Saturday, February 28, 2015


The attached article doesn't refer to GMOs (a subject that I and friends have been debating), but it does highlight an extremely troubling aspect of the corporate behavior that increasingly governs our world. Are we wrong to suspect that most corporations are driven by the profit motive, and that 'good' for them is simply what makes money? Science is beholden to whomever holds the purse strings. Scientists tend to find what they and their masters want. When they don't find it - or if what they find runs counter to vested interests - their research is hampered, their funds dry up, and their findings may be distorted or suppressed. 

Suppressed science is as deadly as corrupted science. We depend on our life-governing institutions not just for the truth, but for, as far as possible, the whole truth, where it affects us. But what if those institutions have been infiltrated by the very corporate entities they are supposed to regulate, whose aims are independent of those our institutions ostensibly protect? 

Scientific truth assumes scientific objectivity, but there is really no such thing as a motiveless scientist. So who, you may argue, is to say that those denouncing Monsanto do not themselves have an ax to grind that will in turn influence their own choice of facts? I am sure they do, but I think the point here is that the power of giant corporations, combined with their profit motive, is where the problem lies. It has been said, not without justification, that money is the root of all evil.  A powerful corporate entity like Monsanto or Bayer will see nothing wrong with the depletion of bee populations if its own future can somehow be promoted thereby - perhaps by supplying chemicals to offset the chemicals to offset the chemicals.... And the same may go for much that is happening in the field of genetic modification, funded as it largely is by profit-hungry business. As things inevitably go wrong, and the tangled chain of cause and effect becomes ever more complicated to tease apart, there is ever greater opportunity for research into suppression mechanisms to fight undesirable effects, and hence for the profits to which a corporation owes its existence, as a bee owes its existence to pollen. The so-called 'health' industry is deeply compromised in this way, and the food industry is rapidly heading down the same path. The health of bees is now being treated in the same way - and with the same mindset - as the health of people: as a source of corporate profit. This is not a recipe for real health, which must be understood to derive from an uncontaminated environment, but for managed sickness, which depends very much on a contaminated one.  

Any talk of 'saving the bees', coming from a chemical corporation, can only be met with the gravest suspicion. Each derives its health from a systemically different source. To be sure, bee keepers - to forestall another argument - may be said to exploit bees for personal gain, but that long relationship has been on the whole a symbiotic one. Bayer's and Monsanto's involvement with them, in contrast, is extremely recent, entirely incidental and, now, potentially parasitic. Compared to the effortless Goodness of a bee the moral universe of Monsanto is an ugly thing indeed. Well, I suspect it considers itself outside the moral universe! Something fleetingly transient and of a low moral order is deriving sustenance by tampering with the terms of existence of something exceedingly ancient and of a much higher moral order. Yes, money - lots of it, and the promise of still more - is what's driving this. It's a downhill slope, toward what could become a long nightmare for much of mankind.