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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In Battling Monsanto’s Greed, Tenacity Matters

In Battling Monsanto’s Greed, Tenacity Matters

Remember the 1950s horror movie The Bad Seed? Any remake should cast Monsanto in the title role, because whenever something scary is being done to our food, you can usually find Monsanto lurking in the shadows.

During the past two decades, this biotech behemoth has used its political connections to obtain a monopolistic grip on the creation, sale and proliferation of Frankenseeds — the seeds of corn, cotton, soybeans and other crops that have had genetically modified organisms spliced into their natural DNA structure by corporate lab techs.

Why insert risky, inadequately tested genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our food supply? To produce crops that can survive heavier doses of toxic pesticides — specifically, the Roundup brand of pesticides marketed by Monsanto. The corporation gets more profit; we get more pesticides. Plus, a new man-made health and environmental risk.

That’s enough to make a truly horrific movie about bad seed, but Monsanto has added to the horror by almost sadistically exerting its monopoly muscle to squeeze another unwitting victim: farmers. Yes, Monsanto’s own customers!

Having patented the GMO technology, the corporation asserts that when the plants grow in a farmer’s field and subsequently produce their own seeds, those second-generation seeds do not belong to the farmer, but are Monsanto’s private property. Farmers are prohibited by Monsanto contracts from gathering and later planting the seeds produced by their own land.

Thus, the seed-saving ethic that has sustained agriculture all around the world for centuries has been decreed illegal to benefit Monsanto — and the profiteering giant prowls the country to find and sue any of its own customers who dare practice the sensible art of seed saving. The bully has 75 staffers and a $10 million-a-year budget dedicated to monitoring, investigating, prosecuting and intimidating small farmers, even if some second-generation GMO seeds inadvertently crop up in their fields.

This is a case of one deep-pocketed, multibillion-dollar corporation perverting patent law in order to monopolize the sale of seeds, gouge thousands of farmers, and endanger both human health and the environment. What a deal!

But Monsanto doesn’t win them all, and sometimes it actually loses when it appears to have won.

  • nobsartist

    Funny, I find parallels in the health care industry, energy industry, banking, mortgage, auto industry, air traffic……..the list goes on and on.

    We need REGULATIONS back and republiCONs, including demCONs GONE.

    Face it, since raygun, we have become a prison industry run by criminal corporations and criminal politicians.

    • irishtap

      And we need more people like nobsartist speaking out against this “legal” criminality. Spot on my friend – SPOT ON.

  • option31

    We need less regulation, and more lawsuits against these mega corporation polluting our food supply and breaking laws. Make it easier for common citizens to hold these corporations accountable. FDA, SEC and the rest of the alphabet soup agencies are COVER for big ag and big pharma. That is who they protect not you not me just corporate America. Government and big business are working hand in hand to keep small competitors from starting up.
    Who approved Monsanto’s GMO’s? FDA did, who gave them the patents for their franken food ? Who is letting them get away with suing farmers that save open pollinated seed the farmer grew and Monsanto’s garbage cross pollinated the farmer seed and Monsanto sues them for using it? As far as the SEC – anybody know of any bankers in jail for their illegal activity that crashed the economy in 2008? Who know is probably going to approve the milk industries latest move to allow aspartame in milk and it not be labeled? Who’s raiding small organic farms to put them out of business and at who’s behest? Nothing is proven that their food is tainted but government agencies raid and shut them down. All the while we have corporate America putting out e coli and other poisons with little or no punishment.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE no more government protection – I’d like to live!

    • We need MORE regulations and MORE lawsuits based off and utilizing those regulations!

    • irishtap

      option31, if you’d like a longer – healthier life than we need ‘regulations with teeth’, written by experts at federal and state agencies with science backgrounds, hired as much for their integrity and implemented aggressively, to the point of locking people up and liquidating companies who attempt to skirt them. The story of how Monsanto was able to push it’s LGBH onto the public is positively reprehensible. A Monsanto executive basically left the company after getting himself a position at FDA. Soon after he arrived at FDA he received the Monsanto request for approval for LGBH, which he was there to do, he rubber stamped the deal then went back to work for Monsanto. The problem isn’t government : the problem is powerful corporations hiring federal employees (politicians) to WEAKEN government agencies, that invite degradation of our food supply, or weaken pollutant restrictions on the air we breathe or water we drink.

      Canada and Europe said no to these SOB’s over LGBH yet, here in the U.S due to grease my palm politics and unquenchable corporate greed, you’re right to believe crops grown in this country that come from seeds formulated by this depraved corporation, and end up in virtually everything we ingest, have the potential to damage your health. These bastards need policing in a way they once were. What party hates government option31? The anti-regulation republicans that’s who. The twisted cult doesn’t care in the least if you can see a doctor without going broke, what makes you think they give a damn if your slowly being poisoned?

      • option31

        I’d really like to believe regs would work but history proves other wise. The current regulatory agencies are cover for huge corporations and the politicians do nothing to stop it because they know who butters their bread. Oh they all talk a good line but when the rubber meet the road – well all we have to do is read the news. First we need an educated public that will NOT buy this poison. HFCS is a good example, consumers are demand HFCS free foods, and companies are responding – somewhat.
        The problem I see is the position movement between govt regulators and big corporations that these agencies supposedly regulate, and not that we don’t have enough regulations. Just like your example with Monsanto, this should be illegal. More regulations will not work. ( Ex-Monsanto people have practically taken over the Ag Dept) We need laws preventing government regulators and legislators from quiting or retiring and working for those they had regulated. Private businesses have non compete clauses for executives and government should have no working for those you regulated clause. Tauzin from a southern state – a big shot on a House committee on health regulations quit the House and went to work for…. wait for it … a health care or drug company. Recently Ben Nelson Dem Senator from Nebraska that cast the deciding for for the health care act has retired and now has a $950,000 gig helping a healthcare insurance group – certainly glad he landed on his feet. It is well known that those that work for the SEC will NEVER go after the big wigs GS, JPM etal over their criminal activity – they want a job at these places so they will not piss these people off.