By Hwaa Irfan
Multinational pharmaceutical/agricultural companies have over the years continually force-fed us with lies, the lies being we need their chemicals to protect our plants, and their genetically modified seeds to secure food security. These lies have been force fed to us for one reason only, to increase their profit margin. As we believed in their lies, their profits have swollen, and so too their representative global presence that is hell-bent on controlling the global food supply for the political gains of those they represent.
Countries like the U.S., have ambassadors of trade, not cast in the traditional role as a diplomat, but in the form of companies which secure U.S. interests around the world and impoverishing other countries in the process; in this case, namely Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta.
As the first country that began the so-called Arab spring finally moves towards a real democracy, and with it, open elections, all protests since cannot imagine the strength of determination undertaken whilst under duress, the threat of death, and only a dream to keep up their spirits. So it has been for another kind of revolution that has been bubbling under the surface for those who seek the right to unadulterated right to determine their own food security, which in turn is for the benefit of mankind.
Amongst the tough fight against multinationals, have been lone farmers around the world, struggling for the right to not have their crops infected by GM crops. Farmers have been impoverished in the process through the intellectual property rights system which prevents farmers from producing their own seeds, and having to buy new seeds every year. A clear example is famous Indian cotton , which 95% of the Indian market is now owned by Monsanto. They have fed back information describing the negative impact on their crops, and soil fertility. At times it seemed like a lost cause, one that the giants and the countries behind those giants looked to be the outright winners as policies secured by certain governments have been making it more and more difficult for anyone to challenge the ‘food cartels’ and the information spewed out by the corporate media, uninterested in the warnings, that turned to evidence of superweeds, superbugs, and failing yields. That is not until 20 food and conservation groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America got together to make the growing evidence clear for all to see by producing a report.
The Global Citizens’ Report on the State of GMOs has finally been published with unequivocal evidence, that the GM crops that we have been subjected to for over 20 years, and which is now grown in 29 countries has failed to increase food production, and has in fact reduced yield. Not only that, GM crops have not proven to be drought resistance, or salt tolerant, and has in fact increased the use of pesticides and other chemicals, and in turn the GM crops have become resistant to the very pesticides the pharmaceutical-biotech companies produce. The only success is that of the pharmaceutical-biotech companies that have succeeded in improving their profits, and to remove conventional seeds from the market making it difficult for farmers to grow food as intended, and as required by human physiology. Not only this, in with a growing global water shortage, GM crops requires more water than conventional crops, and pollutes what fresh waters we have left.
Supported by Friends of the Earth International, the Center for Food Safety in the US, Confédération Paysanne, and the Gaia Foundation, the report of course adds to the series of studies refuted by Monsanto whose words are taken as truth by the EU contradictory to E.U. policy.
Even though wisdom has prevailed and the marketing of GM crops has not been so successful for human consumption, it is a matter of wait and tell as the crops have found a use in the form of biofuels. What effect there will be on the environment as GM biofuel is used under the misnomered titled ‘biofuel’ one cannot tell if it will be just as harmful or more harmful as we inhale the burn-off and as the it gets taken up by the air, the soil etc. Air does not acknowledge the national boundaries created by man in order to reinforce the position of the state, but one supposes that the powers that be will go into denial as done in the case of climatic change and the impact on the South!