Thank heavens freedom has come to Iraq! At last those who toil in the fields where agriculture was born can free themselves from the tyranny of 4000 years of natural selection, and step into the gleaming modern world of patented, non-reproducing, bottom-line enhancing Monsanto genetically engineered seed products.
In my evening browse of Reddit, I came upon this rather disturbing piece by Andrew Bosworth, PhD, about the 100 orders — legal decrees that are designed to turn Iraq into a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate Amerika:
- Order 39 allows for the tax-free remittance of all corporate profits.
- Order 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, immunity from Iraq’s laws.
- Orders 57 and 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector general in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations.
But wait, Order 81 is the one that takes the biscuit. It requires Iraqi farmers to buy “registered seeds.” Those would be seeds sold by Monsanto, Cargill and the World Wide Wheat Company, and which can uniquely ensure their corporate owners superior resale value: they’re programmed not to produce viable seeds. That means that a farmer can enjoy the modern method of farming by paying, year after year, for genetically hobbled seeds, instead of slaving away in the old fashioned cycle of harvest and reseed. What’s even better, the age-old method of planting seeds from last year’s crop is actually made illegal by Order 81:
Order 81 fits into this revolutionary program, and it is quite diabolical upon closer inspection. First, it forces Iraq’s commercial farmers to use registered terminator seeds (the “protected variety”). Then it defines natural seeds as illegal (the “infringing variety”), in a classic Orwellian turn of language.
This is so incredible that it must be re-stated: the exotic genetically scrambled seeds are the “protected variety” and the indigenous seeds are the “infringing variety.”
This is an extremely scary story, and I was proud to see it illustrated with a graphic I made many years ago for the Greenpeace website:
That would be Monsanto’s former CEO, Hugh Grant, doing the Johnny Appleseed ® thing.
I made this for a piece that went live in August 2005 about Monsanto’s failed attempt to patent its new invention, the pig. That piece still has a lot of Google juice — in attempt to find the original link just now, I Image-Googled “Monsanto”: it was the first hit.
The big message of that article was this:
By claiming global monopoly patent rights throughout the entire food chain, Monsanto seeks to make farmers and food producers, and ultimately consumers, entirely dependent and reliant on one single corporate entity for a basic human need. It’s the same dependence that Russian peasants had on the Soviet Government following the Russian revolution. The same dependence that French peasants had on Feudal kings during the middle ages. But control of a significant proportion of the global food supply by a single corporation would be unprecedented in human history.
Monsanto may have scaled back their ambitions a bit since 2005, having been put in check by consumer rejection of Genetically Modified Organisms. But let’s just imagine that an occupying force was worried that its control over a country might slip once its troops were removed — wouldn’t it behoove such an occupying power to ensue their control over the population of that country were maintained in some other way? For instance, say, by controlling their food source?
Is it an encouraging sign of desperation that Monsanto can only gain a foothold for its seed slavery policies in a repressive régime like Corporate-owned and operated Iraq? Or is it a worrying sign of terminator persistence that the ground zero of agriculture has been seized, and this new rough beast, its hour come at last, is slouching toward Bethlehem to be born?
Vigilance, people: vigilance. You take your eyes off these guys for one minute, and they’re finding some new place to do their creepy, evil, take-over-the-world thing.