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"Transgenic Wars," an award-winning film by French investigative journalist Paul Moreira, takes us on a journey through Europe and Latin America, looking at the effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops, both on livestock and human health.
It also delves into tangential concerns, such as the increased use of glyphosate-based herbicides, atrazine and 2,4-D, the latter of which was an ingredient in the devastating defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War.
Coincidentally, Monsanto was a leading producer of Agent Orange during the war, and its war contributions, which began with its involvement in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb, help explain how Monsanto has managed to secure such staunch allegiance from the U.S. government.
It's a destructive and often incomprehensible allegiance that continues to this day, with the U.S. government's support of and involvement in spreading Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) crops and toxic chemicals around the world — now repackaged as "necessary" for agriculture.
Monsanto, being a leader in GE seeds and the chemicals that go with them, receives a fair share of the attention throughout the film. Ecologist Patrick Moore, Ph.D., who made the unlikely transition from co-founder of Greenpeace to being a professional GE supporter and lobbyist, is also featured.
In a sensational video1 that has garnered more than 1.4 million views, Moreira suggested Moore drink a glass of Roundup to prove his assertion that the herbicide is completely harmless. Moore's refusal, saying he's "not stupid," is included in the film.
Danish Pig Farmers Struggle With Mysterious Swine Disease
The film starts off in Denmark, where pig breeders are struggling to determine the cause of a mysterious swine disease, simply referred to as "the yellow death." The disease causes violent diarrhea, and is often lethal to the affected pigs.
Virtually all feed their pigs GE soy, and many suspect this may be the source of the problem. Ib Pedersen is a long-time pig farmer in Denmark.
When he first started feeding his pigs GE soy in the 1980s, the mix contained about 20 percent GE soy. Over the years, the ratio increased, and by 2002, about 90 percent of the soy in the feed was GE.
Like other farmers, Pedersen struggled to contain "the yellow death," which would kill up to 30 percent of the piglets born each year, until one day he decided to remove the GE soy from the feed mix. Within two days, changes were noticeable. There was not a single case of diarrhea among his pigs.