Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monsanto Knows Best

The more I read about Monsanto the more disturbed I become.
Monsanto does a lot of interesting stuff and it has given us so much like Roundup Ready Soybeans, Agent Orange, Aspartame, somatotropin (bovine growth hormone) and PCBs, just to name a few.
It also genetically modifies seeds. All Monsanto asks in return is that the farmers who grow their seed buy it fresh every year instead of keeping any around to use in the next crop year. This prevents many things including nature’s silly notion about biodiversity.
I say the company’s dream is to control the supply of seeds, thus ensuring we pay them so we can eat. The arrogance of the company is almost unbelievable. It tried to make a Saskatchewan farmer who hadn’t used the company’s seed pay a technology fee anyway after Roundup Ready Canola seeds contaminated his property.
Farmers and gardeners and regular folk who don’t know any better have commonly saved seeds from one year to the next and genetic modification has gone on for thousands of years. The seeds of the best, hardiest, biggest, tastiest plants were selected for the next year’s crop while the rest were used as food.
Everyone benefited this way. No organization controlled the seed, and therefore the food supply, and no one profited madly from hunger.
The less diversity we have in our plants the less likely we’ll survive ecological disasters. Diversity in plants, animals, and people enriches us.We are made poorer by the lack of varieties, and we are no better than serfs and lackeys to a multinational when it controls the seeds we need to survive


Missicat said...

The whole food crisis in some areas is scary...I read somewhere about where hardy versions of seeds are kept in case of disease -are you familiar with this?

Crabby McSlacker said...

I am so with you on this issue. I can't believe there isn't more outrage over it.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hello Missicat,I have heard about the seed storage. Can't think of where it is right now. What galls me is Monsanto claims it's doing this to help feed the world.

Hello Crabby, I think the lack of outrage comes from the lack of awareness on the part of the public coupled with the company's believed line about helping.

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - great post! I remember the case of the Sask. farmer. Monsanto wants to rule the world. There have been other cases, too, apparently, but they didn't get as much press coverage.
The best way to prevent this is for all of us to save our seeds.
I have heard talk that some companies are working on producing plants with sterile seeds so you HAVE to buy them every year. That is very frightening.

Leah J. Utas said...

dfBag Lady, that would be frightening. I suspect it is happening already.
We're being fed a line about how this is a good use of technology. It's not. It's a hostage-taking.

Missicat said...

There are a lot of articles on the 'net about saving seeds to preserve diversity, but there was one in particular that I read but cannot remember all of it.
This sounds like a bad movie where some megalomaniac tries to rule the world by controlling the food supply. *shudder*

Reb said...

I remember reading about the SK farmer and thinking at the time that it was crazy!

The Seed Bank is in Norway or Iceland I believe and each country has it's own vault if I remember correctly.

Reb said...

here's the wiki link, it seems there are a few around.

Leah J. Utas said...

Megalomaniac about covers it, Missicat.

Hey Reb, thanks for the wiki link.

Thomma Lyn said...

Excellent post, Leah, and hubby and I talk about this regularly -- how more and more, the multinationals do whatever low and dirty things they can to enforce people's dependence on them and to discourage self-reliance.

Your comparison of the multinational corporations to feudal lords / kings is appropriate, because the whole setup smells to me much like neo-feudalism.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hello Thomma Lyn. It's all about profit irrespective of who or what it hurts.

I don't understand why we are so willing to enter serfdom. I guess we just don't realize what's happening.