All transgenic seeds in the world are controlled by six corporations: Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, BASF. They are all transnational chemical companies to control grain farmers market, selling seeds married to the agrochemicals they themselves produce (herbicides, insecticides, etc.).
All-in addition to Monsanto that has become famous as a global villain, have a criminal record that includes, among other crimes, serious environmental disasters and against human life. All once exposed, attempted to evade his guilt, trying to distort reality with lies and / or corruption. The fact that all GMOs are patented and that pollution is a crime for victims, means that any country that authorizes transgenics give their sovereignty away, have their hands bound to the designs and decisions of the few multinationals to fulfill their profiting motives. In addition authorizing these companies planting GMs means to give away seeds, farmers and food sovereignty to a bunch of criminals on a large scale, a legal organized crime.
Recently an Indian court decided, after almost 20 years of claims of those affected, on a case that relates to one of them: Dow. This is one of the worst industrial accidents in history: an enormous «accidental» leak of toxic gas from Union Carbide agrochemical plant in Bhopal, India in 1984. Survivor Organizations (www.bhopal.net) estimate that the accident has killed more than 22, 000 people and 500, 000 have permanent damage. 50, 000 are so sick that they can not work to support themselves. Recent studies confirm that children of those affected by the gas are also damaged. The percentage of birth defects in Bhopal is 10 times higher than the rest of the country, cancer incidence is much higher than average. The water of more than 30, 000 people in Bhopal is still contaminated by the leak. Victims and family members have fought hard for decades to be attended and be paid for the medical expenses of those affected, for their place to be clean and for the prosecution of those responsible.
Dow bought the multinational Union Carbide in 2001. It was a juicy expansion of its lucrative business of selling toxics, and a way to continue operations, breaking out the bad reputation of the accident. Under the purchase agreement, Dow would take over all liabilities of Union Carbide. Dow 2000 reserved $ 200 million for potential claims related to asbestos (asbestos) in the US, but nothing to address the compensation payable in India, showing that for them life of people in Southern countries is worthless. Dow never even was brought to court in India. On the contrary, assumed an aggressive attitude against the victims, and even brought thousands of dollars in law suits against those who demonstrated outside the company of the Bhopal disaster.
On June 8 2010, a court ruled against eight executives of Union Carbide. The sentence for having killed over 22, 000 people is a fierce cynicism: two years in prison and nearly $ 2,000 each in fines, despite the fact that none of the six safety systems of the factory in 1984 work properly to «save» costs for the company. Warren Anderson, president of Union Carbide at the time of the explosion has been primarily responsible, he fled to the United States, where he still lives in luxury, defended the extradition requests by lawyers for Dow.
This was not an isolated case of another company, Dow had already a history of genocide. They produced the napalm used in Vietnam and share with Monsanto the production of Agent Orange, a poison used in Vietnam, that even today continues to produce distortions in the grandchildren of the victims. Also in this case, Dow and Monsanto sought to evade any compensation, finally paying only a small amounts of money. Close to home, Dow is on trial for selling and promoting «knowing the serious consequences» the agrochemicals Nemagon (DBCP) in several Latin American countries, which caused sterility in banana plantation workers and congenital deformities in their children (see http://www.elparquedelashamacas.org website).
These horrors are no exception, but the currency of biotech companies, systematically disregarding human life, nature and the environment, to increase their profits. Recall for example, that Syngenta illegally planted GM maize in natural protected areas of Brazil, despite the protest of a group The Movement of the Landless (MST in Spanish), and hired an armed militia that fired randomly, killing Keno of MST. Monsanto is now trying to use the tragedy caused by the Haiti earthquake to impose pollution and dependence on its GM seeds. DuPont continued to sell restricted pesticides in the US, such as Lannate (methomyl) – in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, where it has caused the poisoning of thousands of peasants. BASF and Bayer are accused of similar cases.
Can we believe the statements of these companies of GMOs not having impacts on the environment and health and that if GM cross-contamination of transgenic maize happens would be monitored and controlled?
* Author: Silvia Riveiro, an ETC Group Researcher, article published in La Jornada on July 3, 2010
Translation by Ana María Quispe, additional note: check the web site of CropLife, the NGO umbrella of all the cited corporations. CropLife operates in the US and all Latin American countries…..It is time to realize how important is to produce your own food, in other words to be organic and sustainable, support only your local farmer’s market.