Originally published on Tuesday June 5, 2012 8:51 am
Re-Colonization of Africa 2.0, maybe 3.0… : (Yeah; I know ya don’t want to read this, but you really should, so I put Bono’s name up first to lure you in.)
According to Rady Ananda of Food Freedom, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition was created at the G-8 summit at Camp David in mid-May. Anada says that the New Alliance is simply:
“…a euphemism for monocultured, genetically modified crops and toxic agrochemicals aimed at making poor farmers debt slaves to corporations, while destroying the ecosphere for profit.”
But what is being touted by the Obama White House as ‘more than aid’.
Their stated goal, of course, is “to lift fifty million people out of poverty, not just to provide food for them”.
“True, sustainable development is about promoting economic growth that helps nations develop. “The whole purpose of development is to create the conditions where
zombie crop GMO crop and food tinkerers can fuck up the planet and the global food supply for fun and profit assistance is no longer needed, where people have the dignity and the pride of being self-sufficient,” he said.
A good place to start this growth, the President explained, is to support growing a (sic) agriculture industry. “History teaches us that one of the most effective ways to pull people and entire nations out of poverty is to invest in their agriculture,” he said.
O, la la…such lovely sentiments, Mr. President. But do you mind if we peek behind the curtain to what’s really going on here? Oh, dear; the facts look a bit more like Shock Doctrine neoliberalism (along with Africom) on the march through Africa. It’s all about public-private partnerships again. What could go wrong? (For Africans, I mean.)
According to Alexis Baden-Mayer of the Organic Consumers Association, the G-8 nations have only delivered on a small portion of the money they’d pledged to help African agriculture in 2009, and find that turning the problem over to Monsanto and other multinational corporations* is a brilliant plan.
The corporations will
invest ‘contribute’ $3 billion over the next ten years in Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia; more sub-Saharan nations are apparently lining up to be ‘helped’ by this quasi-clone of Bill Gates’ Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which spawned a site called Agra-watch which discovered that the Gates Foundation bought 500,000 shares of Monsanto while touting their grand zombie-seeds. But like AGRA, this one is business profiteering that will cause more poverty, disease, dependence on seed purchase from Monsanto and others every year, herbicide and pesticide use increase, and water and land lost to multinationals.
While US mainstream media act as stenographers to the makers of genetically modified foods as virtual miracles in solving the world’s hunger crisis, and point to increased yields from the little DNA traits they’ve spliced into plant (and now salmon and mosquitoes, egad), the evidence shows something quite different.
The Round-up Ready crops soon developed a tolerance to Round-up causing a new generation of ‘superweeds’…so that more and stronger herbicides were required to kill weeds. But even those haven’t solved the problem, of course, and poison soil and water and beneficial soil microbes. The geniuses at Dow Chemical are proposing creating Agent Orange constituent 2, 4-D resistant strains for which the Obama administration is fast-tracking permits. Its use will trigger the need for the supremely potent toxic herbicide use. Thanks, Prez.
The gen-modified strains of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn turn the corn kernels into little pesticide producing machines, and there seems to be evidence that contrary to industry claims, it’s showing up in human blood and creating all sort of possible havoc. Bt-modified cotton crops yields are dropping significantly, especially in India. Farmers there were massively hoodwinked into the GM programs, can’t afford to get out of it, and ruined farmers have even been committing suicide over their resultant indebtedness; industry flaks deny the fact, of course.
Volatility blasts the ‘Green Revolution’, AGRA and this next-generation colonization of Africa:
“So the Green Revolution was a scam to use cheap fossil fuels to increase monocrop yield, drive tens of millions off the land, and use the stolen land and food to render food temporarily artificially cheap for Western consumerism.
This puts in perspective the new GMO colonialism planned for Africa. Africa has so far been relatively unpenetrated by GMOs, except for cotton in South Africa which has already proven a socioeconomic and declining-yield disaster. For some years now Monsanto, its flunkey Bill Gates (via his Association for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)), and the US government via its political aggression arm USAID, have been scheming to launch a full scale GMO invasion, replicating the 19th century colonial onslaught which submerged and devastated the continent. The people of Africa, subject to every kind of political and economic assault, kept as weak and divided as possible, considered culturally and racially inferior by Western elites and elitists, will always be a prime target.
So it is with the GMO Master Plan (the “New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security”) unveiled at the recent G8 “Global Agricultural Development” forum at Camp David (after it was chased out of Chicago), held at the same time as the NATO summit.”
Adding to the criminality of all this, there are actual solutions to reclaim desertified areas caused by drought, and to even incrementally rebuild microbe-barren soil caused by pesticide use, including modern-day ‘companion planting’. Jill Richardson has a great piece up at Alternet.org which dissects the ‘new’ Alliance and it’s dangers, and talks of the many solutions returning to small farms are discovering and re-discovering. (Seriously worth bookmarking, imo.)
She highlights the organic farming training group G-BIACK, and talks to locals along the Ngong River in Kenya (think: Out of Africa, Isak Denison) about their wants and needs, including a Massai farmer. They tell tales about the factory farms stealing their water and poisoning what remains in their catch ponds with their chemicals.
Allow me to add that FDL has its own expert in permaculture, Americanterraformer; I hope he weighs in, and will post about the subject in the near future.
So…meanwhile, out in the world of News-o-tainment, musical rock star, turned political rock star ‘I-am-not-a-billionaire’ Bono (fuck him; pardon me: One Love.), has become an industry shill for…Monsanto. You can watch his interview with f-ing Andrea Mitchell here; I just couldn’t bring myself to embed it; it makes me want to smack ‘em both. Seriously. The transcript is here; Andrea slides in the meme about the dreaded and dastardly Chinese we’re outfoxing cuz we heart the African people, yada, yada…
These asshats are killing the planet’s agriculture and are oh, so cheery about what heroes they are. Even if we manage to stop all this, winding it back looks as though it will take a bloody miracle. Maybe, maybe. We don’t know what humans are capable of doing with intentionally good thoughts, prayers and other healing powers. But. We have to stop it first! The sane Africans are trying to go in a totally different direction, wanting no part of these ‘public/private relationships’
Meanwhile, in California, polls show that nine out of ten voters favor forcing food makers to include labels that would indicate whether their products contain GMO products, so that they can make informed choices. Right now, many companies claim such products are ‘natural’, which term has lost all meaning by now.
Ahead of the coming ballot initiative, industry is planning a massive ad campaign against the proposed law, the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP).
As an aside, Barbara Kingsolver, in The Poisonwood Bible made the most cogent case I’ve read chronicling the colonization of Africa ruining sustainable village agriculture; it’s a brilliant book, and a heavy indictment of missionaries (a personal pet peeve of mine) and the ruinous effects of colonizing.
* Diageo, Dupont, Cargill, Vodafone, Walmart, Pepsico, Prudential, Syngenta International, and Swiss Re
RESIST! We have to end these assaults on us,our brothers and sisters around the world, our food and the planet!
But please; don’t ever forget: Always look on the bright side of life! (h/t reminder, shootthatarrow) ;o)