Summary: A roundup of Gates Foundation activities from the past two weeks and an explanation of these activities within a wider context
EARLIER TODAY we wrote about Microsoft executives selling many of their Microsoft shares. The Gates Foundation (Gates’ tax-exempt bank account) chooses a similar trajectory as “Gates Sells Another $73M of Microsoft” and investments increase in Mozambique’s food market/agriculture (where Gates' investments cause hunger).
Monetising Imposed Hunger
Do not think for a second that Gates is sending airplanes full of food. Gates is a businessman, not an aid worker. He is trying to create or enable Western monopolies on seeds in African nations — monopolies which he just happens to also invest in (for profit). The only danger here is the PR, which helps hide the nature of these operations.
Gates is starting with privatisation of African soil, just he he works to privatise education (where the person on top of education is of course himself). We have a very long post about that coming.
To be fair, Gates is not the first person with this vicious, selfish idea. Others before him, Rockefeller included, found tricks to actually own food that’s grown from soil and sunlight, making all food the ownership of someone else whose participation in growing the crops is zero, zilch. People who stand behind such schemes have not quite found the trick (not yet anyway) to do the same with oxygen but in some nations it works with water (that is not contaminated, sometimes by factories which themselves sell expensive liquids).
Monetising Water Through Companies That Pollute ‘Competing’ Water
Speaking of monopolies on beverages/water, watch Gates’ new investment in water [1, 2, 3, 4] (worth mentioning is the press release). Here is a euphemistic description of it: “Water for People, a Colorado nonprofit that works to provide clean water supplies and sanitation in developing nations, said Monday it has received $5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
Here is the funny thing. We have given so many examples where Gates investments are made in the very same companies which cause the problems he claims to be resolving (e.g. polio, tobacco addition) and here we have yet another example because Gates is a huge investor in Coca-Cola [1, 2], which is notorious for its fight against fresh water in less developed nations. It doesn’t take an expert to know this, it’s common knowledge. A lot of people also know that Coca-Cola murders union organisers.
But anyway, enough about water. Who need it anyway, right?
Gates and GMO Euphemisms
What is it that Gates does to advance GMO? “Gates Foundation Criticized for Increasing Monsanto Investment” says Democracy Now (excellent news source by the way).
Acronyms like “AGRA” or “BREAD” are being used to hide the real agenda and in the mainstream press “improve farming” = more GMO. It’s all just a linguistics trick. “$3.3 million in grants aims to improve farming in Africa” says this headline and pay attention to the term “BREAD”. It has nothing to do with bread, it’s about patents (“Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development”).
The research is funded by Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. BREAD seeks to partner advanced research expertise with the developing world. NSF supports research components in the United States while the Gates foundation supports affiliated partners overseas.
Who will receive these patents? What does the Gates Foundation have to gain here? “Activists Urge Gates Foundation to Shift to Socially and Ecologically Appropriate Practices” says this new report. A University of Washington Professor (Emeritus) complains about the foundation’s stake in Monsanto (so it’s just not those “hippie environmentalists” Gates loves to mock and belittle who complain):
Dr. Phil Bereano, University of Washington Professor Emeritus and recognized expert on genetic engineering noted in a release that the foundation’s direct investment in Monsanto is problematic on two primary levels. “First, Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well-being of small farmers around the world, as well as an appalling environmental track record,” Bereano stated. “The strong connections to Monsanto cast serious doubt on the Foundation’s heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa and purported goal of alleviating poverty and hunger among small-scale farmers. Second, this investment represents an enormous conflict of interest,” he stated, referring to the foundation’s desire for Monsanto to make a profit while opening up new markets in Africa for the agribusiness giant to monopolize the seed market.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, one of Gates’ charmed/blind fans, says that there is no comment from the Gates Foundation. The allegations are strong and no response can be given. The post is titled “Activists Criticize Gates Foundation Links to Monsanto”:
A Gates foundation spokeswoman said the organization does not discuss specific investments but that it has met with representatives of the alliance and other groups to collect “a broad range of views about agriculture in the developing world.”
The silence is deafening. Just watch how transparent these charities are… or aren’t. A recent survey (conducted by/for the stakeholder) showed internal problems relating to transparency. Why is the Gates Foundation so afraid of answering tough questions? All they do is seed PR through press outlets which they jam.
To say more about the Monsanto-caused backlash, Alternet.org writes about it and notes: “I wrote a piece recently about what happens when American industrial agriculture collides with poor, uneducated subsistence farmers in the developing world and it ain’t pretty. In fact, it’s tragic. It’s criminal. For a corporation to prey upon such a vulnerable population for its own gain, when the result is the starvation, continued impoverishment, or loss of land and lifestyle of the poor.”
Seattle-based protests against Gates’ support of Monsanto had the Seattle Times respond. For a change, Kristi Heim did not just blindly praise her masters, even though she belittles the significance of this and discounts Gates’ lobbying for Monsanto/GMO over the years. She wrote:
While the Monsanto investment is a tiny fraction of the foundation’s $33 billion endowment, it loomed large among those involved in food issues.
She seems to be ignoring all the lobbying.
There are many comments there, some more informative than others. The thing about this Monsanto push is, it goes a very long way back.
Much of the foundation’s work has avoided major controversy.
That changed when, four years ago, the foundation, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, created the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), aimed at alleviating hunger by boosting farm productivity.
Mac sites too are apparently upset by these deeds of Gates (they are not sufficiently gullible).
Theories About Population Control
Some groups are accusing Gates of working on population reduction in private groups rather than in national levels, in a transparent fashion. Here is how Gates’ actions fuel the Alex Jones crowd/circles (also regarding Monsanto):
The GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization)
The GAVI Alliance, founded in 2000 with the help of the Gates Foundation, has the goal of vaccinating all of the third world. The member organizations of GAVI are listed on group’s the website, which include:
“…national governments of donor and developing countries, the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA), the Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization (WHO).”
In December of 2000, David Rockefeller and William H. Gates Sr., among others, (pictured to the right) visited the Rockefeller University campus to take part in a meeting on “Philanthropy in a Global Century”. While there, Gates spoke glowingly about his inspiration from Rockefeller in founding GAVI,
Assuming the above is true (we are sceptical when it comes to this source), AGRA and GAVI are rather similar. We wrote about GAVI before, but we were not aware of its roots with Gates’ direct role. We assumed it was merely embraced and extended by Gates.
Patent Factor and the UN
Gates’ “Green Revolution” PR (GMO lobbying) was mentioned a lot last week because of an Accra forum. See for example [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Shallow coverage (lacking investigation) aside, it turns out that Annan — like Gates — is accused of “Fronting For Monsanto” (not surprising to those who already know about Gates and the UN).
Why is Kofi Annan Fronting For Monsanto? The GMO Assault On Africa
Why do you bring your mistakes here?
Kofi Annan has joined with President Obama, Monsanto, AGRA, and the Gates foundation to promote and execute food aid that replaces bags of wheat, rice and corn (agricultural dumping) with bags of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds. The end result will be to starve people in Africa and feed corporations in the US and Europe.
If you had any doubts about where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is really placing its bets, AGRA Watch’s recent announcement of the Foundation’s investment of $23.1 million in 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock should put them to rest. Genetic engineering: full speed ahead.” (Eric Holt-Gimenez)
Gates’ role here is very much expected. Gates also uses politicians and connections in government, along with Monsanto and its moles in the FDA and other areas of government. Gates enjoys close relationships with UN officials, some of whom hang out in his mansion in Washington. We covered this before. They serve Gates and he serves them (personally). To quote further from the article at hand:
It is worrisome that Kofi Annan is connected with AGRA. Maybe he believes that US mechanized and chemical agriculture work well. Most people in the US do, aside from family farmers who see the effects first hand. I have a good friend who works for the US Dept. of Agriculture and thinks this kind of big agriculture really is the best and that Monsanto is a boon to mankind. We have had several heated discussions. In fact Monsanto is destroying land, causing chemically induced human diseases, creating super weeds, super insect pests, and economic havoc in many parts of the US farming areas, particularly in the midwest and the south. There have been countless protests all over India and Brazil. I’ve read many heartbreaking stories, including this comment from Pearl on this blog:
“The farmers of southern Kentucky have been enslaved by Monsanto. The previous generation fell for an ad campaign called “Hi-bred” or “High-Bred”, and the current generation is stuck with fulfilling the contracts their fathers signed. The chemicals that Monsanto has contractually required be applied to those fields have so damaged the soil that the only way to get anything to grow in the fields now is to keep applying more of those blasted chemicals. So even if a person who inherited a contract WANTS to discontinue the agreement with Monsanto when the contract expires, they are unable to do so unless they want to leave the land fallow for many, many, many years. Most farmers cannot afford to do this, as this would mean little to no income for their families for somewhere between 5 to 20 years, depending on how long it would take for the soil to renew itself.”
I’ve always had enormous respect for Kofi Annan, I do not understand his participation in this and it bothers me a great deal. Even though I admire and respect him there are no free passes with a subject like this.
Here is a new article about AGRA for those who are not familiar with it:
The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a consortium of international organisations to support the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to contribute about five billion dollars agricultural production in Africa.
For insight into the role of the Gates Foundation or the Rockefeller Foundation, delve into the depths of some of these articles. We hope not to be repetitive here. Gates’ influence in Africa is a subject we dissected in posts that include:
- How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
- Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
- Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
- United Nations and World Bank Help Bill Gates and Microsoft Colonise Africa
- Microsoft Propaganda in Africa Curses the Whole Population
- Bill Gates Tightens Information/Agriculture Grip on Africa by Funding African Journalists, Expanding to India
- Mainstream Press Misses Billions of Dollars Bill Gates Earns in Africa (Gates Foundation as Monsanto Front)
- Bill Gates’ Forced Parenthood of Africa Receives Press Backlash
One article that we found some days ago describes this as “voluntary contribution from the private sector.”
That’s a funny way of putting it. Those rich families are blindly described as good-doing, regardless of how their wealth was gained in the first place and how they really use it (not how their PR agents explain/spin it). Behold this new article from India:
The urge to give back to the society is what has driven the most successful philanthropic initiatives world over, be it the Rockfeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
More on the role of AGRA here:
Monsanto in Gates’ Clothing? The Emperor’s New GMOs
If you had any doubts about where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is really placing its bets, AGRA Watch’s recent announcement of the Foundation’s investment of $23.1 million in 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock should put them to rest. Genetic engineering: full speed ahead.
Under the guise of “sustainability” the Foundation has been spearheading a multi-billion dollar effort to transform African into a GMO-friendly continent. The public relations flagship for this effort is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a massive Green Revolution project. Up to now AGRA spokespeople have been slippery, and frankly, contradictory about their stance on GMOs.
More to the point is that–as Monsanto and Gates are fully aware–to establish a healthy GMO industry one first needs a strong conventional breeding program in place: labs, experiment stations, agronomists, extensionists, molecular biologists… and farmer’s seeds. All of which Gates, Rockefeller, Monsanto and AGRA are actively lining up.
Africa’s seeds are a potential windfall investment for Monsanto. Regardless of the philanthropic side of its intentions, cloaked in the sheep’s clothing of AGRA, the Gates Foundation is moving stealthily opening African seed market to global corporations. When the research, extension, and U.S. foreign aid is all in place Monsanto will swoop in for the feast.
“Activists criticize Gates Foundation securities holdings,” says this blog about “cre8tive philanthropy”:
As someone who provides impact investment research and consulting services, this blog post on The Chronicle of Philanthropy is fascinating. Investments made by philanthropic organizations are generally more public, and therefore, more open to criticism. Explicitly, this post speaks to the ethical question of whether or not the foundation’s agriculture work in Africa will be used to help create markets for Monsanto’s GM crops. (More details between the relationship between the foundation and Monsanto but that almost smells of self dealing and conflict of interest.)However, there is an underlying tone: Why is a “good” foundation investing in a “bad” company?
Stakeholders are spreading their GMO agenda, starting with continents that are easy to corrupt, ensuing all pollination there becomes ‘ownership’ of the West, through patents. Usually it's Africa, then India (which is said to be suing Monsanto after it led to many farmers’ suicides).
Rich Men’s Club
The Times of India writes:
Bill and Melinda Gates have aroused as much controversy as awe over their unwalled giving. Their munificence of $22.8 billion-and-still-counting from 1994 onwards is seen as an affliction way beyond the old White Man’s Burden. Cynics, who as a statistical group usually match grants 2:1, have been quick to warn that Coca-colonialism is being replaced by something more sinister, a malignant benevolence overpowering global health bodies with its dollar-shaped carcinogens. The prognosis just got worse with the Gates syndrome spreading to the 40 US billionaires who pledged half their wealth to charity in August.
“Power systems do not like criticism, and they use whatever techniques they have to undermine and condemn it,” said Chomsky. That’s why it is so hard to criticise Gates in the mainstream press, especially after all the PR blitzes. It’s rarely well received. Robber barons are seen as charitable by publicity, which makes them almost entirely immune to criticism that they deserve. Slate has taken a bold step (considering past owners) and published what GatesKeepers calls “Well written Slate piece on the Gates Foundation”: [via]
[T]o make the “Giving Pledge” more than a vague promise to do good, billionaires should be asked to put an audited 50 percent of their net worth on the table for charitable use now, when it can make a difference to people starving today, not later, after they’ve worked up a heart attack from their third wife on their fourth yacht. Look at how the Forbes list changes, how many billionaires lose their fortunes and drop off it from year to year. Gates and Buffett are right to use the Forbes list as a symbolic target, but let’s get these big-talking “givers” to give now, when they’ve still got it.
There’s no doubt that the billionaires pledge is a beautiful idea, and Gates and Buffett deserve at least some of the sainthood the media has conferred on them. They’ve just announced they’ve already signed up 40 billionaires, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Star Wars’ George Lucas, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison. Even so, there has been little scrutiny amid the adulation of what the “Giving Pledge” really means. In fact, it may require more than warm and fuzzy words, gauzy and fluffy sentiments, to extract the cold hard cash.
This is a rather vain bunch that knows how to generate positive publicity for itself:
As part of their effort to encourage high-net-worth individuals and families to give more, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested over $8 million in the creation of educational materials aimed at equipping donors, especially new and emerging donors, with the tools and information they need to become effective, hands-on philanthropists.
Patents on Life
Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. said Tuesday its foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will commit an additional $60 million to Botswana’s African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships.
In essence, they donate access to patents, which can also create a dependency for later years/generations. The main question is, whose patents (drugs) are being promoted at whose expense? The Gates Foundation only promotes its own line of drugs and research (which it invests in) and it was criticised for this before. It suppresses competition this way. “The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function,” wrote the New York Times in 2008. Watch this new article from the New York Times:
H.I.V. Prevention Gel Hits Snag: Money
Researchers also worry that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the most important philanthropic supporter, has not committed major financing for the additional studies on the gel.
Those who own the patents in question sometimes include Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, whose book Gates is promoting right now. Yes, Myhrvold uses the Gates Foundation to promote his patents too (we gave examples before, ranging from pharmaceutical to energy).
Gates’ Energy Lobby (Oil Investments and Nuclear Patents)
Speaking of energy, Gates is still lobbying on issues pertaining to the energy market [1, 2]. He was again promoting his patents and some of Myhrvold’s last month, so the news fell for it [1, 2]. Petroleumworld published a Q&A with Bill Gates and it’s worth remembering that Gates invests in the world’s largest Petroleum companies, not just BP [1, 2, 3] (while he pretends to be pushing for clean energy).
Tax-Exempt Gates Lobbies to Tax Other People Even More
Last but not least, also on the subject of lobbying, Gates does not pay tax and his father (Gates Senior) lobbies on issues of tax right now [1, 2, 3], pretending to tax the rich even though he and his son are exempt from tax anyway. Who are they kidding? And why are they driving national policies without ever being elected? That’s the sort of “corruption” of the system Professor Lessig keeps lecturing about. Gates is harming the populations all across the world and making PR out of it:
Washington State is one of nine states without a state income tax. Bill Gates Sr., the father of the Microsoft founder, wants to change that. Gates is lending his high-profile name and influence to a ballot measure that would tax the income of individuals who earn more than $200,000 and couples who earn more than $400,000. His son — the world’s second-richest person — definitely falls into that category.
Driving policy in Washington… leave that to Gates. Later on we’ll address the area of education separately. That’s where Gates does an enormous amount of damage and a long update is required to show the full scale of it, in isolation. █