Volatility

July 26, 2018

The Dicamba Crisis Part 5: Waging War to Seize Territory

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Parts One, Two, Three, Four.
 
1. There’s never been a clear line of demarcation between chemical weapons in war, civilian use of such weapons, and agricultural use of poisons. In World War I poison gas weapons were developed while the Haber-Bosch process was used to manufacture explosives. Following the war these technologies were seamlessly refurbished to manufacture pesticides and synthetic fertilizer. The militaristic rhetoric didn’t change at all: Pesticides were advertised as enabling the farmer and society to wage war on pests, which were demonized as evil.
 
In World War II the same factories went back to producing munitions and herbicides for military use. After the war the factories were retooled for a massive new agricultural poison onslaught which eventually developed into the “green revolution”. War use never ceased. From Vietnam to this day in Colombia and elsewhere Agent Orange and other poisons are used for military and paramilitary purposes, for war and police action. Chemical weapons always have been used for tyrannical political goals.
 
This conjunction of poisonism and militarism occurs in the context of the religious separation of “man” from “nature” and the false doctrine that these are adversaries. Man vs. nature in turn is an extension of man vs. man. Ecological domination always has been conjoined with social domination, and the former never occurs except as part of a strategy toward the latter. The war on nature always is the war on humanity. In the end, ecophobia, biophobia, are expressions of misanthropy. Civilization can be defined as a system which enables a cadre of elites to force surplus production and steal it in order to build structures and organizations which maximize their own wealth and power. This system always has been totally destructive toward humanity and the Earth. Agriculture always has been designed for enclosure, dispossession, physically destroying the land through denuding and poisoning the soil, desertification. Modern poison-based agriculture is one of the most extreme manifestations of this total destructive assault on people and ecology.
 
Agribusiness consolidates maximum control over farming and the food supply and launches a general assault on the ecology, all toward the goal of maximizing human and ecological monoculture. This is the scorched-earth terrain which provides the best habitat for pest, weed, and disease infestation, and therefore the maximum ideological and political habitat for the power claims of agribusiness, the scientism cult, and all who hate humanity and nature and who seek total domination. Poisonism therefore generates the maximal habitat for the propaganda campaign of lies, fear-mongering, and fraudulent promises that the solution is right around the corner if farmers and society only stay the poison course. This is proven every day in a hundred new articles and press statements from corporations, governments, Wall Street, academia, and the mainstream media, all speaking as one proclaiming that the only solution to the escalating crisis is to escalate the emissions and the poison.
 
2. One way to write the history of the 20th century is to trace the history of the Rockefeller Foundation and similar organizations, culminating today in the Gates Foundation, as the bodies which coordinate de jure war and sublimated agricultural war, with the close cooperation of corporations and the military.
 
As we said there never was a clear distinction between massive use of chemical weapons in Vietnam and elsewhere and massive use of chemical weapons in the green revolution. In both cases Western globalization has treated the global South as a free-fire zone, wherever a vacuum exists.
 
The corporate-technocratic elites have brought this war and its ideology back to the home countries. The pesticide/fertilizer onslaught has engulfed the West itself. Based on this historical record we know the corporate state considers America itself a free-fire zone for every kind of weaponized assault, from militarized police to militarized agriculture, wherever the state considers necessary.
 
What’s the objective difference between the Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam and today’s defoliation campaign in America based on dicamba and 2,4-D (itself one half of the Agent Orange blend)? We recognize the dicamba campaign as at least intermediate between a “regular” agricultural poison campaign and a de jure war defoliation campaign.
 
Corporate agriculture’s mass expulsion of farm communities from their land, part of the US “food weapon” strategy, is sublimated war. There is no logical difference between driving people off their land and into slums where they are utterly dependent, and physically killing them. Anyone willing to do or tolerate the former is willing to do and tolerate the latter.
 
The Rockefeller Foundation played a major role in coordinating the green revolution, pesticide/fertilizer deployment, and the development of GMOs ancillary to the poison regime. The Gates Foundation subsequently has taken the lead in aggrandizing the GMO/pesticide poison project. Gates provides organizational leadership and fraudulent “philanthropic” propaganda cover for what’s nothing but brutal corporate colonialism. This colonialism is also a testing ground for other totalitarian assaults.
 
In spite of its “humanitarian” lies (always embellished with Randroid spin that all good things can come only from total corporate control), the Gates Foundation really stands for total corporate control of agriculture and food on a monoculture commodity export basis. For decades this has been proven to do nothing but increase hunger, famine, and disease. The Gates Foundation is an extreme activist on behalf of globalization export agriculture and seeks systematically to eradicate African food production, and therefore to maximize food insecurity, hunger, and famine. Africa and elsewhere in the global South also serve Gates and Monsanto as testing grounds for ecological domination technology designed to be deployed in the Western countries as well. All of humanity which lacks monetary wealth, not just the people of the South, are slated for liquidation.
 
Today the Gates Foundation is the primary propaganda coordinator on behalf of these ideological and anti-political assaults. It’s the main coordinator among the various branches of the corporate state – the US and UK governments, the Big Ag corporations, the G7, the universities, the corporate media, and various system NGOs.
 
Economically, politically, ecologically, the corporate-technocratic state works to impose maximum monopoly monoculture control with minimum real-world apparatus or indeed contact with physical reality at all. The sector comprising corporate agriculture and food, along with its lead enablers from the state like USAID and the USDA, all coordinated by the quasi-governmental Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, thinks exclusively in terms of Mammon’s fictive numbers. The measure of agriculture is never food for human beings but sanctified fake numbers like GDP, trade balances, sovereign debt, commodity and stock prices, corporate profits, money as such. These pure fictions are rendered real only by the corporate state’s violence and the tolerance of the people. Thus the corporate/government/NGO structure is able globally to impose and enforce the agricultural model which conforms to these measures and eradicates, as much as possible, all actual food production for human beings. This physical control and destruction without responsibility is the grail of all corporations.
 
In these ways the goal is to render it as literally true as possible that food is produced by money, that food comes from the supermarket.
 
3. The military-agricultural complex I describe here is best epitomized in the Gates/DARPA joint project to develop gene drive technology. This is the most extreme example yet of a dual use military/agricultural weapon. In general, genetic engineering is becoming increasingly militarized.
 
This is the context for the propaganda campaign for gene drives being deployed against so-called “invasive” plants and animals such as rats. “Rats” should be taken as a symbolic place-holder for more far-reaching land-cleansing plans. Consider the Nazi propaganda films which equated Jews with rats, then compare the coupled campaigns of gene drive deployment vs. rats and other “invasives”, and GMO deployment as part of corporate agriculture’s onslaught seeking to drive all of humanity off the land. When we compare these we start to get a picture of where all this is heading.
 
DARPA often has partnered with Monsanto, from the deployment of Agent Orange to research into robotic bees. Continuing this partnership, Monsanto has been a key player in the anti-“invasive” propaganda. The theme of glyphosate being ecologically necessary to combat “invasive” weeds laid the propaganda groundwork for the gene drive strategy. With the collapse of glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D are being deployed as the “new”/old weaponry allegedly necessary to wage this allegedly necessary war.
 
Gates teams with Monsanto, Gates teams with the military, Monsanto teams with the military, we have consensus on intent and goal.
 
4. The primary agronomic feature of poison-based agriculture is the arms race between the ever escalating, ever more toxic brew of pesticides, and the resistance evolution keeps producing in the weeds, insects, fungi, and other so-called “pests”. This arms race, which in civilian language is also called the pesticide treadmill, is the context in which Monsanto and its Gates/military allies are resurrecting two obsolete herbicides, dicamba and the Agent Orange constituent 2,4-D, for a renewed assault. Monsanto, the USDA, and the media originally promised that these poisons, even more toxic and destructive than glyphosate, would be rendered permanently obsolete by the Roundup Ready GMO system. These herbicides are indeed obsolete from any sane ecological and agronomic point of view, but of the corporate-technocratic system is not sane, nor is it honest. The corporations and the US government always were lying about dicamba and 2,4-D, and in recent years they’ve been bringing them back on a massive scale, with GMOs engineered to accompany them: Monsanto’s dicamba tolerant Xtend soybeans and cotton, and Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant maize, soybeans, and cotton. The result has been the ongoing dicamba disaster. As the Enlist system is more widely propagated a 2,4-D disaster will join the dicamba disaster.
 
The dicamba GMO crisis builds on the failure of Roundup and of the pesticide model as such. It simultaneously denies evolution and drives a specially destructive mode of evolution. Herbicide tolerant GMOs systematically select for weed resistance. Dicamba-resistant weeds already are on the rise. The greater the atmospheric suffusion of volatile dicamba vapor, the faster it’ll drive weed resistance along with every other ecological and health harm. Monoculture as such, by its very simplicity, drives the development of resistance, accelerates the arms race.
 
The deliberate goal is to render all agriculture which is not engineered to resist dicamba and/or 2,4-D impossible. Both herbicides are extremely volatile and inevitably will attack and kill all other plants – row crops not engineered to resist; fruits and vegetables (commercial growing and personal gardens); trees; ornamentals; as much as possible all wild plants. This extreme volatility renders the GMO/herbicide tandem an effective weapon for area denial, seizure and domination of territory. Monsanto is succeeding in driving out all non-Xtend soybean production in the main production zones. Monsanto and Dow intend the same result for maize and cotton. 2,4-D intrinsically contains dioxins as part of the manufacturing process. (Called “by-products” or “impurities”, really premeditated and therefore deliberate.) The end goal: Vast landscapes where literally nothing grows but these three crops in their Xtend and Enlist versions. The GM seed is the vehicle to force full-season deployment of this volatile chemical warfare.
 
Volatility is dicamba’s most insidious and destructive mode of drift. Under common conditions of warmth and humidity liquid dicamba resting on plants and soil is prone to volatilize, turn into a gas, lift off the surfaces and float on the air often many miles from the site of spraying before weather conditions change and cause it to resettle on whatever plants are in the vicinity. The more dicamba is sprayed in a region the more all-pervasive the suffusion becomes. This is called atmospheric loading.
 
Dicamba’s volatility effect is well known. Monsanto and BASF promised that their new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax and Engenia, had solved the problem and would not be volatile. In 2017 when university researchers were able to purchase XtendiMax and Engenia at the store and test it for volatility (Monsanto forbade them pre-market access to XtendiMax, thus proving it was lying about the product) they found that these brand name formulations are nearly as volatile as the earlier cheap formulas. The fact is that all dicamba is volatile. Indeed there’s evidence that dicamba’s volatility is essential to it having any proximate herbicidal effect on weeds in the first place. It’s impossible to use dicamba under warm humid conditions, i.e. the way it’s intended to be used under the Xtend system, and not have it promiscuously volatilize, move off site, and kill any broad leaf crops and plants it resettles upon.
 
This proves that by design all dicamba is highly volatile and nothing can prevent it from moving off site and killing other crops and plants. Co-existence with the Xtend system is impossible. This has been a deliberate campaign. In 2018 all soy farmers have had no choice but to buy Xtend GM seeds or run the great risk of having their crop destroyed by chemical warfare. In the same way much vegetable farming and gardening as well as the existence of many other plants and trees is becoming impossible in the dicamba free-fire zones. This proves that Monsanto’s goal remains the same as it’s always been, the goal it enshrined in what it calls its “Expanded Trait Penetration” program. Monsanto’s goal always is to force farmers to buy as many stacked GM traits as possible. Xtend is the most extreme version yet of this program. Monsanto’s goal is to extort all soybean farmers, under threat of the drift destruction of their crop, into buying the Xtend seeds and the XtendiMax herbicide.
 
In turn, the dicamba offensive is the most potent assault yet seeking to bring all land and ecology under technocratic dominion. It’s an expression of the fanatical monoculture mentality which wants to wipe out all natural plant growth and reduce all cultivation, all plant growth as such, to corporate-controlled industrial monoculture. The ultimate monoculture goal is nothing less than to wipe out all biodiversity except for the pests themselves and replace it with a technocratic blank slate. The cultists and operatives first deny evolution in principle, then seek to wipe it out in practice. The goal is to use violence, technological and where necessary physical, to force their nightmare vision of technocratic “progress” onto natural succession.
 
5. This is a campaign to seize land: Economically (maximum acreage) and through physical assault. The poisoners must drive out non-Xtend/Enlist crops; drive out all food production, thus all fruit and vegetable production, because this kind of farming is closer to being actual food production for human beings; seize the land for consolidation, monoculture, and power. In this way agribusiness works to attain domination over farming. The fewer and bigger the farms, the easier they are to control.
 
They’re also looking ahead to when money will be worthless and land paramount. To forestall competition they’re not only locking up legal control of land through land-grabbing, but through poisons and soil-mining they’re destroying the land for any use but their industrial monoculture. This is a contingent salting of the earth.
 
So-called “off-target” destruction is really the destruction of a different kind of target, indeed a more important target than the weeds themselves, which are privileged plants because they provide the pretext for the whole paramilitary campaign against the real targets. By strict intent we know this is all deliberate and premeditated. (Pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and botulins also are privileged organisms under this system: Dicamba, 2,4-D and glyphosate are antibiotics which selectively kill beneficial bacteria while sparing pathogens and creating good terrain for their proliferation, as well as helping to drive the evolution of antibiotic resistance among these bacteria. Thus the GMO herbicide campaign takes its place alongside gross antibiotic abuse in factory farming and genetic engineering as part of corporate agriculture’s deliberate campaign to foster resistant pathogens, eradicate antibiotics as a medically effective treatment, and generate lethal pandemics. This too is part of clearing the land of its human inhabitants. To say again, this is war in the most literal sense even if most people can’t yet fathom it.)
 
The entire system of poison-based agriculture is designed to bottle up and destroy the entire ecology replacing it with a technologically controlled monoculture. In this way the biotech/agrochemical cartel joins the finance sector and other core corporate sectors working to bottle up all elements of nature and the real economy, replacing these with the purely fake economy of money, corporate personhood, finance, and patents. The corporate-technocratic accumulation of wealth and power directly corresponds with the technosphere’s physical poisoning and destruction of the Earth. Accumulation naturally indicates an ecological bottleneck. Accumulation equals waste. It is pollution. Those who manipulate such wastes are merely using poison as a weapon. The modern agrochemical onslaught is the latest, worst, most literal use of poison to destroy the Earth in order to hoard power.
 
And this goes with the legal and physical condemnation of the land. The corporate agricultural campaign ultimately is a campaign of land seizure whose goal is to force all human beings off the land and enclose it within a system of a few big corporate-controlled robot-managed plantations. Herbicide tolerant GMOs are a milestone in the corporate enclosure program, designed directly to eliminate all hand-weeding jobs while enabling farmers to manage much greater acreage, thus accelerating farm consolidation and the forced exodus of humans from the land. By rendering impossible all competing forms of soybean farming and many other kinds of farming, the Xtend-dicamba system is designed to escalate this totalitarian process. The systematic refusal of government and private insurers to cover drift damage, a massive consumer fraud, is another example proving that this is economic warfare against all but the biggest farmers. As is the concurrent campaign, even among the same state governments and weed scientists who deplore the dicamba crisis, to force 2,4-D tolerant crops upon agriculture. The clear goal is an agriculture where no crop (or any other plant) not resistant to both dicamba and 2,4-D will be able to exist at all.
 
The industrial monoculture and land enclosure system also is meant to render food production as tenuous as possible by forcing all people into a condition of complete dependency upon money and the corporate system while deliberately rendering food production as vulnerable as possible to drought, erosion, pest ravages, soil degradation, intrinsic crop failure, and ultimately the guaranteed shortages of necessary fossil fuels. The corporate food system already systematically generates hunger. It also is preparing famine.
 
The dicamba GMO system seeks to eradicate actual food production at fruit orchards and vegetable farms and gardens, all of which the corporate-technocratic system views as the real “weeds”. It wants to render anything but dicamba-based commodity soybean production impossible. This is a case study in the real goal of poison agriculture. The will to continue this onslaught on the part of the corporations, the US and state governments, academia and the media proves their Strict Intent to reach an outcome of total destruction.
 
The pesticide model of agriculture is conjoined with the GMO ideology of technologically overriding and obliterating natural evolution. Pesticides are dedicated to the scorched earth monoculture model of agriculture and the ideology which regards the natural world as something to be wiped out. Poisonism is a radical rejection of biodiversity in principle and practice and comprises the will to wipe out all life except that specially selected to be part of the technocratic socio-ecological engineering.
 
The dicamba crisis is the latest and most extreme example yet of how co-existence with GMOs is impossible. It’s obviously impossible for organic farming. It’s impossible for non-GM conventional farming. With Xtend Monsanto has upped the ante, stepping up the assault on organic and non-GM farming and even rendering all previous GM soy varieties untenable. This is the first effective example of what the cartel projects as an indefinitely re-writable blank slate it can force to be continually wiped clean and rewritten, a process of destruction and re-destruction redolent of waging war to destroy in order to generate space profitable to rebuild. This is the essence of disaster capitalism. Monsanto dreams of an agriculture totally subjugated by the most profitable GM varieties, until these too are rendered obsolete and wiped out by even higher-stacked, more expensive, more extreme varieties. The technocratic civilization wants an entire planet brillo-scrubbed this way.
 
This is a modern replay of the legendary Roman salting of the Carthaginian earth. This too is a scorched-earth act of war. The system’s vision is to turn Earth into a desert and call it civilization. This requires the total deployment of the monoculture and Humanfrei imperatives. Regimentation and order, death and destruction, are the desiderata. Anathema is lack of control, wildness, diversity, beauty, freedom, “anarchy”, “chaos”.
 
(The psychotic hatred of trees and drive to murder them, from the institutionalized logging sector to the average suburban parasite, is part of this overall religious psychosis. Dicamba takes its place here as a systematic mass murderer of trees.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

August 4, 2015

There Is No Science of Big Agriculture

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There is no valid science underlying Big Agriculture’s practices, just empiricism. While propped up by cheap, plentiful fossil fuels and aquifer water, along with massive government subsidies, Big Ag has been successful at concentrating power and wealth, maximizing poison usage for profit and for poison’s own sake, building a modern commodified agricultural input sector (aka agribusiness), and attaining three desirable (from the corporate point of view) socioeconomic outcomes: dispossessing and disenfranchising vast numbers of people by driving them off the land, rendering this mass available as inexpensive industrial labor, providing cheap calories for this proletariat.
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Although the second is no longer a goal, the first and third (nowadays as cheap calories for cheap consumerism) continue in full force.
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Therefore the empiricism has been successful, but the science is 100% against the basic ideas and practices.
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1. Industrial agriculture is based on a completely false and anti-scientific view of nature. It comprehends nature as a machine with discrete, interchangeable, mass-producible parts. This comes from 19th century agricultural dogma which decreed that all plant growth and health is based on three nutrients: Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K). The dogma holds that only these three important nutrients are necessary and sufficient for plant growth. This led to what organic agriculture pioneer Albert Howard called “the NPK mentality”, which would reduce all natural processes to simple manipulations of a few variables, preferably supplied synthetically and from off the farm. Once you’ve simplified everything that way, and done so in a way which recognizes only a few readily industrialized factors as meaningful, your path is open to organize everything according to the rhythms of industrialization, mechanization, corporate organization, and power and wealth accumulation.
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The NPK mentality was the perfect ideology to complement the rising industrialization of agriculture and its increasing control by big corporations and governments. Who cares that food production and distribution was always naturally locally and regionally based? Since agriculture is nothing but the measured application of three nutrients and some water, it’s best to put it under the control of centralized power hierarchies who can deliver these few inputs most prodigiously and efficiently.
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We find the same crackpot view of nature in Big Ag’s concept of the soil. The NPK ideology considers the soil to be an inert medium, there just to hold the roots in place. This is completely false. On the contrary, the soil comprises a rich ecosystem of microbes, annelids (like earthworms), and other organisms. These engage in an incredibly complex interaction among themselves and with a vast array of soil nutrients, far beyond the big three of industrial dogma, to create the organic basis of plant growth. Plants depend upon this soil ecology for their nutrition, for water (an organically healthy soil retains moisture far better than the sterile soils of monoculture), for the physical integrity of their roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits. Plant health starts from soil health (and of course seed health), and plant resistance to pests and disease depends upon the basic health of the plant and the soil.
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To sum up:
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Ideologically, NPK is the specifically agricultural version of scientific mechanism/reductionism, whose entire record proves its great limitations for real-world explanation and prescription, as well its psychopathy: It started with the dogma that animals are mere machines which feel no pain. From day one this was intended to justify cruelty to people as well as animals.
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Factually, NPK has long since been debunked as junk science. Plants require a far greater array of nutrients than the big three of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And far from being an inert medium, soil is a critical ecosystem, both for agriculture and for the environment in general.
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Another reductive notion related to the NPK ideology is a distorted version of germ theory which claims that a germ comes along and “causes” a disease. This too is crackpot science. Organic terrain theory has proven the opposite. In most cases, for there to be a significant incidence of a disease, the pathogen must first find the right habitat (the “terrain”) where it can thrive, and then it must find an already weak target. This is the usual scenario where an epidemic breaks out. In agriculture, pest or disease outbreaks are usually from a combination of three factors: A degraded habitat provides the right terrain for a pathogen to proliferate, and unhealthy crops provide a good target for this pathogen. Of course to acknowledge the real science here would deprive industrial agriculture of another pillar of its fraudulent ideology and “science”.
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2. The Poisoner ideology exalts poison for its own sake and sees it as the only way to deal with agricultural pests or any other problem with living things. For corporate and industrial agriculture ideologues, this appetite for poison has calcified into a mental constriction unable even to think in a broader, let alone new, way. Then there’s the veritably religious cult of poison worship among scienticians and the militarist technology and mindset brought to agriculture. The same engineers who worked on poison gas weapons, insecticides and herbicides for the military now brought the technology, the mindset, the terminology to civilian life. It’s not much of a stretch since with poison-based agriculture the practitioners focus not on growing crops by balancing an ecosystem, but on growing them by killing an enemy. Big Ag ideology is a propaganda-driven extension of the history of poison-based agriculture as war technology refurbished for civilian use.
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Genetic engineering and the poisoner ideology are especially narrow, myopic, fraudulent, and destructive manifestations of the reductionist mechanist ideology. These will get their own separate posts.
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A typical example I’ll briefly discuss here is the growing evidence that pesticide synergy, especially the combined effect of the “active ingredient” with so-called “inert ingredients” such as surfactants and adjuvants, is far more toxic than the action of the so-called active ingredient by itself. But one of the standard methodological and regulatory frauds of the corporate science paradigm is to test and regulate only the ivory tower version of the poison which is never deployed in real life, while the far more toxic real-world commercial formulations are never tested by the establishment or regulated. That’s why the system invented the propaganda categories “active ingredient” and “inert ingredient”. These terms have no scientific meaning and do not mean the “inert” ingredients are non-toxic or even less toxic than the “active” component. On the contrary, the whole purpose of the inert ingredients is to render the active ingredient more toxic, and many such as POEA in Roundup are highly toxic in their own right.
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This dogma, that it’s meaningful to study an isolated ingredient and declare this to be sufficient for the combined product which will be deployed in reality, is a typical anti-scientific feature of corporate so-called “science”. The same dynamic applies to the combined effects of many poisons (i.e. multiple “active” ingredients at work); regulators never set upper limits to the combined poisons to be inflicted upon food or water, only each poison by itself. Same for the combined effects of “stacked” multiple-transgene GMOs, and any other synergy. It’s corporate science dogma that a stack or any other combination equals exactly the sum of its parts, nothing more and nothing less. Big Ag corporate science imposes its flat earth dogma across the board. Each individual part is to be considered only by itself and never in conjunction with any other part, no matter how promiscuously these parts are combined in real life.
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3. Big Ag “science” fetishizes industrial monoculture cropping as a kind of orderly, rational system. But much like with fascist mass rallies, in spite of the surface regimentation and “orderliness” monoculture does not mean law and order. On the contrary it means intellectual and agronomic/environmental chaos. Superficially orderly, monoculture is feverish with latent chaos. It’s really a great disorder, the ultimate form of decadence. Monoculture farming wipes out functional, balanced ecosystems and replaces them with a void which then is filled by vermin and disease, which then can only be fought off with an ever-escalating onslaught of poisons. Agriculture can never be removed from ecology. It can exist only as part of an ecological balance, or else it can eradicate this balance and open the void to be filled by pathogens and pests. This is true for all of industrial agriculture. Factory farms comprise the most extreme embodiment, but a monocrop field is the same incubator of biological and environmental pathology. It’s the same on the socioeconomic level, as corporate industrial agriculture wipes out human communities and generates, on one side shantytowns and on the other a small class of super-rich psychopaths and parasites with their pathological support structure. So socially as well monoculture destroys human balance and breeds pathology.
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Contrary to the junk science of Big Ag ideology, real science proves that where it comes to both insects and weeds, greater biodiversity and diversity of organic practice = fewer and more tractable pests. Few gambits in the history of science and technology have so quickly been so thoroughly disproven in principle and practice as have been the two GMO genres, insect resistance and herbicide tolerance. What keeps them in the field is nothing but brute economic and political force and a psychotic religion of poison. But the science has spoken as definitively on this as it ever has on anything – the concept is wrong, the practice doomed.
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Big Ag science’s denial of the evolution of insects and weeds in the face of poison pressure is of course a manifestation of evolution denial as such. We see how readily the ideology disposes of one of the iconic concepts of modern science the moment this concept becomes inconvenient for the corporate propaganda line. Lots more to come on corporate science’s evolution denialism in the GE “science” post.
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Meanwhile the canned lie that GMO cultivation can help sequester carbon through chemical no-till, also more euphemistically called “conservation tillage”, is being completely debunked as the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds increasingly requires the most aggressive tillage to give farmers any hope of keeping their fields partially clear.
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The concept of chemical no-till as carbon sequestration tactic was bogus in principle, since the slathering of Roundup destroys the soil ecosystem which incorporates carbon as humus in the first place. The very term “sequestration” demonstrates the fundamental error of the approach: Nature doesn’t “sequester” anything, but actively incorporates it into a dynamic system. Poison-based agriculture, of which the Roundup Ready system is the ultimate example, automatically destroys the soil ecosystem and leaves sterile dirt which would be incapable of incorporating carbon. That’s why irrigation water has to be fortified with chemical additives to bind it to dirt molecules. That’s the only way to keep the water from running off the site immediately, eroding all the dirt with it. Sure enough, studies found that chemical no-till could at best “sequester” a small amount of carbon in the immediate topsoil where the biomass from the previous crop degrades, but does nothing to build organic matter deeper into the dirt, turning it into real soil. The whole concept of chemical no-till is incorrect. That’s to be expected, as it’s an extension of the absolutely erroneous NPK ideology, which is the source of all the agronomic and ecological pathologies in the first place.
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So monoculture generates, in the short run the void to be filled by pathogens and poison, in the longer run chaos and destruction. It’s the agricultural manifestation of the lawlessness and chaos of corporate rule in general. “The policeman is there to preserve disorder.”
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4. Productionism is the crackpot obsession with “yield” as such, with no concern for how efficiently the calories yielded are used. Only a lunatic would look at how CAFO meat production takes 10 calories of grain* and turns it into for 1 calorie of food for people and call this efficient, rational, or sane. Grain-for-CAFO feed is second only to the GMO regime as an example of how the Big Ag system is set up through government policy and subsidies to promote production for profitable commodification, while food means absolutely nothing in itself**. The agrofuel rathole, as well as the fact that the system wastes up to one third of the food produced, also demonstrate how the yield-based system is not concerned with producing food at all or whether human beings have access to what food is produced. Nothing but profit and power matter, while food is expected to trickle down as an afterthought.
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Here the establishment science directly prostitutes itself by parroting the productionist lies in general (that producing mass calories of field crops has anything to do with food for human beings), as well as through such de jure direct lies as that acre for acre industrial agriculture produces more food than decentralized polyculture agroecology, or that GMOs out-produce either organic production or non-GM conventional. Here the alleged “science” doesn’t even have a false theory, but simply tells direct political lies.
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Each of these concepts/practices is 100% dependent upon cheap fossil fuels, cheap fossil water, cheaply mined phosphorus.
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Each is unsustainable in its own right even given infinite energy.
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Scientism/technocracy ideology exalts sterility, hermetic artificiality, total control, and extreme monocultural conformity as normative, desirable, and as the way nature and scientific truth realistically work. This is the basis of the reductive, mechanist ideology of science which has prevailed since Descartes. But all this is nothing but religious fantasy and falsehood.
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I stress that the whole notion that science is the study of things which can be removed from the general context and studied in hermetic isolation is precisely among the propositions we deny. On the contrary, we insist that science can provide meaningful and worthwhile results only when it’s practiced with an eye to the entire dynamic framework. So it’s in the nature of things that our discussion of science from here on will frequently shift to its interactions with other disciplines and areas of life. While scientific experimentation often artificially isolates certain variables, the findings then must be adapted back to the context of life in order to have validity and meaning. Only this comprehensive discussion can render science anything more than what’s at best sterile scholasticism, and often something far worse.
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Science condemns the industrial agricultural experiment as having failed at everything it ever promised it would do. All it accomplished was to use to use the temporary fossil fuel surplus to produce more gross calories. But it’s been an absolute failure in terms of ending hunger, food’s denuded nutritional value, food toxification, the destruction of the environment including greenhouse gas emissions – the industrial agriculture sector is by far the worst greenhouse gas emitter and worst destroyer of carbon sinks – and the destruction of economies, polities, and communities. Food corporatism and its “Green Revolution” promised to solve all these problems, all of which corporate industrial agriculture generated or exacerbated in the first place. By any scientific standard it’s a proven failure. To wish to continue the experiment is proof that the experimenters were lying about their proclaimed goals all along. Persistence Proves Intent. We know these facts: Corporate rule is purely wasteful and destructive, does nothing for humanity, and accomplishes nothing but to enable a small group of criminals to further concentrate wealth and power and exercise domination. In the end power and domination are their only goals and their only reasons for being.
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*Each of those ten calories requiring many more caloric equivalents of fuel and other inputs, as globalized commodity grain production is extremely inefficient and irrational in itself even before it reaches the factory farm.
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**That’s also how it’s possible for governments, corporations, academia, and media to turn food into poison, or support this poison system, with a clear conscience. In their minds they’ve completely jettisoned any connection of agricultural commodification with food for human beings. It’s very similar to how the Nazi system of assembly line mass murder removed the moral implication from view for most participants. Today, although we don’t (yet) have gas chambers, we do have the hideous assembly line animal cruelty of CAFOs, and the mass dispossession and immiseration of hundreds of millions of people driven off the land and into shantytowns, which are veritable economic concentration camps. The Big Ag system does what it can to render these monumental and ongoing mass crimes invisible to most participants. What little vestige of conscience is left for any of this is met with the “Feed the World” Big Lie, a lie as depraved as that which was posted at the entrance to Auschwitz.
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March 24, 2015

Rounding Up Roundup

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The notion that glyphosate is “safer” than other herbicides is a mainstay even among lukewarm critics of GMOs, and of course the US government has long propagated this slogan, although in order for it to do so the EPA had to change its 1985 finding of “possibly carcincogenic to humans” to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. As with all EPA findings since the beginning of the GMO era, this change had zero to do with scientific evidence, but was a purely political decision to accommodate Monsanto. Now lying like this will be a bit more difficult, as the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has upgraded its assessment: Glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
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Actually they’ve known glyphosate is carcinogenic since the 1980s, and as I said even the Reagan EPA felt constrained to call it a “possible human carcinogen”. The EPA then downgraded that to “not a carcinogen”, straight up because Monsanto demanded it. Today we see Monsanto’s hysterical reaction to the previously reliable WHO breaking ranks like this. We’ll see if the WHO sticks by its guns or moves to marginalize its own scientific finding. Of course Monsanto’s already succeeding in getting the corporate media to “report” on “the controversy” rather than on the fact. But at least the fact that the WHO is now admitting this brings Roundup’s cancer-causing nature into the media’s realm of controversy, whereas the cartel, the US government, and the NYT have long collaborated in making glyphosate’s toxicity an un-fact. (Maybe the American Cancer Society will now have to acknowledge the very existence of this cancer agent.) Even many GMO critics have parroted the Monsanto line that glyphosate is “less toxic” than other herbicides. Hopefully this will at least put an end to that self-defeating stupidity.
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Let’s get this point straight: Glyphosate as well as 2,4-D and dicamba are highly toxic. The Big Lie is that glyphosate is not highly toxic, period. That’s what the liars always mean when they call it “less toxic”. So it’s idiotic to even ask “which is worse.” The point is that they’re both well beyond the level of “too toxic to be used at all.”
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As always we must stress that glyphosate is never used in pure form, but is always deployed in commercial forms like Roundup which contain several other toxic ingredients. These real world commercial formulations are far more toxic than ivory tower glyphosate. That’s why it’s a standard scam among regulators to assess only the non-commercial “pure” glyphosate, because they know it’s less toxic. Yet, as the IARC has finally acknowledged, even pure glyphosate is severely toxic and causes cancer.
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Here’s more on Roundup. The latest in the line of studies out of Argentina exposing the health and environmental destruction wrought by Roundup finds a much higher level (44% higher) of genetic damage among children consistently exposed to Roundup and other herbicides. This group also had a high incidence of chronic respiratory, skin, and eye symptoms, while no children from the unexposed group reported any such persistent symptoms.
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I’ve often pointed out how antibiotic abuse on factory farms and in genetic engineering (the widespread use of antibiotic resistance markers in GMO development) is effectively a campaign to eradicate antibiotics as a medically effective treatment, and how this corporate campaign is setting up humanity for lethal pandemics as well as driving the ongoing chronic rise in deaths from illness caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (I’ve also pointed out the fraudulence and stupidity of those who attack small groups of dissidents for allegedly endangering public health even as the ydo nothing to abolish subtherapeutic antibiotic use.) Now we can add a third industrial driver of antibiotic resistance. New science documents that bacteria exposed to such commercial herbicides as glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba are prone to then have changed responses to application of antibiotics, usually showing resistance. So the wholesale slathering of the agricultural landscape and surrounding environs with Roundup, and starting this year GMOs engineered to be tolerant of 2,4-D or dicamba, is perhaps accelerating the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains and subsequent end game for antibiotics as a whole.
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More fun with glyphosate and Roundup: A new study gives further proof that Roundup, as well as glyphosate even in its pure form is acutely toxic to human cells and is an endocrine disruptor through causing the death of cells which produce progesterone. The study tested in vitro exposure to human cells at concentration levels allowed in Australian drinking water. It found that Roundup is more deadly to human cells than pure glyphosate (thus again proving that the real world formulation is more toxic than the “pure” chemical which is the sole purview of regulators), but that both kill cells and cause endocrine disruption through cell death. The study didn’t probe whether these poisons are endocrine disruptors in other ways, but there’s strong evidence for this as well.
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Among the less heralded US government handouts to Monsanto is the longstanding Roundup fumigation program in Colombia, whose proximate goal is to wipe out coca cultivation. This gives a good insight into the real character of the Drug War and any pretensions it has to being about “public health”. On the contrary, it has nothing to do with human health and everything to do with power and corporate welfare. In a case like this the farcical character of the “health” aspect is especially on display, as the spraying program, a veritable chemical warfare campaign (compare the Agent Orange chemical weapons campaign during the Vietnam War), is well documented as causing severe health effects. The Colombian government has supported US paramilitary campaigns within its country because the US pays it off and because they have a shared enemy in legitimate popular movements among the peasantry. But with this WHO report, even some within the Colombian government are starting to wonder if this wholesale program of poisoning the people’s bodies and destroying their crops isn’t, just maybe, politically and ultimately militarily doing more harm than good.
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The fact is there’s no such thing as a demarcation between purely “civilian” poison spraying and chemical warfare. It’s all on a militaristic spectrum, thus the popularity of violent names for agricultural poisons. Monsanto seems to prefer the Wild West theme. Similarly, the agrochemical corporations and the US government effectively see themselves as waging war upon humanity in general and in particular upon small farmers, subsistence farmers, organic farmers, farmers producing food for communities, all farmers and communities not sufficiently coordinated according to the corporate imperative. The goal is to clear the land for mechanized industrial plantations under corporate control. The goal is to force the people off the land and into slums. The campaign is the same as the post-medieval, pre-modern enclosure campaigns of Europe. The only difference is that in the earlier campaign part of the goal was to forcibly generate an urban proletariat, while today the shantytowns are meant to serve as terminal concentration camps for the permanently liquidated and immiserated. I defy anyone to tell me poison-based agriculture isn’t chemical warfare, against people on a more profound level than against bugs and weeds. Roundup has long been the number one weapon of globalization war. It generated the most perfect agro-state yet, Argentina’s “Soy Republic”.
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That Roundup and glyphosate, along with 2,4-D and dicamba, are also severely toxic and destructive to human and ecosystem health renders the chemical warfare concept physically as well as economically true. There are many things preventing us from living in peace and prosperity. Among the most vicious assaults upon us are agricultural poisons like Roundup and GMOs. We must abolish them completely if humanity is to have a future, physically or in any other meaningful sense.
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Today even the usually pro-GMO World Health Organization itself is saying: Roundup is cancer. This is a physical fact, and it’s a political and spiritual fact. We must do what’s necessary.

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November 21, 2014

GMO News Summary, November 21, 2014

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*It’s now too close to call for Oregon’s Measure 92, which would enact GMO labeling in the state. At first it seemed to have failed by a slim margin, but as some 13000 disputed votes were revoted (some snafu over ballot signatures), the margin has closed to within 4000 votes, and it’s looking like there might have to be a full recount.
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*In 1999 McDonald’s helped drive Monsanto’s New Leaf GM potato out of the marketplace by refusing to buy it. Will it do the same today for the new Simplot potato? McDonald’s says its policy is unchanged, and it will not use Frankenpotatoes in its restaurants. This is wise, as there’s zero benefit to McD’s from doing so, only commercial and legal risks. As always, GMOs benefit no one but the cartel, while all the risks and harms are sloughed off on others.
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The potato itself is for a typically worthless purpose – to be non-browning when sliced – and the plants have already demonstrated themselves to be especially disease-prone. That’s likely a collateral result of the genetic engineering.
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*In the latest dispatch from the superbug/superweed battlefront, a new study documents a new Bt-resistant superbug. Fall armyworms are increasingly resistant to Cry1F, a poison commonly engineered into Dow and DuPont GMOs. Cry1F has been failing for a few years now in Brazil, and resistance is now documented in Florida and North Carolina. The researchers from the USDA and several universities say they don’t know how widespread the affliction is. In typical Keystone Kops fashion, they recommend better use of the already-failed “refuge” scam, and more pesticides. It’s funny how the system’s own frequent calls for greater pesticide use, and frequent reportage of same, can coexist so easily in the corporate media with constant regurgitation of the lie that GMOs reduce pesticide use. I’d nominate that juxtaposition for Best Corporate Media Doublethink.
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*John Howard, the same sleazy con artist who brought us the Prodigene contamination disaster with pharmaceutical maize in 2006, resulting in an ostensible USDA ban on his future participation in GMO field trials, is back and openly flouting the ban with a new biopharming trial in California.
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*The European Commission has a post called “Chief Science Advisor” (CSA). It was set up to place a corporate operative at the highest level of government, where this official would advocate the worst corporate assaults on health and the environment. The CSA also advocates policy that doesn’t even superficially have anything to do with science, like for example the TTIP “trade” compact. In her capacity as CSA Anne Glover has pushed for GMOs and fracking and helped obstruct the enactment of an EU law requiring the banning of endocrine disrupting poisons. Black Swan author Nassim Taleb, who recently was lead author of a paper highlighting the massive systemic risks of GMOs, recently called her a “dangerous imbecile” for her derogation of the Precautionary Principle.
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This purely political and anti-scientific pattern of Glover’s activities prompted a coalition of environmental and civil society groups to send a letter to the new Commissioner calling upon him to abolish the position, which is inherently corrupt. It’s absurd to think one person can advise on all of science, and the CSA was obviously set up to be a corporate propaganda position. From day one Glover demonstrated how high-handed, unaccountable, secretive, and fraudulent the official holding this position is supposed to be. Glover herself said she must be “not transparent” about her actions, even as she reveled in her public prominence, on one occasion comparing herself to a superhero “swooping over Brussels”.
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Industry groups and the corporate media rushed to defend Glover and the CSA position, but she recently announced that, in a bureaucratic shuffle, the position will be abolished early next year, in favor of a new set of committees. We don’t know how much effect the public controversy had on this decision. Meanwhile the new “scientific” committee will probably continue with the same pro-corporate, anti-science activism, but will try to do so with a lower profile.
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*The lawsuits are piling up against Syngenta, more than fifty now. They’re from companies like Cargill, farmer class actions, and individual farmers, all suing for damage to their export revenues. Syngenta promised farmers and commodifiers that its Viptera GM maize would be approved in time for import to China, but this never happened. Since November 2013 China’s been rejecting US maize contaminated with the illegal variety, and exports to China have been depressed since then. According to the National Grain and Feed Association, US exporters lost over $1 billion in the nine months through August 2014. Of course abolitionists reject the notion that anyone has a “right” to sell anything to any particular customer if that customer doesn’t want to buy, but by the system’s ideology sellers’ license is paramount, and therefore Syngenta is guilty of massive consumer fraud, costing these farmers and exporters a bundle.
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*Meanwhile the people are up against a welter of SLAPP suits, everywhere we’ve voted to impose bans or restrictions on the activism of the poison peddlers. In Maui, where the people of the county voted a moratorium on GMO cultivation, Monsanto and Dow are suing in federal court, asking for an injunction and that the law be overturned. This suit is before the same judge who previously declared Kauai’s voter-imposed limits on spraying pesticides (very modest limits, requiring only notification and modest buffers) to be superseded by state law and therefore invalid. In Vermont, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is leading a cabal of industry groups suing to prevent the state’s labeling law from going into effect in 2016 as scheduled. And in Jackson County, Oregon, two of Monsanto’s contract “farmers” are suing the county over its GMO cultivation ban, voted by the people in May 2014. These two growers of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa are trying to stick up the people, demanding a $4.2 million payout or else that the law be thrown out. Meanwhile in Europe Syngenta and Bayer are suing the EU over its partial neonic ban.
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If enacted, the TTIP and TPP will place such SLAPP suits on a systematic, institutionalized basis.
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*Speaking of globalization, the US and Indian central governments concluded an economic agreement which temporarily postpones full resolution of the terms of the agricultural war. The US position is always as clear as it is hypocritical: The US should have 100% license to massively subsidize its own agriculture and dump its commodities everywhere around the globe, while no one else has any right to protect themselves in any way. Only such latter measures are to be called “protectionist”. (Isn’t it bizarre how where it comes to so-called “trade”, a term which is practically synonymous with self-defense is considered a bad word?) In this case it’s India’s own agricultural subsidies and grain storage program which the US wants dismantled. Note that India’s own subsidies are to a large extent for the benefit of US corporations like Monsanto, since India’s central and state governments have often had to bail out the cotton farmers consistently ruined by the poor performance of Monsanto’s shoddy Bt cotton products.
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Since the two governments have been unable to agree on a final resolution of this conflict, they instead agreed on a temporary “peace clause”. This means final resolution, which the US intends will be on its own terms, will be postponed while the agreement goes ahead on other corporate welfare measures. In particular, India is agreeing to build new import facilities at Indian taxpayer expense for the benefit of US exporters.
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*In the most bizarre piece of news, Dow apparently has agreed to limit its sales of Agent Orange soybeans and maize for 2015. This is ostensibly because of the Syngenta/China flap; the Agent Orange GMOs also haven’t been approved for import in China. It may also be in acknowledgement of fears about the volatility and drift of 2,4-D. The seeds will be available only in certain places and for certain uses: The maize will be sold only for use as on-site livestock feed, and the soybeans only for a kind of pilot “non-commercial program”. In other words, these GMOs, produced at such expense for commodification purposes only, will be sold only for non-commodified uses.
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It’s amazing that after struggling for so long and finally rolling out these products two years behind schedule, Dow would suddenly agree to greatly limit their distribution. Apparently the USDA, in spite of its fully “deregulating” the product and giving it the seal of approval, remains in terror of what’s really going to happen with this new set of GMOs. (That’s why it flinched in 2013 and announced it would undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment instead of going ahead with approval as Dow expected. The EIA of course turned out to be a sham.) A huge escalation in the spraying of drift-prone 2,4-D (the USDA projects a two- to sevenfold increase; independent assessments go as high as fiftyfold) is guaranteed to cause massive damage to other crops. It’s the kind of thing which might finally trigger the long-overdue farmer rebellion against GMOs.
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The EPA has already been stepping gingerly, approving Dow’s companion product, the glyphosate/2,4-D blend Enlist Duo, for only six states at the outset. But EPA has indicated this is only the first step toward full approval across all states. EPA also stipulated that farmers planting Enlist seeds would have to use Enlist Duo and no other 2,4-D formulation. That’s more like it – a legally mandated monopoly Dow can love.
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Yet Dow must also be feeling some trepidation, if it’s now taking the extraordinary step of limiting its seed sales. It’s a horrific crime against humanity and the earth which Dow and the US government are concocting here with Agent Orange GMOs. In addition to the havoc GMOs already wreak, this rollout is going to cause incalculable collateral damage to other farmers, gardeners, and to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in the viciously toxic plumes of this poison which will soon be riding the winds all over America, wherever soy or maize are grown. It’s laughable to think these extreme restrictions are going to be in place for long, or enforced for that matter, if they’re ever enacted in the first place.
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But maybe this will finally be the wake-up call America needs. Maybe the enemies of humanity and the earth are going too far with this one.The task of abolitionists and of all critics of GMOs and corporate agriculture is to help make it be so.
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