As news spread on the web that Agri-giants such as Monsanto made payment to scientists and academics to act as shills for their companies, it should be noted that all these companies also get involved in other kinds of corporate behavior that is unethical and condemnable.
The New American, in the year 2012, had disclosed the latest revelations at that time from WikiLeaks, and they confirmed that Monsanto is involved in engaging in efforts that is unending so as to influence governments all over the world to constantly back company whilst punishing anybody that did not side with the firm.
In 2007, a cable dispatched made emphasis that Monsanto was powerful at the most top levels of the government of U.S. The cable, written by Craig Stapleton, who was a business partner and a friend George W. Bush who was the then president, “listed a response to resistance from different European Union member to adopting GM Crops. The major problem was France’s most to ban the variety of Monsanto’s GMO corn,” this is according to a report by the New American.
The cable further noted:
Country team Paris [Stapleton’s code name] recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this [resistance] is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. [Emphasis added.]
The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path [of resistance to the adoption of GM crops] has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech [pro-GM] voices.
India’s “suicide belt.”
More documents that were leaked showed attempts to also influence the pope, who was also among the people that was resisting the support of GMO crops.
This cable was sent by the U.S. Department of State in order to change the mind of the Pontiff: “[name blacked out] met with U.S. monsignor Fr. Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering the opportunity to push the Vatican on issues related to biotech…”
And another cable reported that: “chances exist to force the Vatican and in to influence a large portion of the population in Europe and developing the world.”
These documents and many others show attempts made to by-pass several bishops, Catholic priests, and all other officials that were not in support of GMO crops as a result of the dangers it has on human health as well as the environment. For instance, an important member of the Vatican called Cardinal Peter Turkson, referred to the GMO crops and seeds as “proprietary” and “another form of slavery” when he was interview in January with Catholic News Service.
This makes farmers rely on seeds that were proprietary and genetically modified smacks of “the usual game of economic dependence,” leading to, “another form of slavery,” he said, while he referred to the “suicide belt” that happened in India, where many Indian farmers died after they were forced to plant GMO crops and were not able to make payment for debts that they incurred for buying GMO seeds.
According to a report in November 2008 by the UK’s Daily Mail, about 125,000 farmers committed suicide at that time for that same reason.
The crisis was referred to as the ‘GM Genocide’ by those campaigning against it, recently came into the spotlight when Prince Charles said that the issue of GM is now a ‘global moral question’ – and that this is the time to put an end to its unstoppable march.
History of bad behavior
Monsanto had sought to exploit India as a GMO test bed, but that was far from their only unethical act. The New American reported that the company’s bullying actions had become legendary:
- The company paid contractors to dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing it was illegal to do so and that the chemicals were likely to contaminate humans and wildlife.
- In January 2005, the company paid a huge fine for bribing an Indonesian official to avoid an environmental impact assessment on its GMO cotton.
- In 2007, Monsanto was fined by French government regulators for misleading advertising related to its glyphosate product Roundup.
- In Germany, the company’s attempt to breed GMO pigs failed amid a major outcry from the public.
- In the U.S., Monsanto worked to prohibit dairies from advertising that their cows were never injected with the company’s artificial bovine growth hormone.
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