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Global Research

One thing Microsoft founder Bill Gates can’t be accused of is sloth. He was already pro­gram­ming at 14, founded Microsoft at age 20 while still a stu­dent at Har­vard. By 1995 he had been listed by Forbes as the world’s rich­est man from being the largest share­holder in his Microsoft, a com­pany which his relent­less drive built into a de facto monop­oly in soft­ware sys­tems for per­sonal computers.

In 2006 when most peo­ple in such a sit­u­a­tion might think of retir­ing to a quiet Pacific island, Bill Gates decided to devote his ener­gies to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, the world’s largest ‘trans­par­ent’ pri­vate foun­da­tion as it says, with a whop­ping $34.6 bil­lion endow­ment and a legal neces­sity to spend $1.5 bil­lion a year on char­i­ta­ble projects around the world to main­tain its tax free char­i­ta­ble sta­tus. A gift from friend and busi­ness asso­ciate, mega-​investor War­ren Buf­fett in 2006, of some $30 bil­lion worth of shares in Buffet’s Berk­shire Hath­away put the Gates’ foun­da­tion into the league where it spends almost the amount of the entire annual bud­get of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

So when Bill Gates decides through the Gates Foun­da­tion to invest some $30 mil­lion of their hard earned money in a project, it is worth look­ing at.

No project is more inter­est­ing at the moment than a curi­ous project in one of the world’s most remote spots, Sval­bard. Bill Gates is invest­ing mil­lions in a seed bank on the Bar­ents Sea near the Arc­tic Ocean, some 1,100 kilo­me­ters from the North Pole. Sval­bard is a bar­ren piece of rock claimed by Nor­way and ceded in 1925 by inter­na­tional treaty (see map).

On this God-​forsaken island Bill Gates is invest­ing tens of his mil­lions along with the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, Mon­santo Cor­po­ra­tion, Syn­genta Foun­da­tion and the Gov­ern­ment of Nor­way, among oth­ers, in what is called the ‘dooms­day seed bank.’ Offi­cially the project is named the Sval­bard Global Seed Vault on the Nor­we­gian island of Spits­ber­gen, part of the Sval­bard island group.

The seed bank is being built inside a moun­tain on Spits­ber­gen Island near the small vil­lage of Longyear­byen. It’s almost ready for ‘busi­ness’ accord­ing to their releases. The bank will have dual blast-​proof doors with motion sen­sors, two air­locks, and walls of steel-​reinforced con­crete one meter thick. It will con­tain up to three mil­lion dif­fer­ent vari­eties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diver­sity can be con­served for the future,’ accord­ing to the Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment. Seeds will be spe­cially wrapped to exclude mois­ture. There will be no full-​time staff, but the vault’s rel­a­tive inac­ces­si­bil­ity will facil­i­tate mon­i­tor­ing any pos­si­ble human activity.

Did we miss some­thing here? Their press release stated, ‘so that crop diver­sity can be con­served for the future.’ What future do the seed bank’s spon­sors fore­see, that would threaten the global avail­abil­ity of cur­rent seeds, almost all of which are already well pro­tected in des­ig­nated seed banks around the world?

Any­time Bill Gates, the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, Mon­santo and Syn­genta get together on a com­mon project, it’s worth dig­ging a bit deeper behind the rocks on Spits­ber­gen. When we do we find some fas­ci­nat­ing things.

The first notable point is who is spon­sor­ing the dooms­day seed vault. Here join­ing the Nor­we­gians are, as noted, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion; the US agribusi­ness giant DuPont/​Pioneer Hi-​Bred, one of the world’s largest own­ers of patented genetically-​modified (GMO) plant seeds and related agri­chem­i­cals; Syn­genta, the Swiss-​based major GMO seed and agri­chem­i­cals com­pany through its Syn­genta Foun­da­tion; the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, the pri­vate group who cre­ated the “gene rev­o­lu­tion with over $100 mil­lion of seed money since the 1970’s; CGIAR, the global net­work cre­ated by the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion to pro­mote its ideal of genetic purity through agri­cul­ture change.

CGIAR and ‘The Project’

As I detailled in the book, Seeds of Destruction1, in 1960 the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, John D. Rock­e­feller III’s Agri­cul­ture Devel­op­ment Coun­cil and the Ford Foun­da­tion joined forces to cre­ate the Inter­na­tional Rice Research Insti­tute (IRRI) in Los Baños, the Philip­pines. By 1971, the Rock­e­feller Foundation’s IRRI, along with their Mexico-​based Inter­na­tional Maize and Wheat Improve­ment Cen­ter and two other Rock­e­feller and Ford Foundation-​created inter­na­tional research cen­ters, the IITA for trop­i­cal agri­cul­ture, Nige­ria, and IRRI for rice, Philip­pines, com­bined to form a global Con­sul­ta­tive Group on Inter­na­tional Agri­cul­ture Research (CGIAR).

CGIAR was shaped at a series of pri­vate con­fer­ences held at the Rock­e­feller Foundation’s con­fer­ence cen­ter in Bel­la­gio, Italy. Key par­tic­i­pants at the Bel­la­gio talks were the Rock­e­feller Foundation’s George Har­rar, Ford Foundation’s For­rest Hill, Robert McNa­mara of the World Bank and Mau­rice Strong, the Rock­e­feller family’s inter­na­tional envi­ron­men­tal orga­nizer, who, as a Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion Trustee, orga­nized the UN Earth Sum­mit in Stock­holm in 1972. It was part of the foundation’s decades long focus to turn sci­ence to the ser­vice of eugen­ics, a hideous ver­sion of racial purity, what has been called The Project.

To ensure max­i­mum impact, CGIAR drew in the United Nations’ Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion, the UN Devel­op­ment Pro­gram and the World Bank. Thus, through a carefully-​planned lever­age of its ini­tial funds, the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion by the begin­ning of the 1970’s was in a posi­tion to shape global agri­cul­ture pol­icy. And shape it did.

Financed by gen­er­ous Rock­e­feller and Ford Foun­da­tion study grants, CGIAR saw to it that lead­ing Third World agri­cul­ture sci­en­tists and agron­o­mists were brought to the US to ‘mas­ter’ the con­cepts of mod­ern agribusi­ness pro­duc­tion, in order to carry it back to their home­land. In the process they cre­ated an invalu­able net­work of influ­ence for US agribusi­ness pro­mo­tion in those coun­tries, most espe­cially pro­mo­tion of the GMO ‘Gene Rev­o­lu­tion’ in devel­op­ing coun­tries, all in the name of sci­ence and effi­cient, free mar­ket agriculture.

Genet­i­cally engi­neer­ing a mas­ter race?

Now the Sval­bard Seed Bank begins to become inter­est­ing. But it gets bet­ter. ‘The Project’ I referred to is the project of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and pow­er­ful finan­cial inter­ests since the 1920’s to use eugen­ics, later renamed genet­ics, to jus­tify cre­ation of a genetically-​engineered Mas­ter Race. Hitler and the Nazis called it the Ayran Mas­ter Race.

The eugen­ics of Hitler were financed to a major extent by the same Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion which today is build­ing a dooms­day seed vault to pre­serve sam­ples of every seed on our planet. Now this is get­ting really intrigu­ing. The same Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion cre­ated the pseudo-​science dis­ci­pline of mol­e­c­u­lar biol­ogy in their relent­less pur­suit of reduc­ing human life down to the ‘defin­ing gene sequence’ which, they hoped, could then be mod­i­fied in order to change human traits at will. Hitler’s eugen­ics sci­en­tists, many of whom were qui­etly brought to the United States after the War to con­tinue their bio­log­i­cal eugen­ics research, laid much of the ground­work of genetic engi­neer­ing of var­i­ous life forms, much of it sup­ported openly until well into the Third Reich by Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion gen­er­ous grants.2

The same Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion cre­ated the so-​called Green Rev­o­lu­tion, out of a trip to Mex­ico in 1946 by Nel­son Rock­e­feller and for­mer New Deal Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture and founder of the Pio­neer Hi-​Bred Seed Com­pany, Henry Wallace.

The Green Rev­o­lu­tion pur­ported to solve the world hunger prob­lem to a major degree in Mex­ico, India and other select coun­tries where Rock­e­feller worked. Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion agron­o­mist, Nor­man Bor­laug, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, hardly some­thing to boast about with the likes of Henry Kissinger shar­ing the same.

In real­ity, as it years later emerged, the Green Rev­o­lu­tion was a bril­liant Rock­e­feller fam­ily scheme to develop a glob­al­ized agribusi­ness which they then could monop­o­lize just as they had done in the world oil indus­try begin­ning a half cen­tury before. As Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you con­trol the oil you con­trol the coun­try; if you con­trol food, you con­trol the population.’

Agribusi­ness and the Rock­e­feller Green Rev­o­lu­tion went hand-​in-​hand. They were part of a grand strat­egy which included Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion financ­ing of research for the devel­op­ment of genetic engi­neer­ing of plants and ani­mals a few years later.

John H. Davis had been Assis­tant Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary under Pres­i­dent Dwight Eisen­hower in the early 1950’s. He left Wash­ing­ton in 1955 and went to the Har­vard Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness, an unusual place for an agri­cul­ture expert in those days. He had a clear strat­egy. In 1956, Davis wrote an arti­cle in the Har­vard Busi­ness Review in which he declared that “the only way to solve the so-​called farm prob­lem once and for all, and avoid cum­ber­some gov­ern­ment pro­grams, is to progress from agri­cul­ture to agribusi­ness.” He knew pre­cisely what he had in mind, though few oth­ers had a clue back then— a rev­o­lu­tion in agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion that would con­cen­trate con­trol of the food chain in cor­po­rate multi­na­tional hands, away from the tra­di­tional fam­ily farmer. 3

A cru­cial aspect dri­ving the inter­est of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and US agribusi­ness com­pa­nies was the fact that the Green Rev­o­lu­tion was based on pro­lif­er­a­tion of new hybrid seeds in devel­op­ing mar­kets. One vital aspect of hybrid seeds was their lack of repro­duc­tive capac­ity. Hybrids had a built in pro­tec­tion against mul­ti­pli­ca­tion. Unlike nor­mal open pol­li­nated species whose seed gave yields sim­i­lar to its par­ents, the yield of the seed borne by hybrid plants was sig­nif­i­cantly lower than that of the first generation.

That declin­ing yield char­ac­ter­is­tic of hybrids meant farm­ers must nor­mally buy seed every year in order to obtain high yields. More­over, the lower yield of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion elim­i­nated the trade in seed that was often done by seed pro­duc­ers with­out the breeder’s autho­riza­tion. It pre­vented the redis­tri­b­u­tion of the com­mer­cial crop seed by mid­dle­men. If the large multi­na­tional seed

com­pa­nies were able to con­trol the parental seed lines in house, no com­peti­tor or farmer would be able to pro­duce the hybrid. The global con­cen­tra­tion of hybrid seed patents into a hand­ful of giant seed com­pa­nies, led by DuPont’s Pio­neer Hi-​Bred and Monsanto’s Dekalb laid the ground for the later GMO seed rev­o­lu­tion. 4

In effect, the intro­duc­tion of mod­ern Amer­i­can agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy, chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers and com­mer­cial hybrid seeds all made local farm­ers in devel­op­ing coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly the larger more estab­lished ones, depen­dent on for­eign, mostly US agribusi­ness and petro-​chemical com­pany inputs. It was a first step in what was to be a decades-​long, care­fully planned process.

Under the Green Rev­o­lu­tion Agribusi­ness was mak­ing major inroads into mar­kets which were pre­vi­ously of lim­ited access to US exporters. The trend was later dubbed “market-​oriented agri­cul­ture.” In real­ity it was agribusiness-​controlled agriculture.

Through the Green Rev­o­lu­tion, the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and later Ford Foun­da­tion worked hand-​in-​hand shap­ing and sup­port­ing the for­eign pol­icy goals of the United States Agency for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID) and of the CIA.

One major effect of the Green Rev­o­lu­tion was to depop­u­late the coun­try­side of peas­ants who were forced to flee into shan­ty­town slums around the cities in des­per­ate search for work. That was no acci­dent; it was part of the plan to cre­ate cheap labor pools for forth­com­ing US multi­na­tional man­u­fac­tures, the ‘glob­al­iza­tion’ of recent years.

When the self-​promotion around the Green Rev­o­lu­tion died down, the results were quite dif­fer­ent from what had been promised. Prob­lems had arisen from indis­crim­i­nate use of the new chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides, often with seri­ous health con­se­quences. The mono-​culture cul­ti­va­tion of new hybrid seed vari­eties decreased soil fer­til­ity and yields over time. The first results were impres­sive: dou­ble or even triple yields for some crops such as wheat and later corn in Mex­ico. That soon faded.

The Green Rev­o­lu­tion was typ­i­cally accom­pa­nied by large irri­ga­tion projects which often included World Bank loans to con­struct huge new dams, and flood pre­vi­ously set­tled areas and fer­tile farm­land in the process. Also, super-​wheat pro­duced greater yields by sat­u­rat­ing the soil with huge amounts of fer­til­izer per acre, the fer­til­izer being the prod­uct of nitrates and petro­leum, com­modi­ties con­trolled by the Rockefeller-​dominated Seven Sis­ters major oil companies.

Huge quan­ti­ties of her­bi­cides and pes­ti­cides were also used, cre­at­ing addi­tional mar­kets for the oil and chem­i­cal giants. As one ana­lyst put it, in effect, the Green Rev­o­lu­tion was merely a chem­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion. At no point could devel­op­ing nations pay for the huge amounts of chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides. They would get the credit cour­tesy of the World Bank and spe­cial loans by Chase Bank and other large New York banks, backed by US Gov­ern­ment guarantees.

Applied in a large num­ber of devel­op­ing coun­tries, those loans went mostly to the large landown­ers. For the smaller peas­ants the sit­u­a­tion worked dif­fer­ently. Small peas­ant farm­ers could not afford the chem­i­cal and other mod­ern inputs and had to bor­row money.

Ini­tially var­i­ous gov­ern­ment pro­grams tried to pro­vide some loans to farm­ers so that they could pur­chase seeds and fer­til­iz­ers. Farm­ers who could not par­tic­i­pate in this kind of pro­gram had to bor­row from the pri­vate sec­tor. Because of the exor­bi­tant inter­est rates for infor­mal loans, many small farm­ers did not even get the ben­e­fits of the ini­tial higher yields. After har­vest, they had to sell most if not all of their pro­duce to pay off loans and inter­est. They became depen­dent on money-​lenders and traders and often lost their land. Even with soft loans from gov­ern­ment agen­cies, grow­ing sub­sis­tence crops gave way to the pro­duc­tion of cash crops.5

Since decades the same inter­ests includ­ing the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion which backed the ini­tial Green Rev­o­lu­tion, have worked to pro­mote a sec­ond ‘Gene Rev­o­lu­tion’ as Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Gor­don Con­way termed it sev­eral years ago, the spread of indus­trial agri­cul­ture and com­mer­cial inputs includ­ing GMO patented seeds.

Gates, Rock­e­feller and a Green Rev­o­lu­tion in Africa
With the true back­ground of the 1950’s Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion Green Rev­o­lu­tion clear in mind, it becomes espe­cially curi­ous that the same Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion along with the Gates Foun­da­tion which are now invest­ing mil­lions of dol­lars in pre­serv­ing every seed against a pos­si­ble “dooms­day” sce­nario are also invest­ing mil­lions in a project called The Alliance for a Green Rev­o­lu­tion in Africa.

AGRA, as it calls itself, is an alliance again with the same Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion which cre­ated the “Gene Rev­o­lu­tion.” A look at the AGRA Board of Direc­tors con­firms this.

It includes none other than for­mer UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Kofi Annan as chair­man. In his accep­tance speech in a World Eco­nomic Forum event in Cape Town South Africa in June 2007, Kofi Annan stated, ‘I accept this chal­lenge with grat­i­tude to the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, and all oth­ers who sup­port our African campaign.’

In addi­tion the AGRA board num­bers a South African, Strive Masiyiwa who is a Trustee of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion. It includes Sylvia M. Math­ews of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion; Mam­phela Ram­phele, for­mer Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the World Bank (20002006); Rajiv J. Shah of the Gates Foun­da­tion; Nadya K. Shmavon­ian of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion; Roy Steiner of the Gates Foun­da­tion. In addi­tion, an Alliance for AGRA includes Gary Toen­niessen the Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and Akin­wumi Adesina, Asso­ciate Direc­tor, Rock­e­feller Foundation.

To fill out the lineup, the Pro­grammes for AGRA includes Peter Mat­lon, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion; Joseph De Vries, Direc­tor of the Pro­gramme for Africa’s Seed Sys­tems and Asso­ciate Direc­tor, Rock­e­feller foun­da­tion; Akin­wumi Adesina, Asso­ciate Direc­tor, Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion. Like the old failed Green Rev­o­lu­tion in India and Mex­ico, the new Africa Green Rev­o­lu­tion is clearly a high pri­or­ity of the Rock­e­feller Foundation.

While to date they are keep­ing a low pro­file, Mon­santo and the major GMO agribusi­ness giants are believed at the heart of using Kofi Annan’s AGRA to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the decep­tive label, ‘bio-​technology,’ the new euphemism for genet­i­cally engi­neered patented seeds. To date South Africa is the only African coun­try per­mit­ting legal plant­ing of GMO crops. In 2003 Burk­ina Faso autho­rized GMO tri­als. In 2005 Kofi Annan’s Ghana drafted bio-​safety leg­is­la­tion and key offi­cials expressed their inten­tions to pur­sue research into GMO crops.

Africa is the next tar­get in the US-​government cam­paign to spread GMO world­wide. Its rich soils make it an ideal can­di­date. Not sur­pris­ingly many African gov­ern­ments sus­pect the worst from the GMO spon­sors as a mul­ti­tude of genetic engi­neer­ing and biosafety projects have been ini­ti­ated in Africa, with the aim of intro­duc­ing GMOs into Africa’s agri­cul­tural sys­tems. These include spon­sor­ships offered by the US gov­ern­ment to train African sci­en­tists in genetic engi­neer­ing in the US, biosafety projects funded by the United States Agency for Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID) and the World Bank; GMO research involv­ing African indige­nous food crops.

The Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion has been work­ing for years to pro­mote, largely with­out suc­cess, projects to intro­duce GMOs into the fields of Africa. They have backed research that sup­ports the applic­a­bil­ity of GMO cot­ton in the Makhathini Flats in South Africa.

Mon­santo, who has a strong foothold in South Africa’s seed indus­try, both GMO and hybrid, has con­ceived of an inge­nious small­hold­ers’ pro­gramme known as the ‘Seeds of Hope’ Cam­paign, which is intro­duc­ing a green rev­o­lu­tion pack­age to small scale poor farm­ers, fol­lowed, of course, by Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. 6

Syn­genta AG of Switzer­land, one of the ‘Four Horse­men of the GMO Apoc­a­lypse’ is pour­ing mil­lions of dol­lars into a new green­house facil­ity in Nairobi, to develop GMO insect resis­tant maize. Syn­genta is a part of CGIAR as well.7

Move on to Sval­bard

Now is it sim­ply philo­soph­i­cal slop­pi­ness? What leads the Gates and Rock­e­feller foun­da­tions to at one and the same time to back pro­lif­er­a­tion of patented and soon-​to-​be Ter­mi­na­tor patented seeds across Africa, a process which, as it has in every other place on earth, destroys the plant seed vari­eties as mono­cul­ture indus­tri­al­ized agribusi­ness is intro­duced? At the same time they invest tens of mil­lions of dol­lars to pre­serve every seed vari­ety known in a bomb-​proof dooms­day vault near the remote Arc­tic Cir­cle ‘so that crop diver­sity can be con­served for the future’ to restate their offi­cial release?

It is no acci­dent that the Rock­e­feller and Gates foun­da­tions are team­ing up to push a GMO-​style Green Rev­o­lu­tion in Africa at the same time they are qui­etly financ­ing the ‘dooms­day seed vault’ on Sval­bard. The GMO agribusi­ness giants are up to their ears in the Sval­bard project.

Indeed, the entire Sval­bard enter­prise and the peo­ple involved call up the worst cat­a­stro­phe images of the Michael Crich­ton best­seller, Androm­eda Strain, a sci-​fi thriller where a deadly dis­ease of extrater­res­trial ori­gin causes rapid, fatal clot­ting of the blood threat­en­ing the entire human species. In Sval­bard, the future world’s most secure seed repos­i­tory will be guarded by the police­men of the GMO Green Rev­o­lu­tion – the Rock­e­feller and Gates Foun­da­tions, Syn­genta, DuPont and CGIAR.

The Sval­bard project will be run by an orga­ni­za­tion called the Global Crop Diver­sity Trust (GCDT). Who are they to hold such an awe­some trust over the planet’s entire seed vari­eties? The GCDT was founded by the United Nations Food and Agri­cul­ture Organ­i­sa­tion (FAO) and Biover­sity Inter­na­tional (for­merly the Inter­na­tional Plant Genetic Research Insti­tute), an off­shoot of the CGIAR.

The Global Crop Diver­sity Trust is based in Rome. Its Board is chaired by Mar­garet Catley-​Carlson a Cana­dian also on the advi­sory board of Group Suez Lyon­naise des Eaux, one of the world’s largest pri­vate water com­pa­nies. Catley-​Carlson was also pres­i­dent until 1998 of the New York-​based Pop­u­la­tion Coun­cil, John D. Rockefeller’s pop­u­la­tion reduc­tion orga­ni­za­tion, set up in 1952 to advance the Rock­e­feller family’s eugen­ics pro­gram under the cover of pro­mot­ing “fam­ily plan­ning,” birth con­trol devices, ster­il­iza­tion and “pop­u­la­tion con­trol” in devel­op­ing countries.

Other GCDT board mem­bers include for­mer Bank of Amer­ica exec­u­tive presently head of the Hol­ly­wood Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion, Lewis Cole­man. Cole­man is also the lead Board Direc­tor of Northrup Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion, one of America’s largest mil­i­tary indus­try Pen­ta­gon contractors.

Jorio Dauster (Brazil) is also Board Chair­man of Brasil Ecodiesel. He is a for­mer Ambas­sador of Brazil to the Euro­pean Union, and Chief Nego­tia­tor of Brazil’s for­eign debt for the Min­istry of Finance. Dauster has also served as Pres­i­dent of the Brazil­ian Cof­fee Insti­tute and as Coor­di­na­tor of the Project for the Mod­ern­iza­tion of Brazil’s Patent Sys­tem, which involves legal­iz­ing patents on seeds which are genet­i­cally mod­i­fied, some­thing until recently for­bid­den by Brazil’s laws.

Cary Fowler is the Trust’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. Fowler was Pro­fes­sor and Direc­tor of Research in the Depart­ment for Inter­na­tional Envi­ron­ment & Devel­op­ment Stud­ies at the Nor­we­gian Uni­ver­sity of Life Sci­ences. He was also a Senior Advi­sor to the Direc­tor Gen­eral of Biover­sity Inter­na­tional. There he rep­re­sented the Future Har­vest Cen­tres of the Con­sul­ta­tive Group on Inter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Research (CGIAR) in nego­ti­a­tions on the Inter­na­tional Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. In the 1990s, he headed the Inter­na­tional Pro­gram on Plant Genetic Resources at the FAO. He drafted and super­vised nego­ti­a­tions of FAO’s Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by 150 coun­tries in 1996. He is a past-​member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the US and the Board of Trustees of the Inter­na­tional Maize and Wheat Improve­ment Cen­ter in Mex­ico, another Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and CGIAR project.

GCDT board mem­ber Dr. Man­gala Rai of India is the Sec­re­tary of India’s Depart­ment of Agri­cul­tural Research and Edu­ca­tion (DARE), and Direc­tor Gen­eral of the Indian Coun­cil for Agri­cul­tural Research (ICAR). He is also a Board Mem­ber of the Rock­e­feller Foundation’s Inter­na­tional Rice Research Insti­tute (IRRI), which pro­moted the world’s first major GMO exper­i­ment, the much-​hyped ‘Golden Rice’ which proved a fail­ure. Rai has served as Board Mem­ber for CIM­MYT (Inter­na­tional Maize and Wheat Improve­ment Cen­ter), and a Mem­ber of the Exec­u­tive Coun­cil of the CGIAR.

Global Crop Diver­sity Trust Donors or finan­cial angels include as well, in the words of the Humphrey Bog­art Casablanca clas­sic, ‘all the usual sus­pects.’ As well as the Rock­e­feller and Gates Foun­da­tions, the Donors include GMO giants DuPont-​Pioneer Hi-​Bred, Syn­genta of Basle Switzer­land, CGIAR and the State Department’s ener­get­i­cally pro-​GMO agency for devel­op­ment aid, USAID. Indeed it seems we have the GMO and pop­u­la­tion reduc­tion foxes guard­ing the hen-​house of mankind, the global seed diver­sity store in Sval­bard. 8

Why now Sval­bard?

We can legit­i­mately ask why Bill Gates and the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion along with the major genetic engi­neer­ing agribusi­ness giants such as DuPont and Syn­genta, along with CGIAR are build­ing the Dooms­day Seed Vault in the Arctic.

Who uses such a seed bank in the first place? Plant breed­ers and researchers are the major users of gene banks. Today’s largest plant breed­ers are Mon­santo, DuPont, Syn­genta and Dow Chem­i­cal, the global plant-​patenting GMO giants. Since early in 2007 Mon­santo holds world patent rights together with the United States Gov­ern­ment for plant so-​called ‘Ter­mi­na­tor’ or Genetic Use Restric­tion Tech­nol­ogy (GURT). Ter­mi­na­tor is an omi­nous tech­nol­ogy by which a patented com­mer­cial seed com­mits ‘sui­cide’ after one har­vest. Con­trol by pri­vate seed com­pa­nies is total. Such con­trol and power over the food chain has never before in the his­tory of mankind existed.

This clever genet­i­cally engi­neered ter­mi­na­tor trait forces farm­ers to return every year to Mon­santo or other GMO seed sup­pli­ers to get new seeds for rice, soy­beans, corn, wheat what­ever major crops they need to feed their pop­u­la­tion. If broadly intro­duced around the world, it could within per­haps a decade or so make the world’s major­ity of food pro­duc­ers new feu­dal serfs in bondage to three or four giant seed com­pa­nies such as Mon­santo or DuPont or Dow Chemical.

That, of course, could also open the door to have those pri­vate com­pa­nies, per­haps under orders from their host gov­ern­ment, Wash­ing­ton, deny seeds to one or another devel­op­ing coun­try whose pol­i­tics hap­pened to go against Washington’s. Those who say ‘It can’t hap­pen here’ should look more closely at cur­rent global events. The mere exis­tence of that con­cen­tra­tion of power in three or four pri­vate US-​based agribusi­ness giants is grounds for legally ban­ning all GMO crops even were their har­vest gains real, which they man­i­festly are not.

These pri­vate com­pa­nies, Mon­santo, DuPont, Dow Chem­i­cal hardly have an unsul­lied record in terms of stew­ard­ship of human life. They devel­oped and pro­lif­er­ated such inno­va­tions as dioxin, PCBs, Agent Orange. They cov­ered up for decades clear evi­dence of car­cino­genic and other severe human health con­se­quences of use of the toxic chem­i­cals. They have buried seri­ous sci­en­tific reports that the world’s most wide­spread her­bi­cide, glyphosate, the essen­tial ingre­di­ent in Monsanto’s Roundup her­bi­cide that is tied to pur­chase of most Mon­santo genet­i­cally engi­neered seeds, is toxic when it seeps into drink­ing water.9 Den­mark banned glyphosate in 2003 when it con­firmed it has con­t­a­m­i­nated the country’s groundwater.10

The diver­sity stored in seed gene banks is the raw mate­r­ial for plant breed­ing and for a great deal of basic bio­log­i­cal research. Sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand sam­ples are dis­trib­uted annu­ally for such pur­poses. The UN’s FAO lists some 1400 seed banks around the world, the largest being held by the United States Gov­ern­ment. Other large banks are held by China, Rus­sia, Japan, India, South Korea, Ger­many and Canada in descend­ing order of size. In addi­tion, CGIAR oper­ates a chain of seed banks in select cen­ters around the world.

CGIAR, set up in 1972 by the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and Ford Foun­da­tion to spread their Green Rev­o­lu­tion agribusi­ness model, con­trols most of the pri­vate seed banks from the Philip­pines to Syria to Kenya. In all these present seed banks hold more than six and a half mil­lion seed vari­eties, almost two mil­lion of which are ‘dis­tinct.’ Svalbard’s Dooms­day Vault will have a capac­ity to house four and a half mil­lion dif­fer­ent seeds.

GMO as a weapon of biowar­fare?

Now we come to the heart of the dan­ger and the poten­tial for mis­use inher­ent in the Sval­bard project of Bill Gates and the Rock­e­feller foun­da­tion. Can the devel­op­ment of patented seeds for most of the world’s major sus­te­nance crops such as rice, corn, wheat, and feed grains such as soy­beans ulti­mately be used in a hor­ri­ble form of bio­log­i­cal warfare?

The explicit aim of the eugen­ics lobby funded by wealthy elite fam­i­lies such as Rock­e­feller, Carnegie, Har­ri­man and oth­ers since the 1920’s, has embod­ied what they termed ‘neg­a­tive eugen­ics,’ the sys­tem­atic killing off of unde­sired blood­lines. Mar­garet Sanger, a rapid eugeni­cist, the founder of Planned Par­ent­hood Inter­na­tional and an inti­mate of the Rock­e­feller fam­ily, cre­ated some­thing called The Negro Project in 1939, based in Harlem, which as she con­fided in a let­ter to a friend, was all about the fact that, as she put it, ‘we want to exter­mi­nate the Negro pop­u­la­tion.’ 11

A small Cal­i­for­nia biotech com­pany, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the devel­op­ment of genet­i­cally engi­neered corn which con­tained a sper­mi­cide which made the semen of men who ate it ster­ile. At the time Epicyte had a joint ven­ture agree­ment to spread its tech­nol­ogy with DuPont and Syn­genta, two of the spon­sors of the Sval­bard Dooms­day Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Car­olina biotech com­pany. Aston­ish­ing to learn was that Epicyte had devel­oped its sper­mi­ci­dal GMO corn with research funds from the US Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, the same USDA which, despite world­wide oppo­si­tion, con­tin­ued to finance the devel­op­ment of Ter­mi­na­tor tech­nol­ogy, now held by Monsanto.

In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Orga­ni­za­tion launched a cam­paign to vac­ci­nate mil­lions of women in Nicaragua, Mex­ico and the Philip­pines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Ten­tanus, a sick­ness aris­ing from such things as step­ping on a rusty nail. The vac­cine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are pre­sum­ably equally liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curi­ous anom­aly, Comite Pro Vida de Mex­ico, a Roman Catholic lay orga­ni­za­tion became sus­pi­cious and had vac­cine sam­ples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vac­cine being spread by the WHO only to women of child-​bearing age con­tained human Chori­onic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a nat­ural hor­mone which when com­bined with a tetanus tox­oid car­rier stim­u­lated anti­bod­ies ren­der­ing a woman inca­pable of main­tain­ing a preg­nancy. None of the women vac­ci­nated were told.

It later came out that the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion along with the Rockefeller’s Pop­u­la­tion Coun­cil, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Insti­tutes of Health had been involved in a 20-​year-​long project begun in 1972 to develop the con­cealed abor­tion vac­cine with a tetanus car­rier for WHO. In addi­tion, the Gov­ern­ment of Nor­way, the host to the Sval­bard Dooms­day Seed Vault, donated $41 mil­lion to develop the spe­cial abortive Tetanus vac­cine. 12

Is it a coin­ci­dence that these same orga­ni­za­tions, from Nor­way to the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion to the World Bank are also involved in the Sval­bard seed bank project? Accord­ing to Prof. Fran­cis Boyle who drafted the Bio­log­i­cal Weapons Anti-​Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by the US Con­gress, the Pen­ta­gon is ‘now gear­ing up to fight and win bio­log­i­cal war­fare’ as part of two Bush national strat­egy direc­tives adopted, he notes, ‘with­out pub­lic knowl­edge and review’ in 2002. Boyle adds that in 20012004 alone the US Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment spent $14.5 bil­lion for civil­ian bio-​warfare-​related work, a stag­ger­ing sum.

Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity biol­o­gist Richard Ebright esti­mates that over 300 sci­en­tific insti­tu­tions and some 12,000 indi­vid­u­als in the USA today have access to pathogens suit­able for biowar­fare. Alone there are 497 US Gov­ern­ment NIH grants for research into infec­tious dis­eases with biowar­fare poten­tial. Of course this is being jus­ti­fied under the rubric of defend­ing against pos­si­ble ter­ror attack as so much is today.

Many of the US Gov­ern­ment dol­lars spent on biowar­fare research involve genetic engi­neer­ing. MIT biol­ogy pro­fes­sor Jonathan King says that the ‘grow­ing bio-​terror pro­grams rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant emerg­ing dan­ger to our own pop­u­la­tion.’ King adds, ‘while such pro­grams are always called defen­sive, with bio­log­i­cal weapons, defen­sive and offen­sive pro­grams over­lap almost com­pletely.’ 13

Time will tell whether, God For­bid, the Sval­bard Dooms­day Seed Bank of Bill Gates and the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion is part of another Final Solu­tion, this involv­ing the extinc­tion of the Late, Great Planet Earth.


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