Genetically Modified Seeds: Conceived as a Weapon – Global Research

genetically-modified-seeds:-conceived-as-a-weapon-–-global-research

11-02-20 09:39:00,

GM seeds and GM food carry great risks for all nations, so much so that for many reasons it is probably imperative these foods be banned outright. This subject is too large to be discussed here, but one aspect requires brief notice. If we were to ask about the origin of GM seeds, how the idea was conceived and developed, who did the research and who provided the funding, how would we reply? We might reasonably suggest that perhaps the concept originated in the Biology or Agricultural Department of some university, or that a government lab doing research on food supplies might have conceived and pursued the idea. Or, we might suggest a private company in the agricultural field was looking for more productive varieties of grains and stumbled on this process.

We might suggest all those answers, but in each case we would be wrong. GM seed was conceived, promoted, researched and funded by the US Department of Defense – the American War Department. GM seed was never meant as a way to feed the hungry, but was instead conceived and developed as a weapon or, more precisely, as a weapons-delivery system. Genetically-Modified seed was never intended to support human life, but to eliminate it.

GM seed is neither more productive nor healthier than traditional heritage crops, and is far more expensive and destructive, but it presents almost irresistible military advantages against any nation that becomes dependent on this source of food grains. One is that the US can use it as a political weapon, refusing to supply seed to a disfavored nation, perhaps causing widespread famine and dislocation. The other is more sinister, in that many groups have experimented with gene-splicing technology, inserting unrelated DNA into various seeds.

In one case in Canada, a government department discovered an “anti-freeze” gene contained in the blood of fish living in Arctic waters, permitting them to survive in waters of sub-zero temperature. (20) The scientists spliced this gene into Canadian wheat crops, permitting the wheat to withstand freezing temperatures without damage. Monsanto also forced these genes into tomatoes, resulting in the first GMO tomato. (21) An American research lab spliced the genes from fireflies into tobacco plants, producing a tobacco field that glowed in the dark.

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Genetically Modified Seeds: Bayer Builds Latin America’s Largest Seed Factory in Chile – Global Research

genetically-modified-seeds:-bayer-builds-latin-america’s-largest-seed-factory-in-chile-–-global-research

27-01-20 01:56:00,

Following is an English translation of an article from the German newspaper Deutsche Welle (DW), translated by  from the Spanish version circulated by Network for a Latin America Free of Transgenics (RALLT).

“Bayer-Monsanto: Get Out of Chile”, was the slogan on banners in Santiago on May 19 during the “March against Monsanto” protest, which took place in 30 cities around the world for an agriculture without pesticides and against the use of genetically modified seeds.

Just a few days earlier, the Bayer pharmaceutical consortium had been ordered to pay more than $2 billion to a couple in the United States who claimed to have had cancer due to the use of Roundup, a herbicide developed by Bayer’s subsidiary, Monsanto.

Critical voices grow in Chile

About 50 kilometers south of Santiago are two of the largest seed production plants in Chile. In September 2018, after the purchase of Monsanto, Bayer CropScience announced the modernization of the Viluco plant, the only factory that produces vegetable seeds in South America and one of the company’s three largest factories worldwide.

“We want to modernize the technology and processes, so that the factory reaches the standards of the factories in the Netherlands and the United States,” said Yuri Charme of Bayer CropScience. The project, called “Satisfaction of demand”, aims to increase seed production by 20% so that Chile can meet 70% of demand in the region in the near future.

Chile is the largest seed exporter in the southern hemisphere. According to figures from the Federation of Seed Producers (ChileBio), the country exported seeds worth $338.5 million in 2016/2017, a fifth of which were GM. One of the advantages of having a seed business in Chile is that when it is winter in Europe, there it is summer.

GM plant pollen contaminates local seeds

The vegetable seed that is processed at the factory in Viluco represents, so far, a small part of the seed exports. Far more important are corn, soybeans and rapeseed. These are processed in another factory, a few kilometers south of Viluco, in the rural community of Paine. There, the majority of the population subsists from agriculture. Already in 2016, before the merger with Bayer,

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Genetically Modified Seeds in India: Faking it on the Astroturf – Global Research

genetically-modified-seeds-in-india:-faking-it-on-the-astroturf-–-global-research

12-01-20 03:39:00,

According to a recent report in The Hindu Business Line, India’s intelligence agencies are investigating the role of a global investment company and international seed companies in supporting farmers organisation Shetkari Sanghatana (SS) in the distribution of illegally procured genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seeds. The planting of such seeds is an offence under the Environment Protection Act and Seeds Act.

In May 2019, SS broke the law and freely distributed these seeds. In early January 2020, it broke the law again by distributing second generation seeds. According to the report, a senior intelligence official had told Business Line that a global investment company, with investments in seeds and agrochemicals companies, has chosen to support the farmers’ organisation.

Business Line reports that the investment company is allegedly putting pressure on the Modi government to ensure that the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee fast tracks the clearance of HT seeds, so the seeds could be legally harvested and sold in the country.

In India, five high-level reports have advised against the adoption of GM crops. Appointed by the Supreme Court, the ‘Technical Expert Committee (TEC) Final Report’ (2013) was scathing about the prevailing regulatory system and highlighted its inadequacies and serious inherent conflicts of interest. The TEC recommended a 10-year moratorium on the commercial release of all GM crops.

The reason why Bt cotton – to date, India’s only officially approved GM crop – made it into farmers’ fields in the first place was due to ‘approval by contamination’. Bt cotton was discovered in 2001 growing on thousands of hectares in Gujarat. In March 2002, it was approved for commercial cultivation.

The pro-GMO lobby has again resorted to such tactics. The 2010 moratorium on Bt brinjal was implemented because science won out against a regulatory process that lacked competency, possessed endemic conflicts of interest and demonstrated a lack of expertise in GM risk assessment protocols, including food safety assessment and the assessment of environmental impacts.

As we have seen with the relentless push to get GM mustard commercialised, the problems persist. Now, to justify breaking the law, we are seeing unscientific claims and well-worn industry-inspired soundbites about GM crops: political posturing unsupported by evidence to try to sway the policy agenda in favour of GM.

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First Genetically Modified Babies Case in China. Bioethics Approach after Latest Official Investigations – Global Research

first-genetically-modified-babies-case-in-china.-bioethics-approach-after-latest-official-investigations-–-global-research

05-05-19 02:36:00,

Below is a review article by the Bioethics Observatory, which provides details on the use of the CRISPR genetic editing tool as well as a review of the ethical implications.

We bring this article to the attention of our readers for informational purposes only

***

After the statement from Chinese geneticist Jiankui He that he and his team had achieved the birth of the first genetically modified babies (that our Observatory covered extensively, see HERE), the Chinese government ordered an official investigation that has now confirmed the veracity of these facts.

Jiankui and his team used the CRISPR gene editing tool to inactivate the CCR5 gene in human embryos, giving them immunity to the AIDS virus. Two of these embryos were transferred to the patient, with the pregnancy progressing and resulting in the birth of the first babies with a modified genome. Another pregnancy is also currently underway.

The investigation has revealed that the Chinese scientist falsified documents to pretend that the experiment had been approved by an Ethics Committee. He also used blood samples from other individuals so that the tests would not detect that the men participating in the experiment were HIV positive, as in China, HIV carriers are banned from participating in vitro fertilization cycles. The university where he worked has announced that he has been formally dismissed.

International scientific community opinion

These experiments have been widely criticized by the international scientific community, because the technique is not safe and the changes will be transmitted from generation to generation. Furthermore, in a recent issue of journal The Lancet, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and a group of HIV researchers have joined the criticisms, classing the facts as contrary to ethics, morality and legality, and proposing the implementation of appropriate regulations and practical guidelines. They also recommend that the privacy of the babies be protected.

Counterproductive effects of the modification

It is also interesting that the HIV researchers stress how inactivation of the CCR5 gene not only does not mean the cure of any disease (it is a preventive modification),

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Genetically Modified Bt Brinjal Aubergine Illegally Growing in India: Who Is Really Pulling the Strings? | Asia-Pacific Research

genetically-modified-bt-brinjal-aubergine-illegally-growing-in-india-who-is-really-pulling-the-strings-asia-pacific-research

28-04-19 03:16:00,

In February 2010, the Indian government placed an indefinite moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal. (Genetically Modified Aubergine or EggPlant) Prior to this decision, numerous independent scientists from India and abroad had pointed out safety concerns regarding Bt brinjal based on data and reports in the biosafety dossier that Mahyco, the crop developer, had submitted to the regulators.

Campaigner Aruna Rodrigues explains

“The then Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh instituted a unique four-month scientific enquiry and public hearings. His decision to reject the commercialisation of Bt brinjal was supported by advice he received from several renowned international scientists. Their collective appraisals demonstrated serious environmental and biosafety concerns, which included issues regarding the toxity of Bt proteins resulting from their mode of action on the human gut system.”

She went on to say that India is a centre of origin of brinjal with the greatest genetic diversity and that contamination was a certainty. Rodrigues added:

“In his summing-up of the unsustainability of Bt brinjal and of its implications if introduced, one of the experts involved, Professor Andow, said it posed several unique challenges because the likelihood of resistance evolving quickly is high. He added that without any management of resistance evolution, Bt brinjal is projected to fail in 4-12 years.”

Jairam Ramesh pronounced a moratorium on Bt brinjal in February 2010 founded on what he called “a cautious, precautionary principle-based approach.” The moratorium is still in place and has not been lifted.

Despite this, the illegal cultivation of Bt brinjal has recently been discovered in the state of Haryana. In response, the Coalition for a GM Free India held a press conference in Delhi on 25 April 2019 demanding immediate action from state and central governments.

Afsar Jafri, agriculture trade policy analyst, argued that there was good reason why India opted to impose an indefinite moratorium on Bt brinjal and that all the environmental and health hazards acknowledged at the time continue to remain intact.

Kapil Shah, founder of Jatan Trust in Gujarat, said:

“This is clearly a failure of concerned government agencies that illegal Bt brinjal is being cultivated in the country.

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Genetically Modified Babies. The Genetic Editing of Human Life – Global Research

genetically-modified-babies.-the-genetic-editing-of-human-life-8211-global-research

28-04-19 07:46:00,

Last November, He Jiankui, a Chinese biology Associate Professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) announced that he and his team had created the World’s first “genetically edited babies”: twin babies Lula and Nana.

Dr. He Jiankui, used the CRISPR technology “to alter the embryos of seven couples [allegedly] to make them resistant to HIV”.  He Jiankui made his announcement at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing held at the University of Hong Kong.  

Dr. He claims to have used CRISP “to tweak the DNA of human embryos during in vitro fertilization”. 

The broad implications of this experiment are far-reaching. The genetic editing of human life forms including embryos has a bearing on the future of humanity.

It opens up the pandora’s box of genetic engineering applied to human beings.

Potentially, it destroys humanity.

Screenshot Source Nature News Carl Zimmer

The experiment raises important scientific and ethical issues. The Chinese government immediately opened an investigation, Dr He Jiankui was fired by his University in January 2019.

Corporate Interests: Genetic Editing is “Big Business”

Despite government regulations and ethical issues, there are powerful corporate interests involved in the development and patenting of genetic editing of life forms including Dr. He’s findings on “genetically modified babies”.

While Dr. He’s University based lab biology project at SUST has been closed down, he nonetheless remains Chairman and  major stakeholder of the Shenzhen based Direct Genomics Biotechnology, “a genome sequencing” firm, with extensive financial resources.  Direct Genomics received at least US$43 million in funding from both Chinese and international investors:

“… The funding was led by Shenzhen Cosun Venture Capital Investment Management, a venture capital firm owned by Shenzhen-listed Coship Electronics and Chen Libei, an executive of state-backed Fortune Capital. … 

Other investors include Beijing Xiyi Asset Management, which has only one venture capital deal – Direct Genomics – since its inception in 2016 on public record. …

In November 2016, Direct Genomics received an undisclosed amount of funding from three investors – Beijing Tengye Venture Capital,

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Genetically Engineered Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation – Global Research

genetically-engineered-destruction-the-hidden-agenda-of-genetic-manipulation-8211-global-research

14-02-19 09:36:00,

Seeds of Destruction

The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

by F. William Engdahl

Global Research, 2007 ISBN 978-0-937147-2-2

SPECIAL ONLINE AND MAIL ORDER PRICE  US$18.00 (list price $25.95)

Order your copy now

This skillfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO.  Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.

The author cogently reveals a diabolical World of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.

Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and World peace.

What is so frightening about Engdahl’s vision of the world is that it is so real. Although our civilization has been built on humanistic ideals, in this new age of “free markets”, everything– science, commerce, agriculture and even seeds– have become weapons in the hands of a few global corporation barons and their political fellow travelers. To achieve world domination, they no longer rely on bayonet-wielding soldiers. All they need is to control food production.

-Dr. Arpad Pusztai, biochemist, formerly of the Rowett Research Institute Institute, Scotland

If you want to learn about the socio-political agenda –why biotech corporations insist on spreading GMO seeds around the World– you should read this carefully researched book. You will learn how these corporations want to achieve control over all mankind, and why we must resist…

-Marijan Jost, Professor of Genetics, Krizevci, Croatia

The book reads like a murder mystery of an incredible dimension,

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Genetically Engineered Bt Cotton: Reckless Gamble for Profit that Placed Indian Cotton Farmers in Corporate Noose – Global Research

genetically-engineered-bt-cotton-reckless-gamble-for-profit-that-placed-indian-cotton-farmers-in-corporate-noose-8211-global-research

26-12-18 10:23:00,

The dubious performance (failure) of genetically engineered Bt cotton, officially India’s only GM crop, should serve as a warning as the push within the country to adopt GM across a wide range of food crops continues. This article provides an outline of some key reports and papers that have appeared in the last few years on Bt cotton in India.

In a paper that appeared in December 2018 in the journal Current Science, P.C. Kesavan and M.S. Swaminathan cited research findings to support the view that Bt insecticidal cotton has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers. This paper was not just important because of its content but also because M.S. Swaminathan is considered to be the father of the Green Revolution in India.

The two authors provided evidence that indicates Bt crops are unsustainable and have not decreased the need for toxic chemical pesticides, the reason for these GM crops in the first place.

The authors cite the views of Dr K.R. Kranthi, former Director of the Central Institute for Cotton Research in Nagpur. Based on his research, he concluded in December 2016:

“Bt-cotton plus higher fertilizers plus increased irrigation also received a protective cover from the seed treatment of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid, without which majority of the Bt-cotton hybrids which were susceptible to sucking pests would have yielded far less. It can safely be said that yield increase in India would not have happened with Bt-cotton alone without enhanced fertilizer usage, without increased irrigation, without seed treatment chemicals, and the absence of drought-free decade.”

In effect, levels of insecticide use are now back to the pre-Bt era as is productivity due to pest resistance and crop failures.

Following on from this, an April 2018 paper in the journal Pest Science Management indicates there has been progressive bollworm resistance to Bt cotton in India over a seven-year period. The authors conclude:

“High PBW [pink bollworm] larval recovery on Bt‐II in conjunction with high LC50 values for Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in major cotton‐growing districts of central and southern India provides evidence of field‐evolved resistance in PBW to Bt‐I and Bt‐II cotton.”

This alongside other problems related to Bt cotton has had disastrous consequences for farmers.

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The US Military Is Genetically Engineering New Life Forms To Detect Enemy Subs

the-us-military-is-genetically-engineering-new-life-forms-to-detect-enemy-subs

02-12-18 08:07:00,

The Pentagon is also looking at living camouflage, self-healing paint, and a variety of other applications of engineered organisms, but the basic science remains a challenge.

How do you detect submarines in an expanse as large as the ocean? The U.S. military hopes that common marine microorganisms might be genetically engineered into living tripwires to signal the passage of enemy subs, underwater vessels, or even divers.

It’s one of many potential military applications for so-called engineered organisms, a field that promises living camouflage that reacts to its surroundings to better avoid detection, new drugs and medicines to help deployed forces survive in harsh conditions, and more. But the research is in its very early stages, military officials said.

The Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, is supporting the research. Here’s how it would work: You take an abundant sea organism, like Marinobacter, and change its genetic makeup to react to certain substances left by enemy vessels, divers, or equipment. These could be metals, fuel exhaust, human DNA, or some molecule that’s not found naturally in the ocean but is associated with, say, diesel-powered submarines. The reaction could take the form of electron loss, which could be detectable to friendly sub drones.

“In an engineered context, we might take the ability of the microbes to give up electrons, then use [those electrons] to talk to something like an autonomous vehicle. Then you can start imagining that you can create an electrical signal when the bacteria encounters some molecule in their environment,” NRL researcher Sarah Glaven said at a November event put on by DARPA and the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab.

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Glaven believes the research is about a year away from providing concrete evidence that she can engineer reactions in abundant marine life forms that could prove useful for the military. Sub-hunting, in particular, is “what we would like it to be applicable for,” she said.

“The reason we think we can accomplish this is because we have this vast database of info we’ve collected from growing these natural systems.

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