By Alex Newman
Corporate giant Monsanto, known for its controversial business model, lobbying, and its widely criticized genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has officially joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a group of powerful interests including major banks and Big Oil backing the United Nations “Agenda 21” scheme for so-called “sustainable development.” Critics, however, expressed alarm over the announcement, saying the global “sustainability” push is really a transparent plot to centralize power in the UN and enrich special interests at the expense of private property rights, national sovereignty, and individual liberty.
Despite the widespread suspicion and criticism plaguing both Monsanto and the global Big Business alliance pushing the UN’s Agenda 21, the company and the coalition celebrated the move in a recent press release. According to the announcement late last month, the biotech behemoth will be rolling out a “sustainability” course for its employees all over the world. Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant will represent the GMO company as a “Council Member” in the global “sustainable development” coalition.
Even though Monsanto has become probably one of the most controversial companies in the world, it is extraordinarily well connected in the halls of power, and the global business alliance for “sustainable development” celebrated the firm’s decision to sign up. “In joining the WBCSD, Monsanto is taking an important step along a continuum towards developing a more sustainable agriculture system — one that improves our daily lives, respects our global environment and recognizes the importance of the world’s small-holder farmers,” claimed council President Peter Bakker in a statement posted on the group’s website.
Farming and global agriculture must change, the WBCSD continued. “We must find new ways to protect soils, enhance ecosystems and optimize land use in ways that are environmentally sound,” Bakker added in the press release. “And we must move towards a future vision for agriculture where absolutes become as out of place as a one-size-fits-all approach to farming.”
Indeed, the WBCSD’s website is rather candid about its aims and its “One World vision,” explicitly touting the UN Agenda 21 and its radical plan for transforming human civilization. “The One World vision is the ultimate stage of a conceptual evolution that started decades ago,” the council notes on its site. “This evolution produced several paradigm shifts that combine how we comprehend our world, and, as a result, how we try to deal with it.”
Meanwhile, even as opposition to the UN’s vision of so-called “sustainable development” continues to surge worldwide, the controversial biotech giant also publicly celebrated its decision to join forces with Big Business “sustainability” proponents. The press release publicly announcing the move claimed that a growing population would put a strain on natural resources and that “new agriculture systems” would be needed for “sustainability” purposes.
“At Monsanto, our company vision for sustainable agriculture strives to contribute to meeting the needs of the growing population, to protect and preserve natural resources, and to help improve lives,” said Jerry Steiner, the biotech firm’s executive vice president for sustainability and corporate affairs. “We are excited to join the WBCSD and connect with a global coalition of more than 200 companies that advocate for progress on sustainable development.”
Monsanto, of course, has come under heavy criticism recently — particularly last year when a French university study found that its genetically engineered “frankenfood” products were associated with serious health concerns such as cancer. In the wake of the explosive research findings, which the company itself criticized as flawed, the Russian government actually banned the import or sale of Monsanto’s NK603 genetically engineered corn. European authorities considered similar measures as well.
Also widely criticized is the corporate giant’s business model itself — patenting genetically engineered DNA and using the force of government to protect what it calls its “intellectual property,” even when that DNA ends up contaminating an unwitting farmer’s crops. The U.S. government, in particular, is filled with former high-ranking Monsanto figures, and it plays a key role in pushing the firm’s dubious products worldwide. When governments or scientists express concerns about the health or economic impacts of GMOs, official documents have revealed, American authorities stand ready to exert overwhelming pressure to crush any resistance.
Aside from the numerous controversies surrounding genetically engineered food and Monsanto in particular, the whole concept of “sustainability” has also attracted a firestorm of criticism and outrage.