Genetically Modified Black Ops – GM part 3

Genetically Modified Black Ops – GM part 3

Posted on 08. Sep, 2010 by in crop, eat me, odd stuff, USA

Terminator Seeds

Monsanto and the US Government together hold the patent for a commercial seed called “Terminator,” that is designed to commit suicide after just one harvest. This is totally against nature and ensures that farmers have to purchase new seeds each year for crops so they can stay in business.

Haiti, India and Africa.

In Haiti, after the earthquake, Monsanto offered to supply 475 tons of GM hybrid corn and ‘terminator’ vegetable seeds in partnership with USAID. It was considered a ‘poisoned chalice,’ farmers all over the world have for thousands of years, saved some seeds from each year’s harvest to replant in the fields the following season.

This ‘gift’ would have produced no viable seeds for future plantings and would have required a large amount of heavy chemical inputs. Haitian farm leaders considered it as a way to makes their farmers dependent on multinational corporations, just like that have succeeded in doing in India and Africa.

In India, Monsanto convinced many farmers to buy the more expensive GE cotton seeds as it would result in higher yields and better cotton. Time has proven this not to be true, the yields for GE cotton were 5 times less than traditional Indian cotton. As the GM cotton has lower quality short fibres the income is 7 times less for a more expensive seed. Legally they are tied to Monsanto and this has resulted in farmers’ debt and suicides by the 1000s. Monsanto failed to tell them that the crop was very susceptible to bollworms, a virulent parasite, and the GM cotton required twice the amount of water as traditional crops.

In Africa, the validity of GM crops has been described as irrelevant. Aaron deGrassi, a researcher in the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK has analysed the biotech industry’s flagship projects in Africa. Concluding, that the benefits from GM crops are much lower than can be obtained “with either conventional breeding or agro-ecology-based techniques” from just a tiny fraction of the investment in research.

Some countries like Zambia and its neighbours are that concerned about contamination from GM seed that they will only accept GM grain if it is milled before distribution. In SA, the GM companies have been giving away free seed but as about 90% of small-scale farmers in Africa saved seed from one year to the next, it’s a perilous road the farmers are travelling. To get seed free from Monsanto, the Farmers sign an agreement that they will not save seed for the next year’s crop. They have to buy seed again the next year from these companies.”

It’s just milk?

As outlined in Part 2 … the Monsanto team employs a 75 strong legal team as well as helicopter surveillance, private detectives and scientific investigators and researchers to prove that there are their GM crops growing in neighbouring farms, usually from wind-blown sources and other ‘accidental’ sources. With a budget of $10M recouping $15M this division puts many farmers out of business as well as persuading those who can’t afford the legal costs to toe the Monsanto line.

Another part of the legal action centres on those that advertise their product containing no GM ingredients. Oakhurst Dairy advertised that their milk contained NO rBGH, which is a synthetic hormone (banned everywhere except the USA). Oakhurst, like many other dairy producers were trying to get a marketing edge with consumers by stating their product was free of rBGH.

Monsanto, are the number one producer of the rBGH synthetic steroid and they sued. Claiming Oakhurst did not have the right to inform their customers that their dairy products do not contain the Monsanto chemical. Under pressure from basically an unlimited legal budget Oakhurst settled out of court and removed the advertising tag line … It’s like saying our milk comes in glass bottles and the carton manufacturer suing as it infers their product is not safe in waxed cardboard … A sad comment on the power of the corporate lawyer.

In fairness, Monsanto are no longer in the ‘Dairy business’ but they still use the courts daily as a way of expanding their business.

Seed Cleaning

This is the preparation usually of saved seed for the next sowing. Now while Monsanto can buy seed sellers and control the seed supply, they are not really interested in buying Seed Cleaning companies as it is something that Monsanto want to eliminate completely. Why buy a company to close it when a neater solution is available. So what do they do?

They lobby the FDA to put punitive controls and regulations on Seed Cleaning to make it ‘safe for the public’ as un-licensed seed cleaning is a ‘source of seed contamination’.

So something that hasn’t ever been a problem needs expensive legislation to prevent it being a problem???

Farmers original seed cleaning equipment is now illegal, Farmer can still seed clean but the equipment now has to be certified, special seed storage facilities are also needed… specialised harvesting and transport equipment… to get it up to code would possible require $1.5M … for EACH line of seed. AND we are not talking the extra time and effort to keep registers, logs and all the paperwork so you can reuse your own seeds … Madness! … Don’t do it and you get taken to court and put out of business.

So if you’re Monsanto…Why buy Seed Cleaning companies when the FDA will put them out of business for you, all to prevent farmers from doing what farmers have done for thousands of years. Save seed from one harvest to use the following year. Monsato have written the FDA seed laws!

Monsanto spent $2M lobbying in the USA in the first Quarter of 2009. They are not philanthropists but business people. The money they ‘invest’ in lobbying and in the courts is spent to ensure they get what they want. They are not interested in making the world better for you and I … but only to increase bottom line profit.

If allowed to continue unchecked, the farms of the future will be extensions of the GM seed companies, and that really means Monsanto, and they will control the prices and production of a vital commodity….FOOD.

To read more about Monsanto and Pollution problems in the USA, India, and the UK… Bribery charges in Indonesia… False advertising charges in France… Public officials formerly employed by Monsanto… and much, much, more go to Wikipedia .

Part 4 the final part of this GM Story is called The GM Parties Speak, and in the interest of fairness Monsanto gets a voice as well.

If you missed Part 1 it can be found here and Part 2 is here.

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