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  • Farming is hard work.

  • And just like Farming's smaller cousin, Gardening,

  • the biggest pain in the arse are the weeds.

  • Now in your garden at home, with enough motivation you could pull them all out by hand.

  • But on a 300 acre farm?

  • ...not so much.

  • So you use chemicals. And nothing kills those bloody weeds better than

  • RoundUp from Monsanto -

  • the famous makers of Joni Mitchell’s favourite DDT,

  • Agent Orange - which aside from the occasional birth defect,

  • did a great job of destroying the rice fields during the Vietnam War;

  • the cow-swelling Bovine growth Hormone,

  • and PCB - everyone’s favourite carcinogenic environmental pollutant.

  • But with the revolutionary key ingredient in RoundUp - glyphosate -

  • the folks at Monsanto have added not just enormous profits to their bottom line,

  • but also the wordprobablyin front of the wordcarcinogenic’.

  • Monsantomaking the definite probable since 1901.

  • But two pesky questions still remain -

  • how do you spray your crops to kill weeds without killing the crops as well?

  • And how does a company with a terrible health and environmental track record

  • but also one of the biggest patents in the history of agriculture

  • keep the profits rolling in when the patent runs out?

  • Easy - take all that hard earned experience making poisons that kill things,

  • and start making food for people to eat!

  • Throughout the 90s, Monsanto began modifying the DNA of basic staple crops

  • to make them resistant to RoundUp.

  • Now well save the much needed discussion on the dangers of messing with the DNA of something

  • you put in your mouth and feed to your cattle for another episode.

  • And we should point out that this technology doesn’t give the plant a magic force field

  • that deflects the RoundUp. It still absorbs just as much poison as the weeds -

  • it just somehow...survives.

  • And Monsanto more than survived.

  • Thanks to this 'nature tweak' they now control in the US market 80% of corn & 93% of soy.

  • And as Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are to Wes Anderson films,

  • so are corn & soy to modern food processing...theyre in everything.

  • At this point you might be wondering, 'how is this allowed to happen,

  • how can farmers be okay with this?'

  • Two things real quick. Market forces and political influence.

  • I know, I know. Youre about to switch off -

  • come on Dan, big business controls politics - tell us something we don’t know!’

  • But the example I’m about to give you is an absolute doozy.

  • Remember back in 2013 when the US government faced total shutdown?

  • Well just before the legislation they needed to keep the lights on was passed,

  • Missouri Senator and

  • The Joker disguised as a human - Roy Blunt,

  • secretly attached an unrelated amendment, which the good folks at Monsanto helped to write,

  • It gave very open-ended powers to prevent the US Judiciary from banning or limiting

  • the sale of Monsanto products

  • even if adverse health effects were revealed.

  • The legislation was passed but expired later through a sunset clause in September 2013

  • Even still, this raises a veritable cornucopia of WTFs.

  • First, the wording of the amendment suggests that Monsanto knew

  • adverse health effects were inevitable

  • - it’s the legislative equivalent of Bill Clinton spraying Monica’s dress with Scotch Guard

  • 'Always be prepared'

  • Second, for an amendment that strange, irrelevant and largely unprecedented to pass,

  • would require at least 50% of US senators to either agree with the legislation or be too lazy to read it

  • - ok so that’s less of a WTF and more of an NSS?

  • And third, how are we in a situation where the provider of a huge slice of the world’s food bowl

  • is synonymous with adverse health effects?

  • That takes us back to the farm.

  • Since 1996 Monsanto and four other huge agro-chemical businesses

  • have quietly bought up almost every small seed manufacturer around the globe.

  • And with their unprecedented control over the seed supply,

  • they have fought to stop a natural process as old as time -

  • farmers saving seed from their current crop to be used in the next harvest.

  • Going to the extraordinary lengths of suing individual farmers for patent infringement.

  • Take Indian farmers, for example.

  • They aren’t protected by government subsidies and have to take out loans just to afford seeds,

  • and can have entire entire crops wiped out by unpredictable weather.

  • but Monsanto prevents them from saving seeds as an insurance policy against the weather.

  • The Indian government directly links to the introduction and spread of GM cotton

  • to a significant rise in the suicide rate of farmers.

  • Farmers in Australia have lost their organic certification when GM seeds have

  • blown onto their properties from neighbouring farms.

  • And these are farmers attempting the increasingly difficult task of sourcing and growing non-GMO seeds.

  • And let’s hope more farmers join them in light of recent revelations.

  • Sure, Monsanto rejected the World Health Organisations findings which wasn't surprising.

  • But what was interesting was some of the major studies used to discredit those findings

  • were authored by scientists who have acted as paid consultants to Monsanto.

  • Because that’s how the biggest agribusiness in the world rolls.

  • Using vast reserves of cash and influence to distract us all from the key question -

  • Why are we all being fed by a poison expert?

Farming is hard work.

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B1 UK monsanto roundup amendment adverse health legislation

Why Are We Being Fed By A Poison Expert?

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    Kar Mun posted on 2016/04/17
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