Why Is Bono Endorsing Monsanto In Africa?
May 24, 2013 · Print This Article
Tomorrow is a day of international protest against Monsanto (http://occupy-monsanto.com/), the American-based multinational agricultural and biotechnology corporation. To mark this occasion, we invited Marenka Cerny, admin for the Facebook page Bono and Monsanto Forum for Conscious Debate and Discovery https://www.facebook.com/BonoMonsanto, to share her work, activism, and thoughts in a guest editorial on U2’s Bono supporting Monsanto in his strategies for fighting poverty in Africa. We at the webzine encourage fans to read, research on their own to reach their own conclusions, and act as they are so moved. –Andrew William Smith, webzine editor
Perhaps years ago the technique of genetically engineered crops was understood by Bono as the miracle Africa needed to produce food in extreme climates. Maybe it actually is. We are calling for Bono to speak explicitly about GE technology and the maligned practices of the chemical-agriculture companies. In the meantime, we are examining the evidence that humanity is being used as a science experiment for profit and without permission.
We created the Facebook page Bono and Monsanto Forum for Conscious Debate and Discovery four months ago in response to the cognitive dissonance that has resulted from the involvement of one of the most politically influential and venerated artists of our time in highly questionable activity with potentially disastrous consequences. Because he has the hearts of millions and the ear of every political leader—and because he is a most beloved, consummate, and sagacious poet of our generation—Bono deserves the respect of accountability.
Wikipedia describes “Bono [as] one of the world’s best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal… He has been dubbed, “the face of fusion philanthropy,” both for his success enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum of leaders in government, religious institutions, philanthropic organizations, popular media, and the business world, as well as for spearheading new organizational networks that bind global humanitarian relief with geopolitical activism and corporate commercial enterprise…”
At one time or another, we have all been let down by people we look up to. But in this case, the effects of Bono’s actions are far-reaching in potentially dangerous ways. His tacit alliance with the chemical companies is confusing. We are wondering what his motivations are. With his 25+ years experience lobbying to end extreme poverty in Africa, is this truly the best way he can see to get Africa the food it needs? What does he think about feeding Africa and the world genetically modified food? Bono gives very brief mention in these two links to chem-ag companies and indirectly to the technique of genetic engineering, one in a newscast and one speaking to the pre-G8 symposium a year ago:
For a partial transcription—“Bono Addresses global leaders on hunger, agriculture and transparency at pre-G8 symposium”
In this interview, Bono references “whole new methods of agriculture to increase productivity” within the first minutes. “Bono – Well Paid Spokesman for the Elitists” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CvlQLcyawg
This is the main article that has been reposted many times since the G8 Summit last year.
ActivistPost: “U2, Bono? Celeb partners with Monsanto, G8, to biowreck African farms with GMOs”
Most comments on the web about Bono and Monsanto are about giving up on him (to put it mildly). We’re looking for the fans who care about what’s in our food and don’t want to give up on him. Of course Bono’s allowed to make mistakes, be a bad-boy rock star, or be misguided, and still be loved. Through our Facebook page, we seek to know whether Bono’s intentions to solve extreme poverty have been compromised from extraordinary altruism to a power-hungry alliance with the chem-ag companies for global domination of the world’s food supply. We hope that’s not true—we want to think Bono can be a venture capitalist and still be cool. We want fans to speak louder—we need him and want him on our side—to say, Bono, please come back. Whatever the results of this conversation, our advocacy and engagement are not about disrespecting Bono. We seek to understand the apparent dissonance between his actions and his words.
Seeking transparency for unconscious and unconscionable capitalism is not just a luxury of an armchair activist, but imperative for humanity’s future and present. The research that is available shows that as well as the apparent dangers to human health, genetically-engineered (GE) crops are known to damage topsoil through monocropping, to require ever-increasing amounts of pesticide, and have not yet proven to reliably produce higher yields. Monsanto has been strong-arming the U.S. government and small farmers around the world, and has spent tens of millions of dollars to withhold labeling of their products. GE science is young, and the long-term effects on humans and the environment are unknown.
10 Reasons Why We Don’t Need GM Foods
After 5 months of searching for the backstory of how it is Bono seems so comfortable promoting GE food in Africa, there’s also the larger question of the approach of capitalism as a solution to poverty, which is a fundamental part of Bono’s speeches in the past decade, and which he calls “Entrepreneurial Capitalism.” Is this a viable subset of capitalism, the basic existence of which is not to provide social service agencies, but to make a profit? We’d be curious to hear from everyone who is criticizing Bono’s association with Monsanto what you also think of capitalism and corporate power as a means for ending extreme poverty.
We are gathering energy to add to the momentum of the world’s resistance to the chemical companies’ intention to control food production and distribution on this planet. Many people have alternative solutions to meeting the needs of the world’s food supply. Help us to compose and promote a letter to Bono and others. Tell us what you think of all this and ask any questions. Help us address the question of revering the work of an artist while questioning their integrity elsewhere. What would you say, in your own words, to Bono? –Marenka Cerny, Life-long U2-lover, Admin on Facebook: Bono and Monsanto Forum for Conscious Debate and Discovery https://www.facebook.com/BonoMonsanto
‘Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad’ is a stunning song written for Sinatra. For those who are pro-Bono and anti-GMO, this is surely one of our songs in this moment in time.
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad
You think I’m no good, well I know I’ve been bad
Took you to a place, now you can’t get back
Two shots of happy, one shot of sad
Bono, Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad
also (poor video quality but beautiful performance) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzgCPimHu7w
“Frank Sinatra just blew me away. Actually, me and Edge wrote a tune called ‘Two Shots Of Happy, One Shot Of Sad.’ We made a drinks cabinet shrine to Frank that when you open it plays that song! We’ve never released it… I sent it to him for his 80th birthday, full orchestra, the whole thing. Quite an indulgence.” – Bono, NME 1997