The Seed War (Parts 1 and 2)

November 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The Seed War (Parts 1 and 2)

 

Excerpt: 

 

More recently, we had a stark case study in what happens when corporate globalization is given total power, violent and bureaucratic, to impose exactly what it wants. When the US attacked Iraq, part of its extermination campaign was against all Iraqi culture. As Naomi Klein described in Shock Doctrine and several articles, the goal was to wipe everything clean and impose a blank slate upon which corporate domination could be directly and fully encoded. One example was the assault on seeds and indigenous farming. The seed bank at Abu Ghraib, a priceless repository of thousands of years of Mesopotamian cultivation, knowledge likely to be of critical importance in the age of climate change as more arid conditions expand, was attacked and destroyed by a mob.

 

Iraq’s agriculture was disrupted in general, as always happens in a war. When the farmers tried to rebuild, they were confronted with a typical globalist Catch-22. The same invaders who had destroyed their agricultural heritage now offered them aid in the form of proprietary seeds. At the same moment Paul Bremer, the US equivalent of Hans Frank in the General Government administrative zone of Poland, decreed that all proprietary globalization “law” applied in the case of Iraqi agriculture. This was a direct violation of international law, but we see what kind of law of the jungle really prevails with globalization.

 

Bremer’s Order 81 applied all the strictures of patent domination to the farmers who were at that moment being offered the choice of accepting the proprietary seeds or facing total ruin. (All other aid was conditional on taking the patent deal. It was a textbook example of an unconscionable contract of adhesion, in other words no contract at all according to human law.) This domination includes the truly obscene notion that when through natural inertia, negligence, or deliberate release, the patented seed spreads to the fields of a farmer against his will, he’s declared objectively in violation of the patent and subject to draconian legal penalties. This obscenity has already been enshrined in Canada. So Monsanto’s agent here tried to accomplish directly, by main force, what they’re trying to accomplish more gradually and insidiously everywhere else, including at home in America.

 

How is it possible that if your neighbor is negligent and lets his pollen spread to your field, or if Monsanto deliberately disperses it there, or if the wind simply blows, that you become a status criminal, an IP violator? Why, on the contrary, isn’t Monsanto guilty of a tort against you, by strict liability? The answer is that it would be under any accountable, human rule of law. But the law has abdicated. This is the anti-sovereign corporate law, which is an exact inversion of human law, just as the corporations are existentially anti-human, their very existence an affront to human dignity. They’re literally satanic according to Judeo-Christian theology.

 

What is to be done? Since this post was about seeds, let’s consider what is to be done about seeds. One thing’s clear – we cannot rely on seed vaults like the one in Norway. Even if these weren’t vulnerable to corporate domination, the basic idea is wrongly conceived – one big fort rather than a decentralized dispersal.

 

What do most individual plants do? They don’t hoard their seeds at one spot in the soil. They disperse them a widely as possible by all sorts of vehicles.

 

So the real Seed Banks we need will have to prize resiliency and redundancy over reinforcing one site as a hard target. They must be outside of official control mechanisms. Our seed banks have to be our own stewardship and propagation of our own heirloom seeds. Here’s one innovative idea for a legal framework for the seed commons. It would apply existing cooperative licensing to enshrine a system where anyone can innovate and sell his innovation, but not control the subsequent innovations of the buyer, and so on virally.

 

Continue Reading The Seed War (Parts 1 and 2)…

Machines of War: Blackwater, Monsanto, and Bill Gates

October 27, 2010 at 9:07 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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      Machines of War: Blackwater, Monsanto, and Bill Gates
Published on 10-14-2010  
|
Source: Pravda

A report by Jeremy Scahill in  The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.

Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.

One of them, Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008 as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant.

Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to  The Nation that they had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to

keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from Blackwater.”However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,” spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000 in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.

No wonder that a company engaged in the “science of death” as Monsanto, which has been dedicated from the outset to produce toxic poisons spilling from Agent Orange to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, hormones and genetically modified seeds, is associated with another company of thugs.

Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article in The Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000 shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the mask of “philanthropy.” Another association that is not surprising.

It is a marriage between the two most brutal monopolies in the history of industrialism: Bill Gates controls more than 90 percent of the market share of proprietary computing and Monsanto about 90 percent of the global transgenic seed market and most global commercial seed. There does not exist in any other industrial sector monopolies so vast, whose very existence is a negation of the vaunted principle of “market competition” of capitalism. Both Gates and Monsanto are very aggressive in defending their ill-gotten monopolies.

Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are advisers of the Foundation.

Like Monsanto, Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM). To this end, the Foundation hired Robert Horsch in 2006, the director of Monsanto. Now Gates, airing major profits, went straight to the source.

Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.

* The author is a researcher at ETC Group

 

 

// http://www.blacklistednews.com/index.php?news_id=11026

Blackwater’s Black Ops

September 17, 2010 at 9:55 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Blackwater’s Black Ops

Jeremy Scahill | September 15, 2010

Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com)

Over the past several years, entities closely linked to the private security firm Blackwater have provided intelligence, training and security services to US and foreign governments as well as several multinational corporations, including Monsanto, Chevron, the Walt Disney Company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and banking giants Deutsche Bank and Barclays, according to documents obtained by The Nation. Blackwater’s work for corporations and government agencies was contracted using two companies owned by Blackwater’s owner and founder, Erik Prince: Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). Prince is listed as the chairman of both companies in internal company documents, which show how the web of companies functions as a highly coordinated operation. Officials from Total Intelligence, TRC and Blackwater (which now calls itself Xe Services) did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article.

One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.

Governmental recipients of intelligence services and counterterrorism training from Prince’s companies include the Kingdom of Jordan, the Canadian military and the Netherlands police, as well as several US military bases, including Fort Bragg, home of the elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and Fort Huachuca, where military interrogators are trained, according to the documents. In addition, Blackwater worked through the companies for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the US European Command.

On September 3 the New York Times reported that Blackwater had “created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq.” The documents obtained by The Nation reveal previously unreported details of several such companies and open a rare window into the sensitive intelligence and security operations Blackwater performs for a range of powerful corporations and government agencies. The new evidence also sheds light on the key roles of several former top CIA officials who went on to work for Blackwater.

The coordinator of Blackwater’s covert CIA business, former CIA paramilitary officer Enrique “Ric” Prado, set up a global network of foreign operatives, offering their “deniability” as a “big plus” for potential Blackwater customers, according to company documents. The CIA has long used proxy forces to carry out extralegal actions or to shield US government involvement in unsavory operations from scrutiny. In some cases, these “deniable” foreign forces don’t even know who they are working for. Prado and Prince built up a network of such foreigners while Blackwater was at the center of the CIA’s assassination program, beginning in 2004. They trained special missions units at one of Prince’s properties in Virginia with the intent of hunting terrorism suspects globally, often working with foreign operatives. A former senior CIA official said the benefit of using Blackwater’s foreign operatives in CIA operations was that “you wouldn’t want to have American fingerprints on it.”

While the network was originally established for use in CIA operations, documents show that Prado viewed it as potentially valuable to other government agencies. In an e-mail in October 2007 with the subject line “Possible Opportunity in DEA—Read and Delete,” Prado wrote to a Total Intelligence executive with a pitch for the Drug Enforcement Administration. That executive was an eighteen-year DEA veteran with extensive government connections who had recently joined the firm. Prado explained that Blackwater had developed “a rapidly growing, worldwide network of folks that can do everything from surveillance to ground truth to disruption operations.” He added, “These are all foreign nationals (except for a few cases where US persons are the conduit but no longer ‘play’ on the street), so deniability is built in and should be a big plus.”

The executive wrote back and suggested there “may be an interest” in those services. The executive suggested that “one of the best places to start may be the Special Operations Division, (SOD) which is located in Chantilly, VA,” telling Prado the name of the special agent in charge. The SOD is a secretive joint command within the Justice Department, run by the DEA. It serves as the command-and-control center for some of the most sensitive counternarcotics and law enforcement operations conducted by federal forces. The executive also told Prado that US attachés in Mexico; Bogotá, Colombia; and Bangkok, Thailand, would potentially be interested in Prado’s network. Whether this network was activated, and for what customers, cannot be confirmed. A former Blackwater employee who worked on the company’s CIA program declined to comment on Prado’s work for the company, citing its classified status.

In November 2007 officials from Prince’s companies developed a pricing structure for security and intelligence services for private companies and wealthy individuals. One official wrote that Prado had the capacity to “develop infrastructures” and “conduct ground-truth and security activities.” According to the pricing chart, potential customers could hire Prado and other Blackwater officials to operate in the United States and globally: in Latin America, North Africa, francophone countries, the Middle East, Europe, China, Russia, Japan, and Central and Southeast Asia. A four-man team headed by Prado for countersurveillance in the United States cost $33,600 weekly, while “safehouses” could be established for $250,000, plus operational costs. Identical services were offered globally. For $5,000 a day, clients could hire Prado or former senior CIA officials Cofer Black and Robert Richer for “representation” to national “decision-makers.” Before joining Blackwater, Black, a twenty-eight-year CIA veteran, ran the agency’s counterterrorism center, while Richer was the agency’s deputy director of operations. (Neither Black nor Richer currently works for the company.)

As Blackwater became embroiled in controversy following the Nisour Square massacre, Prado set up his own company, Constellation Consulting Group (CCG), apparently taking some of Blackwater’s covert CIA work with him, though he maintained close ties to his former employer. In an e-mail to a Total Intelligence executive in February 2008, Prado wrote that he “recently had major success in developing capabilities in Mali [Africa] that are of extreme interest to our major sponsor and which will soon launch a substantial effort via my small shop.” He requested Total Intelligence’s help in analyzing the “North Mali/Niger terrorist problem.”

In October 2009 Blackwater executives faced a crisis when they could not account for their government-issued Secure Telephone Unit, which is used by the CIA, the National Security Agency and other military and intelligence services for secure communications. A flurry of e-mails were sent around as personnel from various Blackwater entities tried to locate the device. One former Blackwater official wrote that because he had left the company it was “not really my problem,” while another declared, “I have no ‘dog in this fight.'” Eventually, Prado stepped in, e-mailing the Blackwater officials to “pass my number” to the “OGA POC,” meaning the Other Government Agency (parlance for CIA) Point of Contact.

What relationship Prado’s CCG has with the CIA is not known. An early version of his company’s website boasted that “CCG professionals have already conducted operations on five continents, and have proven their ability to meet the most demanding client needs” and that the company has the “ability to manage highly-classified contracts.” CCG, the site said, “is uniquely positioned to deliver services that no other company can, and can deliver results in the most remote areas with little or no outside support.” Among the services advertised were “Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence (human and electronic), Unconventional Military Operations, Counterdrug Operations, Aviation Services, Competitive Intelligence, Denied Area Access…and Paramilitary Training.”

The Nation has previously reported on Blackwater’s work for the CIA and JSOC in Pakistan. New documents reveal a history of activity relating to Pakistan by Blackwater. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto worked with the company when she returned to Pakistan to campaign for the 2008 elections, according to the documents. In October 2007, when media reports emerged that Bhutto had hired “American security,” senior Blackwater official Robert Richer wrote to company executives, “We need to watch this carefully from a number of angles. If our name surfaces, the Pakistani press reaction will be very important. How that plays through the Muslim world will also need tracking.” Richer wrote that “we should be prepared to [sic] a communique from an affiliate of Al-Qaida if our name surfaces (BW). That will impact the security profile.” Clearly a word is missing in the e-mail or there is a typo that leaves unclear what Richer meant when he mentioned the Al Qaeda communiqué. Bhutto was assassinated two months later. Blackwater officials subsequently scheduled a meeting with her family representatives in Washington, in January 2008.

Through Total Intelligence and the Terrorism Research Center, Blackwater also did business with a range of multinational corporations. According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsanto—the world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seeds—hired the firm in 2008–09. The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.

After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to Prince and Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses. Black wrote that Wilson “understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.” Black added that Total Intelligence “would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.” Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater “could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.” Black wrote that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid out of Monsanto’s “generous protection budget” but would eventually become a line item in the company’s annual budget. He estimated the potential payments to Total Intelligence at between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents, Monsanto paid Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and $105,000 in 2009.

Reached by telephone and asked about the meeting with Black in Zurich, Monsanto’s Wilson initially said, “I’m not going to discuss it with you.” In a subsequent e-mail to The Nation, Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010. He denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, stating “there was no such discussion.” He claimed that Total Intelligence only provided Monsanto “with reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.” Wilson asserted that Black told him Total Intelligence was “a completely separate entity from Blackwater.”

Monsanto was hardly the only powerful corporation to enlist the services of Blackwater’s constellation of companies. The Walt Disney Company hired Total Intelligence and TRC to do a “threat assessment” for potential film shoot locations in Morocco, with former CIA officials Black and Richer reaching out to their former Moroccan intel counterparts for information. The job provided a “good chance to impress Disney,” one company executive wrote. How impressed Disney was is not clear; in 2009 the company paid Total Intelligence just $24,000.

Total Intelligence and TRC also provided intelligence assessments on China to Deutsche Bank. “The Chinese technical counterintelligence threat is one of the highest in the world,” a TRC analyst wrote, adding, “Many four and five star hotel rooms and restaurants are live-monitored with both audio and video” by Chinese intelligence. He also said that computers, PDAs and other electronic devices left unattended in hotel rooms could be cloned. Cellphones using the Chinese networks, the analyst wrote, could have their microphones remotely activated, meaning they could operate as permanent listening devices. He concluded that Deutsche Bank reps should “bring no electronic equipment into China.” Warning of the use of female Chinese agents, the analyst wrote, “If you don’t have women coming onto you all the time at home, then you should be suspicious if they start coming onto you when you arrive in China.” For these and other services, the bank paid Total Intelligence $70,000 in 2009.

TRC also did background checks on Libyan and Saudi businessmen for British banking giant Barclays. In February 2008 a TRC executive e-mailed Prado and Richer revealing that Barclays asked TRC and Total Intelligence for background research on the top executives from the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and their potential “associations/connections with the Royal family and connections with Osama bin Ladin.” In his report, Richer wrote that SBG’s chair, Bakr Mohammed bin Laden, “is well and favorably known to both arab and western intelligence service[s]” for cooperating in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Another SBG executive, Sheikh Saleh bin Laden, is described by Richer as “a very savvy businessman” who is “committed to operating with full transparency to Saudi’s security services” and is considered “the most vehement within the extended BL family in terms of criticizing UBL’s actions and beliefs.”

In August Blackwater and the State Department reached a $42 million settlement for hundreds of violations of US export control regulations. Among the violations cited was the unauthorized export of technical data to the Canadian military. Meanwhile, Blackwater’s dealings with Jordanian officials are the subject of a federal criminal prosecution of five former top Blackwater executives. The Jordanian government paid Total Intelligence more than $1.6 million in 2009.

Some of the training Blackwater provided to Canadian military forces was in Blackwater/TRC’s “Mirror Image” course, where trainees live as a mock Al Qaeda cell in an effort to understand the mindset and culture of insurgents. Company literature describes it as “a classroom and field training program designed to simulate terrorist recruitment, training, techniques and operational tactics.” Documents show that in March 2009 Blackwater/TRC spent $6,500 purchasing local tribal clothing in Afghanistan as well as assorted “propaganda materials—posters, Pakistan Urdu maps, etc.” for Mirror Image, and another $9,500 on similar materials this past January in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to internal documents, in 2009 alone the Canadian military paid Blackwater more than $1.6 million through TRC. A Canadian military official praised the program in a letter to the center, saying it provided “unique and valid cultural awareness and mission specific deployment training for our soldiers in Afghanistan,” adding that it was “a very effective and operationally current training program that is beneficial to our mission.”

This past summer Erik Prince put Blackwater up for sale and moved to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But he doesn’t seem to be leaving the shadowy world of security and intelligence. He says he moved to Abu Dhabi because of its “great proximity to potential opportunities across the entire Middle East, and great logistics,” adding that it has “a friendly business climate, low to no taxes, free trade and no out of control trial lawyers or labor unions. It’s pro-business and opportunity.” It also has no extradition treaty with the United States.


Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/article/154739/blackwaters-black-ops

Also read:  

http://www.grist.org/article/2010-09-15-notorious-agribiz-giant-monsanto-hired-security-firm-blackwater

Excerpt:

Before we dig into the story, let’s establish that by 2008, Blackwater had proven itself to be a really, really dodgy company. Blackwater first became famous in 2003, soon after the start of the war in Iraq, when the company flooded the country with armed contractors at the invitation of the Bush administration, which had multiple ties to Blackwater’s right-wing founder, the wealthy heir Erik Prince. Blackwater quickly involved itself in a long string of violent incidents, including the killing of 17 unarmed civilians in 2007 in Iraq. By then, the company’s trigger-happy gunmen had become involved in the war in Afghanistan and even in post-Katrina New Orleans.

The 2007 atrocity in Iraq wrecked the company’s reputation, forcing it change its name to the unpronounceable Xe and break into what The New York Times recently called “a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries [created] in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts.” (None of this has stopped the Obama administration from continuing to work with Blackwater and its shell companies; last year, Scahill reported that Blackwater was on the ground in Pakistan on a U.S. contract.)

Iraqi Farmers! Beware of Genetically Modified Food

June 3, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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This Newsletter was sent to me by the

Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)

P.O. Box 425125

Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

Tel: 1 (617) 86-INEAS (864-6327)

Email: Info@INEAS.org

Website: http://www.INEAS.org

 

 EXCERPT:

Arab Farmers! Beware of Genetically Modified Food

Please distribute the following link widely to Arab consumers, importers, agriculture experts and farmers around the Arab world:

http://www.examiner.com/x-48928-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m5d17-Genetically-modified-crops-failing-worldwide

We want to specifically bring the matter of genetically modified food in this June issue to Arabs because they are among the least groups who have awareness about the subject.

The Dilemma of Iraqi People: They Receive Help from the

Same US forces that Destroyed Their Country!

http://www.usf-iraq.com/news/headlines/iraqi-province-gets-agriculture-overhaul

Iraqis must follow the footsteps of the Haitian farmers by burning the imported seeds, especially those coming from the USA!  The alarming situation of agriculture in Iraq and its dependency is mentioned in the link above!

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

May 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

by Bev Bell

 

Mon May 17, 2010 at 09:41:28 AM PDT

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/5/17/122734/198

Please see:

https://merryabla64.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/iraqi-farmers-beware-genetically-modified-crops-failing-worldwide/

Iraqi Farmers, beware! Genetically modified crops failing worldwide

May 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
Tags: ,

IRAQI FARMERS BEWARE!!!

Weeds like this pigweed, that have become immune to Roundup, are devastating American farms.

Genetically modified crops failing worldwide

May 17, 10:10 AM Environmental News Examiner Tom Lewis

 Photo by H. Zell via Wikimedia

The Green Revolution — a misleading name applied by PR firms to the onset of globalized, chemical-intensive, industrial agriculture that is anything but friendly to the environment — is coming unraveled around the world, bringing devastation to farmers from the plains of China to the plains of America.

It was revealed last week that China is dealing with an explosive infestation of the formerly inconsequential mirid bug in its orchards and cotton fields. The bug’s population exploded as a result of widespread planting of cotton that had been genetically altered to be resistant to the bollworm, formerly cotton’s worst enemy. Cotton farmers stopped spraying insecticides, since their plants shrugged off the bollworms, and thus allowed other insects, especially the mirid bug, to multiply without interference.

According to a study published last week by Kongming Wu at the State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests in Beijing (reported by Reuters), the mirid bug is now laying waste to orchards and cotton fields in at least six provinces in Northern China, affecting 10 million farmers. Controlling one pest, as chemical companies boast frequently that they have discovered how to do, inevitably unleashes others in a cascade of unintended consequences. The lesson in this case, according to Wu, is that “We have to study the whole ecosystem.” Indeed.

Similar effects are being felt by farmer in the American breadbasket as the result of their reliance on a single chemical. For decades, chemical farming was limited by the fact that pesticides were terribly persistent and toxic, and while they could kill broadleaf weeds without affecting cereal crops with narrow leaves, they could not distinguish between narrow-leafed weeds and those cereal crops, such as corn. Then Monsanto came up with Roundup, a glyphosate killer of weeds both broad- and narrow-leafed, that broke down quickly into inert compounds, and it then introduced genetically engineered seeds that produced crops that were immune to Roundup. (For more details see my book, Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age by Sustainable Living.)
Thanks to massive advertising and public-relations campaigns (that shouted down repeated studies by the US Department of Agriculture and United Nations that showed no particular advantages to GM crops) within ten years over half of all American cropland was planted with Roundup-resistant crops.

One inevitable result of drenching large areas with a chemical designed to kill all weeds is that some weeds, by accident, will be immune to that particular chemical. They will reproduce and, finding much less competition around them, will flourish. All this was known by non-chemical farmers and scientists from the beginning of the Roundup debacle. Yet the New York Times was surprised, last week, to find that what could go wrong, had gone wrong. (See Deepwater Horizon, et al.)

Throughout the American heartland, farmers who were persuaded to stop cultivating, stop spraying more toxic weed sprays and give their faith to Roundup are being overcome by resurgent weeds. One of them, pigweed, is a mutant monster that can reach seven feet in height and can ruin a combine. The high costs of the modified seed, the increasing cost of applying more and more Roundup to less and less effect, added to the need to resume tilling and the use of older chemicals, adds up to “…the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” according to Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

In response to the rising emergencies around the world, Monsanto is desperately at work on genetically altering plants so they will be resistant to, of all things, the carcinogen 2,4-D. Perhaps they should take a cue from Mr. Wu, and “study the whole ecosystem.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-48928-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m5d17-Genetically-modified-crops-failing-worldwide?cid=channel-rss-News

International Seed Day on April 26, 2010

April 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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International Seed Day (ISD): An International Day for Patent-Free Seeds, Organic Food and Farmers’ Rights
April 26, 2010

 
 

Organizations and activists from around the world will observe April 26 as International Seed Day (ISD) advocating for patent-free seeds, organic food and farmers’ rights. ISD will be an educational day for the public to learn about genetically modified food, its health hazardous effects and the monopoly over worldwide agriculture by major US and European agribusiness companies.

Why April 26?


Order 81 was signed on April 26, 2004 by Paul Bremer, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq to control Iraq’s agriculture. The Order was a declaration of war against farmers. Article 14 of this law states “Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties,” Order 81 mends Iraq’s original law No. 65 on patents, created in 1970. The most significant part of Order 81 is the subject of ‘Plant Variety Protection’ (PVP), which ensures not the protection of biodiversity, but rather the protection of the commercial interests of USA and European major seed corporations. In order to qualify for PVP, seeds have to be ‘new, distinct, uniform and stable’. Therefore, the sort of seeds being encouraged to grow by corporations such as World Wide Wheat Company (WWWC), Monsanto and others will be those registered under PVP. International Seed Day (ISD) Library

Press Release | pdf version

Dr. Vandana Shiva to Iraqi Farmers and Women

Full text of Order 81

Detailed information on the status of agriculture in Afghanistan and Iraq

Interview with Wafaa’ Al-Natheema
(in Dutch)

Order 81 and the Plunder of Farming

Stop the Rape of Iraqi Heritage
(in Arabic)

Stop the Rape of Iraqi Heritage
(in English)

The Maui News on International Seed Day

International Seed Day & Order 81
(in Arabic)

International Seeds Day – Dental Tribune

International Seed Day
(in Swedish)

Order 81 and April 26 ISD
(in Swedish)

Third Iraqi-Turkmen Media Council Speech

Iraq and International Seed Day
(in Arabic)

The Dangerous Water Status in IRAQ
(in Arabic)

Pacifying Iraqis with Capitalism

Declaration on GMOs in Kenya

Monsanto vs. Normal Seeds

http://www.ineas.org/in/ev/20090426isdev.htm

The World Seed Conference

September 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The World Seed Conference

Good for Farmers?

By ROBIN WILLOUGHBY

September 16, 2009

 

Last week marked a little-known and under-reported symposium held in Rome under the auspices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation – the World Seed Conference. Although the subject may appear obscure, the conference theme and the issues discussed, including plant variety protection and seed improvement techniques, could not be more important to millions of farmers in the developing world.

Between the heavy acronyms and technical terms used by the UN figures, government officials and industry representatives, the conference illustrated two clear themes; firstly, the desire of Northern-based business to continue a process of enclosure of key farming inputs such as seeds by way of technology. Secondly, a push by these same companies (supported by the US and EU countries) for an extension and tightening of intellectual property rights on plant genetic resources into the national law of poorer countries.
Under the guise of innovation and progress, breeding companies suggest that seed varieties developed in laboratories in the North and then sold to poorer farmers in the South can raise yields in crops, increase nutritional values, reduce pesticide and fossil fuels use as well as conserve biodiversity. In the words of one participant at the conference, his company utilised ‘the art and science of changing the genetics of plants for the benefit of humankind.’

Advocates from industry argue that to safeguard their investment in these manipulated ‘seed innovations’ governments should use a form of legal construction (intellectual property rights) to prevent farmers from re-using and changing seeds that are a ‘product’ of agribusiness. Industry lobbyists also suggest that such monopoly rights should extend to developed plants varieties that business cannot easily control by technology – for example due to natural reproduction.

However, the patenting of seeds, extension of plant variety protection and rollout of a global regime of intellectual property rights for agricultural inputs could have serious consequences for small-scale farmers in the developing world.

Continue Reading The World Seed Conference…

A message from Wafaa’ Al-Natheema

June 16, 2009 at 12:58 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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  “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”
 Gerorge Orwell
 
  
In February 2009, Navdanya, a non-profit organization in New Delhi offered a 3-day course on organic seeds, patent seeds and biopiracy.  The course was held between February 1st and 3rd. 
 
On February 1st., Dr. Vandana Shiva introduced the course with an interesting presentation, which we’ve filmed.  Footage available for those interested in obtaining it.
 
On February 2nd, Wafaa’ Al-Natheema gave an informal presentation on IRAQ’s Order 81.  The small gathering include attendees from India, Europe, Australia and the USA including Jeffrey Smith.  During the Q/A period, Jeffrey Smith made a comment about terminator seeds and the book by William Engdahl, “Seeds of Destruction“.  An audio recording of this presentation with Smith’s comment can be obtained from our Institute.
 
Continue Reading A message from Wafaa’ Al-Natheema…

Journée Internationale des Semences dédiée aux Irakiens et aux Afghans

April 20, 2009 at 10:15 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Journée Internationale des Semences dédiée aux Irakiens et aux Afghans
Le 18 avril 2009

Le 26 avril prochain sera une journée de solidarité avec tous les fermiers du monde victimes du diktat des multinationales agroalimentaires qui les dépossèdent de leur patrimoine, brevettent les semences qu’elles leur ont volées et leur imposent autoritairement les cultures OGM. Elle sera dédiée tout particulièrement aux agriculteurs d’Iraq et d’Afghanistan, et des autres pays dévastés par des guerres d’agression et l’occupation de troupes étrangères. Ce sera l’occasion de sensibiliser le public aux dangers des aliments génétiquement modifiés et à la dictature des grands semenciers (principalement Monsanto) dont le but ultime est le contrôle total de la chaîne alimentaire. C’est aussi une journée de résistance contre des pratiques criminelles qui menacent l’avenir de la planète.

 

  

Fermier irakien – Source:palestinechronicle.com

 

Le 26 avril, date anniversaire de la directive scélérate Bremer qui a dépossédé les Iraquiens de leur patrimoine agricole  

 

Le jour du 26 avril a été choisi parce que l’ordonnance 81 signée il y a cinq ans, le 26 avril 2004, par l’administrateur provisoire de l’Iraq Paul Bremer a placé le pays sous le joug économique total de l’Occupant en obligeant le pays à réformer drastiquement son économie sur le modèle économique néo-libéral américain. Ceci en violation de la Constitution irakienne et des conventions de la Haye et de Genève qui stipulent que l’occupant doit respecter la juridiction du pays occupé. Il s’agit d’une véritable déclaration de guerre contre les fermiers des pays occupés.  

 

Cette ordonnance, rédigée de façon très perverse, a institué de fait une obligation pour les fermiers irakiens d’acheter chaque année une licence et des semences transgéniques aux multinationales semencières  américaines – alors que la juridiction irakienne interdisait toute privatisation des ressources biologiques.  

 

Elle a livré le pays en pâture aux nécro-entreprises géantes qui contrôlent le commerce mondial des graines, comme Monsanto, Syngenta et Dow Chemicals. Comble de l’ironie, c’est au cœur de la Mésopotamie (l’actuel Iraq) qu’a été inventée l’agriculture voici plus de dix mille ans !  

 

L’ordonnance 81 a donné aux sociétés étrangères un droit de propriété intellectuelle (semblable à ceux que Washington a introduit dans les règles de l’OMC) qui leur concède pendant vingt ans le monopole sur la production, la reproduction, la vente, l’exportation, l’importation et le stockage de toutes les semences génétiquement modifiées et les variétés de plantes «similaires».  

 

Au cœur de l’ordonnance, la règle de « Protection des variétés des plantes » (PVP), qui ne traite pas de conservation de la biodiversité, mais de la protection des intérêts commerciaux des transnationales semencières (qui, en vertu des ordonnances Bremer, sont exonérées d’impôts, ne sont pas obligées de réinvestir dans le pays et possèdent le droit de rapatrier tous leurs profits). Pour être qualifiées, les plantes doivent être « nouvelles, distinctes, uniformes et stables », des critères que les plantes traditionnelles ne peuvent pas remplir.  

 

L’article 14 de cette loi interdit aux agriculteurs de réutiliser les semences de ces variétés transgéniques protégées ! Les agriculteurs « coupables » d’avoir semé des graines non achetées, ou dont le champ aurait été contaminé accidentellement, encourent de fortes amendes, voire des peines d’emprisonnement, la destruction de leurs récoltes, de leurs outils et de leur installation !  

 

Monsanto a fait un hold-up sur les semences millénaires des pays qu’elle envahit pour les modifier génétiquement, les breveter et les revendre aux agriculteurs désormais contraints de payer pour pouvoir les cultiver !   

 

Les semences, en tant que premier maillon de la chaîne alimentaire, représentent un enjeu économique et politique fondamental, et une arme de domination redoutable. Vandana Shiva (Inde), directrice de  la « Fondation de recherche pour la science, les technologies et les ressources naturelles », qui défend l’agriculture paysanne, a justement fait remarquer que « La directive 81 ressemble à d’autres lois dans le monde », à la différence que « l’Iraq est un pays en guerre et occupé » , car « partout dans le monde les multinationales veulent déposséder les agriculteurs de leurs semences ». Cette directive est criminelle « car elle touche le cœur de l’agriculture et concerne l’humanité entière ». D’autant qu’« en période de guerre, la sauvegarde des semences est plus importante que jamais ».  (1)  

 

 

  Continue Reading Journée Internationale des Semences dédiée aux Irakiens et aux Afghans…

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