Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The United States of Monsanto

It is no longer enough for the seed and chemical company Monsanto to use its rivers of cash to own and operate the United States Congress (in the language of corporations, there is no word for “enough”); it is now using the US Department of State as its global sales force. The objective, apparently, is to replace every plant grown for food on the planet with a genetically mutilated plant sold by Monsanto. With the help of the United States government, the project is well along.

An excellent investigative piece by Alternet’s Jill Richardson (Why is the State Department Using Our Money to Pimp for Monsanto?) paints a pretty picture of revolving-door personnel exchanges between the State Department and biotech industries, and details the ways in which our “diplomats” are not only advocating Monsanto’s products and practices, but paying others to do so. With tax money, of course, but no Tea Party uproar here.

One example from the article:

Assistant Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez, addressing an event of high-level government officials from around the world, agribusiness CEOs, leaders from international organizations, and anti-hunger groups said, “Without agricultural biotechnology, our world would look vastly different. One of our challenges is how to grow more crops on the same land.”

You would think — and apparently Fernandez thinks — that the world looks better because of industrial, biotechnological agriculture, and that it is settled fact that biotech has improved yields and is, as the ads on Sunday television news shows insist, feeding a hungry world. more