Friday 19th of August 2022

a patent away from a catastrophic covid19 disaster...


"We will not fight climate change with a virus" – 
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres


When there is a denial, there has been a suggestion. We could dismiss this as a-priori nonsense. But some people ask questions. some people give answers...


It might take but an instant to recognise an opportunity, but it might take a tad longer to annoy the rest of the world with it

                                          King Louis XXXVI

So Graham Readfearn advises us:

In the public mind, the origin story of coronavirus seems well fixed: in late 2019 someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal.

The rest is part of an awful history still in the making, with Covid-19 spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed about 80,000 people so far.

Stock footage of pangolins – a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater – have made it on to news bulletins, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it jumped to humans.

Read more:

But soon we find mad controversies/conspiracies:

Covid-19: Made and patented in USA, leaked in China

Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova interviewed Igor Nikulin, a microbiologist, adviser to UN ex-secretary general Kofi Annan on bacteriological and chemical weapons.

World  »  Americas 

COVID-19 is not a natural coronavirus, but a man-made one. This is a biological weapon developed by the USA. It is believed that the Americans even patented Covid-19, like they patented Ebola. Was it used deliberately or incidentally? How many modifications does Covid-19 have? Why does the virus behave differently in different regions?

Читайте больше на

Inna Novikova: "You say that this coronavirus is unique for having four elements from the human immunodeficiency virus. What does this mean for the infected patients, what does this mean for the planet? Does it mean that all those infected with Covid-19 will become HIV carriers?

Igor Nikulin: "No. HIV elements enable the novel coronavirus to penetrate into human cells, in particular into the deep parts of the lungs and cause various severe complications. A person who has had coronavirus will not be infected with HIV. By the way, a strange thing has recently happened: first incidents of recurrent infection were reported in China. It turns out that they do not have antibodies to this virus. There's no immunity. This is another indication of the fact that COVID-19 is a virus that did not come from the wild. It had been created by someone for some specific purposes.

We could think that this is an interview of crackpots… But is it? The inteview finishes with:


"Is the virus in Italy the same as it is in China, or is it a modification of it?"

"It could be. Former Deputy Minister of Defense of Germany said that the Americans patented the virus in 2015."

"So there must be documents."

"Of course. Most likely, this is some kind of closed database."

"Why patent a virus?"

"They patented Ebola for some reason. I don't know why they are doing this, for what purpose. But, nevertheless, this is a fact. The Anglo-Saxons can't help but take what they consider theirs. This is the foundation of the Anglo-Saxon system. The early bird catches the worm."

Читайте больше на


Now this is real crackpot stuff… but a search for patents gives a real window into this murky world of viruses and patents. The list is frighteningly long. For example SARS has been patented "to protect intellectual rights as well as keep the information in the public domain.” But this is contested by some scientists as explained in the document (from 2004) to be found at :


By contrast, idealists have expressed per se objections to the patenting of the SARS virus. Some commentators maintain that patents should not be granted in respect of natural products. A long-time opponent of the patenting of biotechnological inventions, Jeremy Rifkin, argued in respect of SARS:

These are discoveries of nature and it’s baloney that we allow patents on living things. We didn’t allow chemists to patent the periodic table — there’s no patent on hydrogen and I don’t see why they can patent discoveries of nature.126

Many scientists argue that patents should not be issued for genes on the grounds that genes are scientific discoveries, not inventions.127 For instance, Marco Marra of the BCCA believed that the SARS virus should not be the subject of a patent because it was a scientific discovery: ‘This stems largely from a personal belief that DNA sequence is a discovery as opposed to an invention and should not be patentable’.128

Other critics argue that intellectual property rights and life forms are incompatible.129 For instance, the novelist Margaret Atwood raised concerns about the commodification of life. Her latest book, Oryx And Crake, is a satire about the corruption of science by commerce.130 Atwood was alarmed by the patents filed on the SARS virus:


A really good example of why you shouldn’t commercialize everything is the SARS epidemic. If public health were something that had to be paid for by an individual, the thing would be all over the place by now. Our world is not made of watertight compartments. Choices will come along soon. We hope that we will make the informed ones. We hope that we will not commercialize bloody everything. We hope that there will be watchdogs in place to keep things from getting out of hand.131




The Coronavirus is on the same path...

about patents and viruses...


meanwhile you might die of a displaced health-attention syndrome and/or idleness...


amusing creative side-effects of your panic...


an uncomfortable notion: the coronavirus is an escaped/released bioweapon...


some controversies, fake news or targeted double-cross...


"Already, in 2004, there have been worries that pharmaceutical drug companies and patent rights are impeding efforts to prevent an outbreak of bird flu — avian influenza.233 There is a need to ensure that the patent system is sufficiently flexible and adaptable to cope with the appearance of new infectious diseases.234"





The Race to Patent the SARS Virus




More to come...

preparing for the plague... (2004)


The race to patent the SARS virus highlights the wider trend of public institutions increasingly relying upon patents in the field of biotechnology. In the US, the Bayh-Dole Act has encouraged universities to patent publicly funded research inventions.21 Rebecca Eisenberg and Arti Rai observe:

The patenting trend accelerated significantly, however, after the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980. By 1997, the total number of patents issued annually to universities had increased to 2436. This almost ten-fold increase in university patenting was significantly greater than the two-fold increase in overall patenting during the same time period, and substantially exceeded growth in university research spending.22

The research institutions involved in SARS research were not only encouraged to file patents by this funding environment, but they were also driven by the need to preserve public access to the genetic material.

Three public research organisations — the BCCA, the CDC, and HKU — filed patents in respect of the genetic sequence of the SARS virus. The research institutions contended that it was necessary to engage in ‘defensive patenting’ to protect public access to scientific research. That is, by filing patent applications, they intended to pre-empt commercial applicants from obtaining patent rights that might hinder further research and development on SARS. Such a tactic is common amongst commercial firms. Kimberly Moore comments:

Defensive patenting often exists in a crowded art to provide the party with a repertoire of patents to use defensively as counterclaim weapons. These patents are used to strengthen a firm’s negotiating position with competitors (eg, as in cross-licensing). These patents may never be asserted affirmatively, but are maintained for defensive purposes when the patentee is threatened by competitors in a related field. It may be that foreign inventors acquire US patents for these defensive and signaling reasons to gain bargaining power in negotiations with competitors who threaten litigation.23

Such a strategy is not unprecedented in public universities or research institutions. Most notably, Michael Stratton and Cancer Research UK successfully sought a defensive patent in the European Patent Office in respect of research associated with the breast cancer-related gene, BRCA2.24 Such a measure was designed to prevent rival Myriad Genetics from engaging in the exclusive licensing of genetic tests for BRCA2. It is worthwhile evaluatingwhether this strategy of ‘defensive patenting’ will be an effective and sustainable one in the context of research into the SARS virus.

Sceptics have pointed out that the term ‘defensive patenting’ has a double meaning. They intimate that the phrase is not just used to refer to the filing of patent applications in order to promote the greater public good. The term ‘defensive patenting’ is also employed where applicants acquire patents in order to prevent and block others from using them. In such circumstances, the motivation is a negative one, to restrict a rival’s freedom to operate. Stuart MacDonald observes: ‘A whole vocabulary has developed to describe the role of patents in corporate strategy; amidst patent clustering, patent bracketing, patent walling and patent blitzkrieg there may be little place for innovation’.25 Such sceptics have highlighted the tensions inherent in the term, ‘defensive patenting’, between commercial imperatives and the public interest. They contend that scientists and university administrators intend to profit from the patents — rather than dedicate such inventions to the public domain. It is worth considering whether such cynicism is warranted in relation to the conduct of the research organisations involved in the SARS research.

A British Columbia Cancer Agency

At 4am, 12 April 2003, scientists at the Genome Sciences Centre of the BCCA completed the first publicly available draft sequence for a coronavirus implicated in SARS.26 The SARS research involved collaboration with a number of other institutions — including the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, and the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Victoria.

In the prestigious journal Science, Dr Marco Marra and his various collaborators summarised their research into the SARS virus: ‘We sequenced the 29 751 base genome of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) — associated coronavirus known as the Tor2 isolate’.27 In the conclusion, the authors stressed the importance of this work from a public health perspective. In the short-term, they said, ‘it will allow the rapid development of PCR-based assays for this virus that capitalize on novel sequence features, enabling ... discrimination between this and other circulating coronaviruses’.28 The authors predicted: ‘In the longer term, this information will assist in the development of antiviral treatments, including neutralizing antibodies and development of a vaccine to treat this emerging and deadly disease’.29

The BCCA filed a provisional patent application in the US claiming the complete genetic sequence of the coronavirus. It included details of the virus’genes, scientific analysis and general description of how the knowledge would be converted into diagnostics and treatments. The BCCA retained Smart & Biggar Fetherstonhaugh, a Vancouver law firm, to help prepare its case in patent law.30

The director of the BCCA Technology Development Office, Dr Samuel Abraham, was in charge of the patenting of the SARS virus. He applied the comprehensive patent and licensing policy of the BCCA.31 The policy has very detailed guidelines dealing with collective authorship and collaboration with other institutions. The purpose of the policy is ‘to encourage public use and commercial application of the research and development carried out at the BCCA/BCCF [British Columbia Cancer Foundation] while protecting the rights of the inventor(s) and the BCCA/BCCF’.32 It deals with such important matters as ownership, collaborative research, the distribution of royalties and the disclosure of information.

Abraham was concerned that commercial firms would seek to patent the SARS virus and engage in exclusive licensing — the BCCA had experienced difficulties in the past obtaining access to patented genetic tests for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

The BCCA has previously expressed concern about gene patents — in particular, Myriad Genetics’ patents for BRCA1 and BRCA2.33 In 2001, Myriad Genetics threatened to sue the British Columbia Government if the Government continued to allow genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the BCCA laboratories.34 The British Columbia Health Ministry advised the BCCA it could no longer pay for the tests. Dr Charmaine Kim-Sing, head of breast cancer prevention for the cancer agency, said:

It’s a huge blow for us. The cost is prohibitive. There isn’t anyone who can come up with that kind of money — $3850 is a lot of money for a blood test ... Our hope is that the government will step in and challenge the patent — they’re the only ones who can afford the lawsuit.35

In 2002, Simon Sutcliffe, the director of BCCA, said 200 of the tests were sent to the Ontario Provincial Government, which was willing to carry out clinical work in spite of the patent.36 The agency used to do its own tests until the British Columbia Government ordered it to stop after legal threats by Myriad Genetics. In 2003, the British Columbia Government decided to resume genetic testing for women who may be predisposed to breast and ovarian cancer.37



Read from top.


the plague


And there are the bio-labs (warfare or medical research) that MODIFY the DNA of viruses.

the biolab theory has legs...


From Barbara Boland


American officials in China cabled Washington several times, warning that a biolab in Wuhan was conducting risky experiments on bats and coronaviruses, according to new reports. The State Department received those cables two years ago.

The American people should be informed about what the State Department knew—but don’t expect to hear the answers anytime soon from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who gave an extraordinary interview to Martha MacCallum on Fox News Wednesday night.

Pompeo told MacCallum, “The mere fact that we don’t know the answers, that China hasn’t shared the answers, I think is very, very telling. To your point, the President said that there are multiple sources. What we do know is we know that this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We know that there is the Wuhan Institute of Virology just a handful of miles away from where the wet market was. There’s still lots to learn.”

Saying that “we don’t know the answers” because China hasn’t shared them is very misleading because we now know that American diplomatic officials warned Washington two years ago about inadequate safety at the Wuhan biolab. Those unheeded warnings reportedly prompted the U.S. government to consider whether the Wuhan lab was the source of the virus, according to a recent Washington Postarticle.

In January 2018, the U.S. embassy in Beijing sent U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had distinguished itself in 2015 as “China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety (known as BSL-4),” says the Washington Post. “WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits, which occurred on March 27, 2018… Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet.”

U.S. officials on the trip were so concerned by what they saw that they sent two diplomatic cables labelled Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington.

“The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help,” says the article. (This may explain why the U.S. government gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan lab.)

U.S. officials warned in the first cable that “the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.”

In other words, the U.S. government already had many pieces of the coronavirus origin puzzle two years before the pandemic began.

Pompeo further dissembles and spends 90 percent of the interview blaming China. “Today you saw further evidence that there were days—days that went by—from when the Chinese Communist Party, the leadership there, knew about this virus before they told the public writ large,” said Pompeo.

There’s no doubt that China did not share everything it knew about the virus and its origins with the World Health Organization, or with the U.S. But that is not an excuse for our government ignoring multiple warnings from U.S. officials on the ground in Wuhan. 

MacCallum pressed him, charging that U.S. officials “said that it was highly likely that a pandemic could result from how mishandled everything was there. What happened to those cables? Who received them in the State Department? Who went over them in the State Department two years ago?”

Pompeo answers:

“Martha, I appreciate you want to ask about that. I can’t comment on the cables tonight. I can say this. This is a laboratory that contained highly contagious materials. We knew that. We knew that they were working on this program. Many countries have programs like this. And in countries that are open and transparent, they have the ability to control and keep them safe and they allow outside observers in to make sure all the processes and procedures are right. I only wish that that had happened in this place. We would know more about it and we would know more about what has transpired there, if anything, today.”

The Chinese government isn’t the only one attempting to shirk responsibility here. The State Department was warned of what was happening in the lab in Wuhan and seems to have done nothing about it. The U.S. even went as far as funding the Chinese research.

Consider that this may be the “costliest government cover-up of all time” as a U.S. government source briefed on the details of early actions by China’s government told Fox News. How much? As information like these cables surface, it is clear we may not yet know the half of it.



Read more:



Of course NO-ONE is going to (or could) admit to having leaked the virus from a biolab, thus we'll never know... But let's say for a second that the virus was developed in a lab and accidentally (or deliberately) released in a "Wet Market", so that every one can be correct...




skating on thin ice, what we're not allowed to say, and pass the collection plate... and read from top.

going against the official rigid stupidity...


Eric Verhaeghe, essayist, founder of the information site Tripalio, returns to RT France to investigate the government's refusal to admit the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

Didier Raoult’s institute has just published a major pre-study that we are republishing, showing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. This study involves more than 1,000 patients. Meanwhile, the health bureaucracy continues its long fight to disqualify a promising solution, inexpensive, but which does not please the authorities. 


This is not a question of yielding to a "Raoultmania", nor of blindly pleading in favour of hydroxychloroquine combined with azythromycin as a miracle remedy with a magic wand that would announce the end of the pandemic and the return of happiness on earth.


Hydroxychloroquine and its shortcomings


Let’s start by saying all the bad things people think about hydroxychloroquine. The pre-study which has just been published is far from settling all the problems, since it indicates that, thanks to this treatment, the mortality in 1,000 patients taken at the start of the disease falls to less than 1%, and brings record cure rates. Basically, these numbers are good but do not guarantee a cure for sure. They just say that hydroxychloroquine combined with azythromycin can cut the mortality rate for the disease by a factor of four or five.


A treatment that does not harm health


Hydroxychloroquine also shows a lack of glaring danger. In the campaign that followed Didier Raoult's booming announcements, we read many articles claiming that this product, known for decades and commonly used to fight against malaria by all western travellers leaving for the Africa or Asia, could kill. The authors of these opaque papers obviously preferred to let patients die from the coronavirus rather than expose them to the very low risk of a side effect of hydroxychloroquine.


Hydroxychloroquine and the precautionary principle

This condemnation of hydroxychloroquine is pronounced by the Country's Health Authority in the name of precautionary principles, and defended as such by zealous servants of power in government: the State cannot recommend a potentially dangerous treatment (implied: it is better let people die rather than make mistakes by giving them risky treatment). Rather than avoiding the wall by taking responsibility, rushing in without risking an improbable exit from the road ...


The same people who operate the precautionary principles to block the usage of hydroxychloroquine have taken no precaution to order masks and timely testing for the population. Hearing the health bureaucracy explain at the same time that wearing a mask is not compulsory and that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous reveals all the antics of the State in France today, and of the elites who control it. France is one of the last countries where the State condemns hydroxychloroquine The obsessive refusal of hydroxychloroquine in France contrasts with the opening measures taken largely abroad.


For Western Europe alone, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Greece, officially recommend treatment of the coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine. Russia, the United States, China, Brazil, do the same. Why are the French elites fighting so stubbornly against a French product, which could be produced in France? Why are they making the bed of Gildes Remdesivir, produced at very high cost in the United States, and which is neither marketed nor, at this stage, effective?


Health bureaucracy seriously harms health


A parliamentary committee is needed to clarify the real reasons for bureaucratic roadblocks against hydroxychloroquine. Until then, we can wonder about the number of French people who will die as a result of these inept blockings? On what legal, human, philosophical basis can an official decide in the comfort of his office whether or not a particular patient is entitled to hydroxychloroquine? On what basis is the patient deprived of the possibility of exposing himself or not to a risk that he wishes to take with complete transparency for his health?



Find out more about RT France:




Read from top.


Read from top.


Important note: hydroxychloroquine and azythromycin may have been on the market long enough to be "out of patent" and be manufactured cheaply as GENERIC PRODUCTS... Ah... I see!

privatized vaccines...

 There Shouldn’t Be Vaccine Patents in a Health Crisis. Most Americans Agree: Waive Them.


A new poll found most Americans want Biden to break drug companies’ monopolies and end Covid-19 vaccine apartheid.


THE EXTREMITY OF Covid-19 vaccine apartheid cannot be overstated. As of mid-February, the United States had acquired enough vaccines for three times its total population, while in 130 countries, not a single vaccine shot had been administered. This is no accident, but the direct and long-predicted result of a vaccine production and access model tied to privatized intellectual property and entrenched medicine monopolies.

The majority of Americans want President Joe Biden to act to end this intolerable vaccine inequality. Sixty percent of U.S. voters said they wanted Biden to endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization that would waive patent barriers and other crucial intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines, according to a new poll from Data for Progress and the Progressive International. This would enable a significant expansion of global production and rollout, while disrupting the extraordinary profiteering of pharmaceutical leviathans in a death-dealing pandemic.

The refusal on the part of major pharmaceutical companies and Western powers to ensure the sharing of vaccine patent and production information has been an immeasurable moral failure, not to mention a most foolish approach to a pandemic in need of a global response. The new poll also makes clear that, for Biden, blocking vaccine sharing is not even a popular position. Seventy-two percent of registered Democrats want the president to remove patent barriers to speed vaccine rollout and reduce costs for less affluent nations.


Read more:


Read from top.


See also:




patented food...

 Gates Unhinged: Dystopian Vision for the Future of Food  Colin Todhunter


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

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also involved (documented in the recent report ‘Gates to a Global Empire‘ by Navdanya International), whether through buying up huge tracts of farmland, promoting a much-heralded (but failed) ‘green revolution’ for Africa, pushing biosynthetic food and new genetic engineering technologies or more generally facilitating the aims of the mega agrifood corporations.

Of course, those involved in this portray what they are doing as some kind of humanitarian endeavour – saving the planet with ‘climate-friendly solutions’, helping farmers or feeding the world. This is how many of them probably do genuinely regard their role inside their corporate echo chamber. But what they are really doing is repackaging the dispossessive strategies of imperialism as ‘feeding the world’.


Since the Green Revolution, US agribusiness and financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have sought to hook farmers and nation states on corporate seeds and proprietary inputs as well as loans to construct the type of agri infrastructure that chemical-intensive farming requires.

Monsanto-Bayer and other agribusiness concerns have since the 1990s been attempting to further consolidate their grip on global agriculture and farmers’ corporate dependency with the rollout of genetically engineered seeds, commonly known as GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

In her latest report, ‘Reclaim the Seed’, Vandana Shiva says:

In the 1980s, the chemical corporations started to look at genetic engineering and patenting of seed as new sources of super profits. They took farmers varieties from the public gene banks, tinkered with the seed through conventional breeding or genetic engineering, and took patents.”

Shiva talks about the Green Revolution and seed colonialism and the pirating of farmers seeds and knowledge. She says that 768,576 accessions of seeds were taken from farmers in Mexico alone:

…taking the farmers seeds that embodies their creativity and knowledge of breeding. The ‘civilising mission’ of Seed Colonisation is the declaration that farmers are ‘primitive’ and the varieties they have bred are ‘primitive’, ‘inferior’, ‘low yielding’ and have to be ‘substituted’ and ‘replaced’ with superior seeds from a superior race of breeders, so called ‘modern varieties’ and ‘improved varieties’ bred for chemicals.”

It is now clear that the Green Revolution has been a failure in terms of its devastating environmental impacts, the undermining of highly productive traditional low-input agriculture and its sound ecological footing, the displacement of rural populations and the adverse impacts on village communities, nutrition, health and regional food security.

Aside from various studies that have reported on the health impacts of chemical-dependent crops (Dr Rosemary Mason’s many reports on this can be accessed on the website), ‘New Histories of the Green Revolution’ (2019) debunks the claim that the Green Revolution boosted productivity; ‘The Violence of the Green Revolution’ (1991) details (among other things) the impact on rural communities; Bhaskar Save’s open letter to Indian officials in 2006 discusses the ecological devastation of the Green Revolution and in a 2019 paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences, Parvez et al note that native wheat varieties in India have higher nutrition content than the Green Revolution varieties (many such crop varieties were side-lined in favour of corporate seeds that were of lower nutritional value).

These are just a brief selection of peer-reviewed and ‘grey’ literature which detail the adverse impacts of the Green Revolution.


As for GM crops, often described as Green Revolution 2.0, these too have failed to deliver on the promises made and, like the 1.0 version, have often had devastating consequences.

The arguments for and against GMOs are well documented, but one paper worth noting appeared in the journal Current Science in 2018. Along with PC Kesavan, MS Swaminathan – regarded as the father of the Green Revolution in India – argued against introducing GM crops to India and cited various studies about the failings of the GMO project.

Regardless, the industry and its well-funded lobbyists and bought career scientists continue to spin the line that GM crops are a marvellous success and that the world needs even more of them to avoid a global food shortage. GM crops are required to feed the world is a well-worn industry slogan trotted out at every available opportunity. Just like the claim of GM crops being a tremendous success, this too is based on a myth.

There is no global shortage of food. Even under any plausible future population scenario, there will be no shortage as evidenced by scientist Dr Jonathan Latham in his recent paper ‘The Myth of a Food Crisis’.

However, new gene drive and gene editing techniques have now been developed and the industry is seeking the unregulated commercial release of products that are based on these methods.

It does not want plants, animals and micro-organisms created with gene-editing to be subject to safety checks, monitoring or consumer labelling. This is concerning given the real dangers that these techniques pose.

Many peer-reviewed research papers now call into question industry claims about the ‘precision’, safety and benefits of gene-edited organisms and can be accessed on the website.

It really is a case of old wine in new bottles.

And this is not lost on a coalition of 162 civil society, farmers and business organisations which has called on Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans to ensure that new genetic engineering techniques continue to be regulated in accordance with existing EU GMO standards.

The coalition argues that these new techniques can cause a range of unwanted genetic modifications that can result in the production of novel toxins or allergens or in the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. The open letter adds that even intended modifications can result in traits which could raise food safety, environmental or animal welfare concerns.

The European Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that organisms obtained with new genetic modification techniques must be regulated under the EU’s existing GMO laws. However, there has been intense lobbying from the agriculture biotech industry to weaken the legislation, aided by the Gates Foundation.

The coalition states that various scientific publications show that new techniques of genetic modification allow developers to make significant genetic changes, which can be very different from those that happen in nature.

In addition to these concerns, a new paper from Chinese scientists, ‘Herbicide Resistance: Another Hot Agronomic Trait for Plant Genome Editing’, says that, in spite of claims from GMO promoters that gene editing will be climate-friendly and reduce pesticide use, what we can expect is just more of the same – GM herbicide-tolerant crops and increased herbicide use.

The industry wants its new techniques to be unregulated, thereby making gene-edited GMOs faster to develop, more profitable and hidden from consumers when purchasing items in stores. At the same time, the costly herbicide treadmill will be reinforced for farmers.

None of this is meant to imply that new technology is bad in itself. The issue is who owns and controls the technology and what are the underlying intentions. By dodging regulation as well as avoiding economic, social, environmental and health impact assessments, it is clear that the industry is first and foremost motivated by value capture and profit and contempt for democratic accountability.

This is patently clear if we look at the rollout of Bt cotton in India which served the bottom line of Monsanto but brought dependency, distress and no durable agronomic benefits for many of India’s small and marginal farmers. Prof A P Gutierrez argues that Bt cotton has effectively placed these farmers in a corporate noose.

Monsanto sucked hundreds of millions of dollars in profit from these cotton farmers, while industry-funded scientists are always keen to push the mantra that rolling out Bt cotton in India uplifted their conditions.

Those who promote this narrative remain wilfully ignorant of the challenges (documented in the 2019 book by Andrew Flachs – ‘Cultivating Knowledge: Biotechnology, Sustainability and the Human Cost of Cotton Capitalism in India‘) these farmers face in terms of financial distress, increasing pest resistance, dependency on unregulated seed markets, the eradication of environmental learning, the loss of control over their productive means and the biotech-chemical treadmill they are trapped on (this last point is precisely what the industry intended).

When assessing the possible impacts of GMO agriculture, it was with good reason that, in their 2018 paper, Swaminathan and Kesavan called for:

able economists who are familiar with and will prioritise rural livelihoods and the interests of resource-poor small and marginal farmers rather than serve corporate interests and their profits”.


Whether through all aspects of data control (soil quality, consumer preferences, weather, etc), e-commerce monopolies, corporate land ownership, seed biopiracy and patenting, synthetic food or the eradication of the public sector’s role in ensuring food security and national food sovereignty (as we could see in India with new farm legislation), Bill Gates and his corporate cronies seek to gain full control over the global food system.

Smallholder peasant farming is to be eradicated as the big-tech giants and agribusiness impose lab-grown food, GM seeds, genetically engineered soil microbes, data harvesting tools and drones and other ‘disruptive’ technologies.

We could see farmerless industrial-scale farms being manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce commodity crops from patented GM seeds for industrial ‘biomatter’ to be processed and constituted into something resembling food.

The displacement of a food-producing peasantry (and the subsequent destruction of rural communities and local food security) was something the Gates Foundation once called for and cynically termed “land mobility”.

Technocratic meddling has already destroyed or undermined agrarian ecosystems that draw on centuries of traditional knowledge and are increasingly recognised as valid approaches to secure food security, as outlined in Food Security and Traditional Knowledge in India in the Journal of South Asian Studies, for instance.

But is all of this inevitable?

Not according to the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, which has just released a report in collaboration with the ETC Group: ‘A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045‘.

The report outlines two different futures. If Gates and the global mega-corporations have their way, we will see the entire food system being controlled by data platforms, private equity firms and e-commerce giants, putting the food security (and livelihoods) of billions at the mercy of AI-controlled farming systems.

The other scenario involves civil society and social movements – grassroots organisations, international NGOs, farmers’ and fishers’ groups, cooperatives and unions – collaborating more closely to transform financial flows, governance structures and food systems from the ground up.

The report’s lead author, Pat Mooney, says that agribusiness has a very simple message: the cascading environmental crisis can be resolved by powerful new genomic and information technologies that can only be developed if governments unleash the entrepreneurial genius, deep pockets and risk-taking spirit of the most powerful corporations.

Mooney notes that we have had similar messages based on emerging technology for decades but the technologies either did not show up or fell flat and the only thing that grew were the corporations.

He says:

In return for trillions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies, the agribusiness model would centralise food production around a handful of untested technologies that would lead to the forced exodus of at least a billion people from hundreds of millions of farms. Agribusiness is gambling on other people’s food security.”

Although Mooney argues that new genuinely successful alternatives like agroecology are frequently suppressed by the industries they imperil, he states that civil society has a remarkable track record in fighting back, not least in developing healthy and equitable agroecological production systems, building short (community-based) supply chains and restructuring and democratising governance systems.

As stated in the report, the thrust of any ’Long Food Movement’ strategy is that short-termism is not an option: civil society groups need to place multiple objectives and actions on a 25-year roadmap and not make trade-offs along the way – especially when faced with the neoliberal-totalitarianism of Gates et al who will seek to derail anything or anyone regarded as a threat to their aims.


Read more:


Read from top.


Read also: 

predicting the future...