Mother Earth by Jeness Cortez Perlmutter
A good summer solstice to you all. The sun rose blood red over the La Plata mountains this morning, and the clouds above them were opaque with white smoke; the light in the reflected light in the West was something to behold, and somehow…suited my mood . There must be a fire burning large enough to waft so much smoke into this valley, but all I could find were five fires burning in the Gila Mountains in SW New Mexico, so that may answer the question.
Now, the Green Revolution (some call it GR 2.0) lament.
A comment in a discussion I was having at another website on a post concerning property v. people (the Grenfell Tower incineration) began after I’d brought information that the US Constitution was written by property owners, and still reflects the original language on copyrights and intellectual property rights. I’d voiced the opinion that given the US is said to have some of the strongest rights on the planet in that regard, the most deleterious example of that is being able to patent…seeds, plants, and other naturally occurring life forms. Of course, I used genetically engineered food purveyors as the key capitalist culprits.
I’d indicated I had more information to share later, as my long comments always end up in the site’s software moderation limbo. But before I could offer more, the commenter offered this, obviously obviating any need for…more. (my bolds)
“The European countries that banned the growing of some GMO crops were allowed to do this over the objections of the EU with an opt-out clause. Even the scientific and agricultural centers in these countries stated there was no proven scientific or health reasons for the bans. The bans were political, economic and social posturing for local audiences.
The Europeans import 30 million tons of mostly GM corn and soy every year to feed their meat animals so they don’t seem too concerned about the possible harm from ingesting GMOs.
You or I may not like it but human civilization is moving onto the final stage of terraforming the earth into an agriculture planet where Monsanto and other GMO producers lead the way to total utilization of the available land. They will supply the consistency, and growing output needed to feed ten or more billion people.”
You may not be surprised that the images in my mind were desperately dark and blisteringly bleak as I imagined that future, although in what arc of time is up in the air.
The visions in my head…
Desolate, almost barren fields, as the GE crops require more and more applications of glysophate (Round-up), then the next-generation, 2,4-D, with components of agent orange in the deadly mix.
But adapt the plants and seeds always have, as even county extension agents in the corn belt would show with Bt corn (Bacillus thuringiensis biotoxin) as they’d tip over a corn plant and actually find the borers living in the roots of the plant. Well, luckily, more Bt can always be sprayed on the corn plants with just the right amount of water… Oh, and Monsanto generously injected more and better Bt in the next gen seeds to address the rootworn larvae, as they did with the anti-bollworm failed Bt cotton used in India to such horrific effects. Aren’t they special?
The over-spray, of course, kills ‘non-target’ species as well, including habitat used by bees, butterflies, or “pollinator species”, wasps, spiders, ladybugs, aphid-eating spiders, thus…birds as well.
BigAg factory farming uses massive amounts of petro-chemical fertilizers as well, acting more like dope to the plants, rather than fertilizer/food, as I once heard it expressed. And what happens to the water as far as toxic runoff and poisoning underground aquifers? Both become…sick, as do the species that inhabit rivers, lakes, and seas, or at lease used to.
But seeds with Bt (causing bugs that eat it getting their stomachs to burst) added to their original DNA, also stays in the guts of humans and other critters who eat it, creating little pesticide factories within. Now that plays havoc with the many strains of the beneficial intestinal flora, weakens intestinal lining, and often ends up causing any number of intestinal syndromes and food sensitivities. But hey; given that almost all corn in the US is Bt, and that high-fructose corn syrup is in myriad foods, what’s not to like? Demand is high, Wall Street loves it! Does it kill Monarch butterflies and honey bees? Nah; the USDA and in-house studies say ‘Nyet’.
Now Wikipedia says of neonics:
“Neonicotinoids (sometimes shortened to neonics /ˈniːoʊnɪks/) are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. In the 1980s Shell and in the 1990s Bayer started work on their development.
As of 2013 neonicotinoids have been used In the U.S. on about 95 percent of corn and canola crops, the majority of cotton, sorghum, and sugar beets and about half of all soybeans. They have been used on the vast majority of fruit and vegetables, including apples, cherries, peaches, oranges, berries, leafy greens, tomatoes, and potatoes, to cereal grains, rice, nuts, and wine grapes.”
“In the late 1990s neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impact. Neonicotinoid use was linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations; however, the findings have been controversial. In 2013, the European Union and a few non EU countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids.”
It’s surreal reading the oh-blah-di, oh-blah, da section on Regulation, US, then skipping down to Toxicity.
But as to the images in my head around terraforming the earth into an agriculture planet where Monsanto and other GMO producers lead the way to total utilization of the available land…I also began to see below the surface of the dirt (can it be called ‘soil’ at this point? And the images began cascading…
First off was the fact that these biotoxins (pesticides, herbicides) also kill all of the beneficial microbes in soil, negating the ordinary uptake into plants, leaving them less than nutritious, live food, more like dead zombies walking, leading to many people on the planet suffering from some degree of malnutrition. As an aside, the Rockefeller Foundation and Bill Gates teamed up to bring ‘Golden Rice’ to the developing world, tweaked to provide bio-available Vitamin A (beta carotene) to aid people, especially children, at risk for blindness and other disease.
But there was indeed plenty of pushback against the expensive seed, including the many opinions that:
“With what has been shown so far, 300 grams of golden rice can only provide at most 20% of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement. A child would have a lower requirement of 450 Âµg retinol as against 500-600 Âµg retinol for adults But 300 g of rice a day is way too much for a child. In the Philippines, pre-school children consume less than 150 grams of rice a day. In principle then, golden rice will only supply a little over 10% of the daily vitamin A needed by pre-school children. And children are the target population in this case.”
Other detractors noted that mono-cropping golden rice, or believing in its efficacy, also meant that other sources were being disregarded, such a yams, leafy veggies, etc. So in response, ‘And the 2016 World Food Prize goes to … Biofortified Sweet Potatoes!, goldenrice.org Really it’s a great site, self-congratulation and ‘STFU, Greenpeace’ articles alternating.
Tragically, the commenter is likely right about the coming full planet-factory farming terraforming GMO proponents and profiteers. Unless, of course, we can stop them, a daunting task given that so many genetically modified seeds are already out in the world, and that Industry lobbyists spend a hella lot of bucks on their behalf, as well as helping to politicize science along the way (hello, FDA, EPA, and tra la la).
But seriously, how in hell would it be possible to ‘clean up’ any of those massive farms to ever be suitable again to organic family farms? Comparative yields of sustainable organic farming are far higher that…the other ‘methods’, and most use far less water, which will be a huge issue in the future.
Where did ‘the family farm’ go? Well, Farm Aid has been busy for 30 years now, and while I know the reasons were many, they still seem to be alive and kickin’, and now support GMO-free sustainable farming, bless their cotton pickin’ hearts. In fact, a documentary called Homplace Under Fire premiered at Duke University on May 19, and was hosted by John Mellencamp.
About the Film
The Farm Crisis of the 1980s drove hundreds of thousands of family farmers into foreclosure. Yet, out of that crisis arose a legion of farm advocates who refused to stand idly by and watch their way of life be destroyed.
Ordinary Americans taught themselves extraordinary skills. As fellow farmers, farm wives, and rural leaders, they studied laws and regulations, started hotlines, answered farmers’ calls from their kitchen tables, counseled their neighbors, and went toe-to-toe with lenders – giving their all to keep their neighbors on the land.
Homeplace Under Fire celebrates these advocates and their remarkable work. Thousands of farmers are alive and on their land today because of them. As Willie Nelson has said, these advocates are the best of America.
My fave from those days: Mellencamp at Farm Aid 1985; it gives me the shivers; Larry Long’s poignant ‘Grandma’s Penny Sale’ (her farm gone to foreclosure auction)simply makes me weep.
Under the Café’ s GMO categories list on the right sidebar at the Café are about a dozen diaries; but the one that stood out to me was ‘Part II: Bayer/Monsanto Merger, Biopiracy, & Dastardly Lies of the ‘Green Revolution’. Part I is linked. I reckon ‘Bono, Obama and the G-8 Ally with Monsanto to Bio-Wreck African Agriculture’, as well. Fuck them all. And I mean that in the kindest way possible, of course.