As you read, keep in mind that India is the seventh-largest country on the planet by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous “democracy” in the world, and its agricultural sector accounted for about 50% of the total workforce in 2013.
A year ago Colin Todhunter (based in India and the UK) had written in his ‘Monsanto and the Subjugation of India’ that the vicious Bt cotton was India’s only genetically modified crop grown. As we know, Monsanto and other gen-tech corporations were very busy patenting every seed in sight, even wild plants sacred to the various cultures.
But against all scientific reports in India urging ‘no more GMOs’ and the whys of their opinions, last year the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture gave the go-head to ‘field trials’ for five food crops.
“The World Bank/IMF/WTO’s goals on behalf of Big Agritech and the opening up of India to it are well documented [‘Cash for Food’, Devinda Sharmer]. With the help of compliant politicians, transnational companies want farmers’ lands and unmitigated access to Indian markets. This would entail the wholesale ‘restructuring’ of Indian society under the bogus banner of ‘free trade’, which will lead (is leading) to the destruction of the livelihoods of hundreds of millions.
Moreover, Monsanto, Walmart and other giant US corporations had a seat at the top table when the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture was agreed with the US. Monsanto also dominates the cotton industry in India and is increasingly shaping agri-policy and the knowledge paradigm by funding agricultural research in public universities and institutes: it is the “contemporary East India Company.”
“American foreign policy has almost always been based on agricultural exports, not on industrial exports as people might think. It’s by agriculture and control of the food supply that American diplomacy has been able to control most of the Third World. The World Bank’s geopolitical lending strategy has been to turn countries into food deficit areas by convincing them to grow cash crops – plantation export crops – not to feed themselves with their own food crops.”
Professor Michael Hudson
US foreign policy is about power and control: the power to control food, states and entire populations.”
Todhunter had recently Tweeted this exposé at the Timesofindia.com: ‘Modi’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had opposed India on IPR till recently’:
“Subramanian was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and at the Center for Global Development. As recently as March this year, in a written testimony submitted during the process of review by the US of intellectual property (IP) protection of various countries including India, Subramanian wrote, “If India does not address the problems created by Section 3(d) of the patent legislation or by compulsory licensing for nonworking, the United States should consider initiating WTO disputes against India.” [snip]
“These recommendations are in line with the demands of the US pharmaceutical industry, which has been lobbying against compulsory licencing and demanding the dilution of section 3(d) of the Indian patent law, though India insists it is well within the flexibilities allowed under the WTO’s Trade Related Intellectual Properties (TRIPS) Agreement.” (the rest is here.)
Just another US multinationalist comprador whore, it seems. But do remember: Modi announced that India was ‘open for bidness’ during his last several entrances into DeeCee, and we all know what that means: ready for plunder by multinational kleptocrats-, and the further immerseration of everyday working people.
In his June 24 ‘Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?’, Colin shows that Narenda Modi hired one of the giants of PR/lobbying firms, APCO, to burnish his image as ‘electable PM material’. He has a link, but here’s a snippet from the beyondheadlines.in link concerning APCO:
“Doing public relations for dictatorships is perhaps the more charitable part of Apco’s activities. Apco has a battalion of pro-war lobbyists under its wing. The firm is also a strong advocate of expanding armaments and the US military role in world affairs. In October 2004, Apco and Kissinger Associates (owned by Henry Kissinger) formed a strategic alliance. Beside Kissinger Associates, Apco also built a broad network or coalition of conservative pro-Zionist lobbyists and consultancy groups including Heritage Foundation, Frontier of Freedom, Jewish Policy Center, etc. In the name of war against terror, Apco helped to coordinate government communications to convince the public of the necessity of war. Its job also included manufacturing public opinion and feedback in supporting the war efforts. Basically it exploited Islam-phobia in Western society to sell aggression as the solution to regain security in the West.” (more on Blair/Iraq, phony ‘grassroots’ front groups, ‘legalizing’ the plunder of Iraq, postulating legal justification for an attack on Iran, and more unsavory/criminal bidness.) It’s about a mile long, and too long to read for now, but: to remember. Back to Todhunter:
“With Modi now at the political helm, the government is doing the bidding of global biotech companies and is currently trying to push through herbicide-tolerant GM mustard based on fraudulent tests and ‘regulatory delinquency‘, which will not only open the door to further GM crops but will boost the sales of Bayer’s glufinosate herbicide. In addition, plans have been announced to introduce 100% foreign direct investment in certain sectors of the economy, including food processing.
“The opening up of India to GMOs and foreign capital is supported by rhetoric about increasing agricultural efficiency, creating jobs and boosting GDP growth. Such rhetoric mirrors that of the pro-business, neoliberal dogma we see in APCO’s brochure for India. It is the type of jargon that is rolled out by powerful corporate players and their compliant politicians across the world who seek to try to convince the public that an increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a relative few – via deregulations, privatisations and lower labour and environmental protection standards, etc – is for their own benefit because it is good for ‘growth’.”
From Africa to India, corporate America and global agribusiness are intent on colonising food and agriculture by recasting them in their own financially lucrative images, picking out only the most profitable sections of supply chains, while relying on public money to facilitate their profits.”
Now the Markets were insanely atwitter over the likely merger of Monsanto and Bayer, although some spoke of it as ‘a takeover’, but it hasn’t happened yet, and a few pockets of resistance op-eds and petitions have sprouted online.
‘A Bayer and Monsanto Merger Would Be Disastrous for Humans and the Environment; The union of Monsanto’s seeds and Bayer’s herbicides would perfectly position the merged giant to fully exploit a toxic but highly profitable cycle of increasing herbicide use and weed resistance.’ by Bill Freese, Center for Food Safety, June 23, 2016
NYTimes: ‘A Bayer Deal for Monsanto Would Get E.U. Regulatory Scrutiny’:
“In a letter to two German members of European Parliament, Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner in charge of European competition policy, said that the European Commission would consider concerns they had raised about the potential impact that a merger between Bayer and Monsanto might have on prices, on the availability of seed products and on research and innovation.
She said competition authorities would carefully examine other deals in the seed and agrochemical sector, including China National Chemical Corporation’s takeover of Syngenta and a plan to merge Dow Chemical and DuPont, then split the combined company into three.” [snip]
“United States regulators would also examine any merger of the two companies.”
(Ha ha ho; they’d likely examine the deals all the way to the bank!)
“Bayer is hoping to combine Monsanto with its own pesticide operations, forming a one-stop shop for farmers. The combined company would have $67 billion in annual sales and would produce an array of products including pain medication, G.M.O. seeds and pesticides.”
Well, garsh, Mickey, get a load of this!: ‘EU offers temporary approval of weedkiller glyphosate’ (Update), June 29, 2016, via phys.org
(I’ll do a Part Two on the Monsanto/Bayer merger, seed biopiracy as opposed to ‘sovereignty’, the revolting ‘’Green Revolution’ and ‘Green Capitalism’, as this is already far too long, and there’s so much more of this Snidely Whiplash stuff afoot.)