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Wednesday, November 30, 2016
F. William Engdahl -- Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation -- Chapter 12 included
Terminators, Traitors, Spermicidal Corn
"Two Steps Forward, Then One Step Backward ... "
By the end of the 1980's, backed by the new clout of the WTO and the full support from the White House, the genetic seed giants began to get visibly intoxicated by the possibilities of taking over the world's food supply. They all were working feverishly on a new technology which would allow them to sell seed that would not reproduce. The seed companies named their innovation GURTs, short for Genetic Use Restriction Technologies.
The process was soon known as "Terminator" seeds, a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger's crude and death-ridden Hollywood films. As one GMO Terminator backer put it, it was developed to "protect corporations from unscrupulous farmers" (sic) who might try to re-use patented seed without paying. No matter that the vast majority of the world's farmers were too poor to afford the Monsanto GMO license and other seed fees, and had re-used seed for thousands of years before.
In 1998, Delta & Pine Land Seed Company, a US bio-tech company in Scott, Mississippi, was the largest owner of commercial cotton seeds. With financial backing from the US Department of SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION Agriculture, it had won a joint patent together with the US Government, for its GURT, or Terminator, technology. Their joint patent, US patent number 5,723,765 titled "Control of Plant Gene Expression," allowed its owners and licensees to create sterile seed by selectively programming a plant's DNA to kill its own embryos. The patent applied to plants and seeds of all species.l
If farmers tried to save the seeds at harvest for future crops, the seeds produced by these plants would not grow. Peas, tomatoes, peppers, wheat, rice or corn would essentially become seed cemeteries. As one critic put it, "In one broad, brazen stroke of his hand, man will have irretrievably broken the plant-to-seed-to plant-toseed cycle, the cycle that supports most life on the planet. No seed, no food ... unless you buy more seed."2
One year later Monsanto announced it was buying Delta & Pine Land. They had their eyes firmly on getting the Terminator patent. They knew it was applicable not only to cotton seeds but to all seeds.
Terminator looked like the answer to the agribusiness dream of controlling world food production. No longer would they need to hire expensive detectives to spy on whether farmers were re-using Monsanto seeds.
Terminator corn, soybeans, or cotton seeds had been genetically modified to "commit suicide" after one harvest season. The inbuilt gene produced a toxin just before the seed ripened, whereby in every seed the plant embryo would self-destruct. The Terminator seeds would automatically prevent farmers from saving and reusing the seed for the next harvest. The technology was a beautiful means of enforcing Monsanto or other GMO patent rights and fees, especially in developing economies where patent rights were little respected.
A second, closely related technology which held priority R&D funding by the gene multinationals in the late 1990's was T -GURT seeds, the second generation of Terminator. T -Gurts, or Trait Genetic Use Restriction Technologies, were nicknamed "Traitor;' a reference to the plant trait features of the genetic technology used. It was also a word which had a double meaning not lost on its critics.
Traitor technologies relied on controlling not only the plant's fertility, but also its genetic characteristics. In its US patent application, Delta & Pine Land and the USDA stated the method with "an inducible gene promoter that is responsive to an exogenous chemical inducer:' called a "gene switch." This promoter can be linked to a gene and introduced into a plant. The gene can be selectively expressed (i.e. activated) by application of the chemical inducer to activate the promoter directly.
The official patent application continued. Growth of the plant can be controlled by the application or withholding of a chemical inducer. While the inducer is present, the repressor is expressed, the promoter attached to the disrupter gene is repressed, the disrupter protein is not expressed, thereby allowing the plant to grow normally. If the chemical inducer is withheld, the gene switch is turned off, the repressible promoter is not repressed, so the disrupter protein is expressed and plant development is disrupted.3
A GMO crop of rice or corn would only be resistant to certain plagues or pests after use of a specific chemical compound, which would only be available from Monsanto, Syngenta, or other owners of patent rights to the specific Traitor seeds. Farmers trying to buy seed from the "illegal" seed market would not be able to get the special chemical compound needed to "turn on" the plant's resistance gene.
Traitor technology offered a unique chance to open an entire new captive market for Monsanto and the others to sell their agrichemicals. Furthermore, Traitor was cheaper to produce than the complicated Terminator seeds. Not widely publicized, the fact about Traitor technologies was that with them it was also possible to develop GMO plants that needed to be "turned on" in order to grow or become fertile.
One study noted that 11 new patents were held by the newly formed Syngenta. These patents allowed "genetic modification of staple crops which will produce disease prone plants (unless treated with chemicals); control the fertility of crops; control when plants flower; control when crops sprout; control how crops age:'4
By the year 2000 Syngenta had the single largest interest in GURTs of all the global GMO companies. Monsanto was determined to change that, however. 5
Under the Terminator joint agreement between the USDA and Delta & Pine Land, D&PL had exclusive licensing rights, while the USDA would earn about 5 percent of the net sales of any commercial product using the technology. The USDA and Pine Land Co. also applied for patents in some 78 other countries. The official backing of the US Government gave the patent application huge leverage that a small private company would lack abroad. Delta & Pine Land said in its press release that the technology had "the prospect of opening significant worldwide seed markets to the sale of transgenic technology for crops in which seed currently is saved and used in subsequent plantings:'6
In practice, farmers purchased elite seeds that provided only one harvest; the seeds from this harvest were sterile, absent, or nonelite and the farmer must buy either seed or trait-maintenance chemical compound from the company.7
The US Government defended its patent on GURTs, which they named TPS for the benign-sounding "Technology Protection System":
Because of this seed-saving practice, companies are often reluctant to make research investments in many crops; they cannot recoup their multi-year investment in developing improved varieties through sales in one year. TPS would protect investments made in breeding or genetically engineering these crops. It would do this by reducing potential sales losses from unauthorized reproduction and sale of seed.8
At the time, in a revealing but little-noticed statement, Delta & Pine Land admitted that the initial reason they developed Terminator technology was to market it to rice and wheat farmers in countries such as India, Pakistan and China.
The implications of Terminator and Traitor technology in the hands of the GMO agribusiness giants were difficult to grasp. For the first time in history, it would allow three or four private multinational seed companies to dictate terms to world farmers for their TERMINATORS, TRAITORS, SPERMICIDAL CORN 261 seed. There are several major crops which usually are not grown from hybrid seeds. These include wheat, rice, soybeans, and cotton. Farmers often save the seeds from these crops, and may not need to go back to the seed company for several years-or longer, in some parts of the world-to purchase a new variety.9
In the hands of one or more governments intent on using food as a weapon, Terminator was a tool of biological warfare almost "too good to believe:' In their US patent applications, the companies stated, "seed savers number an estimated 1.4 billion farmers worldwide-l00 million in Latin America, 300 million in Africa, and 1 billion in Asia-and are responsible for growing between 15 and 20 percent of the world's food supply."IO
The Guardian Angel Saves the GMO Project
An ensuing public uproar over the prospect of major private seed multinationals controlling seeds through Terminator technology threatened the very future of the entire Gene Revolution. Ministers were delivering Sunday sermons on the moral implications of Terminator; farmers were organizing protests; governments were holding public hearings on the new development in gene technology. Across the European Union, citizens were in open opposition to GMO because of the Terminator threat and its implications for food security, and because of the fact that the US and other patent offices had decided to grant exclusive patents to Monsanto and Syngenta for several different varieties of Terminator.
The widespread and growing protest against the obvious potential for misuse of Terminator suicide seeds took on a new character in May 1998. Monsanto, which had already gotten one patent on Terminator gene technology six months earlier, announced it would buy Delta & Pine Land. The move would make Monsanto the unquestioned leader in genetic Terminator technology.
News of the planned takeover became a public relations disaster for Monsanto. Newspaper headlines around the world portrayed it as exactly what it was-an attempt by a private corporation to control the seed supply of world farmers.
The growing opposition to genetically modified foods, fed by the negative publicity given to the Terminator seed, led to a dramatic intervention by the guardian angel of the GMO global project.
In September 1999, Gordon Conway, the Rockefeller Foundation President, took the highly unusual step of asking to personally address the Board of Directors of Monsanto. He made clear to them that what was at stake was to demand Monsanto not to persist in developing and commercializing Terminator seed technologies. 11
Monsanto listened carefully to Conway. On October 4, 1999, Monsanto CEO, Robert B. Shapiro, held a press conference where he announced that the company had decided to stop the process of commercializing the Terminator technology. Shapiro repeated his position in an Open Letter that month to Rockefeller Foundation President Conway, where he said, "We are making a public commitmen't not to commercialize sterile seed technologies, such as the one dubbed "Terminator." We are doing this based on input from you and a wide range of other experts and stakeholders." The world's press covered it as a major victory for the side of reason and social justice. In reality, it was a shrewd tactical deception, worked out together with Rockefeller Foundation's Conway.
For those who bothered to read the fine print, Monsanto had in fact given up nothing. Monsanto's Shapiro did not back off or reject the chance to develop Terminator in the future. Only for an undefined time would there be a moratorium on "commercialization." The commercial stage of Terminator at that point was believed at least several more years away, earliest perhaps in 2007, so little would be lost for Monsanto and much would be won in terms of public relations.
Shapiro made clear in his public statement that he was not about to give up such a weapon over seed supply without a fight. He declared that, "Monsanto holds patents on technological approaches to gene protection that do not render seeds sterile and has studied one that would inactivate the specific gene responsible for the valueadded biotech trait."12 He was referring to Traitor technologies. Shapiro added that, "We are not currently investing resources to develop these technologies."13
"But:' he stressed, "we do not rule out their future development . and use for gene protection or their possible agronomic benefits" (emphasis added). Shortly after that statement, Monsanto announced that it had called off plans to take over Delta & Pine Land as well. All appeared to signal the death of Terminator. 14
Syngenta announced at the same time that it was also declaring a moratorium on the commercialization of Terminator, adding that it would, however, continue with its Traitor developments. The heat was off the Terminator controversy; the deception had apparently worked, as press headlines about Terminator began to disappear from view.
Notably, while Rockefeller's Conway and Monsanto Corporation were making headlines with their declarations on Terminator suspension, the US Department of Agriculture, the partner in Terminator with Delta & Pine Land, made no such commitment. This was indeed curious, as it would have been easy and uncomplicated for the USDA to follow the gene giants by declaring its own moratorium. The press paid no attention to this. Monsanto's news was the headline story.
In a June 1998 interview, USDA spokesman Willard Phelps had declared the US Government policy on Terminator seeds. He explained that the USDA wanted the technology to be "widely licensed and made expeditiously available to many seed companies." He added that the Government's aim was "to increase the value of proprietary seed owned by US seed companies and to open up new markets in Second and Third World countries:' The USDA was open about its reasons. It wanted to get Terminator seeds into the developing world, where the Rockefeller Foundation had put eventual proliferation of genetically engineered crops at the heart of its GMO strategy from the beginnings of its r!ce genome project in 1984.15
The Terminator technology was being supported at the highest levels of the US government to target agriculture in the Second and Third World. It would make it "safe" for Monsanto, DuPont and the other seed giants to market their GMO seeds in targeted developing countries. The USDA microbiologist primarily responsible SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION for developing Terminator with D&PL, Melvin Oliver, openly admitted: "My main interest is the protection of American technology. Our mission is to protect US agriculture, and to make us competitive in the face of foreign competition. Without this, there is no way of protecting the technology [patented seed]." 16
Together with Delta & Pine Land, the USDA had applied for Terminator patents in 78 countries. The USDA admitted openly, perhaps carelessly so, that the target for Terminator seeds were the populations and farmers of the developing world, precisely the Rockefeller Foundation's long-standing goal of promoting GMO.
The coherence between the 1974 Henry Kissinger NSSM 200 population control policies in the developing world, the Rockefeller Foundation's support for introduction of gene technologies in targeted developing countries, and the development of a technology which would allow the private multinationals owning the patents on vital staple seed varieties, was also beginning to dawn on a broader thinking public. The development by Monsanto was increasingly being seen by the world as a kind of Trojan Horse for Western GMO seed giants to get control over Third World food supplies in areas with weak or non-existent patent laws.
The Rockefeller-Monsanto public moratorium announcement in October 1999 was a calculated ploy to direct attention elsewhere, while the seed companies continued their perfection of Terminator, Traitor and related technologies.
Meanwhile, as the Rockefeller Foundation understood it, the urgent priority for the time was to spread GMO seeds worldwide in order, first, to capture huge markets and to make the use of patented GMO seeds irreversible. In some cases, companies like Monsanto were accused by local farmers of illegally smuggling GMO seeds into regions like Brazil or Poland, in order to later claim that farmers had "illegally" used their patented seed, while demanding they pay royalties.
In the case of Brazil, Monsanto was shrewd. Monsanto used the smuggling of GMO soybeans to its advantage, working with the illegal GMO soy producers to pressure the Lula da Silva government to legalise the crop. Once the GMO soy became legal in Brazil, Monsanto moved in to put an end to the "black market". With the government offering an amnesty to farmers who registered their crops as GMO soy, Monsanto worked out an agreement with producer organisations and soybean crushers, cooperatives and exporters, to force Brazilian farmers to pay royalties. 17
Rockefeller's Conway clearly realized that the entire strategy of achieving global control over the food supply was being jeopardized in its most fragile stages by the relentless drive of Monsanto to promote its Terminator technology. In 1999, GMO seeds had barely assumed a significant share in the US seed market. Their proliferation in developing countries, with occasional exceptions such as Argentina, was at that time minimal. The European Union had imposed a ban or moratorium on licensing GMO plants. Brazil, Mexico and many African nations had strict bans on GMO imports or cultivation. The entire Gene Revolution project of the Rockefeller Foundation and its corporate and political allies was in danger of flying off the track if Monsanto persisted with the public development of Terminator.
Were the world to wake up to what was possible with GMO seeds, it might rebel while it still could. This was the evident reasoning behind the rare event of the Rockefeller Foundation's public intervention. In order to save the entire project, Rockefeller in effect imposed a higher discipline on Monsanto, and Monsanto got the message.
Terminator developments never stopped after 1999.
While Monsanto did abandon merger talks with Delta & Pine Land in late 1999, Delta & Pine and the USDA continued with their full program to perfect Terminator and Traitor technologies. Delta Vice President, Harry Collins, declared in a press interview to his GMO trade peers in the Agrallndustrial Biotechnology Legal Letter, "We've continued right on with work on the Technology Protection System (TPS or Terminator). We never really slowed down. We're on target, moving ahead to commercialize it. We never really backed off." 18
Neither did their partner, the United States Department of Agriculture, back down after 1999. In 2001, the USDA Agricultural Research Service CARS) website announced: "USDA has no plans to introduce TPS into any germplasm .... Our involvement has been to help develop the technology, not to assist companies to use it"-as if to say, "our hands are clean."19
The USDA went on to say it was "committed to making the [Terminator 1 technology as widely available as possible, so that its benefits will accrue to all segments of society .... ARS intends to do research on other applications of this unique gene control discovery .... When new applications are at the appropriate stage of development, this technology will also be transferred to the private sector for commercial application."2o Terminator was alive and well in the hands of US Government.
In August 2001, the USDA announced that it had signed a license agreement with its partner, Delta & Pine Land, allowing D&PL to commercialize the Terminator technology for its cotton seeds. The public outcry this time was mute. The issue had fallen off the public radar screen, and days later the events of September 11,2001 completely buried the USDA announcement. The world suddenly had other concerns.
After the Terminator furor had died down in June 2003, Monsanto had begun to repackage Terminator as an "ecological plus:' Rather than stress the seed control aspect, Monsanto began to promote Terminator or GURTs as a way to control the spread of GMO seeds by wind or pollination and the contamination of nonGMO crops. In February 2004, Roger Krueger of Monsanto wrote a paper together with Harry Collins of Delta & Pine Land in the magazine of the International Seed Federation, the umbrella association for the industry. Their article dismissed all worries about the dangers of Terminator or GURT seeds as "conjecture:' and declared that "GURTs have the potential to benefit farmers in all size, economic and geographical areas." This time they referred to Terminator or GURTs as "a possible technical solution" to problems of plant contamination.
"Push it Down Their Bloody Throats ... "
As soon as the furor around Terminator seeds had vanished from the headlines of the world's press, the major gene seed companies, in concert with the US Government, began employing increasingly coercive tactics to force GMO seeds down the throats of the world population, especially in the developing world. Among their techniques of persuasion, the genetic seed companies employed bribery, coercion, and illegal smuggling of their GMO seeds into country after country to "spread the Gospel of GMO salvation.”
In 2002, the State Department instructed all its aid agencies to act as international policemen. They were instructed by USAID, a Government agency, to immediately report to them any opposition in a recipient country, to GMO food imports. They were told to collect documentation to determine if the anti-GMO attitude of the local government was "trade or politically motivated:' If they determined it was trade motivated, the US Government had recourse to the WTO or to the threat of WTO sanctions against the aid recipient country, usually a potent threat against poor countries.21
To help Monsanto, DuPont and the other US seed giants spread GMO seeds. The US State Department and US Department of Agriculture coordinated to give emergency famine relief aid in the form of genetically modified US surplus commodities, a practice condemned by international aid organizations, as it destroyed a country's local agricultural economy in the process of opening new markets for Monsanto and friends. The European Union issued an official protest at the US Government's "use of food aid donations used as surplus disposal measures."22 Washington ignored the protest.
In early 2003, the Government of India refused to allow import of 1,000 tons of US soybean-corn blend on the grounds that it might contain genetically modified foods which could be hazardous to human health and which had not been adequately tested. The import, through the American food aid organizations CARE and Catholic Relief Services, had thus not been approved. USAID ignored that small fact and pressed ahead.23
The practice long established by international aid agencies was to buy their food supplies on the open market, if possible from farmers in the recipient country or in neighboring countries. USAID mandated that US-based food aid organizations ship only grain provided by USAID, which meant genetically modified US grain. The United States was practically the only donor country insisting on use of its own food surplus for food aid.
In October 2002, the London Guardian reported that the US Government offered emergency famine relief aid during a severe drought, aid worth $266 million, to six countries in southern Africa. However, it offered it only in the form of genetically modified corn from US surplus stocks, although ample conventional corn was available on the market.24 Corn was the staple food in that region of Africa. Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe all refused the GMO corn, citing possible health hazards. EU and other food aid donors gave the respective countries cash to buy their food on the open market instead, the customary international practice in such situations of famine. Washington had another agenda: spread the use of GMO seeds as far and wide and as fast as possible, by whatever means necessary.
When USAID Administrator, Andrew Natsios, was questioned by the press, he snapped back, "starving people do not plant seeds. They eat them."25 The farmers where the GMO seeds were taken, of course, planted the seed for a next harvest, unaware for the most part of what seed they had gotten. It carried no GMO label, as Monsanto or DuPont or another of the seed giants would later remind them. The UN claimed that 160,000 tons of non-GMO cereals, including corn, were available in neighbouring South Africa, Kenya and nearby states for relief aid.26
Referring to the USAID pressure on Zambia to accept US GMO corn as famine aid, Dr. Charles Benbrook, an agronomist and former Executive Director of the US National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture, replied that, "[ t 1 here is no shortage of nonGMO foods which could be offered to Zambia, and to use the needs of Zambians to score 'political points' on behalf of biotechnology was unethical and indeed shameless."27
In 2001, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, two organizations dominated by Washington, demanded that Malawi's Government sell off its state emergency food reserves in order to repay their foreign debts due in 2002. Predictably, in the midst of a severe drought, Malawi had no food to feed its starving population. USAID shipped 250,000 metric tons of surplus US GMO corn. Professor David King, Science Adviser to Britain's Prime Minister, denounced the efforts by the United States to force GMO technology into Africa, calling it a "massive human experiment." The British aid organization, ActionAid, criticized the US action, declaring, "farmers will be caught in a vicious circle, increasingly dependent on a small number of giant multinationals for patented seeds."28
That was precisely the plan.
George W. Bush threw the considerable weight of his office to back the campaign at a G8 European Summit in June 2003, in which he stated:
Our partners in Europe have blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears. This has caused many African nations to avoid investing in bio-technologies for fear that their products will be shut out of European markets.29
Bush was upping the heat on the EU to lift its 1997 ban on GMO plants. Southern Africa had some of the richest most fertile soil in the world, abundant supplies of fresh water and a benign climate. Agribusiness companies like Monsanto and Cargill were clearly salivating at the prospects of using their industrial factory farming and GMO plant cultivation. Only a few tens of millions of poor African citizens stood in the way.
However, Africa was not the only target for the worldwide proliferation of GMO seeds in the early months of the new millennium. Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and the other major genetic seed companies used similar forms of coercion, bribery and illegal tactics to spread their seeds from Poland to Indonesia and beyond. In Indonesia, Monsanto was forced to plead guilty to criminal charges of paying $50,000 in bribes to a senior Indonesian Government official to bypass controls on screening new genetically modified 270 SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION cropS. Court records revealed that the bribe had been authorized in the US headquarters of Monsanto. Monsanto later was found guilty and forced to pay a fine. 30
In Poland, Monsanto and the other major agribusiness corporations were illegally planting GMO seeds in a country with one of the richest soils in Europe. In Brazil, Monsanto was accused of illegally smuggling and planting large quantities of GMO soybean seed into the country. The Government finally lifted a ban on GMO plants in early 2005, stating it was futile to try to control the spread. The Gene Revolution was marching forward by all means possible.31
Killing Us Softly, Ever so Softly, Killing Us Softly With ...
The clear strategy of Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and the Washington Government backing them was to introduce the GMO seeds in every corner of the globe, with priority on defenceless, highly indebted African and other developing countries, or countries like Poland and Ukraine where government controls were minimal and official corruption rampant.
Once planted, the seeds would spread rapidly across the land. At a later date, the GMO seed multinationals, using threats of WTO sanctions, would be in a position to dominate the seed supply of the major growing areas of the planet, to give or deny the means of life sustenance as they saw fit. In intelligence parlance, such a capacity was called the power of "strategic denial." A potential enemy or rival would be denied a strategic resource-energy or, in this case, foodor be threatened with denial, unless they agreed to certain policy demands by those controlling the resource.
A Very Special Kind of Corn
The question then became, how did this prospect map onto the long-term strategy of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and major figures in the US establishment for global population reduction? A possible answer was soon to be found.
In San Diego, a small, privately-owned biotech company, Epicyte, held a press conference in September 2001 to make an announcement about its work. Epicyte reported that they had successfully, created the ultimate GMO crop-contraceptive corn. They had taken antibodies from women with a rare condition known as immune infertility, isolated the genes that regulated the manufacture of those infertility antibodies, and, using genetic engineering techniques, had inserted the genes into ordinary corn seeds used to produce corn plants.32 "We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies;' boasted Epicyte President, Mitch Hein.33
At the time of this dramatic announcement, which went largely uncommented by the world's major media, Epicyte had concluded a strategic joint research and licensing agreement with Dow Chemical Company through Dow AgroSciences, one of the three agribusiness genetic seed giants in the US. The purpose of that joint venture, they announced at the time, was to combine Epicyte's technological breakthroughs with Dow AgroSciences' "strength in the genetic engineering of crops." Epicyte's product -candidate antibodies were being transformed in corn. Epicyte and the Dow organizations had agreed to a four year program to investigate factors affecting expression, stability and accumulation of antibodies in transgenic plants.34 Epicyte had also signed a collaboration with Novartis Agriculture Discovery Institute (Syngenta) and with ReProtect LLC of Baltimore to develop other antibody-based microbicides for contraception.35
On October 6, 2002, CBS News reported that the United States Department of Agriculture, the same agency of the US Government that had been so vigorous in developing Terminator technology, had also financed 32 field trials around the country for growing drug and drug compounds in various crops. The US Government field trials included Epicyte's spermicidal corn technology. What was not revealed was that the USDA was also providing the field trial results to scientists at the US Department of Defense through one of their numerous biological research laboratories such as the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland.36
Previously, the production of antibodies for contraception purposes required costly facilities costing up to four hundred million dollars for ultra-sterile special fermentation conditions, using hamster ovarian bacteria as the antibody source. Epicyte claimed it needed only perhaps 100 acres of corn land to grow the special GMO spermicidal corn producing a vastly greater quantity of antibody for the spermicide at a cost of a mere few million dollars, a cost reduction of some 90%.31
At the time of their brief public announcement, which they presented as a contribution to the world "over-population" problem, Epicyte estimated the commercial availability of its spermicidal corn would come in 2006 or 2007. After the press release, the discussion of Epicyte's breakthrough in creating spermicidal corn which would kill human sperm vanished. The company itself was taken over in May 2004 by a private Pittsboro, North Carolina biotech company. Biolex thus acquired Epicyte Pharmaceutical.38 Nothing more was heard in any media about the development of spermicidal corn and the theme vanished from view.
Rumors were that the research continued on a secret basis because of the politically explosive impact of a corn variety which, when consumed, would make human male sperm sterile. Mexican farmers were already in an uproar over the unauthorized spread of genetically engineered corn into the heart of the Mexican corn seed treasure in Oaxaca.39
It took little effort to imagine the impact were corn-which was the dietary staple of most Mexicans-to contain Epicyte's spermicidal antibodies. "Some spermicidal corn on the cob? Or perhaps a killer tortilla, mister?" Or what about that next bowl of corn flakes? The creator of the Kellogg's Corn Flakes company was also a founding patron of the American Eugenics Society almost a century before, along with John D. Rockefeller.
From Terminator Suicide Seeds to Spermicidal Corn
It was becoming clear why powerful elite circles of the United States, themselves enormously wealthy and largely untaxed thanks to Bush Administration tax cuts, backed the introduction of genetically modified seeds into the world food chain as a strategic priority. That elite included not only the Rockefeller and Ford foundations and most other foundations tied to the large private family fortunes of the wealthiest American families. It also included the US State Department, the National Security Council, the US Department of Agriculture, as well as the leading policy circles of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, along with agencies of the United Nations including WHO and FAO.
Tetanus, Rockefeller and the World Health Organization The folks at the Rockefeller Foundation were deadly serious about wanting to solve the world hunger problem through the worldwide proliferation of GMO seeds and crops. Only their presumed method to do so aimed at a "supply side" solution rather than the "demand side." They were out to limit population by going after the human reproductive process itself.
For any skeptics who doubted their intent, they needed only to look at the foundation's work with the United Nations' World Health Organization in Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines and other poorer developing countries. The foundation had quietly funded a WHO program in "reproductive health;' which had developed an innovative tetanus vaccine. It was no spur of the moment decision by the people at Rockefeller. Nor could they claim to be unaware of the true nature of their research funding. They had worked with WHO researchers since 1972 to develop a new double-whammy vaccine, at the same time during which the foundation had been funding research in other bio-technology areas including genetically engineered cropS.40
In the early 1990's, according to a report from the Global Vaccine Institute, the WHO oversaw massive vaccination campaigns against tetanus in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines. Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization, became suspicious of the motives behind the WHO program and decided to test numerous vials of the vaccine and found them to contain human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG. That was a curious component for a vaccine designed to protect people against lock-jaw arising from infection with rusty nail wounds or other contact with certain bacteria found in soil. The tetanus disease was indeed, also rather rare.4l
It was also curious because hCG was a natural hormone needed to maintain a pregnancy. However, when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier, it stimulated the formation of antibodies against hCG, rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy, a form of concealed abortion. Similar reports of vaccines laced with hCG hormones came from the Philippines and Nicaragua.42
The Comite Pro Vida organization confirmed several other curious facts about the WHO vaccination program. The tetanus vaccine had been given only to women in the child-bearing ages between 15- 45. It was not given to men or childrenY Furthermore, it was usually given in a series of three vaccinations only months apart to insure that women had a high enough dosage of hCG, even though one tetanus injection held for at least ten years. The presence of hCG was a clear contamination of the vaccine. None of the women receiving the Tetanus hCG vaccine were told it contained an abortion agent. The WHO clearly intended it that way.
Pro Vida dug further and learned that the Rockefeller Foundation, working with John D. Rockefeller Ill's Population Council, the World Bank, the UN Development Program and the Ford Foundation, and others had been working with the WHO for 20 years to develop an anti-fertility vaccine using hCG with tetanus as well as with other vaccines.44
Among those "others" involved in funding the WHO research was a list which included the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and a number of universities, including Uppsala in Sweden, Helsinki University, and Ohio State University. The list also included the US Government, through its National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a part of National Institutes of Health (NIH). The latter US Government agency supplied the hCG hormone in some of the anti-fertility vaccine experiments.45
The respected British medical journal, The Lancet, in a June 11, 1988 article entitled "Clinical Trials of a WHO Birth Control Vaccine;' confirmed the findings of the Comite Pro Vida de Mexico. Why a Tetanus Toxoid "Carrier"? Because the human body does not attack its own naturally occurring hormone hCG, the body has to be fooled into treating hCG as an invading enemy in order to develop a successful anti-fertility vaccine utilizing hCG antibodies, according G.P. Talwar, one of the scientists involved.46
By mid-1993, the WHO had spent a total of $365 million of its scarce research funds on what it euphemistically dubbed "reproductive health:' including research on implanting hCG into tetanus vaccines. WHO officials declined to explain why women they had vaccinated had developed anti-hCG antibodiesY
They dismissed the findings of Pro Vida by claiming the charges were coming from "Right to Life and Catholic sources;" as if that should indicate some fatal bias. If you can't deny the message, at least try to discredit the messenger.
When four additional vials of the tetanus vaccine used on women in the Philippines were sent to St. Luke's Lutheran Medical Center in Manila, where all four tested positive for hCG, the officials at WHO shifted.
The WHO now claimed the hCG had come from the manufacturing process. The vaccine had been produced by Connaught Laboratories Ltd of Canada, Intervex and CSL Laboratories of Australia. Connaught, one of the world's largest producers of vaccines, was part of the French pharmaceutical Rhone Poulenc group. Among other research projects, Connaught was engaged in producing a genetically engineered version of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Population reduction and genetically engineered crops were clearly part of the same broad strategy: the drastic reduction of the world's population. It was in fact a sophisticated form of what the Pentagon termed biological warfare, promulgated under the name of "solving the world hunger problem."
The Hidden GMO Agenda Emerges
The US and UK governments' relentless backing for the global spread of genetically modified seeds was in fact the implementation of a decades long policy of the Rockefeller Foundation since the 1930's, when it funded Nazi eugenics research-i.e. mass-scale population reduction, and control of darker-skinned races by an Anglo-Saxon white elite. As some of these circles saw it, war as a means of population reduction was costly and not that efficient.
In 1925, Britain's Winston Churchill, a robust racist, commented favorably on the potential for biological warfare, writing about the desirability of the government being able to produce "pestilences methodically prepared and deliberately launched upon man and beast .... Blight to destroy crops. Anthrax to slay horses and cattle .... " And that was in 1925.48
Reflecting the discussion in US senior military circles, Lt. Col. Robert P. Kadlec, USAF, of the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, discussed in a book written in the 1990's, Battlefield of the Future, the biowarfare potential of genetically engineered crops. He referred to GMO-based biological weapons as "cost-effective" weapons of mass destruction. He wrote that, "Compared with other mass destruction weapons, biological weapons are cheap. A recent Office of Technology Assessment report paces the cost of a BW (biological weapon) arsenal as low as $10 million ... in stark contrast to a low-estimate of $200 million for developing a single nuclear weapon."49
Kadlec then went on to state that, "Using biological weapons under the cover of an endemic or natural disease occurrence provides an attacker the potential for plausible denial. In this context, biological weapons offer greater possibilities for use than do nuclear weapons."50
The biological weapons and genetic engineering research project, Sunshine Project, reported that "researchers in the USA, UK, Russia and Germany have genetically engineered biological weapons agents, building new deadly strains .... Genetic engineering can be used to broaden the classical bio-weapons arsenal ... bacteria can not only be made resistant to antibiotics or vaccines, they can also be made more toxic, harder to detect ... :'51
Back in the 1980's around the time the Rockefeller Foundation launched its major genetic engineering rice project, the start of the Gene Revolution, the US Pentagon quietly initiated military applications of biotechnology. Citing the Russian threat, US military researchers, in highly classified research, began using the newgenetic engineering techniques. Among the projects researched was a genetically modified refined opium-like substance, whose minute presence induced sleep, anxiety, submissiveness or temporary blindness. Significantly, in the context of Terminator, GMO spermicides and other developments of the Gene Revolution, the Bush Administration rejected a ban on further bio-weapons development, and at the same time refused to accept the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and CO2 emissions. 52
The bio-weapons protocol was a major issue among the list of things the new administration in Washington unilaterally rejected. The media dutifully turned its focus, however, to the Bush rejection of Kyoto, largely ignoring the Administration's significant refusal to cooperate on banning biological and toxic weapons. In one of his first acts after taking office in January 2001, Bush announced that he refused to support a legally binding Biological and Toxic Weapons Protocol (BTWC), leading to collapse of those international talks. Little reason was given. A 2004 study by the British Medical Association concluded that the world was perhaps only a few years away from "terrifying biological weapons capable of killing only people of specific ethnic groups:' citing advances in "genetic weapons technology."53
"We're tempted to say that nobody in their right mind would ever use these things:' remarked Stanford University biophysicist, Professor Steven Block, a man with years of personal experience with classified Pentagon and Government biological research. "But:' Block added, "not everybody is in their right mind . .. :'54
1. Melvin John Oliver et al., United States Patent, Control of Plant Gene Expression, Patent no. 5,723,765, 3 March 1998, detailed description of the invention in http://patftl.uspto.gov.
2. Geri Guidetti, "Seed Terminator and Mega-Merger Threaten Food and Freedom, Food Supply Update: June 5,1998", The Ark Institute, http://www.arkinstitute.com/98/up0606.htm, 5 June 1998. Also http://www.thesis.xlibx.info/th-other/4715720-41-seeds-destruction-the-hidden-agenda-genetic-manipulation-global.php
3. Melvin John Oliver, op. cit.
4. Hugh Warwick, Syngenta: Switching off Farmers' Rights?, Genetics Forum, Bern, October 2000, http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Syngenta-Switching-OffRights.htm#exec.
6. Cooperative Research, March 3, 1998: Patent on Terminator Seeds Granted, http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/ en tity. j sp? en ti ty=us_ departmen C oC agriculture.
7. Zac Hanley and Kieran Elborough, "Re-emerging Biotechnologies: Rehabilitating the Terminator", ISB News Report, June 2002, p. 1.
8. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, op. cit., 29 March 2004.
9. Martha L. Crouch, How the Terminator Terminates, lists.ibiblio.orglpipermaiUpermaculture/ 1999-January/005941.html, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1998. http://www.iatp.org/files/How_the_Terminator_Terminates.htm
10. US Patent and Technology Office, USPTO Patent Database, 3 March 1998.
11 . USA Today, "The Seeds of Warning for Biotech Companies", USA Today, 10D, 29 June 1999.
12. Robert B. Shapiro, Open Letter From Monsanto CEO Robert B. Shapiro To Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway and Others, http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/ukshowlib.phtml?uid=9949 4 October 1999.
13. Ibid. 14. Ibid. 15. Willard Phelps, USDA spokesman, Interview with RAFl (now ETC), 10 March 1998, cited in http://www.cropchoice.comlleadstry7f4c.html?recid=694
16. Melvin J. Oliver, USDA molecular biologist and primary inventor of the technology, quoted in RAFl Communique, March 1998.
17. GRAIN, "Confronting Contamination: 5 Reasons to Reject Co-existence, Contamination in Argentina and Brazil pays off for Monsanto", Seedling, http://www.grain.orglseedling , April 2004.
18. RAFI, 25 February 2000, quoted in Jaan Suurktila, Problems with Genetically Engineered Food Archive: RAFI Says Terminator Seeds on Fast Track, http://www.psrast.orglprobobstarch.htm .
19. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, op. cit., 29 March 2004.
21. Ashok B. Sharma, "US Aid Agencies Instructed to Report Anti-GM Nations to USAID", The Financial Express (India), http://www.mindfully.org/GE/ 2003/USAID-Report-AntiGMI4jan03.htm, 14 January 2003. http://www.saynotogmos.org/ujan03.htm
22. European Commission, WTO and Agriculture: European Commission Proposes More Market Opening, Less Trade Distorting Support and a Radically Better Deal for Developing Countries, Press release, 16 December 2002.
23. Ashok B. Sharma, op. cit.
24. John Vidal, "US Dumping Unsold GMO Food on Africa", The Guardian, 7 October 2002.
27. Charles Benbrook, quoted in "Southern Africa's Food Aid Crisis Shamelessly Engineered to Score 'Political Points' Says Leading US Agronomist", Norfolk Genetic Information Network, ngin.tripod.com/270902a.htm, 27 September 2002.
28. Mark Townsend, "Blair Urges Crackdown on Third World Profiteering", The Observer, 1 September 2002.
29. BBC News, Bush: Africa Hostage to GM Fears, 22 May 2003, http:// news.bbc.co.uki2/hi/americas/3050855.stm.
30. Jonathan Birchall, "Indonesia: Monsanto Agrees to US $1.5 Million Over Crop Bribe", Financial Times (London), 7 January 2005.
31. Andrew Hay, "Environmentalists Fear Brazil's Lifting of GMO Ban;' Reuters, 7 March 2005.
32. Robin McKie, "GMO Corn Set to Stop Man Spreading His Seed", The Observer, 9 September 2001. McKie writes, "The pregnancy prevention plants are the handiwork of the San Diego biotechnology company Epicyte, where researchers have discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm. By isolating the genes that regulate the manufacture of these antibodies, and by putting them in corn plants, the company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptives ... Contraceptive corn is based on research on the rare condition, immune infertility, in which a woman makes antibodies that attack sperm ... Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm:' said Hein. "They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada."
34. PRNewswire, Dow, Epicyte Enter Research, Licensing Agreement, 5 September 2000.
35. "Epicyte: Company of the Month': The San Diego Biotech Journal, June 2001, http://www.biotechjournal.com/JournaIlJun200 1 /juneartA200 l.pdf.
36. Wyatt Andrews, "In Coming Harvests, Farm-aceutical Corn", CBS News, http://www.muhammadfarms.com/News-Oct6-12-2002.htm. 8 October 2002.
37. The San Diego Biotech Journal, op. cit. See also Business Wire, Epicyte Receives SBIR Grant to Fund HPV Antibody Development; Marks Fifth Grant for Epicyte to Develop Sexual Health Products, 5 June 2001.
38. Biolex Acquires San Diego Based Epicyte Pharmaceutical, Company Press Release, 6 May 2004. http://www.bionity.com/en/news/37538/biolex-acquires-epicyte-pharmaceutical.html See http://www.biolex.comandhttp:/ /www.epicyte.com
39. S'ra DeSantis, "Mexico: Genetically Modified Organisms Threaten Indigenous Corn", Z Magazine, July-August 2002.
40. "Clinical Trials of a WHO Birth Control Vaccine': The Lancet, 11 June 1988.
41. James A. Miller, ''Are New Vaccines Laced With Birth-Control Drugs?", HLI Reports, Human Life International, Gaithersburg, Maryland; June-July 1995.
42. Ibid. 43. Ibid.
44. Ibid. The author cites details of official WHO articles on birth control vaccines including, "Vaccines for Fertility Regulation:' Chapter 11, pp. 177-198, Research in Human Reproduction, Biennial Report, 1986-1987, WHO Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, WHO, Geneva, 1988.
45. James A. Miller, op. cit.
46. W.R. Jones, et aI., "Phase 1 Clinical Trials of a World Health Organisation Birth Control Vaccine", The Lancet, II June 1988, pp. 1295-1298. The authors write, "A birth control vaccine incorporating a synthetic peptide antigen representing the aminoacid sequence ... ofhuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG-beta) was submitted to a phase 1 clinical trial. Thirty surgically sterilised female volunteers, divided into five equal groups for different vaccine doses, received two intramuscular injections six weeks apart. Over a six-month follow-up ... potentially contraceptive levels of antibodies to hCG developed in all subjects. In the highest vaccine dose group, the results gave promise of a contraceptive effect of six months' duration." Also, G.P. Talwar, et aI., "Prospects of an Anti-hCG Vaccine Inducing Antibodies of High Affinity ... ", Reproductive Technology, 1989, Elsevier Science Publishers, 1990, Amsterdam, New York, p. 23l.
47. James.A. Miller, op. cit. Also World Health Organization, "Challenges in Reproductive Health Research", Biennial Report, 1992-1993, Geneva, 1994, p. 186.
48. Winston Churchill, quoted in Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman, A Higher Form of Killing, Noonday Press, New York, 1982. See also George Rosie, "Churchill's Anthrax Bombs: UK Planned to Wipe out Germany with Anthrax': Sunday Herald, London, 14 October 200 l.
49. Robert P.Kadlec, Biological Weapons for Waging Economic Warfare and Twenty First Century Germ Warfare, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.millairchronicles/ battle/chp 1 O.html , and ... chp9.html. https://www.amazon.com/Battlefield-Future-Century-Cyberwar-Biological-ebook/dp/B0089GBBMS
50. Ibid. 5l. Sunshine: Biological Weapons and Genetical Engineering, Genetic Engineering is Regularly Used to Produce Lethal Bacteria, http://nwrage.org/content/genetic-engineering-regularly-used-produce-lethal-bacteria
53. Helen Nugent, "Gene Wars Only a Few Years Away, Say Doctors", London Times, 26 October 2004. 54. Steven Block, quoted in Mark Shwartz, "Biological Warfare Emerges as 21st Century Threat", Stanford Report, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2001/january17/bioterror-117.html , 11 January 200 l.
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