Volatility

March 3, 2017

The “Drought” Lie, Amid Power Struggles in Kenya

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Set up to die of thirst

Set up to die of thirst

 
 
GMO field trials are part of a power struggle among Kenyan officials. The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) gave the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) the go-ahead for open-air field trials of GM maize. These are publicly funded organizations which perform corporate research on the taxpayer dollar, with the product then privatized at the juncture most profitable for the corporations. The AATF is funded by the Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and USAID. The first two of these specialize in transforming public money into corporate welfare. USAID is a de jure government body explicitly dedicated to capitalist goals.
 
Health and environmental officials have blocked the approval on the grounds that Kenya’s existing ban on GM imports applies to field trials within the country as well. Evidently they have enough clout to force a deadlock. I’m not well enough versed in internal Kenyan politics to know the underlying issues of the power struggle, but our default always is to assume no government official has any principled objection to any GMO deployment. Our attitude toward any such delay must be to do what we can to encourage and support it but never to regress to any faith-based view of government.
 
The US government will be displeased. The US has been pressing Kenya to commit to the GMO campaign for many years, since the inception of its “New Alliance” plan for a “second Green Revolution in Africa”. This is a typical US-fomented “color” revolution indeed. (The “green” revolution was so-named in the 1960s in contradistinction to “red” rhetoric. It’s a Cold War propaganda term.)
 
(I stress, the US government, which remains the same no matter which criminal heads it up. Many people seem especially confused about that these days. But in 2009 the Obama/Clinton state department, in one of its first memos to department personnel defining the new administration’s priorities, included using US muscle to force “Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops” at the top of its list of the attacks it planned in Africa.)
 
 
The article says Kenya has been importing maize from Mexico and Ukraine “because of drought.” Maize yields in Kenya have been halved “because of drought.”
 
This is standard deceptive framing. “Drought” almost always is an artificial problem. Drought happens when a society deploys modes of cultivation and grows crop varieties which aren’t well-suited to the rainfall conditions of the region. Historically, drought was seldom a problem for traditional agriculture, and today it’s seldom a problem for agroecology, for these are designed to be diverse and resilient in the event of dry seasons. It’s only industrial commodity monoculture which is designed to be highly vulnerable to drought.
 
What’s more, today’s increasingly volatile rainfall patterns and periods of low rainfall are features of the climate chaos being driven most of all by that same industrial agriculture. This sector is the worst greenhouse gas emitter and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
In both these ways “drought” is a man-made, intentional crisis. And as we see here, in classic exploitation manner the drought which is driven intentionally by corporate agriculture then is used as a propaganda pretext on behalf of GMOs. These would only escalate the crisis since GMOs do nothing but escalate every pathology of corporate industrial agriculture. GMOs require even more water and synthetic fertilizer (the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) than non-GM crops.
 
The solution to all these artificially and intentionally generated problems – food insecurity, drought, climate chaos, hunger – is one and the same solution, and it is the only solution. Humanity must abolish corporate agriculture and transform its food production to agroecology. Even amid such a hostile political environment agroecology is accomplishing great things already in Africa. Agroecology is a fully demonstrated science and set of practices and is ready today for full global deployment, wherever humanity has the wisdom and will to do it.
 
 
Meanwhile everyone knows the quote: Insanity/stupidity/evil is doing the same thing over and over while expecting/claiming to expect a different result. Nowhere is this more true than with GMOs.
 
 
 
 
 
Please propagate these pieces.
 
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5 Comments

  1. Great posts as usual, Russ.

    I have a suggestion. Go to google news, and enter GMOs plus maybe another keyword, like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=gmo+genetically&num=100&tbm=nws&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:w&sa=X

    This will bring up all the stuff in the news about GMOs over the last week or so. Many of these items allow comments. YOUR comments are sorely needed on many of them. If you do so, you could and should link liberally to your writings here. People reading these articles need to be alerted to your blog.

    Here’s an example of an item that desperately needs your comments:
    http://www.lsunow.com/daily/opinion-genetically-modified-organisms-offer-many-benefits-to-society/article_ffa7222a-0389-11e7-9b67-1349615ed30b.html

    Also, I’ve noticed that there’s a tag-team of pro-GMO activists who show up on many GMO-related discussions. You might want to check out their disqus pages, to get an idea of what they are doing (and of course you might wish to jump in and reply to their BS, and indeed it would be great if you did). Here’s two active ones:
    https://disqus.com/by/ericbjerregaard/
    https://disqus.com/by/hyperzombie/
    …. in fact, you can use those disqus links to keep up with the latest active discussion in this area. Those two characters are ALWAYS present whenever there is a discussion of GMOs, and their disqus pages (those links) index on a daily basis the unfolding dialog.

    Your broad global perspective — placing GMOs in proper context in the whole system, and not focused only on individual health — is vital and very much needed in these discussions.

    Warm regards, and thanks for all your efforts,
    Alan

    Comment by alan2102 — March 10, 2017 @ 12:13 am

    • Thanks Alan. I’ve been saying for a long time that we need to organize a disciplined, organized wolfpack to aggressively counter the organized pro-GM activists at MSM sites especially. Cf. for example point 5 of this plan for an action group.

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/action-note-blueprint-for-an-agitation-and-pressure-group/

      Actually, among the many kinds of help I could use, and the abolitionist idea, would be if more people would take on the job of counterattacking and demolishing the pro-GM activists, as well as linking to this site. I personally don’t do it much because I have too much else to do. I see my job as to aggressively affirm the necessary new ideas and aggressively counterattack the enemy’s religion from the eagle’s eye perspective.

      Comment by Russ — March 10, 2017 @ 2:58 am

    • PS: you can also use that google news search to become aware of important new developments in this area. For example, I just used it myself to become aware of a great new U.N. report on pesticides. I just posted excerpts to a discussion on a Genetic Literacy Project (pro-GMO, pro-corporate assholes) page; link below. This is another site that desperately needs your inputs. They won’t like your comments, but that’s the idea! They NEED your comments! Here’s the link to my post, see also the rest of the discussion:
      https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/03/08/2016-transformed-gmo-debate-paved-way-consumer-acceptance/#comment-3195827765

      This new U.N. report is quite something, essentially denouncing industrial/corporate agriculture. It sounds like you wrote it! Check it out. See link above.

      Comment by alan2102 — March 10, 2017 @ 8:47 am

      • This got caught in my spam filter. Sorry about that.

        I know how to use Google. Like I said, I want to form an organization of committed members, one of whose actions would be to exert a strong, organized presence at selected comment threads. Though I think I’d pick MSM threads and confused political/economic sites over de jure enemy sites. What’s the point of arguing with fundamentalists, to try to convert them? But you can’t convert committed people with ad hoc argument, only with a convincing show of force, whether that be political or spiritual or intellectual or what have you. And one of the best ways to do that is to demonstrate truth in action via the existence of a disciplined, committed movement. But so far no one seems to have any interest in movement-building, and I doubt anyone even understands what that means.

        That’s part of what I mean when I say Politics is Dead: Almost all people’s notions of political participation have been so completely bled down to consumerist electoralism within a de facto one-party framework, they’ve lost even the ability to comprehend real modes of political participation and commitment. Neoliberalism has accomplished that much. It killed the very idea of political citizenship, or at least put it deeply to sleep. At any rate, rendered it literally unthinkable for most people.

        Comment by Russ — March 11, 2017 @ 5:17 am

      • Hi, Russ. I would like to reply, but I need a reliable private medium. Like this — email.

        Comment by alan2102 — March 11, 2017 @ 10:25 am


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