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Offering Choice but Delivering Tyranny: The Corporate Capture of Agriculture

Colin Todhunter

Many lobbyists talk a lot about critics of genetic engineering technology denying choice to farmers. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies to maximise choice and options.

At the same time, somewhat ironically, they decry organic agriculture and proven agroecological approaches, presumably because these practices have no need for the proprietary inputs of the global agrochemical/agritech corporations they are in bed with.

And presumably because agroecology represents liberation from the tyranny of these profiteering, environment-damaging global conglomerates.

It is fine to talk about ‘choice’ but we do not want to end up offering a false choice (rolling out technologies that have little value and only serve to benefit those who control the technology), to unleash an innovation that has an adverse impact on others or to manipulate a situation whereby only one option is available because other options have been deliberately removed. And we would certainly not wish to roll out a technology that traps farmers on a treadmill that they find difficult to get off.

Surely, a responsible approach for rolling out important (potentially transformative) technologies would have to consider associated risks, including social, economic and health impacts.

Take the impact of the Green Revolution in India, for instance. Sold on the promise that hybrid seeds and associated chemical inputs would enhance food security on the basis of higher productivity, agriculture was transformed, especially in Punjab. But to gain access to seeds and chemicals many farmers had to take out loans and debt became (and remains) a constant worry.

Many became impoverished and social relations within rural communities were radically altered: previously, farmers would save and exchange seeds but now they became dependent on unscrupulous money lenders, banks and seed manufacturers and suppliers. Vandana Shiva in The Violence of the Green Revolution (1989) describes the social marginalisation and violence that accompanied the process.

On a macro level, the Green Revolution conveniently became tied to an international (neo-colonial) system of trade based on chemical-dependent agro-export mono-cropping linked to loans, sovereign debt repayment and World Bank/IMF structural adjustment (privatisation/deregulation) directives.

Many countries in the Global South were deliberately turned into food deficit regions, dependent on (US) agricultural imports and strings-attached aid.

The process led to the massive displacement of the peasantry and, according to the academics Eric Holt-Giménez et al, (Food rebellions: Crisis and the hunger for Justice, 2009), the consolidation of the global agri-food oligopolies and a shift in the global flow of food: developing countries produced a billion-dollar yearly surplus in the 1970s; they were importing $11 billion a year by 2004.

And it’s not as though the Green Revolution delivered on its promises.

In India, it merely led to more wheat in the diet, while food productivity per capita showed no increased or even actually decreased (see New Histories of the Green Revolution by Glenn Stone). And, as described by Bhaskar Save in his open letter (2006) to officials, it had dire consequences for diets, the environment, farming, health and rural communities.

The ethics of the Green Revolution – at least it was rolled out with little consideration for these impacts – leave much to be desired.

As the push to drive GM crops into India’s fields continues (the second coming of the green revolution – the gene revolution), we should therefore take heed. To date, the track record of GMOs is unimpressive, but the adverse effects on many smallholder farmers are already apparent (see Hybrid Bt cotton: a stranglehold on subsistence farmers in India by A P Gutierrez).

Aside from looking at the consequences of technology roll outs, we should, when discussing choice, also account for the procedures and decisions that were made which resulted in technologies coming to market in the first place.

Steven Druker, in his book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, argues that the decision to commercialise GM seeds and food in the US amounted to a subversion of processes put in place to serve the public interest.

The result has been a technology roll out which could result (is resulting) in fundamental changes to the genetic core of the world’s food. This decision ultimately benefited Monsanto’s bottom line and helped the US gain further leverage over global agriculture.

We must therefore put glib talk of the denial of technology by critics to one side if we are to engage in a proper discussion of choice. Any such discussion would account for the nature of the global food system and the dynamics and policies that shape it. This would include looking at how global corporations have captured the policy agenda for agriculture, including key national and international policy-making bodies, and the role of the WTO and World Bank.

Choice is also about the options that could be made available, but which have been closed off or are not even considered. In Ethiopia, for example, agroecology has been scaled up across the entire Tigray region, partly due to enlightened political leaders and the commitment of key institutions.

However, in places where global agribusiness/agritech corporations have leveraged themselves into strategic positions, their interests prevail. From the false narrative that industrial agriculture is necessary to feed the world to providing lavish research grants and the capture of important policy-making institutions, these firms have secured a thick legitimacy within policymakers’ mindsets and mainstream discourse.

As a result, agroecological approaches are marginalised and receive scant attention and support.

Monsanto had a leading role in drafting the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights to create seed monopolies. The global food processing industry wrote the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Whether it involves Codex or the US-India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture aimed at restructuring (destroying) Indian agriculture, the powerful agribusiness/food lobby has secured privileged access to policy makers and sets the policy agenda.

From the World Bank’s ‘enabling the business of agriculture’ to the Gates Foundation’s role in opening up African agriculture to global food and agribusiness oligopolies, democratic procedures at sovereign state levels are being bypassed to impose seed monopolies and proprietary inputs on farmers and to incorporate them into a global supply chain dominated by powerful corporations.

We have the destruction of indigenous farming in Africa as well as the ongoing dismantling of Indian agriculture and the deliberate impoverishment of Indian farmers at the behest of transnational agribusiness. Where is the democratic ‘choice’?

It has been usurped by corporate-driven Word Bank bondage (India is its biggest debtor in the bank’s history) and by a trade deal with the US that sacrificed Indian farmers for the sake of developing its nuclear sector.

Similarly, ‘aid’ packages for Ukraine – on the back of a US-supported coup – are contingent on Western corporations taking over strategic aspects of the economy. And agribusiness interests are at the forefront. Something which neoliberal apologists are silent on as they propagandise about choice, and democracy.

Ukraine’s agriculture sector is being opened up to Monsanto/Bayer. Iraq’s seed laws were changed to facilitate the entry of Monsanto.

India’s edible oils sector was undermined to facilitate the entry of Cargill. And Bayer’s hand is possibly behind the ongoing strategy to commercialise GM mustard in India. Whether on the back of militarism, secretive trade deals or strings-attached loans, global food and agribusiness conglomerates secure their interests and have scant regard for choice or democracy.

The ongoing aim is to displace localised, indigenous methods of food production and allow transnational companies to take over, tying farmers and regions to a system of globalised production and supply chains dominated by large agribusiness and retail interests. Global corporations with the backing of their host states, are taking over food and agriculture nation by nation.

Many government officials, the media and opinion leaders take this process as a given. They also accept that (corrupt) profit-driven transnational corporations have a legitimate claim to be owners and custodians of natural assets (the ‘commons’).

There is the premise that water, seeds, food, soil and agriculture should be handed over to these conglomerates to milk for profit, under the pretence these entities are somehow serving the needs of humanity.

Ripping land from peasants and displacing highly diverse and productive smallholder agriculture, rolling out very profitable but damaging technologies, externalising the huge social, environmental and health costs of the prevailing neoliberal food system and entire nations being subjected to the policies outlined above: how is any of it serving the needs of humanity?

It is not. Food is becoming denutrified, unhealthy and poisoned with chemicals and diets are becoming less diverse. There is a loss of plant and insect diversity, which threatens food security, soils are being degraded, water tables polluted and depleted and millions of smallholder farmers, so vital to global food production, are being pushed into debt in places like India and squeezed off their land and out of farming.

It is time to place natural assets under local ownership and to develop them in the public interest according to agroecological principles. This involves looking beyond the industrial yield-output paradigm and adopting a systems approach to food and agriculture that accounts for local food security and sovereignty, cropping patterns to ensure diverse nutrition production per acre, water table stability and good soil structure. It also involves pushing back against the large corporations that hold sway over the global food system and more generally challenging the leverage that private capital has over all our lives.

That’s how you ensure liberation from tyranny and support genuine choice.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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nottheonly1
nottheonly1

I am unsure if this essay is still frequented by readers, however, there is a news article on Truthout that must be added. If it does not even warrant to write a new essay about it.

How Monsanto employees wanted to beat ‘the shit out’ of concerned Moms

Truthout has a fundraising drive and they struggle to make it. If you can do so, please consider helping them out, since we do need more of this investigative journalism. OffGuardian and Truthout are two gems worth supporting. I would love to see them linked to each other. Thank You.

Junaid

In Ukraine, they were outraged by the positive nature of the talks held on August 19 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

“The funeral of sanctions” called the meeting of Putin and Macron

Junaid

In Ukraine, they were outraged by the positive nature of the talks held on August 19 by Russian President. “The funeral of sanctions” called the meeting of Putin and Macron

“The funeral of sanctions” called the meeting of Putin and Macron

wardropper
wardropper

It is time to place natural assets under local ownership and to develop them in the public interest according to agroecological principles … pushing back against the large corporations that hold sway over the global food system and more generally challenging the leverage that private capital has over all our lives.

Okay, yes, agreed, goes without saying, common sense, rational conclusion.
Now just tell me which governmental department is going to allow us to do that, because that’s where we all get stuck.
Who still thinks that the government is our friend?

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

The government is not our friend but who else can be ‘hired’ to do the right thing? We had a Labour government in South Australia and yet they privatized, then tyrannized us with more digitized systems.

Now the other side gets its turn and they privatize even more, wanting to allow the agro-businesses in for farmers’ ‘choice’. When you meet the politicians privately they are nearly all quite reasonable fellows but in their offices they set up these tyrannical systems.

wardropper
wardropper

Exactly. It no longer matters which political party has nominal control, because that control is, precisely, nominal.
We were asleep while this was all being prepared, and in any case we would never have believed twenty years ago that there was such an organized agenda designed to make sure we stay asleep.
As Caitlin Johnstone has often hinted, it is our capacity to think and to create a new narrative in opposition to the unbelievably wicked one which now rules which has the potential to save us, but that takes effort, and we are already very accustomed to being lazy, letting things just run their corrupt course.
Thinking is naturally not going to make corrupt capitalists into non-capitalists, or even into good capitalists, but we can at least know what is going on and try to let OUR narrative, based on a belief in genuine human evolution, gain influence step by step.
As I said, it takes effort, and there is a lot of ammo lined up against us.
Party politics today is a dead end, and a deadly enemy, because it stifles our potential to break out of the status quo.
Only what we have humanly in common can have a future now.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

I would like to add about that being asleep at the wheel. As a person who grew up in West Berlin, I have to say that our fear about having to live like in the communist countries was what defined us. Like a lover excuses the digressions of a lover we did not fall out of love with the western system. There were so many occasions when we just kind of shrugged our shoulders because a bad event was the price we accepted for our freedoms. We never really had the freedoms they said we had, but compared to the friends and relatives behind the Wall, we were kings.

Then the system collapsed and we thought it’ll be a smooth transition to what one imagines as a normal life. We were not asleep. We could not imagine that all and sundry, from the German Chancellor Kohl to French President Mitterrand, small entrepreneurs from Bielefeld, and the Khodorkovskys in the East, that they would abuse every opportunity to defraud, cheat and enrich. In practice freedom meant freedom for sophisticated banditry.

And here we are, the Americans can only be happy and survive if they can live their superiority complex, Russia was kind of bought out and had to take much of that back, China developed and makes their voice heard, Iran will never lie down and obey. It will be another 20 years until something happens for the next change to occur, hopefully this time an improvement.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

These wise words from Colin, should be mandatory learning in schools today: and obviously this doesn’t just apply to any one nation.

Critical thinking never more essential, imho.

Academics and Scientists, please stand up, please stand up . . .

Ash
Ash

As a former academic scientist, I can tell you my colleagues (at least here in the States), despite being very bright, don’t do critical thinking any better than your average schmo.

Gordon
Gordon

I too was an academic scientist and one-time Chairman of Critical Reasoning. I soon gave up the position when it became clear that today’s students cannot even understand the concept.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Lol, Ash/Gordon, so if I were to tender the suggestion of an article called ‘Sitting Lame Ducks in a row’, resting on the Laurels of Laurel Canyon and military naval intelligence family life, back in the ’60’s … employing ‘critical thinking’ . . .

would we begin the discussion with the ‘chicken’ or the ‘egg’, preferably 🙂 ?
😉

Gordon
Gordon

Sorry. Not a clue about what you are trying to say.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Critical Reasoning & Thinking was deliberately trained out of academic & scientific societal development, most consciously, I mean wholly planned, with a myriad of distractions, compromises and the heightening of ‘Fear’ in all quarters …

So that, one may become adjusted to the study of one’s own navel, as opposed to Naval Military Intelligence and their family life & roots in Laurel Canyon, from where the huge hippy ‘Psyop’ was spawned, with masses of Naval Intelligence & their families, fully aware of how to exploit Psychology,
‘en masse’ >>>

http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/inside-the-lc-the-strange-but-mostly-true-story-of-laurel-canyon-and-the-birth-of-the-hippie-generation-part-i/

If in doubt, the link should help connect the dots & notion of any academic & or scientific Laurels, resting upon Military Intelligence Origins,
by design. Sorry, if this spoils many notions of old music, indeed, never has the track ‘Riders on the Storm’ meant so much, to me, however, just knowing that Jim Morrison’s dad started the Vietnam War under false pretences in the Gulf of Tonkin’, should give cause & pause for thought, about just how much societal psychology has already been employed by military intelligence, let alone with their intentions with the biggest ‘Psyop’ ever, in profiling the entire human race, with this here internet, ‘thingy’ 🙂

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

In the following link, I was somewhat critical of academics & scientists ability to reason critically, directly confronting the self-professed satire of Edward Curtin; that goes too far imho, and is void of contemporary critical reasoning, humour & thought and worse still, the pseudo-academics & ‘intelligentsia’ of today, have clearly not the courage to address their own failings, publicly, preferring their Laurels
and comfort zones !

https://off-guardian.org/2019/08/11/the-canaries-that-sang-things-suck/

I stand my ground and the sound of silence is becoming deafening …
**************************************************************

Dusk draws in upon a Rising Moon,
Stars smother the Vault of Heaven.
Forests rustle, swayed by Rising Wind,
The Balkan Harps the Rebel’s Hymn.

Of course, I normally spell that ‘HAARPs’, but most don’t get the highly scientific & musical joke, in play with mountains to climb and sing about & others’ A.I.M.s, when one studies artificial ionospheric mirrors >>> & CLIMATE Science. ? !
Moreover, the poem is a direct highly accurate translation from Hristo Botev’s brief poem, written circa’ 1876, as a warning to the Bulgarian ‘intelligentsia’, resting on their Laurels, whilst the Ottoman Empire was encroaching, & headed in their direction: the poem was published in his satiric newspaper called …

The Alarm Clock !

(For Pavlov’s Dogs of War & Schrödinger’s Cat, lol) 🙂

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

You must know the track – ‘California Dreamin’, still on the highest profit margins from their Prison Business model, with $6 Billion profits (Hearsay, awaiting research) just announced for California Supermax lifestyle choices, alone, just the West Coast Crims. !

Raking in money for whom, when they can’t even look after a Jeffrey Epstein, ffs ! ? Nationwide !

That song, California Dreaming should take on a whole new meaning, after the link I sent you regarding Wilson Phillips and many others’ roots, what with Kabbala Haaretz and the Dems. navel ‘Heartland’ home territory for societal brainwash & Fascist Psychology, with the largest incarcerated prison population, per capita, in the world, yep, USA World Leaders ! ? …
The World’s Policeman ? ! The World’s Judge ! ?
What constitutes culture? and the nurture of navels, development ?
Hopefully you see the Corporate Fascist, in the M.I.C. & their computing capabilities (with “parallel platforms”),
that have readied themselves to turn upon their own population, as . . .
civil war approaches, & the PIC is as important as the MIC, almost, and most certainly an indicative factor for any reasonable critical thinking.

https://www.thenation.com/article/profits-prison-system/

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

lol, Ash you can never be a former academic scientist 😉 just an evolved one, (logic) 🙂

Meanwhile, if you’d care to consider my question of the chicken & egg syndrome, I put to Gordon, I’m sure you’ll see the humour, shining through 🙂

Warmest regards,
Tim

Antonym
Antonym

Throwing the baby (gene technology) away with the bathwater (business sharks).

Also romanticizing subsistence farmers is not going to get the vast majority of the population to get food.
On the other hand MNCs play a minor role in Indian agriculture: Indian politicians do. Better concentrate on stupid government subsidies for sugarcane or rice which waste a lot of electricity for pumping plus ground water. Does this really attract so many voters? Most of them are landless.

This all looks like projection of Western problems and practices on India which is in a totally different situation. There are hardly any big farms as land prices are sky high and people don’t want to sell – it is their investment bank.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Allow me to add to the discussion an article I just found on ‘Fair.org’. It is an excellent interview by Janine Jackson (transcript) with Carey Gillam about her book ‘Whitewash – The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science‘ and her work at ‘Right to Know’.
‘Monsanto Has Worked Very Hard to Discredit Me and My Work’, first published on Counterspin, August 16th, 2019.
It is imperative to make people aware of the tactics these criminal corporations use to prevent the public from finding out the truth about their crimes.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

I second every word of that … 😉

Sales
Sales

Legislators are allowing herbacides, pesticides and insecticides to be sprayed generously over our food.
They should be the first to be used for testing these chemicals.
Soak them in a good dose of glyphosates (to name one), and let them get the feel of it, before they give permission to Monsanto/Bayer to poison us.

Ramdan
Ramdan

“More than half a billion bees have died in Brazil over the last three months. The cause? Harmful pesticides, according to researchers.

Most of the bee deaths occurred in four Brazilian states: 400 million in Rio Grande do Sul, 7 million in São Paulo, 50 million in Santa Catarina and 45 million Mato Grosso do Sul, according to a report by CBS News. Neonicotinoids and fipronil, both agricultural insecticides banned in Europe, are believed to be the specific culprits behind the deaths.
According to a May 2018 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 75% of the world’s food crops “rely to some extent on pollination for yield and quality.”

“The absence of bees and other pollinators would wipe out coffee, apples, almonds, tomatoes and cocoa, to name just a few of the crops that rely on pollination,” the report warns. “Pollinators, such as bees, wild bees, birds, bats, butterflies and beetles, fly, hop and crawl over flowers to help plants fertilize. Pollinator numbers and diversity have declined in the past decades, and evidence indicates that the decline is primarily a consequence of human activities”

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

It has been cold here in Uruguay for days. This morning I found a Bee in front of my door. It appeared to be on its way out. I took her inside where it was warmer, placed her in a large plastic bag and gave her some honey. She recovered and after some time, I released her into a slightly higher temperature outside. It may have been futile, but I love Bees very much and am convinced that every Bee counts. Now even more than before after I read Your comment.

Ramdan
Ramdan

If only your story were the ones we read in the news…
Metta

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

It might interest you, NTO1, that of all the places in this world that remain doable, presently, imho, Uruguay is one of them, though I speak no Spanish or Portuguese & am not entirely convinced by that culture, due to Roman Catholicism and the Vatican Bank: after my 15 years in Switzerland, I found out the Truth, from a father in law, who worked his way, over 42 years, up to Chief of Investments & Securities @Bank Leu, now Credit Suisse, a long story, not relevant at this precise moment: point, lol, is it truly worth considering, given the religious bias to reality in the Vatican Bank & can I rely on Louis Suarez to bite, when urgently needed for the sake of humanity ? ! ?

I kinda’ trust the guy’s basic instincts lol, lmao … faced with FACTS !

Warmest regards,
Tim

P.s. I drank some 🙂

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

And just so you know, I have not only saved an individual bees life: I’ve rewilded horses, in order to create their DOMAIN for nectar and forest mountain flowers, that everybody, including `Dutch NGO’s, had ignored … until they bought my horses for nothing money, fucked the project and filled their pockets !!! PERSONALLY witnessed, mate …

and Frank Zanderink, from New Thracian Gold & ARK & Re-Wilding Europe, and Wouter Helmer, who never had the courage to meet me, or answer my emails, you are …

FUCKING COWARDS & PARASITES and intellectual, scientific midgets !!! 😉

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

And just to be sure that everybody understands the levels of corruption on Scientific Grounds and the relationship to NGO’s budget’s, … they cover NOTHING & are responsible for NOTHING !!! LEGALLY and this is what disgusts me, not just because of my 75 days with my right arm (Toothbrush & shit wiping), instrument in plaster …

Nonono, these NGO’s morals & principles, that have ZERO to do with SCIENCE, are only concerned with taking the money from the DUTCH POST LOTTO & Queen Beatrix for the presentation and heyHO, no liability for their incredible SCIENTIFIC INCOMPETENCE & pathetic corrupted local coordinations, that even led to DEATH !!! as managers, that even Greenpeace REJECTED !!!

say no more … 🙂 !

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

R.i P. Nasmi, seriously ! I never forget …

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

So, after confessing honestly to my best friend in BG. , I quote his reaction,
in all honesty …

“Dutch and ditch for the bitch ”

Love you brother TJ … really do !

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

We need to call it what it is:
Agrofascism

There never was the noble intend to provide humanity with healthy, nutritional food. The opposite is true. It has been an open secret for some time now, that the distribution and promotion of GM crop only serves to sell astronomical amounts of herbicides. These herbicides can now be found in mothers’ breast milk and their infants. GMO is destroying the important gut flora, leading to secondary diseases based on the lowering of the immune system. All that is known for some time now – however, the fascist corporations behind this systemic poisoning of humanity are given subsidies to the hilt.

The now prevalent disease of ‘leaky gut syndrome’ is the result of residual herbicide in all crops that are sprayed with it. People that believe that the crop would not take up the poison when it is doused with it are beyond redemption.

Especially in the light of comparing organic agriculture with the industrial mono Frankenstein culture, one aspect springs into the eye. Organic agriculture is exponentially more profitable than the industrial pharming version. GMO and mono culture are crimes against humanity. They serve no other purpose than to sicken the populations and make farmers totally dependent on these agrofascists.

When you look at yield comparisons, mono culture fails to get even close to organic production methods. Only through corrupt regimes is the continuation of this criminal enterprise possible. If organic farmers would be given as much subsidies as to the mono croppers, the world would produce enough food for every human being on Earth – healthy food.

Personally I have dedicated my ingenuity to organic, vertical perma culture. Vertical perma culture reduces stress for the soil by creating new, healthy soil. There are no weeds, but plant matter that will be converted into soil. It is true perpetual agriculture – without toxic pesticides and herbicides. From Effective Micro Organisms to Indigenous Micro Organisms – Korean and Japanese Organic farming has been around for a very long time. But of course, these farming techniques do not provide for the massive profits the agri-chemical industry makes with Frankenstein culture.

The only hope for humanity is that it can free itself from the corrupt military industrial security agri-chemical cartel – banning and punishing lobbying (bribery) in all forms on both sides of the corruption.

Needed to vent that. Thank You for pointing out the obvious crimes against humanity.

Igor
Igor

Notice the other affect of agrifascism. Debt. Farmers are led into a debt trap. Eventually, the financiers will seize the farmers’ properties and equipment. Corporate farming will step into the void to “save” the food supply chain.
A global genocide of independent, family farmers.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

I linked the interview with Corey Gillam above and the most important takeaway is the concerted misinformation and manipulation of the masses, that include of course farmers. IF the truth is repeated as often as they lies are, people might wake up to the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated by these most unscrupulous corporations.

BigB
BigB

Colin is absolutely right about agroecological localism. And common ownership: if that is part of the equation. It has always been part of mine. Ever since I read E F Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” …way back when God was a boy. So far back: it actually made sense …with roughly half the global population and four times the resources …with many of our interspecies communities still relatively intact; and much less of the polluting stuff (including CO2). And a fraction of the debt. Oh well…

Forty years of neoliberalism later: even the sensible does not make any sense any more. We are crossing the event horizon of an economic black hole – of over-financialisation, derivative and debt deflation. Even an attempt at normalisation (whatever that is) would be its own Black Swan event. You see: economies are not run as though people mattered. The ‘Rights of Man’ were incorporated in to trans-national entities. The ‘economic people’ that matter are all TNCs.

We all know this: and we all know this globalisation model was doomed from start. Well, most of us do. Tainter showed that over-investment in complexity causes civilisations to collapse. Overcomplexity is a Law of Diminishing Return leading to an energy sink, progress inertia, and collapse. As if we needed to know: Diamond confirmed it. Glattfelder gave us the complexity research that showed just how interlinked all the top TNCs really are. 147 of them ‘own’ the world (his term). Yet there is another ‘denial’ entering the lexicon from leftfield. No, not ‘climate denial’: that’s passé …’collapse denial’.

Anyone who could possibly even think of such a term is a raving lunatic …and probably a hysterical Green fascist – threatening ‘progress’ and ‘prosperity’, and all that benevolent poverty reduction capitalism has done. And all that humanitarian good it is going to do yet – just like the last forty years. You’ve never had it so good: say Gates, Pinker, Peterson, Lindzen and all the ‘Irrational Optimists’. Neoliberalism works.

Except when it doesn’t: and when it fails …it fails spectacularly. Ever seen a bank with $49tn derivatives exposure fail – interlinked with five other banks with the best part of $200tn derivatives exposure? You soon will. That’s some failure.

So its not for now Colin is right. Economic crisis is inevitable. But it is for the future …if we are to have one. You see, there is no alternative for now but to refloat the globalised international banking system: by transferring much of our wealth and our children’s inheritance to the already immorally rich – foreclosing the future for both ‘us’ and ‘them’. Because underwriting the reckless gambling of a few individuals with social welfare schemes for the very people who are running the system to collapse rewards that violently destructive behaviour set. Again and again.

If not: it is actually encoded into the system now …networked electronically, robotically, and algorithmically …which we aim to increase the speed of with AI and 5G in the ‘Information Age’. When the failing system becomes the supercharged ASI cybersystem with our future – and human and natural capital – as collateral. That’s fully automated luxury capitalist realism ‘progress’.

Capitalism has failed humanity: utterly. Utopian capitalist realists – or Irrational Optimists like Pinker – can argue otherwise. But I’m not listening any more. The looming failing future is plain to see. The conflict between humanity and capital is terminal. People know this. There is a significant uptick in Wisdom seeking …it is even a tentative area for study in cognitive science. Small is Beautiful and economics as if people mattered may yet come back in fashion. Agroecological localism might be the new post-industrial Zeitgeist …but it is no longer optimal. Though it is a considerably more conscionable outcome than civilisational and environmental collapse: which is where capitalism is heading. For those who can develop the inherent wisdom to choose life consciously: agroecology is part of the future. Capitalism is the anti-future. It’s agroecology or the Hunger Games. 🙁

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

This is the best comment of yours which I’ve read, connecting dots, totally understandable, on point, thank you BigB.

BigB
BigB

Thanks Frank S. 🙂

Brian Steere

One of the developments of mental consciousness is that of recognising patterns that despite differences in forms of expression are the same.
Opening false choices as an intent to division, conflict, tyranny, control, scarcity and dependency is an old theme.
A choice to nowhere.

Intuitive consciousness opens a choice to not take the bait. The desperation of the mental structure seeking sustainability will seek out all vectors of manipulation and thus offer an education for those who accept responsibility for choice instead of giving power away.

Not supporting or offering reinforcement to the mask makes it a torturous fit that deconstructs to reveal what lies beneath. Hate is destructive – especially when presented in forms that seem kind or caring – for this also undermines trust in kindness and caring as well as breaking in to rob us of love and life.

Godfree Roberts
Godfree Roberts

In 2016 Beijing promised farmers that genetically modified maize and soybeans would be commercially available by 2020 and the Agriculture Ministry launched an intensive propaganda campaign about their benefits. Alas, when the Ministry sent up legislation in 2018, congress found[1] half the country opposed to GM, eleven percent who considered it ‘a bioterrorism weapon aimed at China,’ and barely ten percent who approved. Legislation was shelved.


[1] Public perception of genetically-modified (GM) food: A Nationwide Chinese Consumer Study. Kai Cui & Sharon P. Shoemaker. npj Science of Food volume 2, Article number: 10 (2018)

George Cornell
George Cornell

Would you put it past the US to try to poison China’s food supply?

Godfree Roberts
Godfree Roberts

Not at all.

On Jan. 13th, 1952, a B-26 bomber of the American Air Force was shot down over An-Ju in Korea. By May 5th statements of considerable length admitting their participation in bacteriological warfare had been made by the navigator Lt. K. L. Enoch, and by the pilot, Lt. John Quinn, and issued to the world through Peking.

As has already been stated, these documents will be found in SIA/14 and 15 respectively, and together with lithograph reproductions of the original manuscripts, in the printed brochure issued from Prague. The relevant parts are here reproduced in App. KK. and LL. Documents SIA/17 and 18 should also be consulted, though the later interviews recounted in them did not add much to the technical and scientific evidence. What were the essential points in the principal declarations of these airmen? First of all, both officers had had to attend, in Japan and in Korea, secret lectures on the methods of bacteriological warfare.

These expositions, which it was impressed on them contained highly confidential information, described the use of bacteria directly as cultures deposited or sprayed, of insects transmitting diseases biologically or mechanically, of rodents in parachute-containers, of poisoned foods, and of bacteria containing artillery shells. Various kinds of containers or “bombs” were described and sketched. Correct altitudes and air-speeds for delivery were given. Particularly significant statements made in the lecture attended by Lt. Quinn were (a) that “almost any insect could be used for spreading diseases”, (b) that “rats could be dropped, though this might not be necessary”, and (c) that there was an intention to use encephalitis, “for which no positive cure is known.”

Secondly, both officers had received orders to carry out bacteriological warfare missions, and had duly fl.own them, though with the greatest inner reluctance. There were various peculiarities about the special bombs used, and in some cases these were under special guard so that the pilots could not examine them too closely. In one of the reports information was given as to the various types of planes most suitable for delivering various kinds of containers.

From the personal knowledge of the two airmen many of their fellow service-men had also engaged in such missions, and later conversations brought out well the large number of Air Force personnel who had been instructed on bacteriological warfare, Lt. Enoch was briefed “germ bombs” while Lt. Quinn was briefed “duds”, but both were told that in debriefing (i.e. reporting the results of the flight) “duds” was to be the term used.

There can be no doubt that these admissions had considerable influence on the western world. But those who did not wish to be convinced tended to brush them aside as confessions obtained under physical or mental duress, saying that after all, only two young men had come forward, and suggesting indeed they did not really exist at all, and that the whole declarations were forged. Attempts,
however, to demonstrate inconsistencies in Lt. Quinn’s story, failed (SIA/16).

Professor Joseph Needham’s Oral History: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009774

George Cornell
George Cornell

Thanks , very helpful. It always seems to come out worse than imagined. Many cling to disbelief , like myself, when the evidence that the Americans are a scourge and a plague of Biblical proportions is overwhelming.

Jen
Jen

Indeed some of the information that Godfree Roberts mentioned in his comment was obtained by the US from Japanese scientists and researchers who had participated in medical experiments with biological warfare weapons at Unit 731 in Manchuria and the equivalent facilities in Nanjing in central China.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Hi Jen: what Godfree and you are saying is off huge significance, when harmonised with the CIA’s sponsoring of Terrorism in Tibet, from WW2 onwards, until 1974: when Nixon finally stopped the Dalai Lama’s personal CIA wages, of $180,000 bucks per year : The Lamas themselves were given an extra $5 million & Free Training in the Rocky Mountains …

It takes a lot of water to put one billion plus another 300 million portions of Rice on the table, every damn day and it’s a huge logistical feat, for which most would never have the courage to take on the responsibility . . .

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama said publicly in 1999, that his biggest regret personally in life was working with & for the CIA: and may I add personally, that if his ugly ego & head rose, spouting self-opinionated propaganda bollocks in my neck of the woods, where bears shit like Richard Gere, I would at minimum chop his ‘goolies’ off and have no problem in wounding him further, with a shot in the leg or foot, dependent upon my mood & spirit for dancing bears, at any given time … 😉 Lol 🙂

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

Indeed George, the real Gog and Magog and spurred on by the “Anti-Christs” who role their roost.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

“Rule” not “role”

TheThinker
TheThinker

So, like Zika Virus. That caused the same sorts of deformities in infants, but also I always used to think that mosquitoes just drunk blood. But they also eat fruit juice, plant matter, nectar of plants. They also feed on Humans, amphibians, livestock,birds, animals in general and reptiles.

If the Zika Virus infected humans in those ways (I thought Zika was intended to sterilise male mosquitoes and eradicate them) But, I also wonder what the virus would do if it got into the ecosystem i.e all of the above species? Did the ways of dropping the the ‘rats’ get as small as a Mosquitoe. The quote from what you wrote above “Almost any insect could be used to spread diseases”. What’s the likelihood I wondered..

Godfree Roberts
Godfree Roberts

Apparently, this kind of biowarfare is not particularly effective, especially if the civilian population is alerted and takes prompt measures to deal with the pests.

It’s the thought that counts, I guess.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

The mosquito is essentially a flying dirty syringe that goes from species to species every day to feed and infect.
I knew the daughter of a researcher in the early days of AIDS and he believed that mosquitoes were a primary delivery mechanism, at least in Africa.

Guy
Guy

Thank you so much for this information . I can’t seem to be able to open the link and I like to log this information and this is most important.

Admin
Admin
Admin

The link does work. Maybe try a different browser

Guy
Guy

Thank you for the reply .I now have it.
Regards .

Godfree Roberts
Godfree Roberts

Try Googling ‘NEEDHAM, JOSEPH (ORAL HISTORY)’

Guy
Guy

Got it . Thank you.

Jen
Jen

The United States government apparently also keeps sealed in a facility in Utah somewhere documentation of WWII-period medical experiments done on Chinese civilians and POWs from the Soviet Union, the US and some British Commonwealth nations by Japanese government scientists at special research facilities in northern China (the infamous Unit 731) and in Nanjing. Some of these medical experiments involved experimenting with biological weapons that could be used to poison water and food supplies, or infect people with diseases like anthrax.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/asias-auschwitz-19941217-gdfkwq.html

Antonym
Antonym

Would you put it past China, Iran or KSA to poison US food supply?

CIA elements have no monopoly on monstrosities and other syndicates also have means.

In today’s world a decease would spread from China to the US in hours and vice versa.

George Cornell
George Cornell

China has never done anything like that. It has not in recent history been expansionist, been invasive, stolen others’ goods nor made a farce of its role at the UN, its adherence to signed treaties, nor its international relations.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Mighty Ant: look up, for a moment, coz’ although I know that English is not your mother tongue in Tel Aviv, trolling in English, you must be able to differentiate between diseased & deceased, see ? Given your speciality, ridiculous straw-man role-playing and the fact that you have gotten’ the short straw in reality and will be proven to be on the wrong side of all history, written large, in both our destinies …
your way is diseased, see ?

BigB
BigB

I suspect that was a sub-narrative to Chem-China’s takeover of bioterrorists Syngenta for $43bn. I also suspect that the story will not end there: as Syngenta target the internal seed market using the parent company as cover (no wholly foreign companies can acccess China’s internal seed market). Then there is the strongly rumoured merger of Chem-China and Sinochem. Forming the biggest bio-terrorist outfit of the lot …if it goes through. Which is obviously a monopoly and anti-choice oligopoly at the very other end of the scale to Colin’s proposal for agroecological localism. Even just as Chem-China/Syngenta: they have to take their branded biopoisons to market somewhere. I suspect the Chinese populace will not have heard the last of this. Those SOEs have to grow: which puts state and people in permanent conflict.

Godfree Roberts
Godfree Roberts

States and peoples have been in conflict since states were invented. The degree of conflict between the Chinese state and its people have probably been the lowest of any in the world for the past 2200 years, and is certainly the lowest in the world today.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

All in all Godfree, I just wanted to say a big thanks for some great objective comments & contributions, in what appears to be a troll free zone: at least for the moment …

(Hopefully I didn’t speak too soon), you know …

Warm regards,
Tim

Guy
Guy

Legislation was shelved and good that they did .The control of the food production through genetically modified seed confines the agricultural industry to be subservient to the seed supplier .Many countries have fallen ,hook line and sinker to the machinations of Monsanto now Bayer .At least Russia has been wise enough also to outlaw such lawlessness.We should all take note.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
George Cornell
George Cornell

Choice is attractive, but the reality is that selection is based on misapprehension, misinformation, and misinterpretation the vast majority of the time. And the cookie-cutter arguments for and against GM could have been lifted from those made vs hydroelectric power a century ago. Choice should not be the primary aim. It assumes far too much. It should be education. Trying to explain spontaneous mutation, natural selection, and their relevance to food to a public without basic science education, is like discussing Brexit with a population less than half of whom (42% actually) could name the current PM. Even less for their MP. Source available if you can bear it.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

The reality of the world is that decisions must be taken amid uncertainty and hence choice between imperfect alternatives is the reality. Of course education and learning helps such choices to be more informed ones, but progress never occurs without calculated risk.

In agriculture, there are no risk-free decisions, only the ability to manage risk effectively.

George Cornell
George Cornell

I think we agree more or less. Managing risks is in part scientific and is distinct from having people understand and accept them. Both are important.