It started out with my family and I watching a seemingly harmless movie called WALL-E. While watching it, I became increasingly fixated on the concept that one company could rule the world and basically exploit everything to the point of ruin. I thought to myself, something like that couldn't possibly happen... Well, fast forward to yesterday when I watched Food Inc. Wow! Basically, the entire food industry in the US is controlled by a select few multi-national companies. One company, in particular, caught my attention due to it's RIAA and MPAA like nastiness... is called Monsanto. This is the company that brought you the favorites... PCB's, rGBH, Agent Orange, Sacchrine, Roundup (herbicide), and GMO's (genetically modified plants).
Then I decided to do some searching about this company and the more I look, the gloomier it gets. I cannot shake the belief that Monsanto wants to rule the agricultural world by force. When I mean "by force", I mean controlling farmers who use their seed to the point where:
1. They cannot reuse seed from the previous year which farmers have traditionally done. They must buy new seed each year from guess who?
2. They must use Roundup pesticides (as the seeds are immune to them). An application of Roundup pesticide kills everything except the plant.
3. Farmers are encouraged to rat out their neighboring farms if they suspect that they are using Monsanto seeds without permission.
4. Forced to pay a technology fee per acre.
The list goes on...
The most startling piece of news that struck me is that Monsanto has been on a RIAA-like suing frenzy against farmers. Percy Schmeiser is one such canadian farmer. He's been accused of using the patented seed without permission even though he has no clue of how those plants got into his property. Long story short, the court ruled that if a canola plant is cross-pollenated with the patented canola plant (from a neighboring farm), and is found to contain the patented gene, that plant becomes the property of Monsanto and thereby subject to patent laws and royalties. WTF? Also, if a bird eats the special seed, ****'s on your property and a plant grows, then you are violating a patent law? Furthermore, any GMO seeds that fall off during transport and germinate also fall under this condition. Wow! Fortunately, this made it to the Supreme Court of Canada, and they saw some sense in the madness and overturned the decision.... thank god.
Now Monsanto wants to buy up all the seed companies so that farmers will have no choice but to buy GMO seeds.
You wouldn't believe how many former Monsanto employees are now working for the FDA, USDA, advisory committees, and science councils for the US gov.
After all this, one thing is clear. We cannot let these companies control the world because they value profit over all else.
Watch Food Inc. It's good.
Here's some links for further reading (Yes I realize that some of these links are really old news, but still...)
Percy Schmeiser - Heartbreak in the Heartland: The True Cost of Genetically Engineered* Crops
Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Monsanto's Modus Operandi (MO)* - Monsanto Roundup (Glyphosate)
Millions Against Monsanto Campaign - Organic Consumers Association
Monsanto files patent for new invention: the pig | Greenpeace International
Monsanto Exposť BC Seeds