15 Oct (GLOBAL RESEARCH) – While watching Gary Null’s documentary “GMOs Ticking Time Bomb’’, I was reminded of a run-in that I had with a transnational agribusiness concern in India a couple of years back. It sent a popular Indian newspaper a three page letter complaining about an article that I had written and which had appeared as the main piece on the edit page the day before. Claiming the article had done them ‘a lot of damage’ (as if the company itself had not been the master of self-inflicted damage due to its own criminal practices over the decades!), I in turn responded to them with a four page letter. The company had wasted little time in going through the points I had made in the piece by contacting the editor and emailing me ‘telling’ me to phone a certain number so I could discuss the article with them. Arrogance comes naturally to certain corporations.
I had described in the original article how the company in question had in the past been responsible for manufacturing polychlorinated biphenols that cause cancer, dioxins that lead to chloracne, GM bovine growth hormone that produces mastitis in cattle and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) containing insect toxins, including GM corn, GM soya and Bt cotton, which are strongly associated with a range of health hazards. I further noted that it had also been involved in producing Agent Orange that the US dropped on Vietnam to destroy jungle and consequently led to mass death, disease and deformities. In June 2001, adding insult to injury, the company was accused by farmers in Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province of pressuring them to use genetically modified seeds that resulted in corn and maize crop failures and economic ruin. One other point that I had mentioned was that the corporation had bribed scores of government officials in Asia to have its Bt cotton released without an environmental risk assessment.
I had also stated in the piece that the Navdanya organisation in India had found Bt-cotton had significantly reduced vital soil enzymes and bacteria, so much so that within a decade of planting GM cotton, or any GM crop with Bt genes, the destruction of soil organisms could be complete, resulting in dead soil unable to produce food.
The two representatives from the company’s offices in India who complained about the article attacked it on a number of points. In the piece, I had referred to a certain pesticide produced by it as being ‘controversial’. I was informed that it has been proved to be completely safe. I was also informed that many of the claims pertaining to the health hazards concerning their other products had not been conclusively proven. Of course, little was said about the ‘irony’ of now trying to bring GMOs to Vietnam, a country still reeling from the health effects of the company’s last poisonous incursion via Agent Orange.
How does this company deem something to be safe? It says it is; therefore it is. And because it has infiltrated the US government, not least the Food and Drug Administration, what it says in terms of food policy, goes. But, of course, it can always refer to its own ‘research’ to back up its claims!
The second most laughable part of the three page letter sent to the newspaper was the criticism of Navdanya’s research which claimed that Bt-cotton destroys soil organisms. The company was quick to jump on this research for being methodologically unsound. This from a company with a track record of dubious research. And I am being extremely benign by using the word ‘dubious’.
For more on this article go to Global Research
Tags: Arpad Pusztai, Bayer, Bt cotton, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Gary Null Ph.D., Gilles-Eric Seralini, Institute for Responsible Technology, Jeffrey M. Smith, Monsanto, Natural Solutions Foundation, Navdanya, polychlorinated biphenols, Rima E Laibow, University of Caen