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Why Food Is So Expensive — Why Now?
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Why Food Is So Expensive

CBS does some actual reporting about a corporation I hate: Agricultural Giant Battles Small Farmers

Today, Monsanto’s patented “Round-up Ready” soy commands the lion’s share of the genetically-modified soybean seed market, its genetic code manipulated to withstand the company’s popular weed killer.

But the promise of fewer weeds and greater production comes with a hefty fee. Farmers must sign an iron-clad agreement not to re-plant the harvested seed, or face serious legal consequences – up to $3 million in damages.

“It’s about protecting the patent, defending the patents, so farmers have the protection and can use these technologies over time,” said Monsanto spokeswoman Tami Craig Schilling.

Here’s the deal, if you buy their seed once, you end up having to buy seed from them forever. They sterilize the plants they can, and threaten lawsuits against anyone who tries to avoid their monopoly. If your field gets pollinated by a neighbor’s crop of Monsanto seed, Monsanto will sue you for violating their patent.

In their system you are pouring poison on your fields so you can grow their mutant crop. This isn’t sustainable. This isn’t good for farmers. Farmers whose crops get pollinated by Monsanto mutants, should be able to sue Monsanto for damages, not get sued for patent infringements. There are a lot of countries in the world that won’t accept GM crops, so the farmer is losing market options because of Monsanto.


1 Scorpio { 04.28.08 at 6:52 pm }

Yeah, and the US was trying to force this bit of agribusiness in Iraq, too.

2 Bryan { 04.28.08 at 7:33 pm }

Just what the developing world needs, having to come up with hard currency for seed money every year. Most of the crops aren’t even eaten in many regions, or are considered animal feed.

3 Fallenmonk { 04.28.08 at 8:42 pm }

Monsanto may be the worst of the worst big agricultural companies. ADM and Cargill have a lot of skeletons on the lawn but the sins of Monsanto will echo across the globe for centuries. We may never be able to undo the damage to the ecology of the planet that their gene modified crops have caused. It is estimated that some 80% of the soy beans harvested on the planet are either directly Monsanto franken beans or infected with the Roundup genes.

4 Bryan { 04.28.08 at 10:15 pm }

I don’t like herbicides. Agent Orange was a herbicide, which people forget. Roundup is worse. I deal with grass in sidewalk cracks with salt. It occurs naturally, and it doesn’t take a lot to do the job. If a cat tracks it and licks their paw you don’t get vet bills.

This GM crap is spreading and forcing monoculture when farmers don’t really want it. To get their seed they seem to have made their new genes dominant which isn’t good. If they were recessive, they could ensure their patents from accidental pollination.

They are playing with things they don’t really understand.

5 American Street » Blog Archive » “We would never trust a company like Monsanto to tell the truth” { 05.12.08 at 3:40 pm }

[…] Bryan of Why Now? mentions Monsanto’s control of seeds. […]