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Monsanto A Major Earth Criminal

 

By James Donahue

October 2006

 

The Monsanto Company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, bills itself as an agricultural business that helps farmers “reduce the impact” of their operations on the environment. We challenge that statement.

 

The record suggests that much of which Monsanto does now, or has done in the past, has had a destructive impact on the environment, on our world, and may have destroyed any chance we have for a future.

 

Monsanto today is concentrating its business in two areas: a.) the development of hybrid and genetically altered seeds that produce crops that resist weed, insect and disease assaults and produce higher yields for each acre planted, and b.) agricultural productivity through chemicals that increase herd and flock growth and production, herbicide products that help people have green weed-free lawns and gardens.

 

This company offers the ingredients for what we might describe as a perfect utopian world. And for people who don’t care about the impact these products have on the Mother Earth, it is just fine because it helps farmers make money and gives people with expensive homes an assurance of clean, green, weed-free lawns and flower gardens with little fuss.

 

It is the kind of world the chemists of the 1950s used to talk about, and get people of the post-war developed nations to dream about. The slogan: “better living through chemistry” was touted. And we all believed it was true as we rushed to the stores to buy the new pesticides, herbicides, upholstery cleaners, stick-free frying pans and building products laced with PCBs, formaldehyde, asbestos and all the other toxins that have since turned our lives into a living hell.

 

Monsanto can’t be blamed for all of the horrors introduced to our world. But this company was knee-deep in cashing in on the rush toward wealth through poison for the masses.

 

Agent Orange

 

The first time many of us heard about Monsanto was during the Vietnam War when our military was spraying a herbicide called Agent Orange on the jungles of that Southeast Asian country to destroy the foliage that concealed the enemy Viet Kong. That herbicide was laced with dioxin that has since been found to be one of the most toxic chemicals on the planet. It causes cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders and death in people who come in contact with it. Many of our troops who handled Agent Orange returned home sick, or became parents of deformed and mentally impaired children. We may never know the effect it has been having on the Vietnamese people who still live in that contaminated area.

 

It has been established that Monsanto knew of the negative health impact of Agent Orange long before it was used in the war. Between 1962 and 1970 the military sprayed 72 million liters of herbicide, mostly Agent Orange, on over a million Vietnamese civilians and over 100,000 troops. To this day, Monsanto continues to claim this chemical, which is now banned, has no negative health effects.

 

PCBs

 

Before making a name for itself with the mass production of Agent Orange for the military, Monsanto was busy manufacturing PCBs at its plant in Anniston, Alabama. It produced this stuff, widely used as industrial coolants and electrical insulators from 1935 to 1972, even though documents show that Monsanto knew as early as the 1950s that PCBs were a toxic danger. But this information was kept hidden from the public while the company dumped the PCB-laced waste, sometimes over 110 kilograms of it a day, into unlined landfill sites near the plant. Those landfills are now leaching PCBs, lead and mercury into the streams and soil in and around Anniston and the people there are sick. PCBs cause cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive problems, immune-system depression, developmental problems in children and liver damage. It is now illegal to produce PCBs in the United States.

 

Bovine Growth Hormone

 

Monsanto produces a synthetic bovine hormone called rBGH, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1974, that increases milk production in dairy cows. The problem with this hormone is that it gets in the milk and consequently is consumed by people who drink this milk. The hormone also is produced by Eli Lilly, UpJohn and American Cyanamid, so it is big business. Studies since then have shown that treated cows have higher incidence of infection, their milk contains puss, and it also contains high levels of insulin-like growth factor that causes women to be more susceptible to breast cancer, and men more likely to develop prostate cancer. It also is implicated in lung and colon cancer. Consequently, dairy farmers and drug companies are making lot of money, but consumers are at higher risk of cancer.

 

Genetically Engineered Seeds

 

Monsanto was among the first companies to cash in on the discovery of methods for genetically manipulating seeds and has patented weed and insect resistant seeds for beans, corn, cotton, and grains. The company has produced seeds with chemicals designed to treat disease, and has crossed plant and animal genes to produce odd varieties of tomato, potato and other vegetables laced with animal protein. The company is selling this seed all over the world, and it is even getting into countries that have attempted to keep it out.

 

The problems with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that they are often hybrid so the seed cannot be saved for replanting a second year. When the seed can be saved, or even if there is evidence of cross pollination of company seeds with plants grown in a neighbor’s field, Monsanto has filed suit and won judgments against farmers who saved seed for a new crop. The company charges that the farmers are violating patent rights by planting company patented seeds and not paying Monsanto.

 

These GMO plants are cross pollinating with other plants, especially weeds that are in any way related to the plant, and consequently farmers are experiencing tough new varieties of weed that are as resistant to herbicides as the original crop. There is some indication now, after several years of GMO foods in our grocery stores, that some of these foods are affecting human health.

 

People who have turned to organic foods are having harder times finding it. This is because the GMO seeds are cross pollinating with the organic varieties. It is getting harder to find pure seeds that have not been infected by these genetically modified versions.

 

There is yet another disaster, as yet not completely understood, that has been created by the mass production of genetically altered seeds. Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue said this seed has altered the pre-biotic chemistry within the Earth. It we don’t stop this, it may be impossible for life to spring forth again if another mass extinction event occurs.

 

Water Privatization

 

Over the past century, global water supplies have been contaminated by Monsanto and a wide variety of other company-produced chemicals that have included Agent Orange, PCBs, dioxin and Roundup herbicide. Now Monsanto is seizing control of public water resources, filtering the water and selling it back to the people. Thus the company is making a double profit by first polluting the world’s potable waters, privately taking ownership of the water, filtering it and selling it to those who can afford to pay for it. As our overpopulated world discovers that it is running out of fresh, potable water, it also is discovering that companies like Monsanto control most of the potable water that remains.

 

Food Biopiracy

 

The latest evil occurring within the inner sanctums of Monsanto is what some people are calling the “biopiracy” of established crops and foods. For example, the company is obtaining patents on crops and even animals that are commonly grown and eaten by people all over the world, then demanding payment for the right to grow and consume these products.

 

An example of what is happening is a patent application published in February, 2005, at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. Greenpeace revealed that Monsanto was seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on the actual breeding of herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result. If granted, the company can legally prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs with characteristics described in the patent claims, or force farmers to pay company royalties.

 

Monsanto also is doing the same thing in vegetables and other food and useable crops like cotton.

 

As one Greenpeace news story explained: “One way or another, Monsanto wants to make sure no food is grown that they don’t own.”