Monsanto rampant! Suppression, surveillance and aggression

2 Dec

How will Monsanto handle European opposition to GM crops?

By continued academic suppression?

richard e goodmanEarly this year Reed Elsevier’s Food and Chemical Toxicology journal appointed Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto scientist and an affiliate of the GMO industry-funded group, the International Life Sciences Institute, to the specially created post of associate editor for biotechnology at the journal.

In September 2012 the journal had published peer-reviewed research by University of Caen professor Giles Seralini showing that rats fed on a diet of GM maize (NK603, produced by Monsanto) and extremely diluted amounts of glyphosate herbicide (Monsanto’s Roundup) suffered damage to their kidneys and livers, developed tumours at a higher rate than a control group and had a higher mortality rate.

FCT seralini coverThe study was the first to test the effects of feeding GM organisms (GMOs) to animals for their entire lifetime. The current standard is for studies lasting for three months, conducted by the companies that created the GMO. Read more in a report published in the British Medical Journal.

Though there was concerted criticism of the research by vested interests, the European Food Safety Agency concluded that the work exposed a serious gap in testing of GM crops.

On Thursday 28th November the Wall Street Journal reported that FCT has decided to retract the study, though admitting that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” and nothing “incorrect” about the data.

By surveillance and infiltration?

blackwater renamed logoThe Guardian reports that defence contractor Blackwater, known for its killing of civilians in Nisour Square and in Afghanistan; its multiple front companies and its alleged intimacy with the CIA, was rebranded Xe and later sold to a group of investors who renamed it Academi, was paid by Monsanto for two years to “provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.” A more wide-ranging report was published today. The Nation, America’s oldest continuously published weekly politics and culture magazine, founded in 1865, adds dates and details in its ‘Black ops’ article.

By meeting protest with state or proxy violence?

monsanto logoFollowing unrest in Argentina due to the exposure of a clear link between the use of the chemical glyphosate in Monsanto’s Round-Up pesticide, with health problems in the country, including cancer, thyroid disorders and chronic respiratory illness, reported by Associated Press, there have been protests at the construction of a processing plant by the biotech giant. Monsanto disclaimed responsibility and alleged that liability lay with those using the pesticide.
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Construction of the corn-processing plant in Cordoba province was disrupted in October, when the activists started to block roads to the site. The activists were concerned that once finished, the plant would process Monsanto-made genetically modified corn, with the products ending up in the local market.
On November 29th, 20 protestors were injured outside the construction site on Thursday by construction workers from the Argentine Construction Union,employed to build Monsanto’s plant, who say that the blockade is damaging their jobs. Police are said to have intervened using tear gas. Earlier police tried to clear roads and a video was posted in the Belfast Telegraph. They were moderate, but will restraint continue as such clashes escalate?

So how will Monsanto handle European opposition to GM technology? With suppression, surveillance and aggression? Or will they just continue to rely on the strong multinational corporate–political alliances?


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