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      cross-posted at annoyedomnivore.wordpress.com

Prince Charles, of all people, and I applaud him for it, was one of the first to proclaim against Monsanto’s practice of forcing farmers in India to purchase genetically modified seeds.  A result of this was that small farmers were unable to pay the company when their crops failed and committed suicide.  The number of suicides are estimated at 270,000 since 1995.  As our government and others increase their ties to agribusiness, GM seeds are often the only purchasing option since non-GM varieties are then banned at seed banks.  It happened in India, and it happened in Iraq, where the U.S. essentially wiped out local, native agricultural practices, which were primarily sustainable, and replaced them with a Monsanto business plan.

And now the U.S. government is threatening to withhold $277 million in aid to El Salvador unless “specific” economic and environmental policy reforms are enacted.  A U.S. government agency, the Millenium Challenge Corporation, has put forth a compact for aid, and this compact contains a condition for purchasing GM seeds from Monsanto.  The Millenium Challenge Corporation’s intent is to provide economic assistance to “developing nations that demonstrate positive performance in three areas:  ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom.”  With Michael Taylor in charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a former V.P. of Public Policy at Monsanto and appointed by Obama, the compact with El Salvador became one in which Monsanto’s business goals trump any concerns about “investing in people.”

Taylor has been instrumental in establishing governmental policies that benefit agribusiness and Monsanto in particular.  He colluded with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open up African markets for GM seeds and chemicals, even though it had already been shown that this misguided policy had been a failure in India.  Obama has expressed frustration that the fundamentals of the Green Revolution had not been introduced in Africa, but clearly he has not paid attention to what this revolution has wrought in India, where the farmers are in dept, are forced to pay high costs for seeds and pesticides, are committing suicide, (and often by drinking the same pesticides they were forced to buy) and resulting in a depleted water table and a poisoned environment.  Human health concerns include rising rates of cancer and autism as well.

Latin America, however, like much of the world, is slowly realizing that markets for GM food are shrinking.  Mexican judges recently banned GM corn and China has rejected the import of U.S. GM corn.  The President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA), Richard Navarro, has demanded that the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, stop pressuring the government to buy Monsanto’s seeds rather than non-GM seeds from local suppliers.  “I would like to tell the U.S. Ambassador to stop pressuring the government…to buy ‘improved GM seeds,’…which only benefit U.S. multinationals and is to the detriment of local seed production.”  El Salvador also announced last year that they planned to ban the use of glyphosate (Roundup) and 52 other toxic chemicals, a result of an increase in occurrence of a rare type of chronic kidney disease that’s killing agricultural workers.  The Pan American Health Organization evidently decided that the health risks to workers were important enough to ban certain pesticides until evidence could be amassed as to the link between the high levels of cadmium and arsenic, heavy metals that are toxic to the kidneys, and the pesticides associated with GM crops.  Glyphosate sales are the main money maker for Big Ag, and this chemical provides the base of the entire system that allows GM crops to be grown.
“There is a harmful corporation on the planet called Monsanto…It is truly disturbing that the U.S. is trying to promote them,” says Navarro.  Monsanto, in its oblivious concern for human suffering and environmental destruction, continues, with the help of our government, on its singular path for more profit.

Recipe of the Week

I’ve mentioned Panzanella before, but it’s worth repeating, especially as a base for a summer meal, or as a pleasing contribution to a pot luck.

Panzanella

1 French baguette, cut into 1″ pieces

3 medium tomatoes

1/2 lb of provolone

1 cup olives, chopped

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped

extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste

Mix all ingredients.  This salad will last for at least a couple of days in the refrigerator. For a main meal, mix the panzanella with lightly dressed greens and top with grilled chicken.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Monsanto keeps coming up as a over reaching bully. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, AKBear

    We will focus on them and find ways to confront their poluting of our environment.  
    Thanks for the Panzanella recipe, it looks delicious as a summer meal base.

  •  I am back after a vein was melted in my brain. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot, AKBear

    That came after two years of avoiding corn which started by blistering my skin then melting it which was followed by 6 " blood filled blister and gut pain after eating corn on the cob. Honestly I listened to the defenders for about a year and then I listened to the minimizers. Then one night in early December I felt as if someone had drove a spike into the top back of my brain. The Catholic Hospital emergency room sent me home with sedatives where I stayed nearly unconscious for 6 days until my husband forgot to feed me the sedative. I got up went to him and tilted my head... promptly falling over. I told him once again they were wrong (like the 50% of the time for decades) and he took me back.  They did an MRI and said my brain was bleeding. It lasted 4 more days. No one saw it as because of my reaction of melting getting more and more serious.

    When I finally went home I got a lung infection and a cough. Without thinking (Seldom eating anything but fresh fruit and vegetables) I started taking Nyquil so I could sleep. Bang back came the dizziness and falling over. It took me 9 days before I read the label (slapping forehead) and there it was corn syrup. I quit and the symptoms went away as I used Fishermans cough drops instead and Melatonin.  

    Can I prove anything? NO because I am NOT taking corn in any shape or form in front of others to prove it as well as disallowing my dissection. The medical bills are huge enough without paying them to treat me to old hat clichés while ignoring the potential problem with corn that only arose after GMOs. This is why I so strongly support complete and correct labeling. How do you prove something if you can not collect a large significant statistical pool of data. How do you even get anyone whos pocket is getting fuller to even begin to investigate it.

    I worked as an environmental chemist for a while. I still take the test to find at what concentration 50% of minnows die  as a questionable basis for establishing the safety of a new substance or creation. I think that the hardest effect to recognize is the effect of the substance after interacting with our chemical computers (DNA) reaction to an introduction uncovered in their programming.

    I have been reading extensively on viruses and I think my bleeding lies somewhere in the mechanisms as to how some cause your skin to dissolve. (Just about the effects of Spanish flu and cytokine storms) It is not a histamine reaction. But I have proof after a biopsy years ago that my skin literally melts from Betadine (which in medical offices as a lab tech I encountered before endless times). Corn starch applied to my skin causes first blisters then itching and then open sores . (I thought it was talc until I read the label) the next was applying a lotion causing intense itching and blisters (washed of immediately within 5 min). Corn oil = gut pain, blood blisters, etc.

    I could go on and on but I have to go make my own corn free (and I believe that is actually the chemical added to corn. If I am wrong at least making an effort to avoid potential danger) catsup, lotion, toothpaste, etc. Corn is everywhere and now it carries other things you would never pick up a bottle and drink. I am looking to sell my house and buy land  where I can grow stuff  we are evolved to eat safely.

    This is a very sore subject with me.

    Fear is the Mind Killer...

    by boophus on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

  •  Does anyone else (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CFAmick

    ever wonder why all these people are developing all these different allergies?  I mean, if we tracked the dramatic increase in childhood obesity to the increased use of high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners in foods across the spectrum, we should be able to track the uptick in allergic reactions to otherwise benign environmental factors, yes?

    •  I think the answer is: (0+ / 0-)

      There's no specific patent on HFCS. There's no specific patent on "artificial sweetener." But we'll find specific patents on chemicals that cause specific allergic reactions, hence, it's probably illegal to track them.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:24:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not that anyone here will care, but yay! (0+ / 0-)

    The world just keeps moving on, even as we are still "looking forward".

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:47:25 PM PDT

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