By Fusion Magazine
Outside of food-trading corporations, such as grain-based Cargyll, and stock market speculators, control of food is actually in the hands of four corporations. These corporations use GMOs, or genetically modified seeds, as their greatest weapon.
"For a time the European Union did not allow GMOs for scientific and health reasons, but in 2006 it changed its mind."
- What role does the "boom" of genetically modified seeds play in all this?
- These "modified seeds," now patented, are a product that goes to market. The corporations that own these patents use strategies to place their product on the world market. Engdahl, in his book "Seeds of Destruction", explains three strategic phases in the placement of genetically modified seeds by large corporations. The first is to join…, or buy local companies of some importance. The second is to ensure that you obtain local patents for genetic engineering techniques on relevant varieties, or seed banks. Finally, they have to sell their seeds to farmers or peasants, and by doing so they make them sign a commitment whereby they cannot keep second generation seeds but will buy their seeds for the next planting from the corporation - something they will have to do. every year at a high cost. These strategies are legal ones, but they also use illegal tactics to impose genetically modified seeds on farmers, peasants or countries. Direct and indirect coercion to force the purchase, or smuggling, are some of them.
"The agribusiness industry is a global food production infrastructure, controlled by a few private corporations"
- Are there countries that have not succumbed to the “invasion” of transgenics?
- Probably yes, because the mechanism that these corporations use to introduce their transgenic seeds in some way depends on the World Trade Organization (WTO). So it is possible that not all have yet succumbed to GMOs. But it's hard to know for sure. For example, in 2004, 56% of the beans - soybean sprouts - and 28% of the cotton in the world were transgenic. In the Third World, these seeds were imposed mainly because of the level of vulnerability that these countries had and because of the complicity of their governments and elites - as was the case in Argentina. But elsewhere they were imposed by force, as was applied in Iraq after the invasion, as part of economic shock therapy.
For a time the European Union did not allow transgenics for scientific and health reasons -the effects of these foods on the population were questioned-; but in 2006 he changed his mind. It is not easy to know how many GMOs exist or in which countries. At the moment, the United States, Canada and Argentina are those with the highest contamination index of genetically modified grains.
- What role has the World Trade Organization and the World Bank played and is doing in all this?
- The WTO helped to impose the legal framework in which transgenic seeds are patented. The legal framework is made up of "Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights", rules that all WTO member countries had to approve to protect plant patents. This is how the seeds were transformed into patent products. In 2003, following a lawsuit from the United States, Canada and Argentina (the countries most contaminated by transgenics), a panel chaired by Swiss judge Christian Haberli ruled against the European Union for "not complying with its obligations" as member of the WTO - which could mean annual fines of hundreds of millions of dollars.
On the other hand, the World Bank since its creation has been an instrument of western domination, mainly the United States. The connections of the North American elite with the Board of the World Bank have helped finance projects for irrigation systems, dams, etc. elements necessary for the implementation of the "Green Revolution". The Green Revolution has been a chemical revolution carried out by petrochemical corporations that have imposed the use of herbicides and pesticides on many of the poor countries (or developing countries, as they are called), which had no possibility of buying them without the credits. provided by the World Bank.
"There are legal but also illegal strategies to impose genetically modified seeds on farmers, peasants or countries."
- How can the people react to so much abuse? What to do?
- The example of the European Union shows that it is legitimate to resist and that it is possible to do so even if only to stop the process and create awareness about this imposition of GMOs -especially when we do not know the consequences they have for health and within the framework of national sovereignty.
Vandana Shiva, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, has organized peasant resistance in India and has contributed to knowledge about transgenics. Shiva has written numerous books including "Monocultures of the Mind" (Monocultures of the Mind), "Earth Democracy. Justice, Sustainability and Peace "(Democracy of the Earth. Justice, Sustainability and Peace)," Divided India. Siege of Diversity and Democracy. " Shiva has created the NARDANAYA movement, http://www.navdanya.org
In Latin America, the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement, which is one of the most active and internationally known movements, has fought against GMOs for more than 25 years.
On a personal level it is important that people inform themselves. Writers like F. William Engdahl, with his book “Seeds of Destruction. The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation ”have contributed to our understanding of the agenda that is being imposed on us. Michel Chossudovsky has shown what lies behind globalization in his book "Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order" XXI Century edition. Professor Chossudovsky also maintains a website, recently awarded the International Journalism Prize for the Best International Research Portal: www.globalresearch.ca.-