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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 8/21/11

Monsanto and the Mortal Danger to Traditional Agriculture

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The greatest threat to the future of food production in the world is the introduction of genetically engineered foods from the bio-tech industry. Contrary to their mendacious propagandized promises of solving the problem of world hunger through the so-called second green revolution, the bio-tech companies are instead in the process of destroying the world's ecosystems, and thus the natural food chains and life cycles. Their goal is certainly not to solve any problem at all, but instead to fill the corporate coffers with the profits from selling their dangerous products to countries with already high mortality rates from malnutrition and starvation.

Despite its growing economy, India is still a country with enormous poverty. What is happening in India is the most visible example of what is going on in the poor countries all over the world. Giving the green light for genetically modified (GM) products, which have caused medical and financial disasters for poor farmers, is outrageous and a positive danger to Indian agriculture in general.  

The farmers are lured by the promise of easy loans and increased yields to buy genetically engineered, patented seeds. They subsequently find out that they also need pesticides, chemical fertilizers and weed killers (Round-up and other ecologically damaging products). Added to the toxic and destructive nature of these products is the fact that the seeds are not suitable for non-irrigated fields, which means for most agricultural fields in India and in poverty-stricken countries all over the planet.

The Revolving Doors  

Monsanto is in the lead of these bio-tech companies, coddled by the governments in both India and the United States simply because of deep-seated corruption - the policy of the "revolving doors' being one of the major ways these companies get favorable treatment in India as well as in the united States. People like Michael Taylor, recently appointed by Barack Obama to become the senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA, the US food safety czar, go through the swinging doors from top positions at the Monsanto headquarters to positions at the FDA and back again. 

The FDA is of course supposed to look after the safety of foods produced and sold in the U.S. Michael Taylor is the person who facilitated the introduction of GM products on the U.S. market because of his close links both to Monsanto and to the FDA. [1] His corrupt dealings will have the most serious consequences on the health and economic well-being of people everywhere.[2] Even though the EU is not so easily sold on GM products, the false promises and heavy-hammer advertising by the bio-tech companies have succeeded in these products slowly making inroads in Europe too. There are, however, strong movements afoot to keep Europe free of GM products.

Labeling of GM foods  

In Europe, supermarkets are filled with foods labeled as "non-GMO' or "raised without GMO', whereas in the U.S.A. some states have fought hard to achieve that right and the bio-tech companies are still scheming to ban, for instance, the labeling of milk as non rBGH (= recombinant bovine growth hormones, manufactured by Monsanto ).  

This genetically engineered hormone, injected into the cows every other week, forces the cows to produce more milk than their bodies normally would. It has been proven, however, that this milk contains more pus, antibiotics residues and a cancer-accelerating hormone called IGF-1.  

From "Bovine Growth Hormone Milk does nobody good...'

"Whenever cows are forced to produce more milk, they become more susceptible to udder infections called mastitis. Mastitis is a condition which can increase the amount of cow's pus which ends up in the milk. Monsanto's own data shows that there is a 79% increase in mastitis (udder infections) and a resulting 19% increase in somatic cell counts (pus & bacteria in the milk)."    

The United States is the only developed nation to permit humans to drink milk from cows given artificial growth hormone.

From NaturalNews :

"The official U.S. position on genetically-modified organisms, also known as GMs or GMOs, is that there is no difference between them and natural organisms. Crafted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the position set forth to the Codex Alimentarius Committee on the issue goes even further to suggest that no country should be able to require mandatory GMO labeling on food items, even though science shows that GMOs act differently in the body than do natural organisms and are a threat to health." 

Lack of information on GMOs  

Information on health hazards by genetically modified products as well as damages done to ecosystems is totally unsatisfactory. The highly toxic bio-tech products cause the destruction of the soil, kill insects necessary for traditional farming and for the ecosystems and also make weeds resistant to weed killers and pesticides. The entire food chain, ecosystems and life cycles for animals are destroyed. Added to the destructive effects of these toxic products is also the fact that essential biodiversity is sacrificed to the immediate profit of giant industrial mono-cultures which impoverish the soil and in the end ruin it.  

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Siv O'Neall was born and raised in Sweden where she graduated from Lund University. She has lived in Paris, France and New Rochelle, N.Y. and traveled extensively throughout the U.S, Europe, and other continents, including several trips to (more...)

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