Food sovereignty activists are shining a light on a closed-door meeting between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which are meeting in London on Monday with representatives of the biotechnology industry to discuss how to privatize the seed and agricultural markets of Africa.
Whoever quipped that 'possession is 90% of the law' cited a premise that saturates "law" with colonial premises. As Eddie Izzard so presciently panned western history of the colonizer "... with the cunning use of flags...a rule that [I] just made up..."
Moreover, it is not just for "generations" but millennia that seeds have been saved, discussed, exchanged, adapted and mutually celebrated for the years of difficult hydric, solar, soil and other conditions. Apparently too simple, too resilient and un-colonizable a practice to be respected by those undermining the commons with the raised, scornful noses of noblesse oblige. When the colonizing mindset sees its hegemonic failings unveiled for what they are, that hegemon rolls up its sleeves and takes to force. Unable to see that the problem before it is all that has been excluded in externalized costs in its theories on metrics for GDP et al. In other words, cultures, minds and hearts and a connection to the earth someone like Gates apparently cannot even begin to imagine. Much more profit generating to slouch along in the nakedness of an emperor's bare bottom of plausible deniability.
Add in the Gates' Foundation teaming with the UN and right-wing Christian anti-abortion Harper for a covert anti-reproductive rights attack cloaked as "Maternal and Child Health".
Is this Gates spearheading the 0.01%'s next attempt a population control?
Control education/worklife of girls/women, control the food supply, control reproduction attitudes and implement covert chemical sterilization via "vaccinations"?
comments from...Secretive and Seedy: How Aid Donors are Opening the Agribusiness Flood Gates
We really need to change the conversation. Make it more scientific. If we don't we face a very destructive attack by the wealthy on the poor. The least expensive way to begin the scientific exploration of this issue is to do exhaustive study of soil and water quality of regions of the world where corporate farming is the norm. Including in that study the soil fertility (minerals macro and trace, bacteria etc.) ground water quality (testing for all forms of chemical leaching into ground water), as well as surface water, rivers etc. and health, well being and happiness of the people of the region. At the same time study small farms and villages that grow and process food in the traditional manner. Evaluate and report.
The funding should be provided by the Gates foundation etal via a tax. The scientists should be recruited from universities around the world having few or no ties to corprate agriculture or petro chemical corporations. These scientist should be free to design the methods they will use to determine the criteria mention earlier. Their work needs to be free from harassment and open to public scrutiny. Yes this would be time consuming. It deserves nothing less.
I know that it has been done in various ways and by various organization including the UN. And the answer is always that small traditional farm and villages out preform corporate farming by a large margin. Then we need to hold Gates et al feet to the fire. Again scientifically, in an open and public forum. Totally free of corporate sponsorship.
We really need to make this turn on science. Protests by all of us are good, but with militarization of the police protest can lead to mass incarceration or worse. Few of us are as prepared as the Bolivians (2000 Cochabamba protests) to throw off corporate privatization of resources (in that case water).
You write about The neoliberal agenda. One wonders why Africa and why now? Could one of the reasons be Climate Change. What exactly are the long term effects of climate change on Africa? Is it uniquely qualified to survive or thrive through the climate change we are now going through? Something is cooking in Africa and it isn't just about who owns the seed. Destroying the tribal fabric of Africa and gaining corporate ownership of the land is already going full steam ahead.
Now we need to know the real game plan for Africa so we can do our best to support Africans to keep what is genetically and historically theirs. We need science to do this in a thoughtful peaceful and informed way.
Thanks Laura and CD for running this important story! i missed the protest action at Gates headquarters this morning in Seattle, i had to go to work.
But it is SO IMPORTANT to expose the actual agenda of the five agro-chemical corporations that now control the majority of the world's seed, and about the the actual outcomes of their machinations around the world on small farmers, on real food security, and on the ecology.
Anyone interested in these topics should follow the work of AGRA Watch, http://seattleglobaljustice.org/agra-watch/
What's happening right now in Africa feels exactly like what happened to the native people in the Americas. Will Gates, USAID, DfID, Syngenta and the rest of the Development crew be happy only if Africa is turned into endless acres of corporate farms with the people jammed into urban slums and plantation housing? Is there no sense of the beautiful in these grabbers, messing around where they have no business?
Bill Gates is perhaps the world's number one proponent of male genital mutilation, aka circumcision.
See "On a Mission to Save the World’s Foreskins From Bill Gates". See http://www.vocativ.com/culture/health-culture/mission-save-worlds-foreskins-bill-gates/
In previous centuries, colonialists came to your border with guns. By this is the 21st century. Now they come to your border with the IMF and the world bank.
Nations are now colonized by debt, all without firing a shot.
It's the oldest trick in the book: "Don't tax my Billions! I put all my money in a trendy charity!" (that I completely control and Lord over the staff and accountants, controlling all the hiring and firing.)
Gates, Buffet, even Teddy Roosevelt did this in 1900. It's not a Charity, it's a tax shelter for billionaires; and it's not helping people, it's parnered with CIA and a front for Wall Street Monopolies.
USaid = CIA.
Yes, I believe you are right, A_P,
Gates, Rockefeller, Bush family always were promoting population control. Which as sinister and sneaky as it is, has gotta happen folks or we can kiss the last sticks of the rain forests (the Earth's Lungs) goodbye. That's how screwed we are at this late date of slash-and-burn farming of the last ten percent of rainforest that's left.
I've read claims on alternate sites that David Rockefeller was heavily involved in gene splicing attempts to produce rice in the markets of SE Asia which had a type of gene that destroyed human reproductive systems. This rice, they claimed was developed and sold without label in the Philippines.
I live here, and can tell you the attempt failed. We are over 120 million or so, on islands less than the area of California. But monINSANEto is here big-time, bullying the population and trying to close down produce supply to farmer's markets. I now have trouble getting produce much of the week. So I'm planting fruit trees and veggies like crazy.
How did that go?
Control Energy (Oil) and you control the global economy.
Control Food and you rule the whole World.
(or something like that.)
It's a mad world. Between drones and Big Mono, I expect the Africans to start committing suicide in huge numbers after they go into debt to monINSANto, if India is any guide.
I demand the One Percent just tell everyone the truth and enact a Global One Child policy. But they don't have the balls or brains to do that. Everything with them is trickery and murder. For example, Bill Gates and Buffet and their seed vault near the Kara Sea in the Arctic (which can survive a nuke blast) to monopolize the possession all organic seeds in the world.
What do you think?
"Capitalism doesn't work" - Bill Gates
"Maybe it's time to thin out the herds (of humans)" - Bill Gates
Thanks for shinning the light. All you say is true. Thank you too for the Guardian article.
I just wish there were Africans in positions of power to ask the following of Mr. Gates and company.
In the 70s Mr Gates the United States was 4th in the world in health and longevity. It is now 49th or less. Why would we want you seed solution for Africa in light of the tragedy that is the USA.
Mr Gates the USA has become prison state since they use of Glyphosphate. Why would we want Monsanto's help in Africa. etc.
You see Mr Gates, if all was/is well in the USA we would be happy to embrace you ideas for solution. But the USA is very sick and it is people like you, not people of color that have made it that way. So we don't need your help. We are so much better off already
There is a tragic and major difference. The colonialist have learned not to give the natives sovereign rights. For what it is worth in the USA native peoples have sovereign status with lots of legal power. Just no one who knows how to us it. The BIA keep the people down and miserable.
Still that sovereign is a powerful tool. I hope some day it can be used for good, not just casinos.