THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: IG FARBEN TO INVESTIGATE SAFETY OF GLYPHOSATEMay 6, 2015
When I read this one, I had to laugh, because it's "rich". It's as incongruous as having Congress investigate corruption in government, and then assuring us it's determined to "do something about it," or having an FBI investigation of how to combat organized crime being conducted by hiring Don Corleone as an independent consultant. Well, this one was shared by Ms. M.W., and when I read the opening lines, I had to laugh and had to share it:
Consider that opening paragraph:
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently classified glyphosate, the active substance of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, as “probably causing cancer in human beings.” Germany is charged by the EU with the safety review of glyphosate: yet three scientists sitting on its scientific panel on pesticides are employees of BASF and Bayer, two major pesticides producers. Meanwhile, the UK has simply privatised its governmental Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) outright, and France's experts in charge of assessing the safety of medicines have been shown to have been selling undeclared advisory services to pharmaceutical companies on how to best to file their market authorisation applications."(Emphasis added)
Now, Bayer and BASF(Bayrischen Analin- und Sodafabrik) were two of the "small" companies that, along with Hoechst (now Sanofi) and a host of smaller concerns that formed the notorious German chemicals cartel IG Farben. Indeed, since the final liquidation of IG Farben (in 2003!) the "smaller" concerns that once composed it have shown little to no sign of changing their ways. Both are connected with the GMO industry and thus, the appointment of such people to review glyphosate is in effect tantamount to appointing IG Farben to render "an objective scientific opinion" on the matter. The catch here is that with their own profits involved, any presence of their representatives on the review committee is arguably a conflict of interest. We should also recall something in this context, one that German physician Dr. Matthias Rath has pointed out on a number of occasions: when the directors of these concerns formed the Farben cartel in the 1920s, they referred to themselves and the Farben board of directors as the Rat der Goetter, the "council of the gods." Indeed, the arrogant attitude displayed by Farben's directors in choosing this name for themselves issued in the ultimate end of the death camps.
All of this raises an even more fundamental question, one not only germane to Europeans but to Canadians, Americans, Austrailians, and basically any country that has been struggling with the GMO issue, and that is the power of corporations to vest questionable science and to protect their profits by mercantilist policies, and government favoritism, and to short change any independent analysis. One has to wonder exactly how democratic the structures and processes of the EU are when a review committee can be formed including members of some of the most powerful chemical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural concerns in the world. Such a phenomenon suggests that the EU's structures are not for the purpose of granting real popular participation in such matters, but rather, for closing it off behind a facade of committees and a theater of "concern." One gets the picture of this "truncated" and "objective" process at work with this admission:
"Both EFSA and the German regulatory agencies however refuse to disclose the two key chronic toxicity studies that this decision was based on, because these would contain commercially confidential information."
In other words, "the science is good. Trust us, your government. Trust us, your all knowing corporations." (See today's tidbit from Jon Rappaport about this idea of state and corporation sanctioned "science.") This, of course, is a mockery of science, for science, real objective science, can only be conducted in the culture of free inquiry and free decisions, not the coercive and cloaked activities of states and corporations. Germany's track record of caving into the corporate pressure, or rather, simply being a front for it, is further highlighted by this disclosure:
"Testbiotech, a German research NGO, strongly criticised Germany's report saying that it failed to evaluate several peer reviewed studies which were omitted for unknown reasons. And to reassure everyone, Bfr's pesticide committee has employees from pesticide giants that profit from glyphosate, two from BASF and one from Bayer, among its members. The current committee (from 2014) includes Monika Bross and Ivana Fegert of BASF, and Frank Pierre Laport of Bayer CropScience. The previous such committee (2011-2013) included two from BASF and two from Bayer CropScience. And the one before that (2008-2010) again two from BASF and one from Bayer CropScience. Bfr's boss, Andreas Hensel, told the newspaper TAZ: “We consciously selected also professionals from the industry for our committees. Many facts around for instance cosmetics or plastics can only be judged by those that work with them.” (A comparable situation prevails at the Bfr GMO committee, as shown by this 2012 report by Testbiotech.)"
If this standard were applied, say, to a court case where the judge was to hear a trial between a plaintiff and a defendant corporation in which the judge owned a substantial share of stock, it would be considered a conflict of interest and, by normal standards of jurisprudence, the judge would have to recuse himself from trying the case.
But not so in the upside-down murky mercantilist world of GMO politics, safety, and regulation. And when people have finally had enough, as is the case in the Hawaiian county of Maui, the corporations sue to short circuit the process of goverment. Sadly, when I coined the term "IG Farbensanto" to refer to the corruption of the agribusiness industry, I had no idea that the reality was much closer to my attempt at ridicule and black humor than I realized. The bottom line here is that the wealth and power of corporations have so corrupted both science and government that there are few alternatives left, other than to vote with the pocket book: don't eat their products, don't patronize establishments that sell them, don't patronize the media that advertize them.
See you on the flip side...