By Ellen Brown / EllenBrown.com
“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
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 foods 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.
John Lawrence says
Now Round-Up resistant GMO modified plants like corn and soy are sprayed with massive amounts of Round-Up. What could go wrong with that? Only when you eat that plant, you are essentially eating Round-Up or glyphosate. It’s not so much that the plant has been genetically modified but that it has been sprayed with massive amounts of weed killer which is then consumed. Now they have modified plants even more so that they contain glyphosate in their very genome. They are not only resistant to glyphosate; they are glyphosate. But they still taste good, and that’s all the American consumer cares about.
Dr R says
What is little known about Roundup residue: many grain crops, whether Roundup resistant or not, are routinely sprayed with Roundup anyway. Roundup is a “burn-down” herbicide, not quite like paraquat but similar in the final effect: dead, dried.
As Roundup has EPA residue allowances it is used to “crisp” up a slow maturing crop, get rid of unwanted vegetative matter, weeds or crop green vegetation and as such enters your food-supply with or without the GMO trait.
Simply put: even non-GMO crops are sprayed with Roundup….
Once independant run media & investigative journalist would have informed mobilised citizens by informing of ALL the facts factors outcomes. Now we have GLOBAL CORPORATE MEDIA makes governments dance to their tune to suit investors.
As as we have come to find out even get political parties installed in government or thrown out of government???
Helen Ragan says
I concur. This is ethically WRONG! We are jeopardizing the health of current adults and their children and their children’s children. I cannot believe this country and the political scenario is so corrupt as to be bought by the mega corporations. Shame on you and you and you!
Dr R says
You want capitalism? Then live with the evil of capitalism.
Really, have you seen the corruption in the socialist countries when they take over BIG CORPORATIONS? It’s corruption, not capitalism that makes this a problem.
Shame on us. We vote these criminals into office. Repeatedly.
mike Davidson says
Everyone needs to call and e-mail there Senators and reps. I have been doing this for some time. They do listen but it must be in large numbers.
Michael Soudant says
I kept bees as an amateur for 25 years but after the new pesticides became common they all died so I stopped keeping bees. Now I have a home garden in North Central Nebraska and this past season I spent hours there every day for 8 months. I did not see even one honeybee. Not one bee! These agribusiness corporations are eco-terrorists and we need to develop laws to permit criminal prosecution. Wait, I forgot! I can’t afford to buy or rent a Washington legislator.
There are too many problems with gmos, the main one being that they cross pollinate and thus genetically modify conventional plant species, which could lead to our not having a choice as to whether we want inbred pesticides, etc., in our food. Another problem is corporate ownership of an entire species of plants, and the further ownership of genetically contaminated crops. This is not a technology that hopes to feed the hungry. It aspires, rather, to control and profit from all of our food crops, and will come with their lawyers if ‘their’ gm crops have contaminated yours, and demand you pay them for the privilege. This is pure evil, and has nothing to do with securing a future wherein no one need be hungry. I hope that our politicians on the American continent will take notice and develop the courage to stop pandering to this abominable industry. Call them, write to them and let them know this will not stand.
William Roberson says
Roundup was initially sold as a pipe descaler when they noticed it also killed plants, essentially by the same mechanism used to remove minerals from pipes: it binds to minerals. Any wonder we’re experiencing chronic mineral deficiency (also due to the depletion of essential minerals from farm soils) and chronic illness?
Dr R says
Excellent post, I’ll investigate this.
Cécile Stelzer Johnson says
It appears to be true: In this PDF document:
Food Plague Primer
it reads: Glyphosate was originally patented by
Stauffer Chemical December 8, 1964, number 3,160,632 as a descaling agent, a
very strong metal chelator. Descaling agents are chemicals used to clean out the
calcium and other mineral deposits that build up in pipes and boilers of home and
commercial hot water systems.
and again;These descaling agents are chelators, meaning their molecular structure is such that they grab onto metal ions of calcium, iron, manganese,
magnesium, etc. and dissolve them away.
Dr R says
Very interesting article.
Great citations too.
I have some interesting reading to do this weekend whilst snowed in!
I can not believe that this nation is so stupid that they think whatever they want to do they can do it and forget the end results. We have BT Sweet Corn,which kills the worms as soon as they start to feed off the sweet corn, why because there is pesticides already in the plant. If it kills the worms how much will it take for us to be the next ones to die.
We need to get big corps out of the goverment and start demanding the our so call leaders do their job we sent them there to do. But, no they are more worried they get their cash even if it means we do not. The farm bill that still hasn’t past, is keeping many families and those of which are the porrest in our nation and are using them as there whipping post. Seniors, people in poverty, are being held there by the real crooks in our nation Capital.
ann marie says
You MUST get more info out on this travesty. People have NO IDEA this is going on.I wanted to forward this article but could not…it said info is not available to forward…pleases FIX that kink.
april Barcenas says
We cannot allow the TPP to pass, it will be the beginning of the end. The corporations are getting too much power, anti-trust laws are weak. Call your representative now, before they too, are neutered.
mike Davidson says
You are 100% correct
Apple Sauce says
don’t you think is odd that none of the mainstream media is covering this story? This should be all over the news!!!
michael Davidson says
Yes it Should Be