by Jon Rappoport
February 25, 2013
You’re a farmer. Season after season, you watch your fields being taken over by Monsanto superweeds, which are resistant to the herbicide Roundup.
What are you going to do? You’re locked in. You’re buying your GMO seeds from Monsanto, and the food crops that grow from those seeds are supposed to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup, so that’s what you spray on your crops.
But the weeds are resistant. They spread and they grow taller. They’re taking over.
So you, along with many, many other US farmers, go to a strategy called “burndown,” which is just as bad as it sounds. You use something a lot stronger than Roundup to kill those weeds: Paraquat, for example, which has been banned in 32 countries.
You drench your fields with it in the fall. You kill anything growing. And you drench the fields again in the spring, before you plant. Then, just as you’re going to plant, you hit the fields a third time with the poison.
This is in addition to all the sprayings with Roundup, which is toxic, too.
Then you harvest the crops and you sell them. And consumers eat the food along with all the poison.
Tom Philpot, writing in Mother Jones (Feb.6), reports the alarming stats on the superweed takeover of US farmland. As of 2012, almost 50% of US farms had superweeds. In 2011, it was 34%. In Georgia, it’s now 92%.
The total acreage of US farmland with resistant superweeds jumped by 51% in 2012. In 2011, it was a 25% increase. That upward- percentage escalation is called a nightmare.
Well, so farmers are poisoning the hell out of their food and their fields. But with Monsanto’s super-duper GMO technology, the crop yields are still much bigger than they would be without the GMO seeds, right?
The Institute for Responsible Technology cites and quotes three reports on that score.
An International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development study, signed on to by 58 governments and 400 scientists, states that GMO crop production is “highly variable,” and in some cases it has “declined.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report, “Failure to Yield,” emphatically stated: “Commercial GE [genetically engineered] crops have made no inroads so far into raising the intrinsic or potential yields of any crop.”
A US Dept. of Agriculture report: “GE crops available for commercial use do not increase the yield potential. In fact, yield may even decrease…”
Let’s summarize. Using Monsanto GMO technology to grow food crops results in massive poisoning of the farm land and the food. And increased crops yields are a fiction.
Nothing to see here, move along. Don’t worry, be happy. Stand back, technology at work. Progress is our most important product. Better living through chemistry. Ignorance is strength.
What would a president and his administration do to make sure the truth is overrun and squashed?
So let’s go to the scorecard and review the actions of Obama in his first term.
The new president filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA:
At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.
As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
As the new Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.
As the new counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.
As the new head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had preciously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research.
We should also remember that Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm. That firm was counsel to Monsanto.
Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.
The deck was stacked. Obama hadn’t simply made honest mistakes. Obama hadn’t just failed to exercise proper oversight in selecting appointees. He wasn’t just experiencing a failure of short-term memory. He was staking out territory on behalf of Monsanto and other GMO corporate giants.
And now let us look at what key Obama appointees have wrought for their true bosses. Let’s detail the extraordinary parade of GMO crops that have skated through the open door of the Obama presidency.
Monsanto GMO alfalfa.
Monsanto GMO sugar beets.
Monsanto GMO Bt soybean.
Coming soon: Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn.
Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol.
Syngenta GMO stacked corn.
Pioneer GMO soybean.
Syngenta GMO Bt cotton.
Bayer GMO cotton.
ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats.
A GMO papaya strain.
And perhaps, soon, genetically engineered salmon and apples.
That’s how you control and squash the truth.