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GMO Cables

One of Wikileak's (in retrospect) not surprising revelations was that the US State Dept. actively promotes the interestd of large corporations over those of individuals and smaller companies. (Yeah, I know, news at 11.) In particular, I'm referringto to the cables revealing the many attempts by the State Dept. to promote Monsanto's genetically-modified crops and to punish those countries where the use of such GMOs was banned or restricted.

The cables released on 1/5/11 show Bush Pioneer and ex-business partner Craig Stapleton, now ambassador the France, advocating a "military-style trade war against GM sceptics in Europe."

"Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. ... Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.

More here in a transcript from the Democracy Now program.

We also learn that the US also leaned on the Vatican to reverse their policy against GMO crops.

According to one cable, the Vatican [policy], they said, was tied more to economic arguments, as some fear that widespread use of GMO food in the developing world would subjugate its farmer population and become a form of economic imperialism simply serving to enrich multi-national corporations.

No shit. Sounds like some of those activist liberation theology priests are in charge over there. I thought Herr Joseph Ratzinger had them all rounded up for re-education.

Some of the things revealed recently can only make on draw the conclusion that the seed/GMO companies like Monsanto and Pioneer are simply evil. There is no other explanation.

Why would Monsanto and Pioneer create seed which produce sterile offsprings or are genetically engineered to produce sterile pollen (male gametes)? They argue it is to protect their IP. The real reason is to require farmers to buy seed each year and not to raise their own seed crops. Of course, if their plants escape into the environment and, aided by now well-documented insect resistance, and displace native crops, who cares. And if the genes jump to other species, a now well-established event, and that leads to a collapse of local plant stocks, well, too bad. The farmers are all pirates anyway. They're probably downloading songs from the internet too.

Of course, that won't happen, according to Monsanto. Yet, the documentation that the genes and plants escape from farmer's plots is well established. And this year, it was published in the PNAS that BT from GMO corn is leaking into the environment, affecting insecrt populations far from the fields. Up to 18% of US midwestern streams contained high levels of BT leached from GMO-planted fields. But who cares if these biochemicals (along with pesticide and herbicide run-off) are killing insects and bees distantly. That's over there. [Ed.: And the loss of up to 70% of insect biomass in the last 5 years documented in 2017 must be due to something else, not climate change, oh no, not neo-nics, and not GMO crops, the agribusiness apologists say.]

Meanwhile, farmers apply ever larger doses of insecticides and herbicides on their fields of GMO-crops to treat the increasingly pesticide resistant insects and herbicide resistant weeds like pigweed. [Ed.: In fact, herbicide resistant pigweed has led to the abandonment of hundreds of acres of farmland in the South.] Unsurprisingly, exactly as presicted by the law of unintended consequences. the 'blowback' of increasing use of GMO crops has been to increase pesticide and herbicide use, not to decrease as was advertised when they were sold.

And if you, as a consumer, want to boycott GMO foods to put pressure on farmers to avoid them, too bad. As an example, consider GMO salmon. The FDA doesnt require labeling of its GMO content because the US FDA says such labeling is not needed because they are "deemed not "materially different" from other salmon - something agency scientists have said isn't true. Further, under industry pressure, the FDA bans labeling of foods as GMO free contending that extra labeling only confuses the consumer. The food industry is looking to further federal action to prevent states from enacting their own GMO-labeling laws. So much for the "state's rights" argument oiften trotted out by the GOP.

You know, I guess I'll have to buy food from France instead.

Posted by Gordon, No Hair News, Jan 18, 2011

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