New Eastern Outlook
by F. William Engdahl
The seven hundred years-old expression, “curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost,” rarely has been more appropriate than to describe what is happening to the world’s largest purveyor of gene-manipulated or GMO seeds and paired chemical toxins. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of genocidal eugenicists. Monsanto Corporation of St Louis is apparently in a deep decline.
Ever since 1992 when that nasty US President George H. W. Bush conspired–yes, Virginia, conspiracies exist– with the leadership of Monsanto to unleash GMOs on an unwitting American population, Monsanto seemed unstoppable.
With the help of Bush, who made a decree that no US Government agency be allowed to independently test GMO seeds or their chemicals for health and safety–the fraudulent and totally unscientific Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence–Monsanto could make its own fraudulent doctored tests and give them to US or EU agencies as valid. As a result, GMO seeds took over American agriculture, based on a pack of lies to farmers that they would raise yields and decrease chemical use. Monsanto spread its GMO far around the world, through bribery as in Indonesia, and through the unusual machinations of the Government of the United States. Monsanto paid scientists to lie about its products safety.
It used the corrupt Brussels European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to back its position, even when alarming studies such as the famous September 2012 Food and Chemical Toxicology peer-reviewed study by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini created shock waves around the world. The Seralini study, the first ever long term, two year study of GMO diet with a group of 200 rats found shocking effects. Among them that,”female rats fed Monsanto GMO maize died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly… Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than, and before, controls; the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments.”
Monsanto then set about to kill the messenger by pressuring the Food & Chemical Toxicology journal to hire a former Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, who promptly declared Seralini’s study “unscientific” and deleted it, an act almost without precedent in science journals. A year later both Goodman and the journal’s editor-in-chief were forced to step down and Seralini’s article was republished in another scientific journal. But the scientific character assassination against Seralini had a chilling effect as Monsanto wanted.
The list of Monsanto abuses and criminal activities is long. Now, however, it seems her chickens are coming home to roost and maybe to do more.
The year 2015 is turning into what Britain’s Queen Elisabeth would call an Annus Horribilis, a very, very bad one. On March 20, 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized cancer agency of the
World Health Organization, assessed the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, the prime ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup. They found
“evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells…One study in community
residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate was sprayed nearby.” Monsanto was hardly thrilled at that we can be sure.
The WHO report was followed by a total ban on commercial planting of GMO seeds in the Russian Federation. There followed as well a decision to ban all GMO by 19 of 28 EU countries, including France and Germany, a further devastating blow to Monsanto and the GMO lobby. Then in September, a Monsanto herbicide again got hit bad when a French appeals court confirmed that Monsanto was guilty of chemical poisoning, upholding a 2012 ruling in favor of Paul Francois, whose lawyers claimed the company’s Lasso weed-killer gave the grain farmer neurological problems, including memory loss and headaches. To add to Monsanto woes, the State of California issued a notice of intent to list glyphosate as a carcinogen, the first regulatory agency in the US to determine that glyphosate is a carcinogen, according to Dr. Nathan Donley, scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.
These major setbacks have had a serious impact on the GMO and chemicals company. The price of Monsanto stock has fallen from a recent February high of $125 a share by 29%. With sales falling, Monsanto has announced it will slash 2,600 jobs, 12 percent of its workforce, and spend $3 billion to buy back stock shares, a form of financial (as opposed to genetic) engineering—they magically boost a company’s earnings-per-share ratio simply by removing shares from the market.
To make matters even worse, the Monsanto strategic takeover of the Swiss GMO and agrichemical giant, Syngenta, has collapsed. Since 2011 Monsanto’s strategy has been to pair with Syngenta. Syngenta is the world’s largest chemical herbicide and pesticide maker, with a far smaller part of revenue from its patented GMO seeds. Monsanto by contrast is the world’s largest GMO seeds purveyor and seed-owner, but has a relatively small share of profit from sale of its agrichemicals. In late August Monsanto offered Syngenta– infamous for its controversial atrazine herbicide and neonicotinoid pesticides—$47 billion. The Swiss company refused the bid, and Monsanto was forced to withdraw. The reason for the Syngenta takeover attempt was Monsanto’s determination to lessen dependency on sale of its GMO seeds, where problems are obviously mounting, and focus more on profits from weed-killing chemicals. That signals that it is not the “miracle” character of GMO seeds that interest Monsanto. Now they want to focus on toxic chemicals to raise the levels of toxins in animals, crops and the human population.
In a desperate move to hold ground and prevent GMO food labeling in the United States, Monsanto has been doing heavy lobbying of the US Congress to pass a national law prohibiting any labeling of food that contains GMO. Although 80 percent of all packaged food sold in America contain GMOs, consumers are kept in the dark because the US is one of the few places in the developed world that doesn’t require food producers to disclose if their products contain GMO as is required by law in the EU.
A new US law backed by Monsanto and the GMO lobby has passed the House of Representatives and is now being debated in the Senate. The bill, H.R. 1599, misleadingly named “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling (SAFE) Act,” would make federal GMO labeling voluntary, while prohibiting states from labeling GMOs. The aim is to overturn a move by individual states, in absence from national labeling, to force state labeling. A recent New York Times poll showed that 93 percent of Americans want GMO foods to labeled as such, with three-quarters of survey respondents expressing concern about GMOs in food.
Monsanto money may buy the passage of H.R. 1599, which anti-GMO activists label the “DARK act,” intended to keep Americans in the dark about the food they eat. But the future of GMO is clearly looking worse for Monsanto and her Rockefeller Foundation backers than at any time since Monsanto’s fateful 1992 White House meeting with Papa Bush.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.