Take That, Monsanto!

Tết Nguyên Đán, “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”.

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Looking for the Devil w/ Monsanto

A Poem by Craig Shay

Uncomforting talk,
spoils gala festivities –

Every age
is a landscape overflowing with savagery.

Look away!
Wrapped in the comfort of consumerism –

It costs a fortune to keep
the devils at bay.

Petrified voices sound
so truly apathetic.

Dissent burns away,
to fine ashy dust –

Safely we sleep,
as sycamores surrender
to summers hostage situations –

Cherry trees grow tall
through wooden bedposts –

While the dead march on,
through paper megaphones,
under the disguise
of moonlight in disarray.

Look on!
Don’t look away.
Don’t look anywhere for answers.

Junior Murvin said:

“Police and thieves
in the street (oh yeah)
Fighting the nation with their
guns and ammunition

Police and thieves in the street (oh yeah)
Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition

From Genesis to Revelation
And next generation will hear me.”

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The Earth is Crying

A poem by Charlyne Van Oosbree

The earth is crying,
“What more do you want from me?” she asks.
“I’ve given you my rice paddies,
my oil, my rich black soil.”

— The earth is crying.
“What more do you want from me?” she asks.
“You’ve massacred my forests
slaughtering my grand trees
with chemicals and careless fires.”

–The earth is crying.
“What more do you want from me?” she asks.
“You’ve befouled my rivers and stream
puking, spitting and shitting upon them.”

— The earth is crying.
“What more do you want from me?” she asks.
“Monsanto, Dow Chemical,
have you gone mad?
You’ve scalped the bluffs and
skinned the hills defacing my land.”

— The earth is crying.
“What more do you want from me?” she asks.
“You’ve stripped the lush,
virgin plain, ravaging and
raping, insane and leaving
obscene, industrial filth
birth defects, disease.”

— The earth is crying, “Why?
During war all should not be possible,
but you made it so.
Now it’s a time of peace—
Monsanto, Dow Chemical,
it’s up to you to heal the land”

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NGO Justice Pesticides

One of the results of the Monsanto Tribunal was the creation of the NGO Justice Pesticides in July 2017. It aims at making legal data on pesticides cases from all around the world available to all, regardless of people’s status or nationality: neighbors, farmers, local authorities and communities, scientists… Victims of pesticides are, of course, first on that list. The organization is presided by Corinne Lepage. It counts members of the MT organization committee, and people from all continents who have faced the consequences of pesticides on health, natural resources, or their activities. The goal of Justice Pesticides is to create a huge collaborative network to pool pesticide-related legal action data from everywhere in the world. This way, legal and scientific information will foster future lawsuits. Eventually, Justice Pesticides aims for banning pesticides which are threatening human health and the environment.

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BT Technique Failure

Monsanto Tribunal

Not only weeds are beating Monsanto and biotech warfare. A small, thin, gray moth is creating havoc in the cotton fields of India: its larva, a caterpillar – called the pink bollworm for its pink banding – eats the plant. To fight this cotton pest, a gene from a bacteria was introduced in the cotton so the ‘Bt plant’ produces a toxin that should kill the insect. When GM cotton seeds were introduced to the Indian market 15 years ago, the seed companies said that farmers would not have to spray any insecticides and that they would get great yields. Today, because of the very same GM seeds, use of insecticide and fertilizer has increased fivefold and eaten into farmers’ incomes. Resistance to the poison could not occur, according to the creators of the GM plants. Nature thought otherwise. A huge outbreak of Bt resistant bollworm has now seriously damaged the crops of many farmers. Desperate farmers apply highly toxic pesticides to fight the pest, sometimes with lethal effects.

Dr. K.R. Kranthi, former director of Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR), reported that pink bollworm has developed resistance to Bt cotton (Bollgard-II variety) not only in Maharashtra, but in other cotton-growing states as well. Bollgard-II was introduced in 2010. ‘There are only two benefits of Bt cotton. One, it controls bollworm, due to which the yield is protected. Two, it reduces use of insecticides meant for bollworm control. Currently, cotton growers do not get either benefit,’ said Dr. Kranthi.

Veteran farmer leader Pasha Patel says: ‘For Maharashtra’s cotton growers, it’s like a night without dawn.’ Another GM technology is failing. Follow the latest developments on GMWatch website and twitter.

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Dicamba Disaster: Monsanto’s stillborn child?

Monsanto Tribunal

Dicamba Disaster: Monsanto’s stillborn child?

Monsanto’s commercial success is based on the combination of seeds and herbicide. Millions of acres in the world are covered with Monsanto Roundup crops: soy, corn, D, canola, cotton, etc. Both seeds and the glyphosate herbicide are sold by Monsanto, bringing huge profits. However, weeds have grown resistance to Roundup and the commercial success is fading. A new generation of herbicides was supposed to counter this problem, but no new herbicide was found and instead they had to go back to an older and possibly even more toxic herbicide: dicamba. It was introduced in 1963 and Monsanto signed a deal for the production with BASF. Billions have been invested in testing and marketing the new dicamba resistant crops. Apart from its toxicity to plants, humans and soil, there is another problem: drift. The poison is taken by the wind and brings death or serious damage to trees and other crops that aren’t genetically modified to withstand dicamba. Many farmers have lost part of their crops. As a result, individual lawsuits and class action cases have been filed against BASF and Monsanto in more than two dozen US States. In 2016, dicamba drift damaged over 3,6 million acres (1,5 millions hectares) of crops in 25 states.

This could become a very costly affair for Monsanto. And worse for them, it could be a major setback for the chemical agriculture.

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