The Keynote Presentation by Political Economist and Activist Gar Alperovitz will take place at the Annual Meeting of the Maryland Chapter of “Healthcare-NOW!” Alperovtiz will address “When Then Must We Do?: Why We Need a Revolution in Healthcare.” Alperovitz is a historian, an author of numerous books (including America Beyond Capitalism), and a distinguished professor of political economy at the University of Maryland at College Park.
The co-sponsor of the event is “Healthcare Is a Human Right – Maryland,” and it will take place at St. John’s Church, 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, at 7 PM. The event is free and to the public. Refreshments will be served. Go to mdsinglepayer.org or healthcareisahumanrightmaryland.org.
How Big Ag’s Chemicals Ruined Indigenous Plants and Eradicated the World’s Food Supply
By Christina Sarich
What really happened when chemical-eating plants displaced indigenous plants in different parts of the world? Aside from Monsanto, and Dow, et al. making billions, they began starving the world, not feeding it. Here’s why:
First, ‘high-yield’ varieties of plants were planted in place of local or indigenous types that were already well versed in protecting themselves from weeds and insects due to ages of adaptation and evolution. At first the high-yield plants did create more plants, and made farmers more money. But these plants also did something very insidious to the natural growing environment.
Soon the crops began to produce lower yields, and pests and weeds became impervious to chemical treatments, requiring more and more pesticides and herbicides to grow anything at all – Monsanto and their kin were likely doing cartwheels in the streets at this point, because their plan worked. Farmers began to lose money on these ‘high-yield’ plants and they sought any solution possible – that’s where the biotech and chemical companies came in as straw saviours, promising to help return earlier yields if only farmers would plant genetically modified seeds, otherwise known as suicide seeds, that were patented by the companies, the same way a song on the radio is patented or an original invention is patented, even though their creations were not tested to make sure they wouldn’t interfere with ecosystems or harm human health, they were planted across countries with little government oversight or common sense.
Farmers were also promised that these seeds were ‘Round Up’ ready, meaning they could withstand loads of toxic chemicals and still grow. Even PBS published a story stating that “GMOs May Feed the World Using Fewer Pesticides,” but this has proven to be completely untrue. In fact, more pesticides are being used than ever, and herbicide use is simply astronomical. A study released by Food & Water Watch, as well as another by Washington State Universityresearch professor Charles Benbrook show that less than 20 percent of fields used to be sprayed, and now almost 100 percent of fields are sprayed with harmful chemicals.
You see, indigenous plants used to be tall and healthy, and would wilt if you sprayed chemicals on them. The ‘new plants’ were dwarfed versions that were made to withstand chemicals. This was the whole aim of Big Ag, and tidily promoted under the ‘green revolution’ banner. Doing this produced no more food – it was a mythical construct presented to sell more chemicals, not feed the world. More food was displaced, not created. These industry-driven corporations weren’t calculating what they were destroying in the process of promoting their Franken food creations.
Furthermore, these original, indigenous plants were full of nutrition, and not created in a lab, resulting in all sorts of second-hand effects, including:
• Antibiotic-resistance genes as "selectable markers" which lead to the production of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains that are also resistant to available antibiotics.
• Foreign gene placement in transgenic crops that have resulted in ‘insertion mutations’ that can even scramble our own DNA. Even harmful genes can switch on to promote an allergen, toxin, carcinogen or antinutrient, or regulators that block ‘good’ genes. Studies suggest that allbiotech breeding causes DNA scrambling.
• Round Up Ready soybeans that cause mutations in RNA. Essentially, unintentional transcription happens when the transgene won’t tell the cell to stop transcribing – this is similar to what happens when cancer cells multiply. They simply don’t know when to stop multiplying.
This is only a partial list, but it certainly outlines significant changes to the food supply that were not present prior to GMO planting and copious insecticide and herbicide spraying.
As David Suzuki has said, “any scientist who tells you GMO are safe, is either unbelievably stupid, or deliberately lying.” It is no mistake that it is the same companies that develop and patent GMO seeds who also develop and patent the pesticides and herbicides to which the unique seeds are resistant.
In just 20 years, GMO have made their way into almost everything we grow. Our indigenous crops, and farming practices are being demolished and our ability to feed ourselves is purposefully being destroyed. It is also causing serious monetary damage. Invading non-indigenous species in the United States, alone, cause major environmental damages and losses adding up to more than $138 billion per year, and this is an estimate from 1999. More GMO crops have been planted in the last ten years than ever before. When Monsanto holds a conference on ‘feeding the world’ they are promoting a big fat lie – unless of course we all want to dine on nutrition-less poison.
This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/how-big-ag-s-chemicals-ruined-indigenous-plants-and-eradicated-world-s-food-supply-1396966325. All rights are reserved.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs