Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Monsanto Problem

Okay, so we've watched the film, seen how Monsanto wants to own food production, and control the world's food supply. Where do you go to stay informed?

First you need to research the problem. You can google Monsanto and find all kinds of articles. I decided to go to the main subject of the film: Percy Schmeiser. Mr. Schmeiser has been farming in Canada for 50 years. He has been a prudent farmer, collecting his seed each year in preparation for the next years crop. My father in law did the same thing each year. In fact, my father in law has been dead for almost ten years now and we still have seeds from his farm that we use to grow our own food. Mr. Schmeiser explains the problem he has had with Monsanto very well.

He isn't some kook that infringed upon the rights of a major corporation. He never purchased a product from Monsanto. Never. However his field was next to a field of canola that used Monsanto seed and products. They cross pollinated and Monsanto now says what grows in Mr. Schmeiser's field actually belongs to them because his field was cross pollinated with theirs.

How did Monsanto gain the ability to make the claim? Well, Monsanto is a biotechnology firm. They are genetically manipulating seed to perform as they wish and they have gone into federal patent courts and had the patents granted. Now they own the patent on their Roundup Ready seeds, as they call them. Essentially they developed a seed that was resistant to Round up weed killer, so you could weed your field without killing your product. Well, that sounds like a good thing, what's wrong with that? Nothing if that were all there was to the problem. However, it was Monsanto's ability to claim a field was their seed, if seed was never planted in the field. The idea that cross pollination can takes place when the wind blows, or a truck transporting the product passes by and blows it into your field, or any other of the different ways a field becomes cross pollinated. When Monsanto sued Mr. Schmeiser in the federal courts of Canada the judge, one Mr. Andrew McKay upheld the patent of Monsanto's that a field of product that had become cross pollinated by no means of the farmer who owns the land, became the property of the of the patent owner because of the genetically modified seed is owned by Monsanto. Generally Canadian law protects a farmer from cross-pollination claims due to mother nature, but not for genetically modified plants. Mother Nature no longer owns those plants, the modifier does.

What??????? Monsanto, by the very act of developing seed has usurped a process that came to be when the planet was formed. Whether you are an evolutionist, religionist or just plain consumer of food, tells you this is wrong. Plant life and animal life springs forth on its own, without help from human beings. The act of genetically modifying them to produce superior results is wrong. We are going in the wrong direction when we allow a corporation to manipulate the food we eat in a laboratory. There hasn't been a lifetime of study to ensure that the product they are developing in labs is safe to consume. It is a recipe for disaster. I fear that my grandchildren will reap the results we sat by and allowed to happen because we were too busy trying to pay the bills.

This is only the beginning of my reporting on GMO foods. We must all become informed. We must all begin to question whether or not the food we eat is safe. All GMO foods should be labeled and we the consumer must demand it.

Next time I'll show you all the players in the GMO foods arena and show you how we got this far. How the FDA and the USDA sit by complacent to allow these corporations to do this to the food supply and why the world really hates us. Just know, it's not because of our bombs. If you have yet to see the film, order it today from Netflix. It's worthy of your time.

Sidenote: I find it very funny that the spell checker on google's blogger program, tells you that google is not a word and must be spelled incorrectly! heh.