Monsanto Goes Organic

Yes, you read that right, Monsanto is concocting a line of trademarked organic vegetables. Let’s hope it takes off and they decide to give up on their favorite genetically modified varietals. Report from Wired:

…Changing the agricultural game is what Monsanto does. The company whose name is synonymous with Big Ag has revolutionized the way we grow food—for better or worse. Activists revile it for such mustache-twirling practices as suing farmers who regrow licensed seeds or filling the world with Roundup-resistant super­weeds. Then there’s Monsanto’s reputation—scorned by some, celebrated by others—as the foremost purveyor of genetically modified commodity crops like corn and soybeans with DNA edited in from elsewhere, designed to have qualities nature didn’t quite think of.

seminisSo it’s not particularly surprising that the company is introducing novel strains of familiar food crops, invented at Monsanto and endowed by their creators with powers and abilities far beyond what you usually see in the produce section. The lettuce is sweeter and crunchier than romaine and has the stay-fresh quality of iceberg. The peppers come in miniature, single-serving sizes to reduce leftovers. The broccoli has three times the usual amount of glucoraphanin, a compound that helps boost antioxidant levels. Stark’s department, the global trade division, came up with all of them.

logo_beneforte“Grocery stores are looking in the produce aisle for something that pops, that feels different,” Avery says. “And consumers are looking for the same thing.” If the team is right, they’ll know soon enough. Frescada lettuce, BellaFina peppers, and Bene­forté broccoli—cheery brand names trademarked to an all-but-anonymous Mon­santo subsidiary called Seminis—are rolling out at supermarkets across the US.

But here’s the twist: The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren’t genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same tech­nology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia. That doesn’t mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark’s division is drawing on Monsanto’s accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor…

[continues at Wired]

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  • Chaos_Dynamics

    Ants Om On.

  • BuzzCoastin

    > all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor

    hybrids produce sterile seeds
    so each seed crop has to be bought

    hybrids are for mass produced foods
    health & taste considerations of the hybrid are overlooked
    infavor of look & utility

    this is food for the consummer workin manz
    unsustainable & expensive by design
    &
    I don’t trust anything Monsanto says

  • Jonas Planck

    It’s all well and good, up until the point where they declare propietary ownership of all the world’s vegetables because they contain DNA that Monsanto “owns.” If that sounds far fetched, remember, they already tried to declare that they owned the copyright on all the world’s pigs.

    • E.w. Modemac

      Jonas: Citation, please?

  • kowalityjesus

    Corporate board rooms don’t have consciences, just damage control programs. PR anyone?

  • BuzzCoastin

    I’ve edited sevrral scientific papaers on hybrids
    I know hybrid scientists

    most hybrid seeds are sterile
    the ones thst aren’t
    don’t produce “true”

    additionally
    I grow food in Hawai’i

    • http://fibonacci-financial.blogspot.com/ KumoBob

      A hybrid ‘Super Sweet Cherry Tomato’ volunteered in my greenhouse this winter. I let it grow but planted more true seeds because I did not expect much from a volunteer hybrid. I guess it’s just luck, but the volunteer has turned out even sweeter than the true plants, but the fruit is smaller.

      • BuzzCoastin

        I too have had volunteer tomatoes from the chicken coop
        probably hybrid stock
        but the seeds of these plants produced great tomatoes
        in vey large quanties
        but I wouldn’t ever plant hybrids on purpose
        and I’ve had no luck germinating store peppers
        which it seems were organic hybrids

  • Yūgen

    Its a trap!
    Glad its not GMO, but the “organic” label has already been hijacked and shit on- and this may likely just further this. Look into it and you find there is a lot of disgusting practices in industrial scale agriculture, even if its “organic”.

  • E.w. Modemac

    You failed when you cited that laughable quack conspiracy site, Natural News, as a viable reference. Conspiracy theorists and extremists — and that includes Greenpece — are not unbiased sources.

    • Jonas Planck

      How stunningly predictable of you. It could also be argued that since the story was completely ignored by mainstream sources, then mainstream media outlets are not reliable sources. Now cite your evidence that Monsanto did not attempt to claim ownership of porcine DNA or breeding methods, WITHOUT USING ANY MAINSTREAM OR ATERNATIVE SOURCES, because you obviously think that’s a reasonable request to make of someone. If you fail to do so, then it proves I’m right and you’re lying, as per your own criteria for determining accuracy. Don’t like them apples? Then don’t bring them to the table.

  • VaudeVillain

    On the one hand: FUCK MONSANTO!

    On the other hand: Isn’t this what we *want* companies to do?

    I’ll reserve judgment on this course of action for now. Maybe they really are trying to satisfy a customer base that is finally demanding saner things. I have trouble believing it, but new evidence always carries the possibility for a new opinion.

    Maybe once this has been around for a decade I’ll check back and see how it all went.

  • Jonas Planck

    …As opposed to inorganic food. Which doesn’t exist.

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