Saturday, February 26, 2011
Morality Over Monsanto
In covering the environmental abuses of Monsanto one who is cognizant of the special relationship we have with the Earth cannot help but be repulsed by them. There is not one redeeming quality about them. They are arrogant, heartless, greedy, manipulative power brokers that use people, governments, organizations, consumers, and anyone else who gets in their way of domination. It is a domination of the global seed and pesticide market that is now bringing our Earth to a biodiversity and pollution crisis and a climate change precipice.
They destroy and defile the environment with impunity, contaminate natural seeds with unstable toxic bacteria seeds, deforest our planet to make corn for gas tanks and GM soy that brings nothing but poverty and disease to places such as Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, India, etc., (where farmers have been committing suicides in massive numbers due to economic ruin brought on by BT cotton.) They toxify our water with PCBS and Round Up, strong arm farmers, deceive consumers, intimidate scientists who seek answers and who disseminate the answers they find about just what their GMOs are made of and their effects, and then claim to be part of the “sustainable agriculture” movement that is looking to feed the world. It is one of the greatest and most sinister hoaxes perpetrated upon the world.
In the more than one hundred years they have been in business, Monsanto has not made one product that has benefitted the Earth. From saccharin, to aspartame, to Agent Orange, to PCBs, to genetically modified organisms, there has been one and only one motive: profit at any cost. And where we stand now that cost is the biodiversity of our planet and control of the very seeds and water that give us life. It is a control we cannot give up as it would then mean the loss not only of food sovereignty but our very freedom as human beings. But even in the midst of all of this there are some bright spots.
Cultivation of GM crops has dropped by 23% in Europe since 2008, resisitance globally remains strong in the face of great pressure, scientific testing independent of Monsanto and other companies is shedding light on the truth of the dangers of GMOS (more about that in subsequent postings,) Americans are becoming more aware of the dangers of GMO contamination with recent polls showing 87% of US consumers wanting labels denoting NO GMOS on their food. Monsanto has also seen a drop in sales of Round Up, market price, and rulings in courts in Germany and Latin America against their GM crops and glyphosate (I will be reporting more on the global resisitance to GMOs in subsequent postings as well including India, Ireland, Japan, etc. and in the US,) rulings that did put a temporary freeze on GM sugarbeets, GE alfalfa (even though subsequent rulings overturned these decisions the decicions in and of themselves were groundbreaking,) and we are also seeing the topic of GMOS covered slowly but surely beyond the confines of the Internet.
Hopeful signs that more are waking up to the deceptions and doing the necessary research to become aware of what they are eating and modifying their habits to be more healthy. The one organization that is helping tremendously in that is the Institute for Responsible Technology headed by Jeffrey Smith, a world renowned GMO activist. They have just put together a Non GMO website that gives you top information on how to avoid GMOs and eat more healthy thus perpetuating the 5% of American consumers it will take to get to a tipping point of awareness to begin turning the tide against Monsanto and all other companies using GMOs as a profit motive while compromising our food safety in the process. This is the one true way we can all be activists: through the wallet.
Of course, through it all the major clout Monsanto and the biotech lobby carry with Washington DC even now under the Obama Administration and the Vilsack USDA and their known methods of bribery leaves one wary of such attempts to hold them accountable for their many crimes against humanity and their agricultural and environmental terrorism.
After all, it was the FDA under the auspices of the last four administrations that gave them free reign over our environment and health by determining that their organisms were the same (principle of substantial equivalence) as all other food in order for them to circumvent labeling, when as we now see that is far from the truth. It was the USSC that gave them the patent to life itself thus opening the door to Intellectual Property Rights that now challenge indigenous peoples and the natural breeding of seeds for climate change tolerance which they can now purchase in biopiracy scams. In simple terms, our planet has been sold to the highest bidder by people we the people did not even have a say in electing! That is not only undemocratic, that is immoral and criminal.
However as with any crisis we are now in regarding our planet, we have one hope: ourselves. Our consciences, our morals, our reasoning, our logic, our love for our families, our love for the Earth, our sense of justice, and yes, even our spirituality that tells us in line with the scientific facts as presented to us that we in large numbers have the ability to take back our food, our planet, and our futures. So even in the face of what Monsanto has been able to accomplish I remain hopeful of the global food movement having major victories in the coming year. But we must remain focused, cohesive, determined, and yes, even angry. We must remain so for the following:
For the farmers of India and their families, especially the widows of those whose lives were cut short by BT cotton.
For the American farmers whose farms and livelihoods are under threat from Monsanto’s strong arm tactics in their desire to control all seed.
For the deforested lands of South America stripped to create a monoculture that has left many poor farmers poorer and sicker in the wake of greed over sustainability, and exacerbated a climate crisis no cap and trade scheme can heal.
For the soil of our Earth, its skin, that cries out for help to us as it is eroded, stripped, abused, and toxified for profit.
For our water, polluted, toxic, acidic, filled with pesticides and run off as the cost of industrial agriculture.
For our children, who deserve a cleaner, safer, more natural world to live in.
Let this year be the year to truly hold Monsanto as an example of all of those things to be the first step in our moral imperative to save this planet and in turn the human species and all others we have so cavalierly dismissed in our desire to be masters of the universe.