By Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

Organic is organic, or is it? It would seem that it is all a matter of perspective when one takes a stroll through the mountains of documents on the FDA and USDA websites.

The word “organic” is fast becoming a high-dollar money-maker for corporations smart enough to jump on the bandwagon and start marketing their products as “made with organic ingredients,” or “certified organic.” Even Monsanto is taking advantage of this burgeoning market, and people naïve enough to believe that what we have traditionally thought of as pure, organic food, is still that way, are being duped.

It makes perfect sense, however, in a Machiavellian sort of way. Flood the food supply with poisons, then lead people to believe that the only safe choice left is USDA Certified Organic. Then buy up the organic companies one by one, and start changing the “organic” rules from the inside out via the bought and paid for government agencies so that you can reap the profits from those trying to escape the poisons.  (more…)

Institute for Responsible Technology

By Jeffrey M. Smith

May 19, 2009

 

Today, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.”[i]  They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.

AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.” READ MORE…

anniston

Do we really want to eat food created by Monsanto and sprayed with Monsanto’s chemicals? Before we take another bite, a bit of research is in order.

This is the first sentence of the Monsanto Pledge, taken from http://www.monsanto.com:

“We want to make the world a better place for future generations.”

Really? This sounds so good. Environmentally responsible people looking out for the good of humanity. However, I believe that no matter what is said, we can judge the fruit of this company by its actions. Please read the following article from SourceWatch, and judge for yourself if Monsanto’s claim that “a healthy, sustainable environment is important to our business” is true, or just another Public Relations spin. READ MORE…
 

 

 

 

 

PoisonScientists pinpoint how very low concentrations of the herbicide and other chemicals in Roundup formulations kill human cells, strengthening the case for phasing them out, and banning all further releases of Roundup-tolerant GM crops.

This article was submitted to the USDA on behalf of ISIS.

On April 1, 2008, I published the following article. Here it is again, because I believe that this information needs to be in the forefront of our minds when confronting the GMO invasion of our food supply. At the end of the article is a current update on the status of the GMO takeover.

America’s Silent Killing Fields

By Barbara Peterson

America’s silent killers are deadly, and do not discriminate. They target babies, the elderly, teenagers, young adults, middle-age housewives, and businessmen alike. They poison livestock, pets, and wildlife, and the people behind them deny complicity in the carnage. Who or what are these silent, deadly killers? They are the beautiful, green, uniform, and seemingly beneficial, killing fields of genetically modified (GMO) crops. The people behind them are the U.S. government, the Rockefellers, Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta.

 

How it Began  

Eugenics is a dirty word, yet particularly applicable to America’s killing fields and their inception:

 

Henry Kissinger drafted the controversial NSSM-200 in 1974, called “the foundational document on population control issued by the United States government.” According to NSSM-200, elements of the implementation of population control programs could include: the legalization of abortion; financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; indoctrination of children; mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless an LDC implements population control programs.

 

NSSM-200 also specifically declared that the United States was to cover up its population control activities and avoid charges of imperialism by inducing the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations to do its dirty work.

 

(Human Life International, 2008)

 

In 1970, Henry Kissinger said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” How do you control food? By consolidating agricultural interests into what was to be termed agribusiness, creating genetically modified organisms out of heritage seeds with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, patenting the new seeds, and making sure that these new seeds are force-fed to U.S. farmers as well as the rest of the world. By holding the patents on these seeds and requiring farmers to purchase new seeds every year, the control is complete. Also, by controlling how these GMO seeds are created, other more sinister uses come to mind. But first, you must convince the world of your good intentions. This is accomplished through lies, deception, and a bit of media manipulation. By promising farmers that this technology was safe, and would result in increased yields at less cost, they were more than happy to give it a try. The fact that in most cases this claim was false had yet to be proven by the innocent farmers that believed the lie.

 

By the time independent studies started revealing that GMO is harmful, it was too late, and the freight train called agri-business was on its way to fulfilling its purpose – to make as much money as possible by spreading GMO seeds as far as possible, and thus gaining control of the population via food.

 

The U.S. Farmland Takeover  

It is now 2008, and the U.S. is in the midst of a deadly trend. From time-tested agricultural processes that involve tilling the land, planting, and harvesting both produce and seed, to mass-produced, genetically engineered seed injection requiring less workers and more pesticides, agribusiness has taken hold and is strangling the country with its GMO crops and farming methods. The end-result? The family farmer is squeezed out in favor of agribusiness’ mass-production methods using genetically engineered crops grown with poisoned seeds, good for one harvest only. Here are some statistics that show how GMO crops are taking over U.S. farmland:

 

The adoption of HT [herbicide-tolerant] corn, which had been slower in previous years, has accelerated, reaching 52 percent of U.S. corn acreage in 2007.

Plantings of Bt [insect-resistant] corn grew from 8 percent of U.S. corn acreage in 1997 to 26 percent in 1999, then fell to 19 percent in 2000 and 2001, before climbing to 29 percent in 2003 and 49 percent in 2007. Plantings of Bt cotton expanded more rapidly, from 15 percent of U.S. cotton acreage in 1997 to 37 percent in 2001 and 59 percent in 2007.

Adoption of all GE [genetically engineered] cotton, taking into account the acreage with either or both HT and Bt traits, reached 87 percent in 2007, versus 91 percent for soybeans. In contrast, adoption of all biotech corn was 73 percent. (USDA, 2007) 

The Killing Fields go Worldwide

Not content to restrict the use of GMO to the U.S., a larger, more ambitious plan was in the making.

 

 

By Presidential Executive Order [1992], the US had defined GMO seeds as harmless and hence not needing to be regulated for health and safety. It made sure this principle was carried over into the new World Trade Organization (WTO) in the form of the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS), which stated, ‘Food standards and measures aimed at protecting people from pests or animals can potentially be used as a deliberate barrier to trade’… 

Other WTO rules in the Agreement to Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) forbid member countries from using domestic standards or testing, food safety laws, product standards, calling them an ‘unfair barrier to trade.’ The impact of those two US-mandated WTO rulings meant that Washington could threaten that any government restricting import of GM plants on grounds they might pose threats to health and safety of their population, could be found to be in violation of WTO free trade rules! (Engdahl, 2006)

 

This resulted in a long awaited plan by the multinational GMO pushers to take over global agriculture, as represented in the following chart that outlines just how many hectares of land were devoted to GMO crops from 1996 to 2006:

 

 gmo-hectares

 

(GMO Compass, 2007)

 

Take a good look at the chart above, and let’s do the math. Keep in mind that all figures are approximate.

 

1 hectare = 2.4711 acres. In 2006, there were 102 million hectares of land on planet earth devoted to GMO crops, or 252.05 million acres. 1 square mile = 640 acres. Therefore, by 2006, there were approximately 393,828 square miles of GMO crops.

 

The earth’s total landmass is approximately 92,229,476 square miles. In 2005, Taipei Times reported that 40% of the earth’s land mass was being used for farmland. Not accounting for any increase from 2005 to 2006, the amount of land being used for farmland was, in 2006, 40% of 92,229,476 square miles, or 36,891,790 square miles, and this includes grazing land for livestock production.

 

According to Science Daily, “grazing occupies 26 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial surface.” 26% of earth’s total landmass of 92,229,476 square miles = 23,979,664 square miles. So, subtract that from the total amount of land being used for farmland, and we get 12,912,126 square miles of farmland devoted to raising crops. Of this total amount of farmland that is being used to raise crops, 393,828 square miles are devoted to GMO crop production as of 2006. Let’s look a bit further:  

According the chart above, in 1996, there were 1.7 hectares, or 4.2 million acres, which equates to approximately 6,563 square miles of farmland devoted to GMO crops. In 2006, there were 393,828 square miles of farmland devoted to GMO crops, which was 387,265 square miles more in 2006 than in 1996. Using a rate of increase calculation, this equates to

 

A 5900% INCREASE IN LAND DEVOTED TO GMO CROPS IN A 10-YEAR PERIOD!

 

If you think that this trend cannot continue, think again.

 

In 2007, the cultivation of genetically modified plants also increased. The area dedicated to such plants rose by 12 million hectares to reach a total of 114 million hectares. The greatest increase was shown by maize, which added 10 million hectares to its area. Genetically modified plants are commercially employed in 23 countries, twelve of which are developing nations. (GMO Compass, 2008)

 

 gmo-graph

 

(GMO Compass, 2008)

 

It looks like the agri-giants are right on schedule, with an average yearly increase of approximately 10 million hectares of land. The increase from 2006 to 2007 was 102 to 114 hectares. At this rate, the amount of land dedicated to the growth of GM killing fields will double in another 10 years.

 

GMO – What Harm Can it Do? 

Contrary to claims by the U.S. government and Monsanto et al, who claim that GMO crops are beneficial, independent studies have been conducted with shocking results.

 

In a 2005 report by Regnum, a Russian news agency,

On October 10, during the symposium over genetic modification, organized by the National Association for Genetic Security (NAGS), Doctor of Biology Irina Ermakova made public the results of the research led by her at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). This is the first research that determined clear dependence between eating genetically modified soy and the posterity of living creatures. 

 gmo-test

 

“The morphology and biochemical structures of rats are very similar to those of humans, and this makes the results we obtained very disturbing,” said Irina Ermakova to NAGS press office. (Regnum, 2005)

 

Another glaring example is that of Syngenta and the German farmer, Gottfried Glockner of North Hessen. As William Engdahl explains in Seeds of Destruction,

 

This farmer found evidence that planting Syngenta Bt-176 genetically engineered corn to feed his cattle in 1997 had been responsible for killing off his cattle, destroying his milk production, and poisoning his farmland. Syngenta’s Bt-176 corn had been engineered to produce a toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis, which they claimed was deadly to a damaging insect, the European Corn Borer. (pg. 230)

 

Evidently, Syngenta’s GMO corn was deadly to a lot more than the corn borer.

 

Is Anything More Important? 

To make a distinction between the health effects of GMO on animals and humans is reckless at best. If rats that eat GMO soy, and cattle that eat GMO corn have severe health effects and die, then what happens to humans that eat GMO soy and corn, drink milk from GMO-fed cows, and eat beef from GMO-fed cattle? Don’t we deserve more? If GMO killing fields are poisoning the animals whose products we consume, then they are poisoning us also.

 

What does it matter about the issues we fight about if we are being slaughtered slowly and silently by the foods we eat? Not only are we being killed off, but the diseases that we get because of this consumption keep the medical establishment in Ferraris and Penthouses while doctors treat the symptoms of the diseases we contract, while never addressing the cause.

 

Can it be Stopped? 

GMO killing fields are taking over our farms and stores, as well as our very lives. These silent, deadly killers have been hiding in anonymity since “1992…when George H.W. Bush…issued an Executive Order proclaiming GMO plants such as soybeans or GMO corn to be ‘substantially equivalent’ to ordinary corn or soybeans, and, therefore, not needing any special health safety study or testing” (Engdahl, 2006). Even labeling foods containing GMO ingredients is not allowed. With the proliferation of GMO ingredients, it is no wonder that companies do not want to be responsible for labeling their products. They probably do not know if what they are getting is GMO or not! How can you label something if you do not know what it is? 

Planting individual gardens with organic seeds, then harvesting these seeds from one year to the next is one way to combat the GMO revolution. Also, local groups devoted to growing organic produce for the communities in which they live can stem the tide of personal GMO consumption one community at a time, at least for a while.    

The Endgame  

The U.S. government, Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, and Syngenta are not in business to keep people healthy. They are in business to make money. Unless this is understood, these corporations will continue using the public as guinea pigs for their experiments in population control, and in so doing, glean ever-increasing profits from the unsuspecting and naive. It is time to stand up and resist these giants by demanding accountability, and using what resources are left to become self-sufficient and say NO WAY to GMO! If we don’t, America’s silent killing fields will do their job, and we will no longer have a choice.

 

Copyright 2008, Barbara H. Peterson     

Notes:

  

For full references, click here.

 

March 20, 2009 update:

 

In 2008, the cultivation of GM crops grew worldwide once again. Compared with 2007, the area dedicated to such plants rose by 9.4 per cent to 125 million hectares. Bolivia, Egypt and Burkina Faso cultivated GM crops for the first time in 2008. A sum of 25 countries used genetic engineering commercially. About 70 per cent of soybean production was occupied by GM soybean and the share of GM cotton is 47 per cent. (GMO Compass)

Here is the new chart:

 

 gmo-cultivation-2008

 

(GMO Compass)

 

GMO wheat, which was tabled by Monsanto because of farmer protests, is now back on the table, along with potatoes, rice, and sugar beets.

 

A March, 2009 report on GMO Compass states:

 

A majority of farmers in the USA have expressed approval in a poll on genetically modified wheat. They expect gene technology to contribute towards solutions to current problems in wheat cultivation…..

In conducting the survey, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) approached in writing 21,000 farmers with a wheat cultivation area of at least 200 hectares. A third of those addressed participated in the poll. The object of the survey was the opinion of farmers towards a petition that was formulated by the NAWG and contained essential statements towards genetically modified wheat. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of the participating farmers agreed with the petition.

Let’s do the math:

 

NAWG approached 21,000 farmers. One-third, or 7,000 farmers participated. Out of that 7,000, 76%, or 5,320, approved of GMO wheat. 5,320 is only 25% of the 21,000 farmers originally approached. NOT A MAJORITY OF FARMERS! This statement is simply not true! The pollsters are twisting the statistics to suit their own purposes. What about the other 14,000 farmers, or two-thirds of all farmers who were not represented in the poll?

Five years ago, the Monsanto company abandoned plans for the market introduction of genetically modified wheat, since many farmers feared losses in wheat export to Europe and Asia. “Our farmers still have no interest in herbicide-resistant Roundup wheat,” declared a spokesperson of the NAWG. However, farmers demand increased yield and wheat types that better withstand heat, dryness and cold. As stated by the NAWG, “Our poll is a strong signal that farmers are ready to plant genetically modified wheat.”

Monsanto clearly benefits from the pollster’s twisted statistics. Who cares about the truth, full steam ahead! Field trials are already underway:

 

Field trials are underway in many countries, including countries in Europe, to find out if experimental GM wheat plants are actually resistant to fungal infection and thereby produce grains won’t be laden with dangerous mycotoxins. (GMO Compass)

 

Even the foods that we think contain no recognized GMO products in them are processed using GMOs.

 

Processed foods that are affected by GMOs:

 

 

  Bread and Pastries

 

Milk, Dairy Products, Cheese, Eggs

 

Chocolate, Sweets, and Ice Cream

 

Meats and Sausage

 

Beverages: Juice, Wine, Beer, Soft Drinks

 

Animal Feed

        (GMO Compass)

 

Fruit juice, beer, wine, and liquor – many of our beverages are based on plant ingredients. Neither the plants themselves, nor the yeasts used in alcoholic fermentation are genetically modified. Nonetheless, many beverages are produced using enzymes made with the help of genetically modified microorganisms. (GMO Compass)

Even bread made from conventional flour is likely to contain other ingredients derived from GM sources.

Genetically modified ingredients: It takes more than just flour to make bread. Many ingredients found in bread and baked goods are sometimes made with the help of genetic engineering.

Several ingredients often found in baked goods are derived from soybeans: oils, lecithin and other emulsifiers, and even soy flour, which is sometimes mixed with wheat flour in small quantities (up to 1 percent) due to its physical properties.

Maize is the basis for various starches and other ingredients like glucose syrup (corn syrup), which is produced by starch saccharification.

Other flour additives may also be produced with the help of genetic engineering, for example: ascorbic acid (E300) or cysteine (E921).

Enzymes are often added to baked goods. They can make dough easier to process, make it expand, or provide for an ideal crust. Many of the enzymes used today (e.g. amylase) are made with the help of genetically modified microorganisms. (GMO Compass)

We are facing a takeover so complete that it makes a tsunami look tame in comparison. Get your heirloom seeds and start a garden. Save the seeds and create your own seed bank. Do it now.

 

Barbara H. Peterson

monsanto_rain

By Linn Cohen-Cole
 

People say if farmers don’t want problems from Monsanto, just don’t buy their GMO seeds. 

Not so simple. Where are farmers supposed to get normal seed these days? How are they supposed to avoid contamination of their fields from GM-crops? How are they supposed to stop Monsanto detectives from trespassing or Monsanto from using helicopters to fly over spying on them?  

Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples and if they find any GMO plants growing there (or say they have), they then sue, saying they own the crop. It’s a way to make money since farmers can’t fight back and court and they settle because they have no choice. 

And they have done and are doing a bucket load of things to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds. 

1.  They’ve bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.

2.  They’ve written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork and testing and tracking every variety and being subject to fines, that having normal seed becomes almost impossible (an NAIS approach to wiping out normal seeds). Does your state have such a seed law? Before they existed, farmers just collected the seeds and put them in sacks in the shed and used them the next year, sharing whatever they wished with friends and neighbors, selling some if they wanted. That’s been killed.

In Illinois, which has such a seed law, Madigan, the Speaker of the House, his staff is Monsanto lobbyists. 

3.  Monsanto is pushing anti-democracy laws (Vilsack’s brainchild, actually) that remove community’ control over their own counties so farmers and citizens can’t block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops. So if you don’t want a GM-crop that grows industrial chemicals or drugs or a rice growing with human DNA in it, in your area and mixing with your crops, tough luck.

Check the map of just where the Monsanto/Vilsack laws are and see if your state is still a democracy or is Monsanto’s. A farmer in Illinois told me he heard that Bush had pushed through some regulation that made this true in every state. People need to check on that.

4.  For sure there are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA right now that make a farmer’s seed cleaning equipment illegal (another way to leave nothing but GM-seeds) because it’s now considered a “source of seed contamination.” Farmer can still seed clean but the equipment now has to be certified and a farmer said it would require a million to a million and half dollar building and equipment … for EACH line of seed. Seed storage facilities are also listed (another million?) and harvesting and transport equipment. And manure. Something that can contaminate seed. Notice that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not mentioned.  

You could eat manure and be okay (a little grossed out but okay). Try that with pesticides and fertilizers. Indian farmers have. Their top choice for how to commit suicide to escape the debt they have been left in is to drink Monsanto pesticides.

5.  Monsanto is picking off seed cleaners across the Midwest. In Pilot Grove, Missouri, in Indiana (Maurice Parr), and now in southern Illinois (Steve Hixon). And they are using US marshals and state troopers and county police to show up in three cars to serve the poor farmers who had used Hixon as their seed cleaner, telling them that he or their neighbors turned them in, so across that 6 county areas, no one talking to neighbors and people are living in fear and those farming communities are falling apart from the suspicion Monsanto sowed. Hixon’s office got broken into and he thinks someone put a GPS tracking device on his equipment and that’s how Monsanto found between 200-400 customers in very scattered and remote areas, and threatened them all and destroyed his business within 2 days. 

So, after demanding that seed cleaners somehow be able to tell one seed from another (or be sued to kingdom come) or corrupting legislatures to put in laws about labeling of seeds that are so onerous no one can cope with them, what is Monsanto’s attitude about labeling their own stuff? You guessed it – they’re out there pushing laws against ANY labeling of their own GM-food and animals and of any exports to other countries. Why?   

We know and they know why. 

As Norman Braksick, the president of Asgrow Seed Co. (now owned by Monsanto) predicted in the Kansas City Star (3/7/94) seven years ago, “If you put a label on a genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”  

And they’ve sued dairy farmers for telling the truth about their milk being rBGH-free, though rBGH is associated with an increased risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers. 

I just heard that some seed dealers urge farmers to buy the seed under the seed dealer’s name, telling the farmers it helps the dealer get a discount on seed to buy a lot under their own name. Then Monsanto sues the poor farmer for buying their seed without a contract and extorts huge sums from them. 

Here’s a youtube video that is worth your time. Vandana Shiva is one of the leading anti-Monsanto people in the world. In this video, she says (and this video is old), Monsanto had sued 1500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM-crops. Listen to all the ways Monsanto goes after farmers. 

Do you know the story of Gandhi in India and how the British had salt laws that taxed salt? The British claimed it as theirs. Gandhi had what was called a Salt Satyagraha, in which people were asked to break the laws and march to the sea  and collect the salt without paying the British. A kind of Boston tea party, I guess.  

Thousands of people marched 240 miles to the ocean where the British were waiting. As people moved forward to collect the salt, the British soldiers clubbed them but the people kept coming. The non-violent protest exposed the British behavior, which was so revolting to the world that it helped end British control in India.   

Vandana Shiva has started a Seed Satyagraha – nonviolent non-cooperation around seed laws – has gotten millions of farmers to sign a pledge to break those laws.   

American farmers and cattlemen might appreciate what Gandhi fought for and what Shiva is bringing back and how much it is about what we are all so angry about – loss of basic freedoms. [The highlighting is mine.]

 

The Seed Satyagraha is the name for the nonviolent, noncooperative movement that Dr. Shiva has organized to stand against seed monopolies. According to Dr. Shiva, the name was inspired by Gandhi’s famous walk to the Dandi Beach, where he picked up salt and said, “You can’t monopolize this which we need for life.” But it’s not just the noncooperation aspect of the movement that is influenced by Gandhi. The creative side saving seeds, trading seeds, farming without corporate dependence–without their chemicals, without their seed.

” All this is talked about in the language that Gandhi left us as a legacy. We work with three key concepts.”

” (One) Swadeshi…which means the capacity to do your own thing–produce your own food, produce your own goods….”

“(Two) Swaraj–to govern yourself. And we fight on three fronts–waterfood, and seed. JalSwaraj is water independence–water freedom and water sovereignty. Anna Swaraj is food freedom, food sovereignty. And Bija Swaraj is seed freedom and seed sovereignty. Swa means self–that which rises from the self and is very, very much a deep notion of freedom. 

“I believe that these concepts, which are deep, deep, deep in Indian civilization, Gandhi resurrected them to fight for freedom. They are very important for today’s world because so far what we’ve had is centralized state rule, giving way now to centralized corporate control, and we need a third alternate. That third alternate is, in part, citizens being able to tell their state, ‘This is what your function is. This is what your obligations are,’ and being able to have their states act on corporations to say, ‘This is something you cannot do.'”

” (Three) Satyagraha, non-cooperation, basically saying, ‘We will do our thing and any law that tries to say that (our freedom) is illegal… we will have to not cooperate with it. We will defend our freedoms to have access to water, access to seed, access to food, access to medicine.'”