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June 3, 2013

Yet Another GMO Contamination Outbreak

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Last week the USDA announced that for several months it has been conducting an investigation of environmental and economic pollution of the US wheat supply by illegal GMO wheat. 
 
The problem came to light when an Oregon farmer discovered a stand of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready spring wheat growing feral on his land. This is not a commercially available crop. Monsanto has done hundreds of field tests of genetically engineered wheat in at least 17 states, from 1997 to 2005 and resuming in 2011. This includes the last known testing in Oregon, from 1999 to 2001. But in the face of farmer opposition, fears over the viability of US wheat exports if the supply was contaminated, and other obstacles, the GM rackets never commercialized any GM wheat, and the government never approved it for sale.
 
Field testing in the US is usually rubber-stamped by the government and subject to little USDA scrutiny. In most cases the USDA doesn’t even know where the test plots are. Monsanto and the other rackets are given almost total license to draw up their own safety protocols and police themselves.
 
Today’s discovery is only the latest in a long history of contamination episodes. The USDA’s own Inspector General issued a 2005 report which criticized inadequate agency oversight. The GAO was more harsh in 2008, emphasizing the agency’s own data admitting over 700 violations of USDA testing regulations, including nearly a hundred which could lead to GMO contamination in the ecosystem. USDA “oversight” of the GMO cartel is a typical example of letting the corporations write up their own rules and police themselves, while the government’s only role is to rubber-stamp the process and then lie to the people, telling them a rigorous regulatory protocol exists. The government is looking out for us, so there’s no need to grow up, to educate ourselves, to take direct action for ourselves, to build a movement to take our politics and economy in our own hands.*
 
It’s further proof that even under “test” conditions, and even where unauthorized release is not deliberate (which we don’t know in this case), GMOs cannot be prevented from escaping into the environment and contaminating economic crops and wild relatives.
 
All this is giving GMOs some unusual bad press in the corporate media, because it’s causing major reverberations in the wheat export markets. Japan rejected a US wheat shipment, South Korea has suspends wheat imports from the US, other Asian countries and Europe announced intensified testing. This shall be another major economic headache for an $8 billion export industry, caused by a totally gratuitous product for which there has never been any demand, but which has been 100% forced on farmers, markets, and consumers by corporatist economic planning. The vast majority of people and institutions, including most other economic sectors, wish GMOs would just cease to exist. Their existence and power are 100% the command economy artifice of a handful of corporations and governments, 100% the creature of corporate welfare and government thuggery.
 
The escape of GMOs from test plots is just one part of the overall contamination problem. Commercialized GM crops promiscuously contaminate regular crops as well as organic crops, often destroying their economic value. To give two examples, organic canola is largely impossible in Canada, as are non-GM beets and chard in Oregon, because of GMO contamination. The USDA admits that this contamination is inevitable, and has further demonstrated its character as a Monsanto lackey by ruling that it’s the legal responsibility of organic farmers to protect themselves against this trespass and tort, not the responsibility of the intruder and vandal. A lawsuit asking the courts to override this policy was rejected, demonstrating again how the people will not find justice amid “the law”. On the contrary, it’s longstanding GMO jurisprudence that if, through negligent or deliberate contamination, a proprietary GMO pollutes a victim’s crops, the victim is then legally culpable for violating the aggressor’s patent rights.
 
(This is an example of the radical extremes to which patent law and the “intellectual property” regime are being taken. This is one example of GMOs as the ultimate corporate frontier. GMOs are critically important to corporatism in themselves, as well as critically important for developing intellectual property as a totalitarian enclosure weapon.)
 
We’ve learned nothing new from this incident, just confirmation of everything which was already evident. Most of all, it’s further proof that there can be no “co-existence” (to use the system’s Orwellian term) with GMOs. Co-existence, compromise, conciliation, are impossible because GMOs are totalitarian. The definition of totalitarian is that a cadre aggressively seeks to carry out an imperative, recognizes no limits to this imperative, and believes that no value has any right to exist other than this imperative. This describes corporatism and corporate profit-seeking in general, and Monsanto and the GM rackets have been particularly frank that their goal is total domination of the world seed supply and, through this, total control over all the world’s food. We’ve seen the political and socioeconomic effects. The US, Canadian, UK, and many other governments and globalization cadres have made clear that they will accept no limits on Monsanto’s domination imperative, and will do all they can to aggrandize it. GMOs are politically totalitarian.
 
They’re also environmentally totalitarian in that given the chance they’ll contaminate any ecosystem of which they’re a part. This would be true of field tests even if these were conscientious about contamination protocols, which they’re not. It’s proven to be true of commercialized GM cultivation.
 
At least this environmental totalitarianism is still largely dependent upon aggressive, artificial (economic and political) pro-GMO action. Nature is highly resilient and prone to reject most contaminants. We’re still at the point where, if humanity politically abolishes GMOs, nature will probably be able to clean up the pollution mess. But as contamination escalates, this won’t be true for long. This is all the more reason we need to build an abolition movement now.   
 
[*This typical statement from the Center for Food Safety demonstrates how our liberal “food safety” NGOs offer no alternative to the Monsanto-USDA regime, even in principle.
 
“USDA has once again failed to protect the food supply from GE crop contamination,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety. “This incident underscores why stronger regulation is long overdue. Congress needs to investigate how this occurred and the prevalence of contamination. Until then, USDA, at a minimum, should immediately place a moratorium on open-air field testing of genetically engineered crops.”
 
The USDA is proven to fail, and regulation is proven to fail, so we need the USDA and regulation. And of course “congress”.
 
We see the total intellectual and strategic bankruptcy of the entire liberal NGO complex. It offers nothing to the future, and is not part of the necessary path forward.]
 

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