Vengeancia (updated June 5, 2013) “…..Monsanto controls much of the world’s food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it’s enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto’s products.” Read more about the March Against Monsanto from Occupy Monsanto.”
PoorRichard There is a reason why I believe Monsanto to be one of the most evil companies on the planet, and this is in large part due to its activities relating to controlling food production through controlling the seeds to produce it. For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents in a five-to-four decision, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world’s food supply.
Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won at least 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company. This is not surprising, considering they invest over $2 million a day on research and development!
But Monsanto is not only patenting their own GMO seeds. They have also succeeded in slapping patents on a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time — again without a vote of the people or Congress. By doing this, Monsanto becomes sole owner of the very seeds necessary to support the world’s food supply … an incredibly powerful position that no for-profit company should ever hold.
Do they defend this blatant attempt to control the food supply? They write on MonsantoToday.com:
- “Patent protection allows companies to see a return on their investment which enables further investment in R-and-D and product development. This profit-investment cycle drives product innovation that is responsive to farmer needs.”
Farmers who buy Monsanto’s GM seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seeds or sell them to other farmers. The result? Farmers must buy new seeds every year, and they must buy them from Monsanto.
Meanwhile, these same farmers who Monsanto is claiming to help are being aggressively targeted and pursued for outrageous patent infringements on these same seeds.
The “Seed Police”‘
Monsanto employs an arsenal of private investigators and agents who secretly videotape farmers, snatch crop samples from their land and even fly helicopters overhead to spy — all to catch farmers saving or sharing seeds. As of 2005 Monsanto had 75 employees and a $10-million budget solely to investigate and prosecute farmers for patent infringement.
And until recently, Monsanto has even been known to sue farmers for GM crops growing on their land that got there via cross-contamination. In other words, a neighboring farm’s GM seeds blew over onto their land, and Monsanto slaps them with a lawsuit.
I realize this seems incredible, but it is true.
Have You Heard of Terminator Seeds?
Creating and promoting GM crops is, in my opinion, a major threat to public health. Patenting those same seeds takes it to an even higher level of evil. But there is another reason why I don’t believe for one second that Monsanto has the virtuous intentions they claim: terminator seeds. Monsanto is considering using what’s known as terminator technology on a wide-scale basis. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.
This solves their problem of needing “seed police,” but they are obviously looking the other way when it comes to the implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops, and often do.
Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.
Not only would this mean that every farm in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply, but if the GM traits spread it could destroy agriculture as we now know it.
How Can You Get Through to Monsanto?
First, I urge you to get informed on the issue by watching The Future of Food. This in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind genetically modified foods is one of the best documentaries I have ever viewed. It will help you understand the very real threat that ALL future generations face as a result of genetic engineering.
Next, hit Monsanto where it counts … their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.
This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.
The True Food Shopping Guide is a great tool for helping you determine which brands and products contain GMO ingredients. It lists 20 different food categories that include everything from baby food to chocolate.
I’ve also compiled an excellent list of resources where you can still find pure, GM-free foods, and I encourage you to refer to it often and also share it with your friends and family.
What do you know about Monsanto? Take a look at Monsanto’s Crimes
The Manhattan Project – under Monsanto operation conducted during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb and nuclear weapons.
Agent Orange – Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the main producers of Agent Orange. Internal memos from them reveal that at the time Agent Orange was sold to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam it was known that it contained a dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), a by-product of the manufacture 2,4,5-T. The National Toxicology Program has classified TCDD to be a human carcinogen linked to the following diseases as reported by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, multiple myeloma, type II diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarda, peripheral neuropathy, B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
DDT – Monsanto began producing in 1944 along with 15 other companies. People living in areas where DDT is used for IRS have high levels of the chemical and its breakdown products in their bodies. These levels have been associated with profound affects on male fertility and neurological abnormalities in babies ingesting relatively large quantities of DDT from breast milk.
Bovine Growth Horomone (rBGH, BST) – Bovine somatotropin (abbreviated bST and BST) is a protein hormone produced in the pituitary glands of cattle. It is also called bovine growth hormone, or BGH. Monsanto first synthesized the hormone in large quantities using recombinant DNA technology and marketed it as “POSILAC” beginning in 1994. The resulting product is called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), or artificial growth hormone. After many legal battles, bad press and public outcry against rBGH Monsanto sold its POSILAC Brand Dairy Product and Related Business to Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company in August 2008. Posilac was banned from use in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, by 2000 or earlier. By 2009, in parts of the United States, consumer desire for “no artificial growth hormones” caused many milk products to become rBST-free
Sued 100+ Family Farms – The non-profit Center for Food Safety listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations. Many innocent farmers settle with Monsanto (agree to use their GMO seeds) because they cannot afford the lawsuit from the giant company. Monsanto is frequently described by farmers as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” both because of these lawsuits and because of the questionable means they use to collect evidence of patent infringement.
RoundUp – This is a deep rabbit hole that is a key element in the current Monsanto compaign – I highly recommend watching The World According to Monsanto! Much of Monsanto’s seed products are genetically modified, often to make them immune to their pesticides. In a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, researchers found that “these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity (chemical driven liver damage).
PCBs – Monsanto produced PCBs at plants in Sauget, Illinois and Anniston, Alabama. Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as “CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy” — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew. Anniston is now one of the most polluted patches of land in America, so saturated with toxic, cancer-causing chemicals, that it’s in the dirt people walk on, in the air that they breathe, even in the blood that pumps through their veins. Due to PCB’s toxicity and classification as persistent organic pollutants, PCB production was banned by the United States Congress in 1976 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.
Jeffrey M. Smith, International Best Selling Author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods from Chelsea Green Publishing. Smith worked at a GMO detection laboratory, founded the Institute for Responsible Technology, and currently lives in Iowa—surrounded by genetically modified corn and soybeans.