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by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, May. 26, 2013 at 8:55 PM
Monsanto: Profits Above Human Health
by Stephen Lendman
On May 25, tens of thousands of people marched against Monsanto. They did so in dozens of countries worldwide. They had good reason.
They want consumer protections enacted. They want safe food to eat. They want governments assuring it. They want GMO foods and ingredients labeled.
"March Against Monsanto" (MAM) headlined "Why Do We March?"
Independent research shows GMO foods and ingredients cause "serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects."
Former Monsanto executives run the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An obvious conflict of interest exists.
Provisions of the March 2013 Monsanto Protection Act include "ban(ning) courts from halting the sale of Monsanto's genetically-modified seeds."
"For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism."
"Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup."
"Monsanto's GM seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world's bee population."
• buying organic foods;
• boycotting Monsanto-owned companies;
• repealing Monsanto Protection Act harmful provisions;
• more independent research on the effects of GMOs on human health;
• holding Monsanto officials and complicit politicians accountable;
• informing the public about "Monsanto's secrets;" and
• "taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly."
"We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto."
In 1906, Upton Sinclair's muckraking novel "The Jungle" aroused the public. It exposed monopoly capitalist excesses, worker exploitation, and unsanitary practices in slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants.
Food hazardous to human health was produced. Nothing was done to stop it. Unsuspecting consumers ate it.
Jack London said Sinclair's book "depict(ed) what our country really is, the home of oppression and injustice, a nightmare of misery, an inferno of suffering, a human hell, a jungle of wild beasts."
Theodore Roosevelt was president. Public outcry got results. The 1906 Pure Food Food and Drug Act became law. It fell short of full protection. It helped by prohibiting some of the worst abuses.
Yesteryear's reforms are gone. They no longer exist. Deregulation ended them. Profits alone matter. What corporate America wants it gets. It runs the country. Agribusiness and other industry sectors occupy Washington.
They decide policy. They write laws Congress passes. Ordinary people have no say. Politicians are bought like toothpaste. Public health and environmental sanity are ignored. Corporate greed alone matters.
Business officials run the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other government agencies.
America's food supply suffers. Genetically modified ones proliferate. They're unsafe to eat. They're hazardous to human health. Independent studies prove it.
Monsanto's the world's leading GMO seed producer. It's profiting at the expense of human health. It wants all animal and vegetable life forms patented. It wants global food control.
It wants labeling prohibited. It wants reliable science buried. It wants issues of food safety ignored. It wants consumers to have no say.
It wants critics silenced. It wants them discredited. It has enormous influence in Washington. It gets its own way. It's long past time that ended. Ordinary people must demand it. Food safety is too vital to ignore.
"The World According to Monsanto" chronicles its controversial history. It's a powerful film. It explains some of the most toxic products ever sold.
Monsanto deception, pressure, collusion and bribery are standard tactics to do so.
Secret documents are exposed. Firsthand accounts are presented. Victims, scientists, politicians and others tell their own stories.
The film explains why Monsanto's the world's poster child for manipulating governments to permit hazardous products vital to prohibit. It's a wakeup call for mass action.
Monsanto's history includes some of the most hazardous products ever produced. They include Agent Orange, DDT, recombinant bovine growth hormone, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), aspartame, and Roundup herbicide among others.
Jeffrey Smith's Institute for Responsible Technology calls Monsanto's history "Deception, Deception, Deception." It's why the company "can't be trusted," he says.
Its own documents later made public reveal Monsanto knew straightaway that many of its products are hazardous to human health. A company memo justified selling them. "We can't afford to lose one dollar of business," it said.
In December 2011, the Natural Society called Monsanto the "Worst Company of 2011." It did so for "threatening both human health and the environment."
It controls 90% of the US GMO seed market. Its Roundup herbicide contaminates 120 million hectares in America, Europe, South America, Australia and South Africa. Its other biopesticides increase contamination.
Corporate Accountability International conducts an annual poll. "(W)e ask you," it says, to (choose) the worst of worst and induct the 'winner' into our Corporate Hall of Shame."
In 2012, Monsanto was chosen. It was "(f)or mass producing toxic chemicals, aggressively running small farms out of business, and recklessly promoting (hazardous GMO) seeds that (harm human health and) exacerbate food scarcity globally - again."
Food & Water Watch says "Monsanto's control over seeds harms farmers, the environment and the global economy."
Its food system reach is "formidable." Its seeds are responsible for about 86% of corn and around 93% of soybeans. Most processed foods include them.
Monsanto wants GMOs proliferated globally. Washington actively promotes it. The State Department acts as an agribusiness biotechnology ambassador.
It lobbies and pressures governments to permit GMO proliferation. It conducts public relations on behalf of industry giants. It ignores food safety issues. It opposes GMO labeling.
US embassies are aggressively involved. Darcy O'Callaghan is Food & Water Watch's international policy director. She was interviewed on The Real News Network.
She discussed 926 diplomatic cables. WikiLeaks published them. They revealed active State Department biotech promotion. It's done deceptively.
False GMO seed claims are made. Governments are pressured. Food & Water Watch's executive director Wenonah Hauter said "(t)he US State Department is selling seeds instead of democracy. It campaigns on behalf of biotech giants."
"The State Department should not be flexing its diplomatic muscle to impose biotech crops on the developing world."
"Today, the US government is secretly negotiating major trade deals with Europe and the countries of the Pacific Rim that would force skeptical and unwilling countries to accept biotech imports, commercialize biotech crops and prevent the labeling of GE foods."
"This madness must stop. The US government should not be a shill for the largest biotech seed companies."
According to National Family Farm Coalition president Ben Burkett:
"An overwhelming number of farmers in the developing world reject biotech crops as a path to sustainable agricultural development or food sovereignty."
"The biotech agriculture model using costly seeds and
agrichemicals forces farmers onto a debt treadmill that is neither
economically nor environmentally viable."
Organic Consumers Association executive director Ronnie Cummins added:
"It’s not surprising that Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow want to maintain and expand their control of the billion global biotech seed market, but it’s appalling that the State Department is complicit in supporting their goals despite public and government opposition in several countries."
"American taxpayer’s money should not be spent advancing the goals of a few giant biotech companies."
Food & Water Watch wants both kept safe, accessible, affordable, and sustainably produced. "Take Action," it urges. Everyone has a right to know what they're eating.
GMO foods and ingredients harm human health. Jeffrey Smith's investigative research links GMOs to "toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, and damage to virtually every internal organ studied in lab animals."
Monsanto and other biotech giants mislead governments. They put profits above human health and environmental sanity. Staying healthy begins with not ingesting harmful substances.
Independent research reveals compelling evidence. GMOs harm human health. Monsanto's the world's largest seed producer. It's history reflects irresponsible behavior.
According to Smith, it includes "extensive bribery, highjacking of regulatory agencies, and suppressing negative information about its products."
It threatens journalists and scientists who dare report them. It long ago proved it can't be trusted.
On May 25, tens of thousands worldwide marched against Monsanto. They want governments assuring they get safe food. They want GMOs labeled.
Not in America any time soon. On May 23, the Senate voted overwhelmingly against it.
A Farm Bill amendment was defeated by a 71 - 27 vote. It lost despite the vast majority of Americans wanting labeling.
People have a right to know. Consumer advocates demand it. What Monsanto wants it gets. Washington works that way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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