Monday, 17 January 2011

Book Review - Seeds of Destruction

If nothing else, Seeds of Destruction, The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (2007) by F. William Engdahl will leave you with seeds of doubt. Not doubt of any hidden agenda, which as far as I’m concerned is not so hidden, but of civilization in general! Engdahl repeated a quote by Henry Kissinger a few times, and it shows his main concern – “Control oil and you control the nations; control food and you control the people...” I would recommend this interesting book. Some facts are not referenced and incomplete, but by and large the book seems to have been well researched and documented.

Throughout the book Engdahl thoroughly implicates the Rockefeller family and the Rockefeller Foundation, starting with the “Green Revolution” which was all about creating markets for petro-chemical fertilizers and petroleum products in seeking the ultimate control over life on earth. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were the promise of a new agro-industrial revolution, which Rockefeller Foundation President, Gordon Conway, dubbed the Gene Revolution. He claimed that GMO crops were needed to feed the extra 2 billion mouths by 2020 (p 241) similar to claims being made today about 2050!

Engdahl puts things in an easy to follow sequence and after reading it, everything seems sort of obvious. For the sceptics, maybe things weren’t planned and just happened that way, but Engdahl gives a good case to support the claim that the development of global agribusiness was calculated by government and a wealthy elite, not just as a money making scheme, but also as a form of eugenics.

Family farmers were first to go as they were inefficient. Next, Third World countries had to give up self-sufficiency and food sufficiency by importing from the efficient US. US food aid was part of this strategy. And then he explains the once secret US National Security Study Memorandum 2000 or NSSM 2000 for short. He sums it up by saying, “if these inferior races get in the way of our securing ample, cheap raw materials, then we must find ways to get rid of them (p 59). This does seem to be what has been happening in the world. Some of the details he gives are not for the faint of heart.

Engdahl explains that eugenics was popular in the twentieth century and not just in Nazi Germany. He gives details of schemes that were carried out. He also points out that wealth was considered divine proof of superiority and justified the accumulation of vast fortunes (sound familiar?). He also says that natural resources were to be conserved for use by global corporations and this was the conservation policy. This also sounds familiar to me.

“[M]ergers creating near total market control were ‘not necessarily against the public interest’” despite previous anti-trust laws (p 104). Add to the monopolisation of agribusinesses the fact that agriculture was treated as a commodity just like oil, to be traded and controlled, and one will begin to understand Engdahl’s view of the Rockefellers.

Another interesting connection raised by Engdahl is the involvement of Harvard University with the Rockefellers in developing agribusiness throughout the world. This included the development of pharmaceutical firms as antibiotics were flourishing on factory farms. By 2005, Engdahl tells us, the use of antibiotics in agribusiness had increased to 40 million pounds (p 142)!

Disturbingly, Engdahl claims that by 2004, 25% of agricultural land in the world was planted with GMO crops, but he gives no reference for this statistic. He then delves into the global socio-political development of this technology. I found the chapter about Iraq very informative.

Engdahl refers to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a policeman, a global free trade enforcer with a major aim of using a battering ram to get at the trillion dollar annual world agribusiness trade (p 217). I’ve never heard of the WTO referred to as such before and thought it was rather fitting. And in case there was any doubt, he sets out the doctrine of the WTO: “free trade – on terms defined by giant private agribusiness conglomerates – was to reign supreme above sovereign nation states and above the concern for human or animal health and safety” (p 224).

The final chapters are where the seeds of doubt really start to sprout. Engdahl discusses the terminator and traitor seeds. And then he mentions the GM corn with anti-sperm antibodies that was developed and grown in field trials in the US in 2002 along with other drug compounds in GM crops. To top it all off, he describes how GMO plants are being researched as weapons of mass destruction such as an opium-like substance. What with the likelihood of contamination from windblown pollen, one doubt I have is that these GMO corn varieties have not contaminated other corn.

And as if plants aren’t bad enough, in the final chapters, Engdahl shows how GM chickens and pigs are on the agribusiness shopping list. He ends on an enlightened note that scientific progress has been one of the essential tools in the take-over of our food supply by powerful and arrogant elites. Even if after reading the book you still don’t believe it, I’m sure you will wonder if it’s not all possible.  For my part, I see signs of it happening every day.