MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
April 2, 2003
Miscellaneous Subjects #180: Snapshots of a World in Disarray
Lots of mind-boggling info in this one.
I should have a very good surprise for you in the next few days...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MiscelSubjects180.htm
1. THE OVERTHROW OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC
2. Ground Laid for Historic Presidential Powers Push
3. Reckless Wartime Budget Will Hurt Kids For Decades to Come
4. America the destroyer
5. The Bigger Picture
6. Angry, Very Angry & Peace Delegates Visit Wounded Civilians in Baghdad Hospital
7. Insects Thrive On GM 'Pest-Killing' Crops
Many civilians cut to shreds in US cluster bomb attack (April 2)
At least 11 civilians, nine of them children, were killed in Hilla in central Iraq yesterday, according to reporters in the town who said they appeared to be the victims of bombing. civilians and two Iraqi fighters in the Babylon suburb, 50 miles south of Baghdad. Nine of the dead were children, one a baby. Hospital workers said as many as 33 civilians were killed. Terrifying film of women and children later emerged after Reuters and the Associated Press were permitted by the Iraqi authorities to take their cameras into the town. Their pictures - the first by Western news agencies
from the Iraqi side of the battlefront - showed babies cut in half and children with amputation wounds, apparently caused by American shellfire and cluster bombs. Much of the videotape was too terrible to show on television and the agencies' Baghdad editors felt able to send only a few minutes of a 21-minute tape that included a father holding out pieces of his baby and screaming "cowards, cowards'' into the camera. Two lorryloads of bodies, including women in flowered dresses, could be seen outside the Hilla hospital. CLIP
LOTS OF ANTI-WAR VIEWPOINTS!
Unlimited influence of Jewish Zionists on US policy, Haaretz, March 26, 2003
US general with Iraq role linked to hardline Israelis, The Independent UK, March 26
TAKOMA THE DOLPHIN IS AWOL
The Greatest Secrets
Oil industry suppressed plans for 200-mpg car
OF COURSE THERE IS NO WAY TO VERIFY IF THOSE INCREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS BELOW ARE TRUE. I WOULD PREFER TO THINK IT IS MERELY SOMEONE WHO MADE THIS UP. BUT WHAT IF IT IS ALL TRUE!!
"THE OVERTHROW OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC", Part 30
MOST FORBIDDEN SUBJECT---U.S. MILITARY
It was December, 1990. Since August of that year, the American mass media kept telling us that Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi strongman, was the leading devil on the planet. That as an aggressor, we were told, he had invaded Kuwait, the former British colony bordering Iraq. There was plenty, however, that the oil-soaked, spy-riddled monopoly press did NOT tell us, such as:
 That in the 1980s, George Herbert Walker Bush had secretly been the PRIVATE business partner of Saddam Hussein. Together, they had extorted tens of billions of dollars from the weak sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf area---"protection money". They were obligated to pay the Bush/Saddam business partnership upwards of five dollars per barrel of crude petroleum shipped to the Western interests. For the decade of the 1980s, this partnership had profitted by upwards of 25 billion dollars per year, a total of upwards of 250 billion dollars for the decade, making Bush/Saddam two of the wealthiest people on the planet.
These funds were quietly laundered through a series of twenty five secret worldwide accounts of the Bush Crime Family. The loot was the same as if this partnership had been operated by the traditional Italian/Sicilian mafia or the latter day, Russian mafiya.
One of the "washing machines", to disguise the funds, was the joint account of the Bush family with the Queen of England, at her private bank, Coutts Bank, London. In just one of the many transactions, one secret Federal Reserve wire transfer record showed the handling of ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS.
By 1991, the secret Federal Reserve records were in the hands of Saddam's half-brother in Switzerland who let it be known that he vowed to release the same if the American CIA engaged in any plot (which they did in 1993) to try to assassinate Saddam. The Saddam relative let it be known in Europe that the records, depending how they were publicized, could cause the criminal prosecution of Daddy Bush for treason. Among the records were the handwritten notes of the key official of the Internal Affairs investigation unit, of the U.S. Treasury, detailing the Bush Crime Family's treasonous 25 worldwide accounts, used to launder the partnership loot of Bush/Saddam. (...) At the close of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, upwards of 150 thousand Iraqi conscript troops were going back to Iraq while, in effect, under a white flag of surrender. On the "Highway of Death" occurred the most ghastly war crime in the history of the world. President Daddy Bush ordered U.S. military aircraft and ground units to kill these surrendering troops by shooting them in the back, from the air and on the ground. (Was this done by all-white units? There is reason to believe so.) U.S. Military bulldozers were ordered by Bush to bury these slaughtered surrendering Iraqi troops, some of them still alive, in mass, unmarked graves in the desert. Years later one of those so ordered to commit what amounted to war crimes, told me, off the record, with tears in his eyes, his great regrets in retrospect having carried out such an order. Somewhere between 50 to 150 thousand Iraqis thus surrendering were butchered. The American monopoly press, under "war-time" censorship, was ordered to remove from all pictures any showing of dead Iraqi bodies and to show only blown up tanks, military trucks, and such on the "Highway of Death".
In the 1990s, on my public access Cable TV program was one of the only places in the U.S. where was mentioned this dreadful violation of the Geneva Conventions, to which the U.S. is a signatory. The three leaders of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 were quietly and secretly rewarded, after the war ended by the Al-Sabah Family, the Emir of Kuwait, owners as I stated of black chattel slaves. President George Herbert Walker Bush received 15 million dollars in gold. General Norman Schwarzkopf received 15 million dollars in diamonds. General Colin Powell received 10 million dollars in gold. (Hey! did the Emir of Kuwait, having black chattel slaves, discriminate against General Powell, an Afro-American, by giving HIM a lesser amount of valuables?) These benefits to these U.S. officials were unconstitutional rewards, as shown by the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9, last clause, that provides:
CLIP - read the rest at http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=30225
Ground Laid for Historic Presidential Powers Push
Bracing for Bush's War at Home
by Chisun Lee
March 26 - April 1, 2003
An ugly theory popped up in the nation's capital several weeks ago. The Bush administration would wait until war began, and worry gripped the homeland, to ram a staggering package of domestic security measures through a Congress silenced by fears of seeming unpatriotic. Such measures would radically expand the executive branch powers already inflated by the 2001 USA Patriot Act.
On Fridayas the U.S. began suffering combat fatalities, and the terror alert on whitehouse.gov glared orange for "high"Justice Department spokesperson Mark Corallo confirmed to the Voice that such measures were coming soon. Exact details are confined to "internal deliberations," he said, but the proposals "will be filling in the holes" of the Patriot Act, "refining things that will enable us to do our job."
But a new, comprehensive review of Bush's growing presidential power hardly reveals any "holes." Ratherusing court positions, internal policy changes, and secret decisions as bricksthe administration has built the executive branch into a fortress, nearly invulnerable to the checks of the judiciary and Congress. Most alarming, according to the watchdog authors of the 96-page report, "Imbalance of Powers," the complexity of this historic expansion continues to mask its true proportions.
"You have to connect the dots," said Elisa Massimino, Washington, D.C., director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR), a 25-year nonprofit defender of civil liberties and humane policy. LCHR analyzed hundreds of pages of legislation, policy directives, and congressional records, plus a spate of major court cases such as the suit challenging the indefinite detention, without representation, of accused American "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla. The big picture shows an "executive branch amassing so much more power," said Massimino, even in the past six months alone. But since many developments have occurred "under the radar," she said, few members of Congress, let alone of the public, could easily map out such a blueprint on their own.
Briefly, the dots connect like this:
The administration's refusal to release Patriot Act-related records to Congress, the refusal to release the names of detainees and open their court hearings to the public, and the Freedom of Information Act exemptions under the Homeland Security Act add up to a secretive government, acting outside the scrutiny of the public and its representatives.
The development of the Total Information Awareness program, the mining of individuals' shopping and library records, and the melding of spy and arrest functions add up to government invasion of privacy and restriction of expression.
The indefinite detention of U.S. citizens deemed by Bush to be "enemy combatants," the secret detention and deportation of immigrants not charged with a crime, and the tracking and questioning of nationals from particular countries add up to unilateral executive power to deprive people of their physical liberty.
Even with the existing behemoth, Massimino said, a "quantum leap" in executive branch authority is possible. She referred to the recently leaked Justice Department draft bill, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, commonly known as Patriot Act II. "It would make over 100 changes to existing law," she said. But as recently as March 4, Attorney General John Ashcroft was being coy about it, refusing to discuss any of the 86-page draft at a Senate hearing.
Among the more extreme powers Patriot Act II would grant the executive branch: The ability to strip citizenship from an American who supports a group the feds label as terrorist. Secret arreststhe government could avoid revealing the location of, charges against, and evidence on someone it was holding. Far looser checks on search-and-seizure activities of law enforcement. And a DNA database for people deemed to be terrorist suspects.
Yale Law School professor Jack Balkin was among the first constitutional experts to condemn Patriot Act II as "a new assault on our civil liberties." Last week he told the Voice, "What we're really worried about here is something being proposed while all eyes are on Iraq. People are whipped up into a frenzy. The executive will propose what, at a certain time, it thinks it can get away with." That, he said, could be the draft bill "in its most virulent form."
Before the war began, there were signs that Congress might fight future presidential power-hogging and bring more heft to the legislative branch. Some Democrats excoriated Ashcroft for his furtiveness on Patriot Act II. Some Republicans were talking about subpoenaing records that the Justice Department refused to release on its use of Patriot Act I powers.
Yet wartime has traditionally meant deferring to the executive. The entire post-September 11 period may have seemed like one big state of war, with the Justice Department successfully skirting Congress and pushing every constitutional challenge to higher, more administration-friendly courts. But given the actual war in Iraq, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said last week, Americans can expect that "protections [of their individual rights] will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum."
Ashcroft deflected angry Senate queries on Patriot Act II, saying "it would be the height of absurdity" to imagine the administration's hustling through a law without congressional review. Yet on October 25, 2001, 98 out of 99 voting senators hurriedly passed the 342-page Patriot Act I without any public debate and before most of them had read it. The White House made clear their votes would be spun as a test of their patriotism. Votes on Patriot Act II could also be a test of who has the patriotism to right democracy's severely lopsided structure of checks and balances.
Read more of the Voice's coverage of the attack on civil liberties in post-September 11 America at http://www.villagevoice.com/specials/civil_liberties/
Reckless Wartime Budget Will Hurt Kids For Decades to Come
Tell Senate We Can t Afford to Enrich the Rich
While Paying for War in Iraq
Click this link to send your free faxes:
Shock and awe have taken on a whole new meaning as we watch the carnage in Iraq. The images can be overwhelming. And it is exactly that fog of war that the folks in Washington are using for cover to further their destructive agenda. This week the Senate will face President Bush s first request for money to pay for his war. Early media reports tell us that the figure will top $75 billion. At the same time the Senate is being asked to approve enormous tax cuts, mainly for the millionaire class. Because the cost of guns is so great, the United States government has never cut taxes during wartime fearing too great a sacrifice of butter. But that is just what the Senate is poised to do quickly and with little public debate because they can t defend it in the light of day
Two years ago when America enjoyed record surpluses the folks in Washington told us that even then we didn t have enough money to give every kid health insurance, fully fund Head Start or get serious about the poverty of children around the world. Now, as we face record deficits and a huge war bill they are telling us we still don t have money for those things, but they have found more than twice that sum to use for tax cuts for millionaires. Well, I know a whole bunch of millionaires and trust me, they don t need the money half as badly as a kid who can t afford to see a doctor when he s sick.
Millions of us came together in historic opposition to this war, now let s stay together to limit the damage it will cause. Click Reply and we'll send a fax to your Senators asking them not to pass the first budget in American history to cut taxes during wartime. If you want to customize the fax, or if a friend forwarded this email to you, just click this link to send your free fax:
Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
For the rest of the story:
America the destroyer
By James Carroll, 3/25/2003
LOOK AT WHAT America has become. We are moving on steel treads across a harsh landscape as a creature of destruction, kicking up clouds of unreality through which we see illusions of our efficiency and virtue.
The prodigality of our nation's claims for itself is staggering. We can decide alone when the use of overwhelming violence is justified. Before the onslaught of our weapons, enemy resistance will be nil. The display of ''shock and awe,'' an unprecedented bombardment aimed less at human beings and buildings than at the human imagination, will bend the world to our will. Unlike all previous powers in history, we can wage war humanely. Our success will be so complete that no other nation will challenge us -- or imitate us. The time for complexity is past: You are for us or against us. Either way, your world will be a far safer place when we are finished. Those who opposed this war will sheepishly return to the fold, the flock of our dominance. We are so good.
Young Americans in uniform are now dying for this cloud of illusion -- dying of it -- and so are Iraqis of all ages and stations -- uniformed and naked. When the dying begins, the arguments leading up to the war cease to have resonance. Who is debating anymore the hazards of intervention, the relationship of ends and means, the question of whether Saddam Hussein is Osama bin Laden's partner or nemesis?
Those who opposed the war on the grounds that its good effects would be outweighed by unintended disasters -- chemical attacks, oil wells aflame, riots in the street across the globe -- are now in the position, only, of praying to have been wrong. Those who opposed it more broadly, as reckless hubris whether successful or not, are still saying no without waiting for outcomes. Yet all are braced today for the Battle of Baghdad, hardly breathing.
Americans overwhelmingly support this war -- but do we understand it? The bombardment that has already been carried out, for example: more bombs already than in the 40 days of Desert Storm. Assume for a moment that civilian casualties have indeed been kept to a minimum by precision weapons. Still, what are we seeing through the lenses of news cameras mounted on hotel rooftops on the ''safe'' side of the river? What do those far off raging fires actually signify? Set aside moral and political abstractions that differentiate Baghdad from Washington to focus on the merely physical effects of such bombing.
If Washington were the target of a ''shock and awe'' campaign, the US Capitol would now be rubble, along with that entire parade of becolumned federal buildings astride seven blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House a smoldering ruin (like Camp David -- and the Bush ranch house in Crawford, Texas). The Pentagon a fetid sinkhole, in-rushing waters of the adjacent Potomac River having snuffed the burning abyss. The vice president's residence at the head of Embassy Row in ruins. Bolling Air Force Base and Andrews Air Force Base on the Maryland side of the Potomac aflame. Fort Myers and the Navy Annex on the ridge of Arlington, Fort McNair in Southwest Washington and the Marine Barracks in Southeast, the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, and Walter Reed Hospital in far Northwest -- all on fire. CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., a smoking scar on the landscape.
Such is a ''limited'' campaign, targets chosen ''humanely'' according to a strategy of ''decapitation.'' We can leave until later the question of who and how many are dead and wounded.
And what, exactly, would justify such destruction? What would make it an act of virtue? And is it possible to imagine that such violence could be wreaked in a spirit of cold detachment, by controllers sitting at screens dozens, hundreds, even thousands of miles distant? And in what way would such ''decapitation'' spark in the American people anything but a horror to make memories of 9/11 seem a pleasant dream? If our nation, in other words, were on its receiving end, illusions would lift and we would see ''shock and awe'' for exactly what it is -- terrorism pure and simple.
American broadcasts are full, already, of the language of glory and eventual triumph. But the firmness of assertion suggests uncertainty. Are we the new masters of morality, imposing our order on a world that will someday be grateful? Are we victors, at last, over self-deceit and pride, crushing opposition only because it forces us to? Have we overcome the tragic momentum of mechanized violence so that at last it can be used humanely?
If so, the glory and triumph are right and just. If not, then when the clouds of illusion finally do lift, our claims will be seen for what they are: vainglory and triumphalism.
James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.
I RECEIVED THIS A COUPLE WEEKS AGO - BEFORE THE ONSET OF THE WAR - AND COULD NOT SEND IT EARLIER. BUT IT IS NEVERTHELESS AN IMPORTANT ONE TO REVIEW.
From: Brian L. Crissey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.
Brian L. Crissey, Ph.D.
The Granite Publishing Group
POB 1429 Columbus NC 28722
Ph. 828/894-8444 FAX 828/894-8454
The Bigger Picture
by Brian L. Crissey, Ph.D.
The 5th World is that peaceful, radiant future toward which all heart-centered people aspire. It will come whether or not our selected leader approves. The weekend of February 14-16, 2003, was a signal day in the march towards a positive future. Millions of concerned people around the world gathered to manifest peace, and the effects were felt all over. The level of violence fell in the Mid East. Even the leaders felt it and were confused by it. It was the largest and widest public demonstration in the recorded history of the Earth, and George W. said it was all "irrelevant." He said that to pay attention to it would be tantamount to making policy for a "focus group." Yet he pays attention to his own focus groups, such as big energy, big money, and the military-industrial complex.
When George W. Bush talked up the glories of Hydrogen-powered automobiles in his State of the Union speech, something didn't ring true to me. Here is a man whose wealth and power derive from the oil industry, and he is promoting what at first glance looks like a clean alternative to gasoline. Why would that serve his interests? Perhaps a look at the bigger picture might help.
Hydrogen-powered engines exhaust water vapor rather than the noxious mix of air pollutants we get from gasoline. This is good. However, to generate the Hydrogen, typically electrical energy is passed through water to split the Hydrogen from the Oxygen. Electrical energy comes from dirty coal plants or dangerous nuclear plants.
To power the inefficient American SUV fleet with Hydrogen from coal-generated electricity would require a massive destruction of Appalachia on an unprecedented scale, and the clean-burning anthracite is largely gone, leaving only the dirtier varieties. Coal-based transportation does not eliminate pollution. It merely moves its source. We don't need more coal smoke upwind.
Nuclear power is not a viable alternative either. It has been decades since any American utility has ordered a nuclear power plant, cowed by the public fear of meltdowns and nuclear wastes and by the enormous costs of such plants.
If one were serious about Hydrogen transportation, one might consider paving the Sahara with solar cells to generate Hydrogen forever from the endless sunlight and Mediterranean seawater. But not a word is spoken about such ideas.
George W. apparently wants us to believe that he is suddenly interested in clean air and displacing the oil business. Some people will believe this, but I suspect the picture is darker than that.
The U.S. is the most powerful nation the Earth has ever known, and yet its Achilles heel is oil. Venezuela stops pumping oil, and the American economic engine sputters. The biggest economy in the world is at the mercy of volatile OPEC. Saudi Arabia is home to vast oil reserves, the religious heart of the Islamic world, and Osama bin Laden, and it has recently decided to expel the American presence in the near future. Our hold on Saudi oil is getting slippery. Our economy, already wounded by the export of 2.4 million jobs so that multinationals can make more profit, will bleed to death without secure access to oil.
So who has "our" oil? Certainly not the North Koreans, with their weapons of mass destruction, terrifying threats to neighboring nations, and the world's fourth largest army. But Iraq has lots of oil.
So is George's war about terrorism or is it about oil? How is it that this man who professes such a deep respect for innocent, unborn life in the womb is itching to deliver weapons of mass destruction to the innocent, already-born men, women and children of Iraq? Are these people terrorists? If a terrorist nation is one that has weapons of mass destruction, threatens other nations, ignores UN mandates, and has a leader that was not fairly elected by a majority of its people, then North Korea, Israel and even the U.S. probably meet the criteria more closely than does Iraq.
Saddam Hussein heads the ultra-secular al-Baath party, while Osama bin Laden is a religious fundamentalist opposed to all secular powers in the Mid East, which includes both Iraq and America. When we painted black hats on Iranians a few years back, we helped Saddam drop American-supplied weapons of mass destruction on the "evil doers" in Iran. Now George W. paints black hats on Iraqis, and naïve Americans in SUVs cheer him on.
Our economy is in serious and probably irreversible long-term decline, and we no longer take in enough taxes to pay for our bloated government and military. We have no surplus to waste on dangerous, expensive and unnecessary wars. We may yet have Dubya's war and its consequences, but if so, it will not be a war against terrorism. It will have no connection to 911. It will be a blatant power grab of the remaining major oil reserves on the planet. George's plan is probably to displace Saddam and occupy Iraq with American troops until its bloody oil is safely consumed and it becomes as uninteresting as North Korea.
You may remember "Arsenic and Old Lace." In it there is a dubious character that thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt. He reminds me of Dubya. Periodically he draws his sword and charges up the San Juan staircase to his bedroom, ordering everyone to follow him.
Dubya has drawn his sword and has charged up the Baghdad staircase. If he doesn't strike something soon, no one will follow him next time. American credibility will have been squandered, along with the essential, carefully nutured relationships with our allies France and Germany. Dubya needs to win this hand of global poker, or he seriously damages the highest interests of this nation, which is not his job description. So Dubya's War may be inevitable, despite worldwide opposition. But who gave this strangely elected president the right to play this poker game and ante up American credibility and valued allies?
And what is Saddams offense that warrants war on him? It seems that he got a failing grade on his disarmament report, and then he failed to produce sufficiently credible evidence that we could use to justify war against him.
Angry, Very Angry
by Kathy Kelly
26 March 2003
BAGHDAD -- I'm surrounded by some of the most kindly and gentle people in the world, coming from many walks of life. Members of our Iraq Peace Team have 'checked in' on most days of our five month stay here, some having been here for the full five months, and continually give expression to sentiments that are sacred in their affirmation of simplicity, sharing, and commitment to nonviolence. But in the last several days, feelings of intense anger surface. "I'm angry," confided Sang Jin Han, of South Korea, a peace activist who has led South Korea's campaign to ban land mines and who works closely with the Asian Peace Alliance. "I think this war will kill thousands of people."
Likewise, Zefira Hourfani, an Algerian woman, says she is very angry, so much so that she no longer considers herself a Canadian. "Now I am an Arab," she says, "and I am angry at the western countries." Lisa Ndjeru, a Rwandan woman, also a Canadian citizen, took particular umbrage over President Bush's request that Americans help the US troops by assisting them with home repair and child care. "What lunacy!" said Lisa. "Young Americans whose children need care and whose homes are falling apart should loan themselves to destroy homes and maim children in this country in order to finally get some help?"
To see the rest of the story:
Peace Delegates Visit Wounded Civilians in Baghdad Hospital
SEATTLE, WA. - March 26 - Wade Hudson, co-coordinator of the war crimes monitoring aspect of the Iraq Peace Team, sent a report via email from Baghdad earlier today describing some of what he and his fellow delegates witnessed while visiting wounded civilians at the Alyarmouk hospital in Baghdad on March 23rd.
The Alyarmouk hospital is a university teaching hospital and one of the largest and most modern hospitals in Iraq. It is one of three medical centers prepared by the authorities to receive victims of the attack by the US. Many foreign doctors and surgeons, Americans included, are in Baghdad to offer their services to these hospitals during the war.
One of the patients the Peace Team delegates met with was Rahab Wedad Mohammad, age 25, who had just come out of surgery under general anesthesia. She was the moved to the women's section of the hospital where some of the Iraq Peace Team delegates were able to visit with her.
Her right cheek was swollen and her right forearm was heavily bandaged. According to a female doctor on staff, Mohammad's tendons had been severed by shrapnel. Surgeons had sewn the tendons back together, along with nerves and blood vessels. In conversations with Mohammad, the delegates learned that she was in her home in the residential district of Hayy Jamiya on Saturday night (the 3rd straight night of US bombs raining down on her home city) when a bomb detonated nearby.
Zaha Seheil lay quietly on a bed opposite Mohammad's. Zaha is six years old. The doctor informed the Peace Team members that Zaha was wounded in her back, suffering a spinal injury which has made her paraplegic.
For the rest of the story:
Insects Thrive On GM 'Pest-Killing' Crops (3-30-3)
Genetically modified crops specially engineered to kill pests in fact nourish them, startling new research has revealed. The research, "which has taken even the most ardent opponents of GM crops by surprise ," radically undermines one of the key benefits claimed for them. And it suggests that they may be an even greater threat to organic farming than has been envisaged. It strikes at the heart of one of the main lines of current genetic engineering in agriculture: breeding crops that come equipped with their own pesticide. Biotech companies have added genes from a naturally occurring poison, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is widely used as a pesticide by organic farmers. The engineered crops have spread fast. The amount of land planted with them worldwide grew more than 25-fold - from four million acres in 1996 to well over 100 million acres (44.2m hectares) in 2000 - and the global market is expected to be worth $25bn (¬£16bn) by 2010. But the new research - by scientists at Imperial College London and the Universidad Simon Rodrigues in Caracas, Venezuela - adds an alarming new twist, suggesting that pests can actually use the poison as a food and that the crops, rather than automatically controlling them, can actually help them to thrive. ... They found that the larvae "are able to digest and utilise" the toxin and may be using it as a "supplementary food", adding that the presence of the poison "could have modified the nutritional balance in plants" for them. ... Pete Riley, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said last night: "This is just another example of the unexpected harmful effects of GM ... Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, said it showed that GM crops posed an even "worse threat to organic farming than had previously been imagined". Breeding resistance to the Bt insecticide sometimes used by organic farmers was bad enough, but problems would become even greater if pests treated it as "a high-protein diet".
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