by F. William Engdahl
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 environment 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
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 one 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
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
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
ABC Television, a major US national network, made a recent
documentary about the super-weeds under the rubric,
that can’t be killed.” 
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.
interviewed one farmer who spent almost €400,000 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 400,000 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
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
If left unchecked, it takes over an entire field in a
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. 
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
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
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
Seralini’s team demonstrated that POEA in Roundup was more deadly to
human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than even the
Monsanto refuses to release details of the
contents of its Roundup other than glyphosate, calling it
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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. 
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.
 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, http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/nc-farmers-battle-herbicideresistant-weeds
 Clea Caulcutt, ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto
heartlands, Clea Caulcutt, 19 April 2009,
 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.
 Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer, Marketing U.S. organic
foods: recent trends from farms to consumers, USDA Economic Research
Service, September 2009, http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB58/
 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and
Technology for Development, IAASTD, 2008, http://www.agassessment.org/index.cfm?Page=Press_Materials&ItemID=11
MW.UK Food Standards Agency study proves organic food is
better. Science in Society 44, 32-33, 2009.