The Idiot Cycle

Caught in the middle of a sinister cycle.

The opening scene in this searing documentary shows the director’s frail mother removing the bandages that cover the wounds from her recent mastectomy. The emotion is raw and the message simple: the ‘war on cancer’ is a hoax.

Indeed, the film examines why so much more effort is spent treating cancer than preventing it. As it turns out, the companies that produce and hold patents on the drugs used for cancer treatment – Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, Dow Chemical, Dupont and AstraZeneca – are also responsible for genetically modified crops which have never been tested for environmental risks or long-term health effects – such as cancer. These private corporations do not want others poking into their patents. All purchasers of GMO seeds, for example, are forbidden to use the seeds for independent research, a practice fully endorsed by the US Government.

The close relationship that binds industry and government is disturbing. But what’s more disturbing, and what The Idiot Cycle attempts to probe, is the reason why this disregard for public health and safety is allowed to continue. For information on distribution and availability, see


mag cover This article is from the March 2010 issue of New Internationalist.
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