Monsanto: The Belligerent Strongman Trying to Control America's Food Supply

And the government that looks the other way.

Last month, Harvell's GM-labeling law overwhelmingly passed the Maine House (141-4) and Senate (35-0) and awaits the governor's signature. That makes Maine the second state (nine days after Connecticut) to pass a GM-labeling law.

The right-to-know movement has picked up steam since chemical companies defeated California's labeling initiative, thanks to a $46 million publicity campaign full of deceptive statements. A recent ABC News poll found that 93 percent of Americans surveyed support GM labeling.

When Vermont raised the issue a year ago, a Monsanto official indicated that the company might sue. But the states are smart. The new laws in both Maine and Connecticut won't take effect until other states pass similar legislation so they can share defense costs.

Kansas farmer Bryce Stephens had to stop growing organic corn and soybeans for fear of contamination, and has 30-foot buffer crops to protect his organic wheat.
Kansas farmer Bryce Stephens had to stop growing organic corn and soybeans for fear of contamination, and has 30-foot buffer crops to protect his organic wheat.
"Business-wise, it's a beautiful, really smart strategy. It's just awful for agriculture and the environment."
—Bill Freese, the Center for Food Safety
"Business-wise, it's a beautiful, really smart strategy. It's just awful for agriculture and the environment." —Bill Freese, the Center for Food Safety

What's interesting is that Harvell, by his own admission, is a very conservative Republican. Yet on this issue, left and right have the same quest for greater caution.

"God gave the seed to the earth and the fruit to the trees," Harvell says. "Notice it didn't say he granted Monsanto a patent. The human body has developed with its seeds. You're making a major leap into Pandora's box — a quantum leap that maybe the human body isn't ready to make yet."

As more information comes out, it's increasingly clear that GM seed isn't the home run it's portrayed to be. It encourages greater pesticide use, which has a negative impact on the environment and our bodies. And whether or not GM food is safe to eat, it poses a real threat to biodiversity through monopolization of the seed industry and the kind of farming monoculture that inspires.

Meanwhile, a study by the University of Canterbury in England found that non-GM crops in America and Europe are increasing their yields faster than GM crops.

"All this talk about feeding the world, it's really PR," explains Wenonah Hauter, the author of Foodopoly and executive director of Food & Water Watch. "The hope is to get into these new markets, force farmers to pay for seed, then start changing the food and eating habits of the developing world."

Since farming is such a timeworn tradition, there's a tendency to take it for granted, and that worries a lot of people. But as much as he hates GM, Bryce Stephens is sanguine.

"I've seen changes since I was little to where it is now," the Kansas farmer says. "I don't think it will last. This land and these people here have gone through cycles of boom and bust. We're just in another cycle, and it will be something different."

Providing we don't break it irreparably first.

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11 comments
gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

I remember working as a FedX tracking monitor for a major Dallas law firm that was supplying part of the defense of Monsanto after the Bhopal incident, the poisonous gas leak responsible for the deaths of 20,000 people.  Since I was dead-set against what Monsanto had done and how Monsanto was trying to wriggle like a worm out of accepting any responsibility for chemical murder quite similar to Nazi concentration camps, when a "crucial" package of documents involving Monsanto's wormy defense crossed my desk, I came about a finger's click away from sending the package to Point Barrow, Alaska, rather than to India.  If I had, I most certainly would have lost my job, but Monsanto's defense might have been compromised. 

Isn't it just great how employees cannot act with any sense of "individual sovereignty" or "personal responsibility" when on the job? 

Personally, I'd like to drown the executive staff of Monsanto in a big tub of Roundup. 

RageFury
RageFury

"The so-called no-till revolution promised greater yields"

I have read that the GMO crops do not always produce greater yields.

nd68
nd68

Monsanto is pure evil. What the heck do we do? 

I buy local as much as possible, eat natural or organic, but I understand it's hard to source certain non-GMO ingredients. Educate me, please.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo eyz too gots uh bridge ah wants ta uh sells you.

nd68
nd68

@Obummer If you've ever heard the terms "as popular as a fart in church" or "went over like a lead balloon," that's you, dude. 

Again, I'm telling you this as a friend. Your bit doesn't fly.

nd68
nd68

@Obummer Dude, your comments, and I've read a LOT of them...fall flatter than anything I've ever seen. No likes, no replies, nothing. You need to find a new bit, seriously. Because this one isn't funny at all. 

I'm telling you this as a friend, and friends are up front with each other. It's really bad, dude.

Obummer
Obummer

@nd68@Obummer 

Yo as uh friend eyez say dat use obviously gots uh different sense o' humor than eyez do, and yo if use don’ts disparage whats eyez say again eyez won’ts uh disparage whats use say.

 

 
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