Statement of the Cuban Movement for
Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples

The Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples strongly condemns the most recent warlike escalate undertaken by the President of the United States Donald Trump against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba.

In recent days, precisely when the world endures the blows of the COVID-19 pandemic – the frightening statistics of which as to the number of infected and deceased reveal the vulnerabilities and abysses created by the capitalist model, focused on consumption and economic profit and not on the human beings – the Yankee imperialism increases its attacks against our nations with the purpose of crushing us and thus achieve its 200-year old pretension of controlling our destiny one way or the other.

In its effort to achieve said interest (it is not necessary to recall all the aggressions perpetrated against the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean since the formulation of the pernicious Monroe Doctrine in 1823, and even before), the present USA administration has not ceased to become defiant, and particularly against the land of Bolívar and Martí it designs and puts into practice recycled and new stratagems that impact because of their perversity.

The truth is that almost since Trump’s arrival to the Oval Office in January, 2017, a wide number of sanctions and all kinds of measures were enforced against both revolutionary processes. Different officials and the President himself do not cease to repeat the same thing: that all the options against Venezuela are on the table, including the military attack, and that they are going to put an end to the socialist Cuba by intensifying as never before the wide network of sanctions that make up the more than 60-year old trade, economic, and financial blockade.

Only a few hours ago the paroxysm of the present White House tenants reached especially dangerous levels for the entire region. The display of naval military forces in zones close to the Bolivarian Republic, and the statement that Cuba and the brotherly South American nation participate in drug traffic, in addition to being an insult not to be allowed by the international community reveals that those falcons’ hotheads are plotting any invention and pretext to unleash all their hatred and contempt against us.

Days ago, along that same line, they called the legitimate government headed by Nicolás Maduro drug dealer, to which they added – in the worst Old Western style – that they would pay millionaire sums for any information that would contribute to oust and capture President Maduro and other chavista leaders. Such gangster-like behavior has to be condemned, with full vehemence, by the peace movements in the world.

In the case of Cuba, the Trump administration has enforced over 200 measures with the purpose of crushing the revolution. The Program of Undercover Actions signed on March 17, 1960 by President Dwight Eisenhower, and the Memorandum elaborated by the Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory a few days later, on April 6 – bases on which the attack platform represented by the blockade was elaborated and fully outlined by the Proclaim 3447 signed by John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962 – reappear more violently under the stamp of the main danger to world peace that is undoubtedly President Trump.

From the largest of the Antilles we call upon the most diverse sectors of the universal society to prevent the growth of imperialist greed at a time when the only possible task is to unite in order to stop the horror caused by this coronavirus.

The USA is the country with the highest number of infected and deceased. There is a unanimous opinion that Trump badly managed the situation at the start of this illness, which he described as a plain flu with his characteristic arrogance and not listening to the scientists and experts from his own nation. No one can calculate how many lives could have been saved if, from the beginning, he would have acted with common sense and effectiveness. And if that were not enough, the real estate tycoon just accused the World Health Organization (WHO) and China of causing this pandemic. In fact, Trump’s sole concern is how he succeeds in re-installing himself another four years in Washington. Shamefully, it is the election hopes that determine the actions of those who conduct the biggest economic and military power of the planet.

Only hours ago Pope Francis, like numerous personalities and leaders of different religions and political trends expressed from Rome that these are times to leave behind conflicts and aggressions that endanger the human species.

The Cuban Movement for Peace, conscious that this is an exceptional moment to foster solidarity among all nations as sole pillar on which to structure effective strategies against this illness, declares likewise that nothing or nobody will be able to destroy the Cuban Socialist Revolution, constructed on profound and unyielding convictions and principles.

Neither our people nor the Venezuelan one will lose sleep or the capacity to found. Each internationalist brigade of the Henry Reeve Brigade, displayed to save lives on any corner of the planet, will be a new and eloquent testimony that we shall overcome.

Havana, April 13, 2020
***

Only a global wave of popular protest can stop these anti-human policies and actions.

Click Here to Sign the Open Letter

Please use the link provided above to sign the Open Letter to the Government of the United States and the United Nations, addressed to the President of the United States and Secretary General of the United Nations, demanding that all U.S. and UN sanctions against the targeted nations be lifted, and all U.S. military threats and actions against them be stopped immediately.

U.S. Peace Council
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Debt-free Money

May You Live in Interesting Times

The New Zealand “lock-down” so far seems OK for those of us enjoying lovely early Autumn days and time for home jobs. The city is remarkably quiet.

An occasional train and bus go by and there are much fewer cars on the roads. Few airliners pass over. There is little noise from nearby houses.

For anyone seeing beyond the lies and contradictions of conventional economic theory this moment could be considered an insight into the real civilisation that is potentially possible. For the present, pensions and welfare benefits are being paid and many others are receiving a minimum income. This is not to deny that the government has acted quite stupidly with aspects of its disease containment, relying heavily on computer modelling, and many businesses face closure. The stress for those affected must be appalling. On the first night of the lockdown police (and likely military) helicopters were overhead for several hours. Normally, (that’s if modern life can be called normal) police helicopters will be around in the wee hours once or twice a week. But not this past fortnight. Have the small-time criminals taken a holiday? Unlike in some countries we are, for now, permitted to take walks (and drive to nearby supermarkets). There are more families out walking or cycling than during a normal weekend or holiday. In the now pagan west there are almost no calm and restful holidays. Those times are filled with endless group sports and noisy low-quality “entertainment” and bustling shopping malls.

I’ve jokingly told a few people the government is finally partially implementing some advice Malcolm Muggeridge gave thirty or so years ago which is that we should close the media, universities and schools for five years to give us a chance to get our commonsense back. If only, and there are other worries for some. Friends with perfectly healthy unvaccinated children worry that the State, with its newly expanded powers, will try to enforce a compulsory and untested vaccine (they are all untested) on them. The only really useful financial advice being offered down-under comes from a small Douglas Social Credit political party which suggests the government-owned Reserve Bank create and issue debt-free the money for these payments rather than go cap in hand to the racketeering international banks, who, in any case create what they loan but then burden us forever with more un-repayable debt along with interest. During the latter part of the 1930s Great Depression this government used that facility to fund considerable infrastructure and build about 30,000 State houses, and for several decades to guarantee more realistic prices for farm production.

Social Credit* was the term given to a movement that emerged in the 1920s and ‘30s from the investigation and writings on banking and the operation of money in the modern economy of a British engineer Cliff Douglas. Douglas analysed the role of money in the production system and distribution (purchasing by consumers) of such, showing clearly that as labour was replaced by increasing mechanisation there developed an increasing gap between the total costs of production, which must be recovered in prices, and total purchasing power issued to consumers. Among the conclusions of his investigation it emerged that it is the insufficiency of total purchasing power, in relation to production costs within a nation, that is the primary driver of the huge insatiable need to find export markets.
*The recent adoption of the term social credit by the Chinese & some other governments has an entirely different meaning and purpose.

Professor Michael Hudson of the University of Missouri, Kansas is suggesting a write-off of most of the world’s debt which would be good but it doesn’t go far enough in that it still ignores the enormous potential for widespread social advancement that labour-replacing technology offers if we can get our minds around a direct payment of incomes (purchasing power) to consumers whether they are employed or not.

Crazy, God-hating, Marxist-style ideology aside, the environmental movement has been correct to highlight the damage done by unnecessary over-production, much of it with deliberately build-in obsolescence. But that movement dismisses anyone who wants to properly investigate and highlight the shortcomings within the debt banking/financial system in favour of various social reforms and never-ending additional centralisation of political and economic power, with the resultant monopolisation and globalisation of most of the economic system. Conventional-style full employment is unnecessary and harmful in the face of modern labour-saving technology. Full employment as a policy is puritanical and long outdated and has reduced untold millions of people to unnecessary wage slavery.

Long ago increasing automation could have lead to increasing personal freedom and creativity. But the almost all-powerful money-power (international banking) and the promoted illusion that money is wealth, instead of an accounting mechanism that almost perfectly works to allow co-operative communal input into the production system, has hindered this.
When the nature of money is understood better it becomes quite easy to see how the replacement of labour with new technology like robotics can be welcomed as a social advance allowing greater personal economic freedom. A simply and equal payment for example to all citizens of a nation - a sort of disbursement of income that the robots don’t need - reflecting the replacement of full employment by machinery and allowing all of that society’s desired production to be bought, would be easy to do.
It wasn’t so long ago when it seemed that the globalist New World (dis) order agenda seemed unstoppable. But Russia, partially re-Christianised and partially restored to an independent and almost self-reliant empire focusing on it’s own independence, said NO. The NWO fanatics have lied and mass-murdered their way to their objective of a culture-less and nation-less anti-human global pigsty. But far from getting everything their own way, despite their control of global banking, the big media and publishing, “entertainment”, academia and medical training and over-drugged populations, they face the fact that people of sound mind want to belong to families and communities and retain the security and historic cultures that can only survive when the nation-state is stable and free.

It seemed through the 1990’s that Russia was a spent force on the edge of total collapse. Russians who could were leaving. Around sixty percent of Russians and Ukrainians lived below the poverty line. The global mafia had taken ownership of all the former large State industries. Hundreds of thousands of younger women had been tricked into leaving and then physically forced into heroin addition and prostitution around the world - some cold-bloodedly murdered when they wouldn’t cooperate. Russian children, as Putin himself has mentioned, could be found in western European brothels and the governments there looked the other way.
But Russia is no longer in that low state and over the last 20 years has significantly restored it’s historic nationalism, military strength and regained considerable economic independence, sufficient to have blocked the global Zionist planned destruction of Syria and Iran as happened to Iraq and Libya. A wise fellow was once asked what should a nation do if it decides to stand against the world financial power. He replied they should first arm themselves to the teeth.
Russia, whether by wise understanding or simply in response to the regular threat of military attack has done that and has developed some very modern weapons that cannot be stopped by existing American defences. And in contrast to the modern pagan West’s total disregard of foreign civilian casualties Russian authorities even named several homeland US military bases they would destroy if attacked and have threatened that if any missiles are fired at Russia the response will be brutal and aimed at the bases from which those missiles were fired. That is clever and humane. Clever because it puts the personnel at those bases in a sticky situation if they are ordered to fire on Russia; and humane because it’s an attempt to avoid or minimise civilian casualties.


There is a stupid (though kind of understandable) liberal idea that so long as we are just really nice to everyone this will stop conflicts and bring about world peace. But it is nonsense. We should be kind and patient but also acknowledge the existence of conscious evil. This was once taken for granted in more religious times. Some people plot murders and wars and live by lies. The great Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s advice was to “live not by lies”.

Thanks for reading and God bless, Bill Daly
billdaly996@gmail.com
PO Box 20752, Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

Farm-Free Food: It sounds like a miracle.

Replacing crops and livestock with food made from microbes and water

We are on the cusp of the biggest economic transformation, of any kind, for 200 years.

While arguments rage about plant- versus meat-based diets, new technologies will soon make them irrelevant. Before long, most of our food will come neither from animals nor plants, but from unicellular life. After 12,000 years of feeding humankind, all farming except fruit and veg production is likely to be replaced by ferming: brewing microbes through precision fermentation. This means multiplying particular micro-organisms, to produce particular products, in factories.I know some people will be horrified by this prospect. I can see some drawbacks. But I believe it comes in the nick of time.

Several impending disasters are converging on our food supply, any of which could be catastrophic. Climate breakdown threatens to cause what scientists call “multiple breadbasket failures”, through synchronous heatwaves and other impacts.

The UN forecasts that by 2050 feeding the world will require a 20% expansion in agriculture’s global water use. But water use is already maxed out in many places: aquifers are vanishing, rivers are failing to reach the sea. The glaciers that supply half the population of Asia are rapidly retreating. Inevitable global heating – due to greenhouse gases already released – is likely to reduce dry season rainfall in critical areas, turning fertile plains into .

global soil crisis threatens the very basis of our subsistence, as great tracts of arable land lose their fertility through erosion, compaction and contamination. Phosphate supplies, crucial for agriculture, are dwindling fast. Insectageddon threatens catastrophic pollination failures. It is hard to see how farming can feed us all even until 2050, let alone to the end of the century and beyond.


Monbiot's ideas have come in for heavy criticism from a variety of sources. Anyone who is interested in these issues should read the articles we cite in full, as they are wide-ranging and make a multitude of points.
Read more on the GMWatch website: gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19282

Source: George Monbiot - Jan'20

Food production is ripping the living world apart. Fishing and farming are, by a long way, the greatest cause of extinction and loss of the diversity and abundance of wildlife. Farming is a major cause of climate breakdown, the biggest cause of river pollution and a hefty source of air pollution. Across vast tracts of the world’s surface, it has replaced complex wild ecosystems with simplified human food chains. Industrial fishing is driving cascading ecological collapse in seas around the world. Eating is now a moral minefield, as almost everything we put in our mouths – from beef to avocados, cheese to chocolate, almonds to tortilla chips, salmon to peanut butter – has an insupportable environmental cost.

Outlawing Peasant Seeds in South Latin America

Latin American governments are looking to standardise seeds by law.

Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela have proposed and discussed seed laws.

This is being resisted by communities, organisations and peoples. These laws religiously follow the guidelines laid down by the big seed transnationals: Bayer-Monsanto, Corteva-Agriscience, ChemChina (Syngenta) and Vilmorin&Cie-Limograin. United Nations agencies such as the UNs Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Conference on Trade and Development and the World Intellectual Property Organisation are large bodies which promote these regulations, draw up model laws and teach governments how to implement them.

Marketing laws define the criteria which must be met for seeds to come on to the market. They can only be marketed if they are of a variety which meets three important requirements: they must be “distinct”, “uniform” and “stable”.
Intellectual property laws are regulations which recognise that a person or entity, or a seed company, is the exclusive owner of a seed with particular characteristics, and has the legal right to stop other people or entities using, producing, exchanging or selling it. There are two main “intellectual property” systems for
seeds: patents, and Plant Variety Protection, which confers rights on whoever “obtains” a variety, even if it goes back thousands of years in its present form.
Trade and investment agreements are tools used by companies to force governments to adopt and promote corporate rights over seeds.

These proposed laws seek to outlaw the way peasants’ and indigenous people’s local systems use, exchange, produce and improve local varieties. They allow companies to define national policies on seeds, research, and agriculture. This creates a certification and oversight system controlled by private corporations.

This forces communities and peoples to accept the standards set by the transnationals, and to be scrutinised by private bodies if they wish to continue to exchange “legal” seeds. It delays, minimises or eliminates any concern for preserving agricultural diversity. It aims to standardise seed use and exchange traditions, which date back thousands of years. It imposes industrial standards on agriculture, facilitating seed privatisation. It seeks to qualify and classify all seeds, even local and native ones, so that corporate ownership of seeds is respected. In this way, whoever produces seeds will be monitored, no matter what seed they produce or how they exchange it.

Health Thailand wants to ban three pesticides

But US government says no

The Trump administration is pressuring Thailand not to ban three pesticides that scientific research has shown to be particularly dangerous to children and other vulnerable populations.

You know it’s a dark day for America when foreign leaders have to lecture US officials about the importance of prioritising public health over corporate profits.

Thailand’s leaders have said that as of 1 December, a ban will take effect on the use of the following farming chemicals: chlorpyrifos, an insecticide made popular by Dow Chemical that is known to damage babies’ brains; Syngenta’s paraquat, a herbicide scientists say causes the nervous system disease known as Parkinson’s that has been banned in Europe since 2007; and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, which is linked to cancer and other health problems.
Dow, Syngenta and Monsanto have each merged their way to become bigger corporate behemoths in recent years, wielding their power in Washington to keep their money-making pesticides on the market. They are not having as much luck keeping foreign leaders in line, however, amid growing global awareness of the risks many pesticides spell for human health.

Thailand joins dozens of countries that have already banned or are planning bans on paraquat, chlorpyrifos and/or glyphosate. Thailand’s national hazardous substances committee voted last month to ban all three due to the dangers established by scientific evidence.

Thailand’s leaders were motivated in part by research showing that use of these chemicals in agriculture not only puts farm workers at risk, but also endangers consumers because the bug and weed killers’ residues persist in fruits, vegetables, grains and other foods.

In the United States, pesticide residues are so common in domestic food supplies that a Food and Drug Administration report issued in September found more than 84% of domestic fruits, 53% of vegetables, and 42% of grains sold to consumers carried pesticide residues.

US regulators parrot industry talking points as they insist that dietary exposures to pesticides are nothing to worry about and say any risks to farm workers can be mitigated with proper training, protective clothing and other measures.
According to Thai news reports, US officials have also been warning that the ban will interfere with lucrative trade. The US is especially upset about a glyphosate ban, arguing that it could limit hundreds of millions of dollars in Thai imports of US grains, which are often laced with glyphosate residues.

Outraged Thai officials say they have been forced to “clearly explain” to US officials that Thailand’s priority is the health of Thai consumers. “Our job is to take care of the people’s health,” the public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, told the press.

If only US leaders had such moral clarity.

It may be disgraceful, but it’s certainly not surprising that the Trump administration is working to protect glyphosate and other pesticides that bring profits to big corporations. The agrochemical industry players are devoted donors to the political machinery that runs Washington and they expect a return on their dollars.

Chlorpyrifos was scheduled to be banned two years ago from US agricultural use but when Trump came into office the EPA decided to delay any action until at least 2022. The agency is currently updating its risk assessment of paraquat, seeking public comments through 16 December; but it appears poised to allow continued use, albeit with restrictions. And earlier this year the EPA affirmed that it continues to find no health risk associated with glyphosate.

One example of the US government's fealty was laid out in an internal Monsanto consultant’s report made public through litigation against the company. The report quotes a White House policy adviser as saying: “We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have.”

There is no shortage of scandal to alarm and divide Americans. It is often easiest to simply ignore the headlines and convince ourselves the partisan battles don’t actually affect us. But when it comes to the food we eat and feed our families, we only harm ourselves when we ignore policies that literally promote the poisoning of our children for profit. We can’t afford to look away from this.

Decades of family farming just ahead

Peasants voice their hopes and concerns about the UN's Decade of Family Farming

The Decade was officially launched at FAO headquarters in Rome on 29th May 2019 and was preceded by sessions to exchange and discuss the priorities to implement the global action plan

In December 2017, the UN General Assembly declared 2019-2028 as the “United Nations Decade of Family Farming” and mandated the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to implement the Decade. The resolution of the General Assembly also called on governments, international organizations and civil society organizations to contribute to the implementation of the decade.

The goals announced for the Decade are based on a global action plan with 7 pillars:

  • Pillar 1. Develop an enabling policy environment to strengthen family farming.
  • Pillar 2 – Transversal. Support youth and ensure the generational sustainability of family farming.
  • Pillar 3, – Transversal. Promote gender equity in family farming and the leadership role of rural women.
  • Pillar 4 – Strengthen family farmers’ organizations and capacities to generate knowledge, represent farmers and provide inclusive services in the urban-rural continuum.
  • Pillar 5 – Improve socio-economic inclusion resilience and well-being of family farmers, rural households and communities.
  • Pillar 6. Promote sustainability of family farming for climate-resilient food systems.
  • Pillar 7. Strengthen the multidimensionality of family farming to promote social innovations contributing to territorial sustainability and food systems that safeguard biodiversity, the environment and culture.

Agriculture means much more than just a daily activity. It carries values, a culture, feeling love for our earth and life and, more importantly, taking pride in what we do. Today, we are threatened by transnational corporations that have found the means to act on our food system. We have taken action, and that is why we proclaim food sovereignty as a right of the peoples. We have also made very strong, clear and precise proposals so that people understand that, today, not only peasants are at risk of disappearing, but that peoples are at risk of becoming subordinate and living in slavery by being forced into a large market of cheap labour. We refer to peasants’ rights to ensure healthy diets, to keep our land alive and with diversity, to conserve our earth, the source of wealth. Above all, we want to protect life. And food is life, as long as it is produced using the forms of traditional agriculture that have been practised for millennia by indigenous peoples. This is why, for us, family farming is peasant and indigenous agriculture; it is practised by families, true, but in connection to the community, with workers united to build the future.

Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, gave the following address before the government representatives at the launch of the Decade:

“Right now, while we are sitting here, climate change and agribusiness are threatening us; hunger is increasing around the world and peasants commit suicide every day. We must move into action. It is time to implement solutions. We, the peasants, have these solutions and we have been explaining them for many centuries. The solution is to promote peasant family farming based on agroecology and food sovereignty, including small-scale food producers.”

Why Did Bayer Buy Monsanto?

Fully aware of the accusations building up against Monsanto, Bayer, already the biggest pesticide company in the world, upped its bid three times ($US6B) to acquired this the 'most hated company in the world'.

Monsanto was already on the verge of being found guilty of negligence and liable for the cancer linked to its flagship product, the Roundup herbicide. Why buy all that trouble - it seemingly doesn't make sense ...

Since then Bayer has lost a $2 billion lawsuit over claims against the weedkiller Roundup. Its stock has been in a free-fall all year, as more bad news about Roundup reaches the public. The company’s stock has dropped more than 44% since the acquisition of Monsanto.
It now faces a shareholder revolt and over 30,000 more lawsuits on similar charges. Just from the marketing perspective RoundUp had already reached saturation in the USofA, and in the EU was facing huge consumer concerns about health and environmental harm. All this was so obviously inevitable that it makes you wonder - What on Earth were they thinking? Their CEO thinks they are onto a winner, but they're not telling anyone why.

Hello Brazil...

Long famous for its Carnaval, coffee and rain-forest destruction, Brazil is also the world's second largest soybean producer, (after USoA). With 98% of the world's soybeans used for livestock feed we're talking serious factory-farmed beef; in China and USoA.

Bayer's interest in acquiring Monsanto was in genetically modified seed sector and in the growth of that sector: If these three variables – genetically-modified seeds, agricultural poisons and growth – are put together, only one common denominator can be found worldwide: Brazil.

Currently, Bayer sell 12 pesticide-active ingredients in Brazil that are not authorised at EU level. These are: carbendazim; cyclanilide; ethiprole; ethoxysulfuron; fenamidone; Indaziflam; ioxynil; oxadiazon; propineb; thidiazuron; thiodicarb; .thiram.

Brazil is the world leader in the use of agricultural poisons – and the GM soy-growing province of Mato Grosso holds the world record: If the total amount of agricultural poisons released in Brazil per year is measured in terms of per head of population, then one arrives at the terrifying amount of 7.3 litres per Brazilian citizen. But this is "only" the national average. Brazil's leader in spraying agricultural poisons is the Central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, where 13.3% (140 million litres) of all the pesticides used in Brazil were sprayed each year from 2005 to 2012, according to the latest calculations by the State Institute for Agricultural Safety of Mato Grosso.

A study by the Federal University of Mato Grosso found in one study that there were 1,442 cases of gastric, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer in 13 municipalities (644,746 inhabitants according to last 2015 census), in which soy, corn and cotton were grown between 1992 and 2014.
By comparison, in the 13 comparable municipalities (219,801 inhabitants according to last census 2015), where tourism predominated instead of agriculture, the number of cancer cases was just 53. This results in a cancer rate of 223.65 per 100,000 inhabitants in predominantly agricultural municipalities, whereas in predominantly tourism municipalities, there is a cancer rate of 24.11 per 100,000 inhabitants -- a factor of 8 times!

Source: https://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18914

Glyphosate: links in a lot of nasty chains

Once glyphosate is gone from the agricultural landscape (as it must) it is unlikely to be replaced, and a lot of deep changes will have to happen - hopefully for the better.

After 30 years of systematically attempting to dominate the world’s food supply through deceit and tyranny Monsanto, in late 2018, scurried under the skirts of Bayer Crop Science Division. Though it may no longer exist legally its 4000+ lawsuits against RoundUp still do. Although court judgements against Monsanto were once unheard of the August/18 verdict of $78M damages seems to be a signal that that’s about to change.

Monsanto has always been a heavyweight in the game of nasty chemicals, as Bayer still is. It discovered and patented the compound glyphosate, a chemical which causes metabolic disruption in plants, killing them essentially through systemic malnutrition. Because the same metabolic pathway isn’t present in animals glyphosate was eventually cleared by the US EPA to be marketed as a herbicide. Monsanto’s brand-name is Roundup but these days it is sold under licence under various names.

Later, when Monsanto’s gene-scientists learned how to impart glyphosate resistance into plant DNA the RoundUp Ready story was born. The glyphosate-GMO combo went to market in 1996 as a whole new way to further intensify intensive farming. It allowed for bigger acreages with less work and bigger crops: it changed the face of big-scale farming but not for the better. Farmers loved it and Monsanto made dizzying profits. But within a few years cracks began to appear; super-weeds, nutrition, kidney dysfunction ... cancer! Deceit, fake science, intimidation and corruption were used to hide these unwanted side-effects. These issues are set out in an early documentary, see ...The World According to Monsanto (2007).

Those early concerns described in that documentary have since then only magnified, with mounting alarm about the long-term health and environmental issues. ... GLYPHOSATE is presently in the process of being banned in country after country. ... More significantly the GMOs associated with it must also go. At last, it looks like an end for this harmful product is in sight, but ... its unhealthy legacy will likely persist for generations to come, and in some aspect the damage done to the earth's genosphere has been done forever. Part of the legacy that remains with us is a GMO industry that is bent on justifying its own unnecessary existence, by any means possible. At least while there remains that alluring possibility of controlling the world's major seed supplies . (see ... Food Evolution, 2017).

Where to Now From Here

We could look back at the world before Monsanto and try to imagine it now as if their products had never occurred. But industrial-style farming was never sustainable: it always was a major cause of atmospheric change, of massive fertility deficits, of serious biodiversity losses. So instead, we should look back even further, to a time before WWI and WWII decimated rural populations, in order for a real glimpse at sustainable farming and the way food needs to be grown for optimal health.

Those chemical-based technologies that replaced manpower shortages have colonised the farming industry, displacing the accumulated wisdom of traditional land-use experience. But that was only for European cultures. In other parts of the world, amongst traditional peasant cultures, much of land-use wisdom has persisted though under severe threat from enterprise agriculture.

The agrichemical industry is never going to accept that its chemical/GMO tricks against Nature always wear off - evolution always wins. Roundup has lost on the medical front, and has been losing on the farming front for a while, to more toxic (and expensive) 'solutions'. There is a host of them, all headed for a similar failure. The only long-term sustainable solution is in the re-peasantisation of farming, a re-populating of the rural landscape with smaller family farms. That seems a long way off, just for now.

The biotech industry's bid for global domination of the world’s food supply is faltering and a down scaling of farming is inevitable, if not imminent. Already farmers across America are facing a mortgage crisis. Industrial farming sows the seed of its own destruction, with potentially a food system collapse, and massive social and economic disruption.


New Evidence that Glyphosate is a Probable Carcinogen:

Recommended reading...

Sustaining the Bull

Talking up sustainable is very fashionable.
As a buzzword it is easy to slip into any sentence.

... everyone does it and everyone assumes they know what things should be considered as sustainable, and what things should not.

But just ask them to define sustainability, or search it up on the internet, and you'll get all kinds of rhetoric about the environment and how we have to look after it - in the midst of our business (mostly as usual). Appealing as that sounds it is too general and convenient to be useful. In reality the environment will continue anyway, no matter what gets done to it. Suggestions of this kind leave the fox still in charge of the hen-house.
Smarter definitions shift the emphasis to an ecological argument, and there we begin to encounter the conflict between sustainability and economic pursuit. How much disruption is too much? How do we distinguish the disease from its symptoms?

The truth is a battleground of lies:

Nowhere is this more true that than when it comes to the kinds of economic pillage and plundering that relies upon people's ignorance. The larger the pursuit the easier it is to build a buffer of deceit and confusion around it.
Throughout the 60s to 90s the Left counteracted the Right with the story of ‘labour’. It had unions to demand better conditions for the working class. Since then however that particular spring of inspiration has all but dried up and the Right has saturated every corner of the world and our lives with its neoliberal agenda.
To counteract the Right, and it must be counteracted, the Left must now drill a deeper well for its core truth: it must sharpen up and make the story of ‘sustainability’ its own. That story it should be noted, won’t just restrain the Right but by becoming a science it will contain it entirely.

The window of opportunity for doing this is being closed, as fast as people's indifference and confusion permits. Maybe just two generations remain, depending on how fast A-I (artificial intelligence) spreads across the workplace. Eventually UBI[ 2 ] (universal basic income) will be accepted as necessary and thereafter personal financial independence will dwindle, followed by reduced property ownership.
This is not conjecture, it is all set out in the UN's own Agenda 2030 [ 1 } documentation.
What is not specified however is the means to be used for managing the milieu in such a world. Considering the means by which that agenda is being manifested, it would be naive to imagine that it won't continue in much the same manner: media propaganda, violence, oppression, and starvation.

Global vs. local, as a strategy:

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Agenda 2030 strategies, like their parent apparent (the United Nations), are seductive in rhetoric but flawed at the fundamental core of their philosophic/ spiritual conception. The counter-strategy is going to require people to work together in new ways: to form self-organising, cooperative-supporting, agrarian-based local-regional economies founded upon the axioms of true sustainability.

To bring that story to the untroubled masses and help them to make it their own is a difficult task. To advance that process the Landbase Project was conceived.

The Landbase Project:

A rural training centre for running live-in courses based on the observation that a growing number of people are, or would do given the opportunity, moving from the city to a more rural living circumstance.
This project is still in the planning stages. Courses will cover training in the structure of sustainability, involvement in practical aspects of self-provisioning, and access to related resources and support.
To be kept up to date please click ☐ Landbase when registering for our (occasional) newsletter, Landsakes!

Defining sustainability

Sustainability is not a goal in life, it is the form of life itself.

For more in-depth on the background issues, please read our feature article: What is Sustainability?

See also:

  1. Welcome to 2030
  2. What is the Precariat
  3. The Abundance Manifesto
  4. What is Sustainability

Food Waste Reduction

Better Post-harvest Processing

a solution to global hunger?

Though hunger rarely makes the headlines anymore, it is still a burning issue in many countries, with an estimated 821 million undernourished people in the world. For decades, governments and donors have been increasing investment into food production to alleviate the problem. But what if the solution lies elsewhere?

Seven years have passed since FAO estimated that about one third of the food produced worldwide is either lost or wasted. Surprisingly huge amounts of food are lost even in the poorest countries, the very same which have the highest numbers of hungry or malnourished people. Most of these countries are affected by high levels of post-harvest losses caused by inappropriate handling of the produce after harvest.
For example Rwanda: like many other sub-Saharan African countries, agriculture is the leading economic activity in this densely populated nation, with more than 70 per cent of the workforce employed in the agricultural sector. Most of the produce is handled by smallholder farmers in their own homes through rudimentary post-harvest practices, often leading to low quality produce and high post-harvest losses.

Climate change is a big part of the problem. Due to shifting climatic patterns, maize harvesting currently happens during the peak of the rainy season. Most farmers do not have access to adequate drying facilities and cannot dry their produce to acceptable moisture levels before storing it, leading to pest infestation, mold and contamination. The result: large quantities of their maize is either inedible or unsalable.

The problem is a real one and there is data to prove it. According to the Africa Post-Harvest Loss Information System (APHLIS), the leading source on post-harvest wastage in Africa, losses in the Rwanda maize supply chain could be as high as 22 per cent. The figure is also alarmingly high for other crops in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with an average grain loss estimated at 13.5 per cent continent-wide.

Reducing such losses could constitute a more cost-effective answer to hunger than increasing productivity. If the figures published in a 2011 World Bank report paint an accurate portrait, eliminating grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone could provide the annual calorie requirement for around 48 million people. And this increase would not be detrimental to the environment, as it would require no extra resources (water, land and energy) to grow the food that would otherwise go wasted.

The problem is that it is difficult to isolate post-harvest losses from the issue of rural underdevelopment in general. That is because they are largely due to the lack of infrastructure and appropriate equipment that affects many developing economies. What is really needed is a complete overhaul of the rural sector and its value chains, and one that leaves no loss behind.

A growing number of projects supported by IFAD follow a holistic approach that aims to improve the overall efficiency of the value chain by upgrading the capacities of all actors involved. An internal desk review found that between 2013 and 2016 IFAD earmarked about US$433 million to post-harvest operations through such projects. The infrastructure, equipment and capacity developed thanks to this investment is essential to enable producers to reduce their losses.

More focused interventions may still be needed to reduce losses at critical loss points, as we've done for example in East Timor by subsidizing 42,000 improved storage drums for household storage. Yet the comprehensive and durable development many of our projects have brought to rural communities is arguably more effective than piecemeal interventions, which may have a more immediate and measurable impact, but a more uncertain future.
Source: https://www.ifad.org/web/latest/blog/asset/40810706

Reducing food losses is just as important as improving yields, especially in the context of shifting climatic conditions. But the most effective way to stop the loss is to take a holistic approach that carefully integrates post-harvest loss reduction into every step of the targeted supply chains, from production to retail. If adequately funded and implemented, this approach could be the key to building more sustainable food systems, ensuring that everyone is adequately fed while our environment is protected.

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