By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom News
Agribusiness giant Monsanto, which genetically modifies plants to exude or tolerate pesticide or to produce nonviable seed, hired the services of the mercenary firm Blackwater to spy on activists, Jeremy Scahill reports. A death-tech firm weds a hit squad.
This is no doubt in response to a decade of GM crop sabotage efforts around the globe. Since the publicly-announced introduction of GM crops in 1996, concerned citizens have vandalized such crops every single year somewhere on the planet. Several thousand GM plants have been partially or wholly destroyed. (See brief history below.)
Blackwater is most notorious for its Nisour Square Massacre in 2007. Seventeen innocent civilians died when Blackwater goons opened fire in a busy market square. The hit team was later acquitted in a U.S. court.
Scahill reports that through its web of companies, Blackwater (now Xe Services) spied on and/or infilitrated groups opposing Monsanto in 2008 thru early 2010. He writes:
“The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.
“After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to [then-president Erik] Prince and [former CIA paramilitary officer Enrique] Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses.
“Black wrote that Wilson ‘understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.’
“Black added that Total Intelligence ‘would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.’ Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater ‘could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally’….
“…Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010. He denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, stating ‘there was no such discussion.’”
Monsanto said only publicly available information was monitored. Scahill writes of Monsanto’s security manager Kevin Wilson:
“He claimed that Total Intelligence only provided Monsanto ‘with reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.’”
Tom Philpott of Grist notes:
“I can confirm that Monsanto likes to keep a close eye on blogs and websites. Back in 2005, I got my break as a food-politics writer after a Monsanto lawyer slapped my blog, with its all of 30 readers, with a cease-and-desist letter.”
Monsanto has also openly engaged with activists on blogs. During my tenure as Senior Editor at OpEdNews.com, site owner Rob Kall approved membership for Brad Mitchell, Monsanto’s public relations chief. One writer relayed that after her articles caught Monsanto’s attention, she noticed surveillance vehicles on her street.
That early 2009 decision at OEN spiked the ire of food writers. They objected to a forum for ordinary people granting equal access to a multi-billion dollar corporation which can publish in mainstream media, and hire professional psyops agents like Burson-Marstellar. (B-M represents genocidal regimes, claimed the Bhopal disaster wasn’t so bad, promotes secret vote counting software, and is generally the go-to spindoctor for the world’s worst enterprises.)
By a wide majority, OEN members condemned Kall’s approval of Monsanto membership, forcing him to rescind it. Two months later, in May 2009, he demoted and/or banned several “radicals,” including those of us who deride GM foods. In fact, my banishment prompted the inception of Food Freedom, a website that includes coverage of GM foods and Monsanto.
But, no matter how many bloggers it tries to silence, the biotech industry has lost in the court of public opinion. This is why it lobbies to ensure genetically modified foods are not labeled. Not even Burson-Marstellar has been able to overcome the “frankenfood” reputation.
GM Crop Sabotage in Defense of Biodiversity
But it isn’t just public opinion that concerns Monsanto. Monsanto didn’t hire assassins to sway public opinion. GM crop sabotage, which originated in Europe, has been an ongoing global effort since at least 1997.
In 1999, Andrew Hund compiled several reports of GM crop sabotage around the world, some of which are included in the timeline below.
Just focusing on the U.S., Gordon Rausser documented thousands of GM plant destructions in 1999 alone. Citizens targeted GM corn, sugar beets, sunflowers, melons, tomatoes, walnuts, and strawberries. The attacks occurred in Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, and California.
Kathryn Brown reported in Scientific American that in 2000, “in Maine, midnight raiders hacked down more than 3,000 experimental poplar trees. And in San Diego, protesters smashed sorghum and sprayed paint over greenhouse walls.”
This year, Marcel Kuntz described 70 instances of GM crop sabotage in England, Switzerland, France and Germany from 1999 thru 2010.
The timeline below is but a brief sampling of such actions. It shows a wide variety of crops on several continents. And, it shows unending interest in ridding the planet of this technology. (Too numerous to list, the cases of GM crop sabotage in the US are not included. See sources above.)
1997 Irish destroy GM sugar beets
1998 Irish destroy GM sugar beets
1998 French destroy GM corn
1998 Brits destroy GM crops on over 40 separate plots
1999 Indian farmers burn GM cotton
1999 New Zealanders destroy GM potato
1999 Canadians destroy GM trees
1999 Brits destroy GM corn
2000 Brits destroy GM corn
2001 Brits destroy GM corn
2001 Brazilians destroy GM corn and soy
2001 Brits destroy six separate fields of GM corn and rapeseed
2002 Indian farmers destroy GM cotton
2003 French destroy GM rapeseed (canola)
2004 French Guiana activists destroy GM coffee
2005 French destroy 50 acres of GM corn
2006 Germans destroy GM corn in several attacks
2006 French destroy GM corn
2007 Brits destroy GM potatoes
2008 Brazilians destroy GM corn
2008 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2009 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2009 Icelanders destroy GM barley
2009 Brits destroy GM potatoes
2009 Brits destroy GM apple trees
2010 Swiss destroy GM wheat
2010 Spaniards destroy GM corn
2010 Italians destroy GM corn
2010 French destroy GM grapes
Not everyone has the luxury of destroying GM crops. In India, under a new biotech bill known as BRAI, people can be imprisoned and fined simply for “misleading” others about GMOs. Since the entire biotech industry is based on “misleading” information (e.g. one protein-one gene, or that GMOs are substantially equivalent to normal food), one has to wonder if Monsanto executives will get a pass, while only those who disparage the technology become the law’s target.
Elsewhere, dissent has been met with violence.
Last month in La Leonesa, Argentina, 100 thugs attacked local farmers who gathered to hear a scientific presentation on the toxicity of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The Chaco provincial government had previously reported a tripling of childhood cancers and a quadrupling of birth defects in the area in the ten years since “the expansion of glyphosate and other agrochemical spraying in the province.”
Monsanto, by hiring a mercenary army and former CIA field agents, is deadly serious about protecting its deadly products. Yet, this contract further discredits the company. The public can now paint an even bleaker picture of the firm that brought us Agent Orange, PCBs, rBST, DDT, aspartame and, now, hitmen.
More sabotage is desperately needed.
yeah, maybe, but now the stakes are much higher. You could get snuffed out.
altho, many already consider this a war. Many view the planting of GM crops an act of war on Earth.
Thanks for posting this article. It is a frightening scenario playing out, one where the citizens will lose all food integrity unless our governments step in and kill Monsanto and GM/GE food. If it is all so innocent and good, as Monsanto would like us to believe, then why employ strong arm tactics globally to deflect people away from finding out the truth?!
I don’t think we can rely on the government to save us; they are owned by Monsanto.
Hey, Stephanie Dearing at Online Journal wrote an excellent piece about this issue… and cited this article 8)
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truly scary, Rady. Who knew we might be fighting for our lives over food in this country? and around the globe of course. I am trying to spread the word. People still don’t know, and many don’t want to, but the time is over-ripe, like a rotten Monsanto melon.
yes it is, Marj ~ hey, I just found this Democracy Now interview of Scahill on the subject:
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we don’t need mosanto gm . we need organic food.
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Is anyone else OUTRAGED and sickened by this? Does anyone realize the magnatude of this? One killer hiring another killer to do more of their dirty work. These two companies must be taken down. Some way, some how. SOON. Doesn’t this situation make you want to throw a chair out of a 10th story window? I WENT TO DISNEYLAND and ate in their TomorrowLand pasta/pizza place and they had a NICE BIG HAPPY POSTER OF MONSANTO HELPING TO “BUILD THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW” or some gleeful brainwashing nonsense. To me, that is an insult, a slap in the face. A SPIT in the face to people who know whats going on. At what point are ANY of you going to get off your butts and take action? Start your own website, pass out fliers, DVD’s, etc. or just go to Monstanto directly and scream blood murder at these killers. WAKE UP & TAKE ACTION OR DIE!!!!
It is outrageous, Patriot ~ but resistance must be smart. Remember Sun Tzu’s Art of War ~ you don’t attack your enemy where they are strongest.
Yes I am outraged, but very resigned to the takeover of our gov’t. I figure the best I can do now is spread the word to anyone who will listen, and meanwhile continue the quiet revolutionary act of planting organic seeds and raising organic chickens for eggs. When I distribute the food I say, ” These are organic: no poisonous pesticides that most of our food supply is sprayed with.”
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just watched the video from Democracy Now. Blackwater is JUST the private police force hired by corporations; is anyone here really surprised? I guess the surprise is that people don’t know or understand the implications. Another surprise would be if main stream media actually reported on this.
yeah, MSM’s silence on this explosive info is deafening.
These Multinational corporations are owned by sick & greedy people.
The crooks are not only after their pockets, it’s about population control. to make it even easier for these crooks to manage & control them for their very own ends.
The underground seed vaults being constructed around the world, are not to protect the worlds seeds stocks from any coming catastrophe, they are to protect the genetically pure and wholesome seed stock of the elite, in order to provide them with clean nutrient rich food for years to come, and to keep the supply out of the hands of the people, who will be fed nutrient devoid, genetically modified foods designed to kill them – but slowly so the people don’t notice it being done.
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Thanks so much, Rady – you wrote an excellent analysis of the situation, by the way – and I was delighted to be able to quote a small bit of what you said!
back atcha, Sistah.
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There are a lot of very sharp people who are abhorred by what they have found out about Monsanto and its very dark business. And I believe some are pushing hard to bring some of what this company has into the courts or into the retail business, like the British did a few years back. I do not recall the exact details but the British people got angry and stopped buying some products for a few days, simple huh? It took big business about 24 hours to roll over say they were sorry and pull the offending chemicals out of their products, that could happen in the USA and elsewhere.
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Monsanto, taking over and controlling the food supply of the world
Has anyone ever studied and reported on what the Monsanto crowd and Washington fat cat’s, stuffing there pockets with all that Monsanto money, are really eating? Are they eating the same crap they are selling (forcing) us to eat?
I say let them grow it and ship it to the White House for them to eat, throw in the DDT, the agent orange, to many tress at the White House, rub their backs with some PCB’s and spike their drinks with aspartame and some bovine growth hormone, and let the party begine
What do you think?
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This is a No-Brainer. Non-GMO premium corn genetics are designed for yield, with no compromise for standability or drydown. Products are always carefully chosen to match trait rotation systems, IRM refuge areas, and premium markets. Let the world know!
To have clean natural food is my children’s birthright. Bring it on Monstanto, I’m ready to fight.
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Tell everyone about frankenfoods. Until they are actually labelled people will just have to remember what they are. Monsanto Frankenfoods http://youtu.be/lpE67cuSJIs
Thanks for keeping us informed! There’s too much at stake to be uninformed on these topics-keep up the good work!
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