Terminator Seeds 3: Convergence of our food supply to Global Powers and the great “Culling”?? You decide.
Planting the “Garden of Earthly Delights”
By Stephen Lendman
On January 1, 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 are 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.” They:
- 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 Cargill can dominate world export grain trade; and
- Forbid countries from restricting trade through food safety laws called trade barriers; this demand also opens world markets to unrestricted GMO food imports with no need to prove their safety.
The International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council lobby (IPC) worked with Cargill and US agribusiness to advance this agenda. Four so-called Group of Four QUAD countries took the lead – the US, Canada, Japan and EU. Meeting in secret, they set policy for all 134 WTO members that for agriculture was drafted by US agribusiness giants like Cargill, Monsanto, ADM and DuPont along with EU giants, Nestle and Unilever. They were 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 WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) along with its Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Until the advent of agribusiness, food production and its 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’ highest priority – “a free and integrated global market for its products.” Included are GMO ones 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 its “Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS). It states that national laws banning GMO products are “unfair trade practices” even when they endanger human health. Other WTO rules (called “Technical Barriers to Trade”) are in place as well. They prohibit GMO labeling so 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 are ignored, and the path was cleared for the unrestricted spread of GMO seeds worldwide.
Under 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 Bush is one of them, and in 2003 he made the proliferation of GMO seeds his top priority after the Iraq war. (NOTE: It was George HW Bush, VP under Reagan, that helped Monsanto get into the ‘seed” market) With that support, GMO companies are pushing things to the limit with a brazen example Engdahl gave 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, patented them under Rockefeller Foundation-crafted rules, and the 2001 Supreme Court decision in Ag Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred made it possible.
It “enshrined the principle of allowing patents on plant forms and other forms of life in (this) groundbreaking case.” Under the ruling, GMO plant breeds can be patented, and US government agencies are complicit in helping agribusiness giants ensure nothing stops them from doing it.
As a result, the GMO monoculture onslaught threatens plant species diversity everywhere. With full Washington and WTO backing, major biotech companies are patenting every plant imaginable in GMO form. By the beginning of the new millennium, Engdahl referred to a “Gene Revolution (as a) monsoon force in world agriculture” with four dominant companies controlling GMOs and related agrichemical markets” – Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Agrisciences and Syngenta in Switzerland from the merger of the agriculture divisions of Novartis and AstraZeneca.
The “world’s number one” is Monsanto. The company was discussed in Part I of this review, and Engdahl quoted its chairman 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 covered pertinent information on the industry that might otherwise have gone unnoticed – that the three US GMO giants have a long 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 their GMO varieties harm human health and their history of public safety concern is atrocious.
Like it or not, they’re advancing their agenda, and a 2004 Rockefeller Foundation report shows it. GM crop production achieved nine consecutive double digit year increases since 1996. More than eight million farmers in 17 countries now plant them, over 90% 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.” Here, “genetically engineered crops (have) essentially taken over the American food chain.” In 2004, over 85% of soybeans were genetically modified, 45% of corn, 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 that are now to some degree contaminated. Engdahl explained that “after just six years, an estimated 67% of all US farm acreage has been (irremedially) contaminated with genetically engineered seeds. The genie was out of the bottle” as nothing known to science can reverse this condition.
It renders the notion of pure organic impossible except from perhaps very isolated farms that comprise a small percent 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 like this writer dependent on them.
Consider further the way GMO giants gain market share with government and WTO backing. It’s also helped by imposing rigid licensing and technology agreements on farmers who must pay annual fees. They’re binding and enforced through Technology Use Agreements 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, crop yields drop, farmers must use greater amounts of herbicides, they’re locked into high user fees, and they end up losing money. Bottom line – the case for “genetically engineered seeds for agriculture had been 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.
Besides that, Russian science showed GMOs harm unborn babies as over half the rat offsring fed a genetically modified soybean diet died in their first three weeks of life – six times the normal rate. Evidence was growing on GMO dangers, and the industry was alarmed. In 1999, it “required an extraordinary intervention by its patron saint, the Rockefeller Foundation,” to pull its fat out of the fire.
Population Control – Terminators, Traitors, Spermicidal Corn
Crucial to its strategy, GMO giants needed a “new technology which would allow them to sell seed that would not reproduce.” They developed one called GURTs (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies) that became known as “Terminator” seeds. The process is patented, it applies to all plant and seed species, and 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 technology is called T-GURT seeds, or second generation Terminators, nicknamed “Traitor.” The technology relies on controlling both plant fertility and its genetic characteristics with “an inducible gene promoter” called a “gene switch.” GMO pest and disease-resistant crops only work by using a specific chemical compound 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 is 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 open citizen opposition the industry and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) aim to quash.
Engdahl quoted 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 called 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 irreversibly capture world markets. USDA fully backed the scheme.
Current Government Admin Trying to Outlaw Organic Farming
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 genetically engineered US surplus commodities. Farmers getting GMO seeds aren’t told what they are, they plant them unwittingly for the next harvest, get hooked, and the proliferation isn’t restricted to Africa. Through coercion, bribery and other illegal tactics, the industry’s goal is to introduce them everywhere but especially in highly indebted developing states. In the case of Poland, it was in a country with some of the richest European soil that’s now spoiled by genetic contamination.
Consider how the scheme ties in with Rockefeller Foundation population control strategy. In 2001, it was aided when the privately-owned biotech company, Epicyte, announced it successfully developed the “ultimate GMO crop” – contraceptive corn. It was called a solution to world “over-population,” but news about it vanished after Biolex acquired the company.
One way or other,
“the Rockefeller Foundation aims to reduce population through human reproduction by spreading GMO seeds.”
It’s doing it cooperatively with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) by quietly funding its “reproductive health” program through the use of an innovative tetanus vaccine. Combined with hCG natural hormones, it’s an abortion agent preventing pregnancies, but women getting it aren’t told. Neither is anything said about the Pentagon viewing population reduction as a sophisticated form of “biological warfare” (to) solve world hunger.”
Avian Flu Panic and GMO Chickens
In 2005, George Bush duped the public into believing a so-called Avian (bird flu) epidemic threatened a pandemic if not addressed. The solution as always is turn to the private sector and reward his friends. In this case, he asked Congress to appropriate an emergency $1 billion taxpayer dollars for a drug Tamiflu.Unmentioned was a key fact. It was developed and patented by Gilead Science and, that prior to becoming Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld was its chairman and 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 profited as Vice-President from his Halliburton ties. Engdahl asked: “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-ranging chicken farmers 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 and Perdue Farms. They produce chicken meat under “atrocious health and safety conditions.” According to the GAO, these plants had “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, they create health problems, and 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 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 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 world chickens into GMO birds. Engdahl put 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: Terminator 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” that includes fruits and vegetables from 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 world’s third largest agrochemical company. With D&PL, the company has absolute control over the majority of plant agricultural seeds as well. In addition, they’re getting into the genetic engineering and patenting of animal seeds.
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 male swine semen. The company also wants patents and the right to collect license fees for particular farm animals and livestock herds. If granted, “Any 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 Supreme Court decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty, however, gave them an opening by ruling “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 explained 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.
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 to 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, only nine biotech 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 with their fate undecided.
Several EU countries, including France, Germany, Austria and Denmark, even ban some EU-approved biotech products to further cloud the outlook. Polls show why with European public opinion strongly opposed to GMO foods and ingredients with hostility levels in France as high as 89% and 79% wanting governments to ban them. This shows 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 allowed to be sold. That provision is crucial as it empowers consumers to use or avoid eating 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 consumer 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 reign over them, and combining that scheme with a diabolical population culling agendaadds 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 toward 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 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 used. The stakes are much too high – human health and safety must never be compromised for profit.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com
**NOTE to Readers: I first cross posted this on Ireport on March 23, 2009
To view comments and some of the debates over this go to:
Report Part I at: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-233664
Report Part II at: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-234112
View Part III at: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-234051
Currently being Discussed is H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
More Related Links:
Federal Courts in the US have ruled against the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in three successive cases for failing to carry out proper environment impact assessment, making the original approvals of GM crops illegal.
Big Island prepares to ban GMO crops | Checkbiotech Home–what I could find of it is below…..??
HILO, Hawaii – The Big Island may make it illegal this week to grow genetically modified taro and coffee. The Hawaii County Council on Thursday plans to override a veto of an islandwide ban on testing, introduction and cultivation of genetically modified—http://greenbio.checkbiotech.org/news/big_island_prepares_ban_gmo_crops
NOTE ABOVE: This link above is NO LONGER locatable??? Hmmmm…….interesting!
Possible Related Links: