Cass C. Carter
March 11, 2009
Crimes against humanity and nature have been committed and hidden on the back pages of newspapers around the world. The Monsanto Corporation, with the help of corporation-friendly judiciaries around the world, has been systematically aiming for complete agricultural hegemony through abusive litigation, aggressive lobbying and questionable patent law interpretation.
In case you don't know who Monsanto is, they were founded in 1901 and helped introduce caffeine into Coca-Cola. Not too bad for the average college student, but their major spring board into becoming one of the top 10 chemical producers in the United States was the manufacture of DDT, which was a major cause in endangering the bald eagle, and Agent Orange, which was used in Vietnam and whose effects on both American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians are so notorious.
Monsanto is listed as being a "potentially responsible party" for 56 EPA "Superfund" sites, where there is a high risk of danger to human life due to toxic waste contamination, and that's just in the United States alone.
Phil Angell, Monsanto's Director of Corporate Communications once stated that he didn't feel it was the job of his company to ensure its food was safe for consumption and said, "Our interest is selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."
Monsanto produces seeds which are genetically engineered to not produce viable seeds for the next year's crop, which requires farmers to continue purchasing from Monsanto every year. While this practice would be fine within the context of a competitive free market, where farmers can choose between greater yields from Monsanto seeds which do not germinate, or lesser yields from seeds which can be used year after year, Monsanto seems dead-set on eliminating the possibility of a free market.
Through lawsuits filed around the world, Monsanto has established a precedent that any plants whose genomes have been contaminated by Monsanto seeds become Monsanto property. All Monsanto needs to do is to buy land next to a competing seed vendor, spread its genetically modified seed crop into the field and next year, it can sue its competitor for all its profits and property, because courts have decided that there is a reasonable chance that the wind has blown Monsanto's patented genetic code onto their competitor's field, which means that Monsanto's patent is being infringed by the competitor.
Monsanto has done this repeatedly and to great effect, driving many family farmers and other seed vendors who have been in the business for generations out of business entirely. In some parts of the world, Monsanto is the only deal in town; where this is the case, suicide rates have skyrocketed as impoverished farmers have been forced into debt slavery when their crops failed to achieve promised yields and they couldn't use the seeds from the plants the next year to sell to continue feeding their families.
If you buy Monsanto Bovine Growth Hormone and you have some left over and you sell it to another farmer, Monsanto will sue you and the other farmer. If you choose not to buy Monsanto Bovine Growth Hormone and you decide to let people know you don't, Monsanto will sue you. If you breed pigs using many traditional methods which have been used since time immemorial, Monsanto claims ownership of your pigs and all your profits and can take you to court.
Most shockingly of all, Monsanto has had a hand in a few bills currently in congress. House Bills 814 and 875 and Senate Bill 425 are being shoved through now as "Food Safety" bills. In reality, these bills will illegalize organic farming, farmer's markets and other common ways for people to take personal responsibility for their own food production needs.
One of these bills will merge the already corrupt USDA and the FDA into a larger, more powerful centralized agency. Another essentially makes it harder and harder for smaller farmers to compete by placing onerous restrictions on the sale of food that pretty much makes it so only people who can afford extremely expensive equipment can follow these regulations. None of the equipment, mind you, will make food safer-it just makes it easier to track after you've been poisoned.
These bills have been crafted by the biggest and dirtiest hands in the industry, including Monsanto. However, this writer thinks that it's time the American public stops getting safety lectures from a company whose safety record includes endangering our national bird, poisoning our troops, contaminating our feed and seed, and then stealing our money to pay for it.