Newsletter 13 – An Introduction to the GM Papers

Newsletter 13.

19th October 2012

A Tranquility House Newsletter

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Genetically Modified Crops
and the global Food System


Mike Hillard

An Introduction to the GM Papers

You would be forgiven for wondering how and why this newsletter switches and swops quickly between seemingly unrelated subjects, and maybe how anyone can be qualified to cover so many. There is a simple explanation though my head does swim on occasions with the scale of the information challenge, which forever increases.

As for GM, the Biotech Companies continue their quest to maximise their profits, having invested enormous amounts of time and money in this technology, but while many of us are intrinsically opposed to it – most of us don’t understand the technology or what it really involves. There is also possibly some public fatigue setting in, which is what those biotech companies have been waiting for, and which we need to reverse.

The Papers coming will explain the products and the effects they are having on us, the environment and agriculture.

picture of GM chickenspicture of modern hybrid chickens

One of these pictures shows GM chickens and the other shows modern hybrids!

Some of you will know I had one of those ‘eureka’ moments through one night in 1994 when I realised the world was filling with endlessly contradictory so called information on all matters environmental and sustainable, but that there had to be a truth somewhere. I decided to dedicate my life to finding it and presenting it to the public as there was no better thing I could do with my life. I recognised instantly the enormity of the challenge, but also that very few people on the entire planet were both able to tackle it and doing so.

I made one fundamental error though. I wasn’t in any doubt I could complete the work to a level of competence that would permit going public with it, and I reckoned straight away I needed to dedicate a minimum of 5 years to cover the primary resources, but probably up to ten to acquire the knowledge if I was also to tackle Climate, but missing Climate was possibly missing the most important subject of all. That was a crazy but necessary financial burden to take on – potentially suicidal – but the mistake was that I assumed when the work was done that someone would want to publish it and that a documentary series would be made, as I knew from the start that the work was likely to be ground-breaking. Following publication I would have an income to survive from.

On 3 occasions a documentary series has been ‘on the edge’ but it didn’t yet trip over that edge. Around 2004 both BBC (Bristol) and HTV took it close, but both said if I could get a big book publisher, I had the series. On the other hand several major book publishers said they would have published it had there been a documentary series coming. Huge credit was given me for the work but that doesn’t help anybody if nothing happens to it.

More recently (2011) a major independent documentary maker went over the proposal but concluded by saying “If you were Professor Hillard you would have your series – but you aren’t so we cannot take it further”. It is all sad, but the fact is that were I a professor it would have to be of something, and that would limit my field of research and knowledge to the subject I was professor of. As far as I know there isn’t a professorial chair as ‘Professor of lots of things’, yet the world has been and is shrieking for joined up thinking with some academics covering multiple subjects to bring the knowledge of the best together. Anyone focussing on capture fisheries for example doesn’t study agriculture or even fish farming, so is not in a position to understand the global food supply – just their part of it. And biggest of all, the climate academics are not qualified to understand the real impact of a changing climate on agriculture and therefore the size of the human population.

I have tried again recently (2012) but I think we are going to have to do it ground up! When the work starts moving widely into the public arena maybe somebody will pick it up. Or maybe as with all earlier civilisations, the work of those arguing for a change of direction will be ignored and over that cliff we will all go.

Those close to me know I have predicted many things over the last nearly 15 years now, but deciding what will trip us over the edge is a hard call. If nothing else does before climate really kicks in – I think you will finally agree that is a terminal issue – but the global food supply (= population size), running out of resources and a global economic collapse are all contenders.

It is abundantly clear from a helicopter perspective we are in deep trouble which is getting deeper by the month now, and the one thing we absolutely have to focus on is becoming ‘infinable’. What is that then? A misprint? No.

The Word ‘sustainable’ has been monstrously corrupted by business, industry and our political systems. It means anything they want it to mean if it generates either profit or power, which renders it somewhat useless as a word. ‘Sustainable’ should mean that after doing or using something; whatever we started with is still there. Put simply, you could do it for ever or to infinity, and that is what I am talking about.

As a perfectly brilliant example here is how Monsanto describes itself on its prime corporate web site –

Monsanto ~A Sustainable Agriculture Company

Do I rest my case?

We need an ‘infinable’ method of agriculture, but with the biotech industry still pushing for the conversion of the global agricultural system to non-natural organisms, and with nearly 2 decades of experience in GM agriculture, it has to be time to assess its value or otherwise, seen against the principle of infinable agriculture, as well as its fitness to provide foods.

Following this Introductory Newsletter there will be at least two Papers/Newsletters that cover the subject in detail giving the best academically correct information I can access on all aspects of this form of agriculture. It may be crucially important to both humanity and all the other life forms on the Planet. I think you will find it enlightening, probably surprising, and certainly shocking as I clearly have already done most of the work so am aware of the outcome.

It is the most difficult subject I have yet tried to cover, even surpassing any on climate science, as there are arms and legs and implications all over the place. A huge amount of information from around the world is involved, so distilling it with complete integrity is a serious challenge. I am conscious that I believe the climate change ‘leaked e-mails’ issue resulted from intercepted mails that were trying to simplify the subject for non-scientists to understand. Clearly you don’t want all the technical information, but you do need sufficient to reach your own conclusions, so there is a lot of that simplifying to do which must be done with integrity.

There will therefore be at least two White Papers, attached to 2 Newsletters which will present the reality of GM, but I will not weigh the Papers down with detail.


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