EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.13.11

Secrecy Around the Gates Foundation and Its Monopolistic Behaviour Come Under Fire

Posted in Bill Gates at 3:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Smoking man

Summary: Distrust and suspicion lead to protest, which only make the Gates Foundation more secretive

A University of Washington Professor Emeritus, Phil Bereano, says: “As citizens of the US and Seattle,we give the [Gates] Foundation many benefits – tax breaks, closing off streets for this campus – and we are entitled to know exactly what it is doing in its efforts to change the world.”

The context of this remark is a critique of Gates’ special relationship with Monsanto, which is presented in text/Web form here. To quote:

Seattle, WA – On the public opening day of the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, local activists called attention to the negative aspects of the Foundation’s agricultural development efforts in Africa. Although farmers, activists, and civil society organizations throughout Africa and the US have pointed to fundamental problems with the programs of the Foundation and its subsidiary, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Foundation has been non-responsive to these concerns.

The majority of the projects funded by Gates promote high-tech industrial agricultural methods and market-driven development – privatizing seed, lobbying for genetically modified crops, increasing farmer debt alongside corporate profits, and encouraging land consolidation. The Foundation’s “theory of change” acknowledges that this approach will ultimately push many small-scale African farmers off of their land, driving them into the cities to swell the numbers of unemployed and marginalized – but seems unperturbed by such consequences. Thus, the agricultural development agenda on the continent is being determined from Seattle instead of locally, and control over African food systems is being transferred from farmers to transnational corporations.

[...]

Unfortunately, the Foundation’s outdated approach remains to be harmonized with the growing body of scientific literature in support of agroecological farming. Instead, as observed by Kenyan farmer and director of the Grow Biointensive Agricultural Center of Kenya (G-BIACK), Samuel Nderitu, “The technologies that are promoted by the Gates Foundation in Africa are not farmer-friendly or environmentally friendly. Some of them have not been tested fully to determine their effects on the environment and consumers. African farmers are seeking food sovereignty, not imposed unhealthy foods and GMOs!”

These and other concerns being raised by the communities who will be most affected by the Gates Foundation’s work have yet to be meaningfully addressed. Most recently, a petition with over 1500 signatures and a sign-on letter to the Foundation, co-authored by AGRA Watch and La Via Campesina North America and endorsed by over 100 organizations, academics, and scientists from around the world, have been similarly ignored. This lack of engagement calls into question the Foundation’s claims of transparency and accountability. “As citizens of the US and Seattle,” notes University of Washington Professor Emeritus Phil Bereano, “we give the Foundation many benefits – tax breaks, closing off streets for this campus – and we are entitled to know exactly what it is doing in its efforts to change the world. Great wealth brings great responsibilities, as Bill Gates Senior has often noted.”

Tough reality for the Gates Foundation. Farmers are not as gullible as the foundation needs them to be. Even in its home ground, Seattle, there is growing opposition to this foundation which keeps its real agenda quite secret.

The issue of secrecy is further explored in this new article which says:

On Tuesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosted its annual meeting, an event employees call “Home Week” as more than 100 workers travel to Seattle from their offices abroad.

Despite its prominence as the world’s largest private philanthropy, the Gates Foundation declined to disclose any details about what was said or discussed during its annual meeting, held at Seattle’s McCaw Hall that is a short walk from its new campus headquarters.

In response to a request for comment, Gates Foundation Press Secretary Chris Williams replied: “As it is every year, the annual employee meeting is an internal meeting.”

The silence is noteworthy because on Thursday, Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates said the new headquarters campus was an example of how the foundation was trying to improve its transparency.

Yet the Gates Foundation advertises itself as transparent a lot of the time. Talk is cheap, actions are not. What do they have to hide if their #1 goal is public good as it wishes people to believe?

Tom Paulson, an excellent journalist, wrote about “Seattle’s week of private meetings on global health”. Quoting some of the more relevant bits:

This week, several “invitation-only” meetings will be held in Seattle featuring hundreds of leading experts in global health from around the world.

They all revolve around the Pacific Health Summit, which starts Wednesday.

One of those confabs orbiting the summit is the Global Health Research Congress, which starts today.

Launched in Seattle last year with backing from the Gates Foundation, the Congress’ stated aim is to help scientists inform and complement policy discussions at the Pacific Health Summit — which also gets Gates money and is difficult to summarize as its intended purpose has “evolved” over time. More on that below.

As Gates Keepers points out, “Coca Cola is a sponsor of the meeting and the Gates Foundation own shares in Coke.”

We wrote about this commercial relationship before. They are still pushing their own line of work, suppressing others’ in the process, which is inevitable. Quoting another article from the same journalist:

Thailand’s Condom King comes to Seattle

[...]
I talked to Mechai before he spoke to ask what he told the Gates Foundation.

“I told them they’re getting dull, that they need to start thinking outside the box,” he said. Mechai said he spoke personally with Bill Gates Sr. to challenge one of the philanthropy’s working assumptions — that reducing child mortality will work to reduce birth rates.

Techrights is pleased to see that people use their critical skills and stop absorbing multi-million-dollar PR, which plants a deceiving picture in the press.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    September 14, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Gravatar

    Trade secrets is a hallmark of Bill Gates and combined with monopolies, likely too of major market manipulators.

    I hate trade secrets. I mean I accept everyone will have some, but they go hand in hand with exploiting the very society that makes the things you have possible. It’s about the least “brotherly” thing you can do to fellow humans.

    Yeah, I may sound over the top, but capitalism’s crooked side largely lies in a lack of fair playing field, much of which is owed to exploitation of key secrets.

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  3. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  4. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  5. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  6. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  7. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  10. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  11. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  12. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  13. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  15. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  16. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  17. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  18. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  19. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  20. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  21. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  22. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  23. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  24. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  25. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  26. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  29. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts