US Aid To El Salvador Came With Strings Attached: Monsanto Seeds Required

El Salvador previously took steps toward banning glyphosate, the potential carcinogen found in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
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    A protestor demonstrates against Monsanto in the annual world March Against Monsanto.

    A protestor demonstrates against Monsanto in the annual world March Against Monsanto.

    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Farmers and activists for natural agriculture in El Salvador successfully resisted efforts by the U.S. government to tie foreign aid to the use of GMO seeds, in the latest attempt to link relief money with profits for Monsanto, the controversial multinational agribusiness giant.

    In 2013, the U.S. offered El Salvador $277 million in aid through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a foreign aid agency established under President George W. Bush. Then, in 2014, Dahr Jamail reports for Truthout, U.S. officials started putting increased pressure on the Central American country to make “economic and environmental policy changes” in return for receiving the next phase of the aid package. A key part of the disagreement involved programs to provide locally produced seeds to poor farmers, which officials argued violated the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement by favoring local products over those produced by multinational corporations.

    For his 2014 article, Jamail interviewed Nathan Weller, policy director for the NGO EcoViva, who argued that when Salvadoran farmers are allowed to grow traditional crops, they outproduce modern GMO alternatives. “Domestic producers have proven their ability to cultivate a quality product to government standards, offered at a significantly lower price than what the government had historically paid for conventional seed supplied, by-in-large, by a singular Monsanto affiliate,” Weller explained. Efforts to encourage use indigenous corn seeds locally put millions into the local economy and produced record corn yields in 2013, he also noted.



    Armed with evidence of the effectiveness of traditional agriculture when supported by the government, El Salvador successfully pushed back against the U.S. government, allowing it to continue to provide non-GMO seed to subsistence farmers while still receiving the valuable aid. According to Jamail’s latest report, published last week, the most recent round of contracts to provide seeds for farm aid programs relies exclusively on these local producers.

    Juan Luna Vides, director of diversified production at Mangrove Association, a local NGO devoted to environmental conservation, told Jamail why local seeds work better:

    “Vides said that native seeds are also far better adapted to local conditions like droughts and floods in his country, as well as the climate and soil.

    ‘[Native seeds] don’t need a great injection of agrochemicals in comparison to other seeds…. Seeds coming from different places, we don’t know if those seeds are GMO or modified in some way,’ he said. ‘You can reuse native seeds and create a full cycle; you can use your own seeds for the next planting. That’s not the case with hybrid seeds.’”

    Even when genetically engineered seeds are used, farmers are increasingly turning to “H-59,” a hybrid produced by a government-run institute.

    The struggle against Monsanto’s attempts to profit off this impoverished country is an ongoing one: In 2013, El Salvador agreed to ban glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that may cause cancer. And this isn’t the first time that foreign aid has been tied to Monsanto’s profits. Andrey Panevin, writing in February for MyMPN, MintPress News’ blog, explained how Monsanto and other corporations used the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the recent NATO-supported chaos in Ukraine as opportunities to rake in massive profits.

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    • A clear example of how corporations influence US foreign policy, the US is simply a gun for hire for the benefit of the transnational investment class.

    • Don

      That is why we must be vigilant. Buy organic and refuse Monsanto products.

      • Buying organic sounds nice but its not nearly enough, organic is a growing method, you can even grow GMO organically.

        What we would like are organically grown and free from GMO’s.

        Or organically grown heirloom vegetables.

        • gwayne

          The GMO creating process is a giant part of the mess that threatens to bankrupt the health and medical systems in the future as it is imprecise and too risky for anyone to consume including livestock. Furthermore, when will the GMO makers begin and complete the long-term feeding studies that prove conclusively that GMO’s are safe beyond any shadow of doubt as prescribed by federal law?I will answer that question by stating when “citizens united ” is no longer a law and when there are no longer any GMO employees controlling policy in the congress.That may become fact sooner than anyone thinks in the 2016 elections.A much better system might come about as a result of all of the BS surrounding the GMO issue.

          • The idea is that no one is allowed to be truly independent, everything has to become a source of revenue for the oligarchs/aristocrats.

            Just like in the world of finance, not one nation is allowed to create their own.

            It’s all about full spectrum dominance, never mind about civil rights and the health of the planet, corporate profits is all that matters and that is the crux of the problem.

            The economic model is outdated and wrong altogether, we need a new system not based of perpetual economic growth at the cost of civil right rights and the environment, the best alternative I’ve learned about so far is called Eco-Socialism.

    • ConchitaMSmith

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    • sharpin la

      Welcome to fascism wearing the costume domestically of socialism, flat out who it is internationally.

    • Josephine Dorion

      John Brown Taver:……… The US is owned by Monsanto. Both are evil corporations that must one day BURN.
      Not to worry, El Salvadoreans ain’t that stupid. There’s BRICS

      • Robert Munro

        El Salvador knows that it will need BRICs help to fight off the US terrorist attack. The US military and CIA are NOTHING but corporate thugs.

        • Josephine Dorion

          amen, bro

          • Robert Munro

            TY

    • WilliamKGraham

      ^^^^^Reset your job with mintpressnews. < ***** Find Here

      • Josephine Dorion

        I bet you don’t have any money. If you do, you wouldn’t be shamelessly advertising here for free.
        LEAVE NOW.

        • Robert Munro

          Every time you see that garbage, flag it.

    • John Brown Traver

      The U.S. Govt. has to break ties with monsanto; Monsanto are killers and have sealed their condemning research
      Countries and individuals need to be able to obtain whatever seeds they want

      • Robert Munro

        That’s funny. The SAME sociopathic predatory capitalists OWN both Washington and Monsanto.

    • Leigh Anne P

      Why should Monasanto be chosen over other companies? That sounds like an unfair thing to put in an international agreement.

    • James Fleming

      Why do we give El Salvador a penny? We are already employing and educating 3/4 of the country already in the US! We have are own problems that need to be fixed, yet we give away billions to foreign countries!

      • disqus_q0fJBDaGHm

        Tonight Pinky, we take over the world!

      • Robert Munro

        Go back to watching Faux NoNews. You are NOT up to discussing reality.

    • Steve Levine

      I should live in El Salvador! Congress is voting on the DARK Act today, I hear, and if this horror passes, I may never be able to enjoy eating again.

      • oldfarmer

        At least you can eat here! With the drought and government rationing in El Salvador you could be eating iguanas like they are. And that’s not a joke!

        • jdo

          Iguana actually tastes pretty good.

          • Iguana is excelent and 4 times more efficient to raise then a chicken this oldfarmer is a schill troll

        • Iguana is excelent and 4 times more efficient to raise then a chicken

      • Robert Munro

        Go find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). They exist in most parts of the US.

        • Gra

          Not for much longer if the DARK Act and various other efforts to nickel and dime Monsanto and Sygenta’s competition into extinction, like the so-called Food Safety Act(s), have anything to say.

    • CALMLIKEABOMB

      It’s pretty dam telling, that this deal was hinging on the use of GMO crops!!!! Basically the US gov. said,
      sure we’ll give you hundreds of millions of US ( useless ) dollars, in exchange for allowing US too
      poison your Citizens until their DEAD!!!!!

    • CALMLIKEABOMB

      Good for them!!! America needs to step up it’s game against Monsanto!!! Their products are Crap, Their
      corporation model, is Crap, & THEY are attempting too poison EVERYONE who eats their products!!!!
      We should hold their CEO,President,Vice president, & ANYONE else supporting them down, & poor
      round up down their scum bag throats!!!!!!

    • KG

      Very proud of them. They are resisting.

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    • Intranet

      @tomkat1111:disqus
      Agent Orange was also created by Dow Corporation, which also makes household chemicals. Dow also helped make the hydrogen bomb. Chrylser and DuPont helped created the atomic bomb. Porsche and BMW and Mercedes used to create weapons for Nazis. Chemical weapons were created by DuPont, and DuPont has a 200 year history of creating explosives and weaponry. Mitsubishi used slave labor in its factories and created dive bombers used in kamikaze attacks that killed thousands of Americans during WW2. Half the corporations on the planet have created weapons of killing in the past. You’re going to have to throw out most of your household items if you can’t forgive these corporations.

      • Jana Stacy

        These were war time actions,,,so now it’s ok for corruporations to make agents of deaths on citizens? Seriously?

        • oldfarmer

          And you would prefer that the people in the US spoke German or Japanese today? Seriously?

          • Another Thought Criminal

            Instead of Spanish?

      • FreddyB

        “You’re going to have to throw out most of your household items if you can’t forgive these corporations.”
        Already have. Not sure how you can justify what they are doing to us and the planet.

        • Intranet

          Justify what? Making household chemicals to make people’s lives easier? Making fertilizer so farmers can grow more crops? Making pesticides so insects don’t eat our crops? These companies are chasing dollars by selling things that make people’s lives easier.

          • gwayne

            Actually I see no redeeming values in monocropping as that practice concentrates predatory insects, plant diseases and concentrates the chemicals in our water supplies and food chains.In the long term, no chemical use can ever be justified as a healthy alternative to proper agriculture practices that rotate crops to reduce insect predation and plant diseases rather than us chemicals to poison ourselves while reducing some of the losses in production.I farmed for far too long and never used chemicals and achieved better than average production and with less toxic food or meat products.

      • Ajarn Don P

        Its true about the companies with chemicals.

        As for the deaths of Americans in the Pacific Theater, it happened but our losses were tiny. There is now evidence that the US operations included ethnic cleansing, not just combat. One example of a racist AF commander flying out of India to bomb Bangkok targeted a small rail juncture. 1 bomb on target could have taken it out. What did he do? He rained down 1800 bombs on it killing hundreds of Thai civilians. What does it mean. Image and spin are part of this military industrial complex. They gave us images of bombers spreading freedom.

        • gwayne

          Using our tax dollars while the warmongers profit.

      • Robert Munro

        “FORGIVE”??? One doesn’t “forgive” those who poison and murder for profit or as population control for the New World Order……………ONE ERADICATES THE SOCIOPATHIC MONSTERS.

    • Garlon Ethyl Ester

      Now we have to look to foreign countries on how to resist unsafe foods. Our country has been bought and sold by the major corporations.

    • HickTick

      Our Government is for sale in Washington ,. We the People are Just like Gruber said stupid and helpless ,., The next march on Washington should be Armed .,

    • dan gottl

      If you cheat you steal , if you steal you lie … monsanto

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Look at the way Obama plans to screw the people of his own country using “Fast Track.”

    • sixpack

      MONSANTO SHOULD BE ABOLISHED AND THE CEOS JAILED.

      • NO< hang in public, their family's to jail

      • Intranet

        Jailed for what? Jailed because you don’t like them? Because they’re doing their job that their shareholders hired them for in expanding their company? Monsanto’s GMO crops aren’t the problem – the “potential” problem is the herbicide that goes alone with Monsanto’s GMO crops. And there isn’t conclusive proof yet that the herbicide is harmful in the quantities its being applied. (any herbicide, pesticide, etc. is safe in small quantities and harmful in large quantities).
        This isn’t fascist Germany or North Korea – you can’t jail people on speculation.

        • FreddyB

          Huh? The problem is that some of these GMO, round up ready crops, failed to hold up to what was promised. Better yields, less water and less herbicides. So yea the problem is these crops that are forcing farmers to use more chemicals then they used in the past. It’s pretty hard to separate the two into different problems.
          And yes not all crops fall into this category but like you said so eloquently… these companies answer to their shareholders who care about only one thing, money.

          • Jackson

            The problem is that some of these GMO, round up ready crops, failed to hold up to what was promised. Better yields, less water and less herbicides. So yea the problem is these crops that are forcing farmers to use more chemicals then they used in the past.

            If you think that is the case, what is your explanation for why farmers keep on buying those traited seeds year after year?

            • Gra

              Insurance stipulations? Do those apply? I’ve never bought seeds, but I’d also have questions about bulk availability of any competitive products at this point.

              • Jackson

                Insurance stipulations? Do those apply?

                I don’t farm, but everything I’ve read is that non-GMO and GMO are treated exactly the same for both crop insurance and government subsidy.

                I’d also have questions about bulk availability of any competitive products at this point.

                Every seed dealer that I’ve ever talked to says that they have left over non-GMO seed every year, so I don’t think any farmer is in the position of not being able to buy non-GMO seed.

                • Jason

                  Actually, certain GMO crops allow for lower insurance premiums because actuarial tables have shown a lower risk of crop failure. Primarily multi-trait Bt crops.

                • Gra

                  Good to know about insurance stipulations! Is cost an issue between seeds?

          • Jason

            How did they fail? According to the USDA, crops with stacked insect control and herbicide tolerant traits do tend to outyield those without and use of these same traits has led to an overall reduction, not only in pesticide volume but in overall toxicity released into,the environment. Isn’t that a good thing?

            http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err162.aspx

          • Intranet

            You’re forgetting that shareholders are people too, and they live in the same country that uses these chemicals. If there was conclusive proof these things were harmful, even shareholders wouldn’t stand for it. Farmers wouldn’t be using these GMO crops year after year if they didn’t work. They use them because they DO work and produce better crop yields.
            And GMO crops often require less chemicals because they’re engineered to make do with less.

      • CALMLIKEABOMB

        Fk THAT, why waste a jail cell, LETS HANG THE FKR!!!!

    • tomkat1111

      As a Vietnam Vet, I will never forget Monsanto for giving us Agent Orange.

      • Robert Munro

        I went back in ’95. There are special pediatric hospitals in Vietnam specifically to deal with the aftermath of AO. Whatever it did to our guys, it did 1000 times more harm to Vietnam. One person said that it would be a few hundred years before the Vietnamse people can put agent orange behind them.

        • tomkat1111

          I was sprayed by an American helicopter in 1969 outside Da Nang AFB. At 36 I had a heart attack. The doctors told me that my arteries looked like those of an 80 y/o man.Since then I have had two more heart attacks,my right leg amputated above the knee and little blood flow and feeling in my other leg. The doctors predict I will lose my other leg.

          • Robert Munro

            I’m sorry for all of us wounded in ‘Nam and stupid enough to believe the lies that got us there. We were part of a criminal-imperialist invasion and I’m far, far sorrier about the four million+ that we murdered for the greed and megalomania of our “leaders” and their bankster masters. Our chemicals and mines are STILL murdering people over there.

            I joined VVAW in ’71 and am still a member. We have a variety of resources that help wounded vets, from ‘Nam to the Middle East.

            http://www.vvaw.org/

      • Intranet

        Agent Orange was also created by Dow Corporation, which also makes household chemicals. Dow also helped make the hydrogen bomb. Chrylser and DuPont helped created the atomic bomb. Porsche and BMW and Mercedes used to create weapons for Nazis. Chemical weapons were created by DuPont, and DuPont has a 200 year history of creating explosives and weaponry. Mitsubishi used slave labor in its factories and created dive bombers used in kamikaze attacks that killed thousands of Americans during WW2. Half the corporations on the planet have created weapons of killing in the past. You’re going to have to throw out most of your household items if you can’t forgive these corporations.

        • KG

          Not a problem.

      • KG

        A fact you should have never had to deal with. We need real men like yourself to guide our country. Justice has been on the sidelines for far to long.

      • Michael McCarthy

        “As a Vietnam Vet, I will never forget Monsanto for giving us Agent Orange”

        While the problems with Agent Orange are very real, your anger is misguided. Dow and Monsanto were compelled by the US military to produce the compound for them, per their specifications, as part of the Defense Act of 1950. I don’t know if this site allows links, but you can look up Hercules Inc v United States. Here are some relevant excerpts.

        ” In the 1960’s the Government, by exercising special statutory authority, required the companies to enter into the Agent Orange production contracts over the explicit objection of at least one of the companies. See Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), 50 U. S. C. App. §2061 et seq. (1988 ed. and Supp. V); App. 8-9, 23-24.

        ” The Government required the companies to produce Agent Orange according to precise, detailed production specifications. Ibid.

        ” At that time the Government knew but did not reveal that Agent Orange was defective, or unsafe, to the point where its use might lead to plausible tort claims advanced by those who used it. Id., at 10-11, 25.

        • tomkat1111

          I was directly sprayed by an American helicopter in 1969. Some of the effects I have suffered include 3 heart attacks, the first at 36 y/o. Right leg amputated above the knee. Little blood flow and feeling in my right leg. Extreme hardening of the arteries.
          If Monsanto was so innocent, why did they pay millions to settle and lawsuit ?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Some of the effects I have suffered include 3 heart attacks, the first at 36 y/o.”

            I said the health effects are very real. My uncle died from Parkinson’s attributed to agent orange.

            “If Monsanto was so innocent, why did they pay millions to settle and lawsuit ?”

            You think that is unique? It happens all the time. From the case:
            “On the eve of the trial scheduled for May 7, 1984, Judge Weinstein worked out a settlement, stressing that while he felt the case was weak, the chemical companies would be unlikely to find a jury who would not side with the veterans and feel for their children born with birth defects. The companies agreed to the settlement, as long as they did not have to admit liability. ”

            Since veterans are not allowed to sue the US military, the only recourse was to sue the manufacturers.

    • Gra

      Because this example of the media won’t say it @”In 2013, El Salvador agreed to ban glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that may cause cancer.”

      El Salvador didn’t ban it because of any connection to cancer it may have. They banned it because it’s chelating properties cause it to bind to metal ions (arsenic and cadmium among others) in the hard water there, and those metals end up depositing in and causing widespread fatal kidney disease. This is a new global phenomena that the press in the U.S. is pretending not to notice, and in one country alone (Sri Lanka) it has claimed the lives of upwards of 30,000 people (as of 2010, with tens of thousands more on the way) under the age of 50, I believe. It has become the second leading cause of death in males behind heart disease in at least one country, has exceeded the death toll of smoking and cancer.

      • right, very correct same we kicked the gd goldminers out, death to them also they threatened me , not good for them Viva El Salvador

    • Janet

      DON’T EFFF with Mother Nature. Leave these people alone! Like Monsanto needs more sales. If I won the lottery, I would gather lawyers and sue them.They are bullies, greedy, ignorant plutocrats. Billions are never enough for them.

    • gwayne

      Monsanto’s control over the US govt and elsewhere in the world comes at such a huge price upon the environment and human health that the US govt that has used Trade Treaties and foreign aid to force GMO’s on unsuspecting and less educated people including the corrupted govt officials that sign treaties while accepting monetary favors is just a few examples of how eventually the US govt will become a power to ignore and condemn when little information is exposed to scrutiny and analyzed for the destruction that it causes upon the world while supporting those who have bribed them to ignore the information about how bad GMO’s are and whose continued cultivation will eventually destroy our Industrial agriculture system in America, but not before our health and medical systems are bankrupted from the health problems spread from GMO consumption.

    • kalaloch

      We first visited El Salvador in 1979, as U.S.-supported right-wing death squads were being formed. The Oligarchy running the country consisted of 14 families. In this rich agricultural land of cotton and coffee, the farm workers wore imported polyester under the midday sun, and drank imported Nescafe during their breaks. We witnessed farm workers with bags of imported pesticides slung around their shoulders tossing it by hand on the crops. None were provided masks. The United States was not a good colonial overseer then, and it sounds like it is not any better today.

      • my best friend is a scion in one of these families, they are not all the same these are great folks all the kids are smart and work but true story for the most part look at Bain capital, etc a start

      • Robert Munro

        Monsanto and other poison companies pay HUGE bribes to prevent any hint of danger………not that the farm workers could afford protection anyway.

    • HankP

      If the Salvadorian people can stand up to the biotech industry, we in the US need to follow their lead. The apologists for Monsanto and their hired trolls cannot refute the growing body of evidence against GMOs and glyphosate. And they come up short explaining why over 65 countries and regions either ban or require labeling of the GMO crops.

      • Jason

        “Growing body of evidence”… such as?

      • Jackson

        And they come up short explaining why over 65 countries and regions either ban or require labeling of the GMO crops.

        This argument is one of my pet peeves. Homosexuality is outlawed in 79 countries, so we must be even more sure that homosexuality is harmful.

        Terrible argument.

        • HankP

          stick to the subject of the rationale why GMO’s are being banned as well as glyphosate roundup

          • Jackson

            I was. I was pointing out how your argument that “other nations label GMOs, therefor the US should ban GMOs,” was devoid of any rationale, and was an argument that you should stop using to support your anti-GMO position because it is a terrible argument.

            • Gra

              How many links do you need?

            • Gra

              And the rationale of saying “They’re just lying because they’re wrong” every single time a study somewhere implicates some part of the industrial mono crop culture in something other than boosted share prices is any better? Maybe you should get current on the some of the reasons these countries make their decisions before jumping in. Not even all of them, just a few.

              • Jackson

                If you have an argument to make, please do.

      • oldfarmer

        The last comparison I could find was from 2009. Us corn yield that year was 142 bu/acre. In El Salvador there yield was 39.8 bu/acre. No wonder there are food shortages, rationing of food there and we are exporting tons of food to them for aid there.

        • oldfarmer

          “Their”

        • yes but the crap corn in merika is just that sick crap corn you eat it pal

          • oldfarmer

            And the corn in El Salvador sprayed with 2,4-D, organophosphates, paraquat and who knows what else is better?

            • it can be washed off, you must be a schill , do not ever come to Centroamerica stay in nor ‘merika

              • oldfarmer

                I hate to tell you, but the three pesticides I listed are systemic. You aren’t going to wash them off. Bon Appetite!

                • so you are a certified and chemist{also wikipedia} and you know what they use in El Salvador seem you are just a troll w/o the facts , no more banter with pal,not worth one more secondof my time I have folks to assist and put to work in El Salvador
                  stay in USA eat your GMO corn soy and potatoes I doubly doubt you even know about food

                  • oldfarmer

                    I got my facts from a study done by-

                    The National Institute of Health, Ministry of Health of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador and

                    The University of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
                    I have a degree in Agronomy and had to learn about how these pesticides work. Obviously you are the one without a clue.

      • HankP

        If the source comes from the biotech industry, it’s bogus

      • HankP

        And if Monsantos claims were true, the farmers wouldn’t be fighting for the right to plant local seeds

        • Jason

          How do you know they are?

          • Robert Munro
            • Jason

              Funny… but ultimately, so what? Ever seen a farmer in a hazmat suit?

              • Gra

                Yes.

                • Jason

                  Sure you have… sure.

                  • Gra

                    Is yellow Tyvek a hazmat suit material?

          • Jana Stacy

            because I KNOW people from central America. South Florida is a refugee center for them. Of course, it’s kind of a out of the frying pan into the fire situation for them. Even though “legal” immigrants. Many are farm workers enslaved and abused by growers.

            • Jason

              So, because you know people in Florida, it means local people are fighting to keep their seeds?? Why have these seeds been so successful in countries like Brazil & Argentina?

              • Gra

                In Argentina? Because the govn’t there has kept protesters over birth defect and disease rates down at gunpoint. All over the news, Champ.

        • Jackson

          Correct me if I’m wrong here, and it wasn’t clear in the article, but can’t farmers still plant what ever seeds they want? I thought this was just ending the subsidy for local seeds as it amounts to a tariff for foreign seeds.

          • Interesting question, farmers ”may be able to plant what they like while Monsanto has a reputation for suing due to cross pollination, which I would consider contradictory in relation to non GMO organically grown vegetables and crops.

            Monsanto is trying hard to dominate the market.

            Ukraine’s controversial IMF bailout had conditionalities attached to it that required for Ukraine to open up her prized farmland to the likes of Monsanto, one of the other conditions was that eastern Ukraine be opened up to western energy companies for the purposes of polluting for profit AKA fracking. In the end, fracking equipment was being installed behind the backs of Uki soldiers dodging rebel bullets.

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/09/the-imfs-new-cold-war-loan-to-ukraine/“> The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

            In India — another place where its traditional for farmers and small crop growers to collect part of the harvest for next years planting — Monsanto spies on growers who ”save the seed” and will be penalized. Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?

      • usa is a sad sick lazy joke,won’t happen, civil war is needed as we had in ES and Guatemala for Major changes, and it is coming

    • Francisco Osuna

      the US gov can’t force us to eat cra p. So, they put the screws to the little guys. Are they that desperate?

      • Dave Decker

        We are already eating crap.

      • Steve Levine

        If the DARK Act passes, yes, we will be forced to eat cra p.

        • Jackson

          Do they not have organic or GMO-free labels where you live? I wouldn’t be surprised if those labels didn’t cover 100% of the country, but I bet they cover at least 95%.

          • Steve Levine

            According to email received today from the Organic Consumers’ Association:

            “Here’s what will happen if H.R. 1599 becomes law:

            “No more Non-GMO Project. Only the U.S. Department of Agriculture could say if a food is GMO-free. All signs point to the USDA creating a weak, process-based standard that wouldn’t include testing for GMO contamination.

            “No hope of ever getting GMOs safety tested. The FDA would be stopped from ever heeding the American Medical Association’s 2012 call for “mandatory pre-market systematic safety assessments of bioengineered foods.” Instead, Congress would enshrine in permanent law the FDA’s 1992 policy of allowing companies with new GMOs to go through a voluntary consultation process that the agency admits doesn’t determine safety.

            “No more local protections for non-GMO agriculture. Farming communities would be stripped of their right to create the GMO-free agricultural zones that are necessary to protect high-value non-GMO agriculture from GMO contamination. The GMO-free zones that protect Oregon’s world-renowned seed growing regions and California’s largest alfalfa growing area would be gone.

            “If this bill passes, Monsanto will be able to continue to claim to be “feeding the world” while they force-feed us GMO crops, 99.7 percent of which are engineered to poison us with pesticides. We’ll be trapped like guinea pigs in their dangerous experiment with untested, unlabeled GMOs that will eventually contaminate the entire food supply forever.”

            • oldfarmer

              And has it is now, there is not any testing of organic foods required for pesticide residue. There are no inspections of organic farms once certified. There is not documentation required as to what was sprayed on organic crops. So in reality, when you are eating organic, you have no idea what you are really eating either.

              • u ARE an idiot, depends the source the farm you gringos are just too lazy to read or investigate smart folks buy from those they know and trust you got to be a schill

                • oldfarmer

                  Yep- Us gringos might be lazy, but we are smart enough to hire the 690,000 illegal immigrants from El Salvador for pennies a day to work in our pesticide laden fields.

            • Jackson

              Interesting. I have some follow ups.

              No more Non-GMO Project. Only the U.S. Department of Agriculture could say if a food is GMO-free.

              Do you think the USDA will lie to you about whether a food is GMO free or not?

              Can you explain why:

              “Requires such notification to include: (1) the basis for the determination that food produced from, containing, or consisting of that bioengineered organism is as safe for use by humans or animals as comparable marketed foods without the bioengineered organism, and (2) whether any other federal agency is conducting or has conducted any review of the bioengineered organism and the status or conclusions of any such review. Requires the Secretary to determine whether such food is as safe as food made without the bioengineered organism. Requires public disclosure of the premarket notification.”

              Doesn’t contradict the stated:

              “No hope of ever getting GMOs safety tested. The FDA would be stopped from ever heeding the American Medical Association’s 2012 call for “mandatory pre-market systematic safety assessments of bioengineered foods.”

    • Tont Davies

      this is nonsense if there is pressure for free trade that includes many things not just GMO seed. GMP seed has been planted on 4 billion acres over 20 years and been eaten in a trillion meals around the world and not a single hospitalization due to GM food. Not one. These scare stories and started by anti-GMO organic industralists who have to justify their higher prices or countries who want their countries to provide the higher priced organic to the rich elite who want to eat organic as a status symbol

      • Francisco Osuna

        why is the gov protecting Monsanto? why should they care? remember this is the same gov that commanded US soldiers to walk toward a Nevada radioactive nuclear explosion. Just to see what would happen. This is after Hiroshima where they saw the effects on the Japanese. No concern at all for the health of the soldiers.

        • donmex65

          Monsanto is also one of the five companies to produce/manufacture agent orange for use by the DOD/military in Vietnam, and in return it has destroyed thousands of prior military peoples lives which is still happening today.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Monsanto is also one of the five companies to produce/manufacture agent orange for use by the DOD/military in Vietnam”
            Yep, and they weren’t given a choice in manufacturing it, nor the production method. So, blame the DOD.

      • Hermes

        Straight ignorant on so many levels…..plenty of farmers go to the hospital and die from the farming practices that use GMO’s….from pesticides. They don’t wear full body suits to spray that crap for nothing. Also, then negative health effects of GMO build up over time. Organic is how the ENTIRE PLANET ATE EVERYTHING up until the 50’s, when the ELITIST INDUSTRIALIST WAR MONGERS needed to repurpose weapon making material into fertilizer. Conventional farming is far more expensive….the cost is just hidden. It is hidden in MASSIVE tax subsidies that YOU pay, its hidden in the cost of environmental degradation, its hidden in all the commercial debt to provide that food (often created using criminal financial instruments to provide that credit), and its hidden in all the health costs from disease such as cancer and other systemic auto-immune problems. GMO has NEVER proven more effective than organic techniques, and NEVER been proven safer….quite the opposite in fact.

        • oldfarmer

          I have yet to see a corn or soybean field sprayed by someone in a full body suit. And for pesticides not being used until the 50’s, try again. Pesticides have been used since ancient times. Most of them containing arsenic. Here’s a brief history of pesticide use-

          “History of pesticide use: as most of us have little sense of when pesticide use started nor the forms that have impacted the earth, the below calendar of events puts the use of pesticide in perspective…

          Ancient times: Ashes, common salts, and bitters are used as herbicides

          1st century AD: Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, in his Historia naturalis, advocates the use of arsenic as an insecticide; suggests soda and olive oil for treatment of legumes

          16th century: Chinese farmers use arsenicals and nicotine in the form of tobacco extracts as insecticides

          1850s: Pyrethrum and soap see wide use in the West as insecticides; a wash of tobacco, sulfur, and lime used to combat insects and fungi

          1867: The pigment Paris green, an impure form of copper arsenite, is introduced into United States to control outbreaks of Colorado potato beetle, within a decade Paris green and kerosene oil emulsion are used against a wide variety of chewing and sucking insects

          1896: A French grape grower applies Bordeaux mixture Cu sulfate & CaOH, observes nearby weeds turning black, and the idea of selective chemical herbicides is born

          1900: Sulfuric acid, copper nitrates, potassium salts are used

          1900 -1950 Sodium arsenite solutions become the standard herbicides and are used in large quantities

          1913 – Organomercury seed dressing

          1913- 1939 First of several dithiocarbamates fungicides used in US

          1939: Insecticidal potential of DDT discovered in Switzerland, leading to synthesis of thousands of chemicals. Chlorinated hydrocarbons such as DDT, BHC, dieldrin, aldrin& chlordane, and others, all powerful contact and stomach poisons, see enthusiastic use against malaria and other insectborne diseases

          1950s: Fungicides captan and glyodin appear; organophosphorous insecticide malathion is introduced

          1961 DDT registered for use on 34 different crops as pesticide usage dramatically increases

          1962: Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, an environmentalist’s rallying cry against pesticide use. The potential of pesticides for bioaccumulation and long-term toxicity became widely recognized, and pest resistance became increasingly evident. Farmers stopped using DDT and other chlorinated compounds in favor of organophosphates and carbamates, which although more acutely toxic, do not persist in the environment.

          In 1972, EPA revoked the use of DDT on all food sources in the United States. The World Health Organization, however, still reserves the right to use DDT on particularly virulent outbreaks of malaria

          1970-80’s: Herbicidal sulfonylureas, synthetic fungicides metaxyl and triadimefron, and light-stable pyrethroid pesticides introduced

          1990s: Renewed interest in integrated pest management; intensified research on biological pest control methods and other alternatives to pesticides. The emergence of pest management programs, a result of improved knowledge in host-pest interactions, has helped decrease insecticide use on major crop commodities such as corn, soybeans, cotton, and wheat since the 1960s.

          Today, there is great interest in genetically engineered microbial agents, including development of pest-resistant transgenic crops and other biological pest control methods.”

          • HankP

            Monsanto has large landholdings in Puerto Rico and I noticed their workers wear hazmat suits when spraying the fields. And the poor peasants living near the GMO crops complained of respiratory illnesses. We need more epidemiological studies to prove once and for all that GMO’s should be banned worldwide.

            • oldfarmer

              It couldn’t be that in Puerto Rico that they are spraying banned chemicals? (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working with the Virgin Islands government, is investigating the March 2015 incident involving the use of a pesticide containing methyl bromide to fumigate a residence at the Sirenusa apartments on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Methyl bromide can only be used in very limited situations, mainly for fumigation of soil and commodities.

              In the course of the investigation, it has been determined that the pesticide used in the U.S. Virgin Islands came from licensed distributors in Puerto Rico. EPA notified the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, which has direct enforcement authority for pesticide use violations. The Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture and EPA are gathering information from pesticide suppliers and applicators of methyl bromide products in Puerto Rico regarding their distribution or use of the products.

              That investigation has revealed evidence that methyl bromide has been used improperly in Puerto Rico. Documents suggest that methyl bromide may have been improperly applied at various locations in Puerto Rico. EPA is working closely with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to follow up on any possible health effects.

              Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, with support from EPA, has sent inspectors to pesticide applicator companies, including Terminix. On April 14, 2015 the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture issued a legal order regarding methyl bromide in Puerto Rico. The agencies will continue their investigation to ensure that public health is protected from any further improper use of methyl bromide.

              Health effects of exposure to methyl bromide are serious and include headaches, dizziness, weakness and confusion. In severe cases exposure can cause central nervous system and “respiratory system damage.” Pesticides can be very toxic and it is critically important that restricted use pesticides be used only as approved by EPA.
              This isn’t an isolated case. It has been found that they are spraying not only residential and commercial buildings with this chemical, but also certain crops.

            • oldfarmer

              The number one pesticide used in El Salvador behind 2,4-D is Paraquat used by 98% of farmers. Pure paraquat, when ingested, is highly toxic to mammals, including humans, potentially leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although there are no specific antidotes, fuller’s earth or activated charcoal is an effective treatment if taken in time. There have been some successful cases of using cyclophosphamide (Endoxan) to treat paraquat poisoning. Death may occur up to 30 days after ingestion. 81% use organophosphates- Repeated or prolonged exposure to organophosphates may result in the same effects as acute exposure including the delayed symptoms. Other effects reported in workers repeatedly exposed include impaired memory and concentration, disorientation, severe depressions, irritability, confusion, headache, speech difficulties, delayed reaction times, nightmares, sleepwalking and drowsiness or insomnia. An influenza-like condition with headache, nausea, weakness, loss of appetite, and malaise has also been reported.
              With the use of GMO corn, they wouldn’t have to spray either of these chemicals.

              • we also banned 54 ag chems, they are being phased out , Cuba has the best organic model, of course

                • oldfarmer

                  I would agree with you to some extent. This was because of necessity though from them being isolated after the soviet block fell. However, Cuba relies on the US for 30% of it’s food imports. Also about 35% of Cuba’s farmland has been abandoned to brush and weeds taking it over from lack of herbicides. Not to mention the issues presented by a Cuban agronomist who recently wrote that:

                  • 75 percent of Cuba’s farmland is degraded to some degree,

                  • about 3 million hectares (45 percent) are low in fertility,

                  • about 4.6 million hectares (69 percent) are low in organic matter,

                  • about 1 million hectares (15 percent) suffer from salinity problems, and

                  • about 2.5 million hectares (37.6 percent) exhibit medium to severe erosion effects.
                  So everything in Cuba is not quite as rosy has the picture you paint.

                  • check the Havana urban food projects, they are turning it around
                    not my choice place to live,I prefer the Pacific
                    but if you have not been there then….
                    and they will I hope and they will prevail USA is a sad sick joke

            • gwayne

              Yes, banning GMO’s will eventually come ,but not before they destroy our industrial agriculture and bankrupt our health and medical systems. Organically grown foods will become a constitutional right when we take back our government and replace all of those who have been promoting and accepting gratuities/campaign contributions from those who only want to monopolize the food system of the world one country at a time beginning with the USA.I have always thought that the US govt was above reproach when it cam to truth and honesty, but I must admit times have mad the US govt as dishonest and untruthful about

              most everything that it speaks. I see very few redeeming values in the majority of our political servants who statistically are not listening to the people and serve the monied interests exclusively.I will be voting my conscience and for Bernie Sanders for president and then individually for every GREEN party candidate on the ticket. This may be the only manner to counter the GMO craze and bring some sense back to government that will again serve the people in the manner that they were established for and not to serve the multinational GMO poison creators.

              • Jason

                Maybe they’re listening to the people but the people aren’t listening to you and your crack-pot accusations?

          • gwayne

            Your information is understandable ,but when will GMO makers design a crop that does not need more chemicals overall and especially one that does not bio-accumulate over time in the human tissues,the water we drink while destroying all that is natural in nature and our food chain. Other than accurate info,what do you have to say about all of the claims that GMO’s make that can be refuted. Nothing good is to be found in GMO’s as per the information that I have read ab out them. Please read “Seeds of Deception” and “Altered Genes,Twisted Truth”, and you will much more fully understand how GMO’s have been forced upon the people of the world using fraud,corruption and bribery especially since “CITIZENS UNITED” has made it so easy to do and legal too.

            • Jason

              Gwayne, that’s been done a few times already. GMO crops such as Bt corn & cotton require far less pesticide (insecticides) because they control insects on their own. GMO papaya resist a viral disease that is transported by insects (aphids). Formerly insecticide was constantly in an effort to control the aphids that transmit this virus. That is no longer needed.

              Even Roundup Ready crops require no more herbicides than do conventional crops, nor does glyphosate bioaccumulate in any tissues.

              I encourage you to read some scientific literature on these crops rather than basing your opinions off of activist nonsense like the books you have listed. Those books are meant to capitalize on the fears of those who are not educated on the issues.

              • Robert Munro
              • gwayne

                @Jason; And I urge you to begin in earnest your studies that do not promote the disinformation that you have stated and that is incomplete. Your assertions leave out the problems with how quickly any monocropping practice concentrates predatory insects,plant diseases and the chemicals that the GMO makers have continually lied about and that only increase rather than decrease over time.Any chemical new or old is just another form of income for the chemical companies that only want profits at any cost to the environment and those who get in the way. Feel free to spout your GMO rhetoric on pro-GMO sites where they can be appreciated and will contribute towards some ill-gotten gains for you and yours. The publications “Seeds of Deception” and “Altered Genes,Twisted Truth” Are more than reputable and if they weren’t they would have been sued by your bosses for slander and that has not happened. Furthermore,It is obvious that you are involved in industrial agriculture or employed by those who profit from poisoning the humanity that they seem so willing to do in the name of profits at any cost.
                I farmed without the use of any chemicals and did quite well till permanent drought forced a change and in the future it will be drought-tolerant crops that the GMO makers continually promise ,but never deliver that will end your hype of how good GMO’s are.

                • Jason

                  Kindly point out a single thing that I have said that is wrong. Bring your evidence… you’re going to need it.

                • Michael McCarthy

                  “if they weren’t they would have been sued by your bosses for slander”
                  I see we have another person that doesn’t know the definition of slander. Please look it up.

            • J. Randall Stewart

              What about the low-lignin alfalfa being sold right now?

              • JoeFarmer

                Bet you didn’t’ get an answer, huh?

          • thanks so much for your due diligence Sir

        • Jason

          Hermes – you’re posting a bunch of activist nonsense.

          You claim that “organic” was how the planet ate before the 50s. That’s misleading on so many levels. First, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides have been used well before the 50s. BASF started producing nitrogen on an industrial scale as early as the 1910s. And prior to large scale pesticide production, farmers used things like arsenic, copper acetoarsenite, calcium arsenate, nicotine sulfate, and sulfursodium chlorate and sulphuric acid. These were largely replaced as safer, cheaper products became available.

          And where on earth do you have ANY evidence for this silliness: “GMO has NEVER proven more effective than organic techniques, and NEVER been proven safer….quite the opposite in fact.” ??

          There is no contest in terms of pest control effectiveness between GMO production and organic. If you think otherwise, then I encourage you to come to the midwest and expose yourself to some actual farming practices and issues faced by both farmers in both systems. Organic farming has it’s place but there’s no reason to make up a bunch of garbage about other types of farming just because you’ve got an agenda to push.

      • kirk allen

        what about the bees you stupid cropsucker . you need to do some research

      • Gra

        But hundreds of thousands are confirmed to have been killed and hospitalized by the actions or consumption of the herbicides necessary to grow these seeds. So now rural El salvadoran farmers equal “anti-GMO organic industialists”. You know you’re in trouble, Tont, when you start believing your own b.s.

      • Gra

        You need to reread the definition of “nobody”. Pretty sure obesity, renal failure, pancreatitis and diabetes have massively spiked since the use of some herbicides that leach ions from the soil and deposit them in our bodies has concurrently.

      • gwayne

        Your comment can only be understood as the continued statements that originate from those who stand to profit from the continued GMO cultivation and destruction of naturally developed seed stocks from pure strain seeds that have evolved through may years of growth and acclimation to local conditions.You must be proud of spreading false information as that is all that you are accomplishing. I doubt very much that even if you did read such publications as “Seeds of Destruction” or “Altered Genes,Twisted Truth” that your employer would allow you to counter these more than informative reads with little more than lies and that they are nothing but vitriol and you would lose more control of the discussion about truth that people are becoming aware of and how this is the tactics of the hugely profitable both for the politically involved and GMO wise. When the GMO makers are buying up the seed companies and controlling more of the seeds in the world, they will become the new tyrant that will dictate to anyone in America when they want seeds or food. Many farmers have already admitted that it is too late for American Agriculture to combat this government powerful corporation that is attempting to control the worlds food chain.NOTHING THAT YOU STATE HERE WITH REFERENCE TO THE GOOD ABOUT GMO’S WILL EVER BE BELIEVED,BUT YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR PAYCHECK NO MATTER TILL GMO’S ARE SOMETHING LONG FORGOTTEN OR SOONER HOPEFULLY. YOU ARE PROVIDING A DISSERVICE TO YOUR FELLOW MAN UNLESS YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF MAN.

      • Robert Munro
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