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Food Wars

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Author and blogger Dr Joseph P. Farrell has an hypothesis:  Food has become a geopolitical issue.  That is to say, nations are beginning to fall into two broad blocs, those favoring genetically engineered (GE) crops and livestock and those favoring traditionally-grown, non-GE vareties.  And whichever bloc wins out, that will have grave effects for humanity the world over.

The first context we may see this in is the recent United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA, or New NAFTA) trade agreement, which contains a number of provisions that are helpful for the transnational biotechnology corporations specializing in GE ‘food’ like Monsanto.  Mexico has especial reason to be worried:

Last week, after the Trump administration struck a deal with Canada and Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House declared victory for US farmers, who gained greater access to Canadian dairy, egg, poultry, and wheat markets. Unfortunately, the new deal called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, also includes lesser-known provisions that could allow agribusiness corporations to patent Mexico’s native corn varieties and challenge the country’s ban on genetically modified (GM) corn cultivation.

“I think it’s going to open up Mexico to an invasion of biotech seed companies that will try to push patented seeds on farmers and patent traditional corn varieties in the birthplace of corn genetics,” says Patrick Woodall, Research Director for Food & Water Watch.

Such an opening could further harm Mexico’s corn farmers, who lost much of their market after the original NAFTA in 1993 opened Mexico to imports of U.S. corn. The deal may also reduce the diversity of Mexico’s native corn strains, which are vital to the health of the world’s corn crop.

Over 8,000 years ago farmers in present-day Mexico first domesticated corn from a wild grass, teosinte. Corn holds incredible cultural, economic, and ecological significance in Mexico to this day. Mexico has maintained a vast array of diverse corn species, with 64 recognized strains, called landraces, and over 21,000 regionally adapted varieties. Over two-thirds of Mexican corn farmers still save their own seeds and plant native strains.

This diverse genetic trove is “absolutely critical to modern crop breeding,” says Tim Wise, the Director of Policy Research at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University. “It’s a critical natural resource for the modern world,” he says. When researchers look for drought-resistant strains or corn that can requires less fertilizer, they turn to Mexico’s native corn gene pool.

In 2011, Monsanto and Syngenta requested the first permits to plant GM corn in northern Mexico. But introducing GM corn leads to natural cross-pollination, or gene flow, between native and GM crops, threatening the genetic diversity of Mexico’s indigenous corn. In October 2013, a federal judge ordered a temporary halt on GM corn permits after a group of 53 farmers and consumers filed a class action suit claiming GM cultivation violated Mexicans’ constitutional right to a clean environment. In the years since, courts continue to uphold this decision, calling for further study and extending the ban.

Today, only thirty percent of Mexican farmers use commercial hybrid single-use corn seed.

While the new NAFTA does not repeal Mexico’s GM corn ban, it includes industry-friendly language, as well as new tools for governments to challenge or deter regulations. “There’s no smoking gun in the text that says Mexico must allow planting of GMOs,” says Karen Hansen-Kuhn, the Director of Trade and Global Governance at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. ”But there is whole a series of factors, in different parts of the agreement, that would make it harder to implement new rules and put existing rules under new kinds of scrutiny.”

 . . .

— Claire Kelloway, http://www.foodandpower.net/2018/10/10/mexicos-native-corn-varieties-threatened-by-new-nafta/

Canada, too, has reason for concern:

 . . . “President Trump touts USMCA as a big win for US farmers, but it is a huge loss for dairy farmers on both sides of the border. Canadian family farms will go out of business and Canadian dairy farmers will see their incomes fall due to increased US imports. While the slightly expanded market will offer small benefits to some US dairy farmers, it does nothing to reduce the overproduction at the heart of our dairy crisis – rather, it increases the false idea that exports will save us. We must solve the problem of our overproduction through common sense farmer-led supply management programs, not by dumping our excess milk into the Canadian farmers’ market,” said Wisconsin dairy farmer Jim Goodman, board president of NFFC.

The Canadian government has suggested it may implement a subsidy program to offset farm losses. US farmers have fared poorly in the decades since farm subsidies have replaced supply management in this country, with small farms closing and large farms getting ever larger, reducing the population and prosperity of rural areas. Producing as much as possible is now the only way for farmers to survive, leading to widespread chemical use and “fencerow to fencerow” planting, even in environmentally sensitive areas.

Farm subsidies, intended to make up farmers’ costs when overproduction causes farmer prices to drop, cost billions to taxpayers, but often only cover a fraction of farm expenses. The changes in the USMCA appear poised to shift Canada’s farmers out of a system that provides a fair income to farmers and ensures consumers an affordable supply of locally produced food into a production-oriented farming free-for-all like that of the US, with all of its negative economic, social, and environmental consequences.

NFFC is additionally concerned that the USMCA will pave the way for unregulated gene-edited genetically modified organisms (GMOs), further consolidating the control that seed and agrochemical companies hold over farmers. The deal also allows these companies to withhold important information on pesticide safety, with potentially dangerous consequences for farmers, farmworkers, and farming communities.

 . . .

— https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/opinion/2018/10/02/national-family-farm-coalition-new-trade-deal-more-same/1502709002/

But the consequences are likely to be negative for all three participants, as the USMCA allows the biotech giants to create beachheads in other areas as well:

It likely won't surprise many that a corporate rights agreement -- namely the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) -- promotes the foods engineered by transnational biotechnology corporations with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The signals were there. In June 2017, Agriculture.com reported, "The Trump administration will attack overseas regulations that restrict the export of GMO crops."

Now the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy notes the USMCA "seeks to streamline approval and trade of controversial agricultural biotechnology products" and "fails to protect consumers' right to know what's in their food and where it is produced."

The National Family Farm Coalition has also expressed concern that "the USMCA will pave the way for unregulated gene-edited genetically modified organisms, further consolidating the control that seed and agrochemical companies hold over farmers."

 . . .

rBST milk

The deal will also mean more milk in Canada from cows that have been injected with genetically engineered rBST, a growth hormone, to boost their milk production.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1993, but the drug is not allowed to be administered in Canada.

More of that rBST milk will be entering Canada given the USMCA opens another 3.59 per cent of the Canadian market to U.S. dairy producers.

'Regulatory cooperation'

The Texas Farm Bureau, which supports the deal, says, "Unlike NAFTA, USMCA addresses the use of biotechnology in agriculture. The three countries agreed to enhance information exchange and cooperation on genetically modified organisms and gene editing."

Specifically, the USMCA will establish a "Working Group for Cooperation on Agricultural Biotechnology" and defines "regulatory cooperation" as efforts to "prevent, reduce, or eliminate unnecessary regulatory differences between jurisdictions."

The deal even highlights, "To reduce the likelihood of disruptions to trade in products of agricultural biotechnology ... each party shall continue to encourage applicants to submit timely and concurrent applications to parties for authorization, if required..."

Genetically engineered salmon

In November 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the commercial sale of AquaBounty genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. In May of this year, the FDA approved the first U.S. facility for the production of genetically engineered salmon.

The CBC reported last month that 4.5 tonnes of prepared sashimi products with AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon -- approved by Health Canada for sale as food in May 2016 -- had already been sold in Canada this year.

The USMCA will help facilitate the cross-border production and sale of this unlabelled product.

Not surprisingly, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, "the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies," has already endorsed the USMCA.

 . . .

— Brent Patterson, http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brent-patterson/2018/10/usmca-will-mean-more-genetically-modified-foods-your-dinner

Other parts of the world have already and are now suffering much more deeply than North America because of the pro-GMO agenda.

Argentina

Speaking of the reasons for the unrest fomented by Washington City in Argentina throughout the 1970s, Dr Farrell and Dr Scott de Hart write,

 . . . the agribusiness elite intended for it to become “a secret experimental laboratory for developing genetically engineered crops.  The population was to become the human guinea pigs of the project.”  Under the regime of President Menem, who replaced the junta (again with the maneuverings of the American government and agribusiness elite in the background), the Argentine government granted more than 569 licenses for field trials for various genetically engineered crops, including “corn, sunflowers, cotton, wheat and especially soybeans” (Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas, Port Townsend, Wash., Feral House, 2011, p. 126).

Iraq and Syria

Iraq is historically part of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, where for millennia the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers created ideal conditions for crop cultivation.  Iraqi farmers have been in existence since approximately 8,000 B.C., and developed the rich seeds of almost every variety of wheat used in the world today.  They did this through a system of saving a share of seeds and replanting them, developing new naturally resistant hybrid varieties through the new plantings.

For years, the Iraqis held samples of such precious natural seed varieties in a national seed bank, located in Abu Ghraib, the city better known internationally as the site of a US military torture prison.  Following the US occupation of Iraq and its various bombing campaigns, the historic and valuable seed bank in Abu Ghraib vanished, a further casualty of the Iraq war.

However, Iraq’s previous Agriculture Ministry had taken the precaution to create a back-up seed storage bank in neighboring Syria, where the most important wheat seeds are still stored in an organization known as the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), based in Aleppo, Syria (F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, p. 202, quoted in Farrell and de Hart, p. 124).

In addition to the other geopolitical factors swirling around Iraq and Syria (oil, the expansion of Israeli influence across the Middle East, insane American Evangelical Protestant eschatology, etc.), the entrapment of formerly independent Iraqi and Syrian farmers into the net of the biotech giants and the eradication of their unpatented heirloom seeds must also be kept in mind.

The Ukraine

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is helping biotech run the latest war in Ukraine. Make no mistake that what is happening in the Ukraine now is deeply tied to the interests of Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, and other big players in the poison food game.

Monsanto has an office in Ukraine. While this does not shout ‘culpability’ from every corner, it is no different than the US military’s habit to place bases in places that they want to gain political control. The opening of this office coincided with land grabs with loans from the IMF and World Bank to one of the world’s most hated corporations – all in support of their biotech takeover.

Previously, there was a ban on private sector land ownership in the country – but it was lifted ‘just in time’ for Monsanto to have its way with the Ukraine.

In fact, a bit of political maneuvering by the IMF gave the Ukraine a $17 billion loan – but only if they would open up to biotech farming and the selling of Monsanto’s poison crops and chemicals – destroying a farmland that is one of the most pristine in all of Europe. Farm equipment dealer, Deere, along with seed producers Dupont and Monsanto, will have a heyday.

In the guise of ‘aid,’ a claim has been made on Ukraine’s vast agricultural riches. It is the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat. Ukraine has deep, rich, black soil that can grow almost anything, and its ability to produce high volumes of GM grain is what made biotech come rushing to take it over.

 . . .

— Christina Sarich, http://naturalsociety.com/theyre-not-telling-monsantos-role-ukraine/

The carnage is not likely to stop with these countries.  And indeed it appears to be taking on new forms:

In my previous articles I’ve touched upon the deadly weapons of tomorrow, those that reek of death and destruction for the mankind, developed in top-secret US laboratories. Previously, I’ve examined the mutated bacteria codenamed Cynthia, that was originally designed to consume hydrocarbon wastes but instead it started to consume human flesh. Even though there’s been a number of lethal cases along the Gulf of Mexico, American authorities chose to keep this whole deal a secret.

However, their secret experiments haven’t stopped there, but now they are being conducted away from American shores, namely in Europe, as Donald Trump himself listed this continent as one of the principal rivals of the United States in the world-wide war for global domination.

A rather disturbing number of reports has recently been presented by independent media sources, all talking about the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria that threatens to completely wipe both Italy and a number of other Mediterranean countries clean off centuries-old olive trees. This microbe, which would typically appear in America, has already infected 800 thousand olive trees in the closed commune of Salento, located in Apulia, Italy.

This Italian region produces more than a third of the world’s supply of olive oil, which amounts to some 11 million tons a year. The standards of olive oil producers in Puglia are widely regarded as industry standards that most other producers can only strive to achieve. The rapid spread of bacteria has already resulted in oil manufacturers suffering 250 million euros in losses, and it doesn’t seem that anybody knows how to put a stop to it. As it’s been pointed out by Angelo Corsetti, a representative of the Italian agricultural group Coldiretti, Italian oil producers were forced into creating a sanitary cordon, cutting off an area of 8,000 hectares from their lands completely. The contaminated area is going to be purged of any surviving olive trees in a bid to save those still unaffected by the bacteria.

Olive oil producers have recently expressed their concern about the possible spread of Xylella fastidiosa across the Mediterranean states, namely Greece, Spain, and France, with regions of Northern Africa and Middle East also being at risk of contamination.

 . . .

— Jean Perier, https://journal-neo.org/2018/12/05/yet-another-americas-runaway-bacteria-is-getting-rampant-in-europe/

But what is the final goal of this pro-GMO agenda?  Drs Farrell and de Hart give some answers:

 . . . genetic engineering was the means to the end, the end being to gain patent rights over plants being used in agricultural production; it was a means, in short, of the social transformation of mankind.  Patents, in other words, became the instruments of conquest, and this, Robin points out, was their actual origin in jurisprudence:

The word ‘patent’ itself comes from the age of conquest.  ‘Letters patent’ was the name given to an official public document – in Latin, patens means ‘open’ or ‘obvious’ – bearing the seal of European sovereigns [and] granting to adventurers and pirates the exclusive right to conquer foreign countries in their name.  At the time Europe was colonizing the world, letters patent were directed at territorial conquest, whereas today’s patents are aimed at economic conquest through the appropriation of living organisms by the new sovereigns, the multinational corporations like Monsanto (M. Robin, The World According to Monsanto, p. 312, quoted in Transhumanism, p. 129).

 . . . There is a possibility – albeit a slight one – raised by all this genetic engineering, this alchemical engineering of seedless seeds and its accompanying alchemical social engineering, and that is the possibility that, through some mutation, the genetic modifications of engineering foods might actually modify the genetic makeup of humans eating it.

And that in turn, raises the prospect – if the engineered genes are patented, that humans so modified might be considered the intellectual property of the corporations having produced the modification (p. 130).

 . . . It is darkly revealing that it is at the level of the second alchemical ascension – the “androgynous” fusion of man and vegetable into some sort of monstrous “alchemo-vegetable” creature – that one encounters the activity of powerful banking and corporate interests and of their lackeys who, in turn, have their own explicit and evident esoteric and occult interests.  But this should not surprise us, for the doctrine of man as a microcosm, and of the universe as a “great man” (or μακανθρωπος), implies that for the total alchemical transformation of man, both his body, and his “extended” body – i.e., the world, society, or environment – in which he lives, must likewise be transformed, including all that enters it, namely, his food (pgs. 113-4).

But there are forces working to preserve traditional agricultural products and the methods of growing them.

Russia is one.  She has banned GE crops within her borders and aims to be a world leader in producing non-GE food:

https://gizadeathstar.com/2018/05/gmo-geopolitics-putin-confirms-it/

India’s highest court has ruled that Monsanto cannot patent seeds, although it now seems to be retreating from that position:

https://gizadeathstar.com/2018/04/gmo-geopolitics-update-monstersanto-loses-patent-rights-in-india/

http://naturalsociety.com/court-greenlight-monsanto-bayer-claim-gm-cotton-patent-1745/

China, though tied closely to troublemaker Syngenta, has launched a large-scale organic farming effort:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_China#Organic_food_products

https://www.organic-world.net/fileadmin/documents/yearbook/2011/qiao-2011-china.pdf

Problems with heavy metals and other contaminants remain there, however:

https://www.naturalnews.com/044950_China_heavy_metals_soils_contamination.html

More than three dozen countries around the world have banned the growing of GE crops:

https://sustainablepulse.com/2015/10/22/gm-crops-now-banned-in-36-countries-worldwide-sustainable-pulse-research/

And there has been good news in the States as well, where Monsanto has suffered a major court loss regarding the safety of its Roundup weed killer, and, as a result, is now facing thousands of other lawsuits of a like kind:

http://monsanto.news/2018-10-25-monsanto-bayer-facing-over-8000-lawsuits-roundup-herbicide-causes-cancer.html

Farmers and consumers in the States can send GE ‘food’ to an early grave if they want to.  Some good steps are being taken in this direction:  the continued rise in demand for clean, organic food, the reappearance of a major non-GE crop in hemp, and growing interest in re-establishing a direct farm-to-consumer relationship.  But we are still far from the goal.  And considering the various agendas that are being worked out behind the scenes of the Agricultural Cold War, that is not a good place to be.

Folks in the States need to ask themselves, do they want growing and eating and exporting poison to be an ‘American value’?

Author: Walt Garlington