Monsanto is such a strange company. I’ve never seen such a lack of ethical responsibility, no philanthropy, no conservation, restoration, dare say- humanity. Nope, just hard core profit, no apologies. Amazingly enough, such a huge company, with such huge influence and so many of it’s arms irrevocably tangled in our everyday lives, flies pretty much under the radar of the American people. I have no idea why, people just don’t seem to care about genetic engineering. The eye rolling that happens when someone goes off about the evils of the big M, the assumption, I think, is that this opposition comes from the anti-government, underground, uneducated , fringe, fear mongers. Right up there with all the other zealots.
Silently Monsanto bought up seed companies and when they acquired Semmis, a company that already controlled 40 % of the U.S. seed market, they dropped 25% of it’s total product line in one year. Garden seed inventories show that in 1981 we had about 5,000 non-hybrid vegetables to choose from, that number went down to 600 by 1998. Jack Harlen, author of ‘ Crops and man ‘ wrote, ” These resources stand between us and catastrophic starvation on a scale we cannot imagine…the line between abundance and disaster is becoming thinner and thinner.” With three quarters of all human food coming from just eight species, we need that mongrel vigor.
When Monsanto turned it’s attention to the livestock farmer, it became open season. The dairy farmer, who never really made a living, was prime for the taste of higher yields and higher profits. Enter rBST. The savior synthetic hormone injected into cows with the promise of rivers of milk. Unfortunately it destroyed the cows and made young girls jump into puberty way before they should. Alledgedy. I remember when the anti rBST movement took flight in Oregon. A physician would write a letter to the local paper pointing out the dangers rBST and a lawyer from Monsanto would fire back a rebuttal the next week warning of slander and lawsuits. Tillamook dairy farmers started going public with exactly what rBST did to their cows and how they didn’t want to use it, Monsanto would send out a rep to show them the error of their ways. Finally, with the public behind them, Tillamook farmers kicked Monsanto to the curb. Other farms followed and rSBT was a forgotten footnote.
After this show of defiance, Monsanto seemed to just go away. What they were really doing, however, was brilliant. Why deal with the reactionary public or the stupid farmer. Waste of time and money. The secret to every evil empires success is to attack from the inside. Infiltrate the Supreme Court, the USDA, FDA, seeping into all corners of the White House. Why spend $10 million dollars a year sueing farmers when that money could be better spent buying governments. The coup d’e-tat is the Monsanto Protection Act. Free rein to do whatever and not be held liable for any of it. Strip away the states rights to decide anything about food, strip away our choices on what we eat, grow and buy. The European vote to outlaw all seeds and plants not produced by Monsanto, Dupont, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Bayer should be a screaming wake up call for the rest of the world. It isn’t. Owning the FDA, EPA and the USDA has it’s perks, one of which is the constant happy face message, ” It’s OK. It’s safe, don’t worry, we need this technology to feed the world…go ahead, eat it.” ( Actually Monsanto has never publicly said it’s products are safe. )
The Monsanto machine often reminds me of big tobacco. When cigarettes first came on the market they were pushed as being good for you. Had a bad day ? Have a smoke. Wife too uptight ? Take a drag or three. Be cool, hip, sexy. Die from lung cancer. How long did it take before those things were proven to cause cancer ? How many politicians were bought off ? How many years did it take before the public woke up and got angry ? I’m afraid we don’t have that kind of time with GMO’s. The engineering has failed. Bugs, weeds and diseases are evolving faster than Monsanto’s science. Heritage seeds are gone forever. Soon it will be against the law to grow your own food without paying Monsanto for the privilege. We will wake up one day to find that GMO foods do cause cancer, autism, allergies, Alzheimers and it will be too late to reverse the damage done to our society and our planet.
#monsanto #sustainability #ethicalomnivoremovement #organic