Monday, June 8, 2009

Frankenseeds & Beans

The most fascinating thing about Monsanto is that they actually have the audacity to believe they are entitled to claim the world's seeds as their own. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I will direct your attention to several websites and videos at the end of this post.

Not only has Monsanto crafted frankenseeds (GMOs or "genetically modified organisms") based upon sound science fiction; but they are scouring the world attempting to slap patents on thousand-year-old seeds developed by indigenous farmers through years of trial and error. What will happen if all the seeds in the world are owned by one corporation? Well, that's a scenario straight out of a Hollywood scriptwriter's pen.

I first learned about Monsanto's audacity from the film, "The Future of Food," wherein said multinational monster of a corporation claimed that a Canadian farmer named Percy Schmeiser had infringed on their proprietary property. Briefly, some of Monsanto's GMO canola seeds had accidentally blown onto Schmeiser's organic canola fields. (A truck was driving by and lost some of its cargo.) The frankenseeds grew, threatening Schmeiser's organic certification. Lo and behold, Monsanto's agents had discovered the "infringement" and sued Schmeiser. After years of litigation (and much expense and heartache for Percy), Schmeiser finally won a favorable decision in 2008.

But the battle is certainly not over.

Everyday there's a push to create more genetically-modified crops. First it was soy, corn and canola. Now it's wheat. Third world countries are being forced to accept these GMO laden exports as well. It has become a constant battle between the European Union (and other countries) and the forces of "progress" who want the world to drink the GMO kool-aid.

Monsanto claims it is developing ways to cure the world's food shortage. With global population growing at a fantastic rate, Monsanto believes we'll run out of food. So they're riding in on a white horse of mutilated and manipulated life forms to save the day. Remember folks, this is the same child of free enterprise that brought us Agent Orange and DDT.

But these are different times. We need to forget all that nonsense. We need to realize Monsanto is in the business of providing food for the masses. No matter that they'll eventually own the ability to control the entire process.

Any company that creates a "terminator" seed which becomes useless after one harvest can't be all bad, huh?

We need to take a collective pause and realize we're tinkering with the very basis of life. This is audacity on a whole 'nother level, folks. Sometimes you have to leave well enough alone. Shooting fish genes into corn is not what I want to be remembered for when I kick the proverbial bucket. The tombstone will read:

"He Ruined the Genetic Makeup of the World's Corn."

You'll be happy to know that certified organic products must be GMO-free.

Now, please pass the organic tofu...

Vandana Shiva talks about the patent of seeds by Monsanto

"The World According to Monsanto" Documentary

Organic Consumers Association "Millions against Monsanto" Campaign

Percy Schmeiser's Website
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