Articles by: Colin Todhunter

Smashing The Heads of Farmers: A Global Struggle Against Tyranny

Smashing The Heads of Farmers: A Global Struggle Against Tyranny

According to Reuters, more than 500,000 farmers attended a rally in the city of Muzaffarnagar in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 5 September. Hundreds of thousands more turned out for other rallies in the state. Rakesh Tikait, a prominent farmers’ leader, said this would breathe fresh life into the Indian farmers’ protest movement. He added: “We will intensify[Read More…]

by 13/09/2021 0 comments India
Address the Global Public Health Crisis: Ban Glyphosate Now!

Address the Global Public Health Crisis: Ban Glyphosate Now!

Environmentalist and campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason recently wrote an open letter to the head of the Pesticides Unit at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Jose Tarazona. (Since this article was written, Jose Tarazona has stepped down from his position and the letter has been forwarded to his successors, Manuela Tiramani and Benedicte Vagenede.) Mason wrote to Tarazona because the[Read More…]

Amazon, “Economic Terrorism” and the Destruction of Competition and Livelihoods

Amazon, “Economic Terrorism” and the Destruction of Competition and Livelihoods

Global corporations are colonising India’s retail space through e-commerce and destroying small-scale physical retail and millions of livelihoods. Walmart entered into India in 2016 with a US$3.3 billion take-over of the online retail start-up Jet.com. This was followed in 2018 with a US$16 billion take-over of India’s largest online retail platform, Flipkart. Today, Walmart and Amazon control almost two thirds of[Read More…]

by 29/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Part One: A Message to the EU: Address the Spiralling Public Health Crisis by Banning Glyphosate

Part One: A Message to the EU: Address the Spiralling Public Health Crisis by Banning Glyphosate

The herbicide glyphosate – the most widely used herbicide on the planet – is authorised for use in the EU until December 2022. The EU is currently assessing whether its licence should be renewed. Environmentalist and campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter to the head of the Pesticides Unit at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA),[Read More…]

by 28/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Meeting commemorating Banda Bhadur Singh on June 7th

Farm Laws and the Farmers Protest – A discussion

A discussion hosted by the World Sikh Parliament network and run on KTV – a UK-based satellite TV channel for the Sikh diaspora   A detailed horror tale in the making for India, an exposé on what is planned, via the farm laws, to hand over Indian sovereignty and food security to big business. There will come a time pretty soon –[Read More…]

by 27/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Mobilising Against the Corporate Hijack of Agriculture and the UN Food Systems Summit

Mobilising Against the Corporate Hijack of Agriculture and the UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), including a ‘pre-summit’, will take place in September 2021 in New York. The Italian government is hosting the pre-summit in Rome from 26–28 July. The UNFSS claims it aims to deliver the latest evidence-based, scientific approaches from around the world, launch a set of fresh commitments through coalitions of action and mobilise new financing[Read More…]

by 20/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Toxic Corporations Are Destroying the Planet’s Soil

Toxic Corporations Are Destroying the Planet’s Soil

A newly published analysis in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science argues that a toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is causing havoc beneath fields covered in corn, soybeans, wheat and other monoculture crops. The research is the most comprehensive review ever conducted on how pesticides affect soil health. The study is discussed by two of the report’s authors,[Read More…]

by 23/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Ivermectin: WHO’s Chief Scientist Served with Legal Notice for Disinformation and Suppression of Evidence

Ivermectin: WHO’s Chief Scientist Served with Legal Notice for Disinformation and Suppression of Evidence

On 25 May 2021, the Indian Bar Association (IBA) served a 51-page legal notice on Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO), for “her act of spreading disinformation and misguiding the people of India, in order to fulfil her agenda.” The Mumbai-based IBA is an association of lawyers who strive to bring transparency and accountability[Read More…]

by 03/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
From 1980s Neoliberalism to the ‘New Normal’

From 1980s Neoliberalism to the ‘New Normal’

Sold under the pretence of a quest for optimising well-being and ‘happiness’, capitalism thrives on the exploitation of peoples and the environment. What really matters is the strive to maintain viable profit margins. The prevailing economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption and needs a certain level of annual GDP growth for large firms to make sufficient profit.[Read More…]

by 02/06/2021 Comments are Disabled World
 Microsoft vs Indian Farmers: Agri-Stacking the System

 Microsoft vs Indian Farmers: Agri-Stacking the System

In April, the Indian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft, allowing its local partner CropData to leverage a master database of farmers. The MoU seems to be part of the AgriStack policy initiative, which involves the roll out of ‘disruptive’ technologies and digital databases in the agricultural sector. Based on press reports and government statements, Microsoft would[Read More…]

by 20/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Researchers found that the rate at which bumblebees are declining is "consistent with a mass extinction." (Photo: David A. Hofmann/flickr/cc)

Mette Frederiksen, Boris Johnson: Reject Industry PR, Ban Glyphosate, Protect Public Health!

On 9 April 2021, retired physician and health and environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason wrote to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA). She wanted to draw the agency’s attention to the findings that indicate the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup causes high levels of mortality following contact exposure in bumblebees (glyphosate-formulated herbicides are the most widely used weedicides in agriculture across the[Read More…]

by 28/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Gates Unhinged: Dystopian Vision for Agrifood Must Not Succeed

Gates Unhinged: Dystopian Vision for Agrifood Must Not Succeed

We are currently seeing an acceleration of the corporate consolidation of the entire global agrifood chain. The high-tech/data conglomerates, including Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google, have joined traditional agribusiness giants, such as Corteva, Bayer, Cargill and Syngenta, in a quest to impose a certain type of agriculture and food production on the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Four Words Gates and His Pals Despise: Democracy & Minimum Support Price

Four Words Gates and His Pals Despise: Democracy & Minimum Support Price

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and an assortment of high-profile figures and policy makers are pushing for unregulated gene-editing technologies, the rollout of bio-synthetic food created in laboratories, the expanded use of patented seeds and the roll back of subsidies and support for farmers in places like India. These neoliberal evangelists despise democracy and believe that state machinery and[Read More…]

by 06/04/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Walmart, Amazon and the Colonial Deindustrialisation of India

Walmart, Amazon and the Colonial Deindustrialisation of India

In June 2018, the Joint Action Committee against Foreign Retail and E-commerce (JACAFRE) issued a statement on Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart. It argued that it undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihood of millions in India. The deal would lead to Walmart and Amazon dominating India’s e-retail sector. These two US companies would also own India’s key consumer[Read More…]

by 21/03/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Farmers’ Protest in India – Price of Failure Will Be immense

Farmers’ Protest in India – Price of Failure Will Be immense

Globally, there is an ongoing trend of a handful of big companies determining what food is grown, how it is grown, what is in it and who sells it. This model involves highly processed food adulterated with chemical inputs ending up in large near-monopoly supermarket chains or fast-food outlets that rely on industrial-scale farming. While the brands lining the shelves[Read More…]

by 06/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Viral Inequality and the Farmers’ Struggle in India  

Viral Inequality and the Farmers’ Struggle in India  

According to a new report by Oxfam, ‘The Inequality Virus’, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $3.9tn (trillion) between 18 March and 31 December 2020. Their total wealth now stands at $11.95tn. The world’s 10 richest billionaires have collectively seen their wealth increase by $540bn over this period. In September 2020, Jeff Bezos could have paid all 876,000[Read More…]

by 31/01/2021 2 comments India
Farmers’ Protests Reflect Existential Crisis of Indian Agriculture

Farmers’ Protests Reflect Existential Crisis of Indian Agriculture

With over 800 million people, rural India is arguably the most interesting and complex place on the planet but is plagued by farmer suicides, child malnourishment, growing unemployment, increased informalisation, indebtedness and an overall collapse of agriculture. Given that India is still an agrarian-based society, renowned journalist P Sainath says what is taking place can be described as a crisis of civilisation[Read More…]

by 21/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Indian Farmers on the Frontline Against Global Capitalism

Indian Farmers on the Frontline Against Global Capitalism

In a short video on the empirediaries.com YouTube channel, a protesting farmer camped near Delhi says that during lockdown and times of crisis farmers are treated like “gods”, but when they ask for their rights, they are smeared and labelled as “terrorists”. He, along with thousands of other farmers, are mobilising against three important pieces of farm legislation that were[Read More…]

by 16/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
International Support Continues for Protesting Farmers in India

International Support Continues for Protesting Farmers in India

On 5 January, British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi wrote a letter to Boris Johnson urging him to convey to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “heartfelt anxieties” of MPs’ constituents (many emanating from Punjab) regarding the treatment of protesting farmers in India. The letter was signed by more than 100 MPs and Lords and had cross-party support. Dhesi stated that[Read More…]

by 14/01/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Agroecology and Post-COVID Plunder

Agroecology and Post-COVID Plunder

Contingent on World Bank aid to be given to poorer countries in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns, agrifood conglomerates will aim to further expand their influence. These firms have been integral to the consolidation of a global food regime that has emerged in recent decades based on chemical- and proprietary-input-dependent agriculture which incurs massive externalised social, environmental and health costs.[Read More…]

by 13/01/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Genetic Engineering, Agriculture and Brexit: Treachery in Our Midst

Genetic Engineering, Agriculture and Brexit: Treachery in Our Midst

The UK government has launched its public consultation on the deregulation of gene editing in England. To kick things off, somewhat predictably Environment Secretary George Eustice recently spun a staunch pro-industry line at the Oxford Farming Conference by stating: “Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that Mother Nature has provided in order to tackle the challenges[Read More…]

by 09/01/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Health and Wealth in India – Farmers’ Lives Matter

Health and Wealth in India – Farmers’ Lives Matter

To appreciate what is happening to agriculture and farmers in India, we must first understand how the development paradigm has been subverted. Development used to be about breaking with colonial exploitation and radically redefining power structures. Today, neoliberal dogma masquerades as economic theory and the subsequent deregulation of international capital ensures giant transnational conglomerates are able to ride roughshod over[Read More…]

by 18/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
 Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as ‘Feeding the World’

 Dispossession and Imperialism Repackaged as ‘Feeding the World’

The world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of rich and powerful land speculators and agribusiness corporations. Smallholder farmers are being criminalised and even made to disappear when it comes to the struggle for land. They are constantly exposed to systematic expulsion. In 2014, the Oakland Institute found that institutional investors, including[Read More…]

by 28/11/2020 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
 Crisis, What Crisis? Hypocrisy and Public Health in the UK

 Crisis, What Crisis? Hypocrisy and Public Health in the UK

On 12 March 2020, British PM Boris Johnson, referring to COVID-19, informed the public: “We’ve all got to be clear; this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.” Since that time, we have seen lockdowns, on ongoing government-backed fear campaign, fundamental rights being stripped away, dissent censored, inflated COVID-19 death numbers and the use of a flawed PCR[Read More…]

by 18/11/2020 Comments are Disabled World
 Own Nothing and Be Happy: Being Human in 2030

 Own Nothing and Be Happy: Being Human in 2030

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, brings together international business and political leaders, economists and other high-profile individuals to discuss global issues. Driven by the vision of its influential CEO Klaus Schwab, the WEF is the main driving force for the dystopian ‘great reset’, a tectonic shift that intends to change[Read More…]

by 09/11/2020 1 comment World
Class Consciousness in the Age of COVID

Class Consciousness in the Age of COVID

Prior to the appearance of COVID-related restrictions and lockdowns, neoliberal capitalism had turned to various mechanisms in the face of economic stagnation and massive inequalities: the raiding of public budgets, the expansion of credit to consumers and governments to sustain spending and consumption, financial speculation and militarism. Part and parcel of this has been a strategy of ‘creative destruction’ that has[Read More…]

by 28/10/2020 Comments are Disabled World
 Bt Cotton in India is a GMO Template for a ‘monumental irreversible catastrophe’

 Bt Cotton in India is a GMO Template for a ‘monumental irreversible catastrophe’

Cotton is the only genetically modified (GM) crop that has been officially approved in India and has been cultivated (illegally then legally) in the country for more than 20 years. Although GM mustard has been approved for commercial cultivation by India’s apex regulatory body for GM crops (the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, GEAC), a public interest litigation led by Aruna[Read More…]

by 29/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Neoliberal Death Knell for Indian Agriculture

Neoliberal Death Knell for Indian Agriculture

In a 2017 article, I asked what might a future India look like and concluded that, if current neoliberal policies continue, there could be dozens of mega-cities with up to 40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. And it could also mean hundreds of millions of displaced rural dwellers without any work.[Read More…]

by 17/09/2020 Comments are Disabled India
 From Cotton to Brinjal: Fraudulent GMO Project in India Sustained by Deception

 From Cotton to Brinjal: Fraudulent GMO Project in India Sustained by Deception

Insecticidal Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton is the first and only GM (genetically modified) crop that has been approved in India. It has been cultivated in the country for more than 20 years. In a formal statement to the Supreme Court of India, the Indian government has asserted that hybrid Bt cotton is an outstanding success. It therefore argues that Bt[Read More…]

by 29/08/2020 1 comment India
Pushing GMO Crops Into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success

Pushing GMO Crops Into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success

On 6 July 2020, an article extolling the benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops appeared on the BloombergQuint website based on an interview with Dr Ramesh Chand, a member of the key Indian Government think tank Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) . On 17 July, another piece that placed a positive spin on GM crops and gene editing[Read More…]

by 09/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
 Post-Brexit Agrochemical Apocalypse for the UK?

 Post-Brexit Agrochemical Apocalypse for the UK?

The British government, regulators and global agrochemical corporations are colluding with each other and are thus engaging in criminal behaviour. That’s the message put forward in a new report written by environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason and sent to the UK Environment Agency. It follows her January 2019 open letter to Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer CropScience, where she made it clear[Read More…]

by 27/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Capitalism and the Throttling of Democracy in India

Capitalism and the Throttling of Democracy in India

The deregulation of international capital flows (financial liberalisation) has effectively turned the planet into a free-for-all bonanza for the world’s richest capitalists. Under the post-World-War Two Bretton Woods monetary regime, nations put restrictions on the flow of capital. Domestic firms and banks could not freely borrow from banks elsewhere or from international capital markets, without seeking permission, and they could[Read More…]

by 25/06/2020 Comments are Disabled India
From Toxic Food to Agrarian Disaster: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap

From Toxic Food to Agrarian Disaster: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap

During the early days of the coronavirus lockdowns, in some quarters there was a certain degree of optimism around. Although millions of people were suffering, the hope was that the Covid-19 crisis would shine light on societal and economic systems across the world, exposing some of the deep-rooted flaws of capitalism. There was a belief that people working together with their respective[Read More…]

by 18/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
Food and Agroecology: Coping with Future Shocks

Food and Agroecology: Coping with Future Shocks

The food crisis that could follow in the wake of the various lockdowns that were implemented on the back of the coronavirus may have long-lasting consequences. We are already seeing food shortages in the making. In India, for instance, supply chains have been disrupted, farm input systems for the supply of seeds and fertilisers have almost collapsed in some places[Read More…]

by 03/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
The Scourge of Authoritarianism in the Age of Pseudoscience

The Scourge of Authoritarianism in the Age of Pseudoscience

Following the court decision in the US to award in favour of Dewayne Johnson (exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and its active ingredient, glyphosate, caused Johnson to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma), attorney Robert Kennedy Jr said at the post-trial press conference: “The corruption of science, the falsification of science, and we saw all those things happen here. This is a[Read More…]

The Gates Foundation and the War on Cash: ‘Financial Inclusion’ in an Age of Neoliberalism 

The Gates Foundation and the War on Cash: ‘Financial Inclusion’ in an Age of Neoliberalism 

Back in November 2016, the Indian government decided to remove all 500- and 1000-rupee notes from circulation overnight without prior notice. This effectively removed 86% of cash in a country that was almost 90% cash reliant. The notes became worthless and people were asked to hand them in to banks. They would only receive what they had deposited in dribs[Read More…]

by 26/04/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Coronavirus Capitalism: Entrenching Dispossession and Dependency

Coronavirus Capitalism: Entrenching Dispossession and Dependency

There is surprisingly a certain degree of optimism around at the moment, despite virtually entire populations and economies on lockdown. Although things are really bad for millions right now due to the effects of lockdown, economist Mariana Mazzucato believes that the Covid-19 crisis will shine light on societal and economic systems all across the world, exposing some of the deep-rooted flaws of[Read More…]

by 21/04/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Orwellian Lockstep and a Loaded Syringe

Orwellian Lockstep and a Loaded Syringe

Some years ago, the then vice-president of Monsanto Robert T Fraley asked, “Why do people doubt science”. He posed the question partly because he had difficulty in believing that some people had valid concerns about the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. Critics were questioning the science behind GM technology and the impacts of GMOs because they could[Read More…]

by 20/04/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order

Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order

On 12 March, British PM Boris Johnson informed the public that families would continue to “lose loved ones before their time” as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. He added: “We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.” In a report, the Imperial College had warned of modelling that suggested over 500,000 would die from the virus[Read More…]

by 02/04/2020 2 comments Uncategorized
Dependency, Distress and No Durable Agronomic Benefits: The Story of Bt Cotton in India

Dependency, Distress and No Durable Agronomic Benefits: The Story of Bt Cotton in India

In the early 2000s, genetically modified (GM) Bt insecticidal cotton was being heavily promoted in India on the basis that it would cut pesticide use dramatically, boost yields and contribute to the financial well-being of farmers. Private sector Bt cotton hybrids now cover over 90% of the area under cotton. Supporters of Bt cotton have wasted little time in claiming that[Read More…]

by 12/03/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Toxic Agriculture and the Gates Foundation

Toxic Agriculture and the Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000 and has $46.8 billion in assets (December 2018). It is the largest charitable foundation in the world and distributes more aid for global health than any government. One of the foundation’s stated goals is to globally enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. The Gates Foundation is a major funder of[Read More…]

by 27/02/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  

Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  

In 2017, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, produced a report that called for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming and move towards sustainable agricultural practices. In addition to the devastating impacts on human health, the two[Read More…]

by 19/02/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Menace on the Menu in Post-EU Britain

Menace on the Menu in Post-EU Britain

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written the report ‘Bayer CropScience rules Britain after Brexit – thepublic and the press are being poisoned by pesticides’. It has been sent to editors of major media outlets in the UK. In it, she outlines her concerns for pesticide regulation, health and the environment in a post-Brexit landscape. This article presents some of[Read More…]

by 10/02/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Bt Cotton: Cultivating Farmer Distress in India

Bt Cotton: Cultivating Farmer Distress in India

Later this month, India’s Supreme Court will hold a lengthy hearing on the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) mustard, which would be the country’s first GM food crop. The court has asked the chair of the Technical Expert Committee to be present and says that the decision on GM mustard cannot be kept pending. The TEC has come out against[Read More…]

by 07/02/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Challenging the Flawed Premise Behind Pushing GMOs into Indian Agriculture

Challenging the Flawed Premise Behind Pushing GMOs into Indian Agriculture

A common claim is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are essential to agriculture if we are to feed an ever-growing global population. Supporters of genetically engineered (GE) crops argue that by increasing productivity and yields, this technology will also help boost farmers’ incomes and lift many out of poverty. Although in this article it will be argued that the performance[Read More…]

by 17/01/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis

Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis

There is mounting evidence that a healthy soil microbiome protects plants from pests and diseases. One of the greatest natural assets that humankind has is soil. But when you drench it with proprietary synthetic chemicals or continuously monocrop as part of a corporate-controlled industrial farming system, you can kill essential microbes, upset soil balance and end up feeding soil a limited doughnut diet of unhealthy[Read More…]

by 15/01/2020 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
GM in India: Faking it on the Astroturf

GM in India: Faking it on the Astroturf

According to a recent report in The Hindu Business Line, India’s intelligence agencies are investigating the role of a global investment company and international seed companies in supporting farmers organisation Shetkari Sanghatana (SS) in the distribution of illegally procured genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) cotton seeds. The planting of such seeds is an offence under the Environment Protection Act[Read More…]

by 11/01/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Capitalism and the Gut-Wrenching Hijack of India  

Capitalism and the Gut-Wrenching Hijack of India  

In India, the ‘development’ paradigm is premised on moving farmers out of agriculture and into the cities to work in construction, manufacturing or the service sector, despite these sectors not creating anything like the number of jobs required. The aim is to displace the existing labour-intensive system of food and agriculture with one dominated by a few transnational corporate agri-food[Read More…]

by 07/01/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Fast food nations and global nutrition

Fast food nations and global nutrition

Daniel Maingi works with small farmers in Kenya and belongs to the organisation Growth Partners for Africa. He remembers a time when his family would grow and eat a diversity of crops, such as mung beans, green grams, pigeon peas and a variety of fruits now considered ‘wild’. Following the Structural Adjustment Programmes of the 1980s and 1990s, the foods of his[Read More…]

by 26/12/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
The Right to Healthy Food: Poisoned with Pesticides    

The Right to Healthy Food: Poisoned with Pesticides    

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter addressed to three senior officials in Britain: John Gardiner, Under Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the British government; Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England; and Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health and Social Security. Her letter focuses[Read More…]

by 22/12/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Global Health Crisis and Pesticides

Global Health Crisis and Pesticides

The UK-based Independent online newspaper recently published an article about a potential link between air pollution from vehicles and glaucoma. It stated that according to a new study air pollution is linked to the eye condition that causes blindness. The report explained that researchers had looked at vision tests carried out on more than 111,000 people across Britain between 2006[Read More…]

Hunger Games: Food Abundance and Twisted Truths  

Hunger Games: Food Abundance and Twisted Truths  

The world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people but over two billion are experiencing micronutrient deficiencies (of which 821 million were classed as chronically undernourished in 2018). However, supporters of genetic engineering (GE) crops continually push the narrative that GE technology is required if we are to feed the world and properly support farmers. First of all, it must be[Read More…]

by 25/11/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer

Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer

M S Swaminathan is often referred to as the ‘father’ of India’s Green Revolution. In 2009, he said that  no scientific evidence had emerged to justify concerns about genetically modified (GM) crops, often regarded as stage two of the Green Revolution. In a December 2018 paper in the journal Current Science, however, it was argued that Bt insecticidal cotton (India’s only officially[Read More…]

by 11/11/2019 Comments are Disabled India
Agrochemical Apocalypse: Interview with Environmental Campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason 

Agrochemical Apocalypse: Interview with Environmental Campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason 

The renowned author and whistleblower Evaggelos Vallianatos describes British environmentalist and campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason as a “defender of the natural world and public health.” I first came across her work a few years ago. It was in the form of an open letter she had sent to an official about the devastating environmental and human health impacts of glyphosate-based weed[Read More…]

by 29/10/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Genetically Engineered Golden Rice: A Silver Bullet that Misses the Target   

Genetically Engineered Golden Rice: A Silver Bullet that Misses the Target   

Promoters of genetic modification (GM) in agriculture have long argued that genetically engineered Golden Rice is a practical way to provide poor farmers in remote areas with a subsistence crop capable of adding much-needed vitamin A to local diets. Vitamin A deficiency is a problem in many poor countries in the Global South and leaves millions at high risk for[Read More…]

by 28/10/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!

Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!

Campaigner and environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter to Bayer Crop Science shareholders and Chairman of the Board Werner Wenning. She has also sent them a 13,000-word report. Mason is appealing to shareholders to put human health and nature ahead of profit and to stop funding Bayer. In her report, she sets out why shareholders should[Read More…]

Right Kind of Green: Agroecology

Right Kind of Green: Agroecology

The globalised industrial food system that transnational agri-food conglomerates promote is failing to feed the world. It is responsible for some of the planet’s most pressing political, social and environmental crises. Whether it involves the undermining or destruction of what were once largely self-sufficient agrarian economies in Africa or the devastating impacts of soy cultivation in Argentina, localised, traditional methods of food production have given way[Read More…]

by 10/10/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Pesticides in the Dock: Ecological Apocalypse but Business as Usual

Pesticides in the Dock: Ecological Apocalypse but Business as Usual

Much of the following article is based on a new 20-page report by environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason. Readers are urged to access the full report containing all relevant citations here.    In a new paper published in King’s Law Journal –  ‘The Chemical Anthropocene: Glyphosate as a Case Study of Pesticide Exposures’ – the authors Alessandra Arcuri and Yogi Hale Hendlin state: “As[Read More…]

by 24/09/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Poisoning of the Food Chain is Global but UK Officials Ignore Pesticides and Blame Alcohol and Biscuits for Rising Rates of Disease  

Poisoning of the Food Chain is Global but UK Officials Ignore Pesticides and Blame Alcohol and Biscuits for Rising Rates of Disease  

The information below and the quotes were taken from the 12-page report that accompanied Rosemary Mason’s recent open letter to the Chief Medical Officer to England, Sally Davies. It can be accessed here. Although the following focuses on the situation in the UK, the chemical onslaught on our food chain is global. For instance, researcher and policy expert Devinder Sharma,[Read More…]

by 10/09/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Treadmill of Magic Seeds and Broken Promises: Dismantling the Myth of Bt Cotton Success in India

Treadmill of Magic Seeds and Broken Promises: Dismantling the Myth of Bt Cotton Success in India

Political posturing aligned with commercial interests means that truth is becoming a casualty in the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops in India. The industry narrative surrounding Bt cotton is that it has been a great success. The current Modi-led administration is parroting this claim and argues its success must be replicated by adopting a range of GM food crops,[Read More…]

by 06/09/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Boris Johnson, GMOs and Glyphosate: Irresponsible, Negligent and Criminal?

Boris Johnson, GMOs and Glyphosate: Irresponsible, Negligent and Criminal?

  In his first speech to parliament as British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “Let’s start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.” Johnson reads from a well-rehearsed script. The ‘GM will feed the world mantra’ is pure industry spin. There is already enough[Read More…]

Offering Choice but Delivering Tyranny: The Corporate Capture of Agriculture

Offering Choice but Delivering Tyranny: The Corporate Capture of Agriculture

Many lobbyists talk a lot about critics of genetic engineering technology denying choice to farmers. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies to maximise choice and options. At the same time, somewhat ironically, they decry organic agriculture and proven agroecological approaches, presumably because these practices have no need for the proprietary inputs of the[Read More…]

India’s Tryst with Destiny: Freedom Struggle from Exploitation and Degradation Is Global

India’s Tryst with Destiny: Freedom Struggle from Exploitation and Degradation Is Global

Today, we are in the grip of a globalised system of capitalism which drives narcissism, domination, ego, anthropocentrism, speciesism and plunder. A system that is using up oil, water and other resources much faster than they can ever be regenerated. We have poisoned the rivers and oceans, destroyed natural habitats, driven wildlife species to (the edge of) extinction and have altered[Read More…]

by 07/08/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Poisoned for Profit: Whether in the UK or India, We Are Not the Agrochemical Industry’s Guinea Pigs

Poisoned for Profit: Whether in the UK or India, We Are Not the Agrochemical Industry’s Guinea Pigs

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Chemicals Regulation Division (HSE) in the UK claiming that the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup has poisoned her nature reserve in South Wales and is also poisoning people across the UK (she includes herself here, as she[Read More…]

by 27/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Food Scandals and Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed

Food Scandals and Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed

Mad cow disease is a fatal epidemic neurological syndrome created by the agricultural industry, farmers and food processors explains Rosemary Mason in her new fully referenced report on pesticides and mad cow disease (it can be read here).  In 1987, an epidemic of a fatal neurological disease in cows suddenly appeared in Britain. Cows became uncoordinated, staggered around, collapsed and[Read More…]

by 20/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Toxic Agriculture Is the Problem Not the Solution

From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Toxic Agriculture Is the Problem Not the Solution

Why did the European Food Safety Authority claim that glyphosate was not ecotoxic? This is the question environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason poses in her new 23-page report which can be accessed in full here. In places, the report reads like a compilation of peer-reviewed studies and official reports that have documented the adverse impacts of chemicals used in modern agriculture.[Read More…]

by 04/07/2019 Comments are Disabled India
‘Modified’: A Film About GMOs and the Corruption of the Food Supply for Profit

‘Modified’: A Film About GMOs and the Corruption of the Food Supply for Profit

Parts of the documentary Modified are spent at the kitchen table. But it’s not really a tale about wonderful recipes or the preparation of food. Ultimately, it’s a story of capitalism, money and power and how our most basic rights are being eroded by unscrupulous commercial interests. The film centres on its maker, Aube Giroux, who resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.[Read More…]

by 24/06/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India: Political Posturing, Displaying Contempt for the Wider Public Interest

Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India: Political Posturing, Displaying Contempt for the Wider Public Interest

In February 2010, the Indian government placed an indefinite moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal. Prior to this decision, numerous independent scientific experts from India and abroad had pointed out safety concerns regarding Bt (insecticidal) brinjal based on data and reports in the biosafety dossier that Mahyco, the crop developer, had submitted to the regulators. The then Minister of[Read More…]

From Glyphosate to Front Groups: Fraud, Deception and Toxic Tactics

From Glyphosate to Front Groups: Fraud, Deception and Toxic Tactics

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the Editor-in-Chief of the British Medical Journal and the British Medical Association Council Chairman, Chaand Nagpaul. Her purpose is to not only draw attention to the impact of biocides, not least that of glyphosate, on health and the environment but also to bring attention to the corruption that allows this to continue.[Read More…]

by 05/06/2019 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Illegal Bt Brinjal In India: A Call To Initiate Criminal Proceedings Against Regulators And Corporations

Illegal Bt Brinjal In India: A Call To Initiate Criminal Proceedings Against Regulators And Corporations

What is the point in central government orders and carefully thought out regulatory norms if government officials and regulators act with blatant disregard? This is precisely what we now see happening in India where genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are concerned. India has the greatest brinjal germplasm in the world with 2,500 varieties, including wild species. Following news in April that[Read More…]

by 13/05/2019 1 comment India
Bt Brinjal Illegally Growing in India: Who Is Really Pulling the Strings? | Colin Todhunter

Bt Brinjal Illegally Growing in India: Who Is Really Pulling the Strings? | Colin Todhunter

In February 2010, the Indian government placed an indefinite moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal. Prior to this decision, numerous independent scientists from India and abroad had pointed out safety concerns regarding Bt brinjal based on data and reports in the biosafety dossier that Mahyco, the crop developer, had submitted to the regulators. Campaigner Aruna Rodrigues explains: “The then Minister[Read More…]

by 28/04/2019 1 comment India
As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?

As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?

In 1830, British colonial administrator Lord Metcalfe said  India’s villages were little republics that had nearly everything they could want for within themselves. India’s ability to endure derived from these communities: “Dynasty after dynasty tumbles down but the village community remains the same. It is in a high degree conducive to their happiness, and to the enjoyment of a great portion[Read More…]

by 22/04/2019 Comments are Disabled India
2019 Indian General Election: Manifesto Demand for Indefinite Moratorium on GMOs

2019 Indian General Election: Manifesto Demand for Indefinite Moratorium on GMOs

A new ‘Political Manifesto’ has demanded an indefinite moratorium on the environmental release of GMOs in India pending independent and rigorous biosafety risk assessment and regulation. The documents states: “GMO contamination of our seeds, our foundation seed stock, will change the structure of our food at the molecular level. Any harm or toxicity that there is will remain, without the[Read More…]

by 01/04/2019 Comments are Disabled India
India’s Agrarian Crisis: Dismantling ‘Development’

India’s Agrarian Crisis: Dismantling ‘Development’

In his 1978 book ‘India Mortgaged’, T.N. Reddy predicted the country would one day open all sectors to foreign direct investment and surrender economic sovereignty to imperialist powers. Today, the US and Europe cling to a moribund form of capitalism and have used various mechanisms to bolster the system in the face of economic stagnation and massive inequalities: the raiding of public budgets,[Read More…]

by 14/03/2019 1 comment India
From Late Victorian Holocausts to 21st Century Imperialism: Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

From Late Victorian Holocausts to 21st Century Imperialism: Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic[Read More…]

by 01/03/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Oil, Agriculture and Imperialism: Averting the Fast-Track to Armageddon?

Oil, Agriculture and Imperialism: Averting the Fast-Track to Armageddon?

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has more or less admitted that the ongoing destabilisation of Venezuela is about grabbing its oil. He recently stated: “We’re looking at the oil assets… We’re in conversation with major American companies now… It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and[Read More…]

by 09/02/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Open Letter to Bayer CropScience: Bayer Has Never Been Transparent In Its Life!

Open Letter to Bayer CropScience: Bayer Has Never Been Transparent In Its Life!

“Transparency creates trust. At Bayer, we embrace our responsibility to communicate how we assess our products’ safety — and we recognize that people around the world want more information around glyphosate. This month, we published more than 300 study summaries on the safety of glyphosate on our dedicated transparency website. “ Mason is scathing in her response and begins her letter by[Read More…]

by 09/01/2019 1 comment World
Reckless Gamble for Profit that Placed Indian Cotton Farmers in Corporate Noose

Reckless Gamble for Profit that Placed Indian Cotton Farmers in Corporate Noose

The dubious performance (failure) of genetically engineered Bt cotton, officially India’s only GM crop, should serve as a warning as the push within the country to adopt GM across a wide range of food crops continues. This article provides an outline of some key reports and papers that have appeared in the last few years on Bt cotton in India. In[Read More…]

by 26/12/2018 1 comment India
The GMO Issue Reaches Boiling Point in India: Interview with Aruna Rodrigues

The GMO Issue Reaches Boiling Point in India: Interview with Aruna Rodrigues

In a recent article published on the India-based News18 site (CNN), prominent US biologist Nina Federoff was reported as saying it is time for India to grant farmers access to genetically modified (GM) crops. In an interview with the site, she says there is no evidence that GM crops are dangerous when consumed either by people in food or by animals in feed. Federoff says that the commercial[Read More…]

M.S. Swaminathan

Father of Green Revolution in India Rejects GM Crops

Genetically modified (GM) cotton in India is a failure. India should reject GM mustard. And like the Green Revolution, GM agriculture poses risks and is unsustainable. Regulatory bodies are dogged by incompetency and conflicts of interest. GM crops should therefore be banned. You may have heard much of this before. But what is different this time is that the claims[Read More…]

Approaching Development: GMO Propaganda and Neoliberalism vs Localisation and Agroecology  

Approaching Development: GMO Propaganda and Neoliberalism vs Localisation and Agroecology  

What people communicate is a matter of choice. But what can be more revealing are the issues they choose to avoid. There are certain prominent pro-GMO activists who describe themselves as ‘science communicators’. They hit out at those who question their views or who have valid criticisms of GM technology and then play the role of persecuted victim, believing that,[Read More…]

by 19/11/2018 1 comment India
India’s Farmers Plan Mass March to the Nation’s Parliament as Agrarian Crisis Reaches “Civilization Proportions”

India’s Farmers Plan Mass March to the Nation’s Parliament as Agrarian Crisis Reaches “Civilization Proportions”

With over 800 million people, rural India is arguably the most interesting and complex place on the planet. And yet it is also one of the most neglected in terms of both investment and media coverage. Veteran journalist and founder of the People’s Archive of Rural India P. Sainath argues that the majority of Indians do not count to the nation’s[Read More…]

by 29/10/2018 3 comments India
From GM Potatoes To Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency And Toxic Agriculture

From GM Potatoes To Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency And Toxic Agriculture

Food and environment campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just produced the report ‘Shockingly high levels of weedkiller found in popular breakfast cereals marketed for British children’. In this 68-page document, she draws from new research in the UK that mirrors findings from the US about the dangerous levels of glyphosate found in food, especially products aimed at children (glyphosate is[Read More…]

Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism

Food, Justice, Violence and Capitalism

In 2015, India’s internal intelligence agency wrote a report that depicted various campaigners and groups as working against the national interest. The report singled out environmental activists and NGOs that had been protesting against state-corporate policies. Those largely undemocratic and unconstitutional policies were endangering rivers, forests and local ecologies, destroying and oppressing marginalised communities, entrenching the corporatisation of agriculture and[Read More…]

by 07/10/2018 1 comment World
Mortgaging the Public Interest: Gross Maladministration and the Illegal Entry of GMOs into India

Mortgaging the Public Interest: Gross Maladministration and the Illegal Entry of GMOs into India

Despite five high-level reports (listed here) in India advising against the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops, the drive to get GM mustard commercialised (which would be India’s first officially-approved GM food crop) has been relentless. Although the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has given it the nod, GM mustard remains held up in the Supreme Court mainly due to a[Read More…]

The State of Independence: British Colonialism Replaced by a New Hegemony

The State of Independence: British Colonialism Replaced by a New Hegemony

India celebrates its independence from Britain on 15 August. However, the system of British colonial dominance has been replaced by a new hegemony based on the systemic rule of transnational capital, enforced by global institutions like the World Bank and WTO. At the same time, global agribusiness corporations are stepping into the boots of the former East India Company. The[Read More…]

by 09/08/2018 1 comment India
Toxic Silence: Public Officials, Monsanto and the Media

Toxic Silence: Public Officials, Monsanto and the Media

Are you being lied to or misled? Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason certainly thinks so and has provided much supporting evidence. She has been campaigning against the agrochemical industry for many years (all her work can be accessed here) and has borne witness to the destruction of her own nature reserve in South Wales, which she argues is due to the widespread spraying of[Read More…]

India Mortgaged? Forced-Fed Illness and the Neoliberal Food Regime

India Mortgaged? Forced-Fed Illness and the Neoliberal Food Regime

Like many countries, India’s food system was essentially clean just a generation or two ago but is now being comprehensively contaminated with sugar, bad fats, synthetic additives, GMOs and pesticides under the country’s neoliberal ‘great leap forward’. The result has been a surge in obesity, diabetes and cancer incidence, while there has been no let-up in the under-nutrition of those[Read More…]

Corporate Spin: Genetically Modifying the Way to Food Security?

Corporate Spin: Genetically Modifying the Way to Food Security?

Those familiar with the debate around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be forgiven for thinking that science alone can solve the world’s food problems. The industry asserts that GMOs are vital if the world is to increase agricultural productivity and we are going to feed a growing global population. There is also the distinct impression that the GMO issue is all about ‘science’[Read More…]

Agrarian Crisis and Climate Catastrophe: Forged in India, Made in Washington

Agrarian Crisis and Climate Catastrophe: Forged in India, Made in Washington

India is under siege from international capital. It is on course not only to be permanently beholden to US state-corporate interests but is heading towards environmental catastrophe much faster than many may think. According to the World Bank’s lending report, based on data compiled up to 2015, India was easily the largest recipient of its loans in the history of the institution. Unsurprisingly,[Read More…]

by 09/07/2018 Comments are Disabled India
 GMO Agriculture and the Narrative of Choice

 GMO Agriculture and the Narrative of Choice

The pro-GMO lobby claim critics of the technology ‘deny farmers choice’. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies. It is all about maximising choice and options. Taken at face value, who would want to deny choice? At the same time, however, we do not want to end up offering a false choice (rolling[Read More…]

GM Crops in India: Approval by Contamination?

GM Crops in India: Approval by Contamination?

The regulatory system for GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in India is in tatters. So said the Coalition for a GMFree India (CGMFI) in 2017 after media reports about the illegal cultivation of GM soybean in the country. In India, five high-level reports have already advised against the adoption of GM crops: The ‘Jairam Ramesh Report’, imposing an indefinite moratorium on Bt Brinjal [Feb 2010]; The ‘Sopory[Read More…]

Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight

Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight

The Print is a Delhi-based, online news magazine that began operations in August 2017. On 9 June, it published a short article by Sandhya Ramesh under the title ‘EU study trashes anti-GM paper by French expert who Jairam Ramesh cited to ban Bt Brinjal’. Sandhya Ramesh is a senior assistant editor (science) at The Print. Preceding the piece was the headline: ‘EU[Read More…]

The Empire Strikes Back: Leaving Indian Farmers in the Dirt

The Empire Strikes Back: Leaving Indian Farmers in the Dirt

By 2050, if current policies continue, India could have numerous mega-cities with up to 30-40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million people (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. Given current trends in the job market, it could mean tens of millions of city-based rural migrants without much work: victims of the ill thought out policies we currently see[Read More…]

by 03/06/2018 2 comments India
From Bernays to Trump, Hooked on Misery

From Bernays to Trump, Hooked on Misery

The father of modern public relations and spin, Edward Bernays was a cold, cynical manipulator of mass perception. He knew that by shaping people’s desires in a certain way, governments and corporations could sell just about any notion to the masses and manipulate them at will. Whether it was whipping up fear about the bogeyman of communism or selling the[Read More…]

by 31/05/2018 1 comment World
Photo by George M. Groutas

Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset

Food and agriculture across the world is in crisis. Food is becoming denutrified and unhealthy and diets less diverse. There is a loss of biodiversity, which threatens food security, soils are being degraded, water sources polluted and depleted and smallholder farmers, so vital to global food production, are being squeezed off their land and out of farming. A minority of the global population has access to so much food than it[Read More…]

Agrochemicals and Institutional Corruption: Pleading with the Slave Master Will Not Set You Free

Agrochemicals and Institutional Corruption: Pleading with the Slave Master Will Not Set You Free

Environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Health Commissioner Vytenis Andruikaitis. As set out below, she asks these top officials some very pertinent questions about the EU’s collusion with the agrochemical corporations. 1) In authorising glyphosate on behalf of the Glyphosate Task Force[Read More…]

 I Want to Ride My Bicycle: Smart Cities and the Danish Concept of ‘Hygge’

 I Want to Ride My Bicycle: Smart Cities and the Danish Concept of ‘Hygge’

Indian cities are in crisis. Spend any length of time in a large city there and you will notice the overcrowding, the power and water shortages and, during monsoon, the streets that transform into stinking, litter-strewn rivers. At times, these cities can be almost unbearable to live in. Little wonder then that the concept of ‘smart cities’ is taking hold among[Read More…]

by 30/04/2018 1 comment Counter Solutions
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest

Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest

Until the 17th century, India was the richest country in the world and had controlled a third of global wealth. Political unity and military security helped evolve a uniform economic system, increased trade and enhanced agricultural productivity. Once the British had colonised India and left, it was a basket case. Indian politician and writer Shashi Kapoor has documented the state the British left[Read More…]

by 18/04/2018 2 comments Imperialism
Mass Deception and the Prelude to World War

Mass Deception and the Prelude to World War

In Libya, NATO bombed a path to Tripoli to help its proxy forces on the ground oust Gaddafi. Tens of thousands lost their lives and that country’s social fabric and infrastructure now lies in ruins. Gaddafi was murdered and his plans to assert African independence and undermine Western (not least French) hegemony on that continent have been rendered obsolete. In[Read More…]

by 02/04/2018 4 comments World
Theresa May Playing a Reckless Game of Nuclear Roulette 

Theresa May Playing a Reckless Game of Nuclear Roulette 

Back in May 2017, just prior to the British general election, I wrote a piece arguing that a victory for Theresa May would see Britain dragged further towards war with Russia. While Britain is militarily weak compared to Russia, the point was that May would continue to do the bidding of Washington by demonising that country and engaging in provocative[Read More…]

by 28/03/2018 3 comments World
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War

The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War

The United States has devised on ongoing strategy of tension towards Russia. It has initiated economic sanctions against Moscow, concocted a narrative about ‘Russian aggression’ for public consumption and has by various means attempted to undermine and weaken the energy-dependent Russian eeconomy. It has moreover instigated a coup on Russia’s doorstep in Ukraine and is escalating tensions by placing troops in Europe. The reality is that[Read More…]

by 17/03/2018 1 comment World
Offshoring Indian Agriculture: Is India Becoming a GMO Trash Can?

Offshoring Indian Agriculture: Is India Becoming a GMO Trash Can?

The regulatory system for GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in India is in tatters. So said the Coalition for a GMFree India (CGMFI) in 2017 after media reports about the illegal cultivation of GM soybean in the country. In India, five high-level reports have already advised against the adoption of GM crops: The ‘Jairam Ramesh Report’, imposing an indefinite moratorium on Bt Brinjal [Feb 2010]; The ‘Sopory[Read More…]

 Sickening Relations: The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector

 Sickening Relations: The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector

The Royal Society in the UK is a self-governing fellowship of distinguished scientists. Its purpose is reflected in its founding charters of the 1660s: to recognise, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Its motto, nullius in verba, is taken to mean ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is[Read More…]

Fabricated Reality: Lobbying For GMO Agriculture In India

Fabricated Reality: Lobbying For GMO Agriculture In India

Richard John Roberts is a prominent biochemist and molecular biologist. On his recent visits to India, he has talked about the supposed virtues of genetically modified (GM) food and crops, while attacking people who have valid concerns about the technology. In 2015, while in Mysore, he implied the denial of GM food to people in developing nations is a crime against[Read More…]

Tearing Down The Facade of Legitimacy: Industrial Agriculture And The Agrochemical Industry 

Tearing Down The Facade of Legitimacy: Industrial Agriculture And The Agrochemical Industry 

The chemical-intensive industrial model of agriculture has secured the status of ‘thick legitimacy’. This status stems from on an intricate web of processes successfully spun in the scientific, policy and political arenas. It status allows the model to persist and appear  normal and necessary. This perceived legitimacy derives from the lobbying, financial clout and political power of agribusiness conglomerates which, throughout[Read More…]

 Resisting Tyranny: Struggling For Seed Sovereignty In Latin America

 Resisting Tyranny: Struggling For Seed Sovereignty In Latin America

The Latin America Seeds Collective has just released a 40-minute film (‘Seeds: Common or Corporate Property?) which documents the resistance of peasant farmers to the corporate takeover of their agriculture. The film describes how seed has been central to agriculture for 10,000 years. Farmers have been saving, exchanging and developing seeds for millennia. Seeds have been handed down from generation to[Read More…]

New Delhi: Farmers display fruits and vegetables at the Kisan Mukti Sansad, organised to highlight the farmers' issues, in New Delhi on Monday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav  (PTI11_20_2017_000103B)

Global Capitalism And Livelihoods Denied: Whipping India’s Farmers Into Submission

In India, there is a push to drive people from the countryside into cities. The mainstream narrative implies that urbanisation is natural in the evolution of societies and constitutes progress. The World Bank wants India to relocate 400 million people to urban centres. Former Chief Finance Minister P. Chidambaram once stated that 85% of the population would eventually live in[Read More…]

by 23/01/2018 1 comment India, Globalisation
Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate The Globalisation Of Bad Food, Poor Health And Environmental Catastrophe

Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate The Globalisation Of Bad Food, Poor Health And Environmental Catastrophe

Co-Written By Rosemary Mason and Colin Todhunter If the proposed Monsanto-Bayer merger goes through, the new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Monsanto held a 26% market share of all seeds sold in 2011. Bayer sells 17% of the world’s total agrochemicals and also has a seeds sector. If competition authorities pass the[Read More…]

by 22/01/2018 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection, Globalisation
Monsanto, Bayer And Neoliberalism: A Case of Hobson’s Choice

Monsanto, Bayer And Neoliberalism: A Case of Hobson’s Choice

A Bayer marketing professional recently stated on Twitter that critics of GMOs deny choice to farmers. It’s a common accusation by the pro-GMO lobby. In a previous article, I noted the idea that GMOs offer increased choice is erroneous and that, by implication, corporations like Bayer or Monsanto restrict options. Much evidence suggests that GMOs provide a false choice. However, to[Read More…]

GMOs, Global Agribusiness And The Destruction of Choice

GMOs, Global Agribusiness And The Destruction of Choice

  One of the myths perpetuated by the pro-GMO (genetically modified organisms) lobby is that critics of GMOs in agriculture are denying choice to farmers and have an ideological agenda. The narrative is that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies, including GM crops. Before addressing this issue, we should remind ourselves that GMOs have been[Read More…]

Import And Die: Self-Sufficiency And Food Security In India

Import And Die: Self-Sufficiency And Food Security In India

India’s Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu recently stated that the country cannot survive on imported produce for its food security. He called for a greater focus on agriculture: “We can export (agricultural produce) for the time being but the population is growing.” Naidu pointed out what has become increasingly apparent: “People are leaving agriculture and going to other professions. An agriculturist does not[Read More…]

by 18/12/2017 1 comment India
GM Food Crops Illegally Growing In India: The Criminal Plan To Change The Genetic Core of the Nation’s Food System

GM Food Crops Illegally Growing In India: The Criminal Plan To Change The Genetic Core of the Nation’s Food System

The GM Contamination Register database is run by Genewatch and Greenpeace and contains cases of genetically modified (GM) contamination dating from 1997. The authors of a 2014 paper, published in the International Journal of Food Contamination, analysed 400 or so cases in the database by crop and country. GM rice accounted for about a third of contamination cases, despite the fact there is[Read More…]

Rolling Back The Tide of Pesticide Poison, Corruption And Looming Mass Extinction 

Rolling Back The Tide of Pesticide Poison, Corruption And Looming Mass Extinction 

      An anthropogenic mass extinction is underway that will affect all life on the planet and humans will struggle to survive the phenomenon. So claims Dr Rosemary Mason in a paper (2015) in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry. Loss of biodiversity is the most urgent of the environmental problems because this type of diversity is critical to ecosystem services and[Read More…]

by 24/10/2017 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
The Global Food And Health Crisis: Monsanto’s Science Is Bogus

The Global Food And Health Crisis: Monsanto’s Science Is Bogus

Co-Written By Rosemary Mason and Colin Todhunter Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the new director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). With a $4 billion annual budget, WHO’s decisions affects us all and its decisions also affect the bottom line of some of the most powerful corporations on the planet. Health is political. And health is big business. For instance, WHO[Read More…]

Right Kind of Green: Agroecology

Right Kind of Green: Agroecology

The globalised industrial food system that transnational agri-food conglomerates promote is failing to feed the world. It is responsible for some of the planet’s most pressing political, social and environmental crises. Whether it involves the undermining or destruction of what were once largely self-sufficient agrarian economies in Africa or the devastating impacts of soy cultivation in Argentina, localised, traditional methods of food production have given way[Read More…]

GM Mustard And The Indian Government: The Game Is Up, The Emperor Has No Clothes!

GM Mustard And The Indian Government: The Game Is Up, The Emperor Has No Clothes!

The next stage of the case involving the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is to be heard on 15 September in the Supreme Court (SC). GM mustard could be India’s first commercially cultivated GM food crop, which could very well open the floodgates to the commercialisation of various other food crops that are in the pipeline. Lead[Read More…]

by 13/09/2017 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Cultural Imperialism And The Seeds of Catastrophe: Ripping Up The Social Fabric of India 

Cultural Imperialism And The Seeds of Catastrophe: Ripping Up The Social Fabric of India 

Foreign capital is dictating the prevailing development agenda in India. The aim is to replace current structures with a system of industrial agriculture suited to the needs of Western agribusiness, food processing and retail concerns (see this). The plan is for a fraction of the population left in farming working on contracts for large suppliers and large chain supermarkets offering a diet[Read More…]

by 11/09/2017 Comments are Disabled Globalisation
The Stomach-Churning Violence Of Monsanto, Bayer And The Agrochemical Oligopoly

The Stomach-Churning Violence Of Monsanto, Bayer And The Agrochemical Oligopoly

As humans, we have evolved with the natural environment over millennia. We have learned what to eat and what not to eat, what to grow and how to grow it and our diets have developed accordingly. We have hunted, gathered, planted and harvested. Our overall survival as a species has been based on gradual, emerging relationships with the seasons, insects,[Read More…]

by 29/08/2017 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Soil, Monsanto And The Agribusiness Giants: Conning The World With Snake Oil And Doughnuts

Soil, Monsanto And The Agribusiness Giants: Conning The World With Snake Oil And Doughnuts

In their rush to readily promote neoliberal dogma and corporate-inspired PR, many government officials, scientists and journalists take as given that profit-driven transnational corporations have a legitimate claim to be custodians of natural assets. There is the premise that water, food, soil and agriculture should be handed over to powerful and wholly corrupt transnational corporations to milk for profit, under the pretence these entities are[Read More…]

Indian Independence: Forged in Washington?

Indian Independence: Forged in Washington?

India commemorates the end of British rule 70 years ago on 15 August. Now might be an apt moment to consider where India might be heading, especially given recent developments. If one policy stands out over the past 12 months, it would have to be demonetisation. Removing all 500- and 1000-rupee notes from circulation overnight was in part a bail[Read More…]

by 30/07/2017 1 comment India
Codex  Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations

Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations

“Our soils are sick from greed-based, irresponsible agricultural practices, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, erosion and mineral depletion, all of which stop or reduce adequate microbial activity in the soil, rendering them sick and/or dead and sterile. Sick soils make for sick plants and sick plants make for sick humans and animals.” Scott Tips, president of the National Health Federation, Crashing Monsanto’s Pesticide[Read More…]

In India, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Ditches Science for Spin in Push for GM Mustard

In India, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Ditches Science for Spin in Push for GM Mustard

The case surrounding the approval of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is coming to a head on the back of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) recommending approval. The final decision now rests with Harsh Vardhan, minister of the environment. As India’s first commercial GM food crop, the concern is that it is in effect a Trojan horse crop and an[Read More…]

When Will Co-opted Figures And Board Members Of Companies Like Monsanto And Bayer Be Hauled Into Court?

When Will Co-opted Figures And Board Members Of Companies Like Monsanto And Bayer Be Hauled Into Court?

The public is being poisoned, disease rates are spiralling, waterways are contaminated, soil is being degraded, insects, birds, invertebrates and plant diversity are in dramatic decline. Humanity and the planet are being poisoned for profit. We are experiencing an assault on life by the agrotoxins industry, which is in fact contributing to a sixth mass extinction. Armed with a harmful chemical cocktail of[Read More…]

Future Shock: Imagining India

Future Shock: Imagining India

What might a future India look like? If current policies continue, it could mean dozens of mega-cities with up to 40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. It could also mean hundreds of millions of former rural dwellers without any work and thus anywhere decent to live in these cities. And what[Read More…]

by 26/06/2017 1 comment India
A Grain of Truth: RCEP And The Corporate Hijack Of Indian Agriculture

A Grain of Truth: RCEP And The Corporate Hijack Of Indian Agriculture

The plight of farmers in India has been well documented. A combination of debt, economic liberalisation, subsidised imports, rising input costs and a shift to cash crops (including GM cotton) has caused massive financial distress. Over 300,000 (perhaps closer to 400,000) have taken their lives over the last 20 years. From the effects of the Green Revolution (degraded soils, falling[Read More…]

by 21/06/2017 1 comment India
Forbes’ ‘Go Bust’ Prescription For Indian Farmers Is A Death Warrant

Forbes’ ‘Go Bust’ Prescription For Indian Farmers Is A Death Warrant

A fellow at the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) in London, Tim Worstall recently argued on the Forbes website that India’s farmers should be allowed to go bust because that is how economic development works. Arguing that loan waivers and support price guarantees for farmers help to undermine India’s growth and prosperity, he stated that farmers should go and do something that is more productive

by 14/06/2017 4 comments India
Toxic Relations: Stop Colluding With Monsanto And The Agrochemical Industry!   

Toxic Relations: Stop Colluding With Monsanto And The Agrochemical Industry!   

Environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the UK’s Policy Advisor Nigel Chadwick at the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?

The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?

Agrochemicals are fueling disease and environmental destruction across the world and corporations need to be properly held account for their crimes and charges laid against them in an international court of law.

Prominent Lawyer Prashant Bhushan Urges Indian Government to Stop Commercialisation of GM Mustard 

Prominent Lawyer Prashant Bhushan Urges Indian Government to Stop Commercialisation of GM Mustard 

The environment ministry in India will make the final call after the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee recently gave a positive recommendation for the commercial cultivation of GM mustard. Whether the crop is commercially cultivated could depend on the Supreme Court, which is hearing a case seeking a moratorium on its commercial release. The government has stated it will abide by[Read More…]

A Victory for Theresa May Will See Britain Dragged Further Towards War With Russia

A Victory for Theresa May Will See Britain Dragged Further Towards War With Russia

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been warned by various political leaders in Britain not to rush to attack Syrian government forces if she wins the general election in June. The Guardian reported that she might hold a vote on military action this summer. If this is the case, it would imply that she wants to press ahead without UN backing. May[Read More…]

by 05/05/2017 2 comments World
Britain Must Break Free From The Agrochemical Cartel

Britain Must Break Free From The Agrochemical Cartel

Agrochemical manufacturers are knowingly poisoning people and the environment in the name of profit and greed. Communities, countries, ecosystems and species have become disposable inconveniences. Corporate totalitarian tries to hide beneath an increasingly fragile facade of democracy. The agrochemicals industry lobbies hard to have its products put on the market and ensures that they remain there. It uses PR firms and front[Read More…]

Jeremy Corbyn Is Britain’s Best Hope

Jeremy Corbyn Is Britain’s Best Hope

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has suggested the UK could join US military action against the Syrian government without parliamentary approval. Johnson said he and PM Theresa May agreed that in the event of another chemical attack by the Assad regime, it would be hard for the UK to refuse any request to join military action. No evidence has been provided that[Read More…]

by 28/04/2017 1 comment World
From Earth Day to The Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial

From Earth Day to The Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial

World Environment Day (WED) occurs on 5 June every year. Promoted by the United Nations, its aim is to encourage global awareness and action for the protection of the environment. Since its inauguration in 1974, WED has helped bring attention to various issues, including global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. We also have Earth Day, celebrated annually on 22 April. On this day. various[Read More…]

Pic credit: www.enincon.com

From Syria To Monsanto: A Moribund System Of Deceit And Destruction

  Today, as the dominant global power, the US roles out its brand of unfettered capitalism across the world. US citizens constitute just five percent of the world’s population but consume 24 percent of global energy. Consider the consequences of a US-style model of ‘development’ if it were to be aspired to and copied throughout the world (which it is in places[Read More…]

by 07/04/2017 1 comment Globalisation
Monsanto In India: The Sacred And The Profane

Monsanto In India: The Sacred And The Profane

Foreign capital is dictating the prevailing development agenda in India. There is a deliberate strategy to make agriculture financially non-viable for India’s small farms, to get most farmers out of farming and to impose a World Bank sanctioned model of food production. The aim is to replace current structures with a system of industrial (GM) agriculture suited to the needs[Read More…]

by 28/03/2017 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Stop Protecting The Criminality Of The Global Pesticides Industry

Stop Protecting The Criminality Of The Global Pesticides Industry

The agrichemicals industry wallows like an overblown hog in a cesspool of corruption. With its snout firmly embedded in the trough of corporate profit to the detriment of all else, it is most likely responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were. It indulges in criminality that hides behind corporate public relations, media misrepresentations and[Read More…]

Enemy of Reason: Behind the Mask of Pro-GMO Neoliberal Ideology

Enemy of Reason: Behind the Mask of Pro-GMO Neoliberal Ideology

Professor Shanthu Shantharam recently wrote a response to Viva Kermani’s well thought out article about injecting some honesty into the debate about genetically modified (GM) food and crops. Both pieces appeared the Indian publication Swarajya. Shantharam’s response is typical of what we have come to expect from him: a mixture of abuse, personal attacks and gross misrepresentation of both issues and facts. He says of Kermani’s[Read More…]

Rice threshing near Sangrur, SE Punjab, India. (Photo:  Neil Palmer (CIAT)/flickr/cc)

Sweat Shops, GMOs and Neoliberal Fundamentalism: The Agroecological Alternative to Global Capitalism

Much of the argument in favour of GM agriculture involves little more than misrepresentations and unscrupulous attacks on those who express concerns about the technology and its impacts. These attacks are in part designed to whip up populist sentiment and denigrate critics so that corporate interests can secure further control over agriculture. They also serve to divert attention from the underlying issues pertaining to hunger and poverty and genuine[Read More…]

Organic Vs Industrial Chemical-Dependent Agriculture: Philosophies And Practices

Organic Vs Industrial Chemical-Dependent Agriculture: Philosophies And Practices

What follows is a summary of this article, ‘A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed’, and is a preamble to something that was recently forwarded to me by Emeritus Professor Stuart B. Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology, School of Education, Western Sydney University. In 2007, as part of a requested submission to the International Assessment of Agricultural[Read More…]

Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission: A System of Food and Agriculture Should Serve the Public, Not Corporate Interests

Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission: A System of Food and Agriculture Should Serve the Public, Not Corporate Interests

Sir John Beddington is Senior Advisor and Professor of Natural Resources Management at the Oxford Martin School in Oxford, UK. He also belongs to the Central Team of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations (OMC) and is former Chief Scientific Adviser to the British government and Head of the Government Office for Science. Bringing together international leaders from government, business and[Read More…]

Photo by MDGLillehammer

Pro-GMO Scientists Blinded By Technology And Wedded To Ideology

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK and has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC). Bringing together international leaders from government, business and civil society, the OMC aims to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business and identify ways of overcoming today’s gridlock in key international negotiations. The OMC’s website says[Read More…]

Softening-Up The UK Public For GM: Monsanto And Former UK Civil Servant Deal In PR, Not Science And Objective Debate

Softening-Up The UK Public For GM: Monsanto And Former UK Civil Servant Deal In PR, Not Science And Objective Debate

On the back of Brexit, the UK government is planning what could be a disastrous trade deal with the Trump administration. It would likely be worse than the secretive and undemocratic stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal that the EU has been planning with the US. As for food and agriculture, such a trade deal would be contingent on[Read More…]

GM Mustard Case Returns To Court In India

GM Mustard Case Returns To Court In India

This week, India’s Supreme Court will hear the next installment of the case brought by Aruna Rodrigues to stop the commercial release of genetically modified mustard.  The Government of India is attempting to push through the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) food crops. In an attempt to spearhead the drive by making GM mustard the first such crop in[Read More…]

Monsanto’s Communications Guru To Visit The UK: Instead Of Promoting GM, Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Actions In Wales

Monsanto’s Communications Guru To Visit The UK: Instead Of Promoting GM, Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Actions In Wales

   Monsanto is preparing a fresh effort to promote genetically modified (GM) crops to the UK public, according to a piece in The Scottish Farmer. The article notes the company recently appointed former World Bank communications strategist Vance Crowe as its ‘Director of Millenial Engagement’, a job that involves convincing the public about the benefits of GM. In March, Vance will[Read More…]

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

“The British Government has colluded with Monsanto and should be held accountable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ecocide.” Dr Rosemary Mason. The British public and the environment are being poisoned with a deadly cocktail of 320 pesticides. Moreover, Wales has become a storage dump for Monsanto’s most toxic chemicals. These are the[Read More…]

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

  The push to commercialise the growing of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently held up in court due to a lawsuit by Aruna Rodrigues. The next hearing is due in February. Rodrigues has indicated at length that, to date, procedures and tests have been corrupted by fraudulent practices, conflicts of interests and gross regulatory delinquency. Dr Deepak[Read More…]

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

A version of the following piece was originally published in June 2016. However, since then, India’s PM Narendra Modi has embarked on a ‘demonetisation’ policy, which saw around 85 percent of India’s bank notes becoming invalid overnight. Emerging evidence indicates that demonetisation was not done to curb corruption, ‘black money’ or terrorism, the reasons originally given. That was a smokescreen.[Read More…]

by 05/01/2017 5 comments India
Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly? Celebrating The Corporate Plunder Of Agriculture

Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly? Celebrating The Corporate Plunder Of Agriculture

While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on 25 December, that date was probably originally chosen due to the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar or because of one of the various other ancient seasonal festivals and celebrations around that time. Aside from the date, early Christianity also annexed many traditions (see this and this). Places where pagan gods proclaimed revelations became[Read More…]

Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties!

Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties!

Washington’s long-term plan has been to restructure indigenous agriculture across the world and tie it to an international system of trade based on export-oriented mono-cropping, commodity production for the international market and indebtedness to international financial institutions (IMF/World Bank). This result has been the creation of food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on[Read More…]

by 10/12/2016 6 comments India
What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done For India?

What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done For India?

When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But, some 25 years later, what we have seen is almost 400,000 farmers committing suicide, one of the greatest levels of inequality out of all ‘emerging’ economies, a trend towards jobless ‘growth’, an accelerating and massive illegal outflow[Read More…]

by 29/11/2016 2 comments Globalisation
Why Are Public Officials Protecting The Pesticides Industry? Digging Down Into The Cesspool Of Corruption

Why Are Public Officials Protecting The Pesticides Industry? Digging Down Into The Cesspool Of Corruption

It is based on a cesspool of corruption that is most probably responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were. It is sheer criminality that hides behind corporate public relations, media misrepresentations and the subversion of respectable-sounding agencies which masquerade as public institutions. The ‘agrochemicals-agritech industry’ should not be regarded as some kind of faceless concept because[Read More…]

GM Mustard In India: “Fudged Data,” “Unremitting Fraud” And “Monumentally Bogus”

GM Mustard In India: “Fudged Data,” “Unremitting Fraud” And “Monumentally Bogus”

The case of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India has reached the Supreme Court. The government has said it will bow to the court’s eventual ruling. That ruling could green-light GM mustard as first commercial GM food crop. If this goes ahead, there will be wide-ranging implications for Indian food and agriculture. Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues has petitioned India’s Supreme Court, seeking a moratorium on[Read More…]

Congratulations America: Have You Just Been Trumped?

Congratulations America: Have You Just Been Trumped?

I watched Donald Trump’s presidential victory speech. He spoke a lot about unity, the potential of ordinary, marginalised people and about making the US great again. He spoke about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating jobs and about finding common ground with other nations. He can be quite charismatic and, taken at face value, quite convincing. His victory was, to a[Read More…]

by 09/11/2016 2 comments World
Forget The Trump-Clinton Charade: It’s Time To Wake Up America!

Forget The Trump-Clinton Charade: It’s Time To Wake Up America!

Who will be the winners and the losers in the coming U.S. presidential election? Trump or Clinton, Clinton or Trump? The mainstream media is consumed with personality politics. Who could hold their nerve in a time of crisis? Whose integrity is purer (or less damaged)? If you were forced to choose, who would you trust your house keys with? It’s[Read More…]

by 01/11/2016 2 comments World
Is Gandhi Still Relevant?

Is Gandhi Still Relevant?

Mention Gandhi in certain circles and the response might be one of cynicism: his ideas are outdated and irrelevant in today’s world. Such a response could not be further from the truth. Gandhi could see the future impact of large-scale industrialization in terms of the devastation of the environment, the destruction of ecology and the unsustainable plunder of natural resources.[Read More…]

by 31/10/2016 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Lower Yields And Agropoisons: What Is The Point Of GM Mustard In India?   

Lower Yields And Agropoisons: What Is The Point Of GM Mustard In India?   

The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India rumbles on. As I have previously discussed here, the bottom line is government collusion over GM crop technology (that is not wanted and not needed) with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to hide in the background. The real story behind GM mustard in India[Read More…]

Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA

Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA

In her recent open letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason documents what amounts to a cesspool of corruption surrounding sections of the agrochemicals industry and the regulation of glyphosate (as found in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup). As with all her previous ‘open letters’ to officials, Mason cites ample sources to support her arguments and[Read More…]

WWF: Stop Greenwashing Capitalism, Start Holding Corporations To Account

WWF: Stop Greenwashing Capitalism, Start Holding Corporations To Account

  In the 1970s, the agrochemicals industry was able to evade effective regulation in the UK. Robert van den Bosch, wrote in 1978 in The Pesticide Conspiracy: “If one considers how dangerous these chemicals are, one would suppose that it would be government policy to minimize their use by every possible means. However, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution notes,[Read More…]

Trump and Hillary: The Tragedy Of The Great American Soap Opera

Trump and Hillary: The Tragedy Of The Great American Soap Opera

For many onlookers who reside outside the US, the run-up to that country’s presidential election appears to be some kind of made-for-TV soap opera. Amid evidence of rigging, it seems Bernie Sanders was always destined not to win the Democratic Party nomination. It seemed a sure-fire bet that Clinton would. Hilary Clinton, a war monger who supported the attack on Libya and the[Read More…]

by 11/10/2016 1 comment Imperialism
Seeds Of Occupation: India’s Stockholm Syndrome

Seeds Of Occupation: India’s Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. Wikipedia In political terms, most people might tend to associate the word ’occupation’ with a (foreign) military presence that controls a region or country. Any such[Read More…]

Toxic Allegiances And Corporate Power: Open Letter To The Oxford Martin Commission

Toxic Allegiances And Corporate Power: Open Letter To The Oxford Martin Commission

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK. In what seems to be a laudable aim, the school has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC), which has brought together 19 international leaders from government, business and civil society to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business and identify ways of overcoming[Read More…]

by 07/10/2016 1 comment Globalisation
Bayer’s Trojan Horse: Criminal Prosecution Required To Stop GM Food Crops Fraudulently Entering India

Bayer’s Trojan Horse: Criminal Prosecution Required To Stop GM Food Crops Fraudulently Entering India

The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India is close. Serious conflicts of interest, sleight of hand and regulatory delinquency – not to mention outright fraud – could mean the decision coming down in favour of commercialisation. The bottom line is government collusion with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to[Read More…]

 A System Of Food Production For Human Need, Not Corporate Greed

 A System Of Food Production For Human Need, Not Corporate Greed

There has been an adverse trend in the food and agriculture sector in recent times with the control of seeds and chemical inputs being consolidated through various proposed mergers. If these mergers go through, it would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector. Over the past couple of decades, there has already been a restriction of choice with[Read More…]

“The Dead Cannot Make A Comeback” – Is India About To Make A Catastrophic Mistake With GM Mustard?

“The Dead Cannot Make A Comeback” – Is India About To Make A Catastrophic Mistake With GM Mustard?

Global oilseed, agribusiness and biotech corporations are engaged in a long-term attack on India’s local cooking oil producers. In just 20 years, they have reduced India from self-sufficiency in cooking oil to importing half its needs. Now the government’s attempts to impose GM mustard seed threaten to wipe out a crop at the root of Indian food and farming traditions. In[Read More…]

by 20/09/2016 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Monsanto And Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse

Monsanto And Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse

News broke this week that Monsanto accepted a $66 billion takeover bid from Bayer. The new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Bayer’s crop chemicals business is the world’s second largest after Syngenta, and Monsanto is the leading commercial seeds business. Monsanto held a 26 per cent market share of all seeds sold[Read More…]

Media Silence And The Agrochemicals Industry: The Slow Poisoning Of Health And The Environment  

Media Silence And The Agrochemicals Industry: The Slow Poisoning Of Health And The Environment  

It’s an all too common tale of dirty deeds, shady deals and propaganda. Rosemary Mason’s recent open letter to journalists at The Guardian outlines how the media is failing the public by not properly reporting on the regulatory delinquency relating to GM food and the harmful chemicals being applied to crops. Much of the media is even (unwittingly) acting as[Read More…]

Monsanto In India: Meet The New Boss – Same As The Old Boss?

Monsanto In India: Meet The New Boss – Same As The Old Boss?

In capitalism, the state’s primary role is to secure the interests of private capital. The institutions of globalised capitalism – from the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO right down to the compliant bureaucracies of national states or supranational unions – facilitate private wealth accumulation that results in the forms of structural inequalities and violence (unemployment, poverty, population displacement,[Read More…]

 Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU 

 Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU 

Over half the population of the European Union (EU) is overweight or obese. Without effective action, this number will grow substantially in the next decade warns an important new report. ‘A Spoonful of Sugar: How the Food Lobby Fights Sugar Regulation in the EU’, by the research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), notes that obesity rates are rising fastest[Read More…]

by 29/07/2016 2 comments Life/Philosophy
Power And The Bomb: Conducting International Relations With The Threat Of Mass Murder

Power And The Bomb: Conducting International Relations With The Threat Of Mass Murder

“Some fell to the ground and their stomachs already expanded full, burst and organs fell out. Others had skin falling off them and others still were carrying limbs. And one in particular was carrying their eyeballs in their hand.” The above is an account by a Hiroshima survivor talking about the fate of her schoolmates. It was recently read out in[Read More…]

by 25/07/2016 2 comments World
In the Shadow Of Monsanto: GMO Regulation And The Right To Know

In the Shadow Of Monsanto: GMO Regulation And The Right To Know

The GMO agritech sector and food companies have spent tens of millions of dollars in the US to prevent the labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The public have genuine concerns about GM but are being denied the right to know if GMOs are in the food they eat. And the concerns they have are valid. There is sufficient evidence[Read More…]

Britain’s Scramble For Africa: The New Colonialism

Britain’s Scramble For Africa: The New Colonialism

  Africa is facing a new and devastating colonial invasion driven by a determination to plunder the natural resources of Africa, especially its strategic energy and mineral resources. That’s the message from a damning new report from War On Want ‘The New Colonialism: Britain’sscramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources’ that highlights the role of the British government in aiding[Read More…]

by 13/07/2016 2 comments Globalisation
Back To The Future With Laverne And Shirley: The Trivialisation Of The GMO Debate

Back To The Future With Laverne And Shirley: The Trivialisation Of The GMO Debate

When people don’t possess sufficient expertise on matters, they require simplicity. They desire easily manageable packages of knowledge, and these packages become taken for granted stocks of ‘common sense’ that enable them to cope with or to understand the world around them, no matter how faulty or misrepresented that ‘knowledge’ may be. Powerful corporations and the media recognise people’s need[Read More…]

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading As Science Courtesy Of “Shameful White Men Of Privilege”

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading As Science Courtesy Of “Shameful White Men Of Privilege”

Unlike their predecessors, early 21st century missionaries do not come armed with bibles. They come as members of a scientific priesthood, spouting slick PR and are supported by the likes of Bill Gates, taxpayer ‘aid’ and the global agritech cartel and rely on the leverage of international institutions like the World Bank, IMF and WTO. More than 100 Nobel laureates have[Read More…]

Modi, Monsanto, Bayer And Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?  

Modi, Monsanto, Bayer And Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?  

Describing itself as a major ‘global communications, stakeholder engagement and business strategy’ company, APCO Worldwide is a lobby/PR agency with firm links to the Wall Street/corporate America establishment (arguably, part of it) and functions to serve its global agenda. India PM Narendra Modi turned to APCO to help transform his image and turn him into electable pro-corporate PM material. It also helped Modi[Read More…]

GMOs, “Biggest Fraud In The History Of Science” – Some ‘Questions And Answers’ For The UK’s Royal Society

GMOs, “Biggest Fraud In The History Of Science” – Some ‘Questions And Answers’ For The UK’s Royal Society

The decision on whether to renew EU approval for the herbicide glyphosate is to go to an appeals panel on 23 June after a last ditch attempt to get a temporary re-authorisation failed on 6 June (for some background information, see this). It is unclear if the meeting will produce the majority vote needed to pass the authorisation. The current[Read More…]

by 18/06/2016 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection