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Colonialism In Tanzania, GMOs Enforced By Law, Farmers Face Prison For Traditional Seeds

Published: June 20, 2017
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By Brandon Turbeville

As the Western establishment continues to try and crush Syria, Venezuela, Iran and the Philippines, the empire is setting its sights on a new target which is receiving itself less attention: Tanzania.

Although not in the form of bombs and sanctions (yet), the G8 is moving to force Tanzania to accept GMOs and patented seeds under the guise of developmental assistance and aid to one of the world’s most impoverished nations. The G8 is doing so through its NAFSN (New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition) which was created in 2012. Its publicly stated goal was to end poverty for 50 million people and it is funded by the EU, U.S., UK, World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of its many partners in Tanzania is of course, Monsanto.

In other words, the same countries who are marching across the world and creating the largest humanitarian disasters of the 21st century are working with a global bank that has slashed, indebted and privatized countries into abject poverty. A foundation has crippled children in India and helped bring back polio and a corporation that has poisoned the food supply and the environment and destroyed the health of hundreds of millions of people. Indeed, the NAFSN is an all-star cast of prime examples of governments and organizations that no one should ever want being involved in their country.

The G8, World Bank and its “partners” has long been known to force GMOs onto hapless countries. But what they are doing to Tanzania is particularly egregious. This is because the NAFSN is not only opening Tanzania up to GMOs, or even forcing Tanzania to accept GMOs, they are forcing Tanzanians to plant and use them.

The NAFSN has forced the Tanzanian government to change its agricultural laws so that non-patented seeds (all the seeds Tanzanian people previously used; non-GMO seeds) are banned. Non-GMO seeds are now forbidden by law from being sold or even given to friends and family. Individuals who violate the law will face minimum of 12 years in prison and a $230,000 fine or both.

The NAFSN claims the decision will benefit small farmers, but it is important to note that local and small farmers and Tanzanian farming organizations were completely kept out of the negotiation process while Big Ag essentially controlled. One of the tenets of the new law much praised is that private investors will be given easier access through a more streamlined process to Tanzanian agricultural land.

What the NAFSN has done is much worse than extortion and it is more than criminal. It is open colonialism in the 21st century. Essentially, the NAFSN has used the poverty in Tanzania as a bargaining chip for its alleged food aid which is actually a bundle of toxic crops, an open police state and a massive boon to Big Ag’s balance sheets.

The West has negotiated a deal which impoverished people, shivering in the cold will be given blankets covered in small pox. It is odd how things change, but remain constantly the same.

Tanzanian farmers are now going to be thrown into prison simply for planting and growing natural plants and food. This new law is the criminalization of nature, self-sustainability and independence. It is also eerily similar to other typical colonial-style practices such as banning indigenous languages. This criminalization of nature over time eliminates even the possibility of retaining one’s culture and traditional practices.

The new laws themselves are so onerous that it is likely illegal even under international law. Indeed Article 9 of the International Treaty on Plant and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture aka the Seed Treaty, states that no law should “limit any rights that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material.”

It is thus telling that the World Bank, one of the self-proclaimed leaders of world charity, would push through a law such as this despite it being in contradiction to laws put forward by its own international sister organizations.

But international law or no international law, are we really to expect Tanzanian farmers to make a successful court case against the NAFSN and their own government? They have limited economic resources, limited knowledge of international law, and they are facing a coalition of the worst and most powerful elements of world civilization. They will expend many resources to find that if they are successful, they will still be competing with Big Ag.

In the meantime, they will have to use GMO seeds, or spend 12 years in a Tanzanian prison. By the time the lawsuit is finished the damage will be done.

As Whitney Webb writes,

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the NAFSN’s funding partners, is particularly well-known for pushing the interests of big agribusiness on small-scale farmers in developing countries, as evidenced by one of the Gates Foundation’s “most successful” initiatives – the introduction of genetically modified (GM) cotton to India. Despite the promise that GM cotton would increase yields, this turned out not to be the case and Indian farmers who adopted the GM crops became trapped by debt, as their disappointing yields left them unable to pay for the expensive seeds and chemicals needed to cultivate GM plants.

This debt slavery soon led to one of the largest suicide epidemics in global history, with 300,000 Indian farmers having committed suicide over the last 20 years. Despite this travesty, Monsanto and other companies, such as Cargill and Dow Chemical, have benefited handsomely from India’s “green revolution,” seeing the value of their stocks skyrocket. The Gates Foundation itself has financially benefited as well due to its multi-million dollar investments in all three companies.

If the new laws being forced on Tanzania are any indication, the African nation may soon follow in India’s footsteps.

The NASFN proudly boasts that it has secured $3.7 billion dollars in “private sector investment” in Africa since 2012. And they repeat these figures as if members of the organization have been collecting money with their caps in their hands. In reality, however, they have merely been talking amongst themselves and making the decision as to who can feed off of the Tanzanian people and how many shares they can have. This is not charity. It is colonialism.

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