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February 21, 2014

GMO News Summary 2/21/14

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*In Russia the proposed bill to tighten GMO labeling standards on imported products and ban GMO cultivation within the country (there’s currently a bureaucratic moratorium) continues to wend its way through the legislative process while a new poll found that 80% of Russians distrust GMOs. The media is also touting organic exports as a potential Russian trade advantage which ought to be exploited. This reinforces part of the impression I have, that unlike the EU, Russia views this as a competitive issue rather than one of self-sacrifice to corporate domination.
 
I’ve been thinking the same thing about European agriculture in general. It looks to me like the proposed TTIP/TAFTA is an old-fashioned power move by the US government against European power, at the behest of the truly international corporate system (e.g., of the GMO cartel’s Big Five, three are nominally from the US, two from Europe, and their combined interest transcends both). Corporatism is veritably an attempt at One World Government, in the only form such a thing can exist, a totalitarian supply-based command economy. This is why corporatism’s lackey, wants to shift power from national governments: (1) as much as possible directly to the corporations, (2) where another layer of “government” is deemed necessary, to supranational globalization cadres like the IMF, WTO, and the corporate tribunals the TTIP and TPP would establish. The European Commission, itself a supranational bureaucracy, identifies with this global corporate system rather than with the countries, let alone the people, of Europe.
 
*A new study further confirms the link between glyphosate and celiac disease and gluten intolerance, two of the many digestive system-related diseases whose incidence has surged in correlation with the rise of GMOs and their concomitant agricultural poisons, like glyphosate, in our diets.
 
*I’ve previously written about the Sarpo Mira corporate welfare GM potato. Now there’s more information coming out about this government product. As we suspected, it’s a typical hoax which, even if it performs as claimed, is inferior to the conventional breeds which were pirated to produce it. Yet 3 million British pounds and counting in taxpayer funds have been thrown down this hole, while the real potato breeders are starved of research funds.
 
(The publicly-funded research institute, the John Innes Center, is the same I’ve previously mentioned for performing brassica research on behalf of Monsanto and running a completely pointless GM wheat field trial at its Rothamsted plot. We can see how the JIC is nothing but a taxpayer-funded corporate welfare conveyor and propaganda disseminator. These trials, where they aren’t conceived as actual profitable research on behalf of the cartel, are mostly examples of propaganda by action, as I described in my post on British field trials.) 
 
This is one example, small in itself but typical, of how the GMO research agenda is coordinated by governments to attain the related goals of conveying corporate welfare to the GM cartel, and smothering agroecological and sustainability research through denying it funding.
 
The corporate media runs a similar program, loudly touting even the most absurd claims on behalf of GMOs while imposing a blackout on the real progress made by conventional breeding and agroecology. Two classic examples are those of “drought-resistant GM maize” and the “cancer-fighting GM purple tomato”. In both cases the product is a fraud, while information about the conventionally bred varieties which really do the great things claimed is systematically suppressed. 
 
*Transcripts from the Steve Marsh lawsuit against trespassing and vandalism will be published online. The defendant, GM canola contractor Michael Baxter, claims his plantings met regulatory standards. If true, this is simply more proof that regulations are drawn up to meet whatever specifications the cartel demands, and not to achieve any actual public interest requirement. The alleged “public interest” character of regulatory bureaucracies is a propaganda sham, while their actions always obey corporate demands. And if Baxter’s plantings were fully legal, that’s further proof that coexistence with GMOs is impossible, and that humanity must abolish them completely.
 
*Speaking of “coexistence”, the USDA is extending till March 4 the comment period on its fraudulent and ideological coexistence policy. “Coexistence” is physically and politically impossible, as GMOs and the corporations which purvey them are totalitarian in both ways. The USDA wants to promulgate this policy as a propaganda offensive, and as a way to extend to agriculture the general trend of stripping the people of such rights as the right to go to court as a group, and instead to substitute coerced corporate “arbitration” in place of the judicial branch. This is a typical part of the general plan to shift all power from nominally “public” government to nominally “private” corporations. To put it in terms of US constitutionalism, corporatism involves the wholesale shift of power and control from the first three constitutional branches of “government” to the extraconstitutional Fourth Branch called “corporations”.
 
In reality, where it comes to power there is no government/corporation dichotomy, and no public/private dichotomy. There is only concentrated power, which is inherently tyrannical and inefficient from any reality-based point of view. Nominal governments and corporations together comprise the corporate state. Globalization compacts like the TTIP and TPP and cadres like the WTO are attempts to further consolidate this corporate state monolith, coordinate its actions, and intensify its power and control.
 
The GMO regime is a core part of the whole project. So that’s another reminder of how GMOs are economically and politically totalitarian, and how humanity cannot coexist with them but must abolish them completely. Here’s three reminders on how coexistence is physically impossible.
 

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8 Comments

  1. A relevant post by Matt Stoller over at Naked Capitalism: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/matt-stoller-free-trade-never-trade-eroding-nation-states-advance-rule-multinationals-stealth-colonialism.html

    On TTIP and other “trade” agreements: “These agreements are about getting rid of national sovereignty, and the people who first pressed for NAFTA were explicit about it. They really did want a global government for corporations.”

    Comment by Scot Griffin — February 21, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    • Thanks for the link, Scot.

      They’ve never been about “trade”, only about power. I have to write a bit more to fully describe my analysis of this as part of literally turning corporations into the government (or I should say the controlling part of government; nominal “government” will remain in charge of taxation for social control, most violence, and running kangaroo elections). The “regulatory coherence” aspects of the TTIP and TPP closely track, and in some aspects exceed, the Gleichschaltung the corporations have been demanding through the Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope, and other such cadres.

      Meanwhile the “investment” chapters will take corporate welfare and the trumping of nominal democracy by secret corporate tribunals to a whole new level. Even the WTO’s corporate tribunals are considered too weak by now. These compacts want to take the NAFTA model of “investor” lawsuits and fully globalize it.

      National sovereignty and politics and democracy as such are considered by corporatist technocrats to be atavisms. Apparently they’re not the only ones – it’s amazing how little of any kind of spirit of progressive nationalism (as opposed to the gutter chauvenism which is always for hire to the corporations anyway) seems to exist anymore. Evidently no one in the Ukraine, for example, wants Ukraine to chart its own path, even though in theory they’d seem to be in a good position to try to do so. Instead they fight over whether they prefer to be controlled by Russia or by Western corporatism. And Europeans and Americans agree that we “need” globalization, which cannot coexist with national sovereignty. Remember Rodrick’s “trilemma”? That too was a scam, though. Globalization cannot coexist with either sovereignty or democracy. We can throw in the rule of law for good measure. “Regulatory coherence” has, among other goals, the goal of overriding law and preventing it from ever getting in the way of the corporate imperative.

      Comment by Russ — February 21, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

      • Russ,

        Here are two more links that are potentially of interest.

        First, a Greek economist talking about democracy: http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2014/02/21/can-the-internet-democratise-capitalism/

        Second, a former Congressional staffer talking about the reality of how we are governed: http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2014/02/bill-moyers-deep-state-hiding-in-plain.html

        Personally, I found the second link of more interest because it comes from an insider’s perspective. Varoufakis is too academic for my tastes, and I fear he has misdiagnosed the situation where it counts most. I do think, however, that these two pieces along with Stoller’s recent post are describing a definite arc that cuts to the heart of the narrative of the current power structure, which itself portends some pretty tumultuous change in the next decade or two. For better or worse, that means the next narrative of the current power structure is being formulated as we speak. Do you have any thoughts on what that might be, and are you prepared to counter it?

        –Scot

        Comment by Scot Griffin — February 24, 2014 @ 12:55 am

      • Thanks Scot, I’ll read those when I get a chance. It seems like their narrative, insofar as they still bother to mask their technocratic elitism, is that only corporate one world government can keep “growth” and “jobs” going. This is increasingly presented in a stick-based, fear-mongering way, rather than a carrot-based prosperity-promising way. Which meshes with the atomizing, demoralizing “there is no alternative” propaganda thread. While not usually explicit, this is always at least implicit.

        I oppose this with the facts, that corporations are destructive rather than constructive, that GDP, exports, and other phony stats do not measure economic health and prosperity, and on the contrary are more likely to comprise inverse metrics (for example, much of what’s tallied under GDP is purely destructive), and that we’d be much more prosperous, and healthier and happier in every way, if we broke free of corporatism and supply-based productionist economies and restored natural demand-based ones without any kind of formally privileged bureaucracies like corporations.

        I want to oppose it with a confident alternative affirmation which can be the basis for a mass movement against corporatism.

        Comment by Russ — February 24, 2014 @ 2:20 am

      • The Varoufarkis discussion is interesting, though similar to the many I’ve read before. It’s the concept of democracy which I hold as well – meaningful democracy is measured by actual participation and control by the citizenry themselves. It’s not some kind of relationship between the people and a state, but the people rule instead of a state. For example, he has a good detail about how a true democracy would have no need for the concept of “rights”. I’m clear that I’m not fighting for “rights”, but for a world where we wouldn’t need them.

        Of course in this system no one sees it that way, which is why, for example, the best our progressives and NGOs think they can do is work out some kind of deal with the corporatists for “better representation”. That’s not just the best they think is possible, but exactly what they, elitists themselves, think is desirable. Since a state is by definition an elite entity, no matter how allegedly democratic its relationship with the people, it follows that to be a statist (i.e. anyone who thinks the state is necessary and/or desirable) is to be an elitist.

        All this can be of use if it’s applied to the analysis of corporatism toward formulating the abolitionist philosophy. But I think we’ve had all we need of unanchored discussion about vague ideals toward vague aspirations.

        Similarly, I agree that representative democracy, as a bourgeois system, inevitably tends towards its own decadence. Since the entire logic is to relinquish public responsibilities, public politics, public existence, in favor of “professional” politicians, bureaucrats, police, etc. (i.e., mercenaries), and to follow a purely private existence, it follows from both the inherent logic of power as well as more venal matters like corruption and greed that the system will inevitably become unaccountable, secretive, inertially tyrannical, and eventually systematically tyrannical. This proceeds in tandem with the counterprocess of democratic thought and activism coming to be seen among the people themselves as mere lifestyle choices, hobbies, and more and more as something annoying to mainstream mindset.

        (He also makes an excellent point on economic freedom which would similarly be incomprehensible to the modern liberal mindset. There can be no meaningful freedom where we have no choice but to work for a boss, for an owner, for an “employer”. He mentions enclosure, and I’ve previously talked about the enclosure of our human work as “private property”, and how OUR work is then parceled back to us in the form of “jobs” owned by the employer. I think that this way of looking at it, where an atomized individual must rent his “job”, is more meaningful than the older concept of the worker selling his labor power.)

        Like I used to write about, one of the core principles of the first stage of the American Revolution that concentrated power inevitably, by its nature, encroaches upon and eventually assaults liberty, and so a people which would stay free, assuming they allow power to concentrate in the first place, must themselves always be vigilant against the initial encroachments. That is, they must constitute a democratically active, participating citizenry. It’s ironic, if not malign, that many of the same political thinkers and activists who held this in the fight against the British went on to frame and push through a constitution dedicated to dissolving this democracy and this vigilance while concentrating power far more radically than hitherto in America. We’ve seen the logic of decadence unfold since then.

        He’s right that this is the state of things now. Add in the growing sense of dread and fear, which naturally causes people to become more conservative in the sense of not wanting to run risks, not wanting to rock the boat etc., and we simply have no current basis for a freedom movement.

        Here again I think a specific idea is needed rather than talking of generalities into the post-democratic haze. The citizen consciousness can’t just be wished into being by consumers talking about it in general terms. Rather, starting with a few dedicated citizens we need to build a movement, and make this movement itself the society where the members of the society act as citizens and in this way learn to think as citizens.

        As this movement builds a culture, and as more and more people recognize the stark contrast between the mass atomization and inevitable economic decline which stand in for “society” as they’ve known it, vs. the rising social, political, and economic vibrancy of the human movement, they’ll be inspired to join this movement, or to start similar movements themselves.

        I think that’s the only way democracy and citizenship can be built, and the goals of freedom and prosperity fought for and won.

        Comment by Russ — February 24, 2014 @ 7:28 am

    • I hadn’t known the details of that original history myself. No surprise, though: The eugenicist and GMO-incubating Rockefeller gang along with McNamara and his “best and brightest” technocrats.

      More proof of the fundamental affinity of “conservatives” and “liberals” as twin corporate totalitarians.

      Comment by Russ — February 22, 2014 @ 3:35 am

  2. “GMOs are economically and politically totalitarian, and humanity cannot coexis with them.” Really? A popular “science” facebook page had this to say about GMO’s: “We’ve been genetically modifying crops since the dawn of agriculture.” They showed a picture of corn that had NOT been selectively bred next to a picture of a big, yellow and pretty piece of corn to prove their point. https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience/photos/a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035/761114093909604/?type=1&theater The post has generated 12,000 comments (!) indicating to me quite a battle going on over this issue. One of my favorite comments: “Someone is trying to present “GMO” as “hybrid? Is is it because they’ve skipped Biology class in 8th grade or is it by other intention?” Happy seeds to you..

    Comment by Crowbird — February 21, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    • That’s one of their most common and moronic lies, all right. Humanity has indeed been breeding crops by holistically crossing closely related genetic varieties for thousands of years, while genetic modification is an artificial, out-of-context, violent insertion of completely alien genetic material, and therefore has zero in common with conventional breeding.

      The one link between the two is that GMO varieties are simply pirated conventional varieties which then have poison-related transgenes (for herbicide tolerance and/or massive endemic insecticide production) inserted.

      GMOs are simply parasitic, larcenous, and in every way inferior versions of crops which were conventionally bred.

      Comment by Russ — February 22, 2014 @ 3:33 am


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