Biological Warfare in Action
Biological Warfare in Action
Chapter 9 – Italy’s Olive Trees
By Larry Romanoff
1,000-year-old olive tree at Taurino’s farm. Source
On February 27, 2015, the London Telegraph ran an article by Nick Squires  detailing the danger to olive trees in Italy and potentially all of Europe, caused by a deadly bacterium brought to Italy from the US, and that was destroying centuries-old olive trees. He wrote that the disease was first detected in Italy in the fall of 2013 and had already affected almost a quarter of a million hectares of olive groves. Many trees that were hundreds of years old, and some 1,000 years old, would all have to be cut down to prevent further contamination. The cause appears to be a bacterium named Xylella fastidiosa, which attacks olive and citrus trees, and some grape vines, causing them to become desiccated and preventing the formation of fruit.
The BBC covered the story with comments that this disease could cost billions;  Bloomberg advised travelers to “see Italy’s olive trees while you can”;  and Scientific American is asking if Italy’s olive trees really need to be burned to the ground. 
But it seems the problem may be more complex (or convoluted) than first assumed. In August of the same year, Ruben Rosenberg Colorni wrote an article for Global Research in which he speculated that the biotech industry – GM seeds and plants – might be responsible for the destruction of Italy’s olive trees, and that the primary underlying cause may have been the use of chemicals selected for certain species of insects. It seems the authorities drastically over-simplified the problem “in order to present a threat that might not even have existed”, blaming a bacterium for the excessive use of GM chemicals. The article further informs us that “[The] commander in charge of containing the outbreak … stated that simply turning the ground around the olive trees “has been successful in eradicating 90 percent of the population of insects vector of the bacteria”.”
Nevertheless, rather than investigate and first attempt less drastic and permanent measures, the Italian Agriculture Minister inexplicably decided to eradicate all trees suspected of being infected and all trees in their vicinity. Further, according to Colorni, the ministry claimed it had received orders from the EU to carry out the eradication, a claim that was flatly denied by European officials. We can see that something is already very wrong here. Italian agronomists claim the bacterial agent is being wrongly blamed and that there is no conclusive scientific evidence of its guilt in the matter, while farmers and others have become naturally suspicious since the proposed solution seems excessively radical. Colorni then states the obvious – that the natural next question is whether the disease is a natural occurrence, something precipitated by human action, or the result of “foul play”.
Olive plantation with old olive tree in the Apulia Region. Source
Yes, a conspiracy theory. And with apparent good reason.
Colorni notes that in 2010 a group of plant pathologists attended a meeting in Italy where some American individuals had brought “samples” of the Xylella pathogen from California “for the purposes of scientific research”. Colorni’s further comments:
“During the meeting, a hypothetical scenario was discussed in which the Xylella bacteria would be released in parts of Europe as part of an effort to determine how the countries would react to a “bio-terrorist attack”. This is a bizarre scenario to imagine … They claim to have disposed of the pathogen, and that the bacteria present in Italy are of a different variety than the one they had brought. This could not be known for sure, however, since the lead investigator … has refused to do a genetic comparison of the allegedly introduced bacteria to those involved in the current infections.”
In Puglia and in the Mediterranean area, working with olive trees is a thousand-year-old tradition, still animated today by legends passed down from the region’s ancient inhabitants.According to one story, a group of farmers challenged the nymphs to a dance competition. As a punishment for their arrogance, they were transformed into olive trees. There are still those today who swear they can spot the farmers’ faces in the tree trunks. Source
What do we do with this information? Italy’s olive trees, some being 1,000 years old, are apparently – but by no means conclusively – being attacked by a bacterium which was transported to Italy’s olive-bearing areas from the US on the truly unbelievable pretense of planning reactions to a bio-terrorist attack in which this specific bacterium would be released all over Europe. This is not only bizarre, as Colorni pointed out, but impossible to be true. The very concept of “terrorists” attacking olive trees is quite absurd, and planning for such a fantastic event would not possibly involve importing and releasing the pathogen in the very areas the planning was intended to protect. If true, this would become an instant classic – the world’s first self-inflicted terrorist attack. This would be precisely analogous to saying, “Let’s plan a defense against an anthrax attack by terrorists, by we ourselves spraying anthrax all over our own country, and seeing how we deal with it”. Does that make sense to you? Of course not.
So why would ‘scientists’ import a pathogen from the US that apparently (and suddenly) is found attacking Italian trees, and why are Italian authorities refusing to do a genetic comparison of the Italian variety with the American one? And why are Italian authorities apparently determined to destroy millions of Italian olive trees without even performing such a basic investigation? Given the lack of evidence of the real cause of this agricultural disease and the proven existence of what Colorni called “effective alternative policies”, the government’s claims and actions appear both bizarre and suspicious. You cannot deny this is beginning to stink, because the facts as presented simply do not correlate and therefore much of the official story cannot possibly be true.
The Italian police appear to agree, and have apparently begun aggressively confiscating files and computer hard drives from the national Ministry of Agriculture and various other so-called ‘institutions’ involved in this fiasco, and regional authorities have placed a freeze on the cutting down of trees while their investigation continues. Oddly, bizarrely, and quite suspiciously, the Italian National Minister of Agriculture, the man who appears desperate to cut down all of Italy’s olive trees, has vowed to file court appeals against these delays.
The plot thickens. Colorni then tells us that critics have good reason for “pointing their fingers” at the biotech industry because the institution that brought this pathogen into Italy is funded by biotech companies. To quote further:
“Furthermore the biotech giant Monsanto, known for its predatory practices, owns Allelyx, a company entirely devoted to the creation of GMO (olive) strains resistant to the bacteria, and the name of which – what an irony – is Xylella spelled backwards. Given these links … and the unwillingness of the government to conduct a thorough investigation, many have alleged that there is collusion between the government and the biotech industry. The popular belief is that this crisis could have been engineered for the purpose of eradicating local olive trees. The reasons for this are still debated, but the dominant hypothesis is to force local cultivators to switch to GMO varieties resistant to the disease.”
I cannot know how this story will appear to outside readers, but I have lived in Italy for an extended period and had developed an appreciation of the depth of corruption that pervades Italian politics and industry. With this, it is very easy indeed for me to imagine a handful of corrupt Italian politicians and authorities accepting huge bribes from Companies like Monsanto in return for engineering the destruction of an irreplaceable portion of their own country’s heritage. And it is even easier for me to imagine Monsanto imagining such a project. A final thought – which I agree may be a red herring – is that this destruction of olive-producing capacity in Europe would be a gift from heaven for the American olive industry which produces an inferior product and has been floundering for a century, and would constitute a similar gift to Israel’s takeover of Palestine’s West Bank olive production.
Note to Readers: When I first wrote this article some years ago, one could still find much information on the Internet. However, since then the Internet appears to have been scrubbed clean of all incriminating information, and no mention can be found of either Monsanto or Allelyx. This has become increasingly true for so many vital topics in recent years. One website, the Genetic Literacy Project, states that scientists and GMOs are responsible for causing the death of Italy’s iconic Olive trees, but the article now seems to display a “Forbidden” sign. 
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chap. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
His full archive can be seen at
https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ + https://www.moonofshanghai.com/
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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