Monsanto: Black Hat Biotech and World Domination Ian R Thorpe 17 January 2 1!

The Monsanto corporation has no "ace#ook pa$e% It&s not that they are shy or reclusi'e( rather they are )ell a)are that i* they had a presence in an interacti'e *orum like "ace#ook it )ould +ust #ecome a *ocal point *or constant protests a$ainst the company&s rather dod$y commercial acti'ities% There is $ood reason *or protestors to tar$et Monstanto too: a lon$( complicated history includin$ e'erythin$ *rom pollutin$ )ater)ays to manu*acturin$ the notorious ,$ent -ran$e( someho) mana$in$ to $et #o'ine $ro)th hormones into the human *ood chain( and o* course DDT pesticides% Monsanto are the Dr% .'il o* the #iotech industry to any reasona#ly )ell in*ormed person )ho cares e'en sli$htly a#out the en'ironment% It has to #e said all that )as the le$acy o* /old Monsanto/% The company )as restarted in 2 1 a*ter a politically correct makeo'er% 0o) it *ocuses entirely on a$riculture% -r( it&s critics mi$ht say( $ainin$ total control o* the $lo#al *ood supply% 0o) they ha'e serious competition in that particular race *rom the likes o* 1ar$ill(

,DM 2,rcher Daniels Midland3 and BH4 Blliton to name #ut a *e) o* the )orld&s most control *reaky companies% But )hile Monsanto may no lon$er #e dumpin$ 41Bs in ,la#ama streams or helpin$ create atomic #om#s( a ne) series o* #ooks and documentaries are a$ain pointin$ an$ry *in$ers and sayin$ the company is takin$ *ar too ro#ust an approach in pursuit o* its current $oals% Bet)een Monsanto&s past catastrophes and more recently *iled la) suits a$ainst
1anadian and ,merican *armers )ho insist on $ro)in$ crops *rom non 5M seed

2Monsanto ha'e a 'irtual monopoly on 5M )heat( soya and other staples(3 the *olks )earin$ la# coats in Missouri are re$arded as a$ents o* the e'il empire #y many in the sustaina#le *armin$ mo'ement% In short( i* Monsanto&s 4R department )ere to start a "ace#ook pa$e they )ould not ha'e many people rushin$ to si$n up as *riends% ,s corporate e'il empires $o Monsanto is not a ne) kid on the #lock% The *irm has #een around since 16 1( )hen they hit the $round runnin$ )ith saccharin( the su$ar7su#stitute still sold in its *amous pink packet% ,*ter that initial 'enture( the company chan$ed direction and *ocused on a$ricultural chemicals% By the mid 168 s they had produced 2(8D 2the ori$inal
GM scientist molesting plants

selecti'e pesticide3% Mean)hile( the post7)ar )est )as startin$ to introduce industrial mass

production methods to *ood production *or the *irst time% , lot o* people( scientists in the pay o* #i$ $o'ernment or phishin$ *or research $rants *rom Bi$ 1hem )ill try to o#*uscate the issues surroundin$ 5M *oods #y sayin$ $enetic modi*ication is no di**erent *rom the selecti'e #reedin$ *armers ha'e done since humans *irst #e$an to culti'ate crops in the neolithic era% This is 9uite simply untrue: to try to o#tain a *atter( more resilient( 9uicker maturin$ animal #y #reedin$ *rom those that display the most desira#le 9ualities or a *aster $ro)in$(

hea'ier croppin$( more hardy plant #y cross pollinatin$ the stron$est specimens still lea'es nature in control% I* thin$s $o )ron$ the seed or em#ryo )ill #e a#orted% When scientists start to inter*ere they de'elop )ays o* o'erridin$ natures checks and #alances% When a plant is pollinated #y the pollen o* another species due to the indiscriminate acti'ities o* #ees and other insects( nature has )ays o* pre'entin$ cross *ertilisation *rom takin$ place in most cases thou$h it is possi#le *or species )ith similar $enetic codes to produce a hy#rid% The 5enetic Modi*ication #usiness depends o* producin$ hy#rids *rom species that could ne'er cross *ertilise% ;cientists )ill claim they are only speedin$ up the e'olution process #ut this is #latantly untrue% ;electi'e #reedin$ is a#out speedin$ up e'olution( 5M is a#out creatin$ mutants 7 o*ten )ith unpredicta#le conse9uences *or the en'ironment% Monsanto #y #ein$ the #i$$est players in the 5M industry are the #i$$est cause o* conse9uences *or the en'ironment% But their track records $oes #ack )ay #e*ore 5enetic Modi*ication appeared on the commercial hori<on% ,s lon$ a$o as the 16= s the company&s cornerstone #rand( Roundup Ready( )as #ein$ sold throu$hout ,merica% , decade later they created Roundup Ready soy#ean seeds( *ollo)ed #y Roundup Ready 1anola( 1otton and 1orn seeds% By this time 2the late 166 s3 Monsanto has purchased enou$h seed companies that )atchdo$ $roups such as the >nion o* 1oncerned ;cientists )ere $ro)in$ sceptical that a monopoly on *ood production )as under)ay% ,nd )hile hackles )ere raised at the num#er o* companies #ein$ ac9uired( it )as the intense commercial dri'e o* +ust a *e) types o* plants that )orried most% Monsanto has #een phenomenally success*ul despite all its the #ad press o'er the years(the )hole *oods #oom and recent $ro) your o)n cra<es% When Brad Mitchell( director o* pu#lic a**airs *or Monsanto( )as asked #y -r$anic ?i*estyle ma$a<ine a#out the company&s horri#le reputation( his response )as 9uite #lunt: /I think( more than anythin$( )e are in a ne) era% I think people are holdin$ up the Monsanto o* the mid 7 2 th century a$ainst the standards o* today% ;o( *or instance( i* you look at 41Bs )e all kno) today that

)hat Monsanto did there )as )ron$% It shouldn&t ha'e #een done% Did Monsanto( or society in $eneral kno) in the = s or the @ s that that )as )ron$A I don&t think that )e )ere as en'ironmentally a)are as )e are no)%/

While I don&t a$ree )ith much o* the company&s past( no#ody can deny they are *illin$ a demand% Western nations ha'e de'eloped a consumer culture that leads to the eBpectation *ood )ill #e cheap( a#undant and easy to procure% It should #e pretty to look at and easy to prepare 2or #e ready prepared *or us3( on the counter the moment )e pull up to the dri'e7thru )indo)% >ntil people start supportin$ alternati'es alternati'es( start to shru$ o** the inculcated idea that )e are +ust mort$a$e and )a$e sla'es and pro*essional consumers( )orkin$ to *eed the economic monster )e ha'e created( until )e start to see *ood and shared meals as part o* our spiritual )ell#ein$ a$ain rather than +ust a necessary stop *or takin$ on *uel #e*ore )e $et #ack to our *renetic cycle o* consumin$ and producin$ thin$s )ill not chan$e% What should concern us most a#out the practice o* sellin$ seeds on credit )ith the ad'ance secured a$ainst neBt years crop is the creation o* monocultures% To co'er thousands o* acres )ith one or t)o in#red and 5enetically Modi*ied crops $ro)n )ith chemical *ertilisers( irri$ated )ith precious )ater and protected )ith pesticides is to dri'e a stamroller o'er e'olution&s delicate processes% When a disease( *un$us or pestilent insect learns ho) to attack these crops( mutates *aster than the science can en$ineer the plants there could #e a *amine to end all *amines% When e'erythin$ is

identical( it can all #e destroyed +ust as uni*ormly i* the per*ect conditions arri'e% I* ,merica or .n$land lost all soy or corn production to a sin$le superpest it )ould make 1C8@ in Ireland look like a cDilidh or the #lack death like a mild attack o* indi$estion% ?ook at the *ear and panic $enerated #y e'er ne) computer 'irus or hacker attack no)( simply #ecause )e depend on one desi$n( one operatin$ system and one net)orkin$ technolo$y% When a nation depends on one crop )hat happens )hen that crop *ails This is precisely )hy *or some years there has #een a comitment in the a$riculture departments o* some uni'ersities in preser'in$ the di'ersity o* seeds and crop
species and a resur$ence o* *armers producin$ /heirloom/ *oods% These past traditions

are comin$ #ack as people #ecome more a)are o* the systems and politics surroundin$ the modern *ood industries% This type o* traditional *armin$ preser'es the heirloom *ruits( animals and 'e$eta#les that ha'e *ed us since the #e$innin$ o* ci'ilisation% ;eeds not created in la#s(
#ut in $ardens% ,nimals not #red *or con*ined *eedin$ operations( #ut to *ora$e on

hillsides% I* #li$ht kills all o* your tomatoes( or coccidiosis takes all your chickens( you still ha'e a #ounty o* s9uash surrounded #y turkey pens% 0ature ne'er puts all her e$$s in one #asket( and neither should )e%

GM oil seed rape - taking over vast tracts of British farm land

Di'ersity in a$riculture is insurance% Eou can eBperiment in your o)n #ackyard #y plantin$ a *e) Brandy)ine tomatoes or ;peckled Trout lettuce and other heirloom
species or( i* di$$in$ and )eedin$ is not your idea o* a $ood time( support the local

and or$anic *arms that aren&t scared to raise se'eral types o* crops and animals *or your ta#le or pro+eccts like this 1ommunity ;eed 4ro+ect in your area% These are the pioneers( their philosophy may #e more akin to The ?e'ellers or The Di$$ers than to modern #i$ #usiness methods: culti'atin$ soil throu$h natural means such as compost and crop rotation( usin$ la#our intensi'e methods to )ork the land( plant and har'est crops and keepin$ the land *ertile and in $ood condition *or *uture $enerations% With unemployment hittin$ record hi$hs and +o#s #ein$ sacri*ied to technolo$y at an acceleratin$ rate( a *e) more *armhands couldn&t hurt society( could itA ;o consider a #reak*ast o* porrid$e made *rom or$anic oats 2and made tasty )ith honey or natural su$ar and a pinch o* $in$er and cinammon3 instead o* )hate'er hi$hly processed pile o* empty calories 2)ith added 'itamins3 the ad'ertisers tell you can #e had *rom a car#oard #oB that pro#a#ly contains more nutrients than its contents% We mi$ht not stop the Monsanto )orld domination *reaks dead in their tracks( #ut )e can start to make a )orld o* di**erence( one spoon*ul at a time% -ne thin$ you can #e sure o* thou$h is that 5enetically Modi*ied crops )ill not *eed the )orld% ,ll their introduction )ill do is ti$hten the $rip o* -ur 0e) >nhappy ?ords on our hearts and minds% It looked a )hile a$o as i* )e )ere a#out to score an important 'icory *or the ordinary people and *or common sense a$ainst the corporate F $o'ernment 5M crops conspiracy% The science #ehind 5enetically Modi*ied *ood crops o**erin$ increased yields( $reater resistance to drou$ht( disease and eBcessi'e )as thou$ht to #e as discredited as the *raudulent case that car#on emissions *rom human economic acti'ity )ere solely responsi#le *or climate chaos% The *irst si$n o* a Rocky Bal#oa style come#ack #y the 5M *oods lo##y came in the *orm o* a o'er hyped report #y the 5o'ernmentGs "oresi$ht >nit )hich appeared

to endorse 5M science as an important solution to )orld hun$er% ,nd then a 0o#el laureate 2ahem 7 aren&t 0o#el pri<es a)arded *or skin colour( )earin$ a *unny hat or #ein$ &on messa$e& these days&A3 ;ir 4aul 0urse( the ne) 4resident o* the Royal ;ociety( used part o* a BB1 Hori<on documentary to askin$ )hy the British pu#lic *ails to endorse the ma+ority scienti*ic 'ie) that $enetic modi*ication is #ene*icial( use*ul and necessary% 2pssst 7 ;ir 4aul it&s #ecause scientists ha'e lied so many times( #een in'ol'ed in more co'er 7 ups than a circus #i$ top( and $enerally pro'ed they )ere ri$ht in the corporate pocket )e don&t trust any o* you%3 ;ir 4aul&s attitude is #ased on the assumption that ordinary punters are so in*erior in intelli$ence to &scientists& )e ha'e no ri$ht to 9uestion their edicts% There has #een a $ro)in$ chorus amon$ the chatterati o* the le*t )in$ academic and media elite o'er recent years that 5M technolo$y is essential i* the )orld is to #e *ed% I* )e take the claims *or 5M technolo$y&s ad'anta$es at *ace 'alue this seems to make sense% The )orldGs population is racin$ to)ards 6 #illion and as the num#er o* people eBpands the amount o* a'aila#le ara#le shrinks% 1ities spra)l and soil is eroded a)ay or co'ered in concrete% The yields *rom har'ests ha'e to #e increased% ,s usual science pops up and o**ers a 9uick *iB% We )il modi*y *ood plants( they say% .ach plant )ill $ro) #i$$er and make more and #i$$er lea'es( *ruits( seeds or tu#ers and )hat is more )e )ill make the plants more disease resistant and #etter a#le to sur'i'e drou$ht o* *lood% Is the technolo$y capa#le o* alterin$ the $enetic structure o* a plant to make it produce more )hen the seeds are planted in nutrient de*icient soil and there is no rainA you mi$ht )ell ask% ;ome people did ask% The )orldGs #i$$est e'er a$ricultural study H the )ork o* 8 scientists and = $o'ernments( headed #y Dr Bo# Watson( no) 1hie* ;cientist at the >I Department o* the .n'ironment( "ood and ,$riculture H concluded that 5M )as not the simple ans)er to po'erty% In truth( it could e'en do more harm than $ood% "or a start there is the incon'enient truth that it is *ar *rom certain $enetic modi*ication does increase yields% ,s usual the science lo##y o* the academic elite try to claim the &science is settled& and there is no point in *urther discussion o* )hat is pro'ed% ,s usual they are usin$ the 5oe##els F ,linsky tactic o* tellin$ a #i$ lie and

repeatin$ it so o*ten people #elie'e it is the truth% We need to school oursel'es so thahen )e see one o* these s)eepin$ statements *rom the science *raternity to ask as Marcus Tullius 1icero did o'er 2 1ui #ono *rom 5M cropsA Take a $uess% The #iotech industry may cites e'idence to support its claim that 5enetic Modi*ication does )hat it says on the #oB( #ut other studies actually sho) a decrease in yields% -ne( at the >ni'ersity o* 0e#raska( *or eBample( re'ealed that *i'e di**erent 5M soya produced an a'era$e o* =%7 per cent less than their closest unmodi*ied relati'es( and ten per cent less than the most producti'e con'entional soya a'aila#le at the time% -ne o* the *a'ourite tactics o* the 5oe##els F ,linsky disciples is to cherry pick data and use only that )hich supports the case they )ant to make( destroyin$ the incon'enient data so that their results cannot #e 'eri*ied% The results o* *ailed eBperiments in 5M su$$est t)o *actors are at )ork% "irst( it takes time to modi*y a plant and( in the meantime( #etter and hi$her yieldin$ con'entional ones are #ein$ de'eloped% ,nd second( the *act that 5M plants did )orse than their nearest unmodi*ied relati'es su$$ests that the 'ery process o* modi*ication lessens producti'ity% ,dd to that the 1ui Bono *actor( that the real reason the corporate *unded science is so keen to silence the dou#ters% I* the )orld turns to 5M crops( seed )ill only #e a'aila#le *rom a *e) suppliers and these are #ranches o* the same $lo#al corporations as o)n the #iotech out*its )orkin$ on de'elopin$ 5M plants% ,lso )e must not *or$et that any plant( 5M or not( needs car#on dioBide( mineral nutrients 2sodium( potassium( calcium and a host o* others3 to thri'e and that the #ulk o* any li*e *orm is )ater% Bi$$er plants need more )ater 2)hich is in increasin$ly short supply in many parts o* the )orld%3 ;o )hile the Warma$eddonists are #usy suckin$ 1-2 out o* the air( companies sellin$ *ertili<ers and irri$ation e9uipment 2mostly su#sidiaries o* the same $lo#al corporations as )ill control the seed supplies%3 stand to $ain control o* the entire *ood chain% years a$o( 1ui BonoA Who #ene*itsA

1ui Bono indeed% -* course( it may )ell #e that #iotechnolo$y )ill e'entually o'ercome the technical o#stacles to produce $enuinely hi$her yieldin$ crops% But e'en that )ill not necessarily ans)er )orld hun$er% "or increasin$ *ood production( thou$h sorely needed( does not o* itsel* sol'e hun$er% India no) has #oth a $rain surplus( and hundreds o* millions o* hun$ry people( #ecause the poor cannot a**ord to #uy the *ood they need% 5M *oods are more eBpensi'e than con'entionally $ro)n ones% The 5M <ealots don&t like to talk a#out that% ,ny realistic hun$er7#eatin$ strate$y has to help poor people earn more H or $ro) more *ood *or themsel'es *rom seed they put aside *rom the pre'ious crop( *or many o* the )orldGs hun$ry are su#sistence *armers and could ne'er hope to #e a#le to pay *or commercial seed% 5M seeds #ein$ more eBpensi'e than con'entional ones so the technolo$y helps richer *armers instead o* the poor its supporters claim it )ill help% ,nd richer *armers are increasin$ly a$ricultural companies o)ned #y the $lo#al corporations that control #iotech and seed distri#ution and also o)n the )holesalers )ho #uy *rom *arms and #rin$ produce to the international markets in lar$e enou$h 9uantities to interest the commodities traders% I* the 5M scientists )ere to succeed in increasin$ yields thus increasin$ the po)er o* the rich and po)er*ul( the esta#lishment are likely to use their increased economic po)er to dri'e the poor o** their land( #ulldo<e the small *arms and destroy the countryside% This happened durin$ the 5reen Re'olution( )hich $reatly increased yields #ut o*ten led to $reater hun$er% -r some o* you mi$ht ha'e read John ;tein#eck&s The 5rapes o* Wrath% 2do a #it on 5M animals( 5M athletes etc%3 -nce the scientists $et $oin$ they&re like the ener$i<er #unny( they +ust keep $oin$ *or e'er and al)ays in the same direction% There scienti*ic mindset does not seem to ha'e any #uilt in re$ulators( no *ailsa*e mechanisms%

It is #ecomin$ more o#'ious that 5M crops lead to pro#lems )ith super)eeds( and ha'e other en'ironmental dra)#acks( )hile concerns that they may ha'e health e**ects remain unaddressed #y the science lo##y( reluctant to in'esti$ate perhaps #ecause they kno) the likely result% ,s )ith certain 'accines and )ith &$reen& technolo$ies like )ind and solar po)er there simply ha'e not #een enou$h $ood( independent studies carried out to sho) )hether they are +usti*ied or not% 0one o* this is necessarily irresol'a#le( o* course% 5M crops o**er a )ay o* speedin$ up the selecti'e #reedin$ pro$rammes traditionally used to impro'e crop per*ormance% ;ome may #e de'eloped and used in )ays that )ill really #ene*it poor *armers and ena#le them to $ro) more *ood H thou$h #iotech companies ha'e so *ar sho)n little commitment to makin$ that happen% The health concerns may #e sho)n to #e #aseless and some( so *ar un*oreseea#le( )ay around the en'ironmental dra)#acks may #e disco'ered% But that is a lon$ )ay *rom the *acile conclusion o* the scienti*ic community that people )ho are not scientists cannot understand science% The "oresi$ht report )as *ar less $un$7ho than the media co'era$e su$$ested% 5M crops are +ust one o* a num#er o* technolo$ies it endorsed( includin$ the much7 traduced or$anic a$riculture% ,nother technolo$y that pro'ed relia#le in increasin$ yields and presented no undesira#le conse9uences )as the use o* 1-2 enriched air in $lasshouse or polytunnel culti'ation% 0aturally the Warma$eddonists )ill shout do)n any attempt to ha'e an in*ormed discussion on that one% >I 5o'ernment 1hie* ;cientist 4ro* ;ir John Beddin$tonGs endorsement o* modi*ied crops( as the report )as pu#lished( )as *ar *rom un9uali*ied% JI* there are $enetically modi*ied or$anisms that actually sol'e pro#lems that )e canGt sol'e in other )ays and are sho)n to #e sa*e *rom a human health point o* 'ie)( and sa*e *rom an en'ironmental point o* 'ie)(K he said( Jthen )e should use themK% "e) )ould 9uarrel )ith that H #ut so *ar( at least( these donGt seem to #e a'aila#le% Just as the Warma$eddonists( lackin$ coherent ar$uments to #ack up their 9uasi 7 reli$ious campai$n ha'e relied on sneer and smear( ridiculously #randin$ sceptics &climate deniers& and in the >%;%,% associatin$ healthy scepticism )ith ri$ht )in$

eBtremism or the reli$ious *undamentalism o* creationism( so they try to pre'ent rational discussion o* the 5M issue #y claimin$ sceptics *ear children )ho are *ed 5M *oods )ill $ro) t)o heads or )omen )ho eat 5M deri'ati'es )hile pre$nant )ill $i'e #irth to hideously de*ormed #a#ies% The #est ans)er to such claims is hysterical lau$hter% Who is #ein$ irrational hereA The people )ho ask intelli$ent 9uestions or the people )ho #ecome hysterical )hen the do$mas o* their ne) reli$ion o* science are 9uestioned%A RELATED POSTS
If GM Crops Are Bad Show Us The Evidence Said The Science Whores So We Did The Mad Scien!is!s Mania "or Gene!ica##$ Modif$in% Ever$!hin% Death By 5enocidally Modi*ied "ood Speed Up In!rod&c!ion Of GM Crops Sa$s Increasin%#$ S!a#inis! Coa#i!ion Govern'en! GM crops wi## no! feed !he wor#d B#ac( )a! Bio!ech Men& Pi%s WILL "#$ *poe'+