Part II: Bayer/Monsanto Merger, Biopiracy, & Dastardly Lies of the ‘Green Revolution’


In Part I, TarheelDem had brought the wikipedia entry for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (pictured above), located on a Norwegian island not far from the north pole.

“The Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s mission is to provide a safety net against accidental loss of diversity in traditional genebanks. While the popular press has emphasized its possible utility in the event of a major regional or global catastrophe, it will be more frequently accessed when genebanks lose samples due to mismanagement, accident, equipment failures, funding cuts, and natural disasters. These events occur with some regularity. War and civil strife have a history of destroying some genebanks. The national seed bank of the Philippines was damaged by flooding and later destroyed by a fire; the seed banks of Afghanistan and Iraq have been lost completely. According to The Economist, “the Svalbard vault is a backup for the world’s 1,750 seed banks, storehouses of agricultural biodiversity.” By the request of Norwegian government, no genetically modified seeds are stored at the vault.” [reverse snip]

“The Norwegian government entirely funded the vault’s approximately NOK 45 million (US$9 million) construction. Storing seeds in the vault is free to end users, with Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust paying for operational costs. Primary funding for the Trust comes from organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from various governments worldwide.”

Aren’t they just adorable visionaries and philanthropists looking out for our future food safety?

Ach, well, there’s always someone to belly ache about such magnificent munificence, such grand noblesse oblige, isn’t there?  For instance: ‘Vandana Shiva: The Great Seed Piracy’ by Vandana Shiva, 21 June 2016

“A great seed and biodiversity piracy is underway and it must be stopped. The privateers of today include not just the corporations — which are becoming fewer and larger through mergers — but also individuals like Bill Gates, the “richest man in the world”.

When the Green Revolution was pushed in India and Mexico, farmers’ seeds were “rounded-up” and locked in international institutions, which used these seeds to breed green revolution varieties which responded to chemical inputs. The first two institutions were the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico. These institutes took diversity from farmers’ fields and replaced the diversity with chemical monocultures of rice, wheat and corn.

Dr. R.H. Richharia, India’s pre-eminent rice research scientist, headed the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) at Cuttack, Orissa. The Indian institute existed before IRRI, had the largest collection of rice diversity the biggest rice “bank” in the world. Dr Richharia refused to allow IRRI in the Philippines to pirate the collection. The World Bank removed Dr Richharia, the guardian of Indian rice knowledge, from CRRI so that it could transfer Indian peasant intellectual property to the international institute (which later became part of the Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research). Farmers’ seed heritage is held in the seed banks of CGIAR, a consortium of 15 international agricultural research centers, which is the single biggest recipient of grants from Mr Gates.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the new World Bank when it comes to using finances to influence policies in agriculture. The Gates Foundation is a major funder of the CGIAR system — and through its funding, it is accelerating the transfer of research and seeds to corporations, facilitating intellectual property piracy and seed monopolies created through intellectual property laws and seed regulations. Control over the seeds of the world for ‘one agriculture’ is Mr Gates’ target!

Since 2003, CGIAR centres have received more than $720 million from Mr Gates.

Besides taking control of the seeds of farmers in CGIAR seed banks, Mr Gates (along with the Rockefeller Foundation) is investing heavily in collecting seeds from across the world and storing them in a facility in Svalbard in the Arctic — the “doomsday vault”.

Mr Gates is also funding Diversity Seek (DivSeek), a global initiative to take patents on the seed collections through genomic mapping. Seven million crop accessions are in public seed banks. DivSeek could allow five corporations to own this diversity.

Today, biopiracy is carried out through the convergence of information technology and biotechnology. It is done by taking patents by “mapping” genomes and genome sequences. While living seed needs to evolve “in situ”, patents on genomes can be taken through access to seed “ex situ”. DivSeek is a global project launched in 2015 to map the genetic data of the peasant diversity of seeds held in gene banks. It robs the peasants of their seeds and knowledge, it robs the seed of its integrity and diversity, its evolutionary history, its link to the soil and reduces it to “code”. It is an extractive project to “mine” the data in the seed to “censor” out the commons.

The peasants (or farmers as they’re referred to now) who evolved the diversity have no place in DivSeek; their contributions, their knowledge is being “mined” — not recognised, honoured or conserved.

This “genetic colonialism” is an enclosure of the genetic commons. The participating institutions are the CGIAR nodes and “public universities” like Cornell and Iowa State, which are being increasingly privatised by the bio-technology industry and Mr Gates. Cornell is where Mr Gates funds the pseudo-science propaganda machine misnamed the Cornell Alliance for Science. Iowa State is where Mr Gates is funding the Unethical Human Feeding Trials of GMO bananas. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the partners of DivSeek, especially the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and an Africa-Brazil partnership in DivSeek.

roundup is delicious

(‘Roundup is delicious!’ by Anthony Freda)

Mr Gates is also investing in a one-year-old experimental genetic engineering tool for gene editing, CRISPR-Cas9, through a new front corporation EditasMedicine. While the technology itself is immature and inaccurate, it is a gold rush for new patents. The language of “gene editing” and “educated guesses” is creeping into scientific discourse. Piracy of common genomic data of millions of plants bred by peasants is termed “big data”. But big data is not knowledge, it is not even information. It is data, privateered.

Seeds are not just germ plasm. They are living. They are intelligent. They are beings and subjects of evolution, history, culture and relationships.

In the 1980s, Monsanto led the push for GMOs and patents on life. Today it is Bill Gates. One rich individual is able to use his wealth to bypass all international treaties and all multilateral governance structures to help global corporations grab the biodiversity and wealth of peasants by financing unscientific and undemocratic processes like DivSeek, and trying to unleash untested technologies like CRISPR.

Over the last two decades, humanity has taken actions and written laws to protect the biodiversity of the planet and the rights of farmers to seed, the rights of consumers to safety.

These laws include: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol to the CBD; the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Treaty for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).

India needs to strengthen international and national laws to protect biodiversity and farmers rights. Instead, the government is taking steps to facilitate BigMac™ seed biopiracy.  (she lists a few of the BigMac™ clauses as well.)

Sorry to reprint most of your essay, Miz Shiva, but I wanted to show folks exactly what you’re a bit peeved about.  (seriously; thank you for all you do.)

‘Farmer Suicides and Bt Cotton Nightmare Unfolding in India’, 6/01/2010,     (Industry disagrees strongly; fancy that.)


Now, think (German multinational)  Bayer (pain, antibiotic, and other BigPharmeceuticals, and its scandalous history) merging with Monsanto genetic technologies (Its BayerCropscience business develops genetically modified crops and pesticides as well).

Then remember what many of us believed about the rescheduling of cannabis happening once Monsanto, Cargill, or Syngenta got cannabis patents as you read excerpts from this essay of Ellen Brown’s: ‘The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?’, June 24, 2016

“A major barrier to broader legalization has been the federal law under which all cannabis – even the very useful form known as industrial hemp – is classed as a Schedule I controlled substance that cannot legally be grown in the US. But that classification could change soon. In a letter sent to federal lawmakers in April, the US Drug Enforcement Administration said it plans to release a decision on rescheduling marijuana in the first half of 2016.”

Brown narrates the long history of legal cannabis usages, its wide present usages in hundreds of countries, Nixon’s war on blacks, antiwar hippies and Mexicans, although she only hints at Wm. Randolph Hearst’s part in its criminalization. But this section is worth reading in its entirety; but I’ll just bring a couple of the most relevant snippets as to beneficial health effects:

“…cannabis has now been shown to have significant therapeutic value for a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, lung disease, anxiety, muscle spasms, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis pain.” [snip] “These chemicals are responsible for keeping critical biological functions in balance, including sleep, appetite, the immune system, and pain. When stress throws those functions off, the endocannabinoids move in to restore balance”; THC, the primary psychoactive component of the plant, has been found to have twenty times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone.

CBD, the most-studied non-psychoactive component, also comes with an impressive list of therapeutic benefits, including not against cancer but as a super-antibiotic. CBD has been shown to kill “superbugs” that are resistant to currently available drugs.”

“In May of this year, Bayer AG, the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company, made a bid to buy Monsanto. Both companies are said to be working on a cannabis-based extract.”

Any questions?  I thought not.

As of this morning, the merger hasn’t happened.  But when asked by Fortune Magazine this question, the Bayer PR flack’s answer was artful dodging, to say the least:

Q: Does this mean Bayer will now try to sell genetically modified Monsanto crop seeds in Europe?

A: Unlikely. Political resistance to genetically modified crops remains strong in Europe. Monsanto has only one product there, a pest-resistance variety of maize, and has given up on applications for more after officials failed to act on them despite approval by the European Food Safety Authority.

Liam Condon, head of Bayer’s crop science division, said that “the whole discussion is a political one and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

Café Babylon’s GMO category (page 2), the (older) biggies being toward the bottom: ‘Bono, Obama and the G-8 Ally with Monsanto to Bio-Wreck African Agriculture’ and ‘GMO Crop Likely Tipping Point: Obama USDA to Fast-Track Zombie Crops and Okay Agent Orange 2,4-D Resistant Crops

control food

35 responses to “Part II: Bayer/Monsanto Merger, Biopiracy, & Dastardly Lies of the ‘Green Revolution’

  1. once a corporation goes down a path, it cannot go backwards. it can’t turn around, for fear of loss of whatever profitability took it to this point in the 1st place. it can only accelerate further down a path, “catapaulting the propaganda” (in the worlds of w.) all the way. the only thing that can be done to these artificial “life” forms is to destroy them.

    • nice kissinger, btw. the strategy of control bluntly revealed. they mouth off about feeding starving Hindus or whatever w/their pyrite rice but it’s all about control.

      • it is, of course, but his wasn’t the quote i was thinking about writing part I, really. RL (or what passes for ‘real) has heated up again, so i need to rest my hegg-ache and mull over the numerous intersections of control, but your first comment is certainly part of it. but this is all soooo.fucked.up

    • ah, well, i see now that you were speaking more of the genetic crop engineering and related purveyors of poisons corporations, and yes, in those instances control and propaganda lies are the their entreés to not only the Market, but to public acceptance, and it’s worked well for many believers. as industry claims that racking is safe, many libruls, for instance, parrot the same claim and believe that fracked gas is one of the answers to climate change. doesn’t matter if i show them the facts of methane at one site, they are immovable in their beliefs.

      i was thinking more of gates, really, especially his gene-mapping as a step toward patenting those seeds in the big vault. for him, and those who gladly serve him, part of the control is based on a system that allows him to do such dastardly things, but also tht he can do it with his vaunted ‘brand’ as a Good Guy (along with saint melinda). much in the same way that libruls believe the contributions to the clinton foundation didn’t have anyhing to do with her permitting weapons and weapons systems sale to saudi arabia and the long list of other tyrannical nations, or that bill’s meeting with lynch ahead of the queen’s fbi interview was strictly accidental, yanno? branding is everything, which the artful dodger bayer flack pretty much admitted in that interview. much in the way that erik prince changed his mercenary army’s name three times already: to escape the brand hatred.

      but with gates what you also have is him wanting total *power* over everything in his arsenal, from windows 10, seeds, ‘family planning for darkies’, questionable (at best) vaccines for HPV, all the while extolling his foundations ‘saving lives’, especially da womyn and da kiddies, “education is the american dream (while i privatize it all). much as pierre is teaching and extolling creative capitalism via his grand philanthropic endeavors.

      but in gates’ gates what i’m seeing is a james bond-esque megalomanic, wish i could think of some of their great names. cruising their self-congratulatory twit account is depressing and infuriating. “Farmers deserve options. We applaud the Nobel laureates for standing up for science.” “Our CEO @SueDHellmann shares a letter on our current work and lessons learned. “ “PoC are more often homeless”, o, so caring; fukkery like this:

      and no, no, he’s not one of the ‘neo-malthusians’ of which he speaks, is he?

      will his collaboration w/ editas mean that we’ll never again be allowed to grow our own cannabis crops (where allowable by law) any longer? or will bayer/monsanto beat him to it? grrrrrrr.

      on edit: yes, the capitalistic bidness model is “expand or die!”, isn’t it? and…if ya need some good advertising along the way: We can help! tyrants do it too! it worked for the fascist narenda modi, see?

      • dr. no? ernst stavro blofeld? (somebody) scarramanga (lol; who’s the bad guy in this film, “the golden gun”)? hugo drax? mr. big? pussy galore? oh wait, ran out of bond villains real qwik-like, & nothing memorable post 1980.

        • pussy galore, et. al. in answer to my long comment? ah well, some days…don’t pay to say.

        • my apologies, jason. i’d just received some needlessly high-drama inter-family emails that blew the top off my head, and left barbed wire in my brain.

          still: gates is an almost cartoonish megalomaniacal arch-villain in my mind.
          the quote i’d been thinking about was ‘control the food, control the world’. but it’s hard not to see water in the same way, isn’t it? will the gates and clinton foundations Help the People with that, as well?

          • pussy galore was a joke. been so long, but i don’t think she’s a villain. one of a series of disposable love interests/sex objects, whose name is “the thing in itself.”

            the psychology of uber-catastrophes like Gates, smile and smile and be a villain, kind of thing, is perhaps not the main thing, but it is fascinating. when he’s on stage & piously mouths off about & smiles condescendingly re all the great & good he’s doing in the world, does he believe his own BS? yes, he does, i think. but perhaps weakly, which is why he cannot, must not, endure the dissonance that comes from someone, journalist or audience member, telling him he’s totally full of crap, indeed, a monstrous crap factory. or someone offering basic, but pressing, persistent questions about how, you know, the vaccine programs are “saving Africa” or whatever. it must not be endured (ditto politicians’ press conferences, etc., etc.) in that regard, his spreading of his beliefs is an act of violence & control, where interviews & press-conferences occur in highly-restricted, exclusive, state-managed spaces, filled w/glowing admirers. john kerry’s “don’t taze me bro” moment being a classic example of a press conference getting out of hand, a thing to be avoided if at all possible. and all the cops & cages that will be on hand at both parties’ national conventions. shortly.

            • actually, i’d looked her up, along with the host of ‘bond girls’ on wiki. she was (in the book) head of the sole USian mafia, all lesbians, and was recruited w/ her team by goldfinger. in the book, she was a pilot in GF’s employ, but although an avowed lesbian, thrilled to bond’s embrace, and became a lover of ‘real men’. he turned her, of course, which: speaking of psyops, lol. wiki also notes that they all had independent careers, unusual at the time, oh yes. lipstick feminism?

              i take your point that he and his PR agencies do run a command and control operation as far as they’re able, but my guess he that he rarely gets tough questions. my take is that it’s down to the major psyop he runs, starting with the fact that USians require heroes, and he is one of them (as is bubba clinton). the one at the first link is from 2010, but the brief report is all propaganda itself. largest “transparently operated” foundation in the most byootiful woild in da woild; nice. this one’s about his (ahem) ‘education’ programs, w/ a li’l bit of false humility from His that program is indeed getting some push-back, thankfull, as is TFA.

              as for your kerry don’t tase me bro’, the short story of the greenpeace folks going to the big ol’ ‘107 nobel laureates’ press conference i stuck up the tweet about, it’s hilarious that monsanto was represented there, no ‘other’ NGOs allowed. grat site, too.

              • ha ha! i’d forgotten that about ms. galore & her gaggle of assassins. every lesbian is just waiting for a real man, huh?

                you don’t get invited to the club w/o some serious fawning on people. it’s a little different w/2nd tier (ie, not potus, not sos) national gov’t figures, like DOS spokespoodles. the facade of democracy has to be maintained, requiring some semblance of opposition & dialectic. rarely happens in any q&a w/the bigger dogs.

                • wiki named all of them, plus one in one of austin powers’ parodies. more hilarious than pussy galore, which…is a serious misnomer, yes? as in: er…women (afaik) have one yoni. now octopussy is a serious sexist name, and reminds me of some vaunted author who’d written about ‘vaginas w/ teeth’. dude needed some serious counseling on projections, imo.

                  but yes to the: harf! harf!s at foggy bottom. or is that ‘froggy bottom’ whazzat zappa quote? lemme find it:

                  ““The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
                  ― Frank Zappa

                  • well, now that you mention it….camille paglia?

                    • good grief; it’s a real thing in folklore. you do know some of the oddest things, amigo. ;-) i didn’t spot the author my friend might have been referencing, but i have to say that the maori trickster one is compelling.

                      but ha! speaking of pushback among educators against gates and tfa; this just came in on the BAR newsletter. ‘‘Made Man in a Blue Vest: Deray McKesson Is Debutante At Aspen One-Percenters Coming Out Party’, bruce dixon

                      oh, i hate to pile on poor deray… oh, wait: no i don’t!

                      and while this is four years old they’ve reposted it. i confess i don’t remember it. lotssa anthony freda’s in your face artwork.

  2. Bravo. And Jason’s comments too. Now back to RL. More later.

    • looking forward to more but i hope you’ll keep it in the Common Tongue for non-intellectuals like me. :-)

      best in RL; ours here is so fraught, so often. today, i cant say in how many different directions.

      • RL report. July in NC has 8-foot blackberry canes right where you are running a survey line. A green wall.

        Short English comment: Limit patents to three years no renewal. Same with copyrights. No third party rentable intlellectual property. Can sell the implementation of the ideas, but not the right-to-rent itself.

        And anything before 1980 lapses.

        That should upset the hybrid seed folks as well as the motion picture industry.

        • ha! too short! (i’d just been teasing you that so often you’re speaking over my pointed little head.)

          if i understand you, you’d allow patenting of native seeds in the vault as well because: genome mapping? hybrid seeds suck anyway, since ya can’t save them for future crops. but then…many of the native seeds outlets were bought in hostile takeovers by Big Ag, weren’t they?

          on edit: what you need is a tame woozle to snake the survey string thru the canes for you, yes?

  3. Seeds being very very Orthodox –

    “Except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it brings forth much fruit.”
    [John 12:24]

    – I was intrigued to discover that wikipedia had a category “Orthodox seeds” in its links about the Norwegian seed bank:
    Orthodox seeds are seeds which will survive drying and/or freezing during ex-situ conservation. According to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is variation in the ability of orthodox seeds to withstand drying and storage, with some seeds being more sensitive than others. Thus some seeds are considered intermediate in their storage capability while others are fully orthodox.[2] One notable example of a long-lived orthodox seed which survived accidental storage followed by controlled germination is the case of the 2,000-year-old Judean date palm (cultivar of Phoenix dactylifera) seed which successfully sprouted in 2005.[3] This particular seed is reputed to be the oldest viable seed, but the upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown.[4]

    That would indeed qualify the Judean date palm seed to be called Orthodox – however the longevity of even the best stored seed seems to be being called in question here. All the same I was sad to read that seed banks in both Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer existing. Wonder why.

    Viability, I tend to think has a lot to do with that ‘falling into the ground’ scenario, doncha think? On that note, I tend to doubt that classy storage is going to do it for any longer than your average shoebox of old seed packets. (And the latter don’t need permafrost or coal seams or national works of art to survive.) Community interchanges do help, though.

    Some Martian’s gonna come upon that edifice and be really really puzzled.

    Note: I’d rather talk about seeds than world affairs since the latter is now descending into chaos. Hang in there, seeds!

    • while i can grasp why the term ‘orthodox seeds’ tripped your reading ears, i do hope you’ll read the post when you have the stomach for it (mainly vendana shiva and gates) because this is of greatest concern to ‘world affairs’, although it’s not chaos, by any means, but carefully planned, will be future executed…unless it’s stopped..

      may i wax polemic on what happened to iraqi and afghani seeds? the Empire’s conquerors came, those whose intentions were to “turn the desert into glass”.

      and yes, #chilcot is next up.

  4. Sorry not to have mentioned it, wendye, but I did read the post, which is how I got over at wikipedia examining the Norway edifice in all its artistic splendor. Thanks very much – I love Vandana Shiva and she is so correct! And yes, your polemic is justified – hence my not so rhetorical question.

    As you’ve mentioned chilcot here, it might not be to OT for me to recommend the following:

    I’m doing so because the discussion features Jane Kelsey, whom you will remember from TPP debates in the past. She gives a good account of herself here with very practical questions as to how a small country like New Zealand can prepare to support the folk who will feel it the most when the TINA fails.

    Some of it might translate to what’s happening in the area of seeds and farming – I especially felt the seed projects are going to fall flat on their faces, and organic farming is the light at the end of the tunnel for me – not corporate organic farming, though that is happening, but small farms, and small community projects. So, yes, lovely your explorations up above into the areas close to your heart. Food is close to mine.

    And I repeat, this is where it’s at for me, so thank you very much for these two posts.

    • i watched the interview, liked them all, really, but best was jane kelsey. at least from what i could tell given the small bit ‘o language barrier (smile), they agreed with hudson, graeber and others that it’s working people who need to have solidarity, even those called out in the media as ‘fascist immigrant haters’ via loud megaphones. i didn’t really glean any ‘fixes’ save for the union man’s ‘healthy social safety net’, but the idea that in all nations, we must have a large working people movement for actual democracy. here, that will be a tough gig, given the Biggies captive to the dem veal pen. but kelsey, and surprisingly to me, the interviewer, whom i hadn’t care for a lot, nail it in the final few minutes, i think.

      this is the waatea5thestate hashtag on twitter:


  5. What I was trying to get at was that it is essential to take care of the earth – something Gates and his ilk don’t even think about, used as they are to the dominance and suppression of life, and just a vague idea from them about chickens shows how far away from RL which begins in the soil. As bad as the destruction in the Middle East is the destruction in the Midwest, as per the article I posted on your first of these two. In the Midwest the assault on micro-organisms essential to the life of the soil is ongoing – it’s why I suddenly realized I MUST buy organic flour for my bread. I can’t be a passive onlooker – if we all refused the flour being produced under these conditions, that would make a difference! And I’m poor, so it is going to hurt. I might even have to give up the internet. (Just waiting for my son to move out and then I will.)

    I feel very strongly about this, so again, thank you for these posts.

    • no, i’d missed your meaning entirely, i’m sorry. i thought you’d read the wiki and links within, then felt you’d had to stop. i could understand if t’were so, this has all sickened and enraged me to the Nth degree.

      and of course you’re right: only small organic farms are sustainable; the ‘green revolution’ mocks them as low-yield and inefficient. if one only considered water usage, permaculture, nitrogen-fixing crop rotations, etc.: they’re clearly lying, and no: not misinformed. and yes, glyphosate is killing the crucial soil microbes everywhere it’s used.

      good on you for your decision; we really only buy produce or flour marked organic when it’s on sale. even some of the bulk spices we buy thru the local natural food store are too pricey in the ‘organic’ form. now almonds we gave up gladly, for the reason that those farming almonds in the central valley have depleted the water table soooo much that the valley has lost some astounding number of feet in elevation; i wish i could remember the number, although it increases, and the state is still issuing more well permits as i type. because: drought.

      thanks for the video; i meant i’m going to put up a diary, the cliff’s notes of the chilcot report.

      • glyphosate is killing the soil microbes wherever used? i’m not surprised, chapped though my hide be! no, did not know that.

        the faith in technology, b/c of things like A/C, fast cars, aero-planes, amazon prime and iphones, renders people totally incredulous when you say to them things like, “glyphosate destroys the soil. kills all the life in the soul, i mean soil.” can’t believe.

        it’s 95F here in WDC. the movers & shakers on many levels all, all, run around in biz suits, hopping from limo to taxi to climate-controlled lobby, congratulating themselves on tiny moments of exposed misery, cuz they are “in”. only loser schlubs have to endure the unbearable heat of the metro system’s subways and (shudder) buses! there are no public bathrooms or water fountains around (not true on the tourist-stuffed National Mall, but certainly true in the more obviously corporate-controlled spaces), cuz why? cuz even at the cellular level, your life is exists to make someone else money. even at the level of the air we breathe. the most basic bodily functions are completely scripted & almost totally denied except when guided to spaces where we’ll buy water at starbux in order to have access to their A/C & bathroom whenever we are out “doing something.” it’s fucking sick.

        miranda: …brave new world that has such people in it!
        prospero: it’s new to you.

        • i was about to say that 2,4-d does, as well, but i can’t find that binging. but it’s a cousin of agent orange, for cripessake. i may not be remembering correctly, but i think that the glyphosate encourages one form of mold in
          soybean roots, and ooof: 90-some % of all soybeans are gmo now.

          oh, an monsanto has gone to great lengths to counter those claims, of course. a number of the damning studies, as always, are from ‘foreign’ sources, like ISIS, right?

          wow; how horrid about the absence of bathrooms and drinking fountains for da rabble! is the water one gets at starbucks, etc. bottled water, or can ya just get a cuppa? but you did cause me to remember that in japan, one used to be able to buy a freaking can of…air!

          but yes, vulture capitalism is licking its beak as they pick our dying bones before we…actually die.

          ha; thought i’d check in w/ miz shiva, sounds great on spec:

          • yep, most public commercial venues, stores, restaurants, are moving away from any public water. some starbux & the like places have even made the sink water alternate b/n warm & warmer, ie, not palatable, much less safe to drink (not in the g.d. lead-filled pipes round here). part of it is no doubt to discourage free-loading vagrants, but mostly it’s about making a buck. of course, a loser can duck into a library, if you want to catch ebola, hep b, zika, or w. nile from the toilets and sinks.

            i guess i was trying to say when all of life is a profit vector for someone else, the food, air and water are just rungs on the ladder. the suppression or disguise of bodily need that dominates our lives is ample testimony. who has time for pain? as the old Alleve (i think) commercial asks. i ain’t got time to bleed! or sleep or smell the flowers. children’s dreams must be filled w/bright, shiny, happy products, to which they’ll be attached, till death do them & count chocula part. the mcdonaldization of food & the accompanying Big Ag (=Big Mac, yes) is part of the same ball game. i drove someone to a doctor’s appt down strip mall hell known as route 50 thru VA outside DC. gawd, how awfully ugly our cities are. people sitting in cars to get to fiberglass hellshops to buy shit they don’t need that will kill them. sitting in your car for hours on end each day, to work or shop, means freedom! please lord, let the economy collapse. for our sanity’s sake ;)

  6. Thanks for watching the dailyblog bit, wendye – the host’s a bit bombastic, but for kiwi’s it is a pretty good scenario he’s putting up, better than the main tv offerings, that’s for sure.

    On Vandana tho, I went hunting for one of hers I remember that’s lovely about seeds and the care of the soil, didn’t find it but this one’s pretty close:

    Love the Rumi at the end.

    • ‘bombastic’, yes, and like many interviewers, steps on the answers he’s being given. but i thought he’d summed up well at the end. you might find the hashtag of interest, as well. much of it made little sense to me, not knowing the political cast of characters.

      vandana’s prose in favor of small is beautiful as well as more bountiful in twelve directions was lovely. if you get a chance, she turned her prose to counter the ‘gene drivers to the militarized mind’, describing gates’, et.als. busy exterminating their own creation, palmer amaranth *superweed* now, with the distinct possibility that a mutagenic chain reaction could exterminate the many, many other varieties as well.

      oh, the link is in the tweetie just above…jason’s head. ;-)

  7. Thank you, wendye – that is a potent link! (As in, it will give me nightmares.) I had not realized what the collaboration with Bayer entailed to its fullest, most horrific extent, as described in this article. The gene drive tactic is mindboggling in its ramifications.

    “. . .The project of deliberately exterminating species is a crime against nature and humanity. It was a crime when Bayer and others, of IG Farben, exterminated Jews in concentration camps, and is a crime still. The very idea of extermination is a crime. Developing tools of extermination in the garb of saving the world is a crime. A crime that must not be allowed to continue any further. . .”

    One can only wonder what Nature’s response to this will be.

    And in ‘Nature’ I’m including human nature as a component. We’re already seeing that component beginning to rebel. Do these idiots really think they can continue to dominate? Canute telling the sea to stand to attention flits into my weary mind. (Time to close the house up against the inroads of an angry sun.)

    • yes, it left me reeling, as well. it must have been in part I that i linked to the wiki (iirc) on bayer and simply mentioned ‘and its scandalous history’, though i’m sure the wiki version was quite tame, considering.

      i also liked shiva’s construction of plants as ‘thinking’, meaning that of course plants evolve their defenses to (name the poison). biology 101, isn’t it? species have two directives: to live (including adaptation) and to reproduce. well, that’s maybe just a non-scientist speaking… but her prose in the face of the potential horrors was again astounding to me.

      would you might explaining more here? ‘We’re already seeing that component beginning to rebel.’ i also wonder what the gentech Controllers think they’ll eat and drink one day?

  8. and it keeps on marching and saluting corporate/public ownership of food. oh, no: the aim is to feed the hungry!

    the bill:
    (Sec. 3) This section specifies that it is in the U.S. national security interest to promote global food security, resilience, and nutrition, consistent with national food security investment plans through programs and activities that:
    • place food insecure countries on a path toward self-sufficiency and economic freedom by coordinating U.S. assistance programs;
    • accelerate inclusive, agricultural-led economic growth that reduces global poverty, hunger, and malnutrition;
    • increase the productivity, incomes, and livelihoods of small-scale producers;
    build resilience to food shocks among vulnerable populations and households while reducing reliance upon emergency food assistance;
    • create an environment for agricultural growth and investment;
    • improve the nutritional status of women and children;
    align with and leverage U.S strategies and investments in trade, economic growth, science and technology, agriculture research and extension, maternal and child health, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene;
    • strengthen partnerships between U.S. and foreign universities that build agricultural capacity; and
    • ensure the effective use of taxpayer dollars in achieving these objectives.

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