by Julian Rose
If ever there was an Orwellian nightmare come true, then the recently announced Euro 71 billion takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is surely just that. But it doesn’t look like stopping there. There are two more such Orwellian treats in the pipeline for lovers of mega-marriages between corporate agrochemical and commercial seed giants: the vast US Dow Chemicals corporation wants to marry its one time rival Dupont and ChemChina is proposing to Swiss seed and gene giant, Syngenta.
The historical record of all these companies reveals a plethora of criminal activities perpetrated against both man and nature, with the Monsanto corporation leading the way.
You certainly don’t need to be an expert in the forces that drive modern agriculture and the globalised food market in order to appreciate the sinister significance of these mega-mergers. But I’ll brief those not yet conversant: if these mergers are accepted by governments and the European Union, then just three mega-vast corporations will have gained control of 60% of the world’s commercial seed resources and 70% of current agrochemical production.
With so much interlinked knowledge and finance in so few hands, these corporations will be able to control access to great swathes of data concerning the genetics and transgenics of plant breeding. This will enable them to exert a controlling influence over the entire food chain. And seeing who ‘they’ are, that influence will be deeply destructive to food, farming, health and the environment.
The proposed wedding of the world’s largest farm chemicals and genetic engineering exponents would lead to the rapid demise of the millions of small, family based farmers who still supply some 80% of the dietary needs of the populations of the Indian sub continent, Africa, China and much of South America.
It would spell the virtual end of any form of national food security and food sovereignty (right to choose) within nations accustomed to controlling the dynamics of their internal food chains. Already the farmer’s choice of what seeds and what fertilisers to use on the land has been vastly reduced by market domineering entities like Monsanto and Cargill.
But the new mergers would take this a quantum leap further, ensuring that a ‘brave new world’ of chemical assisted and genetically modified semi robotic farming would finally force underground those devoted to maintaining the time honoured agricultural practices essential to the production of genuinely nutritious foods. Under acute threat will be sustainable and environmentally friendly practices which have been carried out for generations, by those whose knowledge and wisdom of the land still maintains a determined, yet embattled, foothold on the continent of Europe and beyond.
The currently under negotiation TTIP, CETA and TISA US/EU Trans Atlantic trading agreements (discussed in my last article ‘The Three Ugly Sisters’) add a further dimension to this already toxic brew. CETA negotiations, the Canadian equivalent of the US lead TTIP, are close to completion, and since most US corporations are legally entitled to also trade directly out of Canada, it could mean that Monsanto and Dupont will get further backing via this back door, covert trading deal.
What is alarmingly clear in all this, is the fact that an increasingly large number of already giant corporations are merging yet again, and gobbling up what remains of the independent sector in the realm of plant breeding, seeds, fertilisers, research, machinery and intellectual property. A situation mirrored by the ever more centralized and condensed banking and media sectors, and indeed, a whole swathe of merger hungry corporate players dealing on the global market place today.
I used the term ‘Orwellian’ advisedly, for a tiny group of hugely powerful companies are closing in on acquiring full-blown monopoly over the entire global resource base. This is the ‘Big Brother’ of Orwell’s highly prophetic ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’.
Big Brother is not just a controlling agent of the trading front, but also a mind controlling agent on the airwaves of the world. And what we are seeing in front of our eyes today, suggests there is no limit to the urge to dominate and indoctrinate, once the smell of power excites irrational and untamed egos.
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is leading to a sense of pathogenic omnipotence in the board rooms of leading protagonists today. Witness the accelerating rate in the patenting of genetically modified seeds and plants as ‘novel foods’, a speciality of food and farming conglomerates like Monsanto and Cargill. Another powerful tool for altering the building blocks of nature in order to serve the ends of a corrupted, out of control race for ultimate corporate supremacy.
Can and will the anti-competition regulators finally step in to block these mergers?
That is their job, of course, but are they internally strong enough to stand-up to the lobbying might of these super-wealthy pirates?
We shall see. In the meantime let us get involved in any way we can to expose the criminal activities taking place under our noses. If we do nothing, it will only be a matter of months before the saving and sowing of local indigenous seeds is declared illegal. It’s close to that already.
Have no doubt, the objective is to wipe out the traditional and native farmers of Europe and replace them with vast US style monocultures, robotic technologies and a genetically engineered, corporate owned and patented gene pool. And that means an end to real food – and much more.
Let’s make a point of standing up to be counted, to prevent this apocalyptic scenario from ever becoming reality.
I’ll leave you with this resonant Kenyan proverb “Treat the Earth well, it was not given to us by our parents, but loaned to us by our children”.
This article first appeared on www.connorpost.com
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, an international activist, holistic thinker and writer. He is President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, and is the author of two books with some very powerful perspectives: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life.
Lots of interesting things going on. You can find out more about his work at: www.changingcourseforlife.info