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Originally published September 9 2015

Monsanto has a long history of bullying, deceiving and exploiting farmers and governments

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) As news swirls around the internet that Agri-giants like Monsanto pay academics and scientists to be shills for their companies, it is worth recalling that these same firms also engage in other reprehensible and unethical types of corporate behavior.

In 2012, The New American reported that the latest revelations at that time from WikiLeaks confirmed that Monsanto was engaged in ongoing efforts to influence governments around the world to always side with the company while punishing anyone who refused to do so.

A cable dispatched in 2007 noted that Monsanto had important influence at the highest levels of the U.S. government. The cable, authored by Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of then-President George W. Bush, "outlined a response to resistance from various members of the European Union to adopting GM...crops. At issue specifically was France's most to ban Monsanto's GMO corn variety," The New American reported.

The cable further noted:

Country team Paris [Stapleton's code name] recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this [resistance] is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. [Emphasis added.]

The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path [of resistance to the adoption of GM crops] has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech [pro-GM] voices.

India's "suicide belt"

Additional leaked documents laid out attempts to influence the pope himself, who at the time was also resistant to supporting GMO crops.

The U.S. Department of State sent this cable in an effort to change the pontiff's mind: "...[name blacked out] met with U.S. monsignor Fr. Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering a chance to push the Vatican on biotech issues..."

Yet another cable said: "Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world."

These and other documents illustrate obvious attempts to outflank a number of Catholic priests, bishops and other officials who opposed GMO crops because they contain dangers for humans and the environment. For example, one prominent member of the Vatican, Cardinal Peter Turkson, called GMO seeds and crops "proprietary" and "a new form of slavery" in an interview with Catholic News Service in January 2011.

Making growers reliant on proprietary, genetically modified seeds smacks of "the usual game of economic dependence," which in turn, "stands out like a new form of slavery," he said, referring to the "suicide belt" in India, where thousands of Indian farmers killed themselves after being forced to grow GMO crops and being unable to repay debts incurred to buy GMO seeds.

As reported by the UK's Daily Mail in November 2008, some 125,000 farmers had killed themselves at the time for the same reason. The paper reported:

The crisis, branded the 'GM Genocide' by campaigners, was highlighted recently when Prince Charles claimed that the issue of GM had become a 'global moral question' - and the time had come to end its unstoppable march.

History of bad behavior

Monsanto had sought to exploit India as a GMO test bed, but that was far from their only unethical act. The New American reported that the company's bullying actions had become legendary:

Read the latest outrage about how the company is paying scientists to act as GMO shills.

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