Saturday, 21 August 2010

GMO Catastrophe in the USA. Vandana Shiva appelle à la désobéissance civile.

Genetically Manipulated Crops: The GMO Catastrophe in the USA. A Lesson for the World

Global Research, August 18, 2010

Recently the unelected potentates of the EU Commission in Brussels have sought to override what has repeatedly been shown to be the overwhelming opposition of the European Union population to the spread of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in EU agriculture. EU Commission President now has a Maltese accountant as health and enviromnent Commissioner to rubber stamp the adoption of GMO. The former EU Environment Commissioner from Greece was a ferocious GMO opponent. As well, the Chinese government has indicated it may approve a variety of GMO rice. Before things get too far along, they would do well to take a closer look at the world GMO test lab, the USA. There GMO crops are anything but beneficial. Just the opposite.
What is carefully kept out of the Monsanto and other agribusiness propaganda in promoting genetically manipulated crops as an alternative to conventional is the fact that in the entire world until the present, all GMO crops have been manipulated and patented for only two things—to be resistant or “tolerant” to the patented highly toxic herbicide glyphosate chemicals that Monsanto and the others force farmers to buy as condition for buying their patented GMO seeds. The second trait is GMO seeds that have been engineered genetically to resist specific insects. Contrary to public relations myths promoted by the agribusiness giants in their own self-interest, there exists not oné single GMO seed that provides a greater harvest yield than conventional, nor one that requires less toxic chemical herbicides. That is for the simple reason there is no profit to be made in such. 
Giant super-weeds plague

As prominent GMO opponent and biologist, Dr Mae-Wan Ho of the  Institute of Science in  London has noted, companies such as Monsanto build into their seeds
herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide. The enzyme is derived from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Insect-resistance is due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). The United States began large scale commercial planting of GMO plants, mainly soybeans and corn and cotton around 1997. By now, GM crops have taken over between 85 percent to 91 percent of the areas planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US, on nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GMO according to Ho, is about to explode. Over several years of constant application of patented glyphosate herbicides such as Monsanto’s famous and highly Roundup, new herbicide-resistant “super-weeds” have evolved, nature’s response to man-made attempts to violate it. The super-weeds require significantly more not less herbicide to control.

ABC Television, a major US national network, made a recent documentary about the super-weeds under the rubric, “super weeds that can’t be killed.”[1]

They interviewed farmers and scientists across Arkansas who described fields overrun with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate as farmers are able to spray. They interviewed one farmer who spent almost 400000 euro in only three months in a failed attempt to kill the new super-weeds.

The new super-weeds are so robust that harvester combines are unable to harvest the fields and hand tools break trying to cut them down. At least 400000 hectares of soybean and cotton in Arkansas alone have become invested with this new mutant biological plague. Detailed data on other agricultural regions is not available but believed similar. The pro-GMO and pro-agribusiness US Department of Agriculture has been reported lying about the true state of US crop harvest partly to hide the grim reality and to prevent an explosive revolt against GMO in the world’s largest GMO market.


One variety of super-weed, palmer pigweed can grow up to 2.4 meters high, withstands severe heat and prolonged droughts, and produces thousands of seeds with a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it takes over an entire field in a year. Some farmers have been forced to abandon their land. To date palmer pigweed infestation in GMO crop regions has been identified in addition to Arkansas, also in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi and most recently, Alabama and Missouri.

Weed scientists at the University of Georgia estimate that just two palmer pigweed plants in every 6 meter length of cotton row can reduce yield by at least 23 percent. A single weed plant can produce 450 000 seeds. [2]

Roundup toxic danger being covered-up

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the US and the world at large. Patented and sold by Monsanto since the 1970s under the trade name Roundup, it is a mandatory component of buying GMO seeds from Monsanto. Just go to your local garden store and ask for it and read the label carefully.  

As I detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, GMO crops and patented seeds were developed in the 1970’s with significant financial support from the pro-eugenics Rockefeller Foundation, by what were essentially chemical companies—Monsanto Chemicals, DuPont and Dow Chemicals. All three were involved in the scandal of the highly toxic Agent Orange used in Vietnam, as well as Dioxin in the 1970’s, and lied to cover up the true damage to its own employees as well as to civilian and military populations exposed.

Their patented GMO seeds were seen as a clever way to force increased purchase of their agricultural chemicals such as Roundup. Farmers must sign a legal contract with Monsanto in which it stipulates that only Monsanto Roundup pesticide may be used. Farmers are thus trapped both in buying new seeds from Monsanto each harvest and buying the toxic glyphosate.
France’s University of Caen, in a team led by molecular biologist, Gilles-Eric Seralini, did a study that showed Roundup contained one specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA. Seralini’s team demonstrated that POEA in Roundup was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than even the glyphosate itself. Monsanto refuses to release details of the contents of its Roundup other than glyphosate, calling it “proprietary.” [3]
The Seralini study found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns! The French team studied multiple concentrations of Roundup, from the typical agricultural or lawn dose down to concentrations 100,000 times more dilute than the products sold on shelves. The researchers saw cell damage at all concentrations.
Glyphosate and Roundup are advertised as “less toxic to us than table salt” in a pamphlet from the Biotechnology Institute promoting GMO crops as ‘Weed Warrior.’ Thirteen years of GMO crops in the USA has increased overall pesticide use by 318 million pounds, not decreased as promised by the Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse. The extra disease burden on the nation from that alone is considerable.

Nonetheless after introduction of Monsanto GMO seeds commercially in the USA, use of glyphosate has risen more than 1500% between 1994 and 2005. In the USA some 100 million pounds of glyphosate are used on lawns and farms every year, and over the last 13 years, it has been applied to more than a billion acres. When questioned, Monsanto’s technical development manager, Rick Cole, reportedly said the problems were “manageable.” He advised farmers to alternate crops and use different makes of herbicides produced by Monsanto. Monsanto is encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate with its older herbicides such as 2,4-D, banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway for links to cancer and reproductive and neurological damage. 2,4-D is a component of Agent Orange, produced by Monsanto for use in Vietnam in the 1960s.

US Farmers turn to organics

Farmers across the United States are reported to be going back to conventional non-GMO crops instead. According to a new report from the US Department of Agriculture, retail sales of organic food went up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion in 1997.[4] The market is so active that organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in consumer demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products.

The new UK Conservative-Liberal coalition government is strongly backing lifting a de facto ban on GMO in that country. UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Prof. John Beddington, recently wrote an article in which he misleadingly claimed “The next decade will see the development of combinations of desirable traits and the introduction of new traits such as drought tolerance. By mid-century much more radical options involving highly polygenic traits may be feasible.” He went on to promise “cloned animals with engineered innate immunity to diseases” and more. I think we can pass that one up, thank you.

A recent study by Iowa State University and the US Department of Agriculture assessing the performance of farms during the three-year transition it takes to switch from conventional to certified organic production showed notable advantages of organic farming over GMO or even conventional non-GMO crops. In an experiment lasting four years—three years transition and first year organic—the study showed that although yields dropped initially, they equalized in the third year, and by the fourth year, the organic yields were ahead of the conventional for both soybean and corn.

As well, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) has recently been published, the result of three-year deliberation by 400 participating scientists and non-government representatives from 110 countries around the world. It came to the conclusion that small scale organic agriculture is the way ahead for coping with hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters. [5] As Dr Ho argues, a fundamental shift in farming practice is needed urgently, before the agricultural catastrophe spreads further across Germany and the EU to the rest of the world.[6]


[1] Super weed can’t be killed, abc news, 6 October 2009. See also,Jeff Hampton,  N.C. farmers battle herbicide-resistant weeds, The Virginian-Pilot, 19 July 2009,
[2] Clea Caulcutt, ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands, Clea Caulcutt, 19 April 2009,
[3] N. Benachour and G-E. Seralini, Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells, Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article DOI: 10.1021/tx800218n
Publication Date (Web): December 23, 2008.
[4] Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer, Marketing U.S. organic foods: recent trends from farms to consumers, USDA Economic Research Service, September 2009,
[5] International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, IAASTD, 2008,
[6] Ho MW.UK Food Standards Agency study proves organic food is better. Science in Society 44, 32-33, 2009.
F. William Engdahl  is the author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation    

Lundi 20 janvier 2014
Sous l’égide de l’activiste indienne Vandana Shiva, l’Alliance pour la Liberté des Semences a organisé une grande quinzaine d’actions du 2 au 16 octobre 2012. En même temps que se tient, à Hyderabad (Inde), la Convention sur la Diversité Biologique, jusqu’au 19 octobre.
Le 10 octobre 2012, la Fondation France Libertés accueillait l’activiste indienne Vandana Shiva, prix Nobel alternatif 1993, pour l’étape française de sa tournée européenne en faveur de la liberté des semences*. Après avoir présenté le Rapport Mondial Citoyen sur la Liberté des Semences, « Seed  Freedom », un rapport élaboré par plus de 100 groupes, réseaux et organisations internationales, Vandana Shiva a  invité  la France à entrer en  désobéissance civile contre l’industrie semencière, « sur les pas de Gandhi » : la marche du sel en 1930 a permis aux paysans indiens menés par le Mahatma de s’opposer à la taxation que voulaient leur imposer les anglais « pour un produit, le sel, qui comme les semences est donné par la nature ! ».
Semences industrielles : une atteinte à la biodiversité
À l’heure de la onzième conférence onusienne de la convention sur la diversité biologique (COP11),  l’Alliance pour la Liberté des Semences dénonce l’atteinte à la biodiversité que représentent les  semences  industrielles. Car leur monopole met en péril la diversité génétique, indispensable au maintien de la biodiversité. Toute  variété de semence inscrite dans un catalogue officiel doit répondre au critère « D.H .S » : elle doit être Distincte, Homogène et Stable. « Les semenciers font passer ce critère comme un critère scientifique » explique  Vandana Shiva.  « Or, il ne l’est  pas.  L’idée de stabilité par exemple concerne peut-être les machines , mais ce qui caractérise le vivant, c’est son adaptabilité ! ».  Des semences « stables »  ne présentent pas de variabilité génétique, donc pas de facultés d’adaptation à l’environnement. Ce qui constitue en soi  une menace pour la biodiversité.
…et aux droits des agriculteurs
Chacun sait que toute semence porte en elle le germe d’une plante, elle-même  source de graines, et dont une partie peut être replantée. «Comment les industriels peuvent-ils continuer à vendre des semences aux agriculteurs si ces derniers  peuvent les produire eux-mêmes? »  En leur interdisant de semer librement ce qu’ils récoltent ou ce qu’ils échangent ! questionne et répond Vandana Shiva. Ce qu’ils ont fait durant des millénaires. Aujourd’hui, preuve manifeste de l’atteinte faite à ce droit, « au moins 90% des semences cultivées dans le monde sont des semences industrielles ». L’activiste dénonce aussi les faux arguments donnés par l’industrie semencière pour justifier les OGM : «les recherches dans le domaine n’ont pas pour but de résoudre le problème de la faim dans le monde ! » mais de « légitimer, au nom des lois imposées par l’OMC,  le droit de déposer des brevets » et ainsi, toujours et encore, d’« obliger les agriculteurs à acheter des semences chaque année ».  « Depuis plus de 25 ans, je consacre ma vie à la libération de ce type d’esclavage », confie-t-elle. Et de rappeler que l’Inde, avec l’Afrique, ont déposé en 1999 une demande de révision de l’article 27 des accords ADPIC (Aspects des Droits de Propriété Intellectuelle qui touchent au Commerce)  de l’OMC qui mondialisent depuis 1995 les règles de brevetabilité du vivant. Une demande de révision qui est toujours restée sans réponse.
La quinzaine des semences en France
Vandana  Shiva appelle les citoyens français à désobéir aux lois imposées par l’industrie semencière : « Dans ce pays de révolution, il est temps  de résister à la stupidité, à l’irresponsabilité et aux crimes contre la Nature. ».  Comment ? En semant des semences libres, en apprenant à les reproduire, en les échangeant, et en s’unissant. « Le cas de Kokopelli montre comment l’industrie semencière a criminalisé la liberté de semer afin d’asseoir son monopole… » rappelle  l’activiste.  Les associations françaises présentes (Kokopelli, Graines de troc,  Femmes semencières  et  Réseau Semences Paysannes »… ) étaient d’ailleurs peu après invitées à réfléchir avec elle à des modalités concrètes d’action :  jardins partagés, ateliers dans les écoles, échanges et constitution de banques de semences… autant de moyens de « libérer les semences ».
Pour autant, toute action, sans l’appui ou le relais des politiques, risque d’être vouée à l’échec. En France, l’interdiction actuelle de la culture des OGM est certes venue répondre aux mobilisations citoyennes. Mais, comme l’a rappelé Guy Kastler, du  Réseau Semences Paysannes : « Voici un an, en France, une loi a été imposée par l’ancienne majorité pour interdire aux paysans de ressemer une partie de leurs récoltes » (..) « La nouvelle majorité s’est engagée à abroger cette loi. Nous attendons. » Quant à l’Europe, où les subventions des agriculteurs restent conditionnées à la toute-puissante PAC, elle a, comme l’a rappelé Guy Kastler « toujours été un laboratoire des lois de l’industrie semencière ». Il a ainsi invité les députés européens à se mobiliser d’urgence « contre l’interdiction programmée d’échanger ou de diffuser toutes les semences qui concernent l’agriculture vivrière sans passer par le système légal ».
*Etaient aussi présents à ses côtés le collectif pour une alternative à la biopiraterie, l’association Kokopelli, le réseau Semences paysannes ainsi que trois élus  EELV (Europe écologie les verts) : Jacques Boutault, maire du 2ème arrondissement, Catherine Grèze, député européenne et la sénatrice Marie-Christine Blandin.
Clara Delpas
Source :  Novethic

L'incroyable pardon de l'animal face à la cruauté de l'Homme

Cette photo incroyable marque la fin de la carrière du Matador Torero Alvaro Munera. Il s'est effondré dans les remords à la mi-combat, quand il s'est rendu compte qu'il était en train d'abattre cette bête douce. (Le regard sur le visage de...

ce taureau en dit long. Même grièvement blessé par les picadors, il n'a pas attaqué cet homme.)

 Le torero est depuis devenu un fervent adversaire des corridas.

Torrero Munera est cité pour avoir dit à ce moment là :

"...Et tout à coup, j'ai regardé le taureau. Il avait cette innocence que tous les animaux ont dans les yeux, et il me regarda avec cette plainte. C'était comme un cri pour la justice, au plus profond de moi".


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