MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
It's official, the amber waves of grain in "America, The Beautiful" are now unofficially owned, in growing acreage, by Monsanto and the other giant seed companies. Not only that, the US State Department and executive branch have been acting as marketing agents for the companies who are patenting the most basic seeds necessary for human survival – and doing it throughout the world.
The non-profit organization Food and Water Watch just released a report in which it concludes:
In the past decade, the United States has aggressively pursued foreign policies in food and agriculture that benefit the largest seed companies. The U.S. State Department has launched a concerted strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology, often over the opposition of the public and governments, to the near exclusion of other more sustainable, more appropriate agricultural policy alternatives.
Russian Television (RT) provided more insight into the basis for the Food and Water Watch findings:
After US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed that the State Department was lobbying worldwide for Monsanto and other similar corporations, a new report based on the cables shows Washington's shilling for the biotech industry in distinct detail.The August 2011 WikiLeaks revelations showed that American diplomats had requested funding to send lobbyists for the biotech industry to hold talks with politicians and agricultural officials in "target countries" in areas like Africa and Latin America, where genetically-modified crops were not yet a mainstay, as well as some European countries that have resisted the controversial agricultural practice.
The title of the white paper is "Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry's Global Agenda"
Although the WikiLeaks cables covered 2005 – 2009, the Obama administration has continued to cozy up to Monsanto, including the appointment of former Monsanto-associated individuals to government positions. Furthermore, as RT reported, just a short time ago "the president signed into law an agricultural spending bill that included a provision that provides biotech companies with liability from future lawsuits filed over possible health hazards brought on by unregulated and untested GMO products."
One possible change in long-term US policy supporting the privatization of GMO seeds for the most basic staples of food around the world (in conjunction with the sale of companion mega-pesticides) occurred the other day. RT again was on top of the story:
Biotech giant Monsanto faced a surprising setback after federal authorities refused to approve a new generation of genetically-engineered crops that could survive an unprecedented use of herbicides.
Monsanto was awarded a big win on Monday by the United States Supreme Court, but another federal ruling made only days earlier brought some comparatively bad news to the biotech giant.
The US Department of Agriculture announced Friday that they’ve ordered additional environmental impact statements (EIS) for herbicide-resistant crops that have been waiting for federal approval. Now Monsanto and the chemical company Dow will have to sit anxiously and await the results of those assessments before they are given the go-ahead to sell genetically-engineer plants that have raised serious environmental issues.
At stake is the future for a variety of corn, soybean and cotton crops that have been genetically-engineered to resist two heavy-duty pesticides, namely 2,4-D and dicamba. Both Monsanto and Dow have been hoping to get the go-ahead to sell these crops, but ordering further testing will set the release date back to perhaps 2015.
But don't celebrate just yet. The Obama administration has let Monsanto and the other genetically engineered giants pretty much write their own ticket when it comes to owning and controlling "the staff of life." Just as with the Keystone Pipeline, which is going to be operational shortly -- it's just a question of whether or not a more profitable new route gets built to replace the current northern section that is up in the air – more than likely the Obama administration is just acting is if it is taking environmental concerns seriously, with the intention of approving the Monsanto and Dow hyper-herbicide genetically engineered seeds at a later date (probably in a press release at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon sometime).
Meanwhile, Monsanto is launching another counter-offensive to critics who believe seeds should not be patented and owned by a few global corporations.
A Bloomberg News headline from May 15 reads, "Monsanto Sees ‘Elitism’ in Social Media-Fanned Opposition": "Monsanto Co. (MON) opponents who want to block genetically modified foods are guilty of 'elitism' that’s fanned by social media and fail to consider the needs of the rest of the world, Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said."
As Monsanto and its cohorts in patenting the seeds of life receive US government support to own the amber waves of grain, the Monsanto CEO would have you believe that the company is acting out of benevolence. Those inhabitants of earth who think that seeds needed for human survival belong to the human race-- not private companies with patented profits -- are just greedy individuals, right?