The U.S. government, a revolving door for Big Agra’s biotech, is indeed bullying El Salvador into using genetically modified seeds just as current headlines suggest.
“‘I would like to tell the U.S. Ambassador to stop pressuring the Government (of El Salvador) to buy ‘improved’ GM seeds,’ said [President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA)] Navarro, which is only of benefit to U.S. multinationals and is to the detriment of local seed production,” reported Sustainable Pulse.
Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a self-described “independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping to lead the fight against global poverty,” created by Congress in 2004, $277 million in aid is being dangled over El Salvador’s head if, as the World War 4 Report puts it, “the Salvadoran Agriculture Ministry continues its current practice of buying seeds from small-scale Salvadoran producers for its Family Agriculture Plan.”
The threat was apparently made, “with clear intentions to advance the interests of transnational agricultural companies.”
While the practice of distributing seed packets from small Salvadoran producers (instead of multinational corporations like Monsanto) under the program has actually spurred the growth of basic food crops by a third, utilizing over 200,000 hectares for cultivation — thus achieving the exact goals that MCC’s entire existence is supposedly based on — nearly $300 million in aid might be withheld simply because El Salvador isn’t using Monsanto’s GMO seeds.
So which is it? Foreign aid or a corporate pay day?
Dr. Jeff Ritterman, writing for Huffington Post, puts it in even better perspective:
To the Salvadorans, using indigenous seeds makes sense both economically and agriculturally. Over millennia, nature has adapted these seeds to the Salvadoran climate and soil. But there is another equally pressing reason to avoid Monsanto’s GMO seeds…
For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic which has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. Unlike in most kidney diseases, the kidney tubules are the site of injury, not the kidney’s complex filtration apparatus. New research has shown that glyphosate has the unique ability to bind with heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic. The glyphosate-heavy metal complexes appear to be toxic to the kidney tubules, and may be the cause of this worldwide kidney disease epidemic.
Are we in the United States going to insist that the Salvadorans use Monsanto’s seeds which require Monsanto’s pesticide, glyphosate, given the real fear that glyphosate may be a major cause of a worldwide epidemic of chronic kidney disease? Are we going to claim that we know better than El Salvador’s farmers which seeds are better suited to their local conditions? Are we going to demand that El Salvador, a poor agrarian nation, buy its seeds from a transnational corporation year after year rather than develop a program of local seed sovereignty? Are we going to pretend that we didn’t fund a brutally repressive regime responsible for crimes against humanity and do nothing to help heal the wounds we caused?
Yes. Apparently America is doing those things.
As Jeffrey M. Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology once told Russia Today, “Basically if we’re dealing with the federal government, we’re dealing with an arm of Monsanto.” After all, it’s to the point that a former Monsanto lawyer and Vice President for Public Policy is currently sitting as our FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods. Smith briefly discusses just some of the dangers from GMOs in the RT interview below:
But the Millennium Challenge Corporation is no ordinary agency, and El Salvador is not the only country receiving it’s “aid”.
El Salvador is just one snapshot of a larger, global picture.
To give you an understanding of who is running MCC and what’s involved, let’s dig a little deeper.
According to MCC’s site, “The MCC Board of Directors is composed of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Administrator of USAID, the CEO of the MCC and four private sector members appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.”
Currently, six of the nine members are listed on the Council on Foreign Relations’ official membership roster. Here’s a little background information so you can understand who these people are and where they have been.
Secretary of State John Kerry, Skull & Bones member and Bilderberg attendee, is not currently listed as a member on the official membership roster of the Council on Foreign Relations, though some sites do classify him as a CFR member. His wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, his sister Peggy Kerry, and his daughter Vanessa Bradford Kerry, are all CFR members, however.
Secretary of Treasury Jacob “Jack” Lew, former Special Assistant to Bill Clinton during his presidency and COO of Citigroup, is a member of CFR.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, former Director for International Economic Affairs on the National Economic Council and the National Security Council, as well as former Managing Director at Citigroup, is a CFR Fellow.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is not listed as a member of CFR, but he’s given lectures at Council on Foreign Relations, as seen below. Shah was also Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics (REE) and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a scientific institute focused on agricultural research to address quote, “sustainable food production around the world, climate change, bioenergy and human nutrition”.
Shah has held various leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including the Director of the Agricultural Development program. Shah also helped to create the Alliance for a Green Revolution (read: GMO) in Africa (AGRA). Shah not only sits on its board of directors, he also helped recruit UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as AGRA’s leader.
CFR’s official description of the video above is that Shah is discussing “how foreign assistance and development efforts can spread U.S. values, deter conflict, and shape a more peaceful world.” (Emphasis added. Be sure you read between the lines on that one. In fact, you pretty much have to read between the lines on anything these people say.)
Dana J. Hyde was sworn in as MCC’s newest CEO on May 23, 2014. Just prior to that, Hyde was Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). She also held the position of Senior Advisor to Jack Lew at the State Department in the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources (2009-2011), counsel on the 9/11 commission (2003-2004), Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (1997-1998), Special Assistant to the President in the Office of Cabinet Affairs at The White House (1993-1995) and Legislative Assistant at AIPAC (1989-1991).
“I want the American people to always get their money’s worth from everything MCC does on their behalf. That means collaborating with key stakeholders, federal agencies and private sector partners to maximize our impact here and abroad,” Hyde wrote in her welcome statement, “Delivering value for the American people”. (Emphasis added.)
Currently, the four private sector members are all CFR:
Mark Green, President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), is a member of CFR. Wikipedia describes the IRI as “a UN-partnered organisation, partially funded by the U.S. House of Representatives, that conducts international political programs.”
Susan M. McCue, President of Message Global, is a lifetime member of CFR. McCue was also Founding President and CEO for Bono of U2’s ONE organization; prior to that, she served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Chief of Staff from 1998-2007. In addition, President Obama nominated her to the Broadcasting Board of Governors in 2010, which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, including Voice of America “bringing news and democratic values” to people in 60 different languages around the world.
Lorne W. Craner, co-Director of the Transatlantic Renewal Initiative and former President of the International Republican Institute, is a member of CFR.
Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Policy Center, is also a member of CFR. He previously served in the Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton administrations (Nixon’s as an aide to Henry Kissinger), and he also held leadership positions with the Center for American Progress and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He currently serves on the board of ONE as well.
It may only be nine people, but these are nine people who are quite influential on the world stage to say the least.
While the MCC notes that it partners with key shareholders in the private sector, there’s no list of corporations easily found on the site…that is, unless you count this report, “Congressional Budget Justification for FY 2009” which lists American businesses who “proudly support” MCC and it’s “innovative approach to economic development assistance,” including producers and beneficiaries of genetically modified seeds such as Monsanto, Cargill, Dow Chemical Company, Mars Incorporated, Starbucks Coffee, Pioneer Hi-Bred, in addition to Raytheon, GE, Microsoft, Citigroup, Boeing, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline and many others.
MCC has signed memorandums of understanding with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) – a major initiative by the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations that was launched, staffed and largely the baby of now-USAID director & Millennium Challenge Corporation director Rajiv Shah – as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Denmark, GE, Microsoft, and the United Nations World Food Program among others.
In addition, this document shows that tens of millions of dollars flow from MCC to major defense contractors the likes of Booz Allen Hamilton and PA Consulting (now headed by Bilderberg’s Marcus Agius [a Rothschild]) for things like “agriculture consulting”.
El Salvador is only one of nearly 40 countries being “helped” through MCC with millions in U.S. government “aid”.
Clearly there is a larger strategy to push for global GMO adoption – and even outright domination – at the expense of traditional agriculture and local farmers.
According to MCC’s statute, “a country may have its eligibility or assistance suspended or terminated if the country has engaged in activities contrary to the national security interests of the United States.”
Again, read between the lines here.
What you think the American government’s “national security interests” and idea of aid are (a shiny happy fun time where we actually help people with food security and sustainable economic policies) and what the United States of America, Inc., the sultan of corporate imperialism, believes they are might very well be two very different things.
El Salvador’s compact with MCC says it is supposed to “fuel economic growth,” but only if that growth is fueled the way Uncle Sam wants it to be — through (or rather to) our mega-corporations.
Have you come to the realization yet that this whole thing is nothing more than a fancy way to subsidize U.S.-based multinational corporations at the expense of local farmers all over the world — thus allowing patented biotechnology to purposefully displace locally adapted heritage agriculture in as many places as possible under the guise of helping these poor countries out?
Linda Heard of Intrepid Report frames it well:
“There is no such thing as a free lunch as states that are recipients of Western aid understand only too well. The naive may believe that foreign aid is a tool to help developing countries; skeptics are convinced it’s a quid pro quo enabling wealthy powers to exercise geopolitical policy objectives.”