Abby Martin breaks down how the Ag giant Monsanto has established a permanent revolving door in Washington, highlighting major conflicts of interest between top government officials who have personal stakes in the company.
Tag Archives | Monsanto
Via This Is Africa, Paula Akugizibwe on conquering the world through the food chain:
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While the science of GMOs may remain murky, the economics are crystal clear. The most obvious and direct of these is the matter of seed ownership and control.
Unlike traditional agriculture, in which seeds are the property of nobody in particular and nature at large, GMO farming places the ownership of seeds firmly in the hands of corporations, and entitles them to a share of profits from crop sales. GMO farmers are not allowed to save seed produced through their crops for use in the coming season, as they have always done.
Meanwhile, in some African countries such as Nigeria, genetically modified cotton is viewed as an ideal entry point for GMOs. “We don’t eat our clothes, so people are less concerned about cotton. This would be the first way in for GMOs,” explained Kola Masha, a Nigerian agribusiness advisor, earlier this year.
When Star Livingstone’s Mother purchased her Adirondack Homestead in 1963, she added some lime to the acidic soil. Soon after this, some Milkweeds began to grow on the two acre plot attracting Monarch butterflies. She allowed these Milkweeds to flourish in a little patch creating a small sanctuary. When she built a house she dubbed it “The Butterfly Barn.” Every year since then for nearly 50 years, monarch butterflies have been flying here to reproduce and lay eggs and die. Their offspring would then make the return trip in the fall, flying over 2000 miles to winter in Central Mexico, in what is now known as the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
Last summer at least 50 to 100 monarch caterpillars were seen eating the milkweed and spinning cocoons. Some Milkweed plants “volunteered” in the middle of the vegetable garden, where they were allowed to grow. At least one monarch caterpillar, reached maturity and successfully metamorphosed into a butterfly in the middle of a cabbage bed.… Read the rest
We just received an email from – maybe – Monsanto. Is it for real? Or are the Yes Men up to
no good again?
… Read the rest
Monsanto Denounces “Activists” For Hoax Release
Aug 14, 2013
Earlier today a fraudulent press release was issued alleging that Monsanto had received a permit to plant 250,000 hectares of GM corn in Northern Mexico. While Monsanto does expect to receive such a permit in the near future, as the first step in more extensive plans, one has not yet been issued.
The release was the work of a group of international students and activists calling themselves “Sin Maíz No Hay Vida” (“Without Corn There Is No Life”). Besides spreading misinformation about the permit, the group’s release falsely announced a digital repository of Mexican customs allegedly endangered by GM corn. They also announced a fictitious Monsanto “vault” to store all the native varieties of corn that GM varieties would supposedly render unviable.
A group of biotech seed companies have launched an online forum to rebuff disapproval of genetically modified foods across the world. Activists and consumer groups are skeptical, saying the industry has a ‘track record of being anything but transparent’.
The website is said to be partly backed by the biotech US giant Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences, according to Reuters.
Founders of www.GMOAnswers.com say the website was created “to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs.” Its launch is part of the biotech industry’s campaign to respond to concerns for GMO food labeling and tighter regulation in the US.
“This… is an effort to increase the dialogue. That is all we want,” Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer told Reuters. “Dialogue is good. Over time I think we’ll come to a common understanding.”
In response to Saul of Heart’s recent article in which I quote:
By all means, let’s March Against Monsanto. But then let’s put genetic engineering into the hands of forward-thinking, progressive scientists so we can start a real agricultural revolution.
I ask the question: Can some genetically modified foods such as so called “golden rice” be completely divorced by the Monopolistic Agenda of Monsanto?
Not so easily, I’m afraid. Not When the biggest supporter of the golden rice project, named in the article is The Gates Foundation, which recently bought 23 million dollars of shares in Monsanto and appoints former Cargil and Monsanto executives to head its development programs:
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The Gates Foundation has admittedly given at least $264.5 million in grant commitments to AGRA, and also reportedly hired Dr. Robert Horsch, a former Monsanto executive for 25 years who developed Roundup, to head up AGRA back in 2006. According to a report published in La Via Campesina back in 2010, 70 percent of AGRA’s grantees in Kenya work directly with Monsanto, and nearly 80 percent of the Gates Foundation funding is devoted to biotechnology.
Monsanto’s GMO lifeforms have a habit of mysteriously popping up in places where they were not expected to be found.
In the case of Canada, where GMO wheat is not approved, geese may have caused the crop’s escape from a controlled experimental site, the Ottawa Citizen reports:
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Canada geese may have spread seeds of genetically modified wheat grown at the Central Experimental Farm, documents from Agriculture Canada show.
The fear is that these geese may have left poop with living GM wheat seeds that could allow GM wheat to spread outside the controlled field. The issue blew up in 2012, taking the Agriculture Canada department by surprise.
GM wheat is not approved in Canada. Many growers, including the Canadian Wheat Board, strongly oppose it, saying that growing GM wheat will make all Canadian wheat harder to sell in Europe and Asia. And the last thing any grower wants is to have ordinary wheat crops accidentally mixed with the GM varieties.
Kristen Schmitt writes at Urban Times:
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Monsanto, the mistress of the GMO initiative, needs a wake up call. While campaigns to label genetically modified organisms increase and state governments work to bring the legislature into action, many Americans are not aware of just how entrenched Monsanto is within national and global food production. Whether it is due to the call of convenience or general ignorance of the millions of genetically engineered ingredients masquerading as food, the biggest blow we can deliver to the GMO giant is to convince the general public to divest from Monsanto (and the rest of the biotech food industry) completely.
What does it mean to divest? Let’s take a page from the current college playbook and replicate what activist Bill McKibben has done for fossil fuels and climate change – and apply it to our food. Colleges across the country are stepping up and divesting from the companies that support fossil fuels in a nationwide campaign to illustrate how wrong it is to profit from climate damage.
… Read the rest
Let me get a few things out of the way.
I’m a crazy fucking hippie. I go to Burning Man every year. I teach yoga. I live in a co-op. For the past two years I’ve been delivering organic vegetables for a local delivery service. I’ve been eating vegetarian for years, and vegan for the past four months.
I’m also fascinated by genetics. I read every book that comes my way on evolutionary theory, population genetics, and mapping the genome. I took several classes on the subject at the University of Pennsylvania. All told, I have a pretty solid understanding of how genes work.
And ultimately, I’m just not that scared of GMOs.
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand where my liberal friends are coming from.
Truthout on the regime of rural surveillance and suspicion instituted by multinational seed companies:
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The GMO regime has initiated a “new era of feudalism,” by powerful multinationals who have consolidated their control over the lives and practices of farmers everywhere.
Monsanto boasts one of the largest corporate security operations in the world, with agents working both openly and undercover in rural counties throughout the United States and Canada. Monsanto’s investigators show up at front doors, and in some cases in the middle of farmers fields, making accusations, brandishing surveillance photos and demanding to see the farmer’s private records or to be handed over their hard drives.
Monsanto also has its own toll-free tip-line (1-800-ROUNDUP) where farmers are invited to inform on their neighbors, as thousands have reportedly already done. “Instead of helping each other with barn-raisings and equipment sharing,” a CFS report states, “those caught saving seed, a practice that is hundreds of years old, were turned into ‘spies’ against their neighbors, replacing the atmosphere of cooperation with one of distrust and suspicion.” Critics accuse the company of fraying the delicate social fabric which holds farming communities together.