By: M Caulfield
Monsanto is a company that started in the chemical business, and they can be accredited for the innovation of such devastating chemicals: aspartame, agent orange, and round up. This agricultural conglomerate is also a major producer of genetically modified seeds, which have been at the center of many legal battles between multi-billion dollar corporate Monsanto and small family owned farms. The company has also worked feverishly to combat mandatory gmo-labelling initiatives, as well as subverting public will and even government policy, leading to their crops being burned by the Hungarian government several years in a row.
Existing documentary films like ARTE’s World According to Monsanto, already expose their corruption and the threat they represent. A new anti-Monsanto film, Santo 7.13.15, claims to expose an overlooked truth for those who fall victim to Monsanto’s seed monopoly and contamination of their crops and farms.
This is inspired by the fact that if a farmer’s plants find cross contaminated on their organic or natural farms from Monsanto GM, that farmer can demand that Monsanto remove those contaminated plants from their property before Monsanto tries to sue them for any infringement. If Monsanto then refuses, and demands the farmer to not touch those plants, under jurisdiction of patent rights, the farmer then has the option to register the Monsanto seeds as having trespassed onto his property. The farmer can then remove the plants and send Monsanto a bill for the cleanup cost. If Monsanto refuses to reimburse the cost of cleanup, the farmer then has the option to file a small claims court case for the amount of removal. All in all, this process seems to play heavily in Monsato’s favor by always costing the injured party more time, money, and effort than Monsanto.
One 14 year old GMO activist gained attention recently when she publicly slammed CBC’s Kevin O’Leary, for having stated that people who protest against Monsanto and GMO’s are “stupid”, and that the solution to their GMO hatred is for them to simply “stop eating”. CBC later had the activist on their show to debate O’Leary in person.
While the debate continues to rage on as to whether genetically modified food is dangerous to our health or our environment, there are increasing indications that many genetically modified products will cause us physical harm. It simply comes down to this: when I buy corn, I want to buy actual corn, not a genetically standardized, chemically treated corn. I want to receive the product that I initially intended to exchange my money for.
However, in the end it comes down to the consumer and their responsibility to make informed choices for themselves. If you want to purchase and eat genetically modified food then that is your prerogative, but give other individuals the opportunity to avoid being a part of the experiment.
If Monsanto wasn’t deeply intertwined with the government, then they wouldn’t be able to use the state as a violent tool to infringe on and destroy the property of others, or to use it to protect themselves from consumers. Granted, it isn’t exactly fair to regard all genetically modified items or modification as being equally beneficial or harmful. But those who do not wish to take part should have their natural right to opt out respected. Monsanto sure is good at marketing itself as a supposed ‘need’ for the people though, with the March against Monsanto barely affecting their stock prices.
Maybe drowning our crops in a multitude of larvicides, fungicides, and pesticides, is not conductive to rich and fertile soil, or for the production of nutritious food. Interestingly, one Berkeley biologist was defunded recently, in the midst of his groundbreaking research suggesting that atrazine could literally change frogs’ gender. Atrazine is a widely used herbicide, produced by the agricultural corporation Syngenta. Monsanto claims that looking into the safety of genetically modified foods, is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration:
“Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible.” – Phil Angell, Monsanto Director of Corporate Communications
Apparently the FDA doesn’t even test the safety of GMO food. In fact the FDA routinely accepts the data supplied to them by the companies instead of undertaking independant tests. Shouldn’t we have a right to know what is in our food, and shouldn’t those responsible for guarenteeing its safety truly be looking into its safety?
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