113

Pouring Poison and Planting Seeds of Dependency

Colin Todhunter

Audio Version New Feature!

Do you remember the iconic Union Carbide image from the 1950s or early 1960s? The one with the giant hand coming from the sky, pouring pesticides onto Indian soil.

The blurb below the image includes the following:

Science helps build a new India – India has developed bold new plans to build its economy and bring the promise of a bright future to its more than 400 million people. But India needs the technical knowledge of the western world. For example working with Indian engineers and technicians, Union Carbide recently made available its fast scientific resource to help build a chemicals and plastics plant near Bombay. Throughout the free world, Union Carbide has been actively engaged in building plants for the manufacture of chemicals, plastics, carbons, gases and metals.”

In the bottom corner is the Union Carbide logo and the statement ‘A HAND IN THINGS TO COME’.

This ‘hand of god’ image has become infamous. Union Carbide’s ‘hand in things to come’ includes the gas leak at its pesticides plant in Bhopal in 1984. It resulted in around 560,000 injured (respiratory problems, eye irritation, etc), 4,000 severely disabled and 20,000 dead.

As for the chemical-intensive agriculture it promoted, we can now see the impacts: degraded soils, polluted water, illness, farmer debt and suicides (by drinking pesticides!), nutrient-dense crops/varieties being side-lined, a narrower range of crops, no increase in food production per capita (in India at least), the corporate commodification of knowledge and seeds, the erosion of farmers’ environmental learning, the undermining of traditional knowledge systems and farmers’ dependency on corporations.

Whether it involves the type of ecological devastation activist-farmer Bhaskar Save outlined for policy makers in his 2006 open letter or the social upheaval documented by Vandana Shiva in the book The Violence of the Green Revolution, the consequences have been far-reaching.

And yet – whether it involves new genetic engineering techniques or more pesticides –  there is a relentless drive by the agritech conglomerates to further entrench their model of agriculture by destroying traditional farming practices with the aim of placing more farmers on corporate seed and chemical treadmills.

These corporations have been pushing for the European Commission to remove any labelling and safety checks for new genomic techniques. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that organisms obtained with new genetic modification techniques must be regulated under the EU’s existing GMO laws. However, there has been intense lobbying from the agriculture biotech industry to weaken the legislation, aided financially by the Gates Foundation.

Since 2018, top agribusiness and biotech corporations have spent almost €37 million lobbying the European Union. They have had 182 meetings with European Commissioners, their cabinets and director generals. More than one meeting a week.

In recent weeks, Syngenta (a subsidiary of ChemChina) CEO Erik Fyrwald has come to the fore to cynically lobby for these techniques.

But before discussing Fyrwald, let us turn to another key agribusiness figure who has been in the news. Former Monsanto chairman and CEO Hugh Grant recently appeared in court to be questioned by lawyers on behalf of a cancer patient in the case of Allan Shelton v Monsanto.

Shelton has non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is one of the 100,000-plus people in the US claiming in lawsuits that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller and its other brands containing the chemical glyphosate caused their cancer.

His lawyers argued that Grant was an active participant and decision-maker in the company’s Roundup business and should be made to testify at the trial.

Why not? After all, he did make a financial killing from peddling poison.

Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018 and Grant received an estimated $77 million post-sale payoff. Bloomberg reported in 2017 that Monsanto had increased Grant’s salary to $19.5 million.

By 2009, Roundup-related products, which include genetically modified seeds developed to withstand glyphosate-based applications, represented about half of Monsanto’s gross margin.

Roundup was integral to Monsanto’s business model and Grant’s enormous income and final payoff.

Consider the following quote from a piece that appeared on the Bloomberg website in 2014:

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant is focused on selling more genetically modified seeds in Latin America to drive earnings growth outside the core US market. Sales of soybean seeds and genetic licenses climbed 16%, and revenue in the unit that makes glyphosate weed killer, sold as Roundup, rose 24%.”

In the same piece, Chris Shaw, a New York-based analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co, is reported as saying “Glyphosate really crushed it” – meaning the sales of glyphosate were a major boost.

All fine for Grant and Monsanto. But this has had devastating effects on human health. ‘The Human Cost of Agrotoxins. How Glyphosate is killing Argentina’, which appeared on the Lifegate website in November 2015, serves as a damning indictment of the drive for “earnings growth” by Monsanto. Moreover, in the same year, some 30,000 doctors in that country demanded a ban on glyphosate.

The bottom line for Grant was sales and profit maximisation and the unflinching defence of glyphosate, no matter how carcinogenic to humans it is and, more to the point, how much Monsanto knew it was.

Noam Chomsky underlines the commercial imperative:

… the CEO of a corporation has actually a legal obligation to maximize profit and market share. Beyond that legal obligation, if the CEO doesn’t do it, and, let’s say, decides to do something that will, say, benefit the population and not increase profit, he or she is not going to be CEO much longer –  they’ll be replaced by somebody who does do it.”

Syngenta’s CEO is cut from the same cloth as Grant. While Monsanto’s crimes are well documented, Syngenta’s transgressions are less well publicised.

In 2006, writer and campaigner Dr Brian John claimed:

GM Free Cymru has discovered that Syngenta, in its promotion of GM crops and foods, has been involved in a web of lies, deceptions and obstructive corporate behaviour that would have done credit to its competitor Monsanto.”

Some weeks ago, Fyrwald called for organic farming to be abandoned. In view of the food crisis, brought on by the war in Ukraine, he claimed rich countries had to increase their crop production – but organic farming led to lower yields. Fyrwald also called for gene editing to be at the heart of the food agenda in order to increase food production.

He stated:

“The indirect consequence is that people are starving in Africa because we are eating more and more organic products.”

In response, Kilian Baumann, a Bernese organic farmer and president of the Swiss Small Farmers’ Association, called Fyrwald’s arguments “grotesque”. He claimed Fyrwald was “fighting for sales”.

Writing on the GMWatch website, Jonathan Matthews says the Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to have emboldened Fyrwald’s scaremongering.

Matthews states:

Fyrwald’s comments reflect the industry’s determination to undermine the European Union’s Farm to Fork strategy, which aims by 2030 not just to slash pesticide use by 50% and fertilizer use by 20% but to more than triple the percentage of EU farmland under organic management (from 8.1% to 25%), as part of the transition towards a ‘more sustainable food system’ within the EU’s Green Deal.”

He adds:

Syngenta view[s] these goals as an almost existential threat. This has led to a carefully orchestrated attack on the EU strategy.”

The details of this PR offensive have been laid out in a report by the Brussels-based lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO): A loud lobby for a silent spring: The pesticide industry’s toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork.

Mathews quotes research that shows GM crops have no yield benefit. He also refers to a newly published report that draws together research clearly showing GM crops have driven substantial increases – not decreases – in pesticide use. The newer and much-hyped gene-edited crops look set to do the same.

Syngenta is among the corporations criticised by a report from the UN for “systematic denial of harms” and “unethical marketing tactics”. Matthews notes that selling highly hazardous pesticides is actually at the core of Syngenta’s business model.

According to Matthews, even with the logistical disruptions to maize and wheat crops caused by the war in Ukraine, there is still enough grain available to the world market to meet existing needs. He says the current price crisis (not food crisis) is a product of fear and speculation.

Matthews concludes:

If Erik Fyrwald is really so concerned about hunger, why isn’t he attacking the boondoggle that is biofuels, rather than going after organic farming? The obvious answer is that the farmers being subsidised to grow biofuels are big consumers of agrichemicals and, in the US case, GMO seeds – unlike organic farmers, who buy neither.”

Fyrwald has a financial imperative to lobby for particular strategies and technologies. He is far from an objective observer. And he is far from honest in his appraisal – using fear of a food crisis to push his agenda.

Meanwhile, the sustained attacks on organic agriculture have become an industry mainstay, despite numerous high-level reports and projects indicating it could feed the world, mitigate climate change, improve farmers’ situations, lead to better soil, create employment and provide healthier and more diverse diets.

There is a food crisis but not the one alluded to by Fyrwald –  denutrified food and unhealthy diets that are at the centre of a major public health crisis, a loss of biodiversity which threatens food security, degraded soils, polluted and depleted water sources and smallholder farmers, so vital to global food production (especially in the Global South), squeezed off their land and out of farming.

Transnational agribusiness has lobbied for, directed and profited from policies that have caused much of the above. And what we now see is these corporations and their lobbyists espousing (fake) concern (a cynical lobbying tactic) for the plight of the poor and hungry while attempting to purchase EU democracy to the tune of €37 million. Cheap at the price considering the financial bonanza that its new patented genetic engineering technologies and seeds could reap.

Various scientific publications show these new techniques allow developers to make significant genetic changes, which can be very different from those that happen in nature. These new GMOs pose similar or greater risks than older-style GMOs.

By attempting to dodge regulation as well as avoid economic, social, environmental and health impact assessments, it is clear were the industry’s priorities lie.

Unfortunately, Fyrwald, Bill Gates, Hugh Grant and their ilk are unwilling and too often incapable of viewing the world beyond their reductionist mindsets that merely regard seed/chemical sales, output-yield and corporate profit as the measuring stick of success.

What is required is an approach that sustains indigenous knowledge, local food security, better nutrition per acre, clean and stable water tables and good soil structure. An approach that places food sovereignty, local ownership, rural communities and rural economies at the centre of policy and which nurtures biodiversity, boosts human health and works with nature rather than destroying these.

Fyrwald’s scaremongering is par for the course – the world will starve without corporate chemicals and (GM) seeds, especially if organics takes hold. This type of stuff has been standard fare from the industry and its lobbyists and bought career scientists for many years.

It flies in the face of reality, not least how certain agribusiness concerns have been part of a US geopolitical strategy that undermines food security in regions across the world. These concerns have thrived on the creation of dependency and profited from conflict. Moreover, there is the success of agroecological approaches to farming that have no need for what Fyrwald is hawking.

Instead, the industry continues to promote itself as the saviour of humanity – a hand of god powered by a brave new techno-utopian world of corporate science, pouring poison and planting seeds of corporate dependency with the missionary zeal of Western saviourism.

Colin Todhunter specialises in development, food and agriculture and is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal. You can read his “mini e-book”, Food, Dependency and Dispossession: Cultivating Resistance, here.

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glenda cimino
glenda cimino
Jun 28, 2022 2:42 PM

how quickly we forget……Union Carbide poisoned Bhopal and people there are still suffering from the explosion at that plant to this day……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvTvBme3rp0

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Jun 15, 2022 1:56 PM

few will even know about it 🙁

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Jun 15, 2022 6:40 PM
Reply to  sabelmouse

And those that do can’t care less!😎

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Jun 16, 2022 11:39 AM
Reply to  Voz 0db

i do!

iya
iya
Jun 15, 2022 9:02 AM

On the money article. Well done. But, it is just one out of literally thousands of such events.

banana
banana
Jun 15, 2022 9:02 AM

Where is that image at the top from please?

banana
banana
Jun 15, 2022 10:49 AM
Reply to  banana
Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Jun 14, 2022 7:17 PM

If Billy G WHO’s says

Are GM foods safe?

Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.

GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous application of safety assessments based on the Codex Alimentarius principles and, where appropriate, adequate post market monitoring, should form the basis for ensuring the safety of GM foods.

it’s because clearly they are as safe as mRNA “vaccines”!

Just TRUST the SCIENCE and the Billionaires that sponsor it.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jun 14, 2022 7:10 PM

If “the war in Ukraine” is causing world wide famine then humanity is in big trouble. What that’s telling us is that our global society cannot sustain any kind of shock or disaster, everything has to be 100% perfect, work first time, every time because if it isn’t then We’re All Doomed.

Fortunately a lot of this is journalism (and by extension, politician) speak. People will be starving to death in Somalia regardless of what’s going on in Ukraine — they’re starving in Somalia because they can’t afford the price, not because there’s no enough to go around. (Its been the same throughout recent history — famines are generally caused by human action/inaction).

In the spirit of “never letting a good crisis go to waste” its time for those inefficient family farmers of India (for example) to dump their outmoded ways, sell out to global agribusiness and join the ranks of the precariat, to live a life as surplus labor in a soulless apartment (if they’re lucky) or slum (if they’re not). If they fail to do so then We Are All Doomed and it will be Their Fault (or so our propagandists tell us, and we know they never lie).

Edwige
Edwige
Jun 14, 2022 6:59 PM
Observe
Observe
Jun 14, 2022 8:05 PM
Reply to  Edwige

He’s simply another celeb-scientist bellend on the gravy-train and willing to say whatever it takes to be right on message with the current agenda being pushed on the plebs.

Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Jun 14, 2022 3:22 PM

I guess there are no lawyers in India. > The Reshaping of Global Agriculture: The WEF Agenda Behind India’s Modi Government’s “Farm Reform”
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, February 16, 2021
 
Excerpt: “The central role of the Gates-Rockefeller AGRA in the UN 2021 Food Systems Summit, the major role of the WEF in the world “food systems” reset, and the pressures in recent months on the Modi government to implement the same corporate agenda in India as in Africa, are all no accident. It sets the world up for catastrophic harvest failures and worse.”

The Reshaping of Global Agriculture: The WEF Agenda Behind India’s Modi Government’s “Farm Reform” – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

mgeo
mgeo
Jun 15, 2022 5:32 AM

They can buy off lawyers, just like the doctors and politicians. That is the advantage of keeping a big country impoverished. Indonesia and Brazil are in the same boat.

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 14, 2022 2:00 PM

@Admin
down at
https://off-guardian.org/2022/06/13/pouring-poison-and-planting-seeds-of-dependency/#comment-513494
I gave a point up for NickM – but after showing 1up the counter goes back to “0”, when I restart this page!
I did that a lot of times again and again – with the same result

Willem
Willem
Jun 14, 2022 2:49 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Same here.

Result pending (another nuisance).

TDj
TDj
Jun 14, 2022 5:27 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Vollkommen Richtig, Joerg. I tried to like both your comments and NickM’s.
Below and here.

System VollFuk’d up, uberhaupt keine Frage !

@admin. Service / checkup !

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 14, 2022 6:36 PM
Reply to  TDj

@ TDj
Mein Kommentar Zu Deinem “System VollFuk’d up, uberhaupt keine Frage !” wurde eben auch wieder gelöscht.
2. Versuch: “System VollFuk’d up, uberhaupt keine Frage !
…liegt vermutlich am “Klimawandel”
comment image

TDj
TDj
Jun 14, 2022 8:11 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Lmao, hat man es ? Oder, Ha’ma’s nicht… ?
Cyber-Terror ? Just another glitch … ?
No point voting… 😉

TDj
TDj
Jun 15, 2022 9:33 AM
Reply to  Joerg

Morgen, Joerg. Nicht gerade güt, Aber Anders 😆
Now, you may well be instructed that you have already input,
Though the counter remains the same & wholly unconvinced.
Showing permanently ZERO 🤣
Before any ‘refresh’ on ‘Klimawandel’ occurs.
Ha’ ma’ ‘s oder nicht ?
Cyber Terror Loops ?
A breakfast killer…

Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Jun 16, 2022 3:45 AM
Reply to  Joerg

Seems like it’s probably not a “bug”, but a “feature”.

Nigel Watson
Nigel Watson
Jun 14, 2022 8:00 AM

There is no balance between the individual and the collective. Collectivism based on compulsion, backed up by state power & violence; it is the very definition of authoritarianism. The cooperation between individuals needed to create a civil society is not dependent on either ‘tribes’ or collectivism. For most of my life, most of the things that actually worked were provided by the free market, where exchange between individuals is VOLUNTARY – the very opposite of forced, state-backed, collectivism. 

Antonym
Antonym
Jun 14, 2022 7:05 AM

As usual Colin is so much focused on India that many a reader might think India is the one nation with agricultural problems. This while it has huge surpluses of wheat, rice etc.

Never see any article here about the largest food importers like Pakistan, Egypt etc.

Do GMOs, glycophosphate exist only in India one might come to think? China doesn’t even come on the radar in Colin’s shrunken world view. In Europe agriculture is in a crisis due to nitrogen usage is being restricted by governments, elsewhere lack of Russian and Bellarussian urea will reduce food production (Sri Lanka).

Nice Guy Eddie
Nice Guy Eddie
Jun 14, 2022 1:15 PM
Reply to  Antonym

The expert in ‘whataboutism’ appears again

TDj
TDj
Jun 14, 2022 9:15 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Colin clearly identifies ChemChina’s CEO Fyrwald, objectively: I quote,

“In recent weeks, Syngenta (a subsidiary of ChemChina) CEO Erik Fyrwald has come to the fore to cynically lobby for these techniques.”

Key figure in the article, Ant.
And key instrumentation,
Nothing to discuss.
Read it again…

MattC
MattC
Jun 14, 2022 6:54 AM

Remember the politicians telling us “Big is beautiful”. Now we understand their enthusiasm: bigger = more lobbyists = more corruption. The corruption has lead to little or no regulation or oversight of mega corporations but bullying of small and medium enterprises and landed us with the current long list of disasters.

Grafter
Grafter
Jun 14, 2022 10:58 AM
Reply to  MattC

Lobbying is a political disease.

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 15, 2022 1:57 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Deliberately imported too.

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 14, 2022 4:42 AM

Sorry, off topic (again).
But it’s an enlightening read:
https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2022/06/13/top-gun-maverick-a-counter-narrative-by-pat-elder/

Top Gun or TOP DUMB?

Robin
Robin
Jun 14, 2022 4:53 PM
Reply to  Johnny

Let’s stay off-topic, briefly.
What ever happened to the non-stop War in Ukraine headlines of a few days ago?

TDj
TDj
Jun 15, 2022 8:51 AM
Reply to  Robin

Get real. Into the Valley of Death they rode… once again being,
Historically ignorant of Crimea’s Bear 🐻 Market Stalls,
& stalling procedures to avoid bare market stalls or,
Any such threat ! Like, financial ruin ? What fever pitch…?
Western Media can harp all they want & inflate:
Corporate dire tribes, next Trans-National distraction.
Like , Holographic Queens of Corona-nations, incredibility.
Not Credit Worthy, just like Ukraine. People morally bankrupt.
Russian currency bonds… 🙂
Especially in Sri 🇱🇰

Take stock markets.

Turned completely Bear 🐻 !
Do bears shit in the forest
Of financial collapse ?

Paul Prichard
Paul Prichard
Jun 13, 2022 10:47 PM

Your alternative update on #COVID19 for 2022-06-11. What is responsible for SADS? Experimental mRNA jabs 88%. 99% breast cancer jabbed. Same jab forever (blog, gab, tweet).

Viridis
Viridis
Jun 13, 2022 9:30 PM

Worth noting that Monsanto’s patent on glyphosate expired over 10 years ago and now any number of companies are producing it.

Only GM crops will have glyphosate on them as it is a systemic herbicide which kills or seriously damages all normal plants it comes in contact with. Correct me if I’m wrong…

iya
iya
Jun 14, 2022 9:38 AM
Reply to  Viridis

It has also been used on non-gmo crops as a pre harvest dessicant.

https://www.cornucopia.org/2017/10/glyphosate-use-desiccant-doubles-human-contamination/

Stephanie Seneff’s book Toxic Legacy is worth a read, as is Carey Gillam’s Whitewash.

rubberheid
rubberheid
Jun 14, 2022 4:18 PM
Reply to  Viridis

well, almost: i’ve seen r-up turn docken yellow, contort out of shape horribly, then recover and grow even bigger! true.

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 7:03 PM
Reply to  Viridis

Agent Orange, used by the U$A to defoliate Korea.

“We bombed until there was nothing left to bomb”. Then we sprayed until there was nothing left to eat.

Grafter
Grafter
Jun 13, 2022 8:35 PM

HEADLINE in our Scottish rag Press & Journal today……

“GET YOUR MASKS BACK ON to stem the Covid tide says Scottish government advisor Linda Bauld.”

Linda now talks about “waves of infection” and says “Be alert but don’t panic”

This is a continuation of the puerile, lying garbage which was delivered in 2020. These overpaid health “experts” need to be rounded up and face trial for crimes against humanity otherwise we are in deep trouble. Any politician going along with this criminality needs to be removed from office.

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
Jun 13, 2022 9:47 PM
Reply to  Grafter

In stupid Australia they got Queens birthday gongs.

Michael
Michael
Jun 13, 2022 11:50 PM

Speaking of Australia – how smart were the experts when they introduced myxomatosis into the rabbits. Those randy rabbits multiplied to such an extent they ate most of the grass thus posed an existential threat to the sheep and cattle – Australia’s economic backbone.
And this happened after a few scientists mainlined the myxomatosis virus and didn’t get sick. Which we all know why.
Then there are the cane toads. Experts again – trying to solve a minor agricultural problem with a [email protected]#k up for the ages. Only God knows the true damage the toads have done to native fauna and farm animals, pets and waterways, big toes and seven irons, whilst they continue to spread across the continent.

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 14, 2022 2:37 AM
Reply to  Michael

The downfall of science is specialisation. They focus on one or two things and rarely look at life forms holistically. Including humans.

eman
eman
Jun 14, 2022 5:25 AM
Reply to  Johnny

yes, but without specialization there can be no expertise.. Science is about proving wrong what we know to be right..correct .. how Science is used is management not science. I am afraid you have confused gangster inspired investor supported corporation management philosophy which involves narrowing university instruction to serve the needs of industry, hiring only the experts in specialized areas that can produce the goods and services needed to acquire monopoly power and return wealthy investors substantial profits at the expense of those it deals with. Two things drive this philosophy 1) profits which goes to the investors (Wall Street, the City of London and offshore tax heavens). and 2) the acquisition of monopoly power (patents and copyrights) which makes the corporation stronger and more able to engage in its corruptions year after year. What makes it possible for corporations to avoid be regulated by the nation state is wealth and earning power. Paper Assets [patents, copyrights, deeds, and govt contracts) create the earning power , while greed, hiring practices, supply chains and markets produce the earnings in excess of cost we call profit.

Copyrights and patents account for most the poison and bio engineered seeds .. If you want to preserve the environment and the humanity that lives on it, it is necessary to take monopoly powers away from the corporations and wealthy persons.

and if that is not enough; consider the content neglect of human security revealed by the situation reported in the following link.
https://orinocotribune.com/pentagon-admits-supporting-46-biolabs-in-ukraine/

I don’t think specialization produced the crisis mentioned in the article; greed encouraged short term profit making and control by corporate power over lawmaking, produced the copyright and patents that produced the monopoly powers which made the corporation wealthy and powerful.

When our maker created the heaven and earth she did not obtain a copyright or a patent on her inventions or on the worlds in the many bibles throughout the world. Why, because there was nation state to corrupt, and without a corrupt nation state there is no way to generate monopoly power, and without a way to generate monopoly power, corporations cannot become the private owners of that monopoly power. If our maker did not need a patent or copyright why should a corporation or its oligarch owner?

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 14, 2022 11:03 AM
Reply to  eman

I think you are missing the point eman.
Nothing, and no one, exists in isolation. Everything is connected.
Specialisation ignores this simple Truth.
The Earth, the stars, microbes and humans are one.
Awesome ain’t it?

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 7:10 PM
Reply to  eman

“Copyrights and patents account for most the poison and bio engineered seeds.”

One of $hyster $cam’s moneyspinners: make it Legal (under U$ Law) to patent a natural product (gene); or even a mathematical theorem (Fourier analysis).

mgeo
mgeo
Jun 14, 2022 9:57 AM
Reply to  Michael

Did mimosa plants – very short ground-hugging thorny plants – turn into forests of trees in the north of Australia? I came across a report on that decades ago.

NickM
NickM
Jun 13, 2022 6:29 PM

Thank you, Colin Todhunter, for another well-documented hard-hitting advocacy for traditional farming. I well remember Union Carbide’s toxic fume release at Bhopal:

“In the central Indian city of Bhopal, a chemical reaction at a pesticide factory released 42 tons of methyl isocyanate, better known as MIC. In one night between 3,000 and 10,000 lives were lost. MIC is one of the deadliest substances used in the chemical industry.”

In the central Indian city of Bhopal, a chemical reaction at a pesticide factory released 42 tons of methyl isocyanate, better known as MIC. In one night between 3,000 and 10,000 lives were lost. MIC is one of the deadliest substances used in the chemical industry.

Were the injured ever compensated? Apparently they were not compensated enough; nor were the perpetrators punished enough, if the scoundrels are back with the same false message: “Traditional farming cannot feed those poor people, they need our high priced high tech”.

But why are third world countries like India, Ukraine and U$A using these expensive and destructive farming methods from Monsanto, Bayer etc? Surely there must be some advantage to the farmer? Or is the traditional farmer being bought out (or squeezed out) to be replaced by employees or franchise managers of Agri-Biz? Perhaps with connivance by a regime which subsidizes Agri-Biz at the expense of traditional farmers, as one of your previous articles on India indicated.

ttshasta
ttshasta
Jun 14, 2022 2:25 AM
Reply to  NickM

Wasn’t Union Carbide’s then CEO wanted for court trial in India, but was hiding in Florida?

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 15, 2022 6:20 PM
Reply to  ttshasta

Hopefully in the Everglades. Lots of gators down there.

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 7:22 PM
Reply to  NickM

“Or is the traditional farmer being bought out (or squeezed out) to be replaced by employees or franchise managers of Agri-Biz?”

The answer to my question is Yes. I found it in a Link to the Rockefeller Foundation. Apparently a Rockerfeller wheeze to replace the independent farmer with “something that Rockefeller called Agri-Biz”.

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Jun 13, 2022 5:56 PM

GM crops and factory farming seem to be part of the Green New Deal. That’s about as sensible as it gets. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades and a hazmat suit.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 13, 2022 9:22 PM
Reply to  NixonScraypes

Maybe they plan to develop crops that thrive in poor soils while producing greater yields without fertilizers and pesticides………. Just sayin. Unlikely. But possible. And, of course, if the the chemical industry holds a monopoly on the GMO industry, it will be very unlikely. Instead of eliminating GMOs, maybe the industries should be separated to end the conflicts of interest. If the left is as environmentally conscious as it claims to be, this should be a no-brainer.

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Jun 14, 2022 10:03 AM
Reply to  Hemlockfen

Developing crops that survive harsh conditions has been going on forever, I believe most of what we have are the result of hybridisation. GM is something else, not subtle tweaking of nature, but a clumsy abuse, more like rape.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 15, 2022 6:19 PM
Reply to  NixonScraypes

The point is to separate the industries and break up monopolies. I don’t expect it to happen. Just pointing out the obvious for those leftist loonies who monitor Off Guardian. All they care about is stopping climate change. They will stop at nothing to do so. The Leftist Mantra: Lie. Cheat. Steal. Murder. The ends justify the means. We cannot stop climate change. Period. The United Nations Climate Assessment is all base on lies. There will never be utopia on Earth. The glaciers will keep melting until they stop and then will start growing again. There is nothing we can do to stop the cycle. Fuck you NSA. Fuck you fact checkers. Sorry….

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Jun 16, 2022 9:00 AM
Reply to  Hemlockfen

Agree. Without the formation of the corporation these monopolies would not exist. They are actually Golems, artificial persons- abominations.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 13, 2022 4:24 PM

“It is not an industry. It is a racket.
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“Also a racket.”
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“Brought to us by America’s first family of Crime.”

S Cooper
S Cooper
Jun 13, 2022 4:27 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

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Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 13, 2022 9:36 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

The price has been steadily climbing since 2020.

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jubal hershaw
jubal hershaw
Jun 14, 2022 3:35 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

S Cooper,
Imagine: a poster composed of a detourned photo of attendees at a nazi rally all giving the nazi salute. Instead of the speech balloon having a loud “Heil Hitler !”, they are yelling “One Health !” – the Brand behind which the gates/WEF/WHO are hiding their push for global control.
If you have such a poster, please mail it via ‘Reply’. Ta !

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 7:28 PM
Reply to  jubal hershaw

I think the German for One Health is “Ein Heil”; rhymes nicely with “Sieg Heil”.

Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Jun 14, 2022 1:50 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

UK price at pump hike is supposedly due to fall in value of £ wrt $.

That can probably explain a lot, but probably not all.

Other things: general inflation; cost of refining will have gone up.

No doubt some greed as well.

Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Jun 13, 2022 3:55 PM

“Man joined the eternal abyss
When food became a commodity”

– Paul Vonharnish –
January 2, 2020

Howard
Howard
Jun 13, 2022 3:33 PM

As much as I respect Mr Todhunter and always look forward to his articles on the horrors of Big Ag, I’m always left with a tinge of regret that he never mentions the geoengineering piece of the puzzle.

Even without the “pellets of poison” (another great Bob Dylan phrase) Big Ag is destroying the soil with, the toxic elements raining down from the constant atmospheric spraying are doing a bang-up job of killing soil microbes and impeding plant growth.

And what Big Ag isn’t doing, big lawn care (at least here in the US) is doing. With only a few exceptions, weeds are far better for soil than grass – while grass roots go deep and help hold in the soil, weeds provide nutrients. Plus, in times of food scarcity, many weeds are edible in whole or in part.

Blades of grass are fine for cows; dandelions are much better for people. But that’s always been the way, hasn’t it? People tend to pooh-pooh what nature freely provides and go ga-ga over what man’s ingenuity provides.

Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Jun 13, 2022 3:43 PM
Reply to  Howard

Heh, heh… Man’s ingenuity has gotten us to where we are today…

Anna
Anna
Jun 26, 2022 7:44 PM

Yes, still illegal. And I also don’t understand why it is equated with drugs, but alcohol is not! Not a single murder has yet been committed under cannabis, not a single war has been unleashed. It’s just that people who don’t use don’t understand how oh the effect of it is!

moneycircus
moneycircus
Jun 13, 2022 4:22 PM
Reply to  Howard

So tired, when I lived in Texas, of people complaining about their water bills while laying the best part of an acre to lawn. If you’re going to spend water, at least get fruit and veg out of it. Or save the bill and plant indigenous.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 13, 2022 9:48 PM
Reply to  moneycircus

Not over til it’s over. They will. Eventually. Water is finite. It is coming. When it does they will be forced to change. For decades I refused to recycle. Nothing but a game that made wasteful people feel good about themselves. It was a great teaching moment when I was questioned by nephews and nieces about where my recycling bin was. (I had 6 brothers and sisters and many nephews and nieces) They are all grown now with their own kids (and grand kids). They still bring it up occasionally and now understand, fully, what I was talking about. Some things just take time. No need for radical leftists to step in and make wildly insane declarations.

ttshasta
ttshasta
Jun 14, 2022 2:28 AM
Reply to  moneycircus

From memory; the US uses more gasoline and fertilizer for lawn than all the food grown in the country.

Anna
Anna
Jun 26, 2022 7:45 PM
Reply to  ttshasta

Yes, still illegal. And I also don’t understand why it is equated with drugs, but alcohol is not! Not a single murder has yet been committed under cannabis, not a single war has been unleashed. It’s just that people who don’t use don’t understand how oh the effect of it is!

NickM
NickM
Jun 13, 2022 6:49 PM
Reply to  Howard

Thanks for that example of destructive tech in such a simple everyday hobby as the pursuit of the perfect lawn.

“The best was ever the enemy of the good”.

[Written by a Lazy Lawnowner, honestly grateful for anything that deigns to thrive and flower (though bullies are uprooted) on my little patch of fairly level green; mown with a strimmer, the cuttings left on the ground; and fed with compost only].

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 14, 2022 1:00 AM
Reply to  NickM

Bill Mollison, co-creator of Permaculture, called lawns ‘green cancer’
Vale Bill.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Jun 14, 2022 3:36 PM
Reply to  NickM

Get an Austrian scythe, set to your personal measurements, learn how to maintain and set the blade, and how to use it.

Then – if you still feel the tidiness-neurosis sufferer’s need for a piece of turf like a billiard table – you’ll be able to organise it in an actually innocent way. See ‘The Scythe Connection’.  😀 

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 7:42 PM

A scythe is nicer and quieter than a mower but needs more strength and skill. I’ve used both.

“There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.”
— Robert Frost, Mowing.

Nice Guy Eddie
Nice Guy Eddie
Jun 14, 2022 1:26 PM
Reply to  Howard

Search for “Full Spectrum Dominance: Weaponising The Weather”. It is from 2013.

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 2:49 PM
Reply to  Howard

“With only a few exceptions, weeds are far better for soil than grass”

You said it.

https://youtu.be/bpEy-Mpm6AI

Nothing takes nutrients out of the soil like grass does, especially if you remove the mowings; corn and wheat are grass crops avid for fertilizer.

Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Jun 14, 2022 6:00 PM
Reply to  NickM

Whereas cows give back fertilizer in situ.

Jan
Jan
Jun 15, 2022 4:11 PM
Reply to  Howard

Yes, Howard, big or small the “lawn care” cowboys have wrought poisoned havoc in USA, with chemicals, and toxic fumes and ear-splitting noise from their gas(petrol)-powered equipment — mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws. For what? Creation of an artificial outdoors, preened to look like tasteless indoor decor, replete with dyed orange, brown or black bark mulch. Meanwhile, my lawn of some grass, dandelions, etc, has got smaller and smaller as my veggie beds and native plantings increase; leaves getting left where they fall, and some making it to a leaf mold pile in the late spring because native bees overwinter in them, and others getting worked into the soil, which is now wonderfully humusy and needs no artifical application of the dreaded bark mulch.

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
Jun 13, 2022 3:08 PM

Australia has poisoned most of the soil with organophosphates, DDT, round up and other poisons and can’t work out why so many people are getting cancers and dying young

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 13, 2022 2:48 PM

“SINISTER ROCKEFELLER FOOD SYSTEM AGENDA — THEY CREATED IT AND NOW WANT TO DESTROY IT” (by F. William Engdahl) – http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO21Oct2021.php

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 13, 2022 2:50 PM
Reply to  Joerg

And now a catastrophe in Sri Lanka – and other contries will follow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLleZNNOa9s
 

NickM
NickM
Jun 13, 2022 6:56 PM
Reply to  Joerg

From your Link to Engdahl’s exposee:

No one group has done more to damage our global agriculture and food quality than the Rockefeller Foundation. They began in the early 1950s after the War to fund two Harvard Business School professors to develop vertical integration which they named “Agribusiness.” The farmer became the least important. They then created the fraudulent Green Revolution in Mexico and India in the 1960s and later the pro-GMO Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa since 2006. Money from the Rockefeller Foundation literally created the disastrous GMO genetically altered plants with their toxic glyphosate pesticides. Now again, the foundation is engaged in a major policy change in global food and agriculture and it’s not good .
In their latest report, Transform the U.S. Food System, the Rockefeller Foundation is deeply engaged in a coordinated effort to radically change the way we produce food and how we calculate its true cost. They claim it is part of a global consensus, through the UN, to create “sustainable” agriculture amid the ongoing COVID breakdown crisis.”

NickM
NickM
Jun 13, 2022 7:01 PM
Reply to  NickM

From WikiPedia: “Rajiv J. “Raj” Shah (born March 9, 1973) is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a former American government official, physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2010–2015.”

Young man in a suit with a trust-me smile.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSyrk5H8ptzUE1ErRNFPrm3lJE1ggoMYZk_LlYUKMY&s

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 14, 2022 10:04 AM
Reply to  NickM

@Admin
I gave a point up for NickM – but after showing up the counter goes back to “0”!

NickM
NickM
Jun 14, 2022 2:59 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Appreciated, Joerg. Same thing happened when I was upticking someone recently: 1 vanished and 0 reappeared. But it only happened once.

TDj
TDj
Jun 14, 2022 5:01 PM
Reply to  NickM

FYI , it acknowledged my input, immediately…
Now to refresh.

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 14, 2022 6:11 PM
Reply to  TDj

@TDj
…is’ wohl der “Klimawandel”
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TDj
TDj
Jun 14, 2022 5:11 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Du hast vollkommen Recht: ohne Zweifel, genau dass passiert.

@admin – on refreshing the page, my like for NickM’s comment
Has Disappeared ! VERSCHWUNDEN !
CYBERSPACE !?

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Jun 14, 2022 6:28 PM
Reply to  Joerg

It’s doing that for me too. No idea why.

Joerg
Joerg
Jun 13, 2022 2:47 PM

“SINISTER ROCKEFELLER FOOD SYSTEM AGENDA — THEY CREATED IT AND NOW WANT TO DESTROY IT” (by F. William Engdahl) – http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO21Oct2021.php
 
And now Sri Lanka – and other contries will follow:

 

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 13, 2022 1:05 PM

“Unfortunately, Fyrwald, Bill Gates, Hugh Grant and their ilk are unwilling and too often incapable of viewing the world beyond their reductionist mindsets…”

It’s really just another way of saying, “greed”.

script
script
Jun 13, 2022 10:55 AM

I thought the term grow for Britainwas similar to‘Dig for Victory’  and was a possible heads up in where things are going. I hope not.

Boris Johnson unveils ‘grow for Britain’ plan
British farmers urged to put more resources into producing fruit and vegetables to help ease cost of living and food threat from Ukraine war

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/06/10/boris-johnson-unveils-grow-britain-plan/

script
script
Jun 13, 2022 10:59 AM
Reply to  script

The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign was set up during WWII by the British Ministry of Agriculture. Men and women across the country were encouraged to grow their own food in times of harsh rationing. Open spaces everywhere were transformed into allotments, from domestic gardens to public parks – even the lawns outside the Tower of London were turned into vegetable patches. Leaflets, such as the one shown here, were part of a massive propaganda campaign aiming both to ensure that people had enough to eat, and that morale was kept high. The current recession, as well as a new awareness of ‘food miles’ and climate change, has increased the demand for vegetable growing plots and the trend is supported by new, comparable government initiatives.
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Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Jun 13, 2022 3:48 PM
Reply to  script

Leave it up to the British government to instruct idiots on the use of a shovel. Uhhh. Which end do ya use? Duh…

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 13, 2022 10:43 AM

Maybe it’s an evolutionary thing.
We crawled out of the swamps and now we’re sliding back in.
Problem is, the swamp is now a toxic cesspool.
We reap what we sow.

Victor G.
Victor G.
Jun 13, 2022 1:51 PM
Reply to  Johnny

Why we? Are you part of this? I am not.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Jun 13, 2022 2:41 PM
Reply to  Victor G.

Indeed, Malthusian indoctrination goes very deep…

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Jun 13, 2022 10:00 PM
Reply to  Tom Larsen

I was there and got sucked in. Environmental Biology freshman course. Designed to steer freshman toward the major. I bit. Population explosion and Malthusian theory. A couple nephews asked for my advice on a major. They were thinking about the same major at the same college. I advised medicine or engineering. Confused them to no end. What? But…..didn’t you………….. Don’t do it, I interrupted. I am laughing.

Howard
Howard
Jun 13, 2022 3:19 PM
Reply to  Victor G.

I’m intrigued enough to butt into this conversation. If you’re not part of this, where is your hideout? I know you can’t divulge it outright – but maybe a general idea?

My point of course is that the psychos who make these decisions have constructed a paradigm which involves all of us whether we like it or not. It’s called “Democracy.”

No one has yet found a way to get out of a Democracy and into an Anarchy.

Tom Larsen
Tom Larsen
Jun 13, 2022 7:37 PM
Reply to  Howard

Why do you hold people responsible for things they had no choice about (or even knew anything about)? Most of the consequential technological developments of the last century had nothing to do with “Democracy” let alone even the “free market”: Those technologies were developed by the military or funded by military or intelligence agencies. I’ll just mention one of thousands – the internet. Technological development is not inevitable nor even neutral. Certain technologies are developed and others not. The technologies that are developed are developed to benefit those that pay for them (not the public!): generally speaking, that is the State and Big Business.

Johnny
Johnny
Jun 14, 2022 1:05 AM
Reply to  Victor G.

Unless you’re a fruitarian, living in a grass hut, next to a stream, on a tropical island: You’re (we are) part of the problem.

Joe doe
Joe doe
Jun 14, 2022 3:07 AM
Reply to  Johnny

Sure. Now go get a covid vaccine every other month or so until you become part of the solution. I for one will try to stick around in order to see the true perpetrators of the problem getting what they deserve.

Backward
Backward
Jun 13, 2022 9:44 AM

Superb article. Will we ever stop worshipping technology? Not until we’ll keep worshipping money, as tech is just its auxiliary god.

Victor G.
Victor G.
Jun 13, 2022 1:52 PM
Reply to  Backward

Why we? Are you part of this? I am not.

Christine Thompson
Christine Thompson
Jun 13, 2022 2:29 PM
Reply to  Backward

As Victor G (below) correctly states, why do you say ‘We…’?
Not all of us do what you referred to. Ie, not all of us worship technology, and not all of us worship money. It’s not wise to make generalisations/assumptions.

I do not ‘worship’ either of those things.

Howard
Howard
Jun 13, 2022 3:22 PM

I would like to think I’m not part of this either – I despise technology, and really do consider money “the root of all evil.”

But I just returned from Aldi’s with a few grocery items. Sorry to say, but that makes me part of it.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Jun 13, 2022 6:04 PM
Reply to  Howard

You’re using technology to tell everyone you despise technology. You’re using technology every time you drive a car, cook a meal, flush a toilet, run a bath, watch TV, do some DIY, cut down a tree, read a book, listen to music, fly a kite, make clothes, wear clothes, wash your hair, cut your hair, dye your hair, ride a bike, play golf, play football, wear shoes, look through a microscope, visit the dentist, use a condom, have an operation, make a phone call, paint a picture, write in a journal, send a postcard, fire a gun, get in a boat, light a fire.

How many of those things do you despise?

Jesper
Jesper
Jun 13, 2022 7:21 PM

I’m pitching in, if I may? Technologies that dominates (or control) its users=bad. Technologies that elevates (and is under control by) its users=good.
And I mean control in every sense of the word.

NickM
NickM
Jun 13, 2022 8:09 PM
Reply to  Jesper

Sophie makes a good point and you give a good answer. +1 each.

‘Fire is a good servant but a bad master’ — Proverb.

Viridis
Viridis
Jun 13, 2022 9:42 PM

High technology is inherently bad as it relies on economic slavery, genocide and biocide.
It is not a case of “depends on how it’s used” . the processes that create high tech are destructive, and its applications are mostly destructive.
Medical devices that prolong life are often torture for the patient who just wants it to end.

Some high tech can ease suffering for those rich enough to afford it but the processes that create it are also destructive.

I vote for a return to the stone age, even if it kills me.

Lizzyh7
Lizzyh7
Jun 13, 2022 9:43 PM

As you point out here quite well, we are all part of it. Every single thing one does, buys, eats, etc is part of the machine. I remember reading quite a while ago about climate debt – that countries that consume most of the worlds resources do indeed owe a debt to those who do not. For me that was one of those knee jerk moments – simply can’t be so, right? Whatever one thinks of climate change per se, or CO2 or whatever, we are ALL part of it by consuming, period. That is not necessarily to say it is all our fault, but finding that one group to blame for it all is an endless exercise in reality.

Of course there are good things technology has done, but to refuse to see the downside of that is the same attitude of those who refuse to see we do live on a FINITE planet, and a lot of our technological practices are in no way truly sustainable in the long run. Just how many chemicals can we dump before our soil is permanently poisoned and no longer viable to grow food in? How much 5G should we accept if it’s killing not only us, but the very environment we ALL depend on to breathe? NO ONE wants to ask those questions or even admit they should be part of the equation.

There are many, many things about technology to despise. Nuclear weapons come to mind, as well as the agricultural chemicals being spewed out all over the world everyday. Most of us simply ignore those parts and cheer on the good aspects of tech. But those externalities are now coming home to bite us all in the ass. Acceptance of that does not make one an idiot, and it certainly doesn’t deserve the scorn of those who only want to see positives while disregarding the reality of the negatives.

The question of how much of it one despises and if one despises it one should not use it is akin to those who claim one must be a medical doctor with full degrees to question the wisdom of the latest pharma product. And we all have seen where that kind of attitude takes us, have we not?

Lawrence Wolf
Lawrence Wolf
Jun 14, 2022 1:50 PM

Then why don’t we use technology to extricate ourselves from the slave regime descending upon us?

Zane
Zane
Jun 13, 2022 9:21 AM

Hugh Grant should’ve stuck to dating Liz Hurley 😄.

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 13, 2022 1:00 PM
Reply to  Zane

…or growing old gracefully, like an adult human.
You can’t be a 20-year-old nerd for a whole lifetime.

Actually I think he would make an excellent evil villain, as did Hugh Laurie, if he could be bothered to branch out a bit…

Ah well… back to the topic and the other Hugh Grant…

Zane
Zane
Jun 14, 2022 12:46 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Next you’ll tell me Julia Roberts doesn’t live in Notting Hill!

wardropper
wardropper
Jun 15, 2022 1:54 PM
Reply to  Zane

Damn. And I just found a nice little flat there…