Sunday, June 6, 2010

Does Extermination of Farm Animals Serve Agribusiness?

by R. Stoddard

"In a pending patent application from Monsanto even bacon and steaks are claimed: Patent application WO2009097403 is claiming meat stemming from pigs being fed with the patented genetically engineered plants of Monsanto."

Is Monsanto's claim to own GE-meat (because the animals from which it came ate their GE-feed) part of a larger plan to move the world away from meat from animals raised on pastures to GE-meat from laboratory flasks?

If so, is Monsanto replicating with animals what it did with seeds, shifting the main source of grains away from seeds grown in fields to their own patented GE-seeds grown in laboratories by removing normal seeds?

Does Monsanto envision meat that will no longer come from cattle raised by ranchers or from chickens raised by farmers but only from their own corporate labs?

As bizarre and revolting as that sounds, to reach such extreme monopoly, wouldn't a horrific step have to occur - the mass elimination of real farm animals?

Monsanto's seed monopoly required eliminating normal seed. Now for Monsanto or other biotech companies to "own" meat, wouldn't they need to eliminate normal animals?

Monsanto and other biotech companies bought up seed companies and watched (and/or assisted) remaining seeds be destroyed by GMO contamination or from lack of use (achieved through various means including removal of seed cleaners and control of seed laws), but farm animals cannot be taken away through purchase of companies, do not cease being productive after a few years of disuse, and cannot become contaminated from proximity to GE-animals.

Monsanto sought a monopoly over seeds. Is it significant now that they are not claiming a monopoly over animals and appear uninterested in living animals but are focused instead only on genetically engineered meat?

They claim to it is based on GE-meat having being affected by their GE-feed.
In a market place of two kinds of meat, one real and one genetically engineered, meat from animals would be severe competition to meat invented and produced in labs. This would especially be true of grass fed animals which do not eat GE-feed and thus provide not only real but pure meat uncontaminated by GE-corn or soy and any pesticides and antibiotics involved.

Such GE-meat would remain only a mad scientist's nightmare concoction and not the centerpiece of a total monopoly over one of the most critical foods in the world, if it were rejected by a disgusted public. To prevent that, the public must be tricked and/or trapped into consuming it in two ways, by keeping it unlabeled and by removing all other sources of meat.

Monsanto is working right now on stopping labeling of all genetically engineered food. Currently, through the FDA offices to which Obama appointed Monsanto executive Michael Taylor, Monsanto and the Obama administration is pushing for Codex to impose a worldwide ban of all labeling of GMOs. Such a ban would apply to genetically engineered meat and people would not be allowed to know what it was and where it came from.

For normal sources of meat to be removed, as many farm animals as possible would have to be killed.

But how would one manage to kill millions upon millions of animals?

S 510, apparently designed by Monsanto, sets up the intricacies of that slaughter. It includes a now mistrusted CDC to declare diseases and Homeland Security to carry out mass disposal and NAIS (RFID animal ID) could be used to make sure no farm animal of any kind can be hidden. The outbreak in the UK which led to the slaughter of millions of animals, including pushing heritage breeds to extinction, came from a lab leak

Monsanto gained its patenting power through GHW Bush who appointed Clarence Thomas, a Monsanto lawyer, to the Supreme Court. He ruled that GMOs were the same of other organisms and voted as well for an extreme extension of patent law to living organisms.

Under GW Bush, US science agencies were seriously undermined. And it was also GW Bush who set up Homeland Security and Pandemic Preparedness. The former provides the means to eliminate animals and the latter provides the justification (a declaration of a pandemic, not dependent on proof of evidence). The WHO which declares pandemics internationally is under investigation now for the H1N1 pandemic, suspected of being manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry, which itself is closely tied to the Bush family and which controls the WHO. In the event of a pandemic (whether real or not), the OIE can call for mass animal slaughter which would include even vaccinated and healthy animals, though such stamping out is thought to actually spread disease.

During the Bush Administration, a scenario of animal diseases being used to justify the slaughter millions of animals occurred in Asia. Members of the Bush administration closely tied to the pharmaceutical industry profited.

These corporations are voraciously patenting the earth's life forms-its plants, bacteria, viruses, animals and even human genetic lineages. Reproduction of plants, animals and humans may eventually be totally controlled by these corporations, genetically-altered, recombined into chimeric life forms and exploited for profit.

Previous outbreaks in the UK, including Scotland, and Korea were from research laboratory leaks.

Are the leaks accidental?

Why is the US planning to put a dangerous laboratory in the middle of cattle country, in a state where tornadoes are the more prevalent than any state in the country?

Is the catastrophe for animals and farmers in Japan advantageous to biotech companies like Monsanto which are patenting meat or others (including the USDA) which are creating GE-animals said to be resistant to FMD?

Why is the USDA not following the science and its own obligation and threatening the country with FMD? Why are cattlemen left to appeal to Congress to stop the USDA's actions?

Why is the USDA working actively and aggressively against best interests of US cattlemen and farmers, and threatening the lives of millions of American animals, when FMD is not a terrible disease?

"FMD is not a fatal disease under normal classification methods. It is akin to flu in humans... yes, people can die from it but usually only the weak, elderly and undernourished. In other words those people whose immune systems are low. Simplistically, the same applies to FMD... those animals with very weak immune systems may die. Those with weak immune systems will suffer the symptoms and then recover. Those with strong immune systems will not even exhibit the symptoms. This being the case the obvious LONG TERM answer to the problem is, build the immune system of the animals. And this is done by practising goodhusbandry. This doesn't mean we have to go back 50 or 100 years. No, it is about using what we know of the old, and combining it with the new. For example, it is well know in some circles that most agricultural soils have been depleted of certain minerals and humus... both of which are necessary for healthy and nutritious crops. There is a quick and economic answer to this. It involves applying mineral-rich volcanic rock dust and organic carbon to the soils. Two companies I know of in Australia are involved in this, there are probably more in other counties: 1. International Mineral Consultants Pty Ltd: 2. Sustainable Agriculture & Food Enterprises Pty. Ltd. "---Trevor Osborne, NDA

"There are three aspects to the reaction of the FMD epidemic that make me terribly uneasy. First, while it is clear that globalisation of trade and increased movement of animals has spread the disease, the UK government continues to support increased liberalisation of agricultural trade in the World Trade Organisation. The half million livestock being killed are a ritual sacrifice to the gods of global markets. Shutting the countryside down while keeping borders open to trade will not prevent spread of disease - either coming in through imports or going out through exports. Second, the export obsession that is an intrinsic part of globalisation also leads to a blindness to the welfare of animals and farmers. Thousands of livestock can be annihilated, hundreds of farmers ruined to maintain the "vaccine free" status of exports. Neither the farmers nor farm animals count in the calculus of free trade. That is why farmers are committing suicide in thousands in India, and animals are being killed in thousands in the UK. Third, the same agencies that refuse to act in the public interest on issues of food safety related to GMOs are willing to cull farm animals infected by a non-fatal disease. These are double standards. On the basis of the precautionary principle, the UK government should ban GMOs instead of killing harmless animals if it is concerned about safety of food and agriculture."---Dr Vandana Shiva

"He wanted to know why Britain found it so hard to suppress a disease which the Maasai had learnt to control generations ago.....The selective culling of badly infected stock, moreover, is likely to lead to an improvement in disease resistance, which many of our over-developed new breeds are now woefully lacking. Any suffering caused by foot and mouth would surely be offset by terminating the cruel and unnecessary live transport of animals to other countries. .....The benefits of endemic foot and mouth, by contrast, must surely be obvious. It would encourage farmers to develop local markets for their produce, which is the only strategy which makes both economic and environmental sense. It would reduce the number of lorries on the roads. It would persuade breeders to phase out strains with poor resistance to disease and inherent welfare problems, and return to hardier types which don't require such intensive management."---George Monbiot

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