One thought on “Biodiversity or biotech? Who’s got it right: Monsanto or La Via Campesina?

  1. I find reading most of your published articles interesting, however, I do not see any real questioning of the whole sector and what would be required to achieve the aims of low impact agriculture.

    I appreciate your quoting of several key figures from the past, such as Schumacher but your arguements are not being heard because your statements are not contriversial enough to get headlines.

    I was suprised that you let the BBC produce a programme that herealded the coming of Haber and his process that revolutionised farming, particulary the statement that pronounced the fact that his process made Nitrogen fertiliser cheap and thus effective in the fight to produce cheap food. The fact that Haber spent most of the First World War working on chemical weapons was so unfortunate, because that tained his reputation as “Good” man. What utter “that smelly stuff that comes out of the backend of animals” . The Haber process had little or nothing to do with agriculture, the Germans needed a source of Nitrogen to produce explosives for any European War. The main source of nitrates at the time was Chile, and they determined that in the event of war the British in particular, would blockade Europe, which it did far more effectively than Germany did Britain, and thus to prosecute a long war Germany would need to find a way to produce Nitrates. Agriculture in Europe at the time could not and would not have been able to afford to pay for such research, the German military were the only source of such investment. Thus Haber was working for the German military not some humanitarian group looking to benefit mankind, and his work in chemical weapons was merely an extension of that work. So let us put a slightly different stance on this, Haber did produce a process that brought a different source of Nitrogen to the market, but it was the to the market in the production and use of explosives that it was aimed. At the end of the First World War where could they find a market for such a process that would still enable them to keep the process going without mothballing the process, so that they could still produce explosives without reliance on the transport of rare and limited supplies of nitrates from vunerable places in the world; the answer simply is find an alternative use, disguise its real use, through the appropriate propaganda, and then when the next time comes, a quick and easy transition from agriculture to munitions without a huge investment and building delay.

    If any of you have any knowledge of the Versaille Treaty signed in 1919, you will know that Germany had to pay huge reparations for its actions in the First World War. Germany was bankrupt at the end of the War so where did it get the moneys to pay these reparations. At a guess it sold its assets to pay for them, and what did that asset list contain besides the Haber process, processes on how to produce chemical and biological weapons in particular. What would this of hearalded, the new industry of chemical controls of agricultural pests and diseased. A clever disguise of the more deadly weapons of “Mass destuction” of the twenty first century. If you think I am being melodramatic then just look what Iraq bought in the 1980’s and from whom it purchased those industries.

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