06 March 2011

Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods Reviewed, Part 2

Here is an excellent review of the book "Seeds of Deception". It clearly  outlines one of the most important dangers in the world to day: the genetic manipulation of our food supply by criminal corporations running amuck.

Part 2 of 2
Nexus Magazine
April-May 2008
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:
  • privatizations
  • deregulation
  • 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
  • deregulation
  • 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
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • 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.
Engdahl explains:
“...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.

Engdahl asks:
 “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.
If granted,
“[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.

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