Below are two lengthy reviews of William Enghahl's Seeds of Destruction, a critical look at the political, economic and scientific history behind the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Once again they come to us through an indespensible website for people concerned with agribusiness science and the political economy behind it, firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of us trying to understand the complex relationships between agriculture, the environment, economics and science in order to better understand the San Joaquin valley, Engdahl's Seeds of Destruction sounds like a must companion book to Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception. The recurring image of the American population acting as "lab rats" for a gigantic, unregulated experiment on the long-term impacts to health of a diet full of GMOs is daunting, as are the stories of corporate thuggery against scientists who have dared to raise any alarm. The specter of world domination of patented seed by a handful of gigantic corporations is chilling and should be of the highest interest in the San Joaquin Valley, where many of the political, economic, agricultural and chemical forms of agribusiness originated.
Badlands editorial board
F. William Engdahl's 'Seeds of Destruction'
Review By Stephen Lendman - 1-2-8
Part I of "Seeds of Destruction"
In 2003, Jeffrey Smith's "Seeds of Deception" was published. It exposed
the dangers of untested and unregulated genetically engineered foods most
people eat every day with no knowledge of the potential health risks.
Efforts to inform the public have been quashed, reliable science has been
buried, and consider what happened to two distinguished scientists.
One was Ignatio Chapela, a microbial ecologist at the University of
California, Berkeley. In September, 2001, he was invited to a carefully
staged meeting with Fernando Ortiz Monasterio, Mexico's Director of the
Commission of Biosafety in Mexico City. The experience left Chapela shaken
and angry as he explained. Monasterio attacked him for over an hour. "First
he trashed me. He let me know how damaging to the country and how
problematic my information was to be."
Chapela referred to what he and a UC Berkeley graduate student, David
Quist, discovered in 2000 about genetically engineered contamination of
Mexican corn in violation of a government ban on these crops in 1998. Corn
is sacred in Mexico, the country is home to hundreds of indigenous varieties
that crossbreed naturally, and GM contamination is permanent and
unthinkable - but it happened by design.
Chapela and Quist tested corn varieties in more than a dozen state of
Oaxaca communities and discovered 6% of the plants contaminated with GM
corn. Oaxaca is in the country's far South so Chapela knew if contamination
spread there, it was widespread throughout Mexico. It's unavoidable because
NAFTA allows imported US corn with 30% of it at the time genetically
modified. Now it's heading for nearly double that amount, and if not
contained, it soon could be all of it.
The prestigious journal Nature agreed to publish Chapela's findings,
Monasterio wanted them quashed, but Chapela refused to comply. As a result,
he was intimidated not to do it and threatened with being held responsible
for all damages to Mexican agriculture and its economy.
He went ahead, nonetheless, and when his article appeared in the
publication on November 29, 2001 the smear campaign against him began and
intensified. It was later learned that Monsanto was behind it, and the
Washington-based Bivings Group PR firm was hired to discredit his findings
and get them retracted.
It worked because the campaign didn't focus on Chapela's contamination
discovery, but on a second research conclusion even more serious. He learned
the contaminated GM corn had as many as eight fragments of the CaMV promoter
that creates an unstable "hotspot." It can cause plant genes to fragment,
scatter throughout the plant's genome, and, if proved conclusively, would
wreck efforts to introduce GM crops in the country. Without further
evidence, there was still room for doubt if the second finding was valid,
however, and the anti-Chapela campaign hammered him on it.
Because of the pressure, Nature took an unprecedented action in its 133
year history. It upheld Chapela's central finding but retracted the other
one. That was all it took, and the major media pounced on it. They denounced
Chapela's incompetence and tried to discredit everything he learned
including his verified findings. They weren't reported, his vilification was
highlighted, and Monsanto and the Mexican government scored a big victory.
Ironically, on April 18, 2002, two weeks after Nature's partial
retraction, the Mexican government announced there was massive genetic
contamination of traditional corn varieties in Oaxaca and the neighboring
state of Puebla. It was horrifying as up to 95% of tested crops were
genetically polluted and "at a speed never before predicted." The news made
headlines in Europe and Mexico. It was ignored in the US and Canada.
The fallout for Chapela was UC Berkeley denied him tenure in 2003 because
of his article and for criticizing university ties to the biotech industry.
He then filed suit in April, 2004 asking remuneration for lost wages,
earnings and benefits, compensatory damages for humiliation, mental anguish,
emotional distress and coverage of attorney fees and costs for his action.
He won in May, 2005 but not in court when the university reversed its
decision, granted him tenure and agreed to include retroactive pay back to
2003. The damage, however, was done and is an example of what's at stake
when anyone dares challenge a powerful company like Monsanto.
The other man attacked was the world's leading lectins and plant genetic
modification expert, UK-based Arpad Pusztai. He was vilified and fired from
his research position at Scotland's Rowett Research Institute for publishing
industry-unfriendly data he was commissioned to produce on the safety of GMO
His Rowett Research study was the first ever independent one conducted on
them anywhere. He undertook it believing in their promise but became alarmed
by his findings. The Clinton and Blair governments were determined to
suppress them because Washington was spending billions promoting GMO crops
and a future biotech revolution. It wasn't about to let even the world's
foremost expert in the field derail the effort. His results were startling
and consider the implications for humans eating genetically engineered
Rats fed GMO potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains,
damaged immune systems, and showed structural changes in their white blood
cells making them more vulnerable to infection and disease compared to other
rats fed non-GMO potatoes. It got worse. Thymus and spleen damage showed up;
enlarged tissues, including the pancreas and intestines; and there were
cases of liver atrophy as well as significant proliferation of stomach and
intestines cells that could be a sign of greater future risk of cancer.
Equally alarming - this all happened after 10 days of testing, and the
changes persisted after 110 days that's the human equivalent of 10 years.
GM foods today saturate our diet. Over 80% of all supermarket processed
foods contain them. Others include grains like rice, corn and wheat; legumes
like soybeans and soy products; vegetable oils; soft drinks; salad
dressings; vegetables and fruits; dairy products including eggs; meat and
other animal products; and even infant formula plus a vast array of hidden
additives and ingredients in processed foods (like in tomato sauce, ice
cream and peanut butter). They're unrevealed to consumers because labeling
is prohibited yet the more of them we eat, the greater the potential threat
to our health.
Today, we're all lab rats in an uncontrolled, unregulated mass human
experiment the results of which are unknown. The risks from it are beyond
measure, it will take many years to learn them, and when they're finally
revealed it will be too late to reverse the damage if it's proved GM
products harm human health as independent experts strongly believe. Once GM
seeds are introduced to an area, the genie is out of the bottle for keeps.
Despite the enormous risks, however, Washington and growing numbers of
governments around the world in parts of Europe, Asia, Latin America and
Africa now allow these products to be grown in their soil or imported.
They're produced and sold to consumers because agribusiness giants like
Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgriSciences and Cargill have enormous clout to demand
it and a potent partner supporting them - the US government and its
agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture and State, FDA, EPA and
even the defense establishment. World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) patent rules also back them
along with industry-friendly WTO rulings like the February 7, 2006 one.
It favored a US challenge against European GMO regulatory policies in
spite of strong consumer sentiment against these foods and ingredients on
the continent. It also violated the Biosafety Protocol that should let
nations regulate these products in the public interest, but it doesn't
because WTO trade rules sabotaged it. Nonetheless, anti-GMO activism
persists, consumers still have a say, and there are hundreds of GMO-free
zones around the world, including in the US. That and more is needed to take
on the agribusiness giants that so far have everything going their way.
In "Seeds of Deception," Jeffrey Smith did a masterful job explaining the
dangers of GM foods and ingredients. Engdahl explains them as well but goes
much further brilliantly in his blockbuster book on this topic. It's the
story of a powerful family and a "small socio-political American elite
(that) seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival" -
future life through the food we eat. The book's introduction says it "reads
(like) a crime story." It's also a nightmare but one that's very real and
This review covers the book in-depth because of its importance. It's an
extraordinary work that "reveals a diabolical World of profit-driven
political intrigue (and) government corruption and coercion" that's part of
a decades-long global scheme for total world dominance. The book deserves
vast exposure and must be read in full for the whole disturbing story. It's
hoped the material below will encourage readers to do it in their own
self-interest and to marshal mass consumer actions to place food safety
above corporate profits.
Engdahl's book supplies the ammunition to do it and is also a sequel to
his earlier one on war, oil politics and The New World Order and follows
naturally from it. It covers the roots of the strategy to control "global
food security" that goes back to the 1930s and the plans of a handful of
American families to preserve their wealth and power. But it centers on one
in particular that above the others "came to symbolize the hubris and
arrogance of the emerging American century" that blossomed post-WW II. Its
patriarch began in oil and then dominated it in his powerful Oil Trust. It
was only the beginning as the family expanded into "education of youth,
medicine and psychology," US foreign policy, and "the very science of life
itself, biology, and its applications" in plants and agriculture.
The family's name is Rockefeller. The patriarch was John D., and four
powerful later-generation brothers followed him - David, Nelson, Laurance,
and John D. III. Engdahl says the GMO story covers "the evolution of power
in the hands of an elite (led by this family), determined (above all) to
bring the entire world under their sway." They and other elites already
control most of it, including the nation's energy, the US Federal Reserve,
and other key world central banks. Today, three brothers are gone, David
alone remains, and he's still a force at age 92 although he no longer runs
the family bank, JP Morgan Chase. He's active in family enterprises,
however, including the Rockefeller Foundation to be discussed in Part II of
F. William Engdahl is the author of Seeds of Destruction, the Hidden
Agenda of Genetic Manipulation just released by Global Research. He is also
the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New
World Order, Pluto Press Ltd.. To contact him by e-mail:
F. William Engdahl's
'Seeds of Destruction' - Part 2
By Stephen Lendman
William Engdahl's book is a diabolical account of how four
Anglo-American agribusiness giants plan world domination by patenting life
forms to gain worldwide control of our food supply and our lives. This
review is in three in-depth parts. Part I was published and is available on
this web site. Part II follows below.
Washington Launches the GMO Revolution
The roots of the story go back decades, but Engdahl explains the
science of "biological and genetic-modification of plants and other life
forms first" came out of US research labs in the 1970s when no one noticed.
They soon would because the Reagan administration was determined to make
America dominant in this emerging field. The biotech agribusiness industry
was especially favored, and companies in the early 1980s raced to develop
GMO plants, livestock and GMO-based animal drugs. Washington made it easy
for them with an unregulated, business-friendly climate that persisted ever
since under Republicans and Democrats alike.
Food safety and public health issues aren't considered vital if they
conflict with profits. So the entire population is being used as lab rats
for these completely new, untested and potentially hazardous products. And
leading the effort to develop them is a company with a "long record of
fraud, cover-up, bribery," deceit and disdain for the public interest -
Its first product was saccharin that was later proved to be a
carcinogen. It then got into chemicals, plastics and became notorious for
Agent Orange that was used to defoliate Vietnam jungles in the 1960s and
1970s and exposed hundreds of thousands of civilians and US troops to deadly
dioxin, one of the most toxic of all known compounds.
Along with others in the industry, Monsanto is also a shameless
polluter. It has a history of secretly dumping some of the most lethal
substances known in water and soil and getting away with it. Today on its
web site, however, the company ignores its record and calls itself "an
agricultural company (applying) innovation and technology to help farmers
around the world be successful, produce healthier foods, better animal feeds
and more fiber, while also reducing agriculture's impact on our
environment." Engdahl proves otherwise in his thorough research that's
covered below in detail.
In spite of its past, Monsanto and other GMO giants got unregulated
free rein in the 1980s and especially after George HW Bush became president
in 1989. His administration opened "Pandora's Box" so no "unnecessary
regulations would hamper them. Thereafter, "not one single new regulatory
law governing biotech or GMO products was passed then or later (despite all
the) unknown risks and possible health dangers."
In a totally unfettered marketplace, foxes now guard the henhouse
because the system was made self-regulatory. An elder Bush Executive Order
assured it. It ruled GMO plants and foods were "substantially equivalent" to
ordinary ones of the same variety like corn, wheat or rice. This established
the principle of "substantial equivalence" as the "lynchpin of the whole GMO
revolution." It was pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo, but was now law, and
Engdahl equated it to a potential biologically catastrophic "Andromeda
Strain," no longer the world of science fiction.
Monsanto chose milk as its first GMO product, genetically
manipulated it with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), and marketed
it under the trade name, Posilac. In 1993, the Clinton FDA declared it safe
and approved it for sale before any consumer use information was available.
It's now sold in every state and promoted as a way cows can produce up to
30% more milk. Problems, however, soon appeared. Farmers reported their
stock burned out up to two years sooner than usual, serious infections
developed, and some animals couldn't walk. Other problems included the udder
inflammation mastitis as well as deformed calves being born.
The information was suppressed, and rBGH milk is unlabeled so
there's no way consumers can know. They also weren't told this hormone
causes leukemia and tumors in rats, and a European Commission committee
concluded humans drinking rBGH milk risk breast and prostate cancer. The EU
thus banned the product, but not the US. Despite clear safety issues, the
FDA failed to act and allows hazardous milk to be sold below the radar. It
was just the beginning.
The Fox Guards the Henhouse
Engdahl reviewed the Pusztai affair, the toll it took on his health,
and the modest vindication he finally got. Already out of a job, the
300-year old British Royal Society attacked him in 1999 and claimed his
research was "flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis and
that no conclusions should be drawn from it." It was another blow to a
distinguished man who deserved better than what Engdahl called a
"recognizable political smear" that also tarnished the Royal Society's
credibility for making it. It had no basis in fact and was done because
Pusztai's bombshell threatened to derail Britain's hugely profitable GMO
industry and do the same thing to its US counterpart.
As for Pusztai, after five years, several heart attacks, and a
ruined career, he finally learned what happened after he announced his
findings. Monsanto was the culprit. The company complained to Clinton who,
in turn, alerted Tony Blair. Pusztai's findings had to be quashed and he
discredited for making them. He was nonetheless able to reply with the help
of the highly respected British scientific journal, The Lancet. In spite of
Royal Society threats against him, it's editor published his article, but at
a cost. After publication, the Society and biotech industry attacked The
Lancet for its action. It was a further shameless act.
As a footnote, Pusztai now lectures around the world on his GMO
research and is a consultant to start-up groups researching the health
effects of these foods. Along with him and his wife, his co-author,
Professor Stanley Ewen, also suffered. He lost his position at the
University of Aberdeen, and Engdahl notes that the practice of suppressing
unwanted truths and punishing whistleblowers is the rule, not the exception.
Industry demands are powerful, especially when they affect the bottom line.
The Blair government went even further. It commissioned the private
firm, Grainseed, to conduct a three-year study to prove GMO food safety.
London's Observer newspaper later got UK Ministry of Agriculture documents
on it that showed tests were rigged and produced "some strange science." At
least one Grainseed researcher manipulated the data to "make certain seeds
in the trials appear to perform better than they really did."
Nonetheless, the Ministry recommended a GMO corn variety be
certified, and the Blair government issued a new code of conduct under which
"any employee of a state-funded research institute who dared to speak out on
(the) findings into GMO plants could face dismissal, be sued for breach of
contract or face a court injunction." In other words, whisleblowing was now
illegal even if public health was at stake. Nothing would be allowed to stop
the agribusiness juggernaut from proceeding unimpeded.
The Rockefeller Plan - "Tricky" Dick Nixon and Trickier Rockefellers
Richard Nixon took office at a time of national crisis. Along with
the Vietnam morass, the economy was in trouble after the "golden age of
capitalism" peaked in 1965 and corporate profits were declining. The
globalization phenomenon began at this time when American companies and the
nation's wealthiest families found investing abroad more profitable than at
home because more opportunities were available outside the country.
Food was one of them and was about to be renamed "agribusiness."
Engdahl called it "a paradigm shift" with one man having the most decisive
role - former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller "who deeply wanted to be
President" but had to settle for number two under Gerald Ford.
He and his brothers ran the family's Rockefeller Foundation and
various other tax-exempt entities like the Rockefeller Brothers Trust.
Nelson and David were the most influential figures, and their power center
was the exclusive New York Council on Foreign Relations. Engdahl states: "In
the 1960s the Rockefellers were at the power center of the US establishment
(and) Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (was) their hand-picked protege."
It was a marriage made in hell.
Enter the "crisis of democracy" or as right wing Harvard professor,
Samuel Huntington, called it, an "excess of democracy" at a time masses of
ordinary citizens protested their government's policies. It captured media
attention, posed a threat to the country's establishment, and had to be
addressed. In 1973 it was at a meeting of 300 influential, hand-picked
Rockefeller friends from North America, Europe and Japan. They founded a
powerful new organization called the Trilateral Commission with easily
recognizable member names.
Zbigniew Brzezinski was its first Executive Director, and other
charter members included Jimmy Carter (who became David Rockefeller's
favored 1976 presidential candidate over Gerald Ford), George HW Bush, Paul
Volker (Carter's Fed Chairman) and Alan Greenspan who was then a Wall Street
The new organization "laid the basis for a new global strategy for a
network of interlinked international elites," many of whom were Rockefeller
business partners. Combined, their financial, economic and political clout
was unmatched. So was their ambition that George HW Bush later called a "new
world order." Trilateralists laid the foundation for today's globalization.
They also followed Huntington's advice about democracy's unreliability that
had to be checked by "some measure of (public) apathy and non-involvement
(combined with) secrecy and deception."
The Commission further advocated privatizing public enterprises
along with deregulating industry. Trilateralist Jimmy Carter embraced the
dogma enthusiastically as President. He began the process that Ronald Reagan
continued in the 1980s almost without noticing its originator or placing
blame where it's due.
In 1973, Nixon was in office with Kissinger his Svengali. One
observer described him at the time as "like sludge out of a swamp without a
spark of life....no soul, a slip of life, a kind of ghoul (and) a sort of
lubricant (to keep the ship of state running)." So he did by "tak(ing)
complete control (of) US foreign policy" as both Secretary of State and
National Security Advisor. Further, he "was to make food a centerpiece of
his diplomacy along with oil geopolitics."
In the Cold War era, food became a strategic weapon by masquerading
as "Food for Peace." It was cover for US agriculture to engineer the
transformation of family farming into global agribusiness with food the tool
and small farmers eliminated so it could be used most effectively. World
agriculture domination was to be "one of the central pillars of post-war
Washington policy, along with (controlling) world oil markets and
non-communist world defense sales." The defining 1973 event was a world food
The shortage of grain staples along with the first of two 1970s oil
shocks advanced a "significant new Washington policy turn." Oil and grains
were rising three to fourfold in price when the US was the world's largest
food surplus producer with the most power over prices and supply. It was an
ideal time for a new alliance between US-based grain trading companies and
the government. It "laid the groundwork for the later gene revolution."
Enter what Engdahl called the "great train robbery" with Kissinger
the culprit. He decided US agriculture policy was "too important to be left
in the hands of the Agriculture Department" so he took control of it
himself. The world desperately needed grain, America had the greatest
supply, and the scheme was to use this power to "radically change world food
markets and food trade." The big winners were grain traders like Cargill,
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Continental Grain that were helped by
Kissinger's "new food diplomacy (to create) a global agriculture market for
the first time." Food would "reward friends and punish enemies," and ties
between Washington and business lay at the heart of the strategy.
The global food market was being reorganized, corporate interests
were favored, political advantage was exploited, and the 1990s "gene
revolution" groundwork was laid. Rockefeller interests and its Foundation
were to play the decisive role as events unfolded over the next two decades.
It began under Nixon as the cornerstone of his farm policy, free trade was
the mantra, corporate grain traders were the beneficiaries, and family farms
had to go so agribusiness giants could take over.
Bankrupting them was the plan to remove an "excess (of) human
resources." Engdahl called it a "thinly veiled form of food imperialism" as
part of a scheme for the US to become "the world granary." The family farm
was to become the "factory farm," and agriculture was to be "agribusiness"
to be dominated by a few corporate giants with incestuous ties to
Dollar devaluation was also part of the scheme under Nixon's New
Economic Plan (NEP) that included closing the gold window in 1971 to let the
currency float freely. Developing nations were targeted as well with the
idea that they forget about being food-sufficient in grains and beef, rely
on America for key commodities, and concentrate instead on small fruits,
sugar and vegetables for export. Earned foreign exchange could then buy US
imports and repay IMF and World Bank loans that create a never-ending cycle
of debt slavery. GATT was also used and later the WTO with corporate-written
rules for their own bottom line interests.
A Secret National Security Memo
In the midst of a worldwide drought and stock market collapse,
consider Henry Kissinger's classified memo in April, 1974. It was on a
secret project called National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) that
was shaped by Rockefeller interests and aimed to adopt a "world population
plan of action" for drastic global population control - meaning to reduce
it. The US led the effort, and it worked like this - it made birth control
in developing countries a prerequisite for US aid. Engdahl summed it up in
blunt terms: "if these inferior races get in the way of our securing ample,
cheap raw materials, then we must find ways to get rid of them."
Kissinger's scheme was "simpler contraceptive methods through
bio-medical research" that almost sounds like DuPont's old slogan, "Better
things for better living through chemistry." Later on, DuPont dropped
"through chemistry" as evidence mounted on their toxic effects and a
changing company in 1999 began using "The Miracles of Science" in their
advertising. The Nazis also aimed big and sought control. Population culling
was part of it that for them was called "eugenics" and their scheme was to
target "inferior" races to preserve the "superior" one.
NSSM 200 was along the same idea and was tied to the agribusiness
agenda that began with the 1950s and 1960s "Green Revolution" to control
food production in targeted Latin American, Asian and African countries.
Kissinger's plan had two aims - securing new US grain markets and population
control with 13 "unlucky" countries chosen. Among them were India, Brazil,
Nigeria, Mexico and Indonesia, and exploiting their resources depended on
drastic population reductions to reduce homegrown demand.
The scheme was ugly and pure Kissinger. It recommended forced
population control and other measures to ensure strategic US aims. Kissinger
wanted global numbers reduced by 500 million by the year 2000 and argued for
doubling the 10 million annual death rate to 20 million going forward.
Engdahl called it "genocide" according to the strict definition of the 1948
UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
statute that defines this crime legally. Kissinger was guilty under it for
wanting to withhold food aid to "people who can't or won't control their
population growth." In other words, if they won't do it, we'll do it for
The strategy included fertility control called "family planning"
that was linked to the availability of key resources. The Rockefeller family
backed it, Kissinger was their "hired hand," and he was well-rewarded for
his efforts. It included keeping him from being prosecuted where he's wanted
as a war criminal and could be arrested overseas like Pinochet was in the UK
when he was placed under house arrest in 2006.
Besides his better-known crimes, consider what he did to poor
Brazilian women through a policy of mass sterilization under NSSM 200. After
14 years of the program, the Brazilian Health Ministry discovered shocking
reports of an estimated 44% of all Brazilian women between ages 14 and 55
permanently sterilized. Organizations like the International Planned
Parenthood Federation and Family Health International were involved, and
USAID directed the program. It has a long disturbing history backing US
imperialism while claiming on its web site it extends "a helping hand to
those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a
disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country."
Even more disturbing was an estimated 90% of Brazilian women of
African descent sterilized in a nation with a black population second only
to Nigeria's. Powerful figures backed the scheme but none more influential
than the Rockefellers with John D. III having the most clout on population
policy. Nixon appointed him head of the Commission on Population Growth and
the American Future in 1969. Its earlier work laid the ground for
Kissinger's NSSM 200 and its policy of extermination through subterfuge that
was based on a "decades old effort to breed human traits" by the Nazi
The Brotherhood of Death
Long before Kissinger (and his assistant Brent Scowcroft) made
population reduction official US foreign policy, the Rockefellers were
experimenting on humans. JD III led the effort. In the 1950s, while Nelson
exploited cheap Puerto Rican labor in New York and on the island, brother JD
III conducted mass sterilization experiments on their women. By the
mid-1960s, Puerto Rico's Public Health Department estimated the toll -
one-third or more of them of child-bearing age (unsuspecting poor women)
were permanently sterilized.
JD III expressed his views in a 1961 UN Food and Agriculture
Organization lecture: "To my mind, population growth (and its reduction) is
second only to control of atomic weapons as the paramount problem of the
day." He meant, of course, its unwanted parts to preserve valuable resources
for the privileged. He was also influenced by eugenicists, race theorists
and Malthusians at the Rockefeller Foundation who believed they had the
right to decide who lives or dies.
Powerful figures were behind the effort as well as leading American
business families. So were notables in the UK then and earlier like Winston
Churchill, John Maynard Keynes and others. Alan Gregg was as well as
Rockefeller Foundation Medical Division chief for 34 years. Consider his
views. He said "people pollute, so eliminate pollution by eliminating
(undesirable) people." He compared city slums to cancerous tumors and called
them "offensive to decency and beauty." Better to remove them and cleanse
This was policy, and it was "key to understanding (the Foundation's
later efforts) in the revolution in biotechnology and plant genetics." Its
mission from inception was to "(cull) the herd, or systematically (reduce)
populations of 'inferior breeds.' " The problem for supremacists is too many
of a lesser element spells trouble when they demand more of what the
privileged want for themselves. Solution - remove them with lots of ways to
do it from birth control to sterilization to starvation to wars of
These ideas were American, they took root 100 years ago, noted names
backed it like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Harriman, and they later influenced
the Nazis. Hitler praised the practice in his 1924 book, "Mein Kampf," then
used it as Fuhrer to breed a "master race." Supreme Court Justice Oliver
Wendell Holmes also supported it, and consider his 1927 decision in Buck v.
Bell. He ruled Virginia's forced sterilization program was constitutional
and wrote: "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute
degenerate offspring for crime....society can prevent those who are
manifestly unfit from continuing their kind....Three generations of
imbeciles are enough." This from a noted Supreme Court Justice that would
have horrific consequences still in play. It "opened the floodgates" for
sterilizing many thousands of women considered "subhuman" detritus and in
JD III was right in step with this thinking. He was nurtured on
Malthusian pseudo-science and embraced the dogma. He joined the family
Foundation in 1931 where he was influenced by eugenicists like Raymond
Fosdick and Frederick Osborn. Both were founding members of the American
Eugenics Society. In 1952, he used his own funds to found the New York-based
Population Council in which he promoted studies on over-population dangers
that were openly racist. For the next 25 years, the Council spent $173
million on global population reduction and became the world's most
influential organization promoting these supremacist ideas.
But it avoided the term "eugenics" because of its Nazi association
and instead used language like birth control, family planning and free
choice. It was all the same, and before the war Rockefeller associate and
family Foundation board member, Frederick Osborn, enthusiastically supported
Nazi eugenics experiments that led to mass exterminations now vilified. Back
then, he believed this was the "most important experiment that has ever been
tried" and later wrote a book. It was called "The Future of Human Heredity"
with "eugenics" in the subtitle. It stated women could be convinced to
reduce their births voluntarily and began substituting the term "genetics"
for the one now out of favor.
During the Cold War, culling the population drew supporters that
included the cream of corporate America. They backed private population
reduction initiatives like Margaret Sanger's International Planned
Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The major media also spread the notion that
"over-population in developing countries leads to hunger and more poverty
(which, in turn, becomes) the fertile breeding ground for" international
communism. American agribusiness would later get involved through a policy
of global food control. Food is power. When used to cull the population,
it's a weapon of mass destruction.
Consider the current situation with the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) reporting sharply higher food prices along with severe
shortages, and warned this condition is extreme, unprecendented and
threatens billions with hunger and starvation. Prices are up 40% this year
after a 9% rise in 2006, and it forced developing states to pay 25% more for
imported food and be unable to afford enough of it.
Various explanations for the problem are cited that include growing
demand, higher fuel and transportation costs, commodity speculation, the use
of corn for ethanol production (taking one-third of the harvest that's more
than what's exported for food) and extreme weather while ignoring the above
implications - the power of agribusiness to manipulate supply for greater
profits and "cull the herd" in targeted Third World countries. Affected ones
are poor, and FAO cites 20 in Africa, nine in Asia, six in Latin America and
two in Eastern Europe that in total represent 850 million endangered people
now suffering from chronic hunger and related poverty. They depend on
imports, and their diets rely heavily on the type grains agribusiness
controls - wheat, corn and rice plus soybeans. If current prices stay high
and shortages persist, millions will die - maybe by design.
Fateful War and Peace Studies
Engdahl reviewed how American elites in the late 1930s began
planning an American century in the post-war world - a "Pax Americana" to
succeed the fading British Empire. The New York Council of Foreign Relations
War and Peace Studies Group led the effort, and Rockefeller Foundation money
financed it. As Engdahl put it: they'd be paid back later "thousands-fold."
First though, America had to achieve world dominance militarily and
The US business establishment envisioned a "Grand Area" to encompass
most of the world outside the communist bloc. To exploit it, they hid their
imperial designs beneath a "liberal and benevolent garb" by defining
themselves as "selfless advocates of freedom for colonial peoples (and) the
enemy of imperialism." They would also "champion world peace through
multinational control." Sound familiar?
Like today, it was just subterfuge for their real aims that were
pursued under the banner of the United Nations, the new Bretton Woods
framework, the IMF, World Bank and the GATT. They were established for one
purpose - to integrate the developing world into the US-dominated Global
North so its wealth could be transfered to powerful business interests,
mostly in the US. The Rockefeller family led the effort, the four brothers
were involved, and Nelson and David were the prime movers.
While JD III was plotting depopulation and racial purity schemes,
Nelson worked "the other side of the fence....as a forward-looking
international businessman" in the 1950s and 1960s. While preaching greater
efficiency and production in targeted countries, he schemed, in fact, to
open world markets for unrestricted US grain imports. It became the "Green
Nelson concentrated on Latin America. During WW II, he coordinated
US intelligence and covert operations there, and those efforts laid the
groundwork for family interests post-war. They were tied to the region's
military because friendly strongmen are the type leaders we prefer to
guarantee a favorable business climate.
>From the 1930s, Nelson Rockefeller had significant Latin American
interests, especially in areas of oil and banking. In the early 1940s, he
sought new opportunities and along with Laurance bought vast amounts of
cheap, high-quality farmland so the family could get into agriculture. It
wasn't for family farming, however. The Rockefellers wants global
monopolies, and their scheme was to do in agriculture what the family
patriarch did in oil along with using food and agricultural technology as
Cold War weapons.
By 1954, PL 480, or "Food for Peace," established surplus food as a
US foreign policy tool, and Nelson used his considerable influence on the
State Department because every post-war Department Secretary, from 1952
through 1979, had ties to the family through its Foundation: namely, John
Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk, Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance.
These men supported Rockefeller views on private business and knew
the family saw agriculture the way it sees oil - commodities to be "traded,
controlled, (and) made scarce or plentiful" to suit the foreign policy goals
of dominant corporations controlling their trade.
The family got into agriculture in 1947 when Nelson founded the
International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC). Through it, he introduced
"mass-scale agribusiness in countries where US dollars could buy huge
influence in the 1950s and 1960s." Nelson then allied with grain-trading
giant Cargill in Brazil where they began developing hybrid corn seed
varieties with big plans for them. They would make the country "the world's
third largest producer of (these) crop(s) after the US and China." It was
part of Rockefeller's "Green Revolution" that by the late 1950s "was rapidly
becoming a strategic US economic strategy alongside oil and military
Latin America was the beginning of a food production revolution with
big aims - to control the "basic necessities of the majority of the world's
population." As agribusiness in the 1990s, it was "the perfect partner for
the introduction....of genetically engineered food crops or GMO plants."
This marriage masqueraded as "free market efficiency, modernization (and)
feeding a malnourished world." In fact, it was nothing of the sort. It
cleverly hid "the boldest coup over the destiny of entire nations ever
Creating Agribusiness - Rockefeller and Harvard Invent USA
The "Green Revolution began in Mexico and spread across Latin
America during the 1950s and 1960s." It was then introduced in Asia,
especially in India. It was at a time we claimed our aim was to help the
world through free market efficiency. It was all one way, from them to us so
corporate investors could profit. It gave US chemical giants and major grain
traders new markets for their products. Agribusiness was going global, and
Rockefeller interests were in the vanguard helping industry globalization
Nelson worked with his brother, JD III, who set up his own
Agriculture Development Council in 1953. They shared a common goal -
"cartelization of world agriculture and food supplies under their corporate
hegemony." At its heart, it aimed to introduce modern agriculture techniques
to increase crop yields under the false claim of wanting to reduce hunger.
The same seduction was later used to promote the Gene Revolution with
Rockefeller interests and the same agribusiness giants backing it.
In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson also used food as a weapon. He wanted
recipient nations to agree to administration and Rockfeller preconditions
that population control and opening their markets to US industry was part of
the deal. It also involved training developing world agriculture scientists
and agronomists in the latest production concepts so they could apply them
at home. This "carefully constructed network later proved crucial" to the
Rockefeller strategy to "spread the use of genetically-engineered crops
around the world," helped along with USAID funding and CIA mischief.
"Green Revolution" tactics were painful and took a devastating toll
on peasant farmers. They destroyed their livelihoods and forced them into
shantytown slums that now surround large Third World cities. There they
provide cheap exploitable labor from people desperate to survive and easy
prey for any way to do it.
The "Revolution" also harmed the land. Monoculture displaces
diversity, soil fertility and crop yields decrease over time, and
indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides causes serious later health
problems. Engdahl quoted an analyst calling the "Green Revolution" a
"chemical revolution" developing states couldn't afford. That began the
process of debt enslavement from IMF, World Bank and private bank loans.
Large landowners can afford the latter. Small farmers can't and often, as a
result, are bankrupted. That, of course, is the whole idea.
The "Green Revolution" was based on the "proliferation of new hybrid
seeds in developing markets" that characteristically lack reproductive
capacity. Declining yields meant farmers had to buy seeds every year from
large multinational producers that control their parental seed lines in
house. A handful of company giants held patents on them and used them to lay
the groundwork for the later GMO revolution. Their scheme was soon evident.
Tradition farming had to give way to High Yield Varieties (HYV) of hybrid
wheat, corn and rice with major chemical inputs.
Initially, growth rates were impressive but not for long. In
countries like India, agricultural output slowed and fell. They were losers
so agribusiness giants could exploit large new markets for their chemicals,
machinery and other product inputs. It was the beginning of "agribusiness,"
and it went hand-in-hand with the "Green Revolution" strategy that would
later embrace plant genetic alterations.
Two Harvard Business School professors were involved early on - John
Davis and Ray Goldberg. They teamed with Russian economist, Wassily
Leontief, got Rockefeller and Ford Foundation funding, and initiated a
four-decade revolution to dominate the food industry. It was based on
"vertical integration" of the kind Congress outlawed when giant
conglomerates or trusts like Standard Oil used them to monopolize entire
sectors of key industries and crush competition.
It was revived under Trilateralist President Jimmy Carter disguised
as "deregulation" to dismantle "decades of carefully constructed....health,
food safety and consumer protection laws." They would now give way under a
new wave of industry-friendly vertical integration. Supported by a public
campaign, it claimed that government was the problem, it encroached too much
on our lives, and it had to be rolled back for greater personal "freedom."
Early in the 1970s, agribusiness producers controlled US food
supplies. They'd now go global on a scale without precedent. The goal -
"staggering profits" by "restructur(ing) the way Americans grew food to feed
themselves and the world." Ronald Reagan continued Carter's policy and let
the top four or five monopoly players control it. It led to an unprecedented
"concentration and transformation of American agriculture" with independent
family farmers driven off their land through forced sales and bankruptcies
so "more efficient" agribusiness giants could move in with "Factory Farms."
Remaining small producers became virtual serfs as "contract farmers."
America's landscape was changing with people trampled on for profits.
Engdahl explained a gradual process of "wholesale merger(s) and
consolidation....of American food production....into giant corporate global
concentrations" with familiar names - Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM),
Smithfield Foods and ConAgra. As they grew bigger, so did their bottom lines
with annual equity returns rising from 13% in 1993 to 23% in 1999. Hundreds
of thousands of small farmers lost out for it as their numbers dropped by
300,000 from 1979 to 1998 alone. It was even worse for hog farmers with a
drop from 600,000 to 157,000 so 3% of producers could control 50% of the
The social costs were staggering and continue to be as "entire rural
communities collapsed and rural towns became ghost towns." Consider the
-- by 2004, the four largest beef packers controlled 84% of steer
and heifer slaughter - Tyson, Cargill, Swift and National Beef Packing;
-- four giants controlled 64% of hog production - Smithfield Foods,
Tyson, Swift and Hormel;
-- three companies controlled 71% of soybean crushing - Cargill, ADM
-- three giants controlled 63% of all flour milling, and five
companies controlled 90% of global grain trade;
-- four other companies controlled 89% of the breakfast cereal
market - Kellogg, General Mills, Kraft Foods and Quaker Oats;
-- in 1998, Cargill acquired Continental Grain to control 40% of
national grain elevator capacity;
-- four large agro-chemical/seed giants controlled over 75% of the
nation's seed corn sales and 60% of it for soybeans while also having the
largest share of the agricultural chemical market - Monsanto, Novartis, Dow
Chemical and DuPont; six companies controlled three-fourths of the global
-- Monsanto and DuPont controlled 60% of the US corn and soybean
seed market - all of it patented GMO seeds; and
-- 10 large food retailers controlled $649 billion in global sales
in 2002, and the top 30 food retailers account for one-third of global
At the dawn of a new century, family farming was decimated by
corporate agribusiness' vertically integrated powers that surpassed their
earlier 1920s heyday dominance. The industry was now the second most
profitable national one after pharmaceuticals with domestic annual sales
exceeding $400 billion. The next aim was merging Big Pharma with Big food
producing giants, and the Pentagon's National Defense University took note
in a 2003-issued paper - "Agribusiness (now) is to the United States what
oil is to the Middle East." It's now considered a "strategic weapon in the
arsenal of the world's only superpower," but at a huge cost to consumers
Engdahl reviewed the "revolution" in animal factory production that
EarthSave International founder and Baskin-Robbins heir, John Robbins,
covered honestly, thoroughly and compassionately in two explosive books on
the subject - "Diet for A New America" in 1987 and "The Food Revolution" in
2001. They were both stinging indictments of corporate-produced foods -
horrifying animal cruelty, unsafe foods, unsanitary conditions, rampant use
of anti-biotics humans then ingest, massive environmental pollution, and new
unknown dangers from genetic engineering - all allowed by supposed
government watchdog regulatory agencies that ignore public health concerns.
Agribusiness was on a roll, government supports it with tens of
billions in annual subsidies, and the 1996 Farm Bill suspended the Secretary
of Agriculture's power to balance supply and demand so henceforth
unrestricted production is allowed. Food producing giants took full
advantage to control market forces. They crushed family farmers by
over-producing and forcing down prices. They also pressured land values as
small operators failed. It created opportunities for land acquisition on the
cheap for greater concentration and dominance.
Next came integrating the Gene Revolution into agribusiness the way
Harvard's Ray Goldberg saw it coming. Entire new sectors were to be created
from genetic engineering. It would include GMO drugs from GMO plants in a
new "argi-ceutical system." Goldberg predicted a "genetic revolution
(through) an industrial convergence of food, health, medicine, fiber and
energy businesses" - in a totally unregulated marketplace. Unmentioned was a
threatening consumer nightmare hidden from view.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The
Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on The MicroEffect.com Mondays at
noon US Central time.
Dylan Ford is the author of the proposal at www.ideaforpresident.com , a
website devoted to an idea that could provide an avenue to address pollution
issues, food safety, social justice, prison reform and healthcare.