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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/5/18

The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet

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Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity and establishing proprietary control with GMO seeds distributed by only a few transnational corporations, led by Monsanto; and by a massive, taxpayer-subsidized propaganda campaign in support of GMO seeds and neurotoxic pesticides. A de facto cartel of giant chemical, drug, oil, banking and insurance companies connected by interlocking directorates reaps the profits at both ends, by waging a very lucrative pharmaceutical assault on the diseases created by their toxic agricultural chemicals.

Going Organic: The Russian Approach

In the end, the Green Revolution engineered by Kissinger to control markets and ensure U.S. economic dominance may be our nemesis. While the U.S. struggles to maintain its hegemony by economic coercion and military force, Russia is winning the battle for the health of the people and the environment. Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned GMOs and has set out to make Russia the world's leading supplier of organic food.

Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40 percent of Russia's food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments), predominantly organically. Dacha gardens produced more than 80 percent of the country's fruit and berries, more than 66 percent of the vegetables, almost 80 percent of the potatoes and nearly 50 percent of the nation's milk, much of it consumed raw. Russian author Vladimir Megre comments:

"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 U.S., only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. Most farmland is soaked in pesticides and herbicides. But the need for these toxic chemicals is a myth. In an October 2017 article in The Guardian, columnist George Monbiot cited studies showing that reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides actually increases production, because the pesticides harm or kill the pollinators on which crops depend. Rather than an international trade agreement that would enable giant transnational corporations to dictate to governments, he argues that we need a global treaty to regulate pesticides and require environmental impact assessments for farming. He writes:

"Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed. ... The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to hold the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living world is more important than returns to their shareholders?

President Trump has boasted of winning awards for environmental protection. If he is sincere about championing the environment, he needs to block the merger of Bayer and Monsanto, two agribusiness giants bent on destroying the ecosystem for private profit.

This article was originally published on Truthdig.com .

(Article changed on April 5, 2018 at 10:30)

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Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder 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 (more...)
 

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