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Earth Open Source: Maharishi cult organic NGO promotes anti-GMO propaganda

Last Updated: September 24, 2015

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Keywords: Earth Open Source, John Fagan, Claire Robinson

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Name
Earth Open Source
Founded
2009
Location (primary)
London, England (UK)
TYPE
NGO
Founder(s)
John Fagan
Website
http://earthopensource.org

Earth Open Source (EOS), a London-based anti-GMO group, claims to be a nonprofit organization which is be “working on major projects to assure a safe, sustainable food supply all around the world”. It was founded in 2009 by John Fagan of the Maharishi Institute (a division of the Maharishi Education for Invincibility Trust), Genetic ID testing labs in Fairfield, IA and Global-ID GMO testing companies.

Fagan is a Raja of the Global Country of World Peace with Global Responsibility for Food Purity and Safety and for Healthy Invincibility associated with the Maharishi movement in Fairfield, IA. In his role as food purity Raja, he is charged with creating a global network of “Maharishi Invincibility Laboratories” (MIL) to use scientific testing methods to verify food purity and quality of Maharishi Vedic Organic products

EOS is based in the United Kingdom (2nd Floor 145-157, St John Street, London EC1V 4PY, United Kingdom) and claims a “manifesto” for “Transforming the food system: key to addressing humanity’s big challenges.” The are co-located with an internet marketing firm called “Enable UK” and several “natural” health and organic products companies. Earth Open Source also runs a subsidiary for-profit organic marketing company. EOS is the publisher of GMO Myths and Truths report (updated 2nd edition May 2014) which claims plant biotechnology is neither safe nor needed.[1]

HISTORY

Earth Open Source claims to have produced “six groundbreaking reports,” often in collaboration with other groups, experts and scientists:

  • Europe’s pesticide and food safety regulators: Who do they work for?
  • GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? Summary of over a hundred independent studies.
  • Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?
  • Conflicts on the menu: A decade of industry influence at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
  • GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of GM crops.
  • Charter for the GM industry: EU Commission is trying to water down GMO risk assessment – just as new research shows and EU approved GM maize can cause massive tumours, premature death and organ damage.

They claim “each report has had a large impact on the worldwide debate on the use of GMOs in our food supply. For example, between June and August 2012 the GMO Myths and Truths report was downloaded 304,700 times. The report is in use by activists, educators and policymakers in Europe, Asia, Australasia, and North and South America. Volunteer collaborators have initiated translations into other languages.”

Organization Details

The UK government Companies House registry lists EOS as a registered Private Limited Company:

Name & Registered Office:
* EARTH OPEN SOURCE LTDc/o C/O ALAN HANSON

33 LULWORTH
SKELMERSDALE, LANCASHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM, WN8 6TS
Company No. 07221305
Date incorporated: 13/04/2010
Date dissolved: 15/05/2012

Previous Addresses

2ND FLOOR, 145-157 ST JOHN STREET[2]
LONDON, EC1V 4PY, ENGLAND

In his domain registration Fagan lists his address as “EOC-Institute EC” which reportedly is a non-profit 501c3 founded in 2000 as the parent corporation for the Permaculture Institute of Southern California – an organic demonstration farm.[3] EOS Institute is no longer a registered U.S. charity[4] and is not a UK registered business or charity. Fagan does not appear on any documents associated with the California-based EOS Institute.

EOS INSTITUTE

Physical Address: 402 W Ojai Ave 101 455, Ojai, CA 93023
EIN: 33-0505993
Telephone: 805-640-1281
Ruling Year: 1996
California Secretary of State lists EOS Institute entity numbers C1698728 and C2463518 as a “suspended” organization which was last reported as “resigned” in 2002.[5]

CAMPAIGNS / ACTIVITIES

Earth Open Source appears to be heavily involved and closely associated with the Seralini Affair promotion of health claims targeting GMOs.

Agriculture Programseos2

EOS primarily promotes organic alternatives working with the “Nepal Organic Foundation” to
present “studies” and plans to help transition from conventional to organic agriculture and the promotion of organic medicinal herbs from Nepal.

Healing Herbs Nepal

“Healing Herbs Nepal” notes it is a part of Earth Open Source Europe at the St. John Street Address and “Earth Open Source North America” at Fagan’s residence 103 Full Moon Lane, Fairfield, IA 52556.[6] The Healing Herbs Nepal “vision” is to engaged and train “hundreds of thousands of farmers” to grow medicinal herbs, the costs of the training to be recouped from revenues generating “significant profits” by selling medicinal herbs to international markets.[6] Shane Zisman, a Maharishi graduate, environmental lawyer and employed as the Fairfield-based EOS North American coordinator,[8] is raising funds online for the project. Zisman is the listed email contact for Fagan’s for-profit gmo testing service, ProTerra certified, trademark registrations.[9] Zisman formerly worked for the Toxics Action Center[10] and as an “admissions counselor” for the Maharishi Institute.[11] He describes the medicinal herbs involved:

  • Pipla – a stimulant and can be used to treat coughs, sore throats, asthma, fever, and to reduce obesity.
  • Serpentine – taken to calm the mind and is highly effective for the treatment of hypertension..
  • Kurilo – a natural immune system booster and is commonly used to treat throat infections, the common cough bronchitis, and muscle spasms, and to improve fertility.
  • Gurjo – a natural anti-inflammatory which has rejuvenating properties and is a natural immunity booster. It is also used to treat fever and improve liver functioning.[12]

They promote their program via a video which describes the project as “promoting aruveda medicine” under the guidance of chief advisor John Fagan[13] While at the Maharishi Institute, Zisman promoted the positive effects of transcendental meditation by connecting himself to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure his brainwaves while in a transcendental state.[14]

Global Family Organics

An organic marketing company created by Earth Open Source. EOS claims “Global Family Organics has entered into strategic alliances with farmers from Brazil, Turkey, and Nepal who are producing premium quality organic food products but do not have access to international markets. GFO will act as a marketing channel to the US and other major western markets to increase profits for rural farmers. Once the project achieves profitability it will expand to connect with more rural farmers in Africa, South America, and Asia.”

The GFO website is registered but was last live in 2013; a version of the site (as of 5/21/2014) is live and hosted in the UK on a “Transcendental Meditation Southwest” site which is part of the Maharishi founded Official UK Transcendental Meditation Organization.

See also “Affiliations” below to see related links to Fagan’s for-profit GMO testing services and other Maharishi-linked interests.

GMO Studies

EOS claims to be conducting studies into health risks associated with GMO plants. [15] They appear to be linked to Henry Rowlands who is raising money online via EcoFundraise to support “research” work linked to a website called “GMO Evidence.”[16]

KEY PEOPLE

  • Claire Robinson
  • Aliye Aliye – while still listed on the EOS website, Aliye’s online resume states he was a program manager for EOS 2010-2013. His is a graduate Maharishi Institute (his EOS bio profile omits this)[17] and was employed at the Maharishi Institute from 2009-2010 as an project manager. Aliye is currently employed as a management analyst for the Seattle Public Schools.[18]
  • John Grant – is the author of the Green Marketing Manifesto.[19]
  • Paul Skinner – marketing agency director with “Pimp My Cause” and “Agency of the Future”[20] which offers services promoting various organic marketing organizations.
  • John Fagan
  • Ananda Kesler, graphic designer[21]

Domain ID:D155788176-LROR
Domain Name:EARTHOPENSOURCE.ORG
Created On:02-Apr-2009 14:20:18 UTC
Last Updated On:03-Apr-2013 01:22:52 UTC
Expiration Date:02-Apr-2014 14:20:18 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Register.com, Inc. (R71-LROR)
Status:OK
Registrant ID:13860865ad42c643
Registrant Name:John Fagan
Registrant Organization:Earth Open Source
Registrant Street1:103 Full Moon Lane
Registrant City: Fairfield
Registrant State/Province: IA
Registrant Postal Code:52556
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.6414728342
Registrant Email:jfagan@eos-institute.org

FUNDING SOURCES

Earth Open Source claims to be a “nonprofit organisation” whose web registration and contact phone number are listed in the United Kingdom (UK); however, EOS is not a registered UK or United States charity. EOS lists no donors or funding sources, but solicits donations via Pay Pal using the name “Earth Open Source Association.”

AFFILIATIONS

The UK Maharishi website which hosts EOS’ Global Family Organics website also hosts[22]Trace Consult” a Geneva-based company “advising industry on practical ethics from farm to fork” registered to Joachim (Jochen) Koester who is president of Euro GMO-free: Association européenne pour la Production de Nourriture sans OGM.[23] Trace Consult lists several John Fagan published reports on their website and promotes his “Cert-ID” and “Pro-Terra” GMO-free certification services.[24]

Jochen Koester is the former VP for international development under John Fagan at Genetic-ID.[25] He is also on the board of Fagan’s Pro-Terra Foundation[26] and he is the former CEO of Fagan’s GMO testing company CERT-ID. He is current president of Agro-Trace which specializes in GMO-free imports.[27]

Other Fagan business registrations at the same US address where the EOS website is registered (Fagan’s residence) include:

  • SNG International, Inc. (Iowa corporation for profit business)
  • Maharishi World Peace Vedic Organic (Iowa general business for profit corporation)
  • Peace Foundation (non-profit)

Resources

References

  • John Burns

    Maharishi cult? This is nonsense. Maharishi took a stand against GM foods as anyone is entitled to. He had his reasons which you are not attempting to engage rationally with.

    • But what is the basis of the Maharishi’s stand against GMOs John? Is he concerned because the overwhelming majority of farmers freely choose to grow GMOs whenever and wherever they’re given the choice?

      Let’s keep going here… the majority of organic farmers would grow GMO crops if they were allowed as per President Clinton’s original intent when America’s National Organic Program was being negotiated. That’s right, I said organic farmers.

      It’s time to unify the organic movement with GMO science, and for self-serving religious leaders to get the heck out of the way!
      History awaits.

      • Farmer Sue

        I know a number of organic farmers who would welcome the opportunity to benefit from GE technology. They can’t say anything, of course, since admitting that isn’t “politically correct” or could even affect their markets. One of these days ….. we can only hope for all farmers to have access to this technology.

        • Yes, I suppose it could affect their markets Sue.

          But I’m more concerned that an organic farmer who dared to openly extol the virtues of GMOs, and even suggest he/she might like to try growing GMO under organic management, would be de-certified.

  • Heribert

    Reading Your conscript a BIG questionmark rises in the attentive readers mind: who finances your activities? What is the background of your geneticliteracyproject ? Probably a lot of $$$ and a minus of concern about live on earth… .

    • Attack the messenger and not the message? Nice try.

    • Benjamin Edge

      Shill accusation, news at 11.

  • Good4U

    Go ahead, listen to Neil Young all you want. Be sure to take a lot of drugs while you do that. It helps you to cross over to the “other side”, which would be good for the rest of the world. ‘Bye!

    • Transcend

      Good to express your anger — let it out, if it helps you feel better. Actually I was just kidding about Neil Young, I only listen to some of his earlier stuff. Science will win in the end, not faux-science ideology for the sake of commerce.

  • gmoeater

    Local organic farmers are just embarrassed at this kind of woo. But it’s big woo, with lots of organic money. The organic messengers like these guys are just further shooting organic farming in the foot. They do organic farmers no favors.

    • Quite right! Local organic farmers are restricted to filling just 20 – 25% of their own markets. The rest comes from cheap foreign imports which test positive for prohibited pesticides.

  • As a former organic farmer and USDA organic inspector, this article strikes a chord with me. The organic industry has indeed become a religious movement with no basis in science, and this has done irreparable harm to honest organic farmers the world over.

  • Dominick Dickerson

    I’m so happy that this information has finally been catalogued here, I became aware of this hidden connection sometime last year after trying to read that garbage GMO myths and truths documents that’s often paraded about.

    One thing i didn’t see here is that it appears that a PR company called Blue Marble Consulting was also involved in starting earth open source and has close ties to Glibal ID group.

    “Blue Marble assumed the responsibilities of VP of Marketing and Business Development for the Global ID Group, working closely with the company CEO…”

    http://bluemarbleconsulting.net/recent-projects/

    It’s all the way at the bottom.

    “Develop a 5 year plan for a not-for-profit sustainability think and do tank 2.0 to pioneer sustainability programmes (earth open source).”

  • Magenta Bernoulli

    “Honest” organic farmers have to get the hell out. Their movement is an anti-science farrago. “Organic” was never scientific to begin with.

    Farmers can do whatever they want with their fields, no matter what
    their certification status is. Nothing is inherently “organic.”

    If they’re selling to consumers who are convinced that “conventional”
    foods are hazardous, then these “honest” organic farmers are part of the problem.The more money they collect from clients deluded by the OCA, NOPA, OTA, and others, the more implicated they are in the scam.

    • Farmer Sue

      I agree …. and as Mischa points out, it’s not about organic farming, but about the industry that lies about organic farmers’ products. I don’t know how they can get out, though, unless they stop farming organically altogether. It’s hard to separate local organic farming from the disingenuous and fearmpongering marketing jerks who run the multi-billion dollar organic industry.

      • Magenta Bernoulli

        I would have to disagree slightly: It IS about organic farming. Nobody owns so-called organic methods. Other methods–derided as “conventional”–are not necessarily inferior to “organic” ones. And organic products have nothing going for them that makes them worth spending more money on. It’s a scam.

        • gmoeater

          I agree. A scam based on out-and-out misinformation and fear.