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  • The Case Against Monsanto?

    First, some background on what might be the 'most evil' corporation in the history of the United States, or, 'most misunderstood' depending on who you ask:
    The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as "Roundup". Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it sells 90% of the world's GE seeds.[1] It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.[2]

    Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In 2005, it finalized purchase of Seminis Inc, making it the world's largest conventional seed company.

    Monsanto's development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices, have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the alter-globalization movement and environmental activists. Source.
    Some recent developments:
    DuPont Shrugs Off Judge's Monsanto Gene Ruling

    DuPont Co. said Tuesday it will press ahead with plans to commercialize a new line of herbicide-proof crops even though a federal judge in St. Louis ruled the company is using a Monsanto Co. gene without permission.
    Monsanto wins a legal battle against Dupont, who hopes to gain some market share into the Monsanto seed monopoly.

    First Genetic Modification Case to Go Before Supreme Court

    Genetic modification food giant Monsanto and a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy group are set to take the battle over genetically engineered foods to court. This week, the Supreme Court decided to hear a case over Monsanto's genetically-engineered alfalfa sprouts designed to be resistant to the Monsanto herbicide Roundup.

    The court agreed to hear the case after Monsanto petitioned following its defeat in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year.

    The seed at the center of the debate is Monsanto's alfalfa, the first perennial crop to be genetically engineered. Alfalfa, extensively used for cattle feed and with more than 20 million acres in cultivation, is the fourth most widely grown crop in the nation.

    The fact that it is open-pollinated by bees makes this patented genetically modified organisms (GMO) a new and potentially wide-reaching problem in U.S. agriculture. As bees carry the pollen of Monsanto alfalfa to non-GMO alfalfa plants, the foreign DNA can enter organic alfalfa, thus disqualifying those crops as USDA organic.

    Furthermore, conventional farmers will have to switch to Monsanto pesticide as the crop becomes unsuited for conventional pesticides.

    The Case Against Monsanto

    In 2006, consumer advocacy group Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit against the USDA for approving Monsanto's Roundup-resistant alfalfa on behalf of a coalition of nonprofits and farmers. They said that the spread of genetically modified alfalfa genes, whether intentional or unintentional, would threaten consumer choice. Though they think they are buying organic, the produce will have already had some degree of GMO contamination.

    As for the environment, farmers and advocates worry that as the pesticide treadmill speeds up, it will be impossible to get off, and the wide use of pesticides will degrade the soil, water, and air. The more agriculture relies on pesticides to protect their crops, the more resistance the pests will gain, and a new, stronger pesticide would be required the next growing season.

    Federal courts ruled in favor of CFS and banned the sale of GE alfalfa until the USDA completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) to assess the full risks of allowing such a crop into the nation's fields. A draft EIS was released in December and is open for public comment until Feb. 16.

    This is the first time the U.S. government has ever done an in-depth environmental analysis for any GE crop.

    Monsanto representatives did not reply for comment.
    This case is very important to the issue of transgenic seed contamination, wich means:

    Because Monsanto's engineered genes can readily migrate to non-GM crops (see Monsanto and the Roundup Ready Controversy) organic farms are increasingly finding that via cross-pollination their pure food has been contaminated with GM DNA thus ruining their businesses.

    The paths to contamination are numerous. Besides the cross-pollination by insects, there are: wind, birds, eating and deposition by animals such as livestock or rodents, flooding, contamination at grain mills, accidental dropping of seed from bags or trucks, intentional contamination. Included in this are illegal imports of contaminated seeds to non-approving countries which discover it by accident (or fail to discover it until it's already growing) Source.
    So, in the future it will be almost impossible to not have crops or seed that is not in some way containing the Monsanto gene. As Monsanto has numerous seeds already on the market and many in the works and is a multi-national corporation that spans the globe. It also points to a bigger debate about the use of GMO food in general. But, lets stick to Monsanto as some high points in this timeline reveal, they have a not so stellar track record:
    * 1962-1971 - Becomes one of principal companies supplying herbicide known as Agent Orange to U.S. military for use in Vietnam War. Agent Orange is later linked to various health problems, including cancer.

    * 1982 - Some 2,000 people are relocated from Times Beach, Missouri, after area is contaminated with PCB by-product dioxin. Critics say a St. Louis-area Monsanto chemical plant was a source but company denies any connection.

    * 1994 - Wins regulatory approval for its first biotech product, a dairy cow hormone called Posilac.

    * 1996 - Introduces first biotech crop, Roundup Ready soybeans, which tolerate spraying of Roundup herbicide, and biotech cotton engineered to resist insect damage.

    * 2002-2003 - Jury finds Monsanto plant in Anniston, Alabama, polluted community with PCBs. Monsanto and Solutia agree to pay $600 million to settle claims brought by 20,000 Anniston residents of PCB ground and water contamination.
    The accusations and documented events are so numerous that this post only barely touches base on the legitemacy of Monsanto. The production of Prosilac for use in dairy cows, the revolving door into politics and the regulatory positions in goverment, the seed monopoly and the suing of innocent farmers are alone enough to question this companies integrity. Its basically a conspiracy theorists dream. Should a company like Monsanto be allowed to procede almost unchecked in what appears to be a takeover of farming through GMO Roundup ready seeds? Any thoughts?

    There are some documentaries that focus on Monsanto, one particular French film that was surprisingly good. It can be viewed in its entirety here The World According to Monsanto or viewed on Youtube in 8 parts:

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hErvV5YEHkE[/media]
    Also the film Food Inc. has a segment on Monsanto:

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2Xyc-xXcs[/media]
    Last edited by mp40x; 01-20-2010, 01:24 PM.
    |TG-X| mp40x



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  • #2
    Re: The Case Against Monsanto?

    The worst part about corporations are that the people who make and execute illegal actions aren't legally held responsible unless there is financial fraud.

    If they do something that they know will kill someone, they aren't held liable. If they weren't acting as a member of a corporation they would. This is wrong.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Case Against Monsanto?

      Excellent Post mp.

      There are almost 10 years already, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a case involving Monsanto and the issue of patents on "life" (seeds). Unfortunately, Monsanto has been successful despite a decision very divided and very controversial. The Canadian Parliament has unfortunately not followed, partly due to the incredibly powerful lobby of Monsanto.

      The denouement of this story is not only shocking to the substance, as well as the lack of media coverage on the subject. Popular pressure is thus not stirred, politicians have for the moment, no motivation to revert steam, respect to the lobby of Monsanto.

      The actions of this company are, in many ways, very outrageous. I think, among other things, the expropriation of the farmer who planted their seed for generations, on behalf of a patent on an invention that is not, in fact, show how much this company should be replace.

      Monsanto = Scandal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Case Against Monsanto?

        Originally posted by snooggums View Post
        The worst part about corporations are that the people who make and execute illegal actions aren't legally held responsible unless there is financial fraud.

        If they do something that they know will kill someone, they aren't held liable. If they weren't acting as a member of a corporation they would. This is wrong.
        Right. Your actually speaking towards a much bigger problem concerning corporations in general. And I agree. But, Monsanto has shown that its business practices are by far some of the worst, if not the worst There was a documentary called The Corporation from 2003 that wasn't bad, it had a segment about Monsanto too.
        [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y[/media]
        Originally posted by Kossst View Post
        The denouement of this story is not only shocking to the substance, as well as the lack of media coverage on the subject. Popular pressure is thus not stirred, politicians have for the moment, no motivation to revert steam, respect to the lobby of Monsanto.
        There is a lack of national media coverage about Monsanto thats reveals anything of substance. This article a few days ago from NPR was interesting:
        Monsanto GMO Ignites Big Seed War

        Ulrich remembers the days before genetically modified seeds upended the industry. Critics of the big agriculture biotech company Monsanto say its popular Roundup Ready technology is to blame for that. Roundup Ready is a line of gene-modified seeds that inoculate plants against a herbicide, Roundup, also made by Monsanto, that kills just about everything else.
        There was also an excellent article in Vanity Fair a few years ago about Monsanto. Here's some excerpts, the full article is quite lengthy but very interesting and worth reading:
        Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

        Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

        The Monsanto Company has never been one of America’s friendliest corporate citizens. Given Monsanto’s current dominance in the field of bioengineering, it’s worth looking at the company’s own DNA. The future of the company may lie in seeds, but the seeds of the company lie in chemicals. Communities around the world are still reaping the environmental consequences of Monsanto’s origins.

        But Monsanto’s past, especially its environmental legacy, is very much with us. For many years Monsanto produced two of the most toxic substances ever known— polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, and dioxin. Monsanto no longer produces either, but the places where it did are still struggling with the aftermath, and probably always will be.
        |TG-X| mp40x



        Register for the Forums! | Get on Teamspeak! | Play Squad! | Join Discord! | Support Tactical Gamer!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Case Against Monsanto?

          I think Monsanto is probably in my book the most evil corporation in the world. The damage they do in poor countries is unfathomable. From India, to south America, in the USA itself, canada... Everywhere they are endangering small farmers, public health, and biodiversity.

          Patenting dna of living things...

          I've seen so much about them in these last 10 to 5 years. It is like a suffocating cloud trying to envelope the whole world.

          +1 for bringing it up in case people haven't heard of them.

          Lots of documentary material is about them, basically most docu's about food like:

          "The future of food"
          "The future of food in the UK"
          I believe there is about a dozen others all making the same case against them.

          Thank God that the lobby's in Europe weren't strong enough to force GMO's down our throats. There is simply no proven long-term yield benefit with GMO's. That is the core of the fraud.

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