You wouldn’t know it when looking at your local supermarket’s shelves of 37 different types of bread, but world food production is in peril. Every year, the world avoids large-scale starvation by using fertilizer, pesticides and genetically modified foods. Many people are coming to realize that modern farming practices are producing foods that are disastrous to our health. But scientists fear the situation could get much worse.
The laws of nature are clearly designed for man to benefit from in order to reap a plenteous, healthy harvest each year. Yet from the beginning, mankind has rejected, ignored and tried to circumvent those laws. Now we face the possibility of some of the worst, deadliest agricultural disasters in human history.
Shockingly, this cataclysm could be triggered by a single, trusted nation.
In his booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote: “Besides nuclear annihilation, there are at least five other means by which mankind could be destroyed from off the face of the globe: chemical warfare, biological warfare, overpopulation and resulting famine, disease epidemics, and environmental pollution.”
By rejecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God, mankind has made us vulnerable in all these things, right down to the annual harvests and the food you eat.
Struggle of Feeding Mankind
Nearly 8 billion people inhabit Earth. Rather than everyone growing much of their own food as human beings have done for most of history, most people grow little to no food and rely completely on a small number of farmers using mass-scale, modern agricultural practices. This agricultural revolution has abused the soil, pulling out nutrients and never replenishing them. Over the last 50 years, farmers have continued to grow crops by using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, enabling them to keep neglecting the soil. Some estimates say that without nitrogen fertilizer, half the people on Earth today would have starved to death.
Today, a single crop fills thousands of acres of farmland. To prevent pests from attacking and spreading from one plant of the same kind to the next, the agriculture industry has created pesticides. Pests adapt to these chemicals, so the industry constantly formulates newer, stronger versions. Yet pests still destroy one third of all crops produced in the U.S. If the chemists fall behind the adapting pests, mankind will face disaster. This is to say nothing of the terrible effects human beings suffer by ingesting traces of these chemicals.
Modern agricultural science has also brought us genetically modified organisms—and another food-related vulnerability. The chemical company Monsanto is famous for creating seeds that resist pesticides and poison, which are a plant’s natural competitors. Some see it as a scientific masterpiece; others, as a major step toward inevitable disaster.
For all history, farmers sowed their seeds, watered and weeded their plants, harvested their crops, and stored their seeds for the following year. But Monsanto and other companies have caused laws to be passed that prohibit farmers from preserving their own seeds due to companies’ patents and exclusive licensing rights to control their genetic modifications. It has sued or threatened lawsuits against roughly 850 farmers.
Meanwhile, farmers often rely on one company to provide the seeds that are resilient against pests (and pesticides). Farmers in neighboring fields without pest-resistant crops are at risk of super-pests feeding on their crops instead. They therefore are motivated to also buy from companies like Monsanto. Yet pests still destroy a large amount of engineered seed and crops as farmers watch helplessly.
An additional vulnerability is that many plants have been designed to be seedless or to bear seeds that cannot be used for the next harvest.
When Human Solutions Fail
Failed harvests that affect all of us could occur in several ways.
For all history, cattle have naturally eaten grass. But to maximize their profits, American farmers depend on corn to fatten cattle up. The genetically manipulated corn that is grown through the aid of fertilizers and saved through pesticides is fed to herds of cattle and other livestock. If this corn fails suddenly, American agriculture could face a serious crisis.
This could occur if millions of tons of nitrogen fertilizer are not constantly available. This would render millions of acres barren.
Alternatively, it could occur if pests develop faster than pesticides or if bacteria, mold or other threats spread unchecked.
If the field refuses to yield its increase, the nation’s livestock would vanish with it.
What would happen next? Panic. Food would be hoarded. In time, stores would be plundered.
The early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic gave us a glimpse of such a scenario. It was likely the first time that millions of Americans witnessed such empty shelves in their local stores. At the time, the shortages were caused by irrational fear. But what if the fear becomes a reality? What if the farms fail, the suppliers fail, or the transportation fails? What if, day after day, week after week, supermarket shelves stay empty?
Some households will run out of food within days. Others may hold on for a few weeks. In times of famine, neighbor will turn against neighbor, and families turn against their own. One political class will blame the other.
In famine, the character of a nation is tested to the utmost. Flaws that have been kept under cover emerge. Weaknesses that have been ignored will tear the nation down. One can only imagine what this would mean for our impatient, self-gratifying nation today.
But things could get far worse. Just imagine if a foreign entity knew what crops U.S. farmers use, knew their exact genetic makeup, knew what pests they were resilient to and what could harm them. An entity with such power could easily destroy America’s food supply.
Now imagine if this entity also had the power to create biological and chemical weapons to serve its malicious purposes.
This is the power currently held by Bayer AG.
Why Take Over Monsanto?
Following multiple rejected offers, Bayer AG succeeded in 2016 with a $66 billion takeover of Monsanto. It paid $128 per share, a 44 percent premium over Monsanto’s closing price. Congress and regulatory agencies worldwide granted approval, and in 2018, the biggest takeover by a German company in history was complete.
Bayer knew it was taking a great risk. The World Health Organization had reported in 2015 that Monsanto’s glyphosate used in Roundup caused cancer in humans. Yet it pressed ahead.
Now America’s food supply—and its fate—is largely in the hands of a single company. The German multinational pharmaceutical and life-sciences company is one of the four largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. It is also the company that, some 80 years ago, helped orchestrate mass murder under Adolf Hitler.
During Hitler’s reign, Bayer AG was part of the conglomerate IG Farben, manufacturer of, among other things, the Nazis’ death gas, Zyklon B. After the war, the Allied forces divided IG Farben into four separate companies: Bayer, basf, Hoechst and Cassella. The German Handelsblatt called IG Farben “the company that enabled Hitler’s world war.”
Few people have expressed concern that a company with such roots is now in charge of sustaining the lives of millions of Americans. Most assume that it is international business and politics as usual, with Bayer taking over Monsanto to make money. But the takeover was a financial disaster.
“Bayer, once such a proud company, is now only a shadow of its former self,” said Ingo Speich, head of Corporate Governance and Sustainability at Deka Investment. “The year 2020 has impressively shown that the purchase of Monsanto was a wrong decision” (Trumpet translation throughout).
Bayer spent roughly 33 years of profits to buy a company plagued by operational problems and, even worse, involved in thousands of lawsuits over Monsanto’s allegedly carcinogenic weedkiller glyphosate. In addition to the billions spent in taking over Monsanto, Bayer is now paying billions more to keep the company alive and pay victims of Monsanto’s policies.
On the other hand, Bayer has the power to keep Americans from starving.
At the time of the takeover, Monsanto was the world’s largest seed company, controlling 23 percent of the global market. In the U.S., Monsanto owned 90 percent of soy, 85 percent of corn, and 95 percent of sugar beets. These ingredients are essential for most processed foods that sustain the average American on a day-to-day basis. In addition, as April Davila noted for Our World, everything from cattle to salmon is fed Monsanto corn.
Monsanto was infamous for its unethical, unhealthy approach to altering America’s food supply. It has been accused of using wrong practices to stamp out competition, suppressing small farmers, and endangering the health of millions of people. Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms are banned from European markets. Yet Bayer seems to have no problem continuing to sell them in the U.S.
As much damage as Monsanto wrought due to greed, compare it to the damage that Bayer could wreak through malice.
A Glimpse of Future Horrors
A recent Monsanto scandal is instructive. It caused great harm to U.S. farmers and killed some Americans. It also involves another German company that traces back to IG Farben: basf.
The Guardian reported in 2020, “The U.S. agriculture giant Monsanto and the German chemical giant basf were aware for years that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many U.S. farms, internal documents seen by the Guardian show” (March 30, 2020). Yet these companies unleashed the chemicals anyway. American fields were overrun with weeds that became resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller, Roundup. Together with basf, Monsanto produced a different herbicide called dicamba and genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. This was meant to ensure that the weeds, not the crops, would die.
Dicamba has been used since the 1960s, but typically only in small amounts because of how it spread. The two companies promised to create a new dicamba formulation that would not disperse. However, a report prepared for Monsanto in 2009 indicated that the company knew that “off-target movement” was expected and would result in “crop loss,” “lawsuits,” and “negative press around pesticides.”
Pesticides often drift from where they are applied due to wind, water and other factors. As they come into contact with other organisms, they can destroy crops and harm human life. Human exposure to pesticides can cause poisonings and cancer.
Monsanto’s negligence, recklessness and greed caused deaths. But it also revealed how a foreign entity may use food supply as a weapon in future wars.
Chemical Companies, Chemical War
World War ii greatly advanced research in the chemical field. Nazi Germany invested large sums to invent weapons of mass destruction. Millions of Jews were gassed by products of chemical companies. By the end of the war, Germany is said to have produced the components for chemical weapons that could have killed millions more on the battlefield.
After the war, many nations pledged not to use biological, herbicidal or chemical warfare. Agrichemical companies turned their industries back toward selling to civilians. Their products were obviously not ideal for the farmers or anyone who eats what they grow, but they found a way to make it profitable.
But just as they changed their modus operandi once, they can change again. With the expertise they have gained since World War ii these companies can turn on a dime to develop pesticides or biological agents that, instead of protecting plants, destroy entire crops, leading to large-scale starvation.
Or these agents could be designed to poison food, specifically targeting weaknesses in the immune system. Thus, America’s food supply could poison millions. Other bioweapons could target the population directly, like an infectious disease. Just as the weakness of certain plants can be identified and exploited while others are saved alive, the same principal can apply to humans. (For an example, Bayer AG also has access to America’s health system; see “No One Fears Germany,” page 21.)
In herbicidal warfare, substances are used to destroy plant-based ecosystems. An agrichemical company can provide the needed knowledge for this. The chemicals used in pesticides also overlap with those used in chemical warfare.
In addition, as the Guardian of Nigeria wrote, “Biological weapons are considerably cheaper than nuclear and chemical weapons and have a large effect-to-quantity ratio. In other words, a relatively small amount of biological agent can cause a relatively large number of deaths—equivalent, in some assessments, to those resulting from nuclear use. They do not require complex delivery systems, and their ease of manufacture is increasing with advances in science.”
Now consider the recent coronavirus outbreak. Massive governmental responses to coronavirus have produced massive amounts of scientific data that genomicists, systems biologists and researchers in artificial intelligence and other fields have used. Some say the information has brought them closer to curing highly infectious diseases like hiv. Vaccines, with largely unknown side effects, were produced at “warp speed.” But in addition to the medical unknowns, history shows that major scientific advancements are often, at least partially, advancements in warfare.
A 2019 report from Cambridge University’s Center for the Study of Existential Risk stated that futuristic bioweapons powered by artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation would have the power to target specific dna and kill certain races of people while leaving the rest of the population unharmed. Imagine if Hitler had possessed this power. He could have turned the world into a gas chamber that would have left only “Aryans” alive. Had he owned such a weapon, he certainly would have used it.
Like today’s leaders, Hitler used science to strengthen the health of his citizens. In “Nazi Medicine and Research on Human Beings,” Prof. Volker Roelecke noted in December 2004: “Rassenhygiene (a German equivalent for eugenics) was perceived as an applied science founded on the laws of genetics, and as essential for improving the health of the volk, or race.”
It was Hitler’s goal to strengthen the German people and destroy the Jewish race. In IBM and the Holocaust, Edwin Black explains how Hitler worked with the most advanced technology available to destroy every Jewish life, even cooperating with an American company. Imagine how much more devastating the results of such a plot would be today.
In World War ii, IG Farben weaponized its advances in science to provide potency to Hitler’s war machine. Today, Bayer and basf control much of the food production in America—Germany’s enemy in World War ii. It seems crazy to consider, but is some sinister purpose being worked out behind the scenes? Could Germany already have an advantage in international relations due to its leverage over America’s food supply?
Consider this statement by Adolf Hitler on Nov. 9, 1943: “However long this war lasts, we shall never capitulate. We shall not give in at the 11th hour. We shall go on fighting even after 12 o’clock.”
Twelve o’clock struck in 1945 when Germany was defeated. But the Nazi underground movement never capitulated. Through various companies, Germany preserved its deadly power. Like many companies of the former Nazi Reich, Bayer settled in Latin America and increased its global reach steadily. Since the war’s end, its potential lethality has increased exponentially.
Bayer and Germany controlling American farmland may sound unbelievable. But when you consider historic precedent as well as biblical prophecy, you can see that this is matter is a deadly serious one.
A Nation of Fierce Countenance
The Bible repeatedly warns of a coming famine. God addresses these warnings to the modern descendants of Israel, primarily the Americans, the British and the Jews in the Middle East. (Read The United States and Britain in Prophecy for a detailed explanation of Israel’s identity.) The nations that have been given such abundance and prosperity are soon to suffer the most devastating famine this world has ever seen.
Deuteronomy 28 warns, “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.
“And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates” (verses 49-57).
The Interlinear Bible defines the word eat in this passage as “to devour, consume, destroy (inanimate subjects—i.e. pestilence, drought).” In this manner this foreign nation will destroy “the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land” and leave neither “corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep.”
Bayer has the power to do all that. But how can we know that this prophecy refers to the schemes of modern Germany?
Notice that this siege and the consequent devastating famine will be caused by a “nation of fierce countenance.” Another prophecy in Jeremiah 21:9 specifies the identity of this nation: “He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that “the Chaldeans” refers to modern Germany. (For more information, request Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
Here we see America suffering crop failure and mass starvation. We also now see the nation with power over much of America’s food.
Deuteronomy 28 is called the chapter of blessings and curses. Nations and individuals are blessed for obedience to God’s law and cursed for disobedience. The modern descendants of Israel are today suffering the curses of disobedience. They are also being warned that if they continue their rebellious ways, God will use a foreign nation to bring their swift destruction. This has happened throughout history.
But this will not be the end of the story. Though Israel today is held accountable for its rebellion, God does not yet judge their eternal fate—neither does He judge the world. After suffering the devastating consequences of disobeying God, mankind will, in a future resurrection to mortal life, learn to obey God’s law, reap the blessings of obedience, and receive a chance to qualify for eternal life with God.
But the Bible indicates that mankind will have to experience untold suffering before it will learn this vital truth.