Volatility

August 23, 2019

The Coming Amazon Desert

>

 
 
What’s left of the Amazon rain forest is burning from hundreds of fires the orcs have set to clear space for ranching, timber plantations, mining and industrial farming. The lush paradise of water is burned out and transformed to arid pasture which withers to dust in a few years. The same scorched earth campaigns are underway in Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere. This final burndown is civilization’s final push to exterminate as many plant and animal species as possible and turn the entire terrestrial Earth into a desert. The Amazon and its companion rain forests are the lungs and the rainmakers of the world. Much of the Western hemisphere depends for its rain ultimately on weather patterns driven by the transpiration of the Amazon. Civilization’s goal is to stop the rain, permanently. And the destruction of the breathing forests, coupled with the heating and acid assault on the even more oxygenating ocean ecology, has the goal of rendering Earth’s system of oxygen, our very life breath, stagnant and failing. The elemental death wish, the fundamental urge to collective suicide at the heart of civilization, couldn’t be displayed more starkly, short of a joyous frenzied nuclear missile party, the 1914-style celebration of the launch of WWIII, which we may yet see as the entire US political class is lusting for it.
 
Civilization always has been an arsonist, modern civilization is the worst firebug of all. Starting in what used to be the Fertile Crescent, wherever civilization has gone it has turned fertility to desert. Thus the deserts have spread over the Middle East, southern Asia, Australia, North Africa, Latin America, the West and Great Plains of North America. The destruction of as little as 20% of what’s left of the Amazon – a few years more at this rate of arson – will render the residue untenable. The whole thing will wither to rainless dust.
 
Brazilian president Bolsonaro always has openly declared this to be his goal, to transform Brazil and as much of the hemisphere as possible into a desert. His voters, his supporters in Brazil, across Latin America, and in the US and European governments, all ardently embrace this goal. They prove it by their words and especially their actions.
 
This ecocidal goal dovetails with Bolsonaro’s proclaimed genocidal goal: What’s left of Brazil’s indigenous peoples must cease to exist, through forced assimilation or whatever other way is necessary. It’s clear that this government considers these natural peoples to be outside the law, and the orcs have gotten the message. Already hundreds have been murdered by ranchers, miners, loggers and other predators.
 
Just as with desert-driving ecocide, so this genocidal drive to generate a hominid desert is acclaimed or tolerated by a near-consensus among the civilized in Brazil, the US and elsewhere. Actions – of voters, media, officials – prove this.
 
The destruction of the Amazon and the rest of the world’s rain forest is the supreme destruction of the world’s greatest terrestrial carbon sink. To burn what’s left of the Amazon biomass would release as much carbon as all modern fossil fuel burning. Here again we see the kamikaze civilization’s drive to pump the atmosphere as full of carbon as possible, to heat up the Earth as much as possible, in a berserk lunge to perpetuate the interglacial Holocene (better called the Psychoticene) and stave off Gaia’s return to the normal colding, icing trend of the last several million years.
 
The Amazon is one of Gaia’s ultimate centers of biodiversity. Therefore it is a core target of the civilization’s campaign to exterminate all life except for elite hominids and their livestock, both of these groups to exist only in a genetically engineered eugenic form.
 
The goal is maximum destruction, maximum extermination of humans and other animals and plants, before the orc civilization is brought down by its own energy collapse, economic collapse, nuclear war; before Gaia’s Kinesis in the form of climate chaos, ecological collapse, pandemics and other retributions bring civilization’s omnicide-suicide ride to a close.
 
 
 
 

January 26, 2019

GM Trees (Plantations Part 2)

>

 
 
“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 23, 2019

Earthways

>

 
 
Where I live in northern New Jersey I walk through succession woodlands mostly of beech, birches, several kinds of red and white oak, maples, elms, black cherry and hickory, with scattered groups of conifers – white and pitch pines, red cedars, hemlocks.
 
Currently this is a temperate climate, a place long farmed and later built up, but today with large spaces of resumed woodland. The forest is growing back and restoring old growth ecology given freedom and time.
 
This is life, the natural ecology for this climate and soil, for the natural community and for the human soul. The forest is our home, where we were born and evolved and from whence we once set out on an open road which we chose to make a road to nowhere. In the same way we chose to revile our origin and ancestry, the way so many vagrants do, and to deny the possibility of home by destroying its image everywhere we see it.
 
Against the trees we call the grassland our home and even totemize it with the urban and suburban fetish of lawns. Of course civilization also hates wild grasslands and rampantly destroys these as well but at least gives them fake honors while regarding the trees with horror and contempt.
 
Silvicide, deforestation on every level, from the mass murder of clear-cut logging to mass destruction in order to clear space for agriculture, tree plantations, and pavement, right down to individual suburbanite tree-killing, is a campaign of invasion and total war. It’s every bit as destructive and murderous as the Nazi invasion of Russia but is happening everywhere and nowhere. Therefore it’s not seen the same way by those indoctrinated into official notions of history, which mostly is about human-on-human violence within civilization’s framework. Civilization-on-uncivilized-human violence, and civilization-on-Gaia violence, are regarded as outside history, even as necessary primitive accumulation in order for history to begin.
 
History conceived and written as a sub-discipline of natural history is an educational reform which will have to wait for the great ecological correction and collapse of the production-consumption-technocratic-extreme energy civilization. Then history will see the campaigns of ecocide as they really are, and will place all genocide in this context since the two go together.
 
Today in Brazil the new Bolsonaro government promises to eradicate all remaining indigenous peoples, by forced assimilation if possible, by mass murder if necessary. There are many expressing concern about this in the West. But in spite of the often smug hand-wringing of these Good People of the West, they represent the same campaign of ecocide-genocide Bolsonaro does: The ongoing destruction of the Earth and its peoples for the sake of the Economic Civilization.
 
What’s your position on industrial agriculture? On commodity logging and tree plantations? Your position on these dictates your real positions on everything else, since all else stems from support for or opposition to ecocide and the destruction of habitats, which is nothing less than the destruction of the very basis for life, our own most of all. This includes the ability and space for peoples to live traditionally, to live in peace and freedom and provide their own shelter. This includes food sovereignty and food security, the skills and land and healthy soil, the peace and freedom of a community to grow its own food. This includes the climate, clean air and water, the enhancement or destruction of natural habitat and biodiversity. (Not “conservation”; everything always is in flux of building or tearing down. In the context of total ecocidal war to say one wants to stand still is to concede ecological death, only “more slowly”.)
 
From there this ecological world view, or lack of it, dictates all the mere “politics” of the squatter-vandal civilization. Are yours the politics of squatters on the surface of Earth who want to remain squatters, always taking never giving? Vandals who want to remain vandals? Or are yours the earthways of those who recognize that ecocide and the mass murder-suicide of humanity are inextricably conjoined evils, that this portends total destruction for humanity and the attempted final murder of Gaia, that all the internal human evils of the civilization stem from the basic ecocidal campaign which is the core activity of this civilization.
 
The only way possible is to end all commodity production and consumption (waste and destruction), end all industrial energy generation, and redeem human ways of truly renewable usufruct living amid the truly renewable earthways. Only in this way can humanity physically survive and begin to give back to the Earth which has given literally everything we have. Only in this way can we stop being the destruction (“green” destruction is still destruction) and become part of the ecological renaissance, revolution and restoration. Only in this way can we avert the worst of climate chaos and the sixth mass extinction. Only in this way will we find our long-lost souls again, where after such a prodigal death-marching we once again walk lightly among the forests once again attaining their primeval communities.
 
 
 
 
 

January 5, 2016

How Does Monsanto Plan to Deploy the Terminator on a Mass Scale?

<

According to lore, Monsanto halted its drive to commercialize GMOs containing the Terminator gene when Gordon Conway of the Rockefeller Foundation warned the company that its extreme aggressiveness was becoming so politically reckless and counterproductive as to put the entire GMO project at risk.
.
Whatever the motivation, it’s true that Monsanto announced in 1999 it was not pursuing commercialization of the Terminator. This was followed in 2000 by an international moratorium on development and commercial approval of this technology, voted under the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The moratorium was reaffirmed in 2006 at the CBD meeting held in Brazil.
.
[The Terminator, AKA a “GURT” (Genetic Use Restriction Technology), is a transgene which would cause the plants containing it to produce sterile seeds. This would render patent enforcement moot, since it would become physically impossible to save and replant seed from such a GMO. Some versions can be rendered fertile, i.e. the Terminator gene can be counteracted if the seed is coated with an antibiotic or some other chemical. So we see how, in addition to simplifying seed monopoly, the Terminator allows those deploying it to dream of inserting it into all commercial crop seed and then forcing all seed growers to buy the antidote from them.
.
Could the Terminator spread chaotically to other crops and wild plants, rendering them sterile? As usual with genetic engineering, no one has the slightest idea. Anyone who claims to know this wouldn’t happen is a liar.
.
The Terminator was developed jointly by Delta & Pine Land seed company and the USDA. These jointly hold the patent. In the late 1990s Monsanto’s attempt to buy DPL fell through, in part because of political outcry over the prospect of Monsanto’s gaining control of the Terminator technology. But in 2006 Monsanto was able to buy the company with little opposition.]
.
We can take it for granted that Monsanto’s own Terminator moratorium has been purely a temporary expedient, and that their plan remains the same as always, to deploy the Terminator on a mass scale. The GURT must look especially attractive as GMOs expand beyond the range of the secure Western intellectual property regime. Brazil is troublesome for IP control in seeds, with many farmers allegedly saving and replanting GM soybeans without paying Monsanto’s tax. This has led to politically draining court battles and the very difficult process of Monsanto’s attempt to force traders to collect the tax on its behalf. Monsanto faces similar headaches collecting its taxes in Argentina. China of course is a problematic market from the point of view of patent enforcement. Africa’s an unknown quantity even if the US/UK/Monsanto colonization plan is able to conquer significant territory. Monsanto’s dream of conquering Iraqi agriculture, impeccable on paper as decreed by the US occupation regime, fizzled out for the inability to enforce it in physical reality.
.
It’s clear that Monsanto needs to deploy the Terminator if it’s to have any hope of gaining the total control and power it seeks. So what’s one way this might happen? Here’s a way which seems plausible to me. Let’s list some facts.
.
1. Monsanto’s Intacta soybean, developed specially for cultivation in Brazil and commercially introduced in 2013, is the first Monsanto product developed for a non-US market. (Intacta is a stacked product which is Roundup Ready and contains the Cry1AC Bt toxin vs. lepidopteran pests. But in Brazil glyphosate is failing against resistant superweeds and may render the soybean crop more susceptible to fungal infections. Across the world Cry1AC has widely failed in cotton, generating resistant superbugs. Just as Cry1F, deployed in maize GMOs, has widely collapsed in Brazil against the target armyworm, so we can anticipate Intacta’s vulnerability. According to Monsanto itself, feeding upon it may even strengthen some of the intended target pests. A 2015 study also found that Intacta yields less than non-GM conventional soybeans. So Intacta is triply a plagued, failing product just two years after it was put on the market.)
.
2. In 2013 Brazilian officials negotiated a deal to export Intacta soybeans to China. In spite of some early indications that China would insist on a non-GM supply, it eventually agreed to accept Brazil’s general soybean commodity stream.
.
3. For years China has been trying to develop its own GMO industry. Chinese state enterprises have worked on this themselves (many entries in the Developer list to the right), and perhaps in collaboration with DuPont (the story here is sketchy). In 2015 ChemChina made a bid to buy Syngenta.
.
4. China is notorious for being an intellectual property scofflaw. Western patents and copyrights are frequently disrespected there.
.
5. Soybeans are the most easily pirated crops, since they’re not hybrids like commodity maize, but open-pollinated.
.
6. Obviously Monsanto’s Intacta patents are at some risk here.
.
7. In late 2013 pro-Monsanto forces in Brazil launched a new attempt to gut the country’s 2005 Biosafety Law and have the country break the 10+ year moratorium on the Terminator. (These legislative attempts have been ongoing since 2005.) This is ironic since the moratorium was last reaffirmed in Brazil. Proponents claim to want to put the Terminator only in GM eucalyptus and other vegetatively propagated crops, but the proposal has enough loopholes and vagueness as to be indefinitely stretchable. So far this attempt has been beaten back, largely as the result of massive international grassroots pressure organized by the ETC Group. But the pro-GMO activists in the legislature continue to reintroduce the bill.
.
8. Brazilian regulators approved GM eucalyptus in 2015.
.
.
There’s the facts. What can we deduce from there? Obviously if the Terminator were to be incorporated in one product, it would quickly be deployed in others. In this case GM eucalyptus would be the camel’s nose in the tent. All of Monsanto’s interests say that Brazil and China are two places it would find the Terminator most useful. Therefore the indications point to Intacta as being the first major GMO into which Monsanto would want to engineer the Terminator gene. Grown in Brazil, exported mostly to China and other non-Western countries – perhaps it might not immediately generate a political firestorm in the West. (Some Intacta is exported to the EU for use in food and feed. European campaigners, recently seconded by a Norwegian government scientific assessment, have opposed it on food safety grounds. But no doubt the EFSA would deem a Terminator version of Intacta not to require a new review.)
.
And then, once the Terminator was deployed in one major commercial GMO, it would be expanded to many or all of the others.
.
So there’s one plausible scenario for the Terminator’s future.
.
.
Campaigners around the world need to join with ETC and Brazilian campaigners to hinder the GM eucalyptus project and thwart the plan to have Brazil break the Terminator moratorium.
.

April 17, 2015

GMO News Report April 17th, 2015

>

*Putting the AMA and similar Western professional organizations to shame, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA) representing 30,000 doctors and health care workers has issued a statement demanding a ban on glyphosate in light of the WHO’s acknowledgement that it causes cancer. They add that Argentine researchers and doctors have also proven glyphosate causes reproductive problems, birth defects, and neurological disease. They condemn the Argentine government for its complicity in this massive poisoning of the people.
.
Argentina is often called the Soy Republic (though Soy Regime would be more accurate), as the complete domination of the national economy by the Roundup Ready soy system is far more advanced here than for GMOs in any other country. But through the same circumstance Argentina has also seen the most comprehensive gathering of evidence documenting the health devastation wrought by Roundup.
.
*A federal court is now extending the same hooded-judge in camera secrecy provisions we’re already enduring in cases where the government fraudulently invokes “national security” to corporate invocations of secrecy and “security”. The judges in Monsanto’s SLAPP suit against the people of Maui have accepted corporate submissions as evidence but are making only heavily redacted versions accessible to the defense. This is of course standard procedure in the corporate tribunals convened under globalization pacts like NAFTA, a jurisdiction of direct corporate dictatorship which will be vastly expanded if the TTIP and/or TPP go into effect.
.
But as we see, the US federal courts are avoiding the rush. This secrecy regime, which already encompasses the void left behind where the scientific and academic establishment has abdicated even the pretense of integrity and legitimacy, is now being extended even to the basics of courtroom procedure. The courts shall increasingly be nothing but corporate kangaroo courts. This is the only way Monsanto can sustain its lies.
.
These must be our principles: 1. Where it’s kept secret, and where they refuse to test at all, we can assume the worst must be true. The corporations and government would certainly trumpet to the skies any bona fide evidence which was good for their position.
.
2. We reject all their secretive “studies” out of hand since these are based on secret alleged data which may not even exist at all, and at any rate does not scientifically exist, since only public data can scientifically exist.
.
*Brazilian bioregulator CTNBio went ahead as expected and approved commercial cultivation of GM eucalyptus trees. The Campaign to Stop GE Trees denounces the decision as an illegal violation of the Convention on Biodiversity (to which Brazil is a signatory) and the Precautionary Principle. GM eucalyptus, if it is in fact more profitable for industrial foresters as expected on account of its faster growth, will only accelerate Brazilian rainforest destruction escalate the resultant carbon emissions and destruction of biodiversity. Contrary to the lies of pro-GM activists, all previous “efficiency” gains in industrial forestry only led to greater acreage being destroyed and given over to monoculture plantations. Of course GM trees growing for over five years will also spread their contaminated pollen far more widely than GM annual crops, to related trees and to honey production. And we can still expect a revival of 2013’s attempt to use GM eucalyptus as the camel’s nose in the tent for the Terminator gene, which Monsanto must be ardent to deploy in such crops as Brazil’s Intacta soybean.
.
*This month the European Commission is expected to release rules for a new regulatory protocol for EFSA approval of GMOs for importation in food and feed. Friends of the Earth is criticizing a leaked draft promising the new importation approval system will be the same kind of sham as the cultivation approval protocol. In both cases, member states are allegedly to have an improved way to opt out of any GMO approvals. But these opt out provisions will actually be more onerous than the status quo, and will explicitly disallow national bans based on criteria the EFSA assesses, namely health and environmental concerns. This means that the pro-GM EFSA shall be officially enshrined as the only legal arbiter of the science of GMO-related health and environmental issues, which also happen to be the only WTO-allowed criteria for enacting what it would otherwise ban as “barriers to trade”. Meanwhile, the criteria which the new EU opt-out protocol will allow, such as socioeconomic and cultural effects, are precisely those banned by the WTO. So the goal here is to effectively outlaw EU member state bans on GMO cultivation or importation through a bureaucratic Catch-22. The new plan makes some noises about “co-existence” and anti-contamination measures, but will have zero enforcement provisions. Nor does anyone seriously think it will be possible to police the intra-European borders vs. the free flow of imported GM products.
.
And what do member states have to give in return for this treacherous form of “opt-out”? Nothing but the surrender of their prior power to block Europe-wide approvals in the European Council, and their acquiescence in a general “streamlining” of the EFSA approval system.
.
So the EC’s goal is to open the floodgates to EFSA approvals Europe-wide, inundate the continent with imported GM products (and undermine labeling rules), and make it easy for rogue states who want to allow chaotic GMO cultivation to do so, thereby greatly increasing the rate of general European contamination by GMOs.
.
Of course all of this is just the prelude to what the GMO cartel and the EC hope to accomplish if the TTIP is enacted.

<

April 10, 2015

GMO News Report April 10th, 2015

>

*Unlike comparable organizations in the West, Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (INCA) is capable of connecting simple dots. Even the WHO now acknowledges that glyphosate causes cancer. INCA reiterates this and the many other health afflictions caused by glyphosate and other poisons, and goes on to state the obvious, that it’s herbicide tolerant GMOs which are by far the main driver of this great surge of glyphosate use, and therefore of the cancer caused by it.
.
As if in direct contradiction of the Cancer Institute, Brazil’s “regulator” CTNBio issued cultivation approvals for soybeans and corn engineered to be tolerant to another cancer-causing herbicide, 2,4-D, as well as water-guzzling, deforestation-driving GM eucalyptus, whose prolific pollen spread promises to quickly contaminate all related trees across the environment.
.
*Chinese citizens are suing the government trying to force it to disclose the secret information it has on Roundup and the process by which it approved Roundup. We see how the Chinese government is at one with those of the US and EU in wanting to help Monsanto and other corporations keep the actual evidence about the effects of chemicals like Roundup secret from the people. The escalating democracy campaign to force disclosure of how much the corporations and governments really know about how deadly these agricultural poisons really are becomes all the more critical as we learn more and more about the health and environmental devastation being wrought by Roundup, including the gathering avalanche of knowledge about how it causes cancer.
.
The fact is that by definition there cannot be secret scientific evidence. By definition evidence has to be publicized, so we can assume that the secrecy is in fact a cover-up. We must assume that whatever evidence does exist condemns glyphosate (and GMOs) as harmful to health and the environment, which is the reason why corporations and governments want to keep this evidence secret. Meanwhile the public assurances are nothing but propaganda and lies. No legitimate model of science or democracy can come to any other conclusion.
.
*Food and Water Watch filed a pair of petitions with the FDA calling upon the agency to follow the law and regulate GMO salmon as the food containing a new additive it clearly is, rather than as an “animal drug”, the way the FDA has been preferring to do. The food additive review process is, in theory, more rigorous and more strongly applies the precautionary principle.
.
*In a court filing forced out of it, Monsanto now admits it bankrolled the legal defense of the contract GMO “farmer” who trespassed upon and contaminated West Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh’s land, causing him to lose his certification and costing him his livelihood. It’s no surprise that Monsanto would see the outcome of this case as important for its future revenue and power, since one of the basic elements of government assistance it depends upon is the “co-existence” lie in general and in particular the de facto legal doctrine that where it comes to transgenic trespass and vandalism, the law is presumptively on the side of the aggressor, while it’s the legal and financial responsibility of the target to avoid being assaulted, or simply to submit to it and plant the herbicide tolerant GMOs himself. So among other things it’s a protection racket. In this case, the 2014 trial decision admitted that “co-existence” is impossible even as it reaffirmed the pro-polluter, pro-trespasser, pro-vandal, pro-aggressor doctrine. Since then the legal dispute has been over the trial judge’s order that March pay the Monsanto contractor’s legal fees. It was in that context that Marsh’s legal team was able to force Monsanto’s divulgence, since legal costs can be awarded only for a principal’s out of pocket expenses.
.
*Most of the attention to the EU’s revamped “subsidiarity” policy for GMO approvals has focused on GMO cultivation. Now the Commission is about to release its new rules for approval of imported GMOs in food and feed. The main loophole in the EU’s GMO labeling policy is that meat and dairy from animals which were fed GMOs doesn’t have to be labeled, although many supermarket chains eschew GM feed for their own meat and dairy brands. Member states opposed to GM importations have generally been unable to prevent imported feed from entering their own supply chains, but have instead focused on blocking import approval in the first place. Although the details are unclear right now, both the Commission and civil society campaigners are expecting that the new rules, generally dedicated to “streamlining” regulation (i.e. making it more pro-corporate), will make it harder for member states to block EFSA import approval at the outset. There will be fig-leaf “opt out” provisions, but as a practical matter for a member state to opt out of allowing an imported processed product, which will easily cross the border in any number of ways, will be more difficult than opting out of allowing cultivation of a GMO.
.
*In its desperation to claim some kind, any kind of support for the TPP and TTIP globalization assaults, the Obama administration released a set of quotes from the always reliable corporate environmentalist front groups the WWF and the Nature Conservancy, along with some other bogus NGOs, which expressed these groups’ “environmentalist” support for the pacts. Although the cowards are now trying to backpedal by claiming they have not technically endorsed these corporate anti-constitutions, the pieces and submissions are loaded with the sycophancy, lies, and neoliberal propaganda we’d expect from the the WWF and their treacherous like.

<

July 18, 2014

GMO News Summary July 18th 2014

>

*A new analysis of 343 studies comparing crops grown organically to crops grown conventionally finds that the organic foods are greatly superior nutritionally. In particular they have much higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
 
This great difference in nutritional profile is probably on account of the differing ways the crops are grown. Crops grown with massive applications of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides are in effect coddled and have to do little work for themselves. So they put their energy into producing higher levels of sugars and starches. Their way of life makes them fat and bloated, and therefore they’re greatly inferior as food.
 
Organic crops, by contrast, have to make an honest living. They have to work to extract real nutrition from real soil and to defend themselves against pests and disease. Of course the knowledge and skills of organic farmers helps them. The result is that organically grown plants produce higher levels of phenols and polyphenols, including the antioxidants so important for preventing heart disease, stroke, and cancer in humans.
 
Of course these organic crops are also not laden with agricultural poisons the way conventional crops are. Organic crops are only 1/4 as likely as conventional to have any pesticide residues at all, and these residue levels are on the average 10-100 times lower. Presumably these very low residues are the result of the general contamination of the environment, for example from the pesticide drift which the USDA wants to make a vastly worse problem.
 
Conventional crops also contained twice the levels of the toxic heavy metal cadmium. 
 
This study, carried out by a team from Newcastle University, analyzed many more studies using many more parameters than that of the tendentious 2012 Stanford paper which whitewashed the poison problem and claimed that the nutritional superiority of organic crops had little meaning for health. This bogus study was the signal for a slew of high-profile corporate media pieces, in Time, the NYT, and elsewhere smearing the idea of organic food. We’ll see what the response is to this new, vastly superior study.
 
*New science establishes how neonicotinoid insecticides, already heavily implicated in the decimation of honeybee populations and other environmental and soil destruction, are decimating birds as well.
 
Industrial seeds, generally GMOs designed to generate crops suffused with insecticidal and herbicidal poisons, are also coated with many other poisons including neonics, which are increasingly necessary to make up for the failure of endemic Bt insecticide. Neonics also suffuse every cell of the crop. The ways this harms human and animal health are unknown and have never been tested.
 
Neonics, like all the rest of these poisons, are necessary elements of poison-based industrial agriculture, which is based upon agronomically unsound and destructive corn-on-corn and other deranged monoculture planting schedules. This is necessary to prop up agriculture as a commodity sector.
 
Meanwhile an agricultural system based on producing food through rational crop rotation and decentralized agroecology practices would be far more productive and healthy and require none of these destructive and expensive poisons and other extraneous inputs.
 
*Another example of the accelerating failure of GMOs in the field, this one from Brazil where resistant caterpillars are badly damaging Bt corn. The piece includes the usual admonition about how non-GM refuges within Bt plantings are supposed to work. But the fact is that even if such refuge policy were enforced (in Brazil it’s not even mandatory, just recommended; in the US it’s officially mandatory but indifferently enforced and widely flouted), the 5-10% refuge generally suggested is far too small to have any effect even in principle. Refuges would need to be 50% or more to conceivably work for long.
 
But the fact is that refuge policy was never intended to work, and was never anything but propaganda meant to reassure skeptical farmers and citizens that regulators had a rational plan. In fact the only rational plan which has ever existed was how to systematically lie on behalf of this worthless, anti-innovative, luddite product, GMOs. The Bt refuge scam is just one example, but look to literally anything else ever said on behalf of GMOs and you’ll see a similar scam. For example my concluding item.
 
*A similar example from Pakistan, where Bt cotton, including Monsanto’s brand-name Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex stacked varieties, is increasingly useless against resistant bollworms. Farmers are having to spray expensive pesticides in addition to paying for the expensive seed. This is the kind of financial destruction of small cotton farmers which has produced a massive suicide wave in India.
 
Bt levels are always chaotic and unpredictable even in the highest quality GM seed. (There’s one measure of what a low-quality product GMOs really are.) But the seed distributed in countries like Pakistan seems especially low quality, often producing little or no Bt toxin at all. This apparently includes not just various knockoffs but the Monsanto name brand.
 
We must always keep in mind that just as in other corporate sectors, with seeds as well the big corporations which control them seldom did any actual innovation or production work, but contract out all the work. The corporation only provides the brand name, does the lobbying, controls the patents, reaps all the profit, and exercises control of the entire process. The one thing it doesn’t do is any actual constructive work. So when we ponder GM seeds, especially in the global South, we should always keep in mind that these are often of much lower quality than even the crappy ones sold in the US. This is just one of the many ways GMOs are a scam and a hoax. Also relevant especially to places like India and Pakistan is how any GMO depends upon large-scale artificial irrigation (in itself a huge conveyance of corporate welfare for the Big Ag corporations) to have any chance of performing the way the advertising brochure claims. But most small farmers in these countries lack access to such irrigation. That too affects, for example, Bt cotton’s actual expression of the pesticide.

>

March 28, 2014

GMO News Summary 3/28/14

>

*On March 20th over a hundred citizen activists occupied the headquarters of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, to protest this bureaucracy’s aggressively pro-GMO policy, its unscientific and fraudulent review procedures, its brazen revolving door with the GMO cartel, and its ongoing campaign to slander independent science and subvert, weaken, and flout public interest GMO and agricultural policy.
 
*In spite of the standard lie and FDA policy dogma that GMO false crops are “substantially equivalent” to true crops, there has never been a real comparative analysis of the levels of endemic herbicide residue in crops engineered to be herbicide-tolerant, compared to non-GM conventional and organic crops.
 
Now for the first time an independent study has performed such an analysis on an array of soybean varieties grown under commercial conditions, and the results are damning.
 
The study finds that soybeans engineered to be Roundup Ready and subsequently sprayed during the growing season contain extremely high levels of glyphosate and its breakdown product AMPA, an average of 9.0 mg/kg. This is a level much higher than the 5.6 mg/kg which Monsanto itself called “extreme” in a 1999 publication.
 
The poison and its breakdown residues are incorporated into the tissues of the crop, which is engineered merely to assimilate them, sustaining significant weaknesses and nutritional deficiencies along the way but not dying. The poison is then an intrinsic part of the food people and livestock eat. It can’t be washed off, any more than endemic Bt insecticidal poisons, or the many other agricultural poisons which are designed to be suffused through all the tissues of the crop. When we eat any of these false crops, we are eating what are literally poison plants.
 
Neither organic nor non-GM conventional soybeans contained these residues. The study also found several other significant differences in nutritional composition, with organic soybeans displaying the healthiest profile.
 
The knowledge gap this study has begun to fill is one of the many which the corporate/government system has been doing its best to leave gaping. Always keep in mind that no corporation or government has ever performed a toxicology or any other safety test on ANY GMO, nor have any of these entities ever performed or required a single epidemiological study on the effects of GMOs and their companion poisons in the human diet. Such a willful, systematic lack of desire to know, and such an attempt at the suppression of such knowledge through choking off research funds to independent science, proves two things:
 
1. Governments and corporations are afraid of what the results of such tests would be.
 
2. Governments and corporations strongly suspect such testing would further prove GMOs and their associated poisons to be hazardous to human and animal health.
 
After all, if they really believed what they say, why wouldn’t they be eager to spend the pennies it would cost them to prove it?
 
*Such studies provide strong evidence backing the efforts of a Brazilian federal ombudsman to force the health ministry to review agriculture ministry’s approval of glyphosate and several other herbicides, impose a moratorium while these reviews are conducted, and cancel the commercialization of Agent Orange GMOs engineered to resist 2,4-D application.
 
*More on glyphosate. Another new study has found that dairy cows and rabbits fed with GMO-based feed (which means most non-organic grain feed) have higher levels of glyphosate residues in their organs and urine than animals who ate non-GM feed. Chronically ill humans are also found to be more likely to have higher levels in their urine than healthy people.  
 
*Rootworm is now widely resistant to two of the three Bt toxins which GMOs are engineered to produce against it.
 
*Citizens of Lane County Oregon will move forward with gathering signatures to place a local food systems ordinance on the 2014 ballot in spite of a recent judicial decision overturning the county’s determination that the proposed ordinance met the requirements to be placed on the ballot. They will work to reformulate the initiative, which is similar to one which has already received judicial approval in neighboring Benton County. These two community food initiatives join initiatives to ban GMO cultivation and seed patents in Jackson and Josephine Counties, and also a Josephine ordinance imposing restrictions on corporate use of agricultural poisons.
 
The very fact that only such pro-community ordinances, but not pro-corporate, usurping ones, must jump through such hoops in only one piece of proof for why such laws are needed, and why just passing such laws can never be sufficient.
 
*Mora County, New Mexico, is the first county in the US to pass a law attempting to defend itself against corporate assaults by banning oil and gas drilling. Several corporations promptly sued in federal court, where we can expect the courts to affirm that corporate prerogatives trump all human rights and sovereignty, and that the central government is the rightful thug enforcing these prerogatives.
 
Every such case, just as every such corporate invasion, is further proof to anyone with eyes to see that humanity is in a zero-sum total war with these corporations, and that either they must perish from the earth, or else we must inevitably become starving slaves struggling to survive on a trashed poisoned, earth.
 
There’s no debate over this. No rational person can dispute the totalitarian character and goals of corporatism. It follows that humanity’s clear goal must be to abolish corporations as such. Corporations are the dominant organizational form of tyrannical forces today. All such forces have been mustered within this form. Abolishing the form will, for awhile at least, completely disperse the evils of our time. It will give humanity and the earth breathing space to recover, and to try again to fulfill the responsibility of citizenship and civilization, which is never to allow power to concentrate to the point that it transcends human communities and natural, rational economies.
 
As for those who claim to share human values but oppose the abolition imperative, we need only ask what alternative they offer. It’s immediately apparent that they offer no alternative whatsoever, just the same proven failures and lies. It becomes apparent that they’re really lying when they claim to support humanity in the first place.
 
One thing is proven beyond any reasonable doubt: The established molds of ideology and politics, “left-right”, “liberal-conservative”, electoralism, system reformism in general, let alone the “two” corporatist parties which really form a single ideological and policy monolith, are completely obsolete, and no one any longer espouses them in any but a purely reactionary way whose only goal is to prop up the existing tyranny and help perpetuate it. By definition any idea with any chance of offering a new beginning and a way forward will cut across and transcend all these obsolete categories, divisions, dichotomies, scams.

>