent claim that a daily bowl could prevent blindness and other vitamin A deficiencies. It was a scam, as other products are far better sources of this nutrient, and to get enough of it requires eating an impossible nine kilograms (about 20 pounds) of rice daily.
Nonetheless, Gene Revolution backers were ready for their next move, “the consolidation of global control over humankind’s food supply”, with a new tool to do it: the World Trade Organization.
Corporate giants wrote its rules to favor themselves at the expense of shut-out developing nations.
Unleashing GMO Seeds - A Revolution in World Food Production Begins
By the end of the 1980s, a global network of molecular biologists trained in genetic engineering was ready to kick off the “Second Green Revolution”. Argentina was its first test laboratory, the first “guinea pig” nation in a reckless experiment with untested and potentially hazardous new foods.
Argentina was an easy mark when Carlos Menem became President in July 1989.
He was a corporatist’s dream, a willing Washington Consensus subject, and he even let David Rockefeller’s New York and Washington friends draft his economic program with Chicago School dogma at its heart:
- local markets opened to imports
- cuts in already reduced social services
By 1991, Argentina was already a “secret experimental laboratory for developing genetically engineered crops”. In effect, the country’s agriculture had been handed to Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and other GMO giants to exploit for profit. Things would never be the same again. By the mid-1990s, Menem was “revolutionizing] Argentina’s traditional productive agriculture” to one based on monoculture for global export.
From 1996 to 2004, worldwide GMO crop plantings expanded to 167 million acres, a 40-fold increase using 25 per cent of total worldwide arable land. An astonishing two-thirds of the acreage (106 million acres, or 43 million hectares) was in the USA.
By 2004, Argentina was in second place with 34 million acres (14 million hectares), while production was expanding in Brazil, China, Canada, South Africa, Indonesia, India, The Philippines, Colombia, Honduras, Spain and Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania and Bulgaria). The revolution was on a roll; now it looks unstoppable.
In 1995, Monsanto introduced Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans with its special gene-gun-inserted bacterium that allows the plant to survive being sprayed by the glyphosate herbicide, Roundup. GMO soybeans are thus protected from the same product which is used in Colombia to eradicate drugs but harms legal crops and humans at the same time.
After Monsanto’s RR soybeans were licensed by the US FDA in 1996, in Argentina,
“a once-productive national family-farm-based agriculture system [was turned into] a neo-feudal state system dominated by a handful of powerful, wealthy” owners who exploited it for profit.
Menem went along. In less than a decade, he had allowed the nation’s corn, wheat and cattle diversity to be replaced by corporate-controlled monoculture. It was a Faustian sellout, and it helped Monsanto’s stock price hit an all-time high by the end of 2007.
Earlier decades of diversity and crop rotation preserved the country’s soil quality, but this changed after soybean monoculture moved in, with its heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers. Traditional Argentine crops vanished, and cattle were forced into cramped feedlots the way they are in the United States. Engdahl quotes a leading agro-ecologist who predicts that these practices will destroy the land in 50 years’ time if they continue. Nothing suggests there’ll be a stoppage.
Argentina’s economic crisis of the late 1990s-early 2000s made vast, additional amounts of land available, and bankrupted farmers had to give up their holdings for a few cents in the dollar. Corporate predators and latifundista landholders took full advantage. With mechanized GMO soybean monoculture, the country’s dairy farms were reduced by half and “hundreds of thousands of workers [were forced] off the land” into poverty.
Monsanto was on a roll and used various exploitative schemes. In 1999, the company got Menem to allow it to collect “extended royalties”, even though Argentine law prohibited the practice. Smuggling Roundup Ready soybean seeds into Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay also went on sub rosa.
Monsanto then pressured the government of Argentina to recognize its “technology license fee”.
A Technology Compensation Fund was established and managed by the Ministry of Agriculture. It forced farmers to pay a near-one-per-cent fee on GMO soybean sales; Monsanto and other GMO seed suppliers got the funds. By 2004, nearly half the nation’s crop land was being used for GM soybean production and over 90 per cent of this was solely for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready brand.
Engdahl puts it this way:
“Argentina had become the world’s largest uncontrolled experimental laboratory for GMO”.
Its people had become unwitting lab rats.
In 2005, Brazil’s government relented and legalized GMO seeds for the first time. By 2006, the USA, Argentina and Brazil accounted for over 81 per cent of world GM soybean production.
“ensure[s] that practically every animal in the world fed soymeal [is] eating genetically engineered soybeans”.
It also means that everyone eating these animals does the same thing unwittingly.
Argentina has experienced more fallout which threatens to spread. Its soybean monoculture has affected the countryside hugely, and vast tracts of forest lands have been destroyed. Traditional farmers close to soybean plantings have been seriously harmed by aerial spraying of Roundup. Their crops have been destroyed, because that’s what this herbicide is engineered to do: kill all plants without gene-modified resistance.
They report that their chickens died and their horses were gravely harmed by the aerial spraying. Humans have also been affected, and can show violent symptoms of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting as well as skin lesions. Other reports claim further fallout: animals born with severe organ deformities, deformed bananas and sweet potatoes, and lakes filled with dead fish. In addition, rural families say that their children developed “grotesque blotches on their bodies” from the aerial spraying.
As for higher promised yields from GM soy, results showed harvests reduced by 5–15 per cent compared with traditional soybean crops plus “vicious new weeds” that need up to triple the amount of herbicide to destroy.
By the time farmers learn this, it’s too late.
Engdahl summarizes the farmers’ plight:
“A more perfect scheme of human bondage would be hard to imagine”.
And it was even worse than that. Argentina was the first test case,
“in a global plan that was decades in the making and absolutely shocking and awesome in its scope”.
Iraq Gets American Seeds of Democracy
Democracy for Iraq meant erasing the “cradle of civilization” for unfettered free-market capitalism. In 2003, Iraq was conquered for its oil but also to make the country a gigantic free-trade paradise.
The scheme was diabolical, elaborate and ugly:
- blitzkrieg “shock and awe”
- elaborate PsyOps
- fear as a weapon
- repressive occupation
- mass detention and torture
- the fastest, most sweeping country remake in history
It happened in weeks.
Iraq no longer exists, the country is a wasteland, its people are devastated, and a blank slate was created for unrestrained corporate pillage on a near-unimaginable scale.
Part of the scheme was for GMO agribusiness giants to have free rein over that part of the economy, to radically transform Iraq’s food production system into a model for GMO seeds and plants. It was mandated under several of the 100 swiftly implemented “Bremer Laws”, but Iraqis had no say in them as the country was now governed out of Washington and its branch office inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in the largest US embassy in the world.
Bremer Laws imposed the harshest-ever Chicago School–style “shock therapy”, of the kind that devastated countries around the world since introduced in 1973 in Chile under Pinochet.
The formula was familiar:
- mass firings of state employees in the hundreds of thousands
- unrestricted imports with no tariffs, duties, inspections or taxes
- the largest state liquidation sale and privatization plan since the Soviet Union collapsed
Corporate taxes were lowered from 40 per cent to a flat 15 per cent. Foreign investors could own 100 per cent of Iraqi assets other than oil; they could also repatriate all their profits without being taxed on them and had no obligation to reinvest in the country. Further, they were given 40-year oil production leases. The only Saddam-era laws remaining were those restricting trade unions and collective bargaining.
Foreign transnationals, mainly US ones, swooped in and devoured everything. Iraqis couldn’t compete, and the occupation laws assured it.
Consider Bremer Order 81 of 26 April 2004 covering patents and their duration. It states:
“Farmers shall be prohibited from reusing seeds of protected varieties or any variety”.
It gave plant varieties patent-holders absolute rights over farmers using their seeds for 20 years. These seeds are genetically engineered and owned by transnationals. Iraqi farmers using them have to sign an agreement stipulating they must pay a “technology fee” as well as an annual license fee.
Using seeds “similar” to protected, patented varieties could result in severe fines and imprisonment. “Plant Variety Protection” (PVP) is at the core of this order - and GMO seeds got protection to displace 10,000 years of development of plant varieties.
Iraq’s fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is ideal for crop planting. Since 8000 BC, farmers have used it to develop “rich seeds of almost every variety of wheat used in the world today”. These varieties have now been erased through this GMO modernization and industrialization scheme so that agribusiness could get a foothold in the region and supply the world market.
While Iraqis suffer and starve, GMO giants run the country’s agriculture for export.
Iraqi farmers are now agribusiness serfs and are forced to grow products foreign to the native diet, like wheat designed for pasta production. Bremer Laws mandate this and are inviolable under Article 26 the US-drafted constitution. This Article states that the Iraqi government is powerless to change laws made by a foreign occupier. To assure it, US sympathizers are in every ministry, with those most trusted in key ones.
Engdahl sums up the damage to agriculture:
“The forced transformation of Iraq’s food production into patented GMO crops is one of the clearest examples of [how] Monsanto and other GMO giants are forcing [these] crops onto an unwilling or unknowing world population”.
They’re infesting the planet with them, one country at a time, and it’s futile trying to undo the damage they cause.
Planting the “Garden of Earthly Delights”
On 1 January 1995, the WTO was officially established, with powers to enforce its corporate-written laws on member states. US agribusiness was already dominant, but it now had a new, unelected, supranational body to advance its private agenda on a global scale.
WTO is a “policeman” for global free trade and a predatory “battering ram for the trillion-dollar annual world agribusiness” part of it for its giants.
Its rules were written with teeth for “punitive leverage” to levy heavy financial and other penalties on rule violators. Under them, agriculture is a priority because American companies are dominant. Cargill wrote the rules that Engdahl calls the “Cargill Plan.”
- ban all government farm programs and price supports worldwide (but wink and nod at massive US subsidies)
- prohibit countries from imposing import controls to defend their own agricultural production
- ban agricultural export controls, even in times of famine, so that Cargill can dominate the world export grain trade
- forbid countries from restricting trade through food safety laws called “trade barriers”
- this demand also opens world markets to unrestricted imports of GMO foods, with no need for their safety to be proved.
The International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) lobby worked with Cargill and US agribusiness to advance this agenda.
The so-called Group of Four (Quad) countries took the lead:
- the United States
- the European Union (EU)
Meeting in secret, they set policy for all 134 WTO members that for agriculture was drafted by US agribusiness giants including Cargill, Monsanto, ADM and DuPont, along with EU giants Nestlé and Unilever.
Their policy was designed to erase national laws and safeguards in favor of unrestricted free markets favoring Global North countries.
Through patents, GMO giants control staple crop seeds and need WTO leverage to force them on a skeptical world. It’s done through the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), along with its Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Until the advent of agribusiness, food production and markets were local. That’s now changed, with corporate giants in control and able to set prices by manipulating supply.
AoA rules were established to help.
They also enforce agribusiness’s highest priority:
“a free and integrated global market for its products”.
Included are GMO ones which the senior Bush administration ruled are “substantially equivalent” to ordinary seeds and crops and need no government regulation.
That provision is written into WTO rules under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement. It states that national laws banning GMO products are “unfair trade practices”, even when they endanger human health.
Other WTO rules, under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, are in place which prohibit GMO labeling. As a result, consumers don’t know what they’re eating and can’t avoid these potentially hazardous foods. The 1996 Biosafety Protocol was drafted to solve this problem, and it should be in place for that purpose.
Developing-country demands, however, were “ambushed by the powerful organized government and agribusiness lobby”. It sabotaged talks and insisted biosafety measures be subordinate to WTO trade rules favoring developed states. As a result, talks collapsed, safety concerns were ignored and the path was cleared for the unrestricted spread of GMO seeds worldwide.
Under the WTO’s TRIPS rules, all member states must pass patent-protecting intellectual property laws that make knowledge property. That, in turn, “open[s] the floodgates” nearly everywhere for the proliferation of GMO seeds and foods, even in violation of national food safety laws.
GMO giants have powerful friends in government backing their agenda. George W. Bush is one of them, and in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, he made the proliferation of GMO seeds his top priority. With that support, GMO companies have been pushing things to the limit.
Engdahl gives a brazen example involving the Texas biotech company, RiceTec. It schemed to patent basmati rice, the dietary staple across Asia for thousands of years. With IRRI collusion, the company stole the seeds and patented them under Rockefeller Foundation–crafted rules. The 2001 US Supreme Court decision in Ag Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred made this possible; it,
“enshrined the principle of allowing patents on plant forms and other forms of life”.
Under the ruling, GMO plant breeds can be patented - and US government agencies are complicit in helping agribusiness giants ensure that nothing stops them from doing it. As a result, the GMO monoculture onslaught threatens plant species diversity everywhere.
With full backing from Washington and the WTO, major biotech companies are patenting every plant imaginable in GMO form.
Engdahl refers to the “Gene Revolution [as being a] monsoon force in world agriculture” by the beginning of the new millennium, with four dominant companies controlling GMOs and related agrichemical markets:
- Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences in the USA
- Syngenta in Switzerland (created from the merger of the agriculture divisions of Novartis and AstraZeneca)
The “world’s number one” is Monsanto. The company was discussed in part one of this review, and Engdahl quotes its chairman as saying his goal is a global fusion of,
“three of the largest industries in the world - agriculture, food and health - that now operate [separately, but] changes... will lead to their integration”.
That was over seven years ago. Now it’s happening.
Engdahl covers pertinent information on the industry that might otherwise have gone unnoticed: that the three US GMO giants have a long and sordid association with the Pentagon, supplying massively destructive chemicals like Agent Orange, napalm and others. They now want to be trusted with the most important things we ingest - our food and drugs - in the face of strong evidence that their GMO varieties harm human health.
Their history of concern for public safety is atrocious.
Like it or not, they’re advancing their agenda, and a 2004 Rockefeller Foundation report shows it. GM crop production achieved double-digit increases for nine consecutive years since 1996. More than eight million farmers in 17 countries now plant GM crops, over 90 per cent in developing nations.
Far and away, the US is the world’s leader,
“with aggressive Government promotion, absence of labeling, and the domination of US farm production”.
“genetically engineered crops [have] essentially taken over the American food chain”.
In 2004, over 85 per cent of soybeans and 45 per cent of corn seeds were genetically modified, and, since animal feed is mainly from these crops,
“the entire meat production of the nation [and exports] has been fed on genetically modified animal feed”.
What animals eat, so do humans.
It gets even worse. Wind and air proliferate GM seeds to adjacent fields, including organic ones which are now to some degree contaminated.
“...after just six years, an estimated 67 per cent of all US farm acreage has been [irredeemably] contaminated with genetically engineered seeds. The genie was out of the bottle”.
Nothing known to science can reverse this condition.
This renders “pure organic” growing an impossibility, except perhaps in very isolated farms that comprise a small percentage of the industry. Even so, organic crops are safer than chemically treated ones and hugely preferable to any that are genetically modified. That said, as the Gene Revolution advances worldwide, the future of organic farming is imperiled - to the horror of people who, like this writer, depend on it.
Consider further the way GMO giants gain market share with government and WTO backing, helped by the imposition of rigid licensing and technology agreements on farmers who must pay annual fees. They’re binding and enforced through Technology Use Agreements that farmers have to sign and, by so doing, entrap themselves in a “new form of serfdom”.
Each year, they must buy new seeds and they’re forbidden to reuse any from previous years as was customary before GMO introductions. Failure to observe the agreements can result in severe legal damages or even imprisonment and possible loss of their land.
Complicit government agencies and clever marketing schemes aid the “Gene Revolution” through “lies and damn lies” that GMO crops have higher yields and can solve world hunger problems. The evidence proves otherwise. In addition, resistant “superweeds” develop over time and crop yields drop. Farmers must use greater amounts of herbicides, are locked into high user-fees and end up losing money.
The bottom line:
the case for “genetically engineered seeds for agriculture [was] based on a citadel of scientific fraud and corporate lies”.
This information is hidden from the public, and it’s too late once unwary farmers learn they’ve been had.
Evidence was growing on GMO dangers, and the industry was alarmed. By 2005, Russian science showed that GMOs cause harm that can start in utero: over half the offspring of rats fed a genetically modified soybean diet died in their first three weeks of life - six times the normal rate.
Population Control - Terminators, Traitors and Contraceptive Corn Seed
Crucial to its strategy, GMO giants needed a “new technology which would allow them to sell seed that would not reproduce”.
They developed genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) that produce so-called “Terminator” seeds. The process is patented and applies to seeds of all plant species. Replanting them doesn’t work: they won’t grow. It’s the industry’s solution to controlling world food production and assuring themselves big profits as a result. What a discovery!
Terminator corn, soybean and other seeds have been “genetically modified to ‘commit suicide’ after one harvest season” by a toxin-producing inbuilt gene.
A closely related, second-generation technology, T-GURT, produces seeds nicknamed “Traitor” seeds. The technology relies on controlling a plant’s fertility and genetic characteristics with “an inducible gene promoter” called a “gene switch”.
GMO crops that are pest- and disease-resistant only work by using a specific chemical compound that companies like Monsanto make. Farmers buying seeds illegally won’t get the compound to “turn on” the resistant gene. Traitor technology thus creates a captive new market for the GMO giants, and Traitor seeds are cheaper to produce than Terminator seeds.
Combined, these two technologies give agribusiness giants unprecedented powers:
“For the first time in history, it [lets] three or four private multinational seed companies... dictate terms to world farmers for their seed”.
It’s a biological warfare tool almost “too good to believe”, in the face of the open citizen opposition which the industry and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) aim to quash.
Engdahl quotes USDA spokesman Willard Phelps from a June 1998 interview, saying the agency wanted Terminator technology to be “widely licensed and made expeditiously available to many seed companies”. Hidden was the reason why: to introduce these seeds to the developing world as the prime Rockefeller Foundation strategy.
Engdahl calls it a,
“Trojan Horse for Western GMO seed giants to get control over Third World food supplies in areas with weak or non-existent patent laws”.
It became an urgent Foundation priority to spread the seeds worldwide to capture world markets irreversibly. The USDA fully backed the scheme.
That kind of muscle (along with WTO rules) is overwhelming. It’s the tactic used when the US Departments of State and Agriculture coordinate famine relief using surplus US genetically engineered commodities. Farmers getting GMO seeds aren’t told what they are: they plant them unwittingly for the next harvest and get hooked.
And the proliferation isn’t restricted to Africa. The industry’s goal is to introduce GMOs everywhere, through coercion, bribery and other illegal tactics, but especially in highly indebted developing states. In the case of Poland, the soil - which was amongst the richest in Europe - is now spoiled by genetic contamination.
Consider how the scheme ties in with Rockefeller Foundation population control strategy. In 2001, the scheme was aided when the privately owned biotech company Epicyte announced it had successfully developed the “ultimate GMO crop”: contraceptive corn seed.
It was called a solution to world “over-population”, but news about it vanished after Biolex acquired the company.
One way or another, the Rockefeller Foundation aims to reduce population. It’s also doing it cooperatively with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) by quietly funding its “reproductive health” program through the use of a tetanus vaccine. Combined with hCG natural hormones, it’s an abortion agent that prevents pregnancy, but women getting it aren’t being told.
Nothing is said about the Pentagon’s view of population reduction as a sophisticated form of “’biological warfare’ [to] solve world hunger”.
Avian Flu Panic and GMO Chickens
In 2005, George W. Bush duped the public into believing that a so-called avian (bird) flu epidemic threatened to become a pandemic if not addressed.
The solution, as always, was to turn to the private sector and reward his friends. In this case, he asked Congress to appropriate an emergency one billion taxpayer-dollars for a drug, Tamiflu.
Unmentioned was a key fact: it was developed and patented by Gilead Science - whose chairman prior to becoming US Defense Secretary was Donald Rumsfeld and who was still a major stockholder. The scare, combined with government funding and a rising stock price, stood to make him a fortune, just as Dick Cheney has profited as Vice President from his Halliburton ties.
“Was the avian flu scare another Pentagon hoax” with an unknown aim?
Based on known and suppressed past government actions, “a supposedly deadly” new flu strain “had to be treated with more than a little suspicion”. It was being used to advance global agribusiness and poultry factory farm interests “along the model of Arkansas-based Tyson Foods”.
Consider the facts. Factory farms are breeding grounds for potential disease proliferation because of their cramped, overcrowded conditions, but this was never mentioned as a threat. Instead, small family-run free-range chicken farms were cited as culprits, especially in Asia, when, in fact, that notion is at least very unlikely. Small farms like these are the safest, but an industry–government propaganda campaign claimed otherwise.
The scheme is clear.
Five multinational giants dominate US chicken meat production and processing:
- Tyson (the largest)
- Gold Kist
- Pilgrim’s Pride
- ConAgra Poultry
- Perdue Farms
They produce chicken meat under “atrocious health and safety conditions”.
According to the US GAO (Government Accountability Office), workers in these processing plants have “one of the highest rates of injury and illness of any industry”. Cited was exposure to “dangerous chemicals, blood, fecal matter, exacerbated by poor ventilation and often extreme temperatures”.
In addition, chickens are tightly cramped and,
“prevented from moving or getting any exercise on factory farms [so they can] grow... much larger [and faster] than ever before”.
Growth boosters are also used, which create health problems.
Growing numbers of animal experts believe these farms, not small Asian ones, are the real source of dangerous new diseases like avian flu. That information is suppressed in the mainstream, so the public is duped. It’s so that chicken-processing giants can globalize world production, with the avian flu scare “gift from heaven” to help them. If small Asian chicken farmers can be squeezed out, Tyson and the others can access the huge Asian poultry market. That’s their aim, and removing competition is their method - with help from friends in high places.
Creating the first GMO animal population is also part of the scheme, with the prospect of transforming the world’s chickens into GMO birds.
Engdahl puts it this way:
“By 2006, riding the fear of an avian flu human epidemic, the GMO or Gene Revolution players were clearly aiming to conquer the world’s most important source of meat protein, poultry”.
But another scheme to dominate world food production also lay ahead:
“Terminator was about to come into the control of the world’s largest GMO agribusiness seed giant”.
Genetic Armageddon - Terminators and Patents on Pigs
In 2007, Monsanto acquired Delta & Pine Land (D&PL) to complete its aborted 1999 takeover attempt.
D&PL had global Terminator patent rights and successfully extended them on GURTs. The deal made Monsanto “the overwhelming monopolist of agricultural seeds of nearly every variety”, including fruits and vegetables taken up in the company’s acquisition of Seminis a year earlier. With that company, Monsanto is now first in vegetables and fruits, second in agronomic crops, and the third-largest agrichemical company in the world.
With D&PL, the company has absolute control over the majority of agricultural plant seeds as well. In addition, it’s getting into the genetic engineering and patenting of animals.
In 2005, Monsanto applied to the WTO for international patent rights for its claimed genetic engineering of a means to identify pig genes derived from patented swine semen. The company also wants patents and the right to collect license fees for particular farm animals and livestock herds.
“[a]ny pigs that would be produced using this reproductive technique would be covered by these patents”.
Several techniques are being used and patented as fast as GMO lawyers can submit applications to lock up animal life as intellectual property.
Companies like Monsanto and Cargill have invested huge amounts to genetically modify animals for profit. They thus want patent and licensing rights to the results, even though this represents a controversial goal to patent life itself. A 1980 US Supreme Court decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty, however, gave them an opening by ruling that “anything under the sun that is made by man” is patentable. It paved the way for a landmark patent of the “Harvard mouse” that was genetically engineered to be susceptible to cancer.
Engdahl explains how four agribusiness giants used “stealth, system, and a well-supported campaign of lies and distortion” to progress toward Henry Kissinger’s ultimate goal: controlling oil to control nations, and food to control people.
The pursuit of both are ongoing, with little public knowledge of how far advanced things are and how reckless the scheme is: to genetically engineer all plants and life-forms and to control world population by culling its “unwanted” parts.
Afterword - Marshalling Opposition
A September 2006 WTO tribunal ruled for the US and against the EU.
In so doing, it threatens to open this important agricultural region to the “forced introduction [of] genetically manipulated plants and food products”.
It recommended the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) require the EU to conform with its obligations under WTO’s SPS Agreement that lets agribusiness ignore national laws and rights that protect public health and safety. Failure to comply can cost EU countries hundreds of millions of dollars in annual fines, so this issue is crucial to both sides.
At the time of Engdahl’s writing, it was unclear if the “GMO juggernaut would be stopped globally”. It’s still uncertain, but as of December 2007 only nine biotech food products are authorized for sale in the EU. So far, most US corn exports are blocked and trade in other products is hindered in spite of dozens of applications pending in the pipeline, their fate undecided.
Several EU countries, including France, Germany, Austria and Denmark, even ban some EU-approved biotech food products, further clouding the outlook. Polls show why, with European public opinion strongly opposed to GMO foods and ingredients. Hostility levels in France are as high as 89 per cent, with 79 per cent wanting governments to ban them.
This shows that European consumers are far ahead of Americans and much better protected (so far) by their overall exclusion as well as having labeling requirements for those products allowed to be sold. That provision is crucial as it empowers consumers to decide whether to use or avoid these foods. If enough people abstain, food outlets won’t carry them.
Engdahl ends on a high note by observing how vulnerable GMO giants are to criticism. Thrusting untested products down consumers’ throats is “grounds for organizing a global ban or moratorium on them” if enough vocal opposition can be marshaled. Throughout his book, he sounds the alarm with reams of carefully documented facts on the industry, its products and goals.
Converting world agriculture to GMOs, allowing agribusiness free rein over them, and combining that scheme with a diabolical population-culling agenda add up to solving world hunger through genocide and endangering the rest of us in the process.
So far, Washington and the industry are on a roll towards controlling oil and food. Hundreds of millions around the world stand opposed, but it’s unclear if that’s enough.
Engdahl’s book is a wake-up call for every friend of the Earth to understand that issues this crucial can’t be left in the hands of unscrupulous business giants and their supportive friends in high places everywhere. The book has reams of ammunition against them. It needs to be thoroughly read and its information used. The stakes are much too high.
Human health and safety must never be compromised for profit.
On March 11, 2008, a new documentary was aired on French television - a documentary that Americans won’t ever see.
The World According to Monsanto
The gigantic bio-tech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years
Video-available also at www.truthalwayswins.net
Genetically Engineered Rice is a Trojan Horse: Misled by Bill Gates and Monsanto
Posted By Dr. Mercola | June 21 2011
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has approved $20 million in new monies toward the development of "golden rice" -- an untested, highly controversial GE (genetically engineered) crop that threatens biodiversity and risks bringing economic and ecological disaster to Asia's farms.
The leader of the Golden Rice project is Gerald Barry, previously director of research at Monsanto.
Sarojeni V. Rengam, executive director of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), has called the rice a "Trojan horse." According to Rengam, the rice is "... a public relations stunt pulled by the agri-business corporations to garner acceptance of GE crops and food. The whole idea of GE seeds is to make money."
Food Freedom reports:
"Golden rice is a Trojan horse for pushing through GE-friendly biosafety regulations under the guise of humanitarian aid. Once in place, these regulations open the door for the biotech industry to bring in commercial, patented GE crops; USAID and Monsanto accomplished exactly this in Kenya with their sweet potato project."
In Thailand at least, however, a little known and unpublicized agricultural policy protects Thai rice from the risks of GMO's. The Thai Ministry of Agriculture's "Rice Strategy" is a master plan committed to strengthening the nation's rice production while promoting farmers' livelihoods and consumer confidence -- which includes keeping Thai rice GMO (genetically modified organism)-free.
Adding to the risks of GE crops is Monsanto's Roundup, the world's best-selling herbicide that is made to be partnered with GE Roundup Ready crops. According to a new report, regulators have known for years that Roundup causes birth defects.
Regulators were apparently aware as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient of Roundup, caused birth defects in lab animals. However, the information was not made public. Instead, regulators misled the public about glyphosate's safety.
According to the Huffington Post:
"... [A]s recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the German government body dealing with the glyphosate review, told the European Commission that there was no evidence glyphosate causes birth defects ...
Although glyphosate was originally due to be reviewed in 2012, the Commission decided late last year not to bring the review forward, instead delaying it until 2015. The chemical will not be reviewed under more stringent, up-to-date standards until 2030."
Golden rice is a strain of rice genetically modified to produce beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. It has been promoted as a way to alleviate vitamin A deficiency, which is common in developing countries where people don't have regular access to beta-carotene-rich foods, like vegetables and fruits.
It sounds like a plausible theory, and the push to cultivate golden rice in Asia has been promoted as a noble cause that has gathered the support of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- in the form of $20 million toward development.
But it doesn't take much digging beneath the surface to uncover the true motives of the corporations seeking to plant golden rice in the developing world, and they have much more to do with dollars and cents than they do with alleviating nutritional deficiencies. In fact, there's reason to believe that genetically modified (GM) golden rice will do little to improve vitamin A levels in the poor -- and may actually make vitamin A deficiency (VAD) worse.
Golden Rice is Not a Viable Source of Vitamin A
Your body can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient your body needs for healthy eyesight and warding off viral infections. But, your body can only perform this conversion under certain conditions. Specifically, beta-carotene is fat-soluble, which means dietary fat is required for your body to convert it into vitamin A. But many people in developing countries eat very low-fat diets, as they simply do not have access to animal foods or other fat sources very often.
In fact, it has been suggested that malnourished people might not convert beta carotene to vitamin A efficiently, which blows the usefulness of golden rice clearly out of the water, as its intended recipients are virtually guaranteed to be malnourished.
Further, you would need to eat an unrealistic amount of rice each day -- upwards of 16 pounds a day-- to get the recommended amount of vitamin A. As stated in this golden rice case study from Iowa State University:
"Even if golden rice is successfully introduced … a woman would need to eat 16 lbs. of cooked rice every day in order to get sufficient Vitamin A, if golden rice were her only source of the nutrient. A child would need 12 lbs.
More realistically, three servings of 1/2 lb. cooked golden rice per day would provide only 10% of her daily Vitamin A requirement, and less than 6% if she were breast-feeding. Yet even these modest contributions are uncertain. In order to absorb beta carotene, the human body requires adequate amounts of zinc, protein and fats, elements often lacking in the diets of poor people.
Those with diarrhea – common in developing countries – are also unable to obtain vitamin A from golden rice."
Golden Rice May Cause Vitamin A Deficiency by Thwarting Biodiversity
What people in the developing world need to receive ample dietary vitamin A is access to a diverse range of nutritious foods -- including animal products like eggs, cheese and meat and vegetables such as dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes. This is the type of diet that is attained from biodiverse farming -- the opposite of what will occur if golden rice is planted on a large scale.
As written in a Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PANAP) press release:
" … it has to be emphasized that fat intake is the basic prerequisite for the absorption and utilization of beta carotene which, like Vitamin A, is fat but not water soluble, while proteins and Vitamin D enhance absorption of it. Unfortunately, the diets of families in communities where vitamin A deficiency is endemic have low fat content—mainly because they are poor and do not have access to a sufficient amount as well as a diverse enough range of food.
… In a biodiverse farm, a family would have easy access to all these [beta carotene and vitamin-A-rich foods]. But the mono-cropping agricultural technology, promoted through IRRI's [International Rice Research Institute] Green Revolution, has to a large extent, destroyed dietary biodiversity in rural Asia, which is the main cause of malnutrition.
This has seriously aggravated VAD. In fact, the Green Revolution has caused the loss of thousands of diverse local rice varieties, which were replaced first by IRRI's so-called 'high yielding varieties' and then by hybrid varieties. Many of these local varieties had special nutritional value. Golden Rice perpetuates the industrial model of agriculture and so instead of reducing VAD, it will actually contribute to worsening its rate of occurrence."
Former Monsanto Director Leading the Golden Rice Initiative
The leader of IRRI's Golden Rice project is Gerald Barry, the previous director of research at Monsanto. In case you are not familiar with Monsanto, they are the world leader in genetically modified crops and they have been aggressively trying to plant their seeds in nations around the world for some time now.
As reported by Netline, Monsanto and other biotech companies have collaborated with the Gates Foundation via the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to inject genetically modified crops into Africa. The Gates Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to AGRA, and in 2006 Robert Horsch was hired for the AGRA project. Horsch was a Monsanto executive for 25 years.
In a previous Huffington Post article, Eric Holt Gimenez sums it up nicely:
"Under the guise of "sustainability" the [Gates] Foundation has been spearheading a multi-billion dollar effort to transform Africa into a GMO-friendly continent. The public relations flagship for this effort is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a massive Green Revolution project."
It would be naive at this point to think that these collaborations are designed to solve any other problem than how to help Monsanto monopolize the world's food supply with expensive GM seeds that have to be purchased each year and require expensive chemical treatment.
Asia is simply the next region on the roster, and this is precisely why Food Freedom called golden rice a "Trojan horse for introducing GM crops around the world:
"Golden rice is a Trojan horse for pushing through GE-friendly biosafety regulations under the guise of humanitarian aid. Once in place, these regulations open the door for the biotech industry to bring in commercial, patented GE crops."
The alarming part is, Monsanto is apparently seeking to monopolize the world's food supply with its toxic GM crops -- and already we are beginning to see the ramifications of this dangerous approach to farming.
Regulators Knew World's Best-Selling Herbicide Could Cause Birth Defects
A new report from Earth Open Source has revealed that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide not only causes birth defects, but industry regulators have known this for years and did nothing about it. After reviewing industry studies and regulatory documents used to approve Roundup, they noted:
Residues of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide found in GM food and feed have also been linked to cell damage and even death, even at very low levels. Researchers have also found it causes membrane and DNA damage, and inhibits cell respiration.
Glyphosate is the world's bestselling weed killer, and it's found in more than 30 percent of all herbicides. While Roundup Ready crops can withstand the toxin because of GM genetic material from viruses and bacteria, the weed killer is thought to be contributing to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a deadly plant disease that causes plants to turn yellow and die.
As reported by GM expert Jeffrey Smith, numerous studies have linked glyphosate to increases in SDS, including in crops that have never been sprayed with the herbicide but were planted in a field that received an application the previous season.
The use of Roundup herbicide has increased dramatically since the GM Roundup Ready crops were introduced. In the first 13 years, American farmers sprayed an additional 383 million pounds of herbicide due to these herbicide-tolerant crops. The repeated exposures have given Mother Nature all she needs to stage her comeback, not only in the form of SDS, but also in the form of devastating superweeds.
Despite all of these glaring red flags, nothing is being done to remove this toxin from the market. As Earth Open Source reported:
"All of these concerns could be addressed by an objective review of Roundup and glyphosate … just such a review was due to take place in 201. However, shortly after the Commission was notified of the latest research showing that glyphosate and Roundup causes birth defects, it quietly passed a directive delaying the review until 2015 …
But in reality, the Commission's slowness in preparing the new data requirements for the incoming regulation mean that glyphosate may well not be re-assessed in the light of up-to-date science until 2030. The beneficiary will be the pesticide industry; the victim will be public health."
Why is Bill Gates Supporting Monsanto's GM Crops?
Gates has tried to keep his ties to genetically modified seeds on the down-low, but the issue got major attention last year when Monsanto tried to inject its hybrid seeds into Haiti after a massive earthquake devastated the island. Fortunately, the Haitian farmers were too smart to fall for this devious scheme. Farmer groups criticized the Gates Foundation's involvement, committed to burning the GM seed, and called for a march to protest Monsanto's presence in Haiti.
Social movements around the world are pressuring their governments for a moratorium on unproven GM seeds and foods, yet the United States is giving Monsanto free reign, aiding and abetting their agenda, and the Gates Foundation is starting to look more and more like just another arm to further Monsanto's reach.
In the second quarter of 2010, the Gates Foundation purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock with an estimated worth of $23.1 million, which means they have a hefty interest in the success of Monsanto's golden rice and other initiatives.
How to Bow Out of the Madness
If you want to get involved on a global scale, you can sign PANAP's People's Statement on Saving the Rice of Asia, which calls upon national, regional and international policy makers to ban genetically modified rice, along with seven other actions, to "save … rice, the staple food of half the world's population, from the greed of agrochemical transnational corporations."
In Thailand, the Thai Ministry of Agriculture has already implemented a successful "Rice Strategy," which bans GM rice, labeling it unnecessary and a risk to sustainable farming -- and the hope is that regions around the world will soon follow suit.
On an individual level, you can get educated on GM foods, which are prevalent in your supermarket right now (virtually all processed foods contain GM ingredients, unless they are certified organic), so you can opt out of including these foods in your diet.
To start, I urge you to print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
If you're feeling really ambitious you can order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and distribute them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.
For more information, I highly recommend reading the following two books, authored by Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology:
There are also a number of great films and lectures available, including: