10 Jul 2011

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

The Green Revolution around the world involved increased usage of modern agricultural tools and techniques, building of irrigation infrastructure - but most crucially the revolution centred around the use of genetics to develop and then distribute hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and chemical pesticides to farmers, especially in the then Third World. Much of the 'scientific' co-ordination was done by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) created by the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Rockefeller Family had huge interests in petroleum and international financing - both essential components of the Green Revolution.

In early 1963, the Rockefeller Foundation sent Norman Borlaug to India. A former employee of DuPont, and then Director of the International Wheat Improvement Program (funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation) in Mexico, Borlaug earns the sobriquet, "Father of the Green Revolution". And he goes on to win the Nobel Peace Prize and the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour. He is sometimes credited with saving 1 billion people from starvation.

Environmental activist, Vandana Shiva, doesn't agree.

She points out that the new agribusiness model promotes excessive chemical use, causes large-scale loss of biodiversity, and condemns farming community to a viscious cycle of financial indebtedness.

But there's a kicker...

Apparently, "alarmed by the loss of crop diversity and the vulnerability of the world’s seed collections", the Rockefeller Foundation, and the increasingly everywhere Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are funding the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

A doomsday bunker built deep inside a snow covered mountain on a remote island halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the vault will store "millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world."

The storage facility is, it would seem, "built to stand the test of time – and of natural or manmade disasters."

Manmade disaster? You mean, like the one you financed in the 70s?

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