The Dark Past of Monsanto and Bayer

We all have at least seen one of their products, heard one of the conspiracies against them, used their products, or seen their logo somewhere, but who and what are the intentions of these companies? From shady participation with the U.S Government and the U.S intelligence experiments to the founding of an agricultural Monopoly. Find out about actions both Bayer and Monsanto wished the public didn’t have access to.

Monsanto’s collaboration with CIA experiments

Now, I didn’t expect that I would be talking about the CIA again in this post. But Monsanto just happened to be involved with the CIA, which might be one of the reasons why they’ve received so much protection in their lawsuits throughout the years.

According to a form by the US Senate known as “Third Day” (around the early to mid-60s) released in 2001, it is stated how Allen Dulles a director of the CIA, who directed and founded programs like the MK-Ultra, the Lockheed U-2 aircraft program, and was fired by John F. Kennedy, claimed how he knew Charlie Thomas, director of Monsanto Co., very well.

The Third Day document focused on the possible release of information about the monopoly of the A-Bomb, the department of defenses remarks, a response to the wanted inspection into the aerial aircrafts and the soviet missile/scientific advances. The document also lead to assert that Mr. Thomas had some involvement in the mentioned topics above. (1)

Not long thereafter, in 1967, Earle H. Harbinson Jr., who had previously worked in the CIA for 18 years, one of the jobs being Former Deputy Director, was elected president and Chief of Monsanto Co. (2)

While none of this is crucially relevant, the importance of this is meant to assure us that Monsanto didn’t just have a one-time deal with the CIA and that it did indeed have multiple. Deals I will be mentioning further.

The experiment in St. Louis

Advertisement of Bayer in St. Louis

Declassified federal documents revealed how in the spring of 1953, the Army Chemical Corps, working alongside the Central Intelligence Agency had conducted open-air chemical warfare tests 35 times in the streets of St. Louis.

The documents revealed that zinc cadmium sulfide was sprayed in 20 residential areas. Long-term or repeated exposures are said to have harmful effects on the kidneys, bones, and respiratory tract according to the CDC. The documents were said to have been obtained by the Church of Scientology, where the information was later confirmed by an Army Official.

While no adverse health effects have been recorded because of the experiments, Dr. Helen Bruce (the city’s health commissioner at that time) and other officials stated that they were unaware of the chemical warfare testing until they were called by news reporters.

The tests were apparently for the study of offensive capabilities of chemical warfare and to measure the vulnerabilities of U.S cities to “possible” Soviet chemical attacks.

Army Major Lee Delorme confirmed that the experiments did occur, while CIA spokesman, Cathy Pherson admitted that back in the 1950s there was a lot of cooperation between Chemical corporations and the CIA. The documents also state that various industries gave the Army permission to use their property as field/spraying sites for the tests, one of them being Monsanto Co. (3)

The manufacturer of Agent Orange

Plane spraying Agent Orange

The creators of Agent orange were Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical. According to various news articles, both Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical claimed that they followed the formula of the U.S Government and that they had no clue as to how and in what it would be used for. (4)

However, the fact that Monsanto back in the 50s willingly gave their facility as a germ spraying location for the government (3), does lead to questions if their statement of unawareness towards Agent Oranges use is true.

In 1981 the CIA wrote a record to William V. Chappell, Jr, regarding the various accusations stating that the U.S used Agent Orange along with other chemical and biological warfare agents against innocent people living in Laos, Afghanistan, and other areas in Vietnam.

The File states that the soviet propagandists were the ones that decided to push with the idea that Agent Orange was a lethal agent that was used by the U.S to kill thousands of innocent Vietnamese children and people. Causing numerous skin diseases and cancerous illnesses.

And I quote, ” It is now clear that soviet propagandists have decided to push the line that agent orange is a lethal agent and that the U.S killed thousands of persons with it in Vietnam. The soviets recently used lethal agents in warfare. The USG should take immediate steps to counter this soviet fabrication. We should not only stress the distinction between defoliants and lethal agents. But also highlight the implications of Soviet BW and CW production plants which ambassador Kampelman cited last week in Madrid. ” (5)

While the U.S called it a fabrication of some smear campaign, various Russian News media companies stated otherwise.

A. T. Emel Yanov of IZVESTIVA stated that, Like no other country in the history of mankind, Vietnam was bombarded by poisonous or toxic agents. From the so-called defoliants the dispersion by the US aircraft of Agent Orange, tens of thousands of Vietnamese perished and almost two million people lost their health.

According to IZVESTIVA at the time, the US believed that they were propagandists and that they should put a stop to their soviet fabrication. That they should highlight the implication of their actions for the 1972 Biological and Chemical warfare convention. (6)

The 1972 Biological and Chemical Warfare convention, was a disarmament treaty banning: (7)

  • The development, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, and production of:
  • Biological agents and toxins “of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes;”
  • Weapons, equipment, and delivery vehicles “designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”
  • The transfer of or assistance with acquiring the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment, and delivery vehicles described above.

This agreement was of unlimited duration, which both Russia and America signed.

After the full denial of the potential harm of Agent Orange by the U.S in the 70s and 80s, the truth finally came to light by different scientists, like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), who today admit that Agent Orange is indeed a harmful cancerous defoliant/toxin. (8)

Tran To Nga, 78 year-old former journalist

Tran To Nga is a 78-year-old former journalist who has claimed to have inhaled Agent Orange when she was a member of the Vietnamese Communists. She filed a lawsuit in 2014 in France that was later rejected, against firms that produced and sold Agent Orange, including U.S multinational companies Dow Chemical and Monsanto (now owned by Bayer).

She told the Associated Press that, “Because of that, I lost one child due to heart defects. I have two other daughters who were born with malformations. And my grandchildren, too,” (9)

Tran To Nga is one of the thousands if not millions of Vietnamese people who have never achieved justice, neither have they received a proper apology from the U.S Government for its inhumane and unacceptable actions. This also counts for the unwitting Americans who were exposed to defoliants and germs without any form of consent or knowledge conducted by their own government, which fortunately didn’t turn into a disaster. If these aren’t acts of a dictator country wearing a mask of democracy, I don’t know what is.

When the Truth finally crawled out

Though the U.S, the involved Chemical Companies, and the CIA still somewhat deny or avoid the allegations of using harmful Agents towards innocent civilians in Vietnam today, a CovertAction Information Bulletin of 1982 “U.S Fakes Data in Chemical War” archived in the CIA’s reading room, shows further information that proves otherwise.

Photo of CovertAction Bulletin

According to the Magazine, the use of chemical defoliants was approved by President Kennedy on November 30, 1961. This followed by a recommendation by Secretary of State Dean Rusk who implied that the only way to win a war against a guerrilla army is to destroy crops.

By the end of the war, 55 million kilograms of chemical defoliants had been dropped on Indochina, mainly Agent Orange, Agent White, and Agent Blue (which contained arsenic and is thought to be responsible for the poisoning of many Vietnamese peasants.)

It also states that nine million kilograms of anti-personnel gases were also employed, mainly CS gas. (High exposures to CS gas lead to pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, heart failure, hepatocellular damage, and death) However, on at least three occasions did the U.S use BZ gas (which disrupts the high integrative functions of memory, problem-solving, attention, and comprehension. A relatively high dose produces toxic delirium, destroying the individual’s ability to perform any military task).

In 1971, Major General Bernard Rogers wrote to Senator J. William Fulbright that defoliation operations in Vietnam “are of limited scope and are subject to the same regulations applied to herbicide use in the United States.” General Rogers, NATO commander, must have known this was a lie. Five million acres, 12% of South Vietnam were sprayed at a rate of 13 times the amounts recommended by the U.S Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the U.S was supporting the South Vietnamese Saigon regime, which had no respect for either American or Vietnamese people. Who poisoned Vietnamese people’s water and used them like rats in open-air labs.

Although the main victims are the people of Indochina. Thousands who suffer the results of Dioxin poisoning, weakness of the eyes, liver damage, cancer, and a high rate of miscarriage and infant malformation (including thousands born without eyes), all would most likely be forgotten at the time hadn’t a vast number of former GIs (60`000) been also affected.

The Magazine also asserts that it seemed suspicious that the US arose with the Yellow Rain of the Soviet’s obsession right when the trillion dollars military budget of Reagan got involved. Intelligence expert David Wise noted that it is widely believed that the CIA was running Covert Operations in Afghanistan and Kampuchea, Yellow rain being part of one of the alleged operations. (10)

Recombinant DNA technology (AKA Genetic modification, GMO)

Genetic modified apple

In 1985 the US Army was planning to build a lab to do research on substantial volumes of toxic Biological aerosol agents along with the further study of recombinant DNA technology. This could have hurt the 1972 agreement convention that bans any research into Biological substances that could be used for warfare. The Defense Department claimed the research to be defensive and that its experiments would be done under utmost safety. This being in response/excuse to the U.S claims that the Soviets were the ones responsible for the attacks in Indochina.

Biologist and Nobel laureate David Baltimore says that Gene Splicing/recombinant DNA could be used to refine existing biological agents to create greater potency or resistance to antibiotics. (11)

According to an archived CIA file on the Soviets plotting a Biotech war, the U.S was way far behind in Biotechnology in 1984.

The research achieved by the U.S stated how the production of Biotech Agents for use against animals, humans, and crops had been prohibited under the 1972 convention, which the Soviets signed too. However, that didn’t stop both the Russians and Americans from producing and testing Bio-Weapons, even though the research was illegal. Gene splicing, genetic engineering, biotechnology, and synthetic biology were also under those categories.

The technology involves the removal of one DNA segment and attaching it to one of another animal, or person, or plant DNA. Creating a new Organism. It is said that the CIA told Dale Van Atta that the Soviets would be able to reproduce mysterious human substances and produce super-Viruses more deadly than any known to man back in 1984. With this technology, one could combine the most infectious most virulent, and most indestructible characteristics of disease-causing organisms to form super Viruses. (12)

Now while I don’t believe that GMO seeds in today’s time are made purposedly to cause harm to society, I do think they could have long-term consequences towards our environment and perhaps towards people. For example, to know its behavior and reactions with other organisms, but also how the minerals balance in our soils can be damaged.

The whole GMO merchandise could also be for an agricultural monopoly.
Where Farmers must purchase the GMO seeds anew each year because saving seeds is considered to be patent infringement. Anyone who does save GMO seeds must pay a license fee to actually re-sow them.

Round Up and the Glyphosate issue

Photo of the Pesticide Round Up

The main thing that makes Round Up dangerous to both our health and the environment is Glyphosate which is an Organophosphorus compound.

In a research paper done by the Directorate of Intelligence in 1985, the Soviets were having issues with their environmental health, due to the exposures of Pesticides. Many of these pesticides containing Organophosphorus and Carbamate compounds, which work in similar ways as chemical warfare agents such as Tabun, Sarin, Soman, and VX. The intake of such compounds is also very harmful since high consumption interferes with the action of acetylcholinesterase an Enzyme that is important in the transmission of nerve impulses. The compound causes our muscles to be unable to relax, resulting in possible spasms, paralysis, and asphyxiation.

While Carbamate isn’t seen as a chemical warfare compound, organophosphorus compounds are. That alone should be concerning, especially since the 1972 BW Convention and the CW convention of 1990, banning the use, production, or the stockpiling of Biological and Chemical Warfare Agents, that were supposed to have unlimited duration, were and keep being ignored. (13)

Now the biggest threat that Glyphosate purposes aren’t its Cancenogenic abilities, but rather deforestation. What Glyphosate does is kill all crop life, however, crops play a huge role in the health of not only our trees but our soil. Forests are self-fertilized, once one dies and deteriorates, that becomes the source of minerals for other plant life. If we keep removing and not letting anything back to the soil, we will be left with sand and a non-plant life supporter soil.

In the 1985s, the USSR was facing these problems that we regularly are faced with today. Even though they were improving their production abilities, they noticed that they were terribly harming the environment, which could lead to long-term consequences in the future. And it did. (13)

Heroin: Bayers Miracle drug turned into a nightmare

Man injecting Heroin

Heroin didn’t always have a bad name, in 1898 the drug was being sold by Bayer as the “Miracle Drug” that later gained the name “Heroin” and was put on the market as cough medicine. Which was approved by the AMA for general use, including the use on children.

But who knew that this drug would help the U.S Government create a generation of junkies.

In the book, Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy, Ph.D. Student in Southeast Asian History. Mr. McCoy held the Unites States responsible, that in their clandestine war against the Communists, U.S Agencies, notably the CIA allied themselves with elements known to be engaged in drug trafficking. That they ignored and even covered up the activities of known drug traffickers, allowing American military aircraft to be used to transport drugs.

Mr. McCoy also stated that most opium traffic which lead to different opium epidemics in Laos, was controlled by Vang Pao, the Laotian general who commanded the CIA’s mercenary army and that the U.S didn’t seem to show any signs of care when most of the Heroin traffick was coming from Southeast Asia.

While many refuted Mr. Mccoy’s claims, his statements were difficult to disprove. An example is how the G.I. Heroin epidemic in South Vietnam could not have happened without the active participation of greedy generals and government officials who owed their jobs to the United States. (14)

A Washington Post article of 1970, written by Jack Foisie, states how the US waged serious military operations in Laos. Some including the spraying of defoliants and agents. Doing it in violation of the Geneva accords of 1962 (where Geneva pledged not participating in military operations in Laos) and without the knowledge of the congress and the American people.

Laos was a kingdom of fewer than 3 million people. People whose goals were traditional and simple, wanting no more than the wish to grow some rice and build a family. Yet the U.S along with the corrupted regime of the Saigons waged a secret war upon innocent people, by using them as lab rats along with the bombing of raids. With this, the writer couldn’t help but wonder if this injustice would lead to the disengagement of American Forces from southeast Asia in the next decade. Along with the future relationship between Asia and the U.S. (15) Well look at where we have gotten now.

All these victims the Vietnamese, Laotians, Afghanistanis, all the Americans who weren’t even aware of their own government’s experiments on them, and all the other victims deserve to finally get a sincere and honest apology. That if the U.S Government, the CIA, and all the companies who participated really feel regretful.


Bibliography

  1. (Third Day)- https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80M01389R000400110011-1.pdf
  2. Harbinson Jr. Elected Monsanto president – https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP91-00587R000100020024-5.pdf
  3. ARMY DOCUMENTS REVEAL WARFARE TESTS IN ST. LOUIS | CIA FOIA (foia.cia.gov) CIA-RDP90-00806R000201000010-7.pdf
  4. Makers of Agent Orange followed formula dictated by U.S. government | McClatchy Washington Bureau (mcclatchydc.com)
  5. [C. I. A. – EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE -<Sanitized> (cia.gov) CIA-RDP84B00890R000700020077-7.pdf
  6. AGENT ORANGE AND YELLOW RAIN (cia.gov) CIA-RDP85T00176R001000100053-7.pdf
  7. Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) of 1972 – Optimize IAS
  8. Agent Orange and Cancer Risk cancer.org
  9. French court dismisses case over Agent Orange use in Vietnam (apnews.com)
  10. COVERT ACTION INFORMATION BULLETIN: U.S. FAKES DATA IN CHEMICAL WAR (cia.gov) CIA-RDP90-00845R000100180005-3.pdf
  11. TEST SITE FOR GERM WARFARE? (cia.gov) CIA-RDP90-00965R000604920024-8.pdf
  12. SOVIETS PLOTTING BIOTECH WAR, PRESIDENT TOLD (cia.gov) CIA-RDP90-00965R000100130125-2.pdf
  13. USSR: DEVELOPMENTS IN CHEMICAL PESTICIDES AND THEIR IMPACT ON CROP PRODUCTION (cia.gov) CIA-RDP86T00591R000300360001-2.pdf
  14. FACT: CIA ALLIANCE WITH THE DRUG TRAFFIC | CIA FOIA (foia.cia.gov) CIA-RDP88-01350R000200300037-1
  15. CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE 3 MARCH 1970; WASHINGTON POST ARTICLES 3 AND 10 MARCH 1970: CIA ACTIVITIES IN LAOS CIA-RDP72-00337R000300010018-6.pdf