The pandemic presents an opportune time to get re-acquainted with Zach Bush.
A triple board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care, today’s guest is an internationally recognized educator, speaker and authority on all facets of well-being.
Focused on the relationship between the microbiome, disease and food production systems, Zach is the founder of Seraphic Group, an organization devoted to developing root-cause solutions for human and ecological health in the sectors of big farming, big pharma, and Western Medicine at large
He is also the founder of Farmers Footprint, a non-profit coalition of farmers, educators, doctors, scientists, and business leaders aiming to expose the deleterious human and environmental impacts of chemical farming and pesticide reliance — while simultaneously offering a path forward through regenerative agricultural practices to rebuild living biodiversity and ultimately reverse climate change.
To me, Zach is a master healer. A man I call a friend. And a critical voice in the conversation we need to have in this unprecedented moment of global calamity.
Without minimizing the profound severity of our current situation, I cannot overstate the unique opportunity we are being gifted.
Like an addict’s moment of clarity, the pandemic presents a singular occasion to break the chains of denial that imprison us. A moment to objectively examine that which no longer serves us. The behaviors that repeatedly lead us astray. An economic system that demands constant growth at the cost of the collective good. A political system that preys on fear to divide. A conglomerated food apparatus that foments disease. A pharmaceutical complex that relies upon that disease to create dependency. And ultimately a collective obsession with ego, power, money, and material consumption that is rapidly eroding our biosphere, degrading our integrity — and separating us from others, ourselves and our innate divinity.
I aspire that we emerge from this planetary wake up call not as victims, but empowered — armed with greater clarity to reimagine and actualize a better, more sustainable, purposeful, intentional and fulfilling life experience for ourselves, our loved ones, future generations and frankly the world at large.
I can think of few people better equipped to traverse this terrain than Zach, alongside me for his fourth appearance on the show.
Well worth your undivided attention, today he shares his unique perspective on the coronavirus epidemic in a conversation that goes behind what is happening. How to best navigate it. And what the pandemic signifies for humanity and the future of planetary ecology.
I love a challenge, and saving the Earth is probably a good one. We all know the Earth is in trouble. We have now entered in the 6X, the sixth major extinction on this planet. I often wondered, if there was a United Organization of Organisms -- otherwise known as "Uh-Oh" -- and every organism had a right to vote, would we be voted on the planet, or off the planet? I think that vote is occurring right now.
I want to present to you a suite of six mycological solutions, using fungi, and these solutions are based on mycelium. The mycelium infuses all landscapes, it holds soils together, it's extremely tenacious. This holds up to 30,000 times its mass. They're the grand molecular disassemblers of nature -- the soil magicians. They generate the humus soils across the landmasses of Earth. We have now discovered that there is a multi-directional transfer of nutrients between plants, mitigated by the mcyelium -- so the mycelium is the mother that is giving nutrients from alder and birch trees to hemlocks, cedars and Douglas firs.
Dusty and I, we like to say, on Sunday, this is where we go to church. I'm in love with the old-growth forest, and I'm a patriotic American because we have those. Most of you are familiar with Portobello mushrooms. And frankly, I face a big obstacle. When I mention mushrooms to somebody, they immediately think Portobellos or magic mushrooms, their eyes glaze over, and they think I'm a little crazy. So, I hope to pierce that prejudice forever with this group. We call it mycophobia, the irrational fear of the unknown, when it comes to fungi.
Mushrooms are very fast in their growth. Day 21, day 23, day 25. Mushrooms produce strong antibiotics. In fact, we're more closely related to fungi than we are to any other kingdom. A group of 20 eukaryotic microbiologists published a paper two years ago erecting opisthokonta -- a super-kingdom that joins animalia and fungi together. We share in common the same pathogens. Fungi don't like to rot from bacteria, and so our best antibiotics come from fungi. But here is a mushroom that's past its prime. After they sporulate, they do rot. But I propose to you that the sequence of microbes that occur on rotting mushrooms are essential for the health of the forest. They give rise to the trees, they create the debris fields that feed the mycelium.
And so we see a mushroom here sporulating. And the spores are germinating, and the mycelium forms and goes underground. In a single cubic inch of soil, there can be more than eight miles of these cells. My foot is covering approximately 300 miles of mycelium.
This is photomicrographs from Nick Read and Patrick Hickey. And notice that as the mycelium grows, it conquers territory and then it begins the net. I've been a scanning electron microscopist for many years, I have thousands of electron micrographs, and when I'm staring at the mycelium, I realize that they are microfiltration membranes. We exhale carbon dioxide, so does mycelium. It inhales oxygen, just like we do. But these are essentially externalized stomachs and lungs. And I present to you a concept that these are extended neurological membranes. And in these cavities, these micro-cavities form, and as they fuse soils, they absorb water. These are little wells. And inside these wells, then microbial communities begin to form. And so the spongy soil not only resists erosion, but sets up a microbial universe that gives rise to a plurality of other organisms.
I first proposed, in the early 1990s, that mycelium is Earth's natural Internet. When you look at the mycelium, they're highly branched. And if there's one branch that is broken, then very quickly, because of the nodes of crossing -- Internet engineers maybe call them hot points -- there are alternative pathways for channeling nutrients and information. The mycelium is sentient. It knows that you are there. When you walk across landscapes, it leaps up in the aftermath of your footsteps trying to grab debris. So, I believe the invention of the computer Internet is an inevitable consequence of a previously proven, biologically successful model. The Earth invented the computer Internet for its own benefit, and we now, being the top organism on this planet, are trying to allocate resources in order to protect the biosphere.
Going way out, dark matter conforms to the same mycelial archetype. I believe matter begets life; life becomes single cells; single cells become strings; strings become chains; chains network. And this is the paradigm that we see throughout the universe.
Most of you may not know that fungi were the first organisms to come to land. They came to land 1.3 billion years ago, and plants followed several hundred million years later. How is that possible? It's possible because the mycelium produces oxalic acids, and many other acids and enzymes, pockmarking rock and grabbing calcium and other minerals and forming calcium oxalates. Makes the rocks crumble, and the first step in the generation of soil. Oxalic acid is two carbon dioxide molecules joined together. So, fungi and mycelium sequester carbon dioxide in the form of calcium oxalates. And all sorts of other oxalates are also sequestering carbon dioxide through the minerals that are being formed and taken out of the rock matrix.
This was first discovered in 1859. This is a photograph by Franz Hueber. This photograph's taken 1950s in Saudi Arabia. 420 million years ago, this organism existed. It was called Prototaxites. Prototaxites, laying down, was about three feet tall. The tallest plants on Earth at that time were less than two feet. Dr. Boyce, at the University of Chicago, published an article in the Journal of Geology this past year determining that Prototaxites was a giant fungus, a giant mushroom. Across the landscapes of Earth were dotted these giant mushrooms. All across most land masses. And these existed for tens of millions of years.
Now, we've had several extinction events, and as we march forward -- 65 million years ago -- most of you know about it -- we had an asteroid impact. The Earth was struck by an asteroid, a huge amount of debris was jettisoned into the atmosphere. Sunlight was cut off, and fungi inherited the Earth. Those organisms that paired with fungi were rewarded, because fungi do not need light. More recently, at Einstein University, they just determined that fungi use radiation as a source of energy, much like plants use light. So, the prospect of fungi existing on other planets elsewhere, I think, is a forgone conclusion, at least in my own mind.
The largest organism in the world is in Eastern Oregon. I couldn't miss it. It was 2,200 acres in size: 2,200 acres in size, 2,000 years old. The largest organism on the planet is a mycelial mat, one cell wall thick. How is it that this organism can be so large, and yet be one cell wall thick, whereas we have five or six skin layers that protect us? The mycelium, in the right conditions, produces a mushroom -- it bursts through with such ferocity that it can break asphalt. We were involved with several experiments. I'm going to show you six, if I can, solutions for helping to save the world. Battelle Laboratories and I joined up in Bellingham, Washington. There were four piles saturated with diesel and other petroleum waste: one was a control pile; one pile was treated with enzymes; one pile was treated with bacteria; and our pile we inoculated with mushroom mycelium. The mycelium absorbs the oil. The mycelium is producing enzymes -- peroxidases -- that break carbon-hydrogen bonds. These are the same bonds that hold hydrocarbons together. So, the mycelium becomes saturated with the oil, and then, when we returned six weeks later, all the tarps were removed, all the other piles were dead, dark and stinky. We came back to our pile, it was covered with hundreds of pounds of oyster mushrooms, and the color changed to a light form. The enzymes remanufactured the hydrocarbons into carbohydrates -- fungal sugars.
Some of these mushrooms are very happy mushrooms. They're very large. They're showing how much nutrition that they could've obtained. But something else happened, which was an epiphany in my life. They sporulated, the spores attract insects, the insects laid eggs, eggs became larvae. Birds then came, bringing in seeds, and our pile became an oasis of life. Whereas the other three piles were dead, dark and stinky, and the PAH's -- the aromatic hydrocarbons -- went from 10,000 parts per million to less than 200 in eight weeks. The last image we don't have. The entire pile was a green berm of life. These are gateway species, vanguard species that open the door for other biological communities.
So I invented burlap sacks, bunker spawn -- and putting the mycelium -- using storm blown debris, you can take these burlap sacks and put them downstream from a farm that's producing E. coli, or other wastes, or a factory with chemical toxins, and it leads to habitat restoration. So, we set up a site in Mason County, Washington, and we've seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of coliforms. And I'll show you a graph here. This is a logarithmic scale, 10 to the eighth power. There's more than a 100 million colonies per gram, and 10 to the third power is around 1,000. In 48 hours to 72 hours, these three mushroom species reduced the amount of coliform bacteria 10,000 times. Think of the implications. This is a space-conservative method that uses storm debris -- and we can guarantee that we will have storms every year.
So, this one mushroom, in particular, has drawn our interest over time. This is my wife Dusty, with a mushroom called Fomitopsis officinalis -- Agarikon. It's a mushroom exclusive to the old-growth forest that Dioscorides first described in 65 A.D. as a treatment against consumption. This mushroom grows in Washington State, Oregon, northern California, British Columbia, now thought to be extinct in Europe. May not seem that large -- let's get closer. This is extremely rare fungus. Our team -- and we have a team of experts that go out -- we went out 20 times in the old-growth forest last year. We found one sample to be able to get into culture.
Preserving the genome of these fungi in the old-growth forest I think is absolutely critical for human health. I've been involved with the U.S. Defense Department BioShield program. We submitted over 300 samples of mushrooms that were boiled in hot water, and mycelium harvesting these extracellular metabolites. And a few years ago, we received these results. We have three different strains of Agarikon mushrooms that were highly active against poxviruses. Dr. Earl Kern, who's a smallpox expert of the U.S. Defense Department, states that any compounds that have a selectivity index of two or more are active. 10 or greater are considered to be very active. Our mushroom strains were in the highly active range. There's a vetted press release that you can read -- it's vetted by DOD -- if you Google "Stamets" and "smallpox." Or you can go to NPR.org and listen to a live interview.
So, encouraged by this, naturally we went to flu viruses. And so, for the first time, I am showing this. We have three different strains of Agarikon mushrooms highly active against flu viruses. Here's the selectivity index numbers -- against pox, you saw 10s and 20s -- now against flu viruses, compared to the ribavirin controls, we have an extraordinarily high activity. And we're using a natural extract within the same dosage window as a pure pharmaceutical. We tried it against flu A viruses -- H1N1, H3N2 -- as well as flu B viruses. So then we tried a blend, and in a blend combination we tried it against H5N1, and we got greater than 1,000 selectivity index. (Applause) I then think that we can make the argument that we should save the old-growth forest as a matter of national defense.
I became interested in entomopathogenic fungi -- fungi that kill insects. Our house was being destroyed by carpenter ants. So, I went to the EPA homepage, and they were recommending studies with metarhizium species of a group of fungi that kill carpenter ants, as well as termites. I did something that nobody else had done. I actually chased the mycelium, when it stopped producing spores. These are spores -- this is in their spores. I was able to morph the culture into a non-sporulating form. And so the industry has spent over 100 million dollars specifically on bait stations to prevent termites from eating your house. But the insects aren't stupid, and they would avoid the spores when they came close, and so I morphed the cultures into a non-sporulating form. And I got my daughter's Barbie doll dish, I put it right where a bunch of carpenter ants were making debris fields, every day, in my house, and the ants were attracted to the mycelium, because there's no spores. They gave it to the queen. One week later, I had no sawdust piles whatsoever.
And then -- a delicate dance between dinner and death -- the mycelium is consumed by the ants, they become mummified, and, boing, a mushroom pops out of their head. (Laughter) Now after sporulation, the spores repel. So, the house is no longer suitable for invasion. So, you have a near-permanent solution for reinvasion of termites. And so my house came down, I received my first patent against carpenter ants, termites and fire ants. Then we tried extracts, and lo and behold, we can steer insects to different directions. This has huge implications. I then received my second patent -- and this is a big one. It's been called an Alexander Graham Bell patent. It covers over 200,000 species. This is the most disruptive technology -- I've been told by executives of the pesticide industry -- that they have ever witnessed. This could totally revamp the pesticide industries throughout the world. You could fly 100 Ph.D. students under the umbrella of this concept, because my supposition is that entomopathogenic fungi, prior to sporulation, attract the very insects that are otherwise repelled by those spores.
And so I came up with a Life Box, because I needed a delivery system. The Life Box -- you're gonna be getting a DVD of the TED conference -- you add soil, you add water, you have mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi as well as spores, like of the Agarikon mushroom. The seeds then are mothered by this mycelium. And then you put tree seeds in here, and then you end up growing -- potentially -- an old-growth forest from a cardboard box.
I want to reinvent the delivery system, and the use of cardboard around the world, so they become ecological footprints. If there's a YouTube-like site that you could put up, you could make it interactive, zip code specific -- where people could join together, and through satellite imaging systems, through Virtual Earth or Google Earth, you could confirm carbon credits are being sequestered by the trees that are coming through Life Boxes.
You could take a cardboard box delivering shoes, you could add water -- I developed this for the refugee community -- corns, beans and squash and onions. I took several containers -- my wife said, if I could do this, anybody could -- and I ended up growing a seed garden. Then you harvest the seeds -- and thank you, Eric Rasmussen, for your help on this -- and then you're harvesting the seed garden. Then you can harvest the kernels, and then you just need a few kernels. I add mycelium to it, and then I inoculate the corncobs. Now, three corncobs, no other grain -- lots of mushrooms begin to form. Too many withdrawals from the carbon bank, and so this population will be shut down. But watch what happens here. The mushrooms then are harvested, but very importantly, the mycelium has converted the cellulose into fungal sugars. And so I thought, how could we address the energy crisis in this country? And we came up with Econol.
Generating ethanol from cellulose using mycelium as an intermediary -- and you gain all the benefits that I've described to you already. But to go from cellulose to ethanol is ecologically unintelligent, and I think that we need to be econologically intelligent about the generation of fuels. So, we build the carbon banks on the planet, renew the soils. These are a species that we need to join with. I think engaging mycelium can help save the world. Thank you very much.
WERNER BAUMANN: Hello. Today I’m happy to announce that this Thursday Bayer will complete the acquisition of Monsanto. This is good news for several reasons…
SOURCE: Statement by Werner Baumann on the expected closing of the acquisition of Monsanto
If you had told someone two decades ago that by 2018 the company that commercialized chemical warfare and the company that commercialized Agent Orange were going to team up to control a quarter of the world’s food supply, chances are you would have been labeled a loony.
Unless your name was Robert B. Shapiro. He was CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000, and in 1999 he told Business Week that the company’s goal was to wed “three of the largest industries in the world—agriculture, food and health—that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration.”
With this month’s announcement that Bayer has completed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, it is hard to deny that Shapiro’s vision has been realized. Too bad for all of us that vision is a nightmare.
Because, contrary to the feel-good corporate propaganda being churned out by the company’s PR department—propaganda that would have you believe that this merger will be good for the environment, for farmers, for ending global hunger, and, incidentally, for lining the pockets of shareholders—these two corporate giants are in fact committed to the consolidation and transformation of the world’s food supply in the hands of the genetic engineers.
Monsanto and Bayer are a match made in hell. This is The Corbett Report.
It is hardly surprising that the first thing Bayer did after completing their takeover of Monsanto earlier this month was to announce that they were dropping the Monsanto name, merging the two companies’ agrichemical divisions under the “Bayer Crop Science” name. After all, as everyone knows, Monsanto is one of the most hated corporations in the world.
HOST: In the film Food Evolution, Neil Degrasse Tyson notes that Monsanto is one of the most hated companies in the world. Why do people have such strong feelings toward Monsanto?
SOURCE: Why is Monsanto Hated?
MARINA PORTNAYA: The worldwide March Against Monsanto has drawn hundreds out onto the streets here in New York City, with people seizing the opportunity to voice their concerns and opposition to GMO foods.
SOURCE: March against Monsanto: World rallies to protest GMO in 38 countries, 428 cities
LUKE RUDKOWSKI: Why are you here?
PROTESTER: I am here because I have a loathing hatred for the company Monsanto, which a lot of people don’t know that Monsanto is actually just a chemical company and they have no business basically dictating our food supply.
SOURCE: Why Are People Protesting GMO’s [sic] and Monsanto
ANCHOR: New at noon: The City of Seattle is suing biotech giant Monsanto to make it pay for removing cancer-causing chemicals in the water. The city says the company knowingly dumped the compounds in the city’s drainage system and the Duwamish River for years. Seattle needs to build a storm water treatment plant to clean the system that will cost about 27 million dollars. Six other major municipalities sued Monsanto as well.
SOURCE: Seattle Sues Monsanto For KNOWINGLY Dumping Cancer Causing Chemicals Into City’s Drainage System
MIKE PAPANTONIO: Environmental lawyers have begun filing lawsuits against Monsanto for cancer deaths related to their product Roundup. What these lawsuits are showing is an effort—both on the part of Monsanto and the US government—to minimize the message about the dangers of Roundup in relationship to human cancer.
SOURCE: Lawsuits Helping To Expose Monsanto’s Deadly Roundup Cover-up
BILL MOYERS: Now your bullseye is on Monsanto. Why is Monsanto so crucial to this fight over seeds?
VANDANA SHIVA: Monsanto is crucial to this fight because they are the biggest seed company now. Monsanto is privatizing the seed. They control 95% of the cotton in India, 90% of the soy in this country. They’ve taken over most of the seed companies in the world.
SOURCE: Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds
This hatred of Monsanto is not unreasonable. It is, after all, difficult to think of a company that has ruined the lives of more people around the world, either directly through its coercive and litigious practices against small farmers the world over, or indirectly through the pollution of the food supply with their genetically modified crops.
Many are familiar with the company’s sordid past, including its role in the development of Agent Orange and its contribution to the epidemic of farmer suicides in India. But in recent years Monsanto has gained special notoriety for its attempts to push the boundaries of patent law in a self-admitted effort to gain a monopoly over the world’s food supply.
Even worse, Monsanto has, thanks to a revolving door with the highest levels of the US government, been not just evil, but extraordinarily effective in spreading its evil seed around the world. That revolving door has seen literally dozens of top Monsanto executives drift in and out of the US government agencies that, laughably, are said to “regulate” the agrichemical business, including Dennis DeConcini, the former US Senator who now acts as legislative consultant for Monsanto; Mickey Kantor, the Commerce Secretary under President Clinton who also served on Monsanto’s board of directors; Michael Taylor, Obama’s Deputy FDA Commissioner who had previously served as Monsanto’s Vice-President for Public Policy; Linda Fisher, who was appointed Deputy Administrator of the EPA in 2001 fresh off a five-year stint as Monsanto’s Vice- President of Government and Public Affairs; and US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who served as a corporate lawyer for Monsanto in the 1970s.
These officials have helped smooth the way for Monsanto to achieve a number of key corporate objectives, including the passage of the infamous “Monsanto Protection Act” in 2013.
TABETHA WALLACE: First off, President Barack Obama recently signed into law what many are calling the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of genetically modified food, will benefit greatly from the bill, since the legislation gives companies dealing in modified organisms and genetically engineered seeds immunity from federal courts. (Nothing creepy about that.) The bill states that even if future research shows that GMOs or GE seeds cause significant health problems, cancer, etc, anything, that the federal courts no longer have any power to stop their spread, use, or sale.
Interesting to note the bill carrying the Monsanto rider has virtually nothing to do with food, agriculture, or consumer health. It was inserted into a spending bill through lobbying efforts and the good work of freshman Senator Roy Blunt.
TYREL VENTURA: Well, congratulations Mr. Blunt!
WALLACE: Well done!
VENTURA: Very good.
WALLACE: Maybe write him a letter.
VENTURA: I love Mr. Blunt because Monsanto’s such a wonderfully healthy, nutritious company.
WALLACE: Really looking out. It’s amazing. And the Center for Responsive Politics notes that Senator Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto for his campaign committee between 2008 and--
VENTURA: Nothing to do with him making a protection bill or anything like that. That was just purely good citizenry at work.
WALLACE: Of course. Mr. Blunt has been the largest Republican recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.
VENTURA: Oh, lovely. So basically Mr. Blunt gave him an out clause. We don’t know what these GMO seeds and all that crazy shit that they do does. Sorry for the sailor talk. But you know we don’t know what these cats do. They basically are poisoning the plants to kill bugs and--
WALLACE: Their pesticides are actually killing the bee population. There’s research to prove it, and now because of this law technically we can’t do anything.
VENTURA: Yeah, we can’t go back as citizens. The government can’t go back and sue them or hold them accountable for any of the actions that they’ve done. This is beautiful. This is wonderful politics as usual. You know, the old pay-to-play kind of technique of “we’ll give you X amount of dollars, get you elected, and then help us out here.”
SOURCE: Obama and the Monsanto Protection Act
But, ironically, of all the corporations in the world, Bayer is one of the few that could compete with Monsanto for its position as the world’s most evil company.
MIKE PAPANTONIO: There are two huge issues with this Bayer Monsanto merger. The first is, that it’s going to raise food prices all across the United States and even beyond our borders. Farmers have already experienced a 300% price increase in recent years, on everything from seeds to fertilizer, all of which are controlled by Monsanto. And every forecaster is predicting that these prices are going to climb even higher because of this merger. So we’re going to have this massive price hike at a time when 14 million Americans have already been unable to provide food for their families, and then we’re going to have this ethical problem that’s plagued both of these corporations for decades.
Let’s start with Monsanto. This is a company that produced Agent Orange, which resulted in one of the largest human-induced health epidemics in modern history. They made dioxin, they created and distributed PCBs across the planet, and now, pending litigation against them for Roundup is right there. Looking at their rap sheet would scare the heck out of anybody with a brain. They’re in the business … Actually, really, when you drill down to it, it looks more like a cancer business than anything. They’ve been hit for false advertising and bribing public officials.
Then, move to Bayer. We’ve got Bayer and we’ve got Monsanto. Move to Bayer. This is a company that’s joined at the hip with the Nazis, during World War II. They produced a clotting agent for hemophiliacs, in the 1980s, called Factor VIII. This blood-clotting agent was tainted with HIV, and then, after the government told them they couldn’t sell it here, they shipped it all over the world, infecting people all over the world. That’s just part of the Bayer story. Right now, they’re facing lawsuits over products like Yaz, Xarelto, Essure, Cipro. In fact, the company, in 2014 annual report, listed 32 different liability lawsuits that the company’s now facing.
So now you have the worst of the worst joining with the worst of the worst, and we have this magnificent experience of greed with these two huge corporations. This is a merger of evil, probably second only to the kind of merger that we’d see with DuPont and Dow Chemical. It’s an ugly story.
Again, the media is missing the point. They’re not looking at all behind what these people are … They’re people. These corporations are regarded as people. If these are people on a witness stand, it’s going to be a very ugly cross examination. These are people who should probably be in prison, rather than engaging in mergers.
SOURCE: Nazi Ties & Agent Orange: The Real Bayer-Monsanto Merger Story – The Ring Of Fire
Although less well-known by the general public, Bayer’s shameful history is, like Monsanto’s, a case study in corporate psychopathy.
Founded in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott, it wasn’t until 1899 that the company trademarked its most well-known product: aspirin. Less well-remembered is the fact that Bayer was the first company to trademark heroin, which they marketed as a “non-addictive” alternative to morphine and a “cough suppressant.”
But it was under the stewardship of Carl Duisberg at the turn of the 20th century that the company began to develop its psychopathic character. In 1914 the German Ministry of War appointed Duisberg as one of the co-directors of a commission into the use of dangerous byproducts from the chemical industry. Unsurprisingly, Duisberg and his fellow directors jumped at the opportunity to turn their waste into profit by recommending the development of chlorine gas for use on the battlefield, a direct contravention of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which Germany had signed just seven years earlier.
Bayer, under Duisberg’s command, did not just participate in the development and use of poison gas in warfare; they spearheaded it. Duisberg personally oversaw the earliest tests of poison gas and bragged about its lethal capabilities: “The enemy won’t even know when an area has been sprayed with it and will remain quietly in place until the consequences occur.” Setting up a School for Chemical Warfare at Bayer headquarters in Leverkusen, Duisberg also oversaw the development of phosgene and mustard gas, which he urged the German government to use: “This phosgene is the meanest weapon I know. I strongly recommend that we not let the opportunity of this war pass without also testing gas grenades.”
On April 22, 1915, Duisberg got his wish. On that day 170 tons of chlorine gas was used against French troops at Ypres, Belgium, killing 1,000 and injuring a further 4,000. Attacks on the British followed days later. In all, some 60,000 people died as the result of the chemical warfare perfected by Bayer and urged on by Duisberg, one of the great, largely-forgotten atrocities of the First World War.
Most galling of all, Duisberg was not ashamed of his accomplishments. On the contrary, he was immensely proud of them. He even commissioned famed artist Otto Bollhagen to paint the scene of the earliest poison gas test at Cologne. Duisberg so enjoyed the finished result that he had it hung in his breakfast room at Bayer headquarters in Leverkusen.
Later, Duisberg—inspired by a tour of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in the US—wedded Bayer to the IG Farben chemical cartel. As I explained in “How Big Oil Conquered the World,” IG Farben was a key player in the burgeoning oiligarchy of the early 20th century, boasting key oiligarchs like Royal Dutch Shell’s Prince Bernhard and Standard Oil’s Walter Teagle on the boards of its various branches. Bayer’s Duisberg served as the head of its supervisory board.
Joining Duisberg on the board was Fritz ter Meer, who oversaw the construction of the IG Farben factory at Auschwitz, which ran on slave labor and participated in human experimentation. After the war, ter Meer was sentenced to seven years in prison for his participation in looting and enslavement of the camp prisoners, but was released in 1950 for “good behaviour,” and, in 1956 became chairman of Bayer AG, newly resurrected from the ashes of IG Farben.
But this legacy of death is not some ancient relic of Bayer’s distant past. Decade after decade, the company continues to be involved in scandal after scandal, involving wanton environmental destruction, injury, and even mass murder.
JAMES EVAN PILATO: “Bayer Accidentally Funds Study Showing Its Pesticide is Killing Bees, Promptly Denies Conclusions”
A large-scale study on neonicotinoid pesticides is adding to the growing body of evidence that these agricultural chemicals are indeed harming bee populations (to say the very least). Carried out at 33 sites in the United Kingdom, Germany and Hungary, the study found that exposure to neonicotinoids “left honeybee hives less likely to survive over winter, while bumblebees and solitary bees produced fewer queens.”
SOURCE: Interview 1283 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato
FARRON COUSINS: Mirena is a chemical-coated soft plastic IUD that proved to be a huge moneymaker for Bayer. But part of the reason that this particular contraceptive was so profitable was because Bayer was deliberately overstating the benefits of their device and not disclosing some of the rare but dangerous side effects.
For example, in April of 2009 the FDA had to issue a warning letter to Bayer HealthCare because its website for Mirena made a number of claims that were simply untrue or unproven. Bayer was so busy making claims that the IUD was a perfect solution for busy moms and would increase women’s sex lives while making them look and feel great that it forgot to mention that the device is recommended for women who have already had at least one child. The company also declined to state that the Mirena IUD increases the risk of ectopic pregnancies, which is when a fertilized egg attaches to an area other than the uterus.
SOURCE: Lawsuit Claims Bayer Birth Control Device Linked to False Brain Tumors
ANA KASPARIAN: So the CEO was actually speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, and he is trying to appeal the Indian court’s decision to allow this patent for another company. He said the following: “We did not develop this medicine for Indians. We developed it for Western patients who can afford it.”
CENK UYGUR: Uhhhh. Uhhhh. Look at that face. That’s the kind of face that would say a thing like that. Doesn’t he look so smiley? “Oh, please. We didn’t develop this for Indians! We developed it for Westerners who are rich!”
SOURCE: ‘Our Cancer Drug Is For Rich Westerners, Not Poor Indians’
MIKE PAPANTONIO: In the 1980s Bayer Corporation produced a medicine that was supposed to improve the lives of hemophiliacs. Bayer didn’t tell those hemophiliacs that their product was infected with HIV. Because of that, entire families of hemophiliacs died with AIDS as the virus spread within households.
When Bayer was ordered to stop selling their drug in America, they dumped their AIDS-laden product in Asia and killed Asian families. No one with Bayer management was arrested. No one who made these psychopathic-quality decisions went to prison. They claimed the protection of their status as a corporation. That corporate status gave management the ability to kill people for profit and not go to prison.
SOURCE: Bayer Corporation Infected Hemophiliacs With HIV
Indeed, it is not difficult to see why these two companies—each one a titan of its respective industry, each one guilty of the most atrocious crimes against humanity and the destruction of the environment—would feel an affinity for each other. But why merge? What does a pharmaceutical giant have to gain from buying out and merging with an agrichemical giant, especially one that carries as much baggage as Monsanto?
If the connection between these corporate behemoths seems tenuous, then perhaps the key to understanding it is presented in that 1995 quote from former Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro: “We’re talking about three of the largest industries in the world—agriculture, food and health—that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration.”
Integration of agriculture, food and “health” is the goal, and once that goal is reached the entire life support system of the human population, including all of our food and “medicine,” will be in the hands of a few mega-corporations. Indeed, the history of the production of food and pharmaceuticals has always followed the same trajectory: away from natural, abundant, locally-produced organic materials and toward artificial, scarce, factory-produced synthetic alternatives.
Control of the global food supply is, needless to say, along with control of money and oil, one of the pillars upon which the globalist oligarchs seek to construct their system of total control. Although there is no proof whatsoever that he said it, the dubious quote sometimes attributed to Henry Kissinger is nonetheless quite true: “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”
The process of consolidating these industries is of course nothing new. In fact, it started long ago. As I explained in “How Big Oil Conquered the World,” even the current agrichemical industry has to be seen in its historical context as a fusion of the petrochemical fertilizer giants (Dupont, Dow, Hercules Powder and other businesses in the Standard Oil orbit) with the “ABCD” seed cartel of Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. These previously separate fields were gradually consolidated under the flag of “agribusiness,” itself developed at Harvard Business School in the 1950s with the help of research conducted by Wassily Leontief for the Rockefeller Foundation.
And as I also explained in “How Big Oil Conquered the World,” Big Pharma, too, was a creation of the same drive toward consolidation, and spearheaded by the same people. From the Carnegie and Rockefeller-funded institutionalization of the medical profession to Standard Oil’s role in supplying the petrochemicals for the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry to the role of Rockefeller Institute researchers like Cornelius Rhoads, who developed chemotherapy from the mustard gas pioneered by Bayer, the overlap of the oligarchical interests in cementing global control has been abundantly clear.
Then, with the advancement of GMO technology in the 1980s and 1990s (again, with considerable help from the Rockefellers and other oiligarchical interests), new opportunities for consolidation presented themselves. Seeds used to be sold by seed companies, and fertilizers and herbicides used to be sold by chemical companies. But then the GMO “revolution” came along and all of these companies spun off “biotech” branches to genetically engineer seeds. That, in turn, opened up opportunities to create GMO seed strains that are tailored to work with patented herbicides and fertilizers. The combination of GMO seeds and specially tailored agrichemicals has been especially lucrative for Monsanto, which was the first to capitalize on those synergies when it won regulatory approval for its first Roundup Ready soybeans in 1994. Roundup, aka glyphosate, has gone on to become the most-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world.
Monsanto and Bayer—not to mention their cohorts in the agrichemical, pharmaceutical, and euphemistically-named “life sciences” industries—are ultimately seeking the same thing: complete control over the population, from the genetic engineering of its food supply to the control of its “medicines” and chemicals. It is a race toward complete centralization, and with this acquisition, Bayer and Monsanto are getting a head start.
Particularly frightening, then (though hardly surprising), that this latest round of consolidation is being spearheaded by two corporations as thoroughly deplorable as Bayer and Monsanto.
Bayer: One of the pieces of I.G. Farben’s grim (and oiligarchical) legacy; supplier of chemicals for the poison gas attacks of WWI; knowing seller of HIV-contaminated vaccines; mass murderer of bees; seller of tainted GMO crops.
And Monsanto: Dumper of toxic chemicals; proud seller of carcinogens; suer of farmers; cause of farmer suicides; suppressor of scientific dissent.
Are you feeling safe, knowing that a quarter of the world’s food supply will soon be in their combined hands?
If not, then all of the efforts that have been made in recent years to “March Against Monsanto” must be translated into a “Boycott Against Bayer” and all of their friends in the burgeoning biotech/big agra/seed cartel GMO franken-industry. It is only by increasing our support for locally sourced, organic, heirloom seed-grown produce that we can hope to supplant this new mega-giant and consign it to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
This data, from 2016, was analyzed to determine what are the most commonly released toxins, in which states and cities are the most chemicals emitted, and which industries contribute the most to this pollution.
Summary of findings:
This includes data reported from more than 18,000 facilities across the U.S., spanning major industries like manufacturing, mining, chemicals, and utilities. It includes total releases (in pounds) of roughly 650 different toxins which are determined to have a significant adverse effect of humans and/or the environment. In this report, “release” means that a chemical was “emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal.”
After tallying the total toxin release by state, which includes all toxins across all industries, a map could then be generated. In the map below, darker colors indicate a higher total volume of toxins (in pounds).
On the mainland, we can see that Nevada and Utah facilities are especially detrimental to the environment -- but a strip of states in the Rust Belt (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), along with Texas and Louisiana, are also major players. Alaska, though, handily outranks every other state by nearly 3x.
A closer look, at a county level, reveals that 91% of Alaska’s toxin releases come from one county: Northwest Arctic, AK:
In fact, taking this one step further, we see that nearly all of these toxins originate from one city: Kotzebue, AK -- a tiny town that is home to 7,500 people.
Why? Just 90 miles from Kotzebue is Red Dog Mine, the largest source of zinc in the world, and a significant source of America’s lead. In operation since 1987, the mine is estimated to contain 77.5 million tons of zinc, lead, and silver - and each year, its activities release 756 million pounds of toxins into the environment.
Three of the top 5 cities -- Humboldt, Lander, and Eureka -- are in Nevada. All are known to contain multiple, active gold mines that collectively release hundreds of millions of pounds of toxins.
It’s likely you haven’t heard of a lot of the cities on these lists -- and that’s because most of the major industrial facilities in the U.S. are set up outside the limits of most major cities, far from large populations.
So, let’s take a look just at the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. (according the Census data). The list below is sorted by population size.
Interestingly, you’ll see that two of the largest cities in the U.S. -- New York and San Francisco - have no data listed. Only certain “qualifying” facilities are required to submit data (those that release over a certain threshold of particular toxins), so it is hypothesized that this is either because:
In any case, of the 50 most populous cities, Indianapolis, IN leads the pack with 10.9 million pounds. The city has long been cited for its poor air quality, a result of steel mills, auto plants, and numerous coal-powered power plants that spew out arsenic, lead and mercury at alarming rates.
Forbes.com. (2018). The Most (And Least) Toxic Places In America. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/priceonomics/2017/11/07/the-most-and-least-toxic-places-in-america/#532237f14ac1 [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
Ode to Clean. (2018). The United States of Toxins. [online] Available at: https://blog.odetoclean.com/the-united-states-of-toxins-1e219e5a701f [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
On January 14, 2018, an Iranian oil tanker, dubbed 'Sanchi', carrying 136,000 tons of oil - the equivalent of nearly 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude, plus its own fuel - collided with a freighter in the East China Sea, killing all 32 crew onboard.
The ship burned, spewing its cargo, for more than a week before sinking in the waters between China, Japan and South Korea.
Authorities have had trouble pinning down how big the spill is, as it changes by the day amid strong ocean currents. But concerns are growing about the potential impact to key fishing grounds and sensitive marine ecosystems off Japan and South Korea, which lie in the projected path of the oil, according to Britain’s National Oceanography Centre.
"An updated emergency ocean model simulation shows that waters polluted by the sinking Sanchi oil tanker could reach Japan within a month," the center said a report posted on Jan. 16. "The revised simulations suggest that pollution from the spill may be distributed much further and faster than previously thought, and that larger areas of the coast may be impacted."
Reuters. (2018). How Sanchi's spill could spread. [online] Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-spill/how-sanchis-spill-could-spread-idUSKBN1FF1AK [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
Zero Hedge. (2018). Asia Is About To Be Hit By The “Worst Oil Tanker Spill In Decades”. [online] Available at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-28/sanchi-oil-slick-could-reach-japan-within-month [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
In an effort to eradicate weeds and boost yields, Monsanto released their newly developed dicamba-resistant, genetically-engineered seeds. Although a small problem emerged when the volatile herbicide drifted from those applications and began to wipe out the crops of neighboring farmers who didn't plant Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seeds.
The EPA has reported that farmers in 25 states submitted more than 2,700 claims to state agricultural agencies that neighbors’ dicamba spraying destroyed 3.6 million acres of soybeans. The herbicide is also blamed for damaging other crops, such as cantaloupe and pumpkins.
Now, after allegedly wiping out millions of acres of farmland across the Midwest, Monsanto once again finds itself in a familiar spot: the courtroom.
In October, the agricultural giant sued the Arkansas State Plant Board following the board’s decision to restrict Monsanto’s new herbicide and propose tougher restrictions on similar weed killers ahead of the 2018 growing season. Monsanto claims its herbicide is being held to an unfair standard. About 900,000 acres of crops were reported damaged in Arkansas.
The massive crop damage prompted Arkansas’s Plant Board to propose the idea of prohibiting dicamba use from mid-April through the end of October to safeguard growing plants. The state has refused to approve Monsanto’s dicamba product for use in Arkansas, saying it needs further analysis by University of Arkansas researchers.
Meanwhile, farmers are exploring their own legal options with some joining a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto and BASF, the chemical-based company behind dicamba, seeking compensation for damaged crops.
Seems like it may be time for Monsanto executives to start pulling some strings at the EPA again...
Zerohedge.com. (2017). Monsanto In Court Again As Powerful New Herbicide Accidently Kills 3.6 Million Acres Of Crops. [online] Available at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-09/monsanto-court-again-powerful-new-herbicide-accidently-kills-36-million-acres-crops [Accessed 21 Dec. 2017].
TransCanada Corp shut part of its Keystone oil pipeline system after a 5,000-barrel leak in South Dakota, the company said on Thursday, November 16th, four days before neighboring Nebraska was set to decide on the company’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. The amount leaked is equivalent to about 210,000 gallons of oil.
This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. There were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems or wildlife, he said.
TransCanada discovered the leak in the town of Amherst at 6 a.m. on Thursday after systems detected a drop in pressure, and worked with authorities as it investigates the cause.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made Keystone XL a key plank in his energy policy and handed TransCanada a federal permit in March, reversing former President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the line on environmental grounds after years of study.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission, or PSC, was scheduled on Monday, November 20th, to announce and approve the decision on whether the proposed pipeline route through the state is in the best interests of Nebraskans. Native American groups have argued the pipeline would cut across their sovereign lands.
Other states have already approved XL’s route.
According to TransCanada, the spill in South Dakota led the company to shut the Keystone pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to Wood River and Patoka in Illinois. Although the southern leg of the system to the Gulf Coast remained operational.
KMBC. (2017). Keystone pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. [online] Available at: http://www.kmbc.com/article/keystone-pipeline-shuts-down-across-several-states-after-leak-company-says/13788870 [Accessed 21 Dec. 2017].
Reuters. (2017). Keystone oil pipeline leaks in South Dakota, as Nebraska weighs XL. [online] Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-transcanada-keystone-spill/keystone-oil-pipeline-leaks-in-south-dakota-as-nebraska-weighs-xl-idUSKBN1DG30K [Accessed 21 Dec. 2017].
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