Here’s the trailer. Don’t know when the movie will be available.
Video is under 3 minutes. Excellent.
“Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world \produce more while conserving more.”
“Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.”
These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply — 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto.
Control over seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers.
Monsanto’s concentrated control over the seed sector in India as well as across the world is very worrying. This is what connects farmers’ suicides in India to Monsanto vs Percy Schmeiser in Canada, to Monsanto vs Bowman in the US, and to farmers in Brazil suing Monsanto for $2.2 billion for unfair collection of royalty.
Through patents on seed, Monsanto has become the “Life Lord” of our planet, collecting rents for life’s renewal from farmers, the original breeders.
Patents on seed are illegitimate because putting a toxic gene into a plant cell is not “creating” or “inventing” a plant. These are seeds of deception — the deception that Monsanto is the creator of seeds and life; the deception that while Monsanto sues farmers and traps them in debt, it pretends to be working for farmers’ welfare, and the deception that GMOs feed the world. GMOs are failing to control pests and weeds, and have instead led to the emergence of superpests and superweeds.
The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1988 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the Government of India to deregulate the seed sector. Five things changed with Monsanto’s entry: First, Indian companies were locked into joint-ventures and licensing arrangements, and concentration over the seed sector increased. Second, seed which had been the farmers’ common resource became the “intellectual property” of Monsanto, for which it started collecting royalties, thus raising the costs of seed. Third, open pollinated cotton seeds were displaced by hybrids, including GMO hybrids. A renewable resource became a non-renewable, patented commodity. Fourth, cotton which had earlier been grown as a mixture with food crops now had to be grown as a monoculture, with higher vulnerability to pests, disease, drought and crop failure. Fifth, Monsanto started to subvert India’s regulatory processes and, in fact, started to use public resources to push its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs through so-called public-private partnerships (PPP).
In 1995, Monsanto introduced its Bt technology in India through a joint-venture with the Indian company Mahyco. In 1997-98, Monsanto started open field trials of its GMO Bt cotton illegally and announced that it would be selling the seeds commercially the following year. India has rules for regulating GMOs since 1989, under the Environment Protection Act. It is mandatory to get approval from the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee under the ministry of environment for GMO trials. The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology sued Monsanto in the Supreme Court of India and Monsanto could not start the commercial sales of its Bt cotton seeds until 2002.
And, after the damning report of India’s parliamentary committee on Bt crops in August 2012, the panel of technical experts appointed by the Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials of all GM food and termination of all ongoing trials of transgenic crops.
But it had changed Indian agriculture already.
Monsanto’s seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides and agrarian distress which is driving the farmers’ suicide epidemic in India. This systemic control has been intensified with Bt cotton. That is why most suicides are in the cotton belt.
An internal advisory by the agricultural ministry of India in January 2012 had this to say to the cotton-growing states in India — “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.”
The highest acreage of Bt cotton is in Maharashtra and this is also where the highest farmer suicides are. Suicides increased after Bt cotton was introduced — Monsanto’s royalty extraction, and the high costs of seed and chemicals have created a debt trap. According to Government of India data, nearly 75 per cent rural debt is due to purchase inputs. As Monsanto’s profits grow, farmers’ debt grows. It is in this systemic sense that Monsanto’s seeds are seeds of suicide.
The ultimate seeds of suicide is Monsanto’s patented technology to create sterile seeds. (Called “Terminator technology” by the media, sterile seed technology is a type of Gene Use Restriction Technology, GRUT, in which seed produced by a crop will not grow — crops will not produce viable offspring seeds or will produce viable seeds with specific genes switched off.) The Convention on Biological Diversity has banned its use, otherwise Monsanto would be collecting even higher profits from seed.
Monsanto’s talk of “technology” tries to hide its real objectives of ownership and control over seed where genetic engineering is just a means to control seed and the food system through patents and intellectual property rights.
A Monsanto representative admitted that they were “the patient’s diagnostician, and physician all in one” in writing the patents on life-forms, from micro-organisms to plants, in the TRIPS’ agreement of WTO. Stopping farmers from saving seeds and exercising their seed sovereignty was the main objective. Monsanto is now extending its patents to conventionally bred seed, as in the case of broccoli and capsicum, or the low gluten wheat it had pirated from India which we challenged as a biopiracy case in the European Patent office.
That is why we have started Fibres of Freedom in the heart of Monsanto’s Bt cotton/suicide belt in Vidharba. We have created community seed banks with indigenous seeds and helped farmers go organic. No GMO seeds, no debt, no suicides.
Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist.Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals.She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. She is the founder of Navdanya http://www.navdanya.org
Idaho company seeks to introduce genetically-engineered potato
One of the country’s leading suppliers of French fries is asking the federal government to approve genetically modified potatoes. The USDA on Friday announced J.R. Simplot’s petition to produce what would be the only genetically-engineered potato on the market.
Simplot has branded them Innate potatoes. The company figured out how to use existing potato DNA to design a spud that’s less prone to dark spots. When cooked, it produces less acrylamide, a neurotoxin found in many foods. Studies on animals have indicated it may also cause cancer.
This wouldn’t be the first attempt to market a genetically-engineered potato. A spud developed by Monsanto in the 1990s was discontinued, partly because of pushback from McDonalds and its customers. Simplot is a long-time supplier of the McDonalds chain.
The Simplot Company declined to comment on where it plans to sell its genetically-engineered potato.
A policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety says Simplot hasn’t done enough research on the possible health effects of the potato. The analyst added unlike most other genetically-engineered crops like soybeans, canola, and cotton, potatoes are grown for direct human consumption.
The public comment period on Simplot’s petition runs through July 2.
Andrew Weaver made history by winning a lone seat for the Green Party in the Vancouver Island riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. Weaver becomes the first Green representative ever elected to the provincial legislature. . . .
Clark lost her Vancouver-Point Grey riding to New Democrat David Eby . . . Eby says two issues dominated the race in Vancouver-Point Grey.
“The first is the environment, the issue of the increase in tanker traffic off the coast and the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project … Christy Clark [is] ignoring that as an issue,” he said.
2. I received a message from Facebook about Jim Harris’ photo of ME. . . . what in hell? . . . FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY obviously identified a picture of Christy Clark as Sandra Finley. And it wasn’t Jim Harris’s photo. It was a newspaper photo.
|Michael Maser (friends with Adriane Carr) commented on Jim Harris‘s photo of you.|
|Michael wrote: “The polling was probably accurate. What it never reveals is who is actually going to vote. With voter turnout at very close to 50% it’s clear that 1 in 2 people vote, and you have to ask why? I say it’s because most of these people recognize in our immature, socially irresponsible FPTP electoral system that their votes don’t count. And they’re right. The electoral system needs to change, period. – Michael Maser, Gibsons BC”|
Can you help? Do you know a family that has experienced breast or prostate (or other) cancer?
Please let them know about the March against Monsanto. I guarantee, they will have fun at the March. And everyone will feel better, doing something to stop the poisoning.
It is known that breast cancer is higher in farming communities.
The top oncology radiologist in Canada told me 10 years ago that there was an emerging epidemic of cancer among farm men.
(And I will always remember the research of, and my conversations with Dr. Elizabeth Guillette about the effects of farm chemicals on the cognitive development, not to mention health of children.)
The effects are not restricted to rural families. The poisons are built into our food supply as the information circulated yesterday shows.
Today I am going to contact every organizer I can find of a
- Run for Breast Cancer or
- Awareness of Prostate Cancer
to tell them about the Amazing mobilizations! The Whole World against Monsanto (GMO’s) happening around the world the last Saturday in May (May 25th). (Saskatoon: 12 noon, meet at Kinsmen Park across from the Mendel Art Gallery.)
Together we can reach thousands of people. It will be great if you can help. It will make a big difference if each of us talks to only 3 others.
I have worked with others on GMO’s for 10 years. There are many who have worked for much longer.
TODAY there is a whole movement that is cresting – - it is unlike anything I have seen in the past.
NOW is the time to drive as hard as we can. For a week.
1. “Multiple URL’s“ (text at bottom) explains why the links are here, and not in the email I distributed.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
1. NOTE: new development, “Multiple URL’s”.
Emails I send are not reaching some people.
They are returned, undelivered, the reason given is “multiple URL’s”.
Yesterday’s email had 5 links (URL’s) in it.
I will try using only one link in an email.
The link will be to a posting on my blog – - the “Multiple URL’s” will be there!
(What’s happening? I am wondering: many citizen organizations send out regular newsletters with top-notch information. It is typical for the newsletters to contain a significant number of URL’s.
More and more people obtain their news feed from the newsletters which undermines mainstream media’s hold.
I am wondering whether this blocking of emails that contain “Multiple URL’s” is a targeted strategy to reduce grass roots’ ability to share information, the growing of our power?)
By Colleen Long, The Associated Press
NEW YORK – The sophistication of a global network of thieves who drained cash machines around the globe of an astonishing $45 million in mere hours sent ripples through the security world, not merely for the size of the operation and ease with which it was carried out, but also for the threat that more such thefts may be in store.
Seven people were arrested in the U.S., accused of operating the New York cell of what prosecutors said was a network that carried out thefts at ATMs in 27 countries from Canada to Russia. Law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen nations were involved in the investigation, U.S. prosecutors in New York said Thursday.
“Unfortunately these types of cybercrimes involving ATMs, where you’ve got a flash mob going out across the globe, are becoming more and more common,” said Rose Romero, a former federal prosecutor and regional director for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“I expect there will be many more” of these types of crimes, she said.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, who called the theft “a massive 21st-century bank heist,” announced the case Thursday in New York.
Here’s how it worked:
Hackers got into bank databases, eliminated withdrawal limits on pre-paid debit cards and created access codes. Others loaded that data onto any plastic card with a magnetic stripe — an old hotel key card or an expired credit card worked fine as long as it carried the account data and correct access codes.
A network of operatives then fanned out to rapidly withdraw money in multiple cities, authorities said. The cells would take a cut of the money, then launder it through expensive purchases or ship it wholesale to the global ringleaders. Lynch didn’t say where they were located.
It appears no individuals lost money. The thieves plundered funds held by the banks that back up prepaid credit cards, not individual or business accounts, Lynch said.
Ori Eisen, a cybercrime expert and founder of 41st Parameter, a fraud detection and prevention firm, said the $45 million heist was on the “high-end” of what can be done by cybercriminals who exploit banking systems connected to the Internet.
“Given the scale of the global credit card networks, it is almost impossible to detect every kind of attack,” he said. “This attack is not the last one, and if the modus operandi proves to be successful crooks will exploit it time and again.”
There were two separate attacks in this case, one in December that reaped $5 million worldwide and one in February that snared about $40 million in 10 hours with about 36,000 transactions. The scheme involved attacks on two banks, Rakbank in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman, prosecutors said.
Such ATM fraud schemes are not uncommon, but the $45 million stolen in this one was at least double the amount involved in previously known cases, said Avivah Litan, an analyst who covers security issues for Gartner Inc.
Middle Eastern banks and payment processors are “a bit behind” on security and screening technologies that are supposed to prevent this kind of fraud, but it happens around the world, she said.
“It’s a really easy way to turn digits into cash,” Litan said.
Some of the fault lies with the ubiquitous magnetic strips on the back of the cards. The rest of the world has largely abandoned cards with magnetic strips in favour of ones with built-in chips that are nearly impossible to copy. But because U.S. banks and merchants have stuck to cards with magnetic strips, they are still accepted around the world.
Lynch would not say who masterminded the attacks globally, who the hackers are or where they were located, citing an ongoing investigation.
The New York suspects were U.S. citizens originally from the Dominican Republic who lived in the New York City suburb of Yonkers. They were mostly in their 20s. Lynch said they all knew one another and were recruited together, as were cells in other countries. They were charged with conspiracy and money laundering. If convicted, they each face 10 years in prison.
The accused ringleader in the U.S. cell, Alberto Yusi Lajud-Pena, was reportedly killed in the Dominican Republic late last month, prosecutors said. More investigations continue and other arrests have been made in other countries, but prosecutors did not have details.
An indictment unsealed Thursday accused Lajud-Pena and the other seven New York suspects of withdrawing $2.8 million in cash from hacked accounts in less than a day.
Arrests began in March.
Lajud-Pena was found dead with a suitcase full of about $100,000 in cash, and the investigation into his death is continuing separately. Dominican officials said they arrested a man in the killing who said it was a botched robbery, and two other suspects were on the lam.
The first federal study of ATM fraud was 30 years ago, when the use of computers in the financial community was growing rapidly. At the time, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found nationwide ATM bank loss from fraud ranged from $70 and $100 million a year.
By 2008, that had risen to about $1 billion a year, said Ken Pickering, who works in security intelligence at CORE Security, a white-hat hacking firm that offers security to businesses.
He said he expects news of the latest ring to inspire other criminals.
“Once you see a large attack like this, that they made off with $45 million, that’s going to wake up the cybercrime community,” he said.
“Ripping off cash, you don’t get that back,” he said. “There are suitcases full of cash floating around now, and that’s just gone.”
Associated Press technology writer Peter Svensson in New York, national writer Martha Mendoza in San Jose, Calif., and writer Ezequiel Abiú López in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, contributed to this report.
© The Canadian Press, 2013
DECISION FROM SASK COURT OF APPEAL IN MY TRIAL – LOCKHEED MARTIN AND THE CENSUS, PRIVACY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld the lower courts’ view that we do not have a Charter Right to privacy of personal information in the face of StatsCan’s appetite for the collection of personal data on individual citizens.
I have spoken with my lawyer. There are grounds – we will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Newspaper report follows. I will post more information as soon as I have time.
By Jonathan Charlton
A Saskatoon activist has lost a bid to have the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturn her conviction for failing to comply with the 2006 census.
Sandra Finley says she may decide to take her fight to the Supreme Court of Canada after she meets with her lawyer this week.
“I view it that I don’t have a choice in the matter. I think the issue of whether we have privacy of personal information is a critical issue in a democracy,” Finley said in an interview.
“So absolutely, if there are grounds for appeal, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision has to be challenged.”
Finley, then 61, refused to complete the formerly-mandatory long form census in 2006 as a protest against the federal government conducting business with a Canadian subsidiary of U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin.
She was found guilty in provincial court of not filling out the census, but was granted an absolute discharge, which allowed her to avoid any penalty or criminal record.
Nevertheless, Finley appealed the conviction to the Court of Queen’s Bench in 2011.
After that appeal was dismissed, she took her case to the province’s highest court, where she argued that the Queen’s Bench judge had erred in failing to consider whether she had a lawful excuse under the Statistics Act, by concluding that the census form had to be completed to constitute a breach of privacy, and by concluding that under statutes like the act, an individual may be compelled to answer and not receive protection under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In a written decision, Justice Georgina Jackson said the Court of Appeal was not swayed.
“Ms. Finley’s arguments do not lead me to conclude that the summary conviction appeal court judge erred when he found no error of law in relation to the trial judge’s conclusion that Ms. Finley did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy so as to sustain a Charter breach,” Jackson wrote.
“With regulatory statues, like the Statistics Act, a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy are considered to be lower than in other contexts.”
Finley disagrees. She says the Charter of Rights of Freedoms precludes the government from forcing people to disclose a “biographical core” of personal informations.
“I think you have to know what the history of detailed files on citizens is in any country. A country that starts to develop detailed files on citizens becomes fascist, militaristic,” Finley said.
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