There are no breaking news at the moment

Articles by: Colin Todhunter

Stop Protecting The Criminality Of The Global Pesticides Industry

Stop Protecting The Criminality Of The Global Pesticides Industry

The agrichemicals industry wallows like an overblown hog in a cesspool of corruption. With its snout firmly embedded in the trough of corporate profit to the detriment of all else, it is most likely responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were. It indulges in criminality that hides behind corporate public relations, media misrepresentations and[Read More…]

Enemy of Reason: Behind the Mask of Pro-GMO Neoliberal Ideology

Enemy of Reason: Behind the Mask of Pro-GMO Neoliberal Ideology

Professor Shanthu Shantharam recently wrote a response to Viva Kermani’s well thought out article about injecting some honesty into the debate about genetically modified (GM) food and crops. Both pieces appeared the Indian publication Swarajya. Shantharam’s response is typical of what we have come to expect from him: a mixture of abuse, personal attacks and gross misrepresentation of both issues and facts. He says of Kermani’s[Read More…]

Rice threshing near Sangrur, SE Punjab, India. (Photo:  Neil Palmer (CIAT)/flickr/cc)

Sweat Shops, GMOs and Neoliberal Fundamentalism: The Agroecological Alternative to Global Capitalism

Much of the argument in favour of GM agriculture involves little more than misrepresentations and unscrupulous attacks on those who express concerns about the technology and its impacts. These attacks are in part designed to whip up populist sentiment and denigrate critics so that corporate interests can secure further control over agriculture. They also serve to divert attention from the underlying issues pertaining to hunger and poverty and genuine[Read More…]

Organic Vs Industrial Chemical-Dependent Agriculture: Philosophies And Practices

Organic Vs Industrial Chemical-Dependent Agriculture: Philosophies And Practices

What follows is a summary of this article, ‘A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed’, and is a preamble to something that was recently forwarded to me by Emeritus Professor Stuart B. Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology, School of Education, Western Sydney University. In 2007, as part of a requested submission to the International Assessment of Agricultural[Read More…]

Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission: A System of Food and Agriculture Should Serve the Public, Not Corporate Interests

Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission: A System of Food and Agriculture Should Serve the Public, Not Corporate Interests

Sir John Beddington is Senior Advisor and Professor of Natural Resources Management at the Oxford Martin School in Oxford, UK. He also belongs to the Central Team of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations (OMC) and is former Chief Scientific Adviser to the British government and Head of the Government Office for Science. Bringing together international leaders from government, business and[Read More…]

Photo by MDGLillehammer

Pro-GMO Scientists Blinded By Technology And Wedded To Ideology

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK and has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC). Bringing together international leaders from government, business and civil society, the OMC aims to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business and identify ways of overcoming today’s gridlock in key international negotiations. The OMC’s website says[Read More…]

Softening-Up The UK Public For GM: Monsanto And Former UK Civil Servant Deal In PR, Not Science And Objective Debate

Softening-Up The UK Public For GM: Monsanto And Former UK Civil Servant Deal In PR, Not Science And Objective Debate

On the back of Brexit, the UK government is planning what could be a disastrous trade deal with the Trump administration. It would likely be worse than the secretive and undemocratic stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal that the EU has been planning with the US. As for food and agriculture, such a trade deal would be contingent on[Read More…]

GM Mustard Case Returns To Court In India

GM Mustard Case Returns To Court In India

This week, India’s Supreme Court will hear the next installment of the case brought by Aruna Rodrigues to stop the commercial release of genetically modified mustard.  The Government of India is attempting to push through the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) food crops. In an attempt to spearhead the drive by making GM mustard the first such crop in[Read More…]

Monsanto’s Communications Guru To Visit The UK: Instead Of Promoting GM, Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Actions In Wales

Monsanto’s Communications Guru To Visit The UK: Instead Of Promoting GM, Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Actions In Wales

   Monsanto is preparing a fresh effort to promote genetically modified (GM) crops to the UK public, according to a piece in The Scottish Farmer. The article notes the company recently appointed former World Bank communications strategist Vance Crowe as its ‘Director of Millenial Engagement’, a job that involves convincing the public about the benefits of GM. In March, Vance will[Read More…]

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

The British Government Has Colluded With Monsanto And Should Be Held Accountable In The International Criminal Court 

“The British Government has colluded with Monsanto and should be held accountable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ecocide.” Dr Rosemary Mason. The British public and the environment are being poisoned with a deadly cocktail of 320 pesticides. Moreover, Wales has become a storage dump for Monsanto’s most toxic chemicals. These are the[Read More…]

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

Development And India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters 

  The push to commercialise the growing of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently held up in court due to a lawsuit by Aruna Rodrigues. The next hearing is due in February. Rodrigues has indicated at length that, to date, procedures and tests have been corrupted by fraudulent practices, conflicts of interests and gross regulatory delinquency. Dr Deepak[Read More…]

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

From Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make in India’ But Made In Washington

A version of the following piece was originally published in June 2016. However, since then, India’s PM Narendra Modi has embarked on a ‘demonetisation’ policy, which saw around 85 percent of India’s bank notes becoming invalid overnight. Emerging evidence indicates that demonetisation was not done to curb corruption, ‘black money’ or terrorism, the reasons originally given. That was a smokescreen.[Read More…]

Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly? Celebrating The Corporate Plunder Of Agriculture

Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly? Celebrating The Corporate Plunder Of Agriculture

While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on 25 December, that date was probably originally chosen due to the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar or because of one of the various other ancient seasonal festivals and celebrations around that time. Aside from the date, early Christianity also annexed many traditions (see this and this). Places where pagan gods proclaimed revelations became[Read More…]

Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties!

Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties!

Washington’s long-term plan has been to restructure indigenous agriculture across the world and tie it to an international system of trade based on export-oriented mono-cropping, commodity production for the international market and indebtedness to international financial institutions (IMF/World Bank). This result has been the creation of food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on[Read More…]

What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done For India?

What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done For India?

When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But, some 25 years later, what we have seen is almost 400,000 farmers committing suicide, one of the greatest levels of inequality out of all ‘emerging’ economies, a trend towards jobless ‘growth’, an accelerating and massive illegal outflow[Read More…]

Why Are Public Officials Protecting The Pesticides Industry? Digging Down Into The Cesspool Of Corruption

Why Are Public Officials Protecting The Pesticides Industry? Digging Down Into The Cesspool Of Corruption

It is based on a cesspool of corruption that is most probably responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were. It is sheer criminality that hides behind corporate public relations, media misrepresentations and the subversion of respectable-sounding agencies which masquerade as public institutions. The ‘agrochemicals-agritech industry’ should not be regarded as some kind of faceless concept because[Read More…]

GM Mustard In India: “Fudged Data,” “Unremitting Fraud” And “Monumentally Bogus”

GM Mustard In India: “Fudged Data,” “Unremitting Fraud” And “Monumentally Bogus”

The case of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India has reached the Supreme Court. The government has said it will bow to the court’s eventual ruling. That ruling could green-light GM mustard as first commercial GM food crop. If this goes ahead, there will be wide-ranging implications for Indian food and agriculture. Environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues has petitioned India’s Supreme Court, seeking a moratorium on[Read More…]

Congratulations America: Have You Just Been Trumped?

Congratulations America: Have You Just Been Trumped?

I watched Donald Trump’s presidential victory speech. He spoke a lot about unity, the potential of ordinary, marginalised people and about making the US great again. He spoke about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating jobs and about finding common ground with other nations. He can be quite charismatic and, taken at face value, quite convincing. His victory was, to a[Read More…]

Forget The Trump-Clinton Charade: It’s Time To Wake Up America!

Forget The Trump-Clinton Charade: It’s Time To Wake Up America!

Who will be the winners and the losers in the coming U.S. presidential election? Trump or Clinton, Clinton or Trump? The mainstream media is consumed with personality politics. Who could hold their nerve in a time of crisis? Whose integrity is purer (or less damaged)? If you were forced to choose, who would you trust your house keys with? It’s[Read More…]

Is Gandhi Still Relevant?

Is Gandhi Still Relevant?

Mention Gandhi in certain circles and the response might be one of cynicism: his ideas are outdated and irrelevant in today’s world. Such a response could not be further from the truth. Gandhi could see the future impact of large-scale industrialization in terms of the devastation of the environment, the destruction of ecology and the unsustainable plunder of natural resources.[Read More…]

Lower Yields And Agropoisons: What Is The Point Of GM Mustard In India?   

Lower Yields And Agropoisons: What Is The Point Of GM Mustard In India?   

The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India rumbles on. As I have previously discussed here, the bottom line is government collusion over GM crop technology (that is not wanted and not needed) with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to hide in the background. The real story behind GM mustard in India[Read More…]

Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA

Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA

In her recent open letter to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason documents what amounts to a cesspool of corruption surrounding sections of the agrochemicals industry and the regulation of glyphosate (as found in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup). As with all her previous ‘open letters’ to officials, Mason cites ample sources to support her arguments and[Read More…]

WWF: Stop Greenwashing Capitalism, Start Holding Corporations To Account

WWF: Stop Greenwashing Capitalism, Start Holding Corporations To Account

  In the 1970s, the agrochemicals industry was able to evade effective regulation in the UK. Robert van den Bosch, wrote in 1978 in The Pesticide Conspiracy: “If one considers how dangerous these chemicals are, one would suppose that it would be government policy to minimize their use by every possible means. However, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution notes,[Read More…]

Trump and Hillary: The Tragedy Of The Great American Soap Opera

Trump and Hillary: The Tragedy Of The Great American Soap Opera

For many onlookers who reside outside the US, the run-up to that country’s presidential election appears to be some kind of made-for-TV soap opera. Amid evidence of rigging, it seems Bernie Sanders was always destined not to win the Democratic Party nomination. It seemed a sure-fire bet that Clinton would. Hilary Clinton, a war monger who supported the attack on Libya and the[Read More…]

Seeds Of Occupation: India’s Stockholm Syndrome

Seeds Of Occupation: India’s Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. Wikipedia In political terms, most people might tend to associate the word ’occupation’ with a (foreign) military presence that controls a region or country. Any such[Read More…]

Toxic Allegiances And Corporate Power: Open Letter To The Oxford Martin Commission

Toxic Allegiances And Corporate Power: Open Letter To The Oxford Martin Commission

The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK. In what seems to be a laudable aim, the school has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC), which has brought together 19 international leaders from government, business and civil society to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business and identify ways of overcoming[Read More…]

Bayer’s Trojan Horse: Criminal Prosecution Required To Stop GM Food Crops Fraudulently Entering India

Bayer’s Trojan Horse: Criminal Prosecution Required To Stop GM Food Crops Fraudulently Entering India

The decision whether to allow the commercialisation of the first genetically modified (GM) food crop (mustard) in India is close. Serious conflicts of interest, sleight of hand and regulatory delinquency – not to mention outright fraud – could mean the decision coming down in favour of commercialisation. The bottom line is government collusion with transnational agribusiness, which is trying to[Read More…]

 A System Of Food Production For Human Need, Not Corporate Greed

 A System Of Food Production For Human Need, Not Corporate Greed

There has been an adverse trend in the food and agriculture sector in recent times with the control of seeds and chemical inputs being consolidated through various proposed mergers. If these mergers go through, it would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector. Over the past couple of decades, there has already been a restriction of choice with[Read More…]

“The Dead Cannot Make A Comeback” – Is India About To Make A Catastrophic Mistake With GM Mustard?

“The Dead Cannot Make A Comeback” – Is India About To Make A Catastrophic Mistake With GM Mustard?

Global oilseed, agribusiness and biotech corporations are engaged in a long-term attack on India’s local cooking oil producers. In just 20 years, they have reduced India from self-sufficiency in cooking oil to importing half its needs. Now the government’s attempts to impose GM mustard seed threaten to wipe out a crop at the root of Indian food and farming traditions. In[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Monsanto And Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse

Monsanto And Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse

News broke this week that Monsanto accepted a $66 billion takeover bid from Bayer. The new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Bayer’s crop chemicals business is the world’s second largest after Syngenta, and Monsanto is the leading commercial seeds business. Monsanto held a 26 per cent market share of all seeds sold[Read More…]

Media Silence And The Agrochemicals Industry: The Slow Poisoning Of Health And The Environment  

Media Silence And The Agrochemicals Industry: The Slow Poisoning Of Health And The Environment  

It’s an all too common tale of dirty deeds, shady deals and propaganda. Rosemary Mason’s recent open letter to journalists at The Guardian outlines how the media is failing the public by not properly reporting on the regulatory delinquency relating to GM food and the harmful chemicals being applied to crops. Much of the media is even (unwittingly) acting as[Read More…]

Monsanto In India: Meet The New Boss – Same As The Old Boss?

Monsanto In India: Meet The New Boss – Same As The Old Boss?

In capitalism, the state’s primary role is to secure the interests of private capital. The institutions of globalised capitalism – from the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO right down to the compliant bureaucracies of national states or supranational unions – facilitate private wealth accumulation that results in the forms of structural inequalities and violence (unemployment, poverty, population displacement,[Read More…]

 Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU 

 Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU 

Over half the population of the European Union (EU) is overweight or obese. Without effective action, this number will grow substantially in the next decade warns an important new report. ‘A Spoonful of Sugar: How the Food Lobby Fights Sugar Regulation in the EU’, by the research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), notes that obesity rates are rising fastest[Read More…]

Power And The Bomb: Conducting International Relations With The Threat Of Mass Murder

Power And The Bomb: Conducting International Relations With The Threat Of Mass Murder

“Some fell to the ground and their stomachs already expanded full, burst and organs fell out. Others had skin falling off them and others still were carrying limbs. And one in particular was carrying their eyeballs in their hand.” The above is an account by a Hiroshima survivor talking about the fate of her schoolmates. It was recently read out in[Read More…]

In the Shadow Of Monsanto: GMO Regulation And The Right To Know

In the Shadow Of Monsanto: GMO Regulation And The Right To Know

The GMO agritech sector and food companies have spent tens of millions of dollars in the US to prevent the labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The public have genuine concerns about GM but are being denied the right to know if GMOs are in the food they eat. And the concerns they have are valid. There is sufficient evidence[Read More…]

Britain’s Scramble For Africa: The New Colonialism

Britain’s Scramble For Africa: The New Colonialism

  Africa is facing a new and devastating colonial invasion driven by a determination to plunder the natural resources of Africa, especially its strategic energy and mineral resources. That’s the message from a damning new report from War On Want ‘The New Colonialism: Britain’sscramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources’ that highlights the role of the British government in aiding[Read More…]

Back To The Future With Laverne And Shirley: The Trivialisation Of The GMO Debate

Back To The Future With Laverne And Shirley: The Trivialisation Of The GMO Debate

When people don’t possess sufficient expertise on matters, they require simplicity. They desire easily manageable packages of knowledge, and these packages become taken for granted stocks of ‘common sense’ that enable them to cope with or to understand the world around them, no matter how faulty or misrepresented that ‘knowledge’ may be. Powerful corporations and the media recognise people’s need[Read More…]

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading As Science Courtesy Of “Shameful White Men Of Privilege”

Pro-GMO Spin Masquerading As Science Courtesy Of “Shameful White Men Of Privilege”

Unlike their predecessors, early 21st century missionaries do not come armed with bibles. They come as members of a scientific priesthood, spouting slick PR and are supported by the likes of Bill Gates, taxpayer ‘aid’ and the global agritech cartel and rely on the leverage of international institutions like the World Bank, IMF and WTO. More than 100 Nobel laureates have[Read More…]

Modi, Monsanto, Bayer And Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?  

Modi, Monsanto, Bayer And Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?  

Describing itself as a major ‘global communications, stakeholder engagement and business strategy’ company, APCO Worldwide is a lobby/PR agency with firm links to the Wall Street/corporate America establishment (arguably, part of it) and functions to serve its global agenda. India PM Narendra Modi turned to APCO to help transform his image and turn him into electable pro-corporate PM material. It also helped Modi[Read More…]

GMOs, “Biggest Fraud In The History Of Science” – Some ‘Questions And Answers’ For The UK’s Royal Society

GMOs, “Biggest Fraud In The History Of Science” – Some ‘Questions And Answers’ For The UK’s Royal Society

The decision on whether to renew EU approval for the herbicide glyphosate is to go to an appeals panel on 23 June after a last ditch attempt to get a temporary re-authorisation failed on 6 June (for some background information, see this). It is unclear if the meeting will produce the majority vote needed to pass the authorisation. The current[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection