In response to the protest, Monsanto’s spokesperson said:
Among the challenges facing agriculture are producing food for our growing population and reducing agriculture’s footprint on the environment. While we respect each individual’s right to express their point of view on these topics, we believe we are making a contribution to improving agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy.
Is this true?
The Independent noted in 2008:
Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.
The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.
Professor Barney Gordon, of the university’s department of agronomy, said he started the research – reported in the journal Better Crops – because many farmers who had changed over to the GM crop had “noticed that yields are not as high as expected even under optimal conditions”. He added: “People were asking the question ‘how come I don’t get as high a yield as I used to?’”
The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.
A similar situation seems to have happened with GM cotton in the US, where the total US crop declined even as GM technology took over.
Last week the biggest study of its kind ever conducted – the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development – concluded that GM was not the answer to world hunger.
Professor Bob Watson, the director of the study and chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when asked if GM could solve world hunger, said: “The simple answer is no.”
Scientific American reported in 2009:
Proponents argue that GM crops can help feed the world. And given ever increasing demands for food, animal feed, fiber and now even biofuels, the world needs all the help it can get.
Unfortunately, it looks like GM corn and soybeans won’t help, after all.
The Union of Concerned Scientists wrote the same year:
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields.
That promise has proven to be empty …. [A UCS report] reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concludes that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report finds, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices. …
Rickards updates us on the current Currency Wars and talks about depression, inflation v. deflation, gold price manipulation and China. Great background on all these topics, 2 parts
by Chris Hedges
There is nothing in 5,000 years of economic history to justify the belief that human societies should structure their behavior around the demands of the marketplace. This is an absurd, utopian ideology. The airy promises of the market economy have, by now, all been exposed as lies. The ability of corporations to migrate overseas has decimated our manufacturing base. It has driven down wages, impoverishing our working class and ravaging our middle class. It has forced huge segments of the population—including those burdened by student loans—into decades of debt peonage. It has also opened the way to massive tax shelters that allow companies such as General Electric to pay no income tax. Corporations employ virtual slave labor in Bangladesh and China, making obscene profits. As corporations suck the last resources from communities and the natural world, they leave behind horrific human suffering and dead landscapes. The greater the destruction, the greater the apparatus crushes dissent.
Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” grasps the dark soul of global capitalism. We are all aboard the doomed ship Pequod, a name connected to an Indian tribe eradicated by genocide, and Ahab is in charge. “All my means are sane,” Ahab says, “my motive and my object mad.” We are sailing on a maniacal voyage of self-destruction, and no one in a position of authority, even if he or she sees what lies ahead, is willing or able to stop it. Those on the Pequod who had a conscience, including Starbuck, did not have the courage to defy Ahab. The ship and its crew were doomed by habit, cowardice and hubris. Melville’s warning must become ours. Rise up or die.
Weird. Was he killed by misinformed vigilantes? Just another oddity surrounding the rationale for the police-state SWATting of a large portion of boston.
One of the individuals identified by 4chan users as a possible Boston bombing accomplice has been found dead in the Providence River.
“Police in Providence pulled a man’s body from the Providence River on Tuesday, and authorities said it is “very possible” that it is Sunil Tripathi, 22, a former Brown University student who has been missing since mid-March,” reports the Boston Globe. …
According to Zero Hedge, the misidentification of Tripathi as one of the Boston bombing culprits means it “could be time to reevaluate the crowdsourced approach to “solving” crimes.”
However, given the innumerable other contradictions that skeptics of the official narrative behind the bombings have put forward, with particular emphasis on the possibility that the Tsarnaev brothers may have been patsies or otherwise radicalized or duped by intelligence agencies, Tripathi’s death takes on more prominence.
– Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended a workshop sponsored by the CIA-linked Jamestown Foundation.
– Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on both CIA and FBI watchlists in addition to drawing the attention of Russian investigators who attempted to alert the FBI in 2011.
– Former FBI employee Sibel Edmonds believes the two alleged bombers could have been recruited by the FBI.
– Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the alleged bombers, claims the men were “framed by the authorities” and that the video of a naked man being arrested on the night the suspects were captured, which authorities claim was an unrelated individual who was later released, was in fact Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The video shows an uninjured man being led to a squad car, whereas police claim Tsarnaev was badly injured when he was captured and later died in the hospital.
– The alleged bombers’ aunt Maret Tsarnaeva also claims that the man seen being arrested in the video was Tamerlan Tsarnaev. She also says that she was threatened and told not to speak to the media.
– Contradicting claims by authorities that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran over his own brother, an eyewitness to the incident said that police ran over Tsarnaev with an SUV and then pumped bullets into him.
The “economic therapy” imposed under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction is in large part responsible for triggering famine and social devastation in Ethiopia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, wreaking the peasant economy and impoverishing millions of people.
With the complicity of branches of the US government, it has also opened the door for the appropriation of traditional seeds and landraces by US biotech corporations, which behind the scenes have been peddling the adoption of their own genetically modified seeds under the disguise of emergency aid and famine relief.
Moreover, under WTO rules, the agri-biotech conglomerates can manipulate market forces to their advantage as well as exact royalties from farmers. The WTO provides legitimacy to the food giants to dismantle State programmes including emergency grain stocks, seed banks, extension services and agricultural credit, etc.), plunder peasant economies and trigger the outbreak of periodic famines. …
Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.
The statement gave few details regarding the deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.”
Last month, the team was involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. …
Ibragim Todashev, said to be an acquaintance of deceased Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed by the FBI on Tuesday after agents interrogated him on his political views. The Chechen-born Muslim was shot by agents after midnight at an apartment complex in Orlando, Florida, about ten miles from Disney World. …
Todashev told his friend he felt he would be shot by the FBI. “He felt inside he was going to get shot,” Taramiv said. “I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.”
London (CNN) — British counter-terrorism police arrested a man, who said he was a friend of a suspect in the Woolwich soldier killing, after he gave an interview to the BBC Friday night, the British broadcaster said.
The man, Abu Nusaybah, was arrested on suspected terrorism offenses after telling on air how his friend had been approached by Britain’s domestic intelligence service, known as MI5, according to the broadcaster.
A BBC staffer, who did want to be named, told CNN that police were inside the BBC Broadcasting House building in central London waiting for the interview to conclude before they made the arrest. …
The United States Senate decided again Thursday that it simply does not want to let states tell people whether or not they are eating genetically modified food.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly — 71 to 27 — against an amendment to the sweeping farm bill, squashing a measure that would not have required labeling of genetically modified organisms, but merely would have let states decide if they wanted to require such labeling.
“The concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the sponsor of the amendment, said shortly before the vote. “All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”
Sanders has noted that more than 3,000 ingredients are required to be labeled, but genetically modified ingredients are not part of that list. His state and Connecticut have passed laws to require such labeling, but Sanders said local leaders fear that large biotech corporations such as Monsanto could sue the states on the grounds that they are preempting federal authority. He said his bill would make clear that states can do what they want on the issue. …