Posted by: conradvisionquest | December 23, 2009

Monsanto: Bully on the playground?

In my quest for natural, sustainable food, I have come across Monsanto a time or two.  If you are not familiar, here’s a blurb from the Monsanto Wiki page:

“The Monsanto Company is a US 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 genertically engineered (GE) seed; it sells 90% of the world’s GE seeds.  It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.”

So what, you say?  Well, basically Monsanto owns patents on many genetically engineered seeds.  If the plants from these seeds then pollinate the plants of Farmer Joe’s crops next door, who is trying to grow organically and doesn’t want your stinking Monsanto genetics, Monsanto can then turn around and sue Farmer Joe for “using” their patented seed.  Farmer Joe, who was struggling to begin with, has no chance against Monsanto.  Little Farmer vs. Big Corporation = everyone loses.  With Monsanto’s patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., you can see where there would be a problem.  It seems they are trying to gain control of ALL the food, becoming the world’s largest seed monopoly.

Taken from this article written on CommonDreams.org:

Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family’s dinner table. That’s because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s patented genes.

Why are they genetically altering seeds in the first place, you ask? GREAT question!  They mess with the seeds genetics so the plant will not die when sprayed with toxic herbicides, namely Roundup, which they also own.  So not only are they screwing with the natural genetics of the “food” that we are eating, they are soaking it with chemicals.  Yuck!

 I subscribe to Mother Earth News emails, and was so struck by a recent post that I had to link to it here.  It is a very intelligent writing about what is happening to our food supply right in front of our noses.  Let’s wake up and start making conscious consumer decisions!  If money is power, which we all know it is in this country, our consumer dollars are powerful political tools.  USE THEM to put an end to this crap that is going on.  They (companies like Monsanto, associated with Monsanto, owned by Monsanto) are counting on us to remain ignorant.  Prove them wrong.

What can you do?  Buy produce from local farmers that grow organically.  Think you are getting natural and organic at the supermarket? Think again.  Check out this list of companies from the Organic Consumers Association that notes organic and natural companies linked to Monsanto, some using GMO soy in their meat substitute products.  After researching the OCA, I discovered that Charity Navigator only gives it one star out of four, but according to Wikipedia it is “the only organization in the U.S focused on promoting the interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million organic consumers.”

Baby carrots grown organically in our garden Summer 2009

Don’t want to go through all the hassle of figuring out who is who? GROW YOUR OWN FOOD! But do so wisely.  Here is a facebook post I found that lists seed companies owned by Monsanto.  It’s over a year old, and considering the source, I’m not sure how acurate it is.  However, I have seen this same list on other web pages.  Included on this list is Burpee, a company that also sells heirloom seeds!  The point is, do your research.  You can get heirloom seeds at places like Heirloom Acres Seeds, or check out the Seed Savers Exchange.  Or purchase from one of the web sites noted on this list of Monsanto-free seed companies.  But, buy your seeds EARLY!  Last season we made the mistake of waiting too long to buy our heirloom seeds, and most of the companies were OUT OF STOCK of many of the heirloom seeds we wanted to get.  This was attributed to the current economy and more people becoming aware.  BE one of those people.

Because I strive to be fair and give both sides of every story (and we all know there are way more than 2 sides anyway) here is Monsanto’s response to anti-competitive claims.  Here is Monsanto’s response to the documentary, Food, Inc.  I think it’s pretty obvious what my opinion is on this issue.  Money is king and Monsanto is a willing servant, even if the non-monetary costs of doing business this way are exponentially higher.

UPDATE: Here’s another great article about Monsanto and the questionable “benefits” of GMOs.

What do you think? Would you rather not know where your food is coming from? Think it’s all propoganda? Leave a comment!

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Responses

  1. Wendy, you are really amazing. You’re not just looking at what’s around you and shaking your head (like I do,) but you’re out there talking about it and really walking the walk. (I know, because your beautiful organic veggies and garden pictures prove it!) Bravo. I meant that from my heart. More Americans need to wake up about the really important things, such as FOOD – hello folks, without nutritious food, we’re uh, hate to be so bleak, but dead. Keep up the great work, Wendy!

    • Thanks Sosae! It’s weird how as I learn more stuff, everything comes back to food. It’s the most basic of things, yet right now in this country it’s the most complicated. Politics, money, way of life, health, values, it all comes back to food. Crazy shiznit!


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