Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance

Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.  “Control food and you control the people.”

Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.

Profits Before Populations

Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. “Terminator” genes enable the production of sterile seeds, using a synthetic chemical catalyst appropriately called “Traitor” to induce seed sterility. Farmers must therefore buy seeds from their patent owners year after year. To cover these costs, food prices are raised; but the harm is far greater than to our pocketbooks.

According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.

Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.

Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.

The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.

Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.

A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.

Roundup’s Insidious Effects

Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.

Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.

According to researchers Samsell and Seneff in Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality (April 2013):

Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.

Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:

Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.

Politics Trumps Science

In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.

In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.

Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:

In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.

Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda, widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.

In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”

The TPP and International Corporate Control

As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .

The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique.  If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.

. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:

No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .

If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .

Return to Nature: Not Too Late

There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:

Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.

In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.

____________________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

49 Responses

  1. You are wrong about the Terminator technology. That is not why farmers using GM seeds have to buy new seeds each year. Terminator technology was developed but never released to the market due to public outrage. GM seeds are not sterile, but farmers who use them have to sign an agreement stating that they will not save the seeds for re-use. So they have to buy fresh ones each year. In the past farmers saved and used their own seeds. Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto when seeds blew off a truck and GM plants grew in his fields.

    • What public outrage? I remember when this was all going on in the world trade negotiations. You couldn’t even hear about the terminator gene on NPR. I remember their reporters saying regularly, “it’s a 3000 page agreement and no one knows what’s in it.” Excuse me? It’s a reporters job to comb through it and find out what’s in it.

      America is a company town writ large and the media is owned by the companies that run it. How many people know that we owe our Bill of Rights to the New York delegation to the Constitutional Convention? The New York delegation insisted upon them because New York started as a company town owned by the Dutch West India Company. More than 100 years before the revolution its residents fought for a polity, which they finally won, just before the British took over. The British allowed them to keep those rights.

      Now that we’re a company town writ large those rights we once enjoyed are eroding fast.

      • The U.S. Constitution was passed and distributed in September 1787 and the Bill of Rights was not passed until December 1789. The reason these rights were added to the Constitution was the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Only fear of an uprising got the U.S. its Bill of Rights.

    • Thanks for the heads up. I took that paragraph out.

  2. The dearth of knowledge of the citizens of this nation is our greatest weakness. Whether by lack of attention of the national media; or, lack of interest [possibly created by other complimentary sinister efforts]; or, simply not knowing where to find the truth; this dearth could well be our death knell.

    I know all too well the ‘bang your head against the wall’ syndrome when it comes to having a conversation with folks in which to try and shed light on the many issues that grieve our nation and world today.

    It is truly a struggle.

    Many go away thinking that I have lost my mind. But, bearing that moniker is worth the effort when seeds that you plant find fertile soil in the thinking of the rare few.

    The evil of power and domination is nothing new. Since the advent of man upon earth this has been the story. The only difference at this point in history are the tools of technology at the power mongers disposal that enables this plague to be projected globally.

    We have the same tools as they. However, the one thing they have that we do not, is an highly coordinated global cabal of like thinkers.

    They are extremely intelligent and dedicated to mercilessness… along with tons of money!

    They work diligently at their craft of twisted, punishing evil.

    We are not in the same ballpark when it comes to being organized and on the same page. We have to be. It is my contention this is the major issue that needs to be addressed and changed.

    This will take money and lots of it! Ralph Nader just may have hit the mail on the head with his postulate that only the rich can save America

    If not, the future looks dim indeed.

    We will get nowhere very quickly if we rely on the one person at a time theory.

    On the flip side, the one thing we have that they don’t, is a dedication to a more powerful set of ideals … truth, justice and compassion.

    These ideals will never fail.

    We just have to pierce the veil of lies.

    Thank you Ellen, and your staff, for the work you do. It is brilliant. powerful and desperately needed!!

    • Right on.

      What this is all about is wealthy self-styled “producers” against middle class workers. We’ve been trained to think of ourselves as “consumers,” whose only duty is to shop, shop, shop. We a citizens, not consumers, and they are rentiers, not producers.

      The other side is far more dedicated and united and that is why they are winning. But we have actually divided and conquered ourselves by becoming narrow interest groups with no solidarity. We are citizens — not feminists, not LGBT, not hyphenated Americans. We are all being trampled together. The sooner we learn that, and get up off the fat asses and fight together for the rights of us all, the better.

    • Thanks. That’s what motivates me, piercing the veil. In fact what motivated me to write this article was an alternative practitioner in Ireland who told me I had high levels of glyphosate, and how bad it is! I figured if more people were aware of that, we would have to do something about it.

  3. I very much enjoy your writing on financial topics, and I am no friend of TPP, Monsanto or GM food, but to state, without documentation, that obesity and other symptoms of ill health are caused by nutrient deficient GM foods is more than a bit of a stretch,and it weakens your argument to say so. Americans are obese because they eat and drink too much calorie rich junk.

    • Actually I did supply a link, in the next paragraph:

      According to researchers Samsell and Seneff in Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality (April 2013):

      Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, OBESITY, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

      The study is exhaustively long, and “obesity” comes up 38 times in it, e.g. in this paragraph:

      6. The Path to Obesity

      Having established a plausible mechanism whereby glyphosate’s effects on gut bacteria would lead to depleted sulfate supplies in the gut with resulting inflammatory bowel disease, we now turn our attention towards the likely consequences of the resulting “leaky gut syndrome.” It has been proposed that the exponential increase in the production of synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals may be causal in the current world-wide obesity epidemic, due to alterations in body chemistry that promote weight gain [130]. [etc.]

  4. […] Ellen Brown Writer, Dandelion Salad The Web of Debt Blog November 26, […]

  5. Thank you for establishing all the linkages. I’m from Pakistan and we have been destroyed by several concurrent factors — ignorance even at the highest levels (including economists, bankers, educated politicians) of how money works, crippling external debt thanks mainly to World Bank/IMF, export orientation of our economy that has exacerbated poverty and hunger, chemical monoculture and now GM seeds, among other things.
    GM seeds may not be sterile but they may as well be; they reproduce badly or fail completely. We were among the leading cotton-growing countries; now Monsanto, having corrupted our decision-makers, is about to take over with their Bt cottonseed, otherwise known as the suicide-seed in India. Before independence our area was the breadbasket of undivided India; today we import nutrient-poor, third-rate wheat from the US, and constantly importing emergency supplies of various vegetables. One can hardly find organically-grown food except in the remotest areas.

  6. I was posting an article on the blog the referenced Ellen’s Monsanto/TPP article when the strangest thing started happening to WordPress. It was literally being shut down by the link to this page. My blog has tens of thousands of readers and has been up for over four years. In all that time I have only experienced this type of a tech glitch on one other occasion.

    http://www.tradewithdave.com

  7. Great work Ellen you receive my sincerest gratitude and highest praise.

    The desires of the Bio-Government relationship via TPP are indeed worrisome. To me that is representative/analogous of what transpires in the financial world with Central/Fractional/Private Banking combined with fiat currency issuance/acceptance. We cannot escape the fact that power and control reside with the minority elite. Our existence / demise is in reality an experiment. We are to a large extent unknowingly partaking in the “great social engineering”. A common theme within this TPP issue and that of the TBTF Banks is deregulation. We all know what happens when they are a law unto themselves.

    I concur with your points on the depopulation theme (well supported with the UN report).

    Perhaps one could go further with food security issue and analyse the food scarcity/security aspect from the perspective of the Sovereign nations’ ferocious acquisition of arable land across the globe. One may infer their definition of “security” extends to one of abstinence from use of GMO seeds and its designated herbicide of choice. Nonetheless it may very well be a matter of time before all and sundry succumb to the reaches of the Trans-nationals.

  8. […] This piece first appeared at Web of Debt. […]

  9. It’s incorrect to state that “Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified.” It’s important to qualify this by indicating the percentage applies to “processed foods” rather than encompassing all food items found in supermarkets. The Mother Jones article that you cite states this correctly as does the Center for Food Safety fact sheet that Mother Jones cites in turn.

    Thank you for an otherwise excellent compilation and analysis.

  10. What? What? Our already nutritionally deficient GMO foods are also soaked in toxic glyphosate? How savage can they get? And they don’t want us to create barriers to their criminal activities? No, in fact, they want to pave a brand new road towards a mass-extinction event, built with our sweat, blood, and tax money. If the TPP succeeds, a country or government that might want to help its people could be sued by a zombie corporation for actually trying to help its people. Corporations will be able to sue because helping people might be considered an obstacle or threat to their future earnings. This mentality (or lack thereof) reminds me of the Montgomery Burns syndrome: “What good is money if it can’t be used to terrorize people?” Having a monopoly on everything just isn’t enough. Having all the power just isn’t enough. They won’t be satisfied until they wipe out every living thing. It is worse than savage

  11. […] Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance … – Web of Debt blog […]

  12. On my page Be Free – Say No to GMO, I encourage people to go for bans using this Form to Ban:

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/be-free-say-no-to-gmo/form-to-ban-gmo-cultivation-seeds-livestock-known-toxic-herbicides-and-pesticide/442462382481662

  13. […] via Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance | WEB OF DEBT BLOG. […]

  14. […] of Debt Blog, Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance, Ellen Brown, November 26, […]

  15. Sorry for my ignorance, can you explain how we can do this?

    “we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods”

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