Volatility

January 7, 2016

GMOs Increase Pesticide Use

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1. This standard canned lie always implies lots of fine print. Namely, it refers only to pesticides which are physically sprayed. But this obfuscates two monumental accounting frauds.
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2. These days the number one form of insecticide application is the coating of seeds with neonicotinoid insecticides. To the extent that less spraying is done, this is primarily because neonic seed coatings have replaced spraying. In fact GMO seeds including Bt varieties are slathered, not just with neonics but usually with fungicides and other poison treatments. We see the great fraud necessary to put over the “less pesticide” lie.
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These poison coatings are designed to become endemic in the cells of the crop, including the edible part.
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3. Then we must include the Bt endotoxin load itself. Of course the pro-GM activists and their media stenographers always omit this massive pesticide load when they parrot the line about “less pesticide”. But according to the calculations of Charles Benbrook (p.6), based on data from corporate submissions to the regulators, SmartStax maize (which Monsanto touts as the normative baseline Bt maize product at this point) generates an average Bt endotoxin load of 4.2 kilograms per hectare, 19 times the application rate of conventional sprayed insecticides in 2010. So acre for acre SmartStax deploys pesticide at 19 times the rate which the “less pesticide” lie implies is the total application. How’s that for accounting fraud? Benbrook finds that in general Bt endotoxins equal or exceed the amount of sprayed insecticides displaced. In fact, just as with neonics, to the extent any spraying is displaced, that’s only because it’s replaced by other poisons such as the Bt toxins.
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The Bt poison is endemic in every cell of the crop including the edible part.
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4. With those two great frauds we’re already at a vastly greater level of pesticide use than in the pre-GM era. Each of both neonics and endemic Bt toxins exceed the best-case scenario for displacement, and so with GMOs we’re at already over double the level of insecticide use over the pre-GM era right there. But what about those sprayed insecticides? Are there really less of those, at least?
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A. For most GM insecticidal products in most regions, any decreases in spraying are only temporary, only for the earliest years of a product’s deployment. As a rule the target pest soon develops resistance. Unless the GMO peddlers have an escalated, more expensive product ready to go, the farmers have to go back to spraying. Sometimes the product fails immediately against the target.
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Then there’s the secondary pests. Where the product temporarily works against the target pest, this often creates a vacuum into which another pest not affected by the GMO debouches. Often this “secondary” affliction is worse than the original one, if the two pest species were originally in balance but the temporary void lets one of them get out of ecological control. In such cases the farmer has to continue or even increase his spraying, at the same time that he’s also paying for the Bt product and inflicting its poison load on the environment.
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The neonic seed coatings are so necessary by now because Bt GMOs are so unreliable they require a booster against the target pest(s), as well as so vulnerable to secondary afflictions that they need extra protection against these. (Industrial farmers increasingly have been brainwashed into the mentality that they’re helpless without poisons, and that they have to keep adding layer upon layer of poison – Bt endemic, seed coating, sprayed – just to keep up. They often rationalize it as paying for a form of insurance. Of course historically insecticides were applied upon evidence of a pest outbreak, not on a broad-based preemptive level. This indoctrination reflects the physical truth of the pesticide treadmill – once you commit to preemptive poisons, you commit to an endless cycle of expensive application, development of resistance, and far more expensive escalated application. The brainwashing is necessary to discourage farmers from thinking about how insane, destructive, and self-destructive the whole paradigm is, and how any sane farmer would take action to break free of it.)
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B. For any GMO to work as advertised requires lavish inputs of every kind. Therefore any insecticidal GMO requires the highest application of herbicide (or some other kind of intensive weed control) in order to function properly. More on so-called herbicides below. Similarly, any GMO requires the highest application of synthetic fertilizer. Although nitrogen runoff isn’t usually considered a “pesticide”, it is identical in that it’s a poison which decimates aquatic life. Since ecological philosophy and science does not recognize such fraudulent ideological distinctions as “intended effect” vs. “side effect” (there’s only known and predictable effects vs. legitimately unpredictable effects, though I can’t think of any examples of the latter), “active ingredient” vs. “inert ingredient” (they’re all active or contribute to the action, and often highly toxic), “pesticide” vs. any agricultural or industrial chemical which is poisonous and kills living things through its usual application. These are all poisons and must be taken as such.
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C. Often the alleged decrease in spraying is because lower volumes of more potent poison (p.2) are substituted for higher volumes of less potent poison. Obviously this doesn’t mean “less poison” if it’s merely more concentrated. Another form of accounting fraud.
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5. We must consider the entire poison load. So-called “herbicides” are broadly toxic to life forms from soil and gut bacteria to humans. All are endocrine disruptors and genotoxic and therefore carcinogenic in humans, as well as causing many other severe health harms. GMOs cause a great increase in “herbicide” use.
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A. Glyphosate and overall herbicide spraying has skyrocketed because of GMOs. According to Benbrook’s 2012 analysis, Roundup Ready crops caused overall herbicide use to increase over what would have been sprayed on exclusively non-GM conventional crops by a total of 527 million pounds from 1996 to 2011, the great bulk of this being extra glyphosate.
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B. As glyphosate-resistant superweeds render even these extreme applications insufficient, the extreme glyphosate load has to be supplemented with vastly increased spraying of the even more toxic, retrograde poisons which Monsanto and the USDA originally promised the Roundup Ready system would render obsolete. Benbrook projects that the commercialization of Agent Orange crops may cause as much as a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D application (p.5). Even the industry-friendly USDA and EPA themselves project increases in the spraying of 2,4-D and dicamba. Dow of course expects a huge increase in 2,4-D use, while Monsanto’s banking on an extreme increase in the spraying of dicamba.
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It’s self-evident that every action of the companies and regulators is geared toward always increasing the amount of pesticides used, to the maximum extent possible. Literally every action of the USDA, EPA, and the agrochemical corporations contradicts the claim that GMOs are even intended to lessen pesticide use, let alone that they actually do so. On the contrary, this is a classical Big Lie.
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Herbicide-tolerant GMOs don’t slough off the poison or anything like that. On the contrary, the herbicide is assimilated into the crop and indelibly suffuses all its tissues, including the edible parts.
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6. Although the practice is not directly related to GMOs, this exposition wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the rampant surge in the use of glyphosate to burn down crops for a quick harvest. This dumps huge amounts of this extremely toxic poison onto a vast array of crops, GM as well as such non-GM crops as wheat, oats, barley, lentils, beans, and many others.
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This vile practice gives the lie to the entire line of propaganda which claims corporate agriculture is trying to lessen pesticide use. On the contrary, exactly as rationality and common sense would expect, corporations that manufacture poisons and the regulators who see their mission as to serve these corporations do all they can to maximize the use of every possible kind of poison. This is their poison mandate, their Poisoner imperative. By now it’s a mechanical process beyond the reach of reason or scientific evidence. We must see it as an ideologically based campaign of war on humanity and the Earth.
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7. Finally, I must repeat that whereas sprayed pesticides can be partially washed off, these new GMO-based poison phenomena – Bt endotoxins, neonic seed coatings, the herbicide sprayed upon herbicide-tolerant GM crops – are suffused indelibly throughout the crop. These poisons accumulate in every cell of the grain, legume, fruit, or vegetable and cannot be removed. We have no choice but to ingest this massive poison load every time we eat anything produced by poison-based agriculture. That’s in addition to all the other ways industrial food is nutritionally inferior and unhealthy.
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So even if they were spraying less poison, we’re eating vastly more.
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7 Comments

  1. […] The GM cotton is also being ravaged by secondary pests like whitefly. Therefore all Bt cotton still requires massive and escalating insecticide use even during the period when it works against the target pest. . Meanwhile according to the piece […]

    Pingback by GMO News Summary, January 8th 2016 | Volatility — January 8, 2016 @ 8:28 am

  2. […] pesticide use” lie would have you believe. . Sure enough: 1. With the deployment of GMOs, pesticide use always increases. . 2. It has to, since these are poison plants and are designed only to sustain poisons being […]

    Pingback by Concentration in the Poison Sector (Dow/DuPont; Syngenta; Monsanto) | Volatility — January 19, 2016 @ 1:23 am

  3. […] do this because they see it as increasing their control and power, including in the form of profit. GMOs were designed to greatly increase pesticide use. It was always self-evidently absurd from any point of view to believe the Big Lie that GMOs were […]

    Pingback by GMOs Increase Pesticide Use and Have Made Cancer-Causing Glyphosate the World’s #1 Pesticide | Volatility — February 6, 2016 @ 3:16 am

  4. […] effects. As always, any alleged pesticide reduction, even if true for the spraying, is fraudulent accounting since it omits the increasing number of neonic and other seed coatings as well as the Bt toxin itself. Meanwhile […]

    Pingback by GMO News Summary February 12th, 2016 | Volatility — February 12, 2016 @ 8:02 am

  5. […] their reality and the idea of them. All GMOs are of course designed to maximize the production and use of pesticides. In the specific case of Bt brinjal, an especially worthless product in theory and which has been […]

    Pingback by Symbol of Poisonism: Pull the Plug On Bt Brinjal | Volatility — February 13, 2016 @ 3:36 am

  6. […] now the pro-GMO activists are perfectly at home simultaneously telling two mutually exclusive and directly contradictory lies, that “GMOs reduce pesticide use” while we also need “Eureka! New […]

    Pingback by GMO News Summary February 19th, 2016 | Volatility — February 19, 2016 @ 9:26 am

  7. […] In other words, they must do exactly what pro-GMO lies claim is no longer necessary. But then GMOs are designed to increase pesticide use. Only a moron could ever have believed that a pesticide corporation would want to sell a product (GM […]

    Pingback by Indian Agriculture, Crises and Solutions | Volatility — February 22, 2016 @ 4:37 am


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