‘Monsanto is the metaphor for genetic manipulation, food chain control’
William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. He has lectured as Visiting Professor at Beijing University of Chemical Technology and delivers talks and private seminars around the world on subjects of current importance from economics to oil geopolitics to agribusiness. A widely discussed analyst of current political and economic developments, his provocative articles and analyses have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and well-known international websites. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal and member of the editorial board of Eurasia magazine. Based in Frankfurt, Germany he may be reached via his website www.williamengdahl.com
Hundreds of thousands around the world gathered on Saturday in a global move dubbed 'March Against Monsanto'.
Activists are calling for labeling of food containing GMOs and further scientific research of the effects of GMO crops that while banned in several countries over alleged health threats still remain legal in many others.
Protesters all across the US joined the march calling for a boycott of Monsanto products, following the Senate’s decision to turn down a bill which requires the labeling of GM food.
RT: What's wrong with GM food?
William Engdahl: The fundamental problem with GM food that it’s genetically and biologically unstable. There’s no genetic modification known to science and this I have from some of top scientists in the world on this question that’s stable – it’s always mutating. And No.2, all the GM products that are in the human and animal food chain over the last 20 years are modified primarily to do one thing – 80 per cent of all the GM is modified to accept chemicals, the pesticides. Monsanto Roundup being the most prominent of them, which are highly, highly toxic and they’re modified to be resistant to that deadly chemical so that it kills everything inside, except the Monsanto corn or the Monsanto soy beans or what will you. All those chemicals are equally as dangerous to the human food chain as the GMO seeds themselves.
RT: Why have so many people in different countries taken to the streets to demonstrate against this US company now?
WE: I think for one very simple reason Monsanto is the company. They are the world’s largest owner of seeds. They’ve bought up all those small seed companies to control those seed varieties of wheat, of rice, of corn and soy beans and so forth. No.2 Monsanto bought up a company that gives Monsanto a patent on what are called terminator seeds, which self-destruct, the seeds commit suicide after one harvest season. So, farmers are unable to take part of their seeds and replant them for the next harvest season – something that never in history has been possible before this Monsanto development. But Monsanto is the metaphor for genetic manipulation of the food chain and they are by far the largest – of course, you have other companies like Syngenta in Switzerland, you have BASF, which is a partner of Monsanto in Germany. You have Dow and DuPont Chemical. But Monsanto is really the giant of the four horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse.
RT: Why is the US government so keen to protect the interests of Monsanto?
WE: I think this is the strategic interest of the US agribusiness lobby, the lobby of Bush senior as president in 1992. Monsanto went to the White House and had a closed-door meeting with Bush, and got him to agree to make sure there are no government tests whatsoever on the health and safety of GMO products before they were released to the commercial public. That was called the doctrine of 'substantial equivalence'– it’s a fraudulent doctrine if you just analyze the name, it’s by no means scientifically rigorous. So there have been up until recently no long-term tests beyond what ninety day short-term studies Monsanto gave to the government to say ‘everything is hunky-dory.’ It turns out evidence has been uncovered by whistleblowers who say we were forced to alter the scientific data for Monsanto so it showed that the results were positive. You have the fox guarding the chicken house here with Monsanto verifying the health and safety of its own products. But it’s the idea of monopoly on seeds, a patent on monopoly on seeds worldwide that makes the whole question of Monsanto and GMO question so extremely important in so many countries. They are trying everything to bribe and influence the European commission in Brussels. A study came out in France at the Caen university September last year, it was published in the PEW review , a serious scientific journal of toxicology , by Dr Seralini and his French colleagues, showing that rats fed with GMO Monsanto rice , or corn rather, had huge incidents of cancer tumors compared with non GMO rats. They had enormous organ damage and death rates five times that of normal rats. The study was suppressed by the EU food safety administration. It turns out that most of the scientists on the panel had ties to Monsanto. So it’s just the corruption that Monsanto tries to infiltrate its way, they try to block labeling in California, because that would damage their whole product situation in America. People are beginning to wake up. I think there is change going on not only against the Monsanto but biological engineering of our food chain.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.