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January 26, 2019

GM Trees (Plantations Part 2)

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“Already forests are suffering the impacts of climate change, over-harvesting, and the introduction of invasive species, diseases, and pests from out of control globalization. The last thing the forests need are risky GE trees.”
 
– BJ McManama, Save Our Roots Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, opposing the cynical opportunist program to engineer blight-resistant American chestnuts.
 
In Part One we discussed the evils of industrial monoculture tree plantations. They are purely alien to the land, purely invasive even where they amass “native” species in such an anti-ecological way, purely destructive.
 
GMOs by definition are invasive and will escalate every one of the pathologies we surveyed in part one: Destruction of forest, wetland, grassland habitats; generation of desert; all at the expense of food for human beings; destruction of carbon sinks thus driving the climate crisis; biodiversity loss and mass extinction; genetic monoculture; driving people off their land and destroying their way of life; sowing poverty, hunger, malnutrition; radically escalating wildfires; slathering of agricultural poisons; corporate consolidation and land concentration, land-grabbing, socioeconomic inequality; the sham “climate movement” fiddling while Earth burns.
 
Genetic engineering automatically is non-native and invasive to Earth itself, to ecology and evolution. So in itself, even leaving aside ulterior motives and deliberate lies, GM “solutions” automatically are just building the Tower of Babel higher and more top-heavy.
 
GM trees are designed to expand the invasion range and biodiversity erasure. That’s why the corporations and governments do the research: These are guaranteed primary effects and therefore are primary intended effects. That’s why they’ve set up the plantations in the first place.
 
Plantation trees automatically spread their pollen to any related species within wind range. This is long documented with non-GM trees everywhere – poplar, willow, acacia, birch, pine, others. This genetic contamination inevitably will include GM contamination to whatever extent GM trees are deployed in the environment. This contamination already is documented in China with GM poplars. China is a world center of poplar diversity, and this already imperiled diversity is now under GMO attack as well. Meanwhile US attempts to engineer poplar sterility, allegedly in order to prevent such contamination from GM poplar plantations, have been a failure.
 
Pro-GMO activists, disaster capitalist ideologues they are, cite the many crises driven by globalization, its industrial agriculture including tree plantations, the climate crisis and other ecological crises these are causing, as the reasons society now must deploy GM trees, in order to “solve” these problems in a Tower of Babel way.
 
This already is a proven lie: Poison-based agriculture as such is a proven agronomic failure going back to the 1950s when it became incontrovertible how this model denudes the soil and sets humanity on a pesticide treadmill and arms race the resistant pests will always win. The GMO deployment since the mid 1990s has only intensified this failure. As always, the poison treadmill and the Tower of Babel never are intended to solve the crises they cause in the first place. On the contrary they depend on crisis for their power and expansion.
 
Thus tree monocultures have taken advantage of their own disaster. These can’t even pretend to be food the way GM crops pretend to do. And then their GM form is engineered to be even more disastrous: More expansive, more aggressive, more destructive, more literally scorched earth.
 
Eucalyptus plantations have a special wildfire dynamic of deliberate disaster which then is used as propaganda and pretext for the Babel tech deployment. Eucalyptus monoculture drives out most other life forms, summoning a bio-dead, pesticide-slathered space where it then dries out the land and generates wildfires. These trees evolved over millions of years to thrive on aridity and fire, to the point that they depend on fire for their reproduction since their seeds open only when subjected to the temperatures generated by wildfires. That’s why they produce such dry conditions and such copious resin-laden tinder, in order to produce the most fire-friendly conditions. Many species of pine do the same, and these same species regularly are paired with eucalyptus in mutually reinforcing plantations, as both work toward the same arid fire-scoured environment.
 
Where growing in such masses as in plantations, eucalyptus wrings the water from the soil and causes depletion of groundwater and stream flow. The ecological impact hits far beyond the plantation borders. Everywhere it’s been introduced eucalyptus soon goes feral and aggressively invades the surrounding habitat, driving out native species and proceeding to transform the environment to its further liking: Aridity and fires.
 
Even natural eucalyptus-dominated ecology in its native Australia is less diverse than other woodland communities. It drives out the southern beeches who prefer moister conditions and marginalizes even such fellow arid inhabitants as Callitris, araucarias and she-oaks. Australian plantations are worse. Invasive plantations outside Australia are much worse.
 
GM eucalyptus is designed to greatly expand the space condemned to these plantations of fire. In Brazil, agribusiness is working to develop faster-growing eucalyptus (the project is a failure so far in spite of government approval for commercialization in 2015) while in the US ArborGen is trying to develop a cold-tolerant version in order to bring the plantations to the Southeast, where the climate is still not reliably warm enough for commercial eucalyptus production though several species are invasively established.
 
Wherever they expand, GM or non-GM, in the plantation or wherever they inevitably escape, eucalyptus will be aggressive against moist forest land, aggressive against native trees and plants, aggressive in turning landscapes into wildfire alleys. Much like the introduced killer bees of the 1970s, these killer trees are driving South America’s campaign of deforestation and desertification and will soon bring their paradigm of destruction to North America if the genetic engineering project prevails. A GM eucalyptus which grows faster will more quickly deplete the soil’s water. A GM eucalyptus grown in monocultures over an ever greater northward range will bring all its pathologies with it.
 
Eucalyptus is our prime example of the intrinsic psychopathy of industrial monoculture tree plantations and the escalation which genetically engineered forms would add to the destruction. Eucalyptus automatically is destructively invasive outside Australia. GM eucalyptus would be doubly invasive.
 
Beyond eucalyptus, trees targeted for genetic modification include Loblolly pines (plantations of these already infest the US southeast; genetic engineering will attempt to render their wood more dense, for use as biomass and lumber), poplars (Bt insecticidal strains of black and white poplar have been grown in China since the 2001; current projects are trying to engineer lower-lignin types for biofuel production), the American chestnut (for decades ravaged by a fungal disease, engineers want to develop a GM fungal-resistant gene drive type even though ongoing conventional breeding programs are having some success), bananas, plums, and papayas (types resistant against viral disease; GM papayas are commercially planted in Hawaii and China and already are failing in China as the virus is overcoming the resistance gene; this is guaranteed in all cases of engineered resistance), and the “Arctic apple”, now appearing in stores, engineered to suppress visual signs of incipient rot, a pure consumer-vanity product, purely worthless.
 
We can enumerate many more harms from GM trees, both harms intrinsic to GMOs and destructive escalations of ongoing plantation harms.
 
*Tree pollen is widely wafted on the wind, and poplars and pines freely hybridize in nature. Plantations of introduced species automatically contaminate native species, harming their genetic diversity. GM contamination also will happen automatically, as it already has in China where introduced species of poplar, several varieties genetically engineered and therefore doubly invasive, contaminate native poplars amid this center of world poplar diversity.
 
*Any advantage the engineered trait confers may help feral invasives to become entrenched in the environment. Thus faster-growing and/or cold-tolerant eucalyptus, or lower-lignin poplars, may become even more aggressive weeds than feral eucalyptus already is.
 
*The known harmful effects of escape and entrenchment include how eucalyptus drive out native plants and animals and dries out the land. Then there are the unknown chaotic effects, by their nature unpredictable. We’ve seen examples in the failed field trials of GM trees themselves, the failure of FuturaGen in Brazil to sustain higher-yield GM eucalyptus results across several trial sites, and the failure of Oregon engineers to sustain uniform genomes and the engineered sterility trait in their GM poplar trials. These are two examples of how chaos quickly ensues the moment the trials leave the greenhouse lab and enter the environment, even though these were still carefully controlled field trials. Imagine the chaos of the less controlled plantation environment, and then the uncontrolled wild environment where the escaped GM trees will sojourn.
 
*If the GM chestnut project goes through, it will be the first environmental deployment of a gene drive GMO. Such GMOs are explicitly designed to contaminate all wild individuals of the same or related species. Here the pro-GMO activists admit that GM contamination is inevitable in every case, since here the technology depends on total contamination. Whereas the Terminator trait renders seeds sterile, the gene drive Exterminator trait is designed deliberately to drive one or more species extinct.
 
In this obscene inversion, the fungal epidemic which has decimated the American chestnut but which nevertheless has left some naturally resistant individuals, which in the eyes of a non-psychopath would be sought as the genetic basis to conventionally breed a resistant variety, instead is being used as the pretext to launch an extermination campaign whose explicit goal is to render the natural species completely extinct, thereby completing the work of the fungus, and replace it with an alien semi-artificial engineered species. The campaign wants to drive native chestnuts extinct (and of course render organic production impossible under the current rules).
 
*The ecocidal psychopaths working on the GM chestnut openly avow that they are using it only as a Trojan horse to help grease the skids for subsequent, directly commercial GM trees. So the anti-blight GM chestnut is first and foremost a propaganda gambit on behalf of the commodity GM regime as such, exactly like the “golden rice” hoax.
 
*As with all Bt crops, Bt poplars and any other tree engineered to resist insects harm non-target insects, birds and other animals, and damage the soil ecology. Bt toxins and crops engineered to produce them are named after the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which naturally produces these toxins under ecologically balanced conditions in balanced amounts. Bt crops, from leaves to roots, grossly exude the poisons overcoming all balance. Typical of all industrial agriculture practice.
 
*Epidemic disease and infestation is inherent to all monocultural practice. The GMO deployment is designed to prop up this doomed, destructive, self-destructive system for a few years longer, years neither humanity nor the Earth have. GMOs and poison-based agriculture directly contradict everything we know about the climate crisis, the ongoing mass extinction event, and the general ecological crisis, everything we know needs to be done. GMOs, including GM trees, are intended to prevent any meaningful action, in mitigation or adaptation, until it’s too late.
 
*GM disease resistance won’t work in the real world. Genetic engineering is too fragile and too reliant on perfect lab conditions ever to work well in the environment. As with all pesticides since the big spray commenced in the 1950s, and as with all poison plants, all GMOs designed to express insecticides, resist herbicides, and/or resist disease, so GM trees as well will fail in the field against the insects, fungi, and viruses they’re allegedly deployed against. The pests always will overcome. And to roll out new trees is logistically a far more complex undertaking than to roll out new maize brands.
 
In reality all GMOs are hoaxes, really just carriers of an idea designed to generate profit, power, and for the scientism cult, lunatic religious exaltation.
 
*No testing ever has been done on the potential health harms of breathing GM pollen for humans or other animals. GM trees will send their toxic pollen travelling farther and wider than the much shorter maize or cotton.
 
*No legitimate testing ever has been done on the safety of humans or other animals eating GM foods (only completely irrelevant weight-gain trials on CAFO inmates, which the paid liars then fraudulently call “food safety” tests). GM apples and papayas already are tree-grown direct unprocessed GM foods in the commercial supply. If GM chestnuts are developed and deployed, this also will be a direct Frankenfood. (To say again, the GM chestnut project would use the aggressively contaminating gene drive technology. Chestnuts freely hybridize in nature already so a GM deployment in the environment, if it works as intended, will drive all existing chestnut species on the continent extinct and replace them with nothing but the GM type. Non-GM food chestnuts will cease to exist.)
 
*The successful engineering of low-lignin eucalyptus and poplar will escalate the biofuel scam.
 
*For many tribes of the First Nations, the genetic engineering of poplar is a desecration as the tree is sacred to them. At the same time, Oneidas being proselytized on behalf of the GM chestnut have said that “GM trees have no soul.”
 
This desecration is as deliberate as when the Romanized Christians cut down the Greek groves of Athena in order to insult the pagan religion. Today it’s the fundamentalist cult of scientism and technocracy which has embarked upon a fanatical crusade to eradicate all of nature and replace it with only engineered organisms. The boosters and technicians of GM tree plantations are such religious maniacs.
 
 
Every problem, every aspect of the ecological crisis, is in part directly driven by industrial monoculture, and directly or indirectly driven by the commodity system. It is impossible to solve or ameliorate any of these crises within the framework of industrial agriculture, or within any productionist framework. Genetic engineering is nothing but building the Tower of Babel higher and more top-heavy. Any time you hear any PR flack in any guise alleging any “need” for any form of genetic engineering whatsoever, you can ignore the specific words since they invariably boil down to, “We need to prop up corporate profit and the production economy no matter what the damage.” Or as George Bush put it, “The American way of life is non-negotiable. Keep Shopping!”
 
In the end it all boils down to we who recognize that globalization, commodification, production-consumption, capitalism, extreme energy, must end if humanity is to survive at all, versus those who religiously believe that these must continue and who are willing to pay the price of total global murder-suicide for the sake of this fundamentalist commitment.
 
All GMOs are hoaxes and frauds in addition to their many other evils. GM tree plantations, which add a great escalation of the direct destruction of forests to the direct and indirect deforestation driven overwhelmingly by corporate industrial agriculture, comprise a new level of criminal destruction and evil being premeditated and carried out by those responsible, from the engineers to the media propagandists.
 
GM agriculture, indelibly part of corporate industrial agriculture, offers nothing to humanity and the Earth but social and economic destruction, environmental destruction, famine, pandemics, war, and death. It’s clear that here is no way forward, only the deadest of dead ends.
 
The only way forward to survival, transcendence, and victory is the return home to the Earth. The broad highway home is the necessary global transformation to agroecology and Food Sovereignty. We must turn the clock forward.
 
The fake “solutions” of genetic engineering are nothing but the Tower of Babel. But if we have a babeling chaos, we need to stop shouting, not shout louder.
 
 
 
 
 

January 17, 2019

While Elitist Support Holds Steady, Democracy Increasingly Rejects GMOs

Filed under: GMO Corporate State, GMO Hoaxes, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Russell Bangs @ 6:43 am

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While support for GMOs among cultural elitists has held steady (but not increased) over the last two years, already high negative and ambivalent attitudes among the general public are rising, according to polling by the pro-GMO Pew Research Center.
 
As GMWatch says in their introduction, “Given the source – a news service for US agricultural producers – this is an interesting article.” From the article:
 
“I have complained often about the lack of horizontal polling for public acceptance of genetically modified food – where the same question is asked in the same way at regular intervals, so the results can be compared to detect opinion trends. Finally, we have one good effort from one of our best public opinion research organizations – The Pew Research Center.”
 
This is especially interesting since in 2015 Pew, in collusion with the AAAS, put out pro-GMO propaganda in the guise of a fraudulent poll. I dissected it here.
 
“Unfortunately, these rigorous results are not what many in agriculture want the answer to be. First, here is the question that was asked both in 2016 and 2018: “Genetically modified foods are [blank] for one’s health than foods with no genetically modified ingredients”. Respondents could choose better, worse or neither to fill in the blank.”
 
It’s interesting that Pew offered a question so calculated to garner a negative reply. Asked that way, who but a wingnut is going to say “better”. More often they ask in terms of “what’s your general impression” and offer a range of responses, or “do you have an overall good or bad opinion.” Stuff like that. Even the pro-GM activists seldom claim that GM foods are straight-up “better” than non-GM. Rather, they usually claim GMOs are necessary for other reasons, almost always focusing on quantity over quality. (That too is a lie; agroecology outproduces industrial agriculture, including GM-based agriculture, in both quantity and quality. Indeed GMOs often suffer from “yield drag” because they’re genetically debilitated.)
 
According to the polling comparison of 2018 to 2016, “In 2018 the results were 49% said worse, 44% said neither, and 5% said better. While these results are discouraging for GM proponents, more disturbing is the trend. In 2016, only 39 percent said GM foods are worse. Digging deeper, those with high science knowledge were essentially unchanged, but those with less science knowledge showed sharp increases in the doubts about GM foods. The bottom line is not only are people who can understand the issue not embracing GMOs more, but GM acceptance is diminishing markedly among the rest of the population.”
 
In other words those who have more formal education (and almost always, more money) maintain a higher level of pro-GMO support than the people. The article and Pew frame this in a fraudulent way, equating “science knowledge” with one’s level of formal education, as in the 2015 fake poll. In reality the formally educated, including scientists themselves, and especially pro-GMO activists among scientists, are no more likely either to have broad scientific knowledge or knowledge of how science even works, than “the rest of the population.”
 
As for understanding the issue, GMO deployment is overwhelmingly an economic and political struggle and has vanishingly little to do with science. (Although, those who support GMOs are by definition climate deniers (since they automatically support the escalation of industrial agriculture, by far the worst driver of the climate crisis) and opposed to ecological science.) Anyone who thinks it’s a science issue understands nothing about the issue, and understands nothing about politics or science. Especially since genetic engineering ideology goes against the sciences of ecology, agronomy, biology, and genetics itself. Pro-GMO activists, including pro-GM scientists themselves, are anti-science wingnuts.
 
The piece thinks that the pro-GMO propaganda campaign, which always has been highly belligerent, aggressive, obnoxious, and expensive, has become counter-productive.
 
“At the very least, the mini-industry of speakers and organizations that preach to the choir at farmer and agribusiness meetings should be recognized as at best handholding for anxious GMO users, not an effective influence on public opinion. We don’t appear to have much to lose if simply get out of consumer faces, do our jobs, and let the spotlight shift to other food quarrels. In nothing else, giving it a rest will generate some very usable data for planning future action.”
 
If I were a corporate marketer I might agree with this. But they have a problem in that many of the most ardent pro-GM activists are techno-religious fanatics for whom proselytizing in itself is most important for cult self-affirmation and group cohesion, more important than practical results. So business is not as important to them as to the corporates. Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation has become the lead coordination body for global GMO deployment, is a combination of cynical bottom-liner and fanatical true-believer in the scientism cult. Perhaps the best example of such a holy roller preaching-to-the-choir assembly of the anxious flock for mutual hand-holding is Cornell University’s Monsanto-Gates funded and coordinated “Alliance for Science”, which is really an alliance against science, against humanity, against the Earth.
 
“I hope Pew continues to conduct these surveys, but even with just two dots to connect, GM proponents should seriously reconsider their strategy. Maybe even ask some questions like, is the now considerable advocation effort worth it? While a tenuous case could be made with without the constant pro-GMO public relations effort, the results could have been a lot worse, but that’s a pretty small accomplishment. Is it unthinkable to just disengage from this debate? What if our advocating is the driving factor for this trend? That cannot be ruled out.”
 
What’s truly unthinkable would be to desist from a product line so odious to consumers. But as we see the corporates themselves aren’t motivated by the bottom line alone. They too are fanatics, as is their destruction-based civilization as a whole.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

December 1, 2018

Morally, Ecologically, COPFOs Are the Same as CAFOs

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Exploited, tortured, malnourished, poisoned, regimented.

 
 
1. Factory farms are among the worst evils of modern civilization. The civilized smugly invoke Auschwitz as a near-mythical symbol of pure evil. Meanwhile Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), identical concentration and death camps by any measure other than that of domesticated hominid supremacism, continue to multiply across America and the globe.
 
The sadistic cruelty which is the daily routine is beyond sane imagination. The living animals are packed together like dead sardines. They are driven insane with physical pain and crowding and unfathomable psychological stress. Babies are wrenched from their mothers to render the mothers “productive” again as fast as possible. The inmates are fed a gruesome poisoned grain diet which makes them sick. It’s just enough to drag their zombie forms along till they reach slaughter weight. (Producing this weight is the one and only thing GMOs ever have been tested for by the system. Never once has the system performed a legitimate safety test. Governments, corporations, academia, and the corporate and science media systematically lie about this, the ultimate fake news.)
 
Egg layers have it the worst. Broilers can’t be pushed too far into madness lest they rub their breasts raw against the wire till the flesh is stripped to the bone, much as maddened concentration camp inmates would commit suicide by trying to climb the wire. That would ruin the product. But for the layers anything goes as long as eggs can be forced from them.
 
Imprisoned in boxes, living with nothing but foul air and artificial light, never seeing or feeling the sun, or the grass beneath, or the flowing breeze, they live dead lives of misery and torment, all to satisfy the depravities of the sadistic and gluttonous civilized.
 
CAFOs are a clear and present danger to public health. They automatically incubate every kind of animal and animal-to-human disease. This, along with the hideous living conditions and toxic diet, renders the inmates chronically sick. They’re maintained on a constant regimen of antibiotics. CAFO feed also is contaminated with antibiotic resistant GM bacteria which are left over from the factory synthesis of riboflavin and other feed additives. The main effect of these practices is radically to accelerate the evolution of antibiotic resistant pathogens and the failure of drug after drug. By any rational or moral measure we must conclude that the goal of corporate industrial agriculture and government policy is the complete eradication of antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. CAFOs guarantee pandemics from this vector.
 
CAFOs also guarantee epidemics of human and non-human animal illness and environmental destruction from their massive output of air and water pollution. CAFOs spew vast amounts of particulate matter (much of it carrying pathogens), ozone smog, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. The Biblical flood of sewage which surges forth from CAFOs, unassimilable by farmland or the natural environment, is a constant volcano of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and other potent greenhouse gases. CAFOs are among the reasons industrial agriculture is by far the number one driver of the climate crisis.
 
Agronomically CAFOs reinforce the overproduction of worthless commodity grain. This condemns to effective sterility vast spans of arable land which could be used to grow food for human communities on an agroecological basis. Instead the output of most of the land, and the ecological devastation which goes with poison-based agriculture, all goes down the CAFO rathole in order to produce cheap (at the retail checkout), grotesquely expensive (by any reality-based accounting) meat for the Western and Westernized middle classes.
 
This productionism of worthless grain, and the deployment of subsidies and propaganda in order artificially to generate such “markets” for this grain as the CAFO system, is a long-standing, perverse policy of the US government, fully supported by the entire political, intellectual, and media class.
 
Most important from the point of view of the corporate-technocratic state, the CAFO system reinforces the GMO deployment. This deployment of a worthless, extremely expensive and destructive product genre, depends completely on such artificial dumping grounds for worthless over-produced commodity grains.
 
Socioeconomically the CAFO system is a key driver of farm consolidation and the domination of farming by agribusiness. The system directly destroys small animal farms, indirectly destroys small grain farmers by reinforcing the mass commodity system.
 
CAFOs destroy the communities where they’re sited (always among lower income people of course). They foul the land, water, and air for many miles around rendering the landscape unlivable.
 
Working conditions are very dangerous, with high risks of direct injury, acute illness which is sometimes lethal (workers as well as animals often are killed outright by surges of hydrogen sulfide from manure lagoons), physical and mental disease from the fumes, chronic illness from the general disease incubation, and drowning in the manure lagoons. The working conditions and pay are atrocious. The legal “owners” of the CAFO are themselves indentured servants, forced by the corporation to take on all the work, risk, and debt while the corporation dictates all procedures and reaps all the profit.
 
In every way CAFOs add up to nothing but evil, destruction, death. A sane humanity would abolish them immediately on moral and self-preservation grounds. The fact that the masses not only tolerate but support this system is one of the direct proofs that modern civilized hominids are clinically insane, and incapable of Darwinian adaptation. This has nothing to do with lack of mediated information; mentally sound animals directly sense what will destroy them and fight or flee. Only civilized hominids have lost this core evolutionary trait. That goes for all self-destructive human “politics”.
 
 
2. Plant monocultures, which I will henceforth call COPFOs (COncentrated Plant Feeding Operations), are little better. Everything we just condemned about CAFOs – working conditions, destruction of communities, farm and agribusiness consolidation, agronomic perversity, ecological destruction, public health hazards including the epidemics of cancer and reproductive problems from poisons in the fields and food, including antibiotic resistance driven by herbicides (all herbicides are broad-spectrum biocides, i.e. antibiotics; glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic before it became part of herbicide formulations) and the promiscuous use of antibiotic resistance markers in genetic engineering – all are just as severe and destructive with COPFOs. I’ve written about this in hundreds of pieces over many years and don’t need further detail here.
 
Industrial monoculture denudes and destroys the soil, which becomes a disintegrated, inert medium in which the plants are physically propped up, jolted with synthetic fertilizer, slathered in poison which suffuses all their cells. The plants, malnourished except for a few artificially supplied (usually grossly oversupplied) macronutrients, physically weakened by being constantly drenched in poison, genetically weakened by breeding programs focused myopically on perverse traits like gross yield (meaningful only from a capitalist commodity point of view, not from any ecological perspective or the perspective of growing food for people), genetically tortured by unnecessary surgery and Nazi-style experimentation called “genetic engineering” (the scientists also torture the animals this way), too damaged and weakened to deploy their natural processes which signal one another, summon beneficial insects, and repel pests, become easy targets for pests. So they require even more poison, which then weakens the plants and soil that much further. (The eventual food quality of such crops is of course very low.) This vicious circle is deliberate and goes together with the equally deliberate pesticide-pest, pesticide-resistance arms race, the pesticide treadmill which is as old as the large-scale deployment of pesticides themselves.
 
Both CAFOs and COPFOs are radically toxic, radically polluting, radically destructive of the ecology, radically destructive of human health and well-being, radically destructive of the human community.
 
 
3. Empathy for non-human animals and the moral feeling and philosophy which encompasses them as fully as the human animal is grounded in the fact that non-human animals are as sentient as humans. They have feeling, they have emotion, they have ideas, they have language, they have culture. Only the flat-earth speciesism typical of civilized hominids would deny something so self-evident to healthy perception and so overwhelmingly confirmed by science.
 
But perception and science say we must go further than just moving the boundary of speciesism from human-vs.-animal to animal-vs.-plant. Plants too are sentient. They communicate about weather, pests, drought, they signal to beneficial insects. They can sense nearby plants being eaten and react. They make decisions. They forecast future climate conditions, water availability, and sunlight access and extend their branch and root growth ahead of time in accord with their forecasts. One species, the stilt palm, even “walks” toward a better location it has anticipated by extending new rooting stilts in that direction and detaching from the opposite stilts. Plants remember the effects of stimuli and will modify their reactions accordingly. Integrated with mycelial mats they join to form intelligent collective organisms. Botanists studying plant communication via chemicals released into the air and soil have compiled plant vocabularies of over three thousand “words”.
 
There is no more call to doubt plant sentience than to doubt animal sentience. If we find it difficult to empathize with the mind of a plant, this is no less true of the mind of a whale or dolphin, yet no one but a domestic-hominid supremacist denies the sentience of whales and dolphins.
 
(Of course, relative to potential, so-called Homo sapiens, in the form of H. domesticus, is by far the least sentient, least sapient, most stupid and “vegetative” species on Earth.)
 
 
4. In truth all of us, all plants and animals (and fungi and protozoans and bacteria), are part of the same food web. We all are “predators” and we all shall become “prey”. It’s impossible to refute this, only to deny it and lie about it. This civilization and its apostles, including almost all who claim to care about animals and/or the environment, do little or nothing but deny and lie. (It’s telling that an “or” is even conceptually possible there, yet few things are more common than reductive cherry-picking among things that in reality are inextricable and irreducible.) Thus we have corporate “environmentalists” who support CAFOs, and vegan/animal welfare types who support COPFOs. Indeed both tout such evils as part of their fake “solutions”.
 
In ecological reality, the only reality, the only possible way of life is to take responsibility for ourselves – as individuals, families, communities – as integral parts of the ecology. We must have reverence for Gaia. We must take only what we will use and give back at least as much as we take. Otherwise we’re not even predators but parasites. The modern civilized can never be anything but wasteful and destructive parasites.
 
Whether one believes in eating meat or not, either way industrial monoculture, CAFOs and COPFOs, is beyond the moral and ecological pale. Short of a complete reversion to hunting-gathering (which is not necessary, though the apostles of industrial agriculture seem intent on forcing us to that extreme once their system inevitably collapses; they intend a global Somalia of post-agricultural failure) the only sustainable future is decentralized, low-input agroecology, with or without animal pasturage. This is the great goal our movement must work toward. Meanwhile anyone smugly content to cherry-pick within the industrial commodity system and otherwise be content with that system is offering no solution at all, only a scam which is irrational, anti-scientific, anti-ecological, and morally evil.
 
 
Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 
 
 

October 11, 2018

Eugenic War II Proceeds According to Schedule

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The First Eugenic War against humanity and the Earth was launched by ideologues of scientism and social Darwinism in the latter 19th century. In America and Europe eugenics quickly became one of the most popular cultural and political ideas among the entire educated and political class. Political progressives especially were enthralled and as usual joined hands with conservatives and militarists. In America only the churches and a small band of political and social critics opposed the cultural eugenic wave.
 
Although the movement failed to gain policy traction in Britain in spite of massive propaganda efforts, America quickly began enacting eugenic policies. California and other states were passing laws informed by eugenic notions early in the century. By the 1920s forced sterilizations of alleged inferiors, enshrined by the Supreme Court (“three generations of imbeciles is enough”, chirped Oliver Wendell Holmes for the 8-1 majority), were being performed on a large scale, while eugenic ideology played a large role in the crafting of immigration policy.
 
Europe’s big day came when the Nazis came to power. The Nazis warmly praised American eugenic policy and consciously adapted it. Nazi eugenics escalated in tandem with anti-Jewish policy. They eased their way from voluntary euthanasia of deformed infants to a full-scale policy of the murder of asylum inmates launched in tandem with the invasion of Poland in 1939. The program used both shootings and gassing. In this way Nazi eugenics both psychologically and in terms of technical experience prepared the Nazis to embark upon the vastly greater program of exterminating the Jews with poison gas. Genocide is the inherent goal of all eugenics.
 
Much to the chagrin of scientists and technocrats everywhere, the Nazi experience discredited the eugenic concept in the public mind. Eugenics had to go underground under the guise of regular genetic research. It eventually began to resurface in the 1960s in the form of reproductive assistance technologies marketed as mere medical treatments but whose practitioners actually had far-reaching eugenic goals. This stealth eugenics was accompanied by the development of genetic engineering technology. At the same time Arthur Jensen and Harvard University resurrected scientific racism. These three pathways have since intertwined and comprise an ever more aggressive propaganda and technological deployment. The Second Eugenic War was on.
 
 
I’ve been writing analysis and forecasts about this war for many years now. Just to select a few out of many pieces, see here, here, here, here, and here.
 
My basic point has been that agricultural GMOs, in addition their inherent uses as weapons of power, also are a stalking horse for GM animal eugenics and eventually GM human eugenics. The idea of so-called reproductive “medical” engineering treatments has run parallel in the propaganda and research.
 
It’s not necessarily the case that right at this moment there’s some master cabal somewhere which is consciously planning to repeat the Nazi experiment on a far more comprehensive technocratic basis, though they often informally talk about it quite openly. But the entire history of scientism and its eugenic preoccupation, and their entire pattern of action is trending toward this goal. The entire history of their type (the history of eugenics specifically, and the control ideology among engineers in general) proves that at some point they will consciously organize to attain this genocidal totalitarian goal.
 
Today Australian regulators have taken the latest step*. Out ahead of regulators anywhere else, they have endorsed the full deregulation of all GM eugenic animal research and deployment.
 
“A new report by Friends of the Earth reveals that scientists are using these new GM techniques, such as CRISPR, to develop more muscular and disease resistant livestock that can endure intensive conditions without getting sick; and to produce animals that don’t reach sexually maturity so they eat less food.”
 
Of course animal eugenics posits only goals which are purely instrumental for capitalist productionism. From the point of view of the economic civilization animals are nothing but a resource to be exploited. (In the same way, literally all alleged “safety tests” on GMOs which have been performed by corporations and governments have focused on nothing but whether factory farmed animals being fed on GM-based feed can reach their slaughter weight without dropping dead. Self-evidently this has zero relevance for testing the safety of GM-based foods in the human diet. Governments, corporations, universities, and the media systematically lie when they propagandize that GMOs have been tested and found safe.)
 
Economic exploitation is also the primary usage of human beings, and the primary way the consciousness of civilization views them. Today’s eugenic ideologues among scientists and social Darwinists also spew the same utopian fantasies of engineering a Master Race that the Nazis did, but since this is genetically impossible the main uses of genetic engineering technology will be to engineer more useful slaves and to use gene drives, along with biological weapons and artificial famines, to exterminate everyone else. Exactly as Hitler planned to exterminate all Germans and other “Aryans” who weren’t physically perfect once the war had been won, so that the end result would be a pure bifurcation of the alleged “Master Race” and the slave races.
 
 
To sum up the schedule:
 
1. Agricultural GMOs.
 
2. GM animals.
 
3. GM humans as “medical treatment”.
 
4. GM humans as “positive” eugenics, i.e. boutique engineering of the embryos of rich rubes stupid enough to think they can turn their brats into Mozarts and Einsteins and Michael Jordans that way.
 
5. Massive social pressure upon all expectant parents to have their embryos engineered.
 
6. Coercion and the revival of negative eugenics (forced sterilizations and so on).
 
7. The full Nazi euthanasia program via genetic modification.
 
I’ve been forecasting this for years and so far everything’s happening right on schedule.
 
 
*A striking feature of the corporate-technocratic onslaught is how regulators everywhere see themselves as nothing but servants of the big corporations and seek nothing but to divest all of their own powers. That’s not historically the usual behavior of bureaucracies. It goes to show what the true role of regulatory agencies is under capitalism, and how stupid it is for anyone to still look to regulators for any kind of action whatsoever which isn’t on behalf of the corporations. You can’t “take back” or “reform” these agencies any more than you can the corporate demons themselves. I’ve written innumerable pieces on this as well. Here’s just two of them.
 
 
 
 
To all mammals: Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 
 

September 21, 2018

Human Cleansing

 
 
Part of the banksters’ deliberate demolition of the global finance system in 2008 was a great surge in food prices which triggered spontaneous crowd scenes the mainstream media branded “food riots”. These pudgy writers and editors didn’t let us know how they believe they’d fare if they and their families were being intentionally starved amid plenteous food, on account of purely artificial scarcity generated by purely political choices made by criminals.
 
We’ve long known the nature of these political decisions. It’s fundamental to capitalism that it generate scarcity amid plenty. This is part of why the productionist civilization works so aggressively to murder the Earth: It wants to generate this scarcity as a physical reality, which it thinks will render its power mission more easy. That’s one reason civilization wants to turn every forest, grassland, and wetland into a desert.
 
Short of this final goal of physical destruction, capitalism accomplishes the enforcement of scarcity by stealing the vast majority of what the productive people grow and craft. In the case of agriculture, the basic mechanisms of this crime have been land enclosure in the West and globalization for much of the global South. The result in both cases has been to drive vast amounts of people off the land, generating mass migrations similar to the barbarian migrations into Europe in the first millennium. Today they pair the economic war campaign with their campaign to drive climate chaos. Global warming will help generate the deserts, and before that drought, flooding, and other disasters will escalate the forced migrations. At the same time the corporate economic dominion and the intensifying ecological chaos will destroy all food security, rendering every society on the planet extremely food insecure.
 
These migrations head to the shantytowns of Southern and European cities, while their ghetto and tent city equivalents in America already are burgeoning. The South is undergoing a new onslaught of land enclosures, as regional kleptocracies sell vast amounts of tribes’ and farmers’ land in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and elsewhere to corporations and conglomerates from places like Sweden, the UK, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and of course Wall Street.
 
Proximately this renewed colonial land grab is to grow commodity soybeans, flowers, feedstock for biofuels, and other worthless luxury items. Commodity soybeans aren’t food but CAFO feedstock designed to be turned into cheap meat in the most wasteful way possible, while biofuels are wasteful, destructive, and malign in principle. In a country like the US ethanol mandates are pure corporate welfare, and globally they serve only to degrade the environment, cause further rainforest destruction and greenhouse gas emissions, and drive up the price of food by diverting it from the mouths of billions of the most vulnerable to the gas tanks of the richest and fattest. Now they’re also the engine of accelerating corporate land enclosures.
 
These assaults on the Southern farmer are the latest depredation of the same globalization in agriculture which has dumped subsidized Western commodities on the domestic markets of almost every country. The goal here is to force all agriculture on Earth, the vast amount of which is logically subsistence agriculture and agriculture grown for local and regional markets, to conform to the practices, prices, and power relations of globalized corporate commodity agriculture. At the same time the IMF, as part of its structural adjustment assaults, forced most of these countries to dismantle their well-functioning state investment programs whose explicit goals had been to assure decent prices for their farmers and make affordable credit available to them. This helped keep much of the wealth generated by small farmers in the hands of those farmers. Today the dumping includes subsidized proprietary GM seeds which cabals like the Gates Foundation and USAID are trying to force upon these already beleaguered farmers, to further enforce this global indenture.
 
Another major driver of grain prices, similar to biofuel mandates, is the diversion of grain from food to feed for livestock. As the corporate system aggressively advertises the consumerism of meat, logs ever greater subsidies which enables them to lower the retail price, and more people in the East can afford to eat more meat, this generates more demand for the extreme waste of grain to feed cattle and pork rather than letting the land be used to grow food. The special arithmetic of the corporations, governments, media, and science establishment says that it’s right to use ten grain calories to produce one calorie of beef; the ratio is only slightly less wasteful for other CAFO inmates. At the same time, everywhere CAFOs exist they’ve destroyed all independent cow and pig farmers. This adds to the forced migrations and the food insecurity of all societies. All these assaults have been subsidized by Western governments. We can add bankster speculation in agricultural commodities to the array of weapons the system deploys to destroy all small farmers, indenture bigger ones, and impose food insecurity.
 
The goal of the economic civilization always has been to drive people off the land and into slums. This maximizes the number of people who are completely detached from any food production whatsoever. Those who still do farm are to be subjected to the forces of capitalist production. That means the constant upheaval and escalating corporate enclosure of the procedures, technology, and basic concepts of production. Synthetic fertilizers, the crop lien, dependency upon cash crops, mechanization, collectivization, dependency upon federal subsidies, the poisons of the Green Revolution, total monoculture, dependency upon global markets, the fencerow-to-fencerow Stalinization of American farming, the rise of Monsanto, GMOs: These are milestones in the history of the farmer’s complete passivity in the face of power imposed upon him from on high. In all of this, domination of food, and in particular the eradication of all food culture, is the totalitarian goal.
 
The goal is to maximize power and impose total domination and control. The power then can be used any way the elites choose: In the short run, to maximize production, profit, and ecological destruction sheerly for their own sakes; in the longer run, to enforce a de jure slave economy in order to maintain their power and luxury in an apocalyptic world of fossil fuel exhaustion and and total ecological collapse. Since a key power tactic is to completely uproot the people, detach them from every frame of reference, every anchor they have, and force them to look to the regime itself as the one and only stable point amid the chaos, it follows that destroying all ability of communities and societies to produce their own food, to destroy even all knowledge of food production, is the way to force total dependency on and obedience to the corporate-technocratic system. This is the way to enforce domination over all of humanity. This campaign has been underway for decades now, starting with the Green Revolution.
 
 
 
 

August 5, 2018

You Can Hoard, But You Can’t Hide (Svalbard’s Broken Freezer)

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When we built the seed vault, there was not even discussion of the permafrost,” Hege Njaa Aschim, the press representative of the organization that oversees the project, told me. But the weather last winter, she said, was “like a Norwegian summer.” “We didn’t come up with the term doomsday vault,” Cary Fowler, the mastermind of the seed vault, told me. “The idea there was to provide an insurance policy, so if anything were to happen to those other facilities, it wouldn’t be an extinction event.”
 
Destruction of seed biodiversity is one of the worst crises and crimes of corporate agriculture. The proprietors of Svalbard – the agrochemical cartel and the governments that serve it – all want the total death of humanity and the Earth. For the ecology, agronomy, and human freedom it’s essential that we the living people breed our own necessary organic crops and sustain and expand a decentralized network of seed saving and seed exchange.
 
You won’t hear this in the corporate media. There you’re far more likely to find the hagiography of Svalbard, the “doomsday vault” which is going to save us all, the seed bank which in crisis is going to enable Monsanto and the Gates Foundation to continue to “feed the world” even though so far all they’re doing is starving it.
 
Svalbard is part of the system dedicated to centralized corporate control of all genetic diversity and committed to the destruction of agroecology, participatory breeding, networked seed sharing and conservation. Consider who controls the Svalbard project: Bayer/Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, Syngenta, DuPont, USAID, the CGIAR, the World Bank, all dedicated to totalitarian technocracy.
 
The project is a typical “public-private partnership” which fits into the decades-long pattern of CGIAR institutions traversing the global South to collect germplasm, convey it to the corporations (i.e. to perform corporate research with public money), and to proselytize on behalf of Western corporate agriculture among Southern officials, intellectuals and farmers, but using a “public” veneer. USAID and the Gates crew specialize in this. The seeds they heist and convey to the corporate vault then come under corporate control and will be used only for the elites’ purposes. The same system which is trying to enclose seeds everywhere will deploy its corporate vaults in the same way.
 
The doomsday vault is supposed to come in handy if the political and corporate elites ever were to have catastrophic need. In the meantime the place serves as a standard publicly-funded corporate gathering and research facility for Monsanto and the rest of the GM seed cartel. In that day-to-day way it represents doomsday for humanity and the Earth.
 
 
Beyond that, the idea of Svalbard – a centralized, literal fortress – is completely wrong ecologically. Here as everywhere else we need networked decentralization. We need a vast network of thousands of seed banks, all devoted to adapting landraces on a regional basis. Also, storing seeds is only second best. For varieties to remain attuned to the ecology people need to keep growing them. There’s no way to rely on the ecological viability of even the most carefully stored seeds as time passes while the plants aren’t being grown in the real world. You have to keep planting and growing them.
 
This also is the only way to restore seeds and crops as a core part of human culture, human spirit. They must be part of our living experience, our immersion in the flows of the ecology.
 
 
Svalbard’s broken freezer, its melting permafrost, is a reminder of how physically and politically vulnerable a bunker like this is, how it’s the wrong path. It’s ironic that the climate chaos being driven most of all by the industrial agriculture paradigm of which Svalbard is a devoted part is coming home to threaten the vault itself. This project of Monsanto and Gates does indeed represent doomsday: First human doom through socioeconomic attack, then ecological doom through poisonism and destruction of habitat and biodiversity, and above all total human and ecological doom through total climate chaos.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

August 4, 2018

For Book Draft: Chapter Introduction on Agronomic Failure and the Poison Mandate

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Decades of harsh agronomic experience proved the model of agriculture based on pesticides didn’t work and couldn’t be sustained. Rational and honest participants and observers rejected poison-based agriculture in favor of agroecology. We had a “Show Me” attitude toward Missouri-based Monsanto’s proposition that the GMO version of this poison model would be any different. The reality of the field quickly proved it the same failure.
 
The poison agriculture machine was successful for decades at driving billions of human beings off the land, exterminating wide swaths of ecological community, and concentrating tremendous socioeconomic, cultural, and biological power as well as venal wealth. But its agronomy was always a complete failure. Indeed, the corporate state production system depended on this failure for all its successes.
 
Herbicides and insecticides became more profitable as pests developed resistance to them. The more the poisons failed against their targets, and the more secondary pests moved in to exploit temporary gaps opened up where the targets temporarily were suppressed, the greater the array grew of different poisons which had to be applied, and the volume of application for each. The pesticides themselves were being “stacked” long before that became a term of art among GMO products. At the same time propaganda converted each failure into an imminent crisis which could be met only by stampeding more poisons into service. In this way the agrobusiness state stampeded minds, stampeded the culture, furthering its own power goals and reinforcing the general goals of instilling religious faith in corporate control and acceptance of the need for deregulation and bureaucratic speed.
 
Genetic modification technology had far reaching despotic monoculture and eugenic goals from the inception. But the operators soon zeroed in on agriculture as their first battle deployment. Attempts to engineer for agronomic and product quality traits like environmental hardiness, nutritional efficiency, and food quality always have been failures because genetic engineering is basically a stupid, brute force technology incapable of attaining the evolutionary precision and harmonies required to bring out such traits. But the engineers found that crops could be dumb-engineered to become poison plants: Engineering a plant to tolerate an herbicide or to produce its own insecticidal poison generally required only the rote insertion of a single “transgene”.
 
Therefore GMOs dovetailed perfectly with the existing paradigm of the pesticide treadmill. More herbicides could be sprayed directly on the crop at any time. In principle agriculture now could be subject to a limitless menagerie of herbicides coupled with seeds “stacked” with multiplying herbicide-tolerance traits. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready line opened up a whole frontier for the massive slathering of glyphosate, hitherto a lesser herbicide. As the weeds surged to resist glyphosate, the agrochemical bazaar offered seeds to tolerate glyphosate plus every kind of poison – glufosinate, 2,4-D, dicamba, isoxaflutole, HPPDs, and onward. The multiplication of the GM seed traits and the herbicides also multiplied the profits, the patents, the monopoly power, the cultural power, the biological power.
 
At the same time and by the same process insects developed resistance to the endemic Bt toxins of the GM poison plants. Here too the system’s solution was to stack more poisons and more of every poison: Each new GM seed was engineered to exude a greater variety of Bt poisons, while each seed also was coated in multiple neonicotinoid insecticides (along with fungicides, mitcides, nematocides, and so on). Farmers who were told that GM seed would eliminate the need to spray insecticides now needed to go back to spraying in addition to buying the ever more expensive stacked GMOs.
 
For poison-based agriculture, a power-seeking project, failure was success. Failure always was built into the business model and the geopolitical strategy.
 
 
Persistence Proves Intent. If governments, the agribusiness corporations, the scientific establishment and the corporate media see this inexorable failure of every poison in the face of simple natural evolution, and see how the paradigm’s one and only answer each and every time is to add more poisons to the stack, each poison guaranteed to fail in its turn, this proves that this failure is part of the effect intended and desired by these organizations. As a rule the major effects of a large-scale action always are the desired effects. If concentrated power desires different effects, if the government and political-intellectual class desire different effects, they always have alternatives which could preserve the “good” effects without the “bad”. There’s really no such thing as “collateral damage”. That’s a propaganda lie which pretends that some effects weren’t sought by the policy-makers and that they deplore these effects. Never mind that all the major effects are consistent, predictable, therefore premeditated. If there really were major effects which the government did not anticipate and found bad, it would change the policy so as no longer to produce those effects in a major way. Persistence proves either that the effect, if truly unanticipated, is nevertheless welcome, or else that it was anticipated and consciously intended all along. Morally and practically this makes no difference. The major effects of an action comprise an organic whole, and anyone who wants one characteristic effect of an action will anticipate and want its other effects and will welcome any major effect he didn’t anticipate.
 
In reality the agrochemical project has zero beneficial purpose and no redeeming qualities. It claims two purposes: To “feed the world”, yet it has done nothing but sow malnutrition, hunger, and famine; and to control crop pests, which has been nothing but a losing arms race. Meanwhile agroecology grows more calories and nutrition per acre than industrial monoculture, and it grows this as food for people, not commodities for Mammon; and agroecological methods are vastly superior for pest control.
 
But just as poison-based agriculture never wanted to grow food and did want to sow desperation and famine, so it never wanted to control pests, only to manage them so that pest afflictions become ever more severe. As we’ll see in the next chapter, this management ideology has a direct parallel in the regulator ideology of “managing” poisons in the environment, in part by gauging alleged human and ecological “tolerances” for these poisons. These versions of this false ideology are deployed because the program of poison-based agriculture is to maximize poison production and use as such, toward the goal of increasing system power and monoculture control. This is why industrial agriculture seeks the destruction of agricultural and ecological biodiversity as such: Dynamic diversity is impossible to control. This is why it seeks to maximize monoculture at every level from the most literally physical to the political and cultural: Because monoculture is easier to control. This is why it is waging biological and chemical warfare around the world at the most extreme levels possible: Because it wants to eradicate physical biodiversity and to eradicate political and socioeconomic diversity through total corporate control of political and economic life.
 
 
 
 
 

August 2, 2018

This is Fishy (Salmon CAFOs and GM Camelina)

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Factory farming of salmon, allegedly a more “sustainable” alternative to industrial mining of wild salmon, depends to a large extent on using ground up anchovies as feed. Thus it decimates another wild fishery. This generates the problem of declining anchovy populations and insufficient feed to fuel the overproducing salmon factory. The government, corporation, scientific establishment, and mainstream media then use this purely artificial problem as the pretext to tout GMO “solutions”. They do this for mundane profit purposes and toward more far-reaching goals of political power and eugenic control of GM animals and eventually GM humans.
 
In this case, anchovy-based feed as well as non-GM algae (also used extensively, and still available in adequate volume) are slated to be superseded by feed based on GM camelina modified with algae DNA to cause it to produce long-chain omega-3 oil. The fish fed on this material then will be touted as “healthy” to eat.
 
A laboratory feeding trial with this GM camelina currently is underway in Britain. As always with such trials, it’s not a food safety trial but only studies whether the animal quickly reaches slaughter weight. Nor will there ever be a study on the food safety for humans who eat animals fed this way. Once GM salmon are fed on GM feed it’ll be double exposure.
 
Note how the so-called “scientists” quoted in the piece think exclusively in terms of capitalist ideology, especially the Orwellian lie that government-subsidized supply-driven overproduction (in this case CAFO feed and farmed salmon), supplemented by consumerist propaganda, equals some natural mechanism of supply and demand. In reality there is no such “demand” except where artificially juiced by propaganda and retail prices kept deceptively low by hiding most of the costs and simply refusing to pay the environmental costs. But this environmental debt is vastly greater than the national debt. (National debts are denominated in money and owed to other money-mongers, and therefore can be written off without much trouble. But civilization’s mounting debt to Gaia is existential, biological, not financial; and it cannot be written off. On the contrary the Earth, perhaps at first slowly but all the more surely, will insist on payment in full, with interest.)
 
Reject the false Mammonist way of thinking, and the gratuitous idiocy of the whole CAFO/GMO paradigm becomes clear.
 
 
Fish farming is as bad as any other factory farming. Good land is condemned in order to grow the feed while human food production is driven onto more marginal land or just driven out completely. CAFOs are disease incubators, in the case of salmon frequently spreading disease to already beleaguered wild populations. CAFOs especially are designed to drive antibiotic resistance among human pathogens leading to the collapse of antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. Factory farming drives many socioeconomic evils, destroying community ways of life and community economies of farming and fishing for human food rather than for mass commodity production. CAFOs are ongoing atrocities against the animals exploited by them, physically and morally the descendants of Auschwitz. Anyone who could do this to non-human animals also would do it to humans, and anyone who could tolerate this level of animal cruelty would tolerate this level of cruelty to people. Nor is there any good reason to believe it’s less cruel for salmon than it is for chickens, pigs, cows.
 
And then in cases like this, the self-generated problems of factory farming are used as a pretext for the existential aggression of the genetic engineering regime.
 
 
On the other hand, no wild fish have evolved to withstand industrial fishing methods. All commercial fisheries are unsustainable. Salmon also are the special targets of dams. The attempted murder of rivers also murders the salmon who migrate up those rivers.
 
There is no ecological way to consume commercially extracted fish. Those who work toward an ecological way of life have to abjure commercial fish completely. This also would purge many poisons from the diet, from the mercury which accumulates in big predator fish to the incipient danger of GM salmon, the most dangerous kind of GMO for food safety because unlike commodity GM maize or soy it’s a true direct GM food designed to be eaten directly. Any food safety danger from genetic engineering itself will be maximized by such direct frankenfoods as GM salmon, “golden rice” if it ever got beyond the hoax stage, RNAi potatoes, botox apples and others.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

August 1, 2018

Science Has Abdicated

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Institutionalized “science ethics” always has been a contradiction in terms. The UK Nuffield Bioethics Council’s endorsement of genetically engineering human embryos for eugenic and designer baby purposes is one of the most grotesque examples.
 
This is typical of how genetic engineering has never been about anything but further concentrating wealth and power. In this case, both the fake “medical” rationale and the real eugenic rationale are reserved only for those with financial access to these extreme high-maintenance technological treatments. Indeed many erstwhile “anti-GMO” people believe the Heal the World lie, although this British eugenic gambit is so brazen that even the lukewarmists oppose this particular outrage.
 
Meanwhile the truth is that the Heal the World lie is identical in every way to the Feed the World lie which is universally refuted among GM critics. There’s far more than enough food for everyone on Earth to eat sufficient diets, but billions lack the money to buy sufficient calories and/or nutrition. This artificial Mammon condition is the only source of hunger and malnutrition. In the same way, good basic medical care easily could be available to everyone through a sane, humane economic system like single payer, which would deliver much better care at far less expense than the bloated parasite which is the private health insurance racket. Boutique high-maintenance “treatments” like gene therapy and this kind of eugenics could at most help a tiny handful. In both cases, “feed the world” and “heal the world”, the genetic engineering religion is based on nothing but lies. One of the main lies is that problems like hunger and disease aren’t socioeconomic problems with political solutions, but purely technical problems with purely technocratic solutions. That’s a gambit of corporate rule, and of neoliberal capitalism in general.
 
In the same way, it was always obvious that fantasies of genetic engineering, “transhumanism”, space colonization were about nothing but the power and depraved whims of the rich.
 
Chinese vaccine manufacturers make defective vaccines and lie about it. US manufacturers are no more trustworthy. Indeed the US system doesn’t even have the token fines the Chinese system does, only the subsidies.
 
Then we have the “eco-modernist” ideology, ardently embraced by the mainstream STEM cadre, which stems from mainstream “management”/sacrifice oriented corporate environmentalism. It hooks up seamlessly with both corporate power and the scientism religion. It flatters the consumerism of the Western middle class which always wants to “have it all”, total gluttonous license along with ecological and moral integrity. It promises that “growth” can continue. It promises that the Progress religion will come true. It promises all these things with a shiny techno-sheen, so attractive to all the retarded infants of this madhouse: GMOs (who cares that they’ve already proven to be an absolute fraud in every way), geoengineering, biofuels, fracking, the electric car, the “space” meme, all these genocidal-ecocidal frauds will turn magically into salvation at the ultimate moment of the Armageddon they’re currently generating, if only Homo domesticus stays the course, doubles down on the destruction, becomes ever more murderous and wasteful. Stalinist doctrine had it that the class struggle reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of communism. Christian doctrine had it that the struggle of God vs. Satan reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of Jesus over death. And now we have the terminal doctrine of the modern technocratic civilization, the same among all strains of its ideology, now including the “eco”-movement: The struggle of man vs. nature reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of a suddenly sustainable and free civilization, where human lion will lie down with human lamb and civilization’s lion will lie down with the ecological lamb.
 
In reality, the evangelists of the “eco-modern” scam (such as the false prophet of “vertical farming” exposed in this piece) are speaking in code. Like the politicians and corporate CEOs they serve, they really intend for the vast majority of human beings to die of starvation and pandemics, most likely deliberately engineered. Biowarfare to produce pandemics goes logically with the entire technocratic ideology, and it’s the only explanation for the technocracy’s deliberate campaign to wipe out antibiotics as an effective medical treatment. Modern famines always are artificially and deliberately generated, without exception.
 
Just as agriculture is the basis of exploitative, destructive, wasteful civilization, so for the scientific establishment the number one purpose is to render agriculture as exploitative, destructive, and wasteful as possible. Thus the establishment’s absolute embrace, staking their entire future authority, of the GMO/pesticide regime. The poisoning is more slow and subtle, the repression is primarily economic rather than directly violent (though that’s increasing too), the forced mass expulsion from the land is primarily coerced economically. It’s all part of corporate neoliberalism’s strategy for domination, more refined than that of classical fascism. They realized they could attain the same results as the Nazis without generating similar resistance against themselves. (Indeed, via the EU Germany has attained something like the economic dominion in Europe which the Nazis sought.) As for scientists, today’s are the exact same type as those who served the Nazis and would do the exact same thing given the circumstances. Today’s Bayer is of course the exact same company which provided Zyklon B, its executives the exact same executive type. Monsanto should fit in just fine.
 
Science has completely abdicated, sold out, gone over. It is no longer trustworthy on any level and no longer there for the good of humanity. On the contrary science is completely encompassed by engineering imperatives and the corporate science paradigm. It seeks only profit and power, including its own religious will to power, and it’s an unequivocally enthusiastic participant in the productionist/consumerist/technocratic/corporate paradigm, the destruction of humanity and Earth purely for the sake of destruction and control.
 
Only some individual fugitives are working on a new ecological paradigm for science. The rest are fully committed to mechanistic reductionism, corporate science, science as waterboy for profit-seeking tech development, all the modes of boot-licking junk science.
 
What will have to die out isn’t a sclerotic generation of scientists in favor of a rising generation of ecology-minded scientists. This generation will not be forthcoming. Part of the reason for the STEM indoctrination onslaught in the schools is to foreclose this possibility.
 
What has to die out is the generation which still believes in “Science” as a religious idol. The scientism generation must die out and be replaced by a generation ready to go home to Earth, which recognizes that science in its modern form, irretrievably corrupted, distorted, demented, is toxic baggage we mustn’t take for the journey.
 
We can salvage and continue with ecology, agroecology, chaos theory, the purely intellectual aspects of physics, and related modes. The rest is malign and must be jettisoned.
 
 
 
 
 

July 29, 2018

Notes on the Industrial Organic Sector

 
 
1. A few years back there were some false rumors, which may have started as satire, that Monsanto was buying Whole Foods Market. This stemmed from the fact that Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield and others joined with Obama’s secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack to try to make a “co-existence” deal with Monsanto over Roundup Ready alfalfa. This was a backdoor way to try to water down organic standards. The USDA always has wanted to include GMOs within the organic standards, and the industrial organic sector, reliant as it is on the “natural” label scam, has no objections. Lots of rhetoric followed which eventually led to the false rumors. The prosaic truth is that industrial organic is industrial first and organic a distant second. The sector is not committed to anything beyond what it sees as effective marketing and profiteering. WFM’s CEO at the time Jeff Mackey openly said that WFM touts “organic” and “natural” purely as a marketing gimmick, and he explicitly repudiated any ecological or public health philosophy beyond that. This mirrors the USDA’s appraisal of its own organic certification program: According to the agency organic food is no better or healthier than poison-based food, but is merely a kind of lifestyle ornament.
 
What’s not a rumor is the fact that BASF and Cargill are members of the Organic Trade Association. Nor is this a surprise, as the OTA represents the industrial sector and shares the USDA/WFM view of organic agriculture and food as merely a branding device. That’s why the OTA consistently has worked to water down NOSB standards, and that’s why it supported the 2016 DARK Act which put a stake in the heart of the GMO labeling movement by co-opting it in a sham fashion, as I predicted for years would happen.
 
2. Many system NGOs are dedicated to performing a pro-corporate, pro-globalization triangulator role. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but want FDA control of produce, or of GMO labeling. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but support expanded use of synthetic fertilizers, themselves a major pollutant, driver of climate change, and basis of pesticide monoculture. In reality it’s not possible to support synthetic fertilizers and not effectively support the entire apparatus of agribusiness and poison-based agriculture. Even the USDA organic certification acknowledges this.
 
In the guise of debunking some pro-GMO lies they reinforce others and in general reinforce the lies of corporate industrial agriculture, commodity farming, and globalization. In the course of it they implicitly attack Food First and other organizations truly dedicated to fighting hunger, and who document and publish the truths of food production and economics. Just like how industrial organic’s lobbying arm Just Label It stressed labeling but supported GMOs on other points, as well as supporting corporate agriculture and food as such, with the eventual result I predicted for years: In 2016 the labeling strategy reached its logical end with the passage of what I called DARK Act Plan B.
 
This reflects the industrial organic agenda. This globalized commodity sector: 1. Opposes food-based agriculture, just as much as the GM cartel and any other commodity sector does. 2. Joins hands with Monsanto in trying to suppress the facts and propagate lies about food production, the environment, and hunger. 3. It diverges from the GM/pesticide cartel on some specifics regarding GMOs. (But not on fertilizer.) These seem to be chosen cynically, with an eye toward continuing to receive some corporate funding. Thus EWG refutes the “feed the world” lie where it comes specifically to GMOs but supports this big lie in general, while Just Label It supported the lie that GMOs have been tested and found to be safe.
 
All this is intended to serve a gate-keeping function, since any real abolition movement would be a threat to: 1. Industrial organic’s leadership of the food movement, 2. The sector’s very existence, which after all is just as dependent on corporate welfare, the parasite paradigm, the whole globalization system.
 
As far as the official certification, organic is nothing more or less than what the USDA says it is, by definition. When the USDA issued its original proposal for an organic certification in the 1990s, this proposed rule would have allowed GMOs to be certified “organic”. Only massive pressure from farmers and consumers forced them to back down and rewrite the standard to exclude GMOs. But the agency has not changed its mind about thinking they should be allowed, just as it has never changed its official opinion that organic agricultural practices and food are no safer or healthier but just add up to a set of “lifestyle” products. The USDA’s basic position on GMOs is that they’re not only safe but normative, and that the environment and food system should maximally be contaminated and transformed. (They would say “improved” or something similar; they call GM seeds “improved seeds”.) They’ve not only approved every GMO application without exception but are doing all they can to declare whole classes of GMOs to be outside their jurisdiction and unregulatable. It’s not every day you see a bureaucracy voluntarily giving up vast swathes of its power. Only extreme ideology could drive such a thing.
 
So much for the USDA. As for industrial organic, the likes of Jeff Mackey openly say that they subscribe to no organic philosophy but view the whole thing as a marketing ploy. Gary Hirshberg never misses a chance to try to euthanize activism, like with his endorsement of the QR code as an allegedly acceptable labeling compromise*. And although the Fabers were unable to reach a deal with Vilsack and the GMA in January 2016, they rushed out to justify the basic paradigm of secret elite conclaves toward some “compromise” which then can be handed down to the people. So there’s the basic attitude of the economic and cultural elites of the movement. As for standard practice, just look at the “natural” scam which is near-universal among them. If they’re willing to surreptitiously sell you GMOs and Roundup in your food (at a premium, no less!) while calling it “natural”, they’d certainly love to do the same by calling it “organic”. They’ve already slipped such poisons as gut-busting carrageenan into the certification standards.
 
Their most clear-cut political ploy was the attempted “co-existence” deal over GM alfalfa which Vilsack tried to broker between the industrial organic sector and Monsanto. The USDA itself in its Environmental Impact Review admitted that over the long run GM alfalfa cannot co-exist with non-GM. This means that legalizing the GM product is tantamount to rendering much of certified organic meat and dairy untenable – unless the standard is changed to allow some level of GM presence in the hay. Obviously Vilsack, WFM, Stonyfield, etc. knew this when they tried to make the deal. So unless one thinks they want certified organic meat and dairy to cease to exist, the only alternative is that they want to see the organic certification standard changed to allow GMOs.
 
Why would industrial organic do such things? In their perfect world, they could sell the same industrial junk but slap the “organic” brand on it and charge a premium. They already do exactly that with the term “natural” (which is why they’re hostile toward any labeling policy like Vermont’s which would end this terminological scam). They cherish the same desire as that of the USDA, to allow GMOs under the “organic” name. That’s why they always felt dissonance and ambivalence toward the idea of GMO labeling. They got involved only as a PR campaign. But as we saw with the history of JLI, AGree, etc., what they really wanted was to control and manage the labeling campaign, in the same way EPA “manages” Roundup and dioxins, and mainstream environmental groups help the corporations manage ecological destruction. They want to control it in such a way that they get the PR benefit while forestalling any reality of a strong, honest labeling policy. JLI, Hirshberg and the GMA are Roundup-burnt peas in a pod.
 
We’ve seen how in response to the Steve Marsh lawsuit there was a major propaganda campaign to the effect that Australia’s organic standards are too strict and need to be relaxed to allow some level of “adventitious presence”. The OTA and the industrial organic sector are leading same campaign in the US. Anywhere this relaxation is enacted, the level of contamination allowed under the standard then will begin a mechanical upward creep, in exactly the same way that pesticide “tolerances” are mechanically raised by regulators as more pesticides are used.
 
That exact same mechanical raising of the allowed level of GM presence also will occur with any labeling policy which is ever enacted, which is one of the reasons why labeling was the wrong idea in the first place. In Europe the 0.9% standard is under strong pressure from the industry to be raised.
 
*The whole attitude that “compromise” is possible and desirable is the same as to say that “co-existence” with Monsanto and GMOs is desirable, and that it’s physically possible at all.
 
3. Some people are more interested in premium niche marketing than in the food sovereignty and abolition imperatives. In many cases it’s obvious, as in the long and ongoing history of small organic companies selling out to big conglomerates. No doubt they’d often claim they were under financial duress and had no choice, and maybe once in awhile that’s true. The system is heavily stacked against healthy, ecological farming and food.
 
But far more often it’s simply taken for granted on an ideological level that a successful entrepreneur sells out at some point to a big corporation. Most entrepreneurs seem to regard this as a “natural” part of some kind of business life cycle, in the same way we physically go from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. But this conventional capitalist mindset cannot coexist with the ecological philosophy and imperative, any more than non-GM crops can coexist with GM for long in the most physical sense.
 
4. Is the USDA organic certification a decadence?** People with money are willing to pay more for what’s good (or at least better) while tolerating the general deterioration, rather than resolving to put an end to what’s bad so we can all have what’s good? I’m fighting to abolish poison-based agriculture and build food sovereignty. I regard the place of organics only from a strategic and tactical point of view. But I’m certain that the goal itself isn’t to expand organics alongside the poison system. That’s impossible anyway. Coexistence is impossible, and if the poison system continues, the organic sector must eventually cease to exist in all but name, if that.
 
Foodies and corporate executives and shareholders alike (often the same people) think humanity (at least moneyed humans) can co-exist with GMOs, pesticides, climate change, etc. For them organic food, electric cars, etc. add up to an island. Monsanto’s CEO thinks he and his people eat separate food, drink separate water, breathe separate air, inhabit a separate ecology. But Certified Organic is not an island, it cannot co-exist (physically or politically) with poison-based agriculture and a poisoned environment, steadily it will be eroded, degraded, corrupted, and soon will cease to exist except in name only, if things keep going the way they are.
 
**There are several attempts underway to promulgate non-governmental organic standards which improve upon the USDA certification. These include the Real Organic Project (designed to overcome many of the abusive features of the USDA standards) and Certified Naturally Grown (designed to be more affordable for small direct retail organic farmers; the USDA system is geared to the big industrial operators). Whether any of these is a big improvement depends on the good faith of all the participants, from farmer to certifier to customer.
 
5. I write mostly about a general mindset and strategy. Most of what I write is geared to organizational and philosophical matters, not as much directly to consumer matter. But for the kind of buying follows from that, I practice and recommend doing the best one can within that framework. Buy the best you can afford, the rules being that local is better than commodified, smaller better than bigger, committed to real values rather than mercenary (especially insofar as you can perceive the mentality and goals of a producer and/or seller – is it a way of life or do they have a mini-Monsanto mentality?), organic/agroecological better than not.
 
It’s true that big corporate buyers can help all producers of non-GM crops, for food and feed, scale up to the necessary level where the products are broadly affordable for the community food sector. In other words, the more non-GM corn is bought for a big retailer’s store brand processed stuff and for their CAFO sourcing, the more affordable it will also become for small direct retail farmers to use as feed. So if producers of non-GM grain etc. saw themselves as just using the corporate sourcing toward the real goal of community sector rebuilding and stuck with that goal without becoming corrupted, the corporate sourcing would be a helpful springboard. On the other hand the more everyone, including “organic” types, see themselves as part of the same commingled commodity economic paradigm as the corporate system, the more they’ll obey the dictates of the big buyers, and the more they’ll have the time-serving house-flipping mindset that they’re only doing this for a period before they get to sell out. In that case the corporate ideology and commodity practice will completely dominate, the community food sector’s development will be hindered rather than boosted, and in the end the quality of the organic consumer product will be degraded completely like I described above.
 
6. If there arose a real movement to rebuild healthy, democratic agriculture and food, the Community Food movement and economic sector as I call it, this sector could use corporate sourcing to help scale itself up to the necessary level where wholesome food became affordable for everyone, and non-GM feed was readily affordable to direct retail farmers. The sector could build out the input and processing infrastructure it mostly lacks and badly needs. I stress, the necessary level of scaling up and building out and no bigger, based on sustainability and distribution within its own watershed and foodshed. That’s a core measure of whether such a movement exists: Is the goal to produce affordable real food for human beings, while seeking revenue only in order to support this goal and support oneself? Or is it the same old capitalism, with profit and “growth” for their own sakes (and eventually cashing in, selling out to a big buyer) the real goal, while participants just pretend to do the best they can as far as the product?
 
Obviously the big corporate buyers don’t care about these goals and want to prevent all this from being built. Which leads to the corollary that if the movement I described above doesn’t exist, if people don’t have that mindset, then not only will corporate control of the organic sector (and of much of the organic movement’s politics as well) continue to escalate, but the depressing pattern of small organic producers offering themselves to be bought up will continue. In that case the big corporate controllers eventually will erode and then gut the organic standards themselves, and that will be the end of the whole thing. They’ll do that as soon as they’re able. We already know, for example, that industrial organic is industrial first and organic second, and that they share the USDA’s goal of allowing GMOs to qualify under the “organic” standards.
 
7. Therefore I’m also not sure about even the industrial organic brands. To the extent the mindset of Food Sovereignty and building the Community Food sector actually exists, and to the extent that the growth of the organic sector helps expand and render economically more viable non-GMO sourcing for animal feed and similar staples which can then be used to build the Community Food sector – its inputs, products, and processing infrastructure – to the extent these are true, industrial organic can be a stepping stone for us.
 
But this boils down to the first question, to what extent does the Food Sovereignty mindset, as part of the public citizen mindset, actually exist, as opposed to the same old private-individual-is-an-island mindset which, even where it comes to organic and localized agriculture and food, thinks primarily in terms of “growth” and eventually selling out to a buyer.
 
And since that’s the primary question, it follows that the first necessary priority of a Food Sovereignty movement is to build this mindset, propagate knowledge of it, encourage it, recruit to it, organize on the basis of it.
 
 
 
 
 
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