We are continuously inundated with the message that our world is overpopulated because humanity is reproducing at a rate much faster than the Earth’s resources can possibly accommodate us.
This propaganda is pushed on us as an excuse for all manner of messing with mother nature: from risky geoengineering projects — to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations set to cost the economy billions in revenue and millions of jobs — to ethanol production which was supposed to be “greener” but which studies have shown takes more fossil energy to produce than the actual energy we derive from it.
Food scarcity is a particular driver under the Malthusian argument that our human population increases geometrically while our food supply increases arithmetically, thus humanity will ultimately no longer be sustainable. Malthus has been proven wrong time and again, but the scaremongering persists.
Even looking at the actual data showing the world’s population growth rate has been steadily falling for the last five decades does not stop the overpopulation propaganda machine from driving on full speed ahead.
Waving a banner that it can ‘feed the world’, the genetically modified organism (GMO) is one trojan horse everyone seems to be riding these days. According to United Nations projections, the world will require 70 percent more food by 2050, so we simply have to have GMO technology to feed everyone. And everyone in power seems to be on board with this agenda — from mega philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to various United Nations organizations and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Seventeen million farmers in 28 countries across the world planted 170 million hectares of GM crops in 2012. This despite a plethora of independent health studies showing genetically modified food production’s numerous detriments to health and the environment. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has warned that, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”
Too bad, say GMO pushers. We have to feed starving people, so as the argument goes, we have to have GMO.
But who really benefits from this assertion?
GMO’s Broken Promises
Common Dreams reports:
“Historically, the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the US and other countries has primarily profited patent-holding companies, while creating farmer dependence on the chemical fertilizers and pesticides produced by a few US corporations, used to the detriment of human health, soil quality and the environment.”
The big promise of GMO was bigger yields with less pesticides and herbicides required, right? More food for all with less damage to the environment?
Promises, promises. As more of our land is being used to produce GM crops, pesticide use has increased by a staggering 73 million pounds. Even though these GM plants are bred with patented traits to supposedly make them “herbicide tolerant,” somehow herbicide use has also managed to go up. With the increase in use of these chemicals, we’ve also seen the a science fiction novel plot brought to life in the form of superweeds and superbugs. Weeds resistant to biotech giant Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate herbicide were estimated to cover a whopping 120 million hectares of land worldwide back in 2010.
Still, through everything from propaganda to policies, GMO is slowly taking over. For the first time in 2012, developing countries grew more biotech crops than industrialized nations did. This is happening even though many developing nations are, and have traditionally been, resistant to accepting GMO crops. Consider this statement to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization signed by 24 delegates from 18 African countries in 1998:
“We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia, and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.”
How is science (developed and pushed by the mega corporations that benefit financially from it) supposed to magically come in and just replace a thousand years of natural agricultural knowledge developed specifically for a region? Award-winning Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey recently urged African governments to reject GMO as well:
“There is no reason to allow genetically engineered crops into farms that have not been already contaminated. African countries must not allow themselves to be stampeded to toe paths that lead to questionable destinations. Genetically engineered crops are not as climate smart as native crops that have adapted to these conditions over the years…We must not be in the business of turning our environment and peoples to laboratories and guinea pigs.”
Bassey also pointed a finger at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation goal of building a biotech lab in Nigeria that Bassey notes would not just produce GM seeds for the country but the whole continent — a takeover.
Remember, it may be the world’s largest ‘philanthropic’ entity, but the Gates Foundation is not an elected board executing the will of the people. It’s a non-governmental organization sidestepping the democratic process with cold, hard cash and lots of it. For a man who thinks the world is overpopulated, it’s a wonder Gates is working so hard to serve up GMO to starving African people.
On an aside, miles away tucked deep in the Arctic, the Gates Foundation is concurrently investing millions (along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and the Syngenta Foundation) in a highly secure seed vault…
Is GMO really absolutely ‘necessary’ to feed the world?
The short answer? No.
Did you know half the world’s food is actually thrown away? According to a recent study by the U.K.’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), as much as 2 billion tonnes of food is chucked in the garbage and 550 billion cubic metres of water is wasted annually:
“IMechE blames the ‘staggering’ new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with ‘poor engineering and agricultural practices’, inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.”
The reality is artificial scarcity. Hype. GMO is not the mandatory final option humanity has no choice but to adopt as a result of overpopulation (which is just a myth anyway).
This is problem-reaction-solution and nothing more.
Here’s some food for thought.
Using aquaponics with tilapia and leveraging vertical space, a man in Wisconsin was able turn greenhouses equivalent to three acres of land space into a million pounds of food — that’s a million pounds of food without transgenic seed technologies or continuously bathing everything in tons of commericial pesticides.
This food is efficiently grown year-round using heat from compost piles and a simple water pump that recycles the same water, with plants filtering out the wastes:
Now consider what would happen if everyone started doing this, or small groups of people got together and formed cooperatives to do this.
If, as Kissinger proposed, food can be used as a weapon of control for depopulation efforts (and it clearly is), then our sovereignty will ultimately reside in food self-sufficiency.