*Agronomist and expert on agricultural poisons Charles Benbrook offers a new commentary on the threats to agriculture and health posed by the EPA’s looming approval of new 2,4-D and dicamba poison formulations, as part of the so-called “second generation” of already-failing herbicides. As a growing consensus among weed scientists is saying, a massive escalation in the use of these herbicides will accomplish nothing but to accelerate the development of general resistance among weeds to all herbicides, and the subsequent complete incapacity of poison-based industrial ag to deal with weed management. Once again we see that corporate agriculture offers no future for humanity, and that decentralized agroecology is the only possible solution.
While taking this in itself humanity could treat it with Schadenfreude and say “good riddance” to industrial ag and its poisons, we’ll unfortunately have to live in the meantime with the massive escalation of the poisoning of our soil, air, water, crops, and bodies. That’s why it’s still necessary for us to fight to abolish these poisons with all possible speed.
*On June 18th the British parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology held a hearing on the health dangers of Roundup and its main (but not only) active ingredient glyphosate. Links to the four presentations by scientific experts on glyphosate who question and refute its safety can be found at the link.
*In an incident reminiscent of the Showa Denko disaster where contamination as a result of genetic engineering killed hundreds and crippled thousands, three infants in Britain have died and at least 19 are gravely ill as a result of septicemia from contaminated IV fluids manufactured in a corporate factory.
In stark contrast with its terror-mongering every time there’s any hint, real or fabricated, of any food or chemical borne illness involving alternative systems, the government rushed to call this an “isolated incident”, although it was forced to admit the poisoning was the result of shoddy procedures in the factory.
Such “shoddiness” is, of course, the norm allowed and encouraged by government, wherever it comes to corporate-controlled systems.
*One of the most direct and macabre examples of GMO corporate welfare are government contracts for the British company Oxitec to release GMO mosquitoes and other kinds of GM insects for dubious experimental and commercial purposes. While Oxitec’s proposed olive fly experiments, which if they function as intended will cause harvested olives to be literally filled with GMO maggot corpses, have been postponed, their mosquito experiments have gone ahead in Brazil, the Caymans, Panama and elsewhere.
Now, in spite of mixed and befogged reports including some which claim that dengue fever has increased in areas which were subject to these de jure experiments on an unconsenting public, Brazil’s biotech regulator CTNBio (which itself logs many GMO patents) is approving the GM mosquitos for commercial release. In this context, “commercial” means nothing but fat government contracts.
The entire GMO regime is dependent on corporate welfare, from predominantly public-funded research and development, to IP legislation and enforcement, to the agriculture, commerce, and state departments acting as de facto marketing and extortion arms, to US imperial force seeking to force open “markets” around the world. This kind of GMO which is 100% dependent on the government as sole customer is the most purely direct example of how GMOs and poison-based agriculture comprise a planned economy which is overwhelmingly dependent on corporate welfare. The product is really another example of a marketing theme meant to bolster investor confidence in “GMOs” as such. Commentators have often been frank about how various Oxitec approvals are sought in order to prop up stock prices. The products themselves aren’t intended to actually work (it would be a mere accident if they did), and are far more likely to cause the kinds of harms theorized here.
*This piece on the US government’s program to destroy El Salvador’s pro-farmer public agricultural programs, including non-corporatized seed distribution, gives a good summary of the financial aggression of USAID and a cabal of international organizations in their attempts to force corporate globalization Gleichschaltung upon the global South. The piece mentions the “New Alliance” assault upon Africa, the offensive to recolonize the continent spearheaded by Monsanto and the US government.