Pope Francis, Neil Young, and 100,000 Beekeepers Take a Stand Against Toxic Agriculture

Previous Article Next Article
June 30, 2015 | 214,024 views

Story at-a-glance

  • In his Encyclical letter, Pope Francis calls for major transformations to tackle environmental degradation; he also calls for broad, responsible scientific and social debate about genetically engineered (GE) foods
  • The German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents nearly 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops to protect bees
  • In his latest album, The Monsanto Years, Neil Young sings about Monsanto’s dangerous influence, exposing “the myth of progress,” and decries the hijacking of democracy by corporate interests

By Dr. Mercola

What do Pope Francis, Neil Young, and German beekeepers have in common? They're all speaking out against genetically engineered crops and the excessive use of toxic pesticides.

Meanwhile, the chemical technology industry is feverishly trying to revamp its image by renaming itself and putting out new spins on words to disguise what they're really all about.

The sad fact is, the chemical industry has to a large degree taken over the food industry, not to mention hijacked the federal regulatory process. In essence, most of the population is being fed by poison experts.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has been instrumental in keeping Americans in the dark about what's in our food, also admits it has played an integral role in shaping the draconian "DARK Act," which delivers Monsanto everything they've ever wanted on a silver platter while obliterating the democratic process.

Pope Francis Calls for Radical Transformations to Confront Environmental Degradation

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis' 184-page long Encyclical letter1,2 was published, in which he calls for the transformation of lifestyles, politics, agriculture, economics, and business in general to tackle environmental degradation.

"The violence present in our hearts is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life," he says.

And, while praising scientific advancements, he criticizes the use of novel technologies without adequate forethought, noting that: "our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience."

To many people's surprise, Pope Francis appears to have a fairly comprehensive grasp of the subject of genetically engineered food and its many inherent hazards, both to the environment and human health.

Far from coming from a strictly religious perspective, he comprehensively addresses the issue from the point of ecological and economical balance, noting:3

"The expan­sion of these [genetically engineered] crops has the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the diversity of production and affecting region­al economies, now and in the future.

In various countries, we see an expansion of oligopolies for the production of cereals and other products needed for their cultivation. This dependency would be aggravated were the production of in­fertile seeds to be considered; the effect would be to force farmers to purchase them from larger producers.

Certainly, these issues require constant at­tention and a concern for their ethical implica­tions. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of con­sidering all the available information and of call­ing things by their name.

Discussions are needed in which all those directly or indirectly affected (farmers, consumers, civil authorities, scientists, seed producers, people living near fumigated fields, and others) can make known their problems and concerns, and have access to adequate and reliable infor­mation in order to make decisions for the com­mon good, present and future.

This is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of inde­pendent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem."

Monsanto, a war chemical company that has been sued over toxic pollution multiple times, and been found guilty of lying and covering up evidence of their wrong-doing in virtually every case, is now looking to buy another giant chemical company, move their headquarters overseas to avoid US taxes, change their name, and rename their toxic bug and weed killers into nicer sounding things like "seed and crop protectants."

At the end of the day, Monsanto is still just a chemical company that is now using many of the same war chemicals to grow our food. Why do we accept food from a poison expert? Toxins are rendered largely unnecessary using regenerative practices, which have also been shown to outperform chemical agriculture in terms of yield.

Monsanto's president and chief operating officer Brett Bergemann recently stated that:10 "We have the challenge of feeding 9.5 billion people by 2050. We need to meet that need in a sustainable way and we need to drive sustainable intensification of agriculture." And yet everything Monsanto specializes in drives us in the polar opposite of regenerative agriculture. If you still believe Monsanto is concerned with feeding billions of people healthy nutritious food, then you simply have yet to objectively and carefully review their scandalous history.

They design and patent seeds that withstand the very herbicides they make and sell. They promised weeds would not develop resistance, but 10 million acres of superweeds stand witness to that lie. This has led to more Roundup being used to keep up with the weeds. Now crops resistant to even more toxic chemicals are being brought to market. Everything Monsanto has ever done has been centered around toxic chemicals, and now they're trying to purchase the world's largest pesticide producer.

Toxins and health do not go together, and anyone with impartial and rational motivations will quickly realize that Monsanto is not in the health-food business. They're in the poison business, and with the bid to take over Syngenta, it should be crystal clear that Monsanto is not about to change their century-old track record anytime soon, no matter how many new words they invent to confuse you about the use of toxins on your food.

GMA Threatens to Take Away Vermont's Twinkies

On April 27, 2015, a judge ruled against the food industry, spearheaded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), upholding Vermont's GMO labeling law. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2016. But the GMA isn't done fighting against democracy and freedom and just about everything else the United States claims to stand for.

It recently sent a letter to Vermont, threatening to remove snack foods from the state lest Vermont drop its GMO labeling law. According to Politico:11 “The Grocery Manufacturers Association is warning Vermont officials that the cost to food companies to comply with the state’s GMO labeling law could exceed their sales revenue, forcing many of them to leave.” Should such a threat actually go through, it would surely be a magnificent experiment to see how residents’ health might improve compared to other states where snacks containing GMO corn syrup, sugar from GMO sugar beets, and vegetable oils from GMO soy and cottonseed are still sold.

GMA Admits Playing Integral Role in 'Denying Americans the Right to Know' (DARK) Act

The GMA has also been a driving force behind Pompeo "DARK" Act (HR 1599, "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act")—a law that would not only preempt states' rights to create their own GMO food labeling laws, it also preempts any and all state and local regulation of GE crops, and weakens federal oversight.12 In short, it's a Monsanto dream come true, and a corporate fascism nightmare for the rest of us.

Not only would it nullify existing GMO regulation, it also prohibits future laws from even being considered! The Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA) admits playing an integral role in the creation of this draconian anti-democratic, anti-consumer bill.
In a June 17, 2015 email to the GMA board of directors, Pamela Bailey writes, in part:

"GMA knows that your companies are facing difficult decisions and monumental challenges implementing the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law. Many of you have reached out to me and other GMA staff with your concerns. The federal legislation introduced in the House by Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield continues to gain very significant traction. Indeed, tomorrow there will be a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and GMA has been integral to the process.

One of the witnesses is the Assistant Attorney General of Vermont, and he will be responding to several tough questions. One of our expert witnesses in the Vermont litigation, President and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, will testify on the impact the Vermont law will have on food supply chain. Next week the House Agricultural Committee is holding a hearing, and we expect the only witness at that hearing to be USDA." [Emphasis mine]

Not surprisingly, Monsanto is also on the board for the Supply Chain Management...13

Take Immediate Action: Tell Your Congressman to Vote NO on Pompeo's Bill, HR1599

As noted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS),14 the latest changes to Pompeo's bill "create an anti-democracy, anti-consumer, anti-environment mega-bill" that simply MUST be stopped. We need everyone to put pressure on your federal representatives, and demand they vote NO on the Pompeo bill. We need to do everything we possibly can to prevent it from passing, so please, take action now! Tell your representative to support consumer and state rights, and reject Rep. Pompeo's bill, H.R. 1599.

[+]Sources and References [-]Sources and References

  • 1, 3 ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS June 2015 (PDF)
  • 2 New York Times June 18, 2015
  • 4 DIRECTIVE (EU) 2015/412 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 March 2015
  • 5 GM Watch June 18, 2015
  • 6 Stereogum June 17, 2015
  • 7, 9, 10 Farm Futures June 18, 2015
  • 8 US RTK June 17, 2015
  • 11 Politico June 18, 2015
  • 12 AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE TO H.R. 1599 (PDF)
  • 13 Board of Directors, Supply Chain Management
  • 14 Center for Food Safety June 15, 2015