Careful, don’t touch the food!
by Dee McLachlan
Many years ago I mentored a young couple making a film about child soldiers in Uganda. In one sequence they filmed a huge warehouse stacked high with sacks of US corn. At the time there were literally mountains of this subsidized GM (genetically modified) corn.
The young filmmakers then interviewed local farmers nearby. The farmers were growing a variety of (organic) beans, maize and vegetables. It was all organic, highly nutritious food sold at local markets. But they were going out of business — pushed out by the food AID pouring in, and flooding their market.
There was no famine, and I remember thinking how could the AID agencies not see what they were doing. Surely there were other ways to help these villages — as their actions were turning self reliant communities into dependent ones.
What a disaster.
And they probably had some high profile band holding a concert somewhere to raise money from rent-stressed guilty white-folk to feed the poor black-folk.
I understand now that it was part of the deliberate strategy to decimate the small farmer everywhere. Farmers are in the way of those with visions of a global agribusiness.
Designed Seeds That Don’t Seed
It is difficult to get one’s head around this. Who thought of this preposterous plan — designing plants that don’t seed?
Designing genetically modified crops (GMCs, or biotech crops) is commercially ingenious — and in some cases it may prove beneficial. However to do so with the intent of food domination is a huge attack on humanity.
GM plants have been genetically engineered to introduce new traits. This could mean better resistance to certain pests or diseases, or greater endurance in harsh environments. One can play God in a good way, I suppose.
The first such crops were planted in 1994, and between 1996 and 2015, the area of land cultivated with GM crops increased from 4.2 million acres to 444 million acres.
Don’t confuse genetic modification, GM, with selective breeding and cross-pollinating. Farmers have been cultivating new plant varieties for thousands of years. This is very different to engineering a pesticide toxin into corn (such as Bacillus thuringiensis that produces the Bt-toxin).
But, I am not going to debate here the merits of the technology — or the crops. I will merely recount a story that a scientist told me a few years ago.
I was filming a science documentary in Southern Africa — and off-camera, chatted to Dr Michael Marshall about his previous study in the US. He told me that it required working in fields planted with GM corn.
He said it was eerie working in the fields. The corn was growing — but the ecosystem was dead. There was nothing living apart from the corn. Not a bird, not an insect. Not a sound. And if his arm brushed a leaf — by the time he got home, a red rash would develop.
You don’t need to be a scientist to understand that something is not right.
I also won’t bother to report that many GM foods cause gastrointestinal and immune disorders, possibly accelerated aging, or infertility.
We know the research is lax, and often rigged. Don’t forget Monsanto told us Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were also safe.
This article, Part 3 in my series on Humanity in Crisis, focuses on the issue of “food ownership.”
GM or Hybrid seeds generally don’t reproduce a “true” second generation. The farmer gets a crop yield the first time around, and for the second time has to buy seeds again.
He or she becomes dependent on the company that owns the patent. But wait — even if the GM seed varieties can be saved and replanted — it is illegal a farmer to do so!!!
What a diabolical plot.
A Rigged System
I quote from a year-old article in The Conversation (9/12/2015). It is entitled, wouldn’t you know: “GM crops can benefit organic farmers too.”
“In the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date, researchers [Klümper and Qaim] from Goettingen University have concluded that the adoption of GM technology has: Reduced pesticide use by 37%, Increased crop yield by 22%, and Increased farmer profits by 68%.”
But when I did a search on the Klümper and Qaim study — the meta-analysis was on outdated data (before herbicide-resistant superweeds).
Oh, and they used data from Monsanto field trials.
I recommend that we ignore both sides of that “science,” and just think about the diversity of plant and animal life on the planet. It is beyond extraordinary. Yet a few corporations are experimenting with varieties that could contaminate ecosystems. These corporations are pushing against biodiversity and food diversity, and even now the loss of plant species is truly alarming.
It is lucky they have those seed vaults deep in the mountains in Norway. But Wikipedia tells us, that “…ownership remains with the depositor, who has the sole right of access to those materials in the seed vault. No one has access to anyone else’s seeds from the seed vault.” (All very 007.)
Free Trade and Global Consolidation
On the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website, in the section marked “What We Stand For“, I found this gem:
“A country should not discriminate between its trading partners and it should not discriminate between its own and foreign products, services or nationals.”
It also says:
“Members [that is, states] must not use environmental protection measures as a means of disguising protectionist policies.”
It goes on about discouraging ‘unfair’ practices, and seems to be promoting transparency. But it’s all an ingenious deception.
Nations cannot discriminate — but can corporations?
As Daniel Estulin writes in his book, TransEvolution:
“The blueprint for “market-orientated” agricultural reform was written by D Gale Johnson of the University of Chicago for Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commisions, and former Cargill executive Dan Amstutz played a prominent role in drafting … the GATT Urauguay round. Cargill is the world’s largest grain company.”
These large corporations have been writing the rules of global trade for decades. Of course corporations don’t care about borders, nations and people.
And so these trade agreements have been slowly eroded national economies, destroying the small farmer and putting control firmly in the hands of global giants. It was a cleverly conceived plan.
Interestingly, President-elect Donald Trump will be the first president to buck the trend, and a total of 19 EU countries have “opted out” of growing GM crops within all or part of their territories. Thankfully it is not all going to plan.
But beware — these companies will stop at nothing. The will use food supply as a WMD – Weapon of Mass Destruction. Starvation.
In Jean Ziegler’s book “Mass Destruction – the Geopolitics of Hunger”, he says the hunger crisis we are witnessing today is all because of… colossal mismanagement for profit.
Maybe it is not mismanagement.
The people running these companies don’t care. Their interest is in profits and power. They don’t care about the earth — and they definitely don’t care about humanity.
photo credit: healthimpactnews.com