Sunday, August 11, 2013

"The World According to Monsanto" in Newburgh Tonight

A farmer is seen holding Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybean seeds at his family farm. (photo: Dan Gill/AP) 
I was invited to introduce THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO by my friend Lisa Gervais of the Healing Arts Studio at 75 Broadway, in Newburgh, N.Y. because I shared the film with her last year.  I’d also very much like to thank  Chris and Paul of Newburgh Brewing for the  privilege.  The film will be shown at 88 Colden Street, in Newburgh, N.Y. at 6:30. 

Our Mother Earth, with all of Her infinitely complex eco-systems, has spent millions of years evolving the systems that sustain us.  With unthinkable naiveté and  arrogance, multi-national corporate entities are altering the genetic basis of food that we eat with no understanding of the long range consequences, to our bodies, and to the body of the Earth.  Furthermore, as this film and the “Monsanto Protection Act” demonstrates, not only is the health of future generations in grave danger, but so is the future of  Democracy; we are very close to being a “corporateacracy”, with no real choice about what we eat, think, or know.  This is a very important film.

The World According to Monsanto

 (Re-posted from previous article)

The passing of the "Monsanto Protection Act" is something all Americans should be aware of, it's long term consequences and its implications.   Having watched the documentary "The World According to Monsanto", I believe everyone needs to see this film.  
We hear a French scientist reporting that the universally used weedkiller Roundup "provokes  cell division leading to the formation of cancer".  We also learn about the almost complete  loss of independent farms and  biodiversity in Paraguay, and that in India farmers are being driven to suicide because they can no longer, due the fact that Monsanto completely controls the cotton seed market,  afford to plant their traditional crops.  As a result, they are falling deeper and deeper into debt, and losing their traditional homelands.

In North America as well,  Indiana farmer Troy Rouse talks about being sued by Monsanto and the "gene police" phenomenon.  (Consider:  if you grow organic or conventional,  and your neighbor grows Monsanto, the two will  inevitably cross and you will be legally liable to be sued by Monsanto when they field test your seeds.)  Further, seed crops are being designed to be sterile, so that future planting must be purchased anew from the corporation.    What this could mean is that essential crops could be potentially controlled by a corporate entity demanding a tax which it can determine at will.   They're doing this in India now.

We need to educate ourselves as to what lobbyists are accomplishing - it is frightening indeed to allow Monsanto to control  food production, as well as unleashing biologically modified crops with very little testing, and certainly no long term understanding of what the consequences of such tampering could mean.

As a mythologist,  I cannot help but reflect that the two most popular Epics of the past decade years was "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter", both about a "Dark Lord" intent on sacrificing everything in the pursuit of power.  The profit driven  soul-lessness of corporate entities such as Monsanto reflect that mythic struggle, the shadow of our crucial time.
 "Monsanto's talk of ‘technology' tries to hide its real objectives of control  where genetic engineering is a means to control seed.  These are the promises Monsanto India's website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers' suicides in India from the company's growing control over cotton seed supply - 95 per cent of India's cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto."......GMOs are failing to control pests and weeds, and have instead led to the emergence of superpests and superweeds.   The highest acreage of Bt cotton is in Maharashtra and this is also where the highest farmer suicides are. Suicides increased after Bt cotton was introduced - Monsanto's royalty extraction, and the high costs of seed and chemicals have created a debt trap.  As Monsanto's profits grow, farmers' debt grows........Monsanto's seeds are seeds of suicide." ultimate seeds of suicide is Monsanto's patented technology to create sterile seeds. (Called "Terminator technology" by the media, sterile seed technology is a type of Gene Use Restriction Technology, GRUT, in which seed produced by a crop will not grow - crops will not produce viable offspring seeds or will produce viable seeds with specific genes switched off.) The Convention on Biological Diversity has banned its use, otherwise Monsanto would be collecting even higher profits from seed............ A Monsanto representative admitted that they were "the patient's diagnostician and physician all in one" in writing the patents on life-forms, from micro-organisms to plants, in the TRIPS' agreement of WTO. Stopping farmers from saving seeds and exercising their seed sovereignty was the main objective." 

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Thanks to Janie Rezner for article.