Agribusiness giant Monsanto -- best known for their genetically modified soybeans and "probably carcinogenic" herbicide -- has supplied the Pentagon with white phosphorous used in incendiary weapons. And some of that was used by Israel in its 2008 attack on Gaza. Meanwhile, Monsanto has accused the California EPA of being an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and foreign body" for labeling it's glyphosate herbicide as "carcinogenic."
Monsanto Supplied Chemical Weapons to Israel:
Guilty of War Crimes ANON HQ & Blacklisted News
(January 19, 2016) -- Monsanto's history in the food and pesticide business has become well documented. The Big Agricultural giant has found themselves in many a headline from the production of synthetic marijuana patents to Indian farmers committing mass suicide, to the run of the mill lawsuit over cross pollination of crops.
In short, Monsanto is on every turn in the agricultural world; yet in another terrifying turn they've now been linked to the use of White Phosphorus on Palestinians in Gaza 2008 and 2009.
Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip early on January 17, 2009. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
This isn't Monsanto's first time being associated with chemical weapons. Agent Orange use in the Vietnam War brought Monsanto's name up, and since, the company has fought hard to disassociate themselves from their past history. Now, heavily redacted US Army documents have surfaced naming Monsanto as the single main supplier of White Phosphorus. Equally frightening is the plea for government to show Monsanto their support in supplying and producing this chemical because of the reduction of risk to the "war fighter in times of national emergency."
Yes, you just read that right. According to the documents, Monsanto's use of White Phosphorus is particularly prevalent in Gaza, providing a reported 180,000 pounds of White Phosphorus. The website Current Events Inquiry recently published documentation linking them to densely populated civilian areas that had been attacked. For the site hosting the documents, click here to read more.
According to the redacted documents, White Phosphorus is deadly enough to warrant storage in "underwater storage tanks at PBA in Pine Bluff, Arkansas." In another article, a retired Brigadier General in the Egyptian Army and an expert in military affairs told of the horrific effects of White Phosphorus.
Safwat Al-Zayat said of its use, "In the event that an area is contaminated with white phosphorus, it is deposited in the soil or the bottom of rivers and seas, or even on fish. When the human body is exposed to white phosphorus, it burns the skin and flesh; only the bones remain," going on to say it is a banned weapon used by Israel.
Israel's use of the deadly substance in civilian areas is in contrivance with international human rights and constitutes a war crime. A 71-page report by Human Rights Watch non-profit outlines the consequences after providing witness accounts.
". . . Human Rights Watch researchers in Gaza immediately after hostilities ended found spent shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets, apartment roofs, residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school. The report also presents ballistics evidence, photographs, and satellite imagery, as well as documents from the Israeli military and government."
With the evidence presented (and more), Monsanto stands beside Israel with their crimes against humanity; yet the US military are content for the production of White Phosphorus to continue.
ACTION ALERT: March Against Monsanto 2016.
When: May 21st.
This Article (Monsanto Supplied Chemical Weapons to Israel; Guilty of War Crimes) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author AnonWatcher and AnonHQ.com.
(November 5, 2015) -- The Monsanto Corporation, an agribusiness giant best known for its pesticides and genetically-modified crops, has also manufactured white phosphorous for the US government for at least the past 20 years.
Used in incendiary military weapons, the US sold white phosphorous-based weapons to Israel, who then used those weapons to commit war crimes against Palestinians living in Gaza in 2009.
The blog Current Events Inquirydug into some heavily redacted documents posted in 2012 on the US Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, to discover that Monsanto was the purveyor of white phosphorous to the US, and subsequently Israel, including during Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in heavy casualties among Palestinians in Gaza in 2008 and 2009.
The "Justification & Approval" document describes the solicitation of 180,000 pounds of white phosphorous (WP), and gives insight into the history of US procurement of the chemical.
"The Government is aware of only one source, Monsanto, who currently manufactures WP in the US," the document states, explaining that a company that produces such a chemical should be granted special protections under emergency conditions.
"WP requires specialized technology, skills and processes in its production. These technologies and skills must be protected within the NTIB [National Technology and Industrial Base] in the event of a national emergency."
Monsanto was not always the sole producer of white phosphorous, but the other manufacturers' names are redacted in the discussion of the history of the chemical. The document indicates that the US was wary of major producers in China and India due to concerns over safety, quality control and environmental standards.
"Over the past 20 years, the majority of the manufacturing of WP moved to China and India because of lower costs and the lack of EPA regulations in those countries. In the 1990s, there were [REDACTED] manufacturers capable of manufacturing WP in the United States; [REDACTED] Because of EPA regulations and foreign price competition, [REDACTED] closed their operations. With only one known producer of WP in the NTIB (Monsanto), the Government's support of this domestic capability is critically important as it reduces the risk to the war fighter in times of national emergency as well as avoiding a potentially dangerous dependency upon a foreign source."
According to the FBO website, the procurement was awarded to ICL Performance Products, which had previously won similar contracts in 2008, 2010, and 2011, as noted in the Justification and Approval documents.
ICL is a subsidiary of Israel Chemicals Ltd., which describes itself as "a global manufacturer of products based on unique minerals, fulfill[ing] humanity's essential needs, primarily in three markets: agriculture, food and engineered materials."
Quick Burning, White Phosphorus'
Effects Last a Lifetime. Or More
White phosphorus does not just maim, but can kill. It ignites upon contact with skin and burns either until it runs out of fuel or is cut off from oxygen. If inhaled or swallowed it can cause severe damage to any mucous membranes with which it comes in contact.
Absorption through the skin means that a 10% burn can cause damage to internal organs such as the heart, liver, or kidneys, and can be fatal. Even after healing from an initial exposure, victims can suffer from long-lasting health problems, including birth defects and neurological damage.
A Palestinian man is treated for burns in Jan. 2009. Human Rights Watch reported in March 2009 that Israel had used white phosphorous in the densely populated Gaza strip, in violation of international law.
The Israeli Connection
The United States confirmed its own troops used white phosphorous during the Iraq war, in particular during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Israel also used white phosphorous in Lebanon while battling Hezbollah in 2006.
The US touts its plant in Pine Bluffs, Arkansas as the only plant in the northern hemisphere that fills white phosphorous munitions. And in 2009, State Department officials confirmed that WP munitions from Pine Bluffs had been provided to Israel for use during Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009).
Israel initially denied using the chemical during the conflict. But in July 2009, following various media reports and reports from groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the Israeli Ministry of Defense admitted using the chemical, but only for its approved use -- as an obscurant and illuminant.
"The use of white phosphorus is not in and of itself a war crime, and is generally considered acceptable as a means of obscuring troop movements or illuminating areas," wrote Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com. "Its use in civilian areas however, even if not directed at the civilian population, is banned under the Geneva Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons."
White phosphorous is not classified as a chemical weapon and is not completely banned under international law. The chemical can be used in open, unpopulated areas as a smokescreen to hide troop movements or to provide illumination at night. But the Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
While it might seem odd that a company known for GMO seeds would be producing chemical weapons, bear in mind that white phosphorous is also used to produce phosphoric acid which is a key ingredient in many fertilizers.
Besides, this is not the first or only time that Monsanto's products have been linked to war crimes or cancer. The company was recently sued for river contamination with PCBs, a lingering environmental carcinogen, and glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup pesticide.
The US government used 20 million gallons of Monsanto's "Agent Orange" defoliant during the Vietnam War, the effects of which are well known and continue to this very today. ACTION ALERT: Monsanto Sues California Over Glyphosate Herbicide Classification Calls State EPA 'Unelected, Undemocratic, Unaccountable Foreign Body' Paul, Wiebke, Lisa and the team at SumOfUs
(January 25, 2016) -- Monsanto just filed a lawsuit against California, to stop the US state adding glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) to its list of known carcinogens. Without a hint of irony, Monsanto's lawsuit calls California's environmental health hazard assessment agency an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and foreign body".
We don't know if the CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, approved the lawsuit's choice words -- but if he did, then so did his boss. Because Monsanto's CEO is his own boss. But this Friday he'll face shareholders for the company's annual general meeting, where they'll have an opportunity to say what they think of his special arrangement.
An independent Chair of the Board can make Monsanto's CEO at least accountable to somebody other than himself. For too long, Hugh Grant has answered to no one, acting as both CEO and Chair of the Board. And while we've all dreamt of being our own boss -- when you're the head of one of the world's most powerful and notorious companies, it's a recipe for disaster.
To rein in Monsanto's worst excesses, we need independent oversight of its management by the Board of Directors.
That's why SumOfUs members and Monsanto shareholders made a plan to demand change at the top of Monsanto. We're submitting a shareowner proposal calling for an independent chair of its Board of Directors. Doing so wouldn't only be good for the planet, it would be smart business for shareholders. That's why we believe that together, we can actually win.
SumOfUs is a global community of consumers, workers and investors committed to holding big corporations to account and building a more sustainable and just economy. We've done things like this before, and while it takes years to see the final results we really want, we've seen it work.
Last March, for example, after a years-long campaign headed by Earth Quaker Action Team in collaboration with SumOfUs members and shareholders of PNC Bank, we convinced the bank to end its funding of mountaintop removal coal mining in the breathtaking Appalachian mountains.