Most of the truly important news of our times goes unnoticed, under-reported or ignored by the corporate media, and as they focus on the ever-evolving narrative of human political drama, we are missing opportunities to participate in the most important struggles of our time. Seven generations from now, the destruction of the world’s seed diversity by corporate greed will have a much greater impact on the human condition than as much as anything else we can fathom.
Seeds are absolutely vital to life on earth, but once a crop has gone extinct there is no way to revive it. In the last century alone, the world has lost at least 93% of all seed types, which had been cultivated by individual farmers around the globe for millennia providing a robust array of nutrition and sustenance.
“Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, these subtle flecks of life are the source of all existence. Like tiny time capsules, they contain the songs, sustenance, memories, and medicines of entire cultures. They feed us, clothe us, and provide the raw materials for our everyday lives. In a very real sense, they are life itself.” [Source]
This infographic gives a startling sense of just how many varieties of seeds we’ve already lost since the early 1900’s alone.
A New Type of Agriculture
A major part of the problem is the shift toward industrial, corporate sponsored agriculture and monocultures which is now heavily dependent on corporate seed manufacturers who have through corporate business practices consolidated the seed industry and recruited the enforcement of government policy to ensure that farmers have few choices.
“Once considered to be the property of all, like water or even air, seeds have become largely privatized, such that only a handful of companies now control the global food supply.
Agriculture has been around for 10,000 years, but the privatization of seeds has only occurred very recently. In that short time, seed diversity has been decimated, farmers have been put out of business due to rising seed costs… and the pesticide companies that control most seeds today have flourished.” [Source]
In addition the rise of genetically modified seed has given corporations the power to patent seed, which is literally patenting life itself. Today, the seed industry is much like the corporate media, entirely owned by just a handful of transnational corporations.
“In 1996, there were still about 300 independent seeds companies left in the US. By 2009, there were fewer than 100.8 With the rise of GM crops and seed patents, meanwhile, the pesticide industry has been snapping up an ever-growing share of the seed industry.
Just four agrichemical companies own 43 percent of the world’s commercial seed supply, and 10 multinational corporations hold 65 percent of global commercial seed for major crops.” [Source]
Of all the burgeoning and seemingly too big to approach problems emerging in our world, saving seeds is actually one of the few that anyone can participate in, and there is a growing revolution to bring back small farm and home garden farming. Gardening and seed saving is fun, very fulfilling, and you get free fruits and vegetables. There is an abundance of online resources to help even the nive gardener participate.
If enough ordinary, conscious people make the shift and begin gardening and saving seeds, we can quickly change the course of the history, providing future generations with the freedom inherent in the access to home-grown, nutritious foods. On the other hand, if this effort is left to corporations like Monsanto and the global elite, then only the rich will have quality foods in the very near future. Already, a Doomsday Seed Vault has been constructed and stocked in the frozen wilds of Norway, supported in part by Bill Gates and the titans of GMO’s. In a dark future, this seed will be reserved, and thus life itself reserved, for the rich.
A new documentary aims to bring awareness to the issue of seed extinction and inspire people to make a difference by participating in the global effort to save seeds. Watch the trailer for the upcoming film here:
If you had told someone a few decades ago that by 2016 the company that brought aspirin to the world and the company that brought Agent Orange to Vietnam were going to team up to control a quarter of the world's food supply, chances are you would have been labeled a loony.
Unless your name was Robert B. Shapiro. He was CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000, and in 1999 he told Business Week that the company's goal was to wed "three of the largest industries in the world--agriculture, food and health--that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration."
With this week's announcement that Bayer had finally succeeded in its quest to acquire Monsanto, it is hard to deny that Shapiro's vision has been realized. Too bad for all of us that that vision is a nightmare.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger (as James Evan Pilato and I discussed on this week's New World Next Week) is turning heads, and rightfully so. Clocking in at $66 billion, or $128 per share, it is the largest cash takeover bid in history. It also combines Bayer and Monsanto's shares of the world seed market (3% and 26% respectively) and their share of the agrochemical market (15% and 8% respectively) with Bayer's pharmaceutical division to create the single largest player in Shapiro's quickly-materializing "agriculture/food/health" industry.
But Bayer and Monsanto are not the only ones playing this game. Major competitors DuPont and Dow are in the midst of a merger that is expected to create a $130 billion behemoth when the dust settles. China National Chemical Corp.'s $43 billion takeover bid for seed giant Syngenta AG was approved by US regulators last month. And just like that, the number of companies presiding over the global supply of (increasingly genetically modified) seeds and agrochemicals is about to be cut in half.
But in fact, as I explained in "How Big Oil Conquered the World," even the current agrochemical industry has to be seen in its historical context as a fusion of the petrochemical fertilizer giants (Dupont, Dow, Hercules Powder and other businesses in the Standard Oil orbit) with the “ABCD” seed cartel of Archer Daniels Midand, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. These previously separate fields were gradually consolidated under the flag of "agribusiness," itself developed at Harvard Business School in the 1950s with the help of research conducted by Wassily Leontief for the Rockefeller Foundation.
Then with the advancement of GMO technology in the 1980s and 1990s (again with considerable help from the Rockefellers and other oiligarchical interests), new opportunities for consolidation presented themselves. Seeds used to be sold by seed companies, and fertilizers and herbicides used to be sold by chemical companies. But then the GMO "revolution" came along and all of these companies spun off "biotech" branches to genetically engineer seeds. That in turn opened up opportunities to create GMO seed strains that are tailored to work with patented herbicides and fertilizers. The combination of GMO seeds and specially tailored agrochemicals has been especially lucrative for the companies at the top of this food chain (pardon the pun), and Monsanto was the first to capitalize on those synergies, winning regulatory approval for its first Roundup Ready soybeans in 1994.
The goal of this latest round of biotech/seed/agrochemical mergers, like the agribusiness consolidation before it, is two-fold: to increase market share, cut overhead, and increase profits; and to put control of the world's food supply in the hands of a very few globalist insiders.
Control of the global food supply is, needless to say, (along with control of money and oil) the pillars upon which the globalist oligarchs perch. Although there is no proof whatsoever that he said it, the dubious quote sometimes attributed to Henry Kissinger is nonetheless quite true: "Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world."
Particularly frightening, then (though hardly surprising), that this latest round of consolidation is being spearheaded by two corporations as thoroughly deplorable as Bayer and Monsanto.
Are you feeling safe knowing that a quarter of the world's food supply will soon be in their combined hands?
Well, perhaps there's a ray of hope here. The Wall Street Journal posits that these latest mergers are actually a defensive reaction to negative market pressures, not the fulfillment of the companies' (admitted) long-term plans. According to the Journal:
"[...]farmers are finding it harder to justify the high and often rising prices for modified, or GMO, seed, given the measly returns of the current farm economy. Spending on crop seeds has nearly quadrupled since 1996, when Monsanto became the first of the companies to launch biotech varieties. Yet major crop prices have skidded lower for three years, and this year, many farmers stand to lose money."
The report goes on to suggest that these increasing prices, combined with the emergence of increasingly-resistant weeds, are leading a growing number of farmers back to non-GMO seeds.
Whether this is part of a rising trend of farmers abandoning the GMO monstrosities for their cheaper organic alternatives or not, one thing is clear: Consumers who are concerned about these GMO crops and the consolidation of the food supply itself have their own responsibility in reducing their consumption of these products. While a complete boycott of the nearly-ubiquitous (in the US) GMO soybean and GMO corn would be almost impossible at this point, consumers still can make their presence felt by using the Non-GMO Project or similar resources to buy GMO-free products.
The alternative is that Robert B. Shapiro's dream of a consolidated food-health-agriculture industry comes true and we all live through the nightmare of that much power being put in the hands of the very few.
This article originally appeared in The Corbett Report subscriber newsletter on September 17, 2016. To sign up for a Corbett Report membership and gain access to the weekly newsletter, please CLICK HERE.
“The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. ‘Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,’ Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. He added, according to the Charleston Post and Courier, ‘I am not pleased that so many bees were killed.’
That’s the highest degree of outrage County Administrator Ward can muster? He’s not pleased?
Who said this Naled pesticide was safe? None other than the CDC. Sort of.
“Spraying Naled can kill bees outside of their hives at the time of spraying; therefore, spraying is limited to dawn or dusk when bees are inside their hives…”
“Because Naled breaks down quickly, it does not pose a risk to the honey bee populations…”
“Studies show that honey production between hives in treated and untreated sites did not show significantly different quantities of honey over the course of a season…” [But suppose millions of bees are killed and their colonies are destroyed?]
“For additional protection, urban bee keepers inside the spray zone can cover their hives when spraying occurs…”
A masterpiece of slippery contradiction. Naled is safe, but it isn’t, but it is.
Regardless, Dorchester County, in South Carolina, just learned a lesson about pesticide safety.
And for what? To kill mosquitoes purportedly carrying the Zika virus.
This is the virus that hasn’t been proved to cause anything. Zika. I have covered this hoax extensively in past articles. In a nutshell, no researchers anywhere in the world have been able to demonstrate a strong correlation between the presence of Zika and cases of the birth defect called microcephaly. The correlation isn’t there.
This failure is actually a refutation of the notion that Zika causes microcephaly. It’s a mandatory reason for saying, “Well, that Zika idea doesn’t work, now we have to go back to the drawing board to find out what’s causing this birth defect.”
But that’s not what the CDC and the World Health Organization are doing. They’re promoting Zika day and night; and the payoff will be a Zika vaccine.
These are the global health agencies tasked with guarding your health.
If you want to dig further, you can discover that, despite assurances to the contrary, Naled, like other toxic organophosphate pesticides, harms humans as well. Organophosphates are neurotoxins. The original research was done in Germany, in the hunt for nerve-agent weapons.
Here is a note from nospray.org: “Naled’s breakdown product DICHLORVOS (another organophosphate insecticide) interferes with prenatal brain development. In laboratory animals, exposure for just 3 days during pregnancy when the brain is growing quickly reduced brain size 15 percent.”
In other words, to kill mosquitoes carrying a virus that causes nothing…but is claimed to cause fetal brain damage…they spray a compound that CAN cause fetal brain damage.
Your health agencies at work.
Medscape, in its presentation on organophosphate pesticides, states: “Children are at a significantly increased risk worldwide…Childhood deaths and reported poisonings in the United States have declined over the last few decades, partly because of educational efforts and improved regulation and packaging.”
Maybe so, maybe not. But spraying an organophosphate pesticide from planes in South Carolina doesn’t qualify as “improved regulation.”
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.