This post is a continuation of last week’s 3 Top Reasons to Take to the Streets with Hundreds of Millions of People Worldwide in May 23rd.
The American government is being replaced by global corporations and has become a government of, by, and for big business not the people. From the beginning they’ve pursued a concentrated strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology.
Biotech methods are promoted over the opposition of the public and local and foreign governments nearly to the exclusion of more sustainable methods. In fact, the U.S. State Department and agricultural agencies have been acting as marketing agents throughout the world for the giant seed companies, like Monsanto, that are patenting the seeds necessary for human survival.
In the past decade the U.S. aggressively pursued foreign policies that benefited the largest seed companies threatening nations who oppose Monsanto with military like trade wars. Leaked documents reveal recommendations in 2007 for measured and long term retaliation for specific nations in the EU “to make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.”
At home former Monsanto associated individuals are appointed to positions of power within the government where they advance legislation that clears the way for the progress of biotech companies unimpeded by the law. Either the law is ignored or legislation is enacted that makes these marauding multi-national corporations immune to the laws and regulations in place to protect “we the people.”
Take a look at some of the players in the revolving door between Washington and Monsanto.
|Official Name||Monsanto Position||Government Position|
|Toby Moffett||Consultant||Congressman (D)|
|Dennis Deconcini||Legal council||Senator (D)|
|Margaret Miller||Chemical Lab Supervisor||Deputy Director of FDA|
|Marcia Hale||Director Int’l Gov. Affairs||White House Senior Staff|
|Mikey Kantor||Member of Board||U.S. Secretary of Commerce|
|Virginia Weldon||VP Public Policy||White House CSA|
|Josh King||Director Int’l Gov. Affairs||White House Communications|
|David Beler||V.P. Gov. & Public Affairs||Al Gore Chief Policy Advisor|
|Carol Tucker-Foreman||Lobbyist for Monsanto||White House Appointed Consumer Advocate|
|Linda Fisher||V.P. Gov. & Public Affairs||Deputy Admin of the EPA, USDA|
|Linda Watrud||Manager, New Technologies||USDA, EPA|
|Michael Taylor||V.P. Public Policy||Deputy Commissioner, FDA|
|Hillary Clinton||Council||First Lady, U.S. Senator (D), Sec. of State|
|Roger Bleachy||Director||Director USDA NIFA|
|Islam Siddiqui||Lobbyist||Agriculture Negotiator Trade Rep.|
|Clarence Thomas||Council||Supreme Court Judge|
|Donald Rumsfeld||Board of Directors||Secretary of Defense|
|Anne Veneman||Board of Directors||Secretary of Agriculture|
Furthermore, the biotech behemoths spend an obscene amount of money lobbying the U.S. government. Just in the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $2 million lobbying the U.S. government. This is astronomically more than “we the people” and our Not-For-Profits and grassroots organizations could ever come close to raising. Thus our voice becomes a whisper to their big money shout.
Wanting to eliminate toxic chemicals and mutant food are reasons enough to support organic solutions. But what about the growing need to feed a hungry world? Aren’t GE crops necessary to end world hunger? Contrary to Monsanto’s advertising and PR GE food is not necessary to feed the world. In fact it is probably making it more difficult to do so. In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world’s agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. Yields from GE crops are “highly variable” according to the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAAKSTD); a substantial study by independent expert for the World Bank and four United Nations agencies.
It went on to note that in some cases there had been yield declines. Yet so much focus of attention and funding goes to development of GE products that little is left to develop truly sustainable and proven safe method farmers worldwide can utilize.
We already produce enough food for to feed the world. In developed countries we produce more than enough food. In developing countries food is under produced due to bad information.
- Farmers don’t know what to plant and how to best manage their farms.
- What they need is better information not GMO seeds.
Other major contributors to world hunger cannot be addressed by GM seeds such as:
- lack of access to food and,
- increasingly there is a lack of access to land on which to grow it
On May 25, 2013 the first ever global March Against Monsanto took place. To my knowledge it was the first organized, world wide, march of any kind. Hundreds of millions of people around the world unite every May in a common cause; to stop Monsanto and like companies from genetically tampering with our food.
The marches are making a difference too. Laws are being changed; GMOs are being labeled and banned around the world. Awareness lifted. There is a growing awareness of what the heck a GMO is and subsequently shopping habits are changing. Restaurants are changing what they offer. Chipolte recently went totally GMO. Some merchants are removing Roundup from the shelves. Farmers and merchants are beginning to balk at the Monsanto plan afraid the public won’t buy the products. You can be a part of all these historic changes.
Amazing people that are willing to take a stand and do what they can to make a positive difference in the world.
One of the inspirational things about this movement is the broad spectrum of people it motivates. Our food supply affects everyone from anarchists to conservatives and everyone, of every age, in between. You’ll get to meet people you probably would not have met any other way, and march side by side for a common cause.
You can make connections for your continued efforts. Expand your world. Rich and supportive friendships have grown from the marches. I’ve seen warm friendships develop from these marches because, well, you meet the nicest people protesting injustice.
If you are an activist, it doesn’t matter what your focus, there’s something for you here. If you are interested in the health of your family and planet, this is imperative. Just go the the March Against Monsanto website to find information about the march nearest to you.