PBS (Political Bull S.) brought to you by AGRONOPOLY

What are we Eating?

Many network and Public Broadcasting Service shows are funded by large agricultural corporations, so you may not hear this on the mainstream news.

(excerpted from totalhealthbreakthrough.com )

Monsanto is the world's largest agricultural biotechnology company and producer of genetically modified (GM) seeds. Monsanto's GM crop seeds are altered to resist the damaging effects of their bestselling agricultural herbicide, Roundup, which earns the company a cool $620 million per year and provides 40% of its operating profit.[1]

Before farmers are sold the Roundup-resistant, patented seeds, they are required to sign a technology agreement that allows the company to conduct property investigations and define "what rights a farmer does and does not have in planting, harvesting, and selling genetically engineered seed.”[2] And according to Monsanto, patent infringement also includes saving seeds from current healthy crops and replanting them in the future, so farmers are forced to buy seed every year. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) states that Monsanto has collected $15,253,602 from lawsuits that have found in its favor.[2]

On April 14, 2009, the company filed a law suit against the German government for refusing to use its GM corn.[3]

Even farmers who have not purchased Monsanto's GM seeds nor signed any written agreement are in the line of fire. If pollen from a GM planted crop pollinates a non-GM field on another farm that results in viable plants, that farmer is liable under current laws for patent infringement -- even if he did not want GM crops growing in his field.

In the US Sunbelt, Roundup-resistant super-weeds are threatening cotton and soybean crops.[5] In 2007, 10,000 acres in Macon County, Georgia were overrun with super-weeds and abandoned. Farmers across the South are now left to figure out how to kill the pesticide-resistant weeds and not harm their crops. Monsanto is encouraging these farmers to mix the Roundup with older pesticides like 2,4-D which also happens to be an ingredient used in Agent Orange. Three Scandinavian countries have banned 2,4-D because of its links to cancer, cognitive impairment, and reproductive damage.[5]

1. http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/companies/monsanto.html
2. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/MonsantoExSum1.14.2005.pdf
3. http://www.opednews.com/articles/MEGALOMANIA-by-MONSANTO-by-amicus-curia€e-090422-816.html.
4. http://www.genewatch.org/sub-532322.
5. http://www.france24.com/en/20090418-superweed-explosion-threatens-monsanto-heartlands-genetically-modified-US-crops

Dr. Mercola writes that: Those who believe crops genetically modified to poison specific insects are the solution to agricultural pest control are suffering from a serious case of tunnel vision. As Chinese farmers can now attest, when you wipe out one pest, it simply paves the way for another to flourish. Bt cotton was engineered with a gene from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis. Organic farmers use the natural form of the bacterium as an insecticide, spraying it occasionally during times of high pest infestation. Monsanto engineers, however, isolated and then altered the gene that produces the Bt-toxin, and inserted it into the DNA of the cotton plant. Now every cell of their Bt cotton produces a toxic protein that kills certain pests, including the bollworm -- one of the major pests that threatened China’s cotton crops. When Bt cotton was first introduced, farmers were able to temporarily cut back on their use of broad-spectrum pesticides, which GM advocates use to support their flawed argument that GM crops are environmentally friendly. What happened, though, was that as bollworms decreased, mirid bugs, which are not vulnerable to the Bt toxin and were once only a minor pest in the area, increased significantly. Mirids are just as much of a threat to cotton crops as bollworms, so Chinese farmers have upped their pesticide use on the Bt cotton crops to kill the mirid bugs. So now, not only are farmers planting Bt cotton crops to ward off bollworms, but they are spraying increasing amounts of pesticides to tackle the mirid bugs that only became a problem because of the Bt crops! This is hardly a benefit to the environment. Further, the mirid bugs are not only a threat to cotton crops, they’re also a threat to green beans, vegetables, fruits and cereal crops as well. Worse still, the evolution of Bt-resistant bollworms worldwide have been confirmed and documented, which means Monsanto’s Bt crops are a miserable failure on all counts. Despite the fact that Bt cotton has done the area no favors whatsoever, Chinese researchers are looking into developing more GM crops that will kill both bollworms and mirid bugs -- even though it’s fairly obvious that a new pest will soon step up to take their place. Along with creating new pest problems, Bt crops may also be toxic, even deadly for animals. As Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified foods, recently shared, in India animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Investigators said preliminary evidence "strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably Bt-toxin." In one small study, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died; those fed natural plants remained healthy. Jeffrey Smith visited one village in Andhra Pradesh and interviewed the villagers. He reported: “Buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. But on January 3rd, 2008, 13 buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All died within three days. The village also lost 26 goats and sheep. Buffalo in Haryana, India are fed cottonseed and oil cakes. But those fed the Bt variety, according to veterinarians and farmers, suffered from reproductive disorders, skin problems, and sudden death of both adults and calves. According to Jeffrey Smith: “Bt corn is also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in the Philippines.” The Bt toxin kills pests by splitting open their stomachs. Monsanto claims the crops are safe for humans, however, because organic farmers have used natural Bt sprays as pest control for years. But Jeffrey Smith points out that there’s actually a very big difference: “GM plants produce about 3,000-5,000 times the amount of toxin as the sprays. A Bt-producing GM plant continuously produces the toxin in every cell where it does not dissipate by weather and cannot be washed off. The bacterial spray form, on the other hand, is broken down within a few days to two weeks by sunlight, high temperatures, or substances on the leaves of plants, and can be "washed from leaves into the soil by rainfall," or rinsed by consumers. The natural toxin produced in bacteria is inactive until it gets inside the alkaline digestive tract of an insect. Once inside, a "safety catch" is removed and the Bt becomes toxic. But scientists change the sequence of the Bt gene before inserting it into GM plants. The Bt toxin it produces usually comes without the safety catch. The plant-produced Bt toxin is always active and more likely to trigger an immune response than the natural variety.” In India, farm workers who handle Bt crops are already reporting allergy and flu-like symptoms. There’s also concern that the Bt toxin could remain active in your intestines, turning your digestive tract into a virtual pesticide factory. As Smith says: “The only published human feeding study revealed that even after you stop eating GMOs, harmful GM proteins may be produced continuously inside of you; genes inserted into GM soy transfer into bacteria inside your intestines and continue to function. If Bt genes also transfer, eating corn chips might transform your intestinal bacteria into a living pesticide factory”

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed;as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword;because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. -Noah Webster in "An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," 1787, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at p. 56 (New York, 1888).

I will harm you the most when I leave you in the hands of academics. - Gengis Khan (1200's)

The refusal to confront gathering dangers can increase rather than reduce future peril. -Donald Rumsfeld (2005)

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