10 Reasons I love Monsanto.

Via on Jan 26, 2012

monsanto love

Did I say Monsanto? I meant President Obama.

Here’s 10 Reasons I don’t love Monsanto, since we’re on the subject.

Monsanto is guilty of…

1. Contaminating the global food chain with GMOs.

2. Intimidating small farmers with bullying and lawsuits.

3. Propagating the use of destructive pesticides and herbicides across the globe.

4. Using “Terminator Technology”, which renders plants sterile.

5. Attempting to hijack UN climate change negotiations for your own fiscal benefit.

6. Reducing farmland to desert through monoculture and the use of synthetic fertilizers.

7. Inspiring suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers.

8. Causing birth defects by continuing to produce the pesticide “Round-up”

9. Attempting to bribe foreign officials

10. Infiltrating anti-GMO groups

~ click above for source ~

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Bonus: a wonderful rebuttal to pro-Monsanto comment via Reddit:

“How can one contaminate the global food chain with GMOs, when they actually help millions of people from starvation?”

Because you’re incorrect about that.

Before I get into details, just start from first principles and follow the chain of logical reasoning.

Corporations want to patent crops and pesticides, so they can:

A) Make more money by raising the price of food and controlling who can grow it; or

B) Give it away for free, to feed millions of starving people with no money

Which one would you guess?

Now for the details.

1. The more nutrients in the crop, the more is taken out of the soil. Many GM crops require expensive fertilizers and simply won’t grow in the marginal soil in regions where they are most needed. E.g. Golden Rice, which is not only impractical as a crop but only produces provitamin-A (beta carotene) which isn’t sufficiently bioavailable for the malnourished people it is intended for, since it is fat soluble. Multivitamin pills are much cheaper and more effective.

2. The more drought-resistant the crop, the more nutrients are taken out of the soil for non-edible parts, e.g. the root system. A greater percentage of the plant is scaffolding, to support smaller fruits. This increases the price.monsanto shopping

3. Pest resistance as it currently stands is almost exclusively focused on incorporating Bt-expressing genes into plants. Bt is a naturally-occurring soil bacterium which creates a toxin that is effective against certain categories of pests. Traditional organic farming practice is to apply Bt at certain strategic times. However, GM crops engineered with Bt express the toxin throughout the plant year-round. This rapidly leads to pest resistance, in the same way as overuse of antibiotics in livestock. Monsanto’s Bt Corn is failing, and so is its cotton. The main benefit to Monsanto is that it has effectively destroyed one of the few options available to organic farmers, and can simply start selling a synthetic pesticide now that targets the same pests.

4. PATENTS MAKE COSTS SKYROCKET. If any company were sincere about “feeding the poor” they would not be trying to patent the world’s food supply. GM food companies are envious of Big Pharma’s profits with patented drugs, and they want to import that IP regime straight into the food system and own it. Just imagine SOPA applying to your food. The legislation required to enforce a patent regime on food will make SOPA look reasonable by comparison.

5. THERE IS NOT A FOOD PRODUCTION SHORTAGE in any country with a working government. All the places with famine problems are precisely the same regions that are hard to get aid into. Wars and political upheaval mean that food aid gets seized by warlords and political factions. It is a distribution problem, not a crop problem. Case in point: Zimbabwe was known as the “Breadbasket of Africa”. You have probably heard about them more recently as the place with 100 trillion dollar bills that can’t buy a loaf of bread. Mugabe moved in and threw all the white farmers off their land, handing it to his cronies. Except they didn’t know how to farm, and now the country is needlessly starving. In a less extreme but related situation, there are homeless, hungry, and starving people in the USA which is a huge exporter of food. It’s a political problem, not a lack of production.

The success of Borlaug’s selectively-bred (not genetically engineered) crops depended hugely on the abundance of rich, untapped topsoils. Topsoil depletion is a huge issue in first-world agronomies. In the USA, petrochemical fertilizers are used on a massive scale, especially to grow corn.

“Since when are pesticides ‘evil’”

It is a certainty that Bt crops create resistant pests, in the same way as overuse of antibiotics creates drug-resistant tuberculosis: http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/o6i39/totally_drugresistant_a_deadlier_form_of_tb_hits/

It is a certainty that the type of IP laws that will be passed to enforce food patents will be draconian, like SOPA for food.

If you think not being able to order medication from less-expensive pharmacies in Canada is bad, wait until people are trying to order food because Big Agriculture is trying to turn itself into Big Pharma.

ALLERGIES:

Unfortunately, transgenic food allergies mean you will have to worry about anaphylactic shock in places it never existed before. Flounder genes have already been spliced into tomatoes; how long until an apple or banana sets off your allergy to shellfish?

And in the U.S., transgenic food is not even labeled as such.

In addition to that, foods engineered to produce their own pesticides have the potential to make people ill. Starlink corn is only approved for animal feed because of this, but that was a one-off decision; there is no comprehensive regulatory system in the U.S.

It’s basically spray-n-pray.

“this is an extremely retarded statement, as if written by children”

Your objection is what Monsanto et al. bank on: the ignorance of otherwise smart people, to help them push their narratives. They want you to focus on all the theoretical benefits like in those old “In The Year 2000″ articles, without understanding which claims are unrealistic and how other ones will be completely undermined by the actual implementation of a worldwide patented food regime.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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84 Responses to “10 Reasons I love Monsanto.”

  1. [...] 9. Attempting to bribe foreign officials 10. Infiltrating anti-GMO groups Source: 10 Reasons I love Monsanto. | elephant journal Wars are caused by undefended wealth – Ernest Hemingway, famous American writer Reply [...]

  2. Carrie Stiles says:

    Thank you Waylan for your support of the GMO Free Movement. Please check out my environmental conflict resolution peace studies research with world renowned environmental activist. Dr. Vandana Shiva at carriestiles.wordpress.com …

  3. Barbara says:

    Monsanto has deep pockets – enough to control what is reported in the news:
    http://www.realfarmacy.com/fox-reporters-fired-fo

  4. Eileen says:

    It's all just a vicious cycle. Someday we will realize we needed the insects they are killing. God put every creature on this earth for a reason. People on this earth are starving because we have done so much harm to the earth with all these chemicals. I don't need any scientific reports to see that. We need the Bee's, the Bat's, the Ants and the Elephants…The only way is to correct all this now. All we can do is keep putting this valuable information out there and hope for the best.

  5. elephantjournal says:

    GMO crops are trademarked and patented. You technically are not allowed to grow the crops from the seeds you get from your GMO harvest which forces farmers to have to purchase / lease new seed every season.
    Which actually screws farmers, and doesn't really help them if they have to spend the profits from selling their crops to just buy more seeds again.
    EDIT: Not to mention GMO crops fail a lot too. http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/201
    EDIT EDIT:Like I said before
    Los Banos, Laguna – “We loan the seeds, and pay upon harvest. We are usually left with empty sacks. So we loan for food and family expenses, and inputs to be able to plant for the next season. Upon harvest, we have leftover debt.” This is but one of the numerous testaments of farmers that farmer-scientist group MASIPAG has documented on film about the impact of GM corn in the lives and livelihood of corn farmers. http://masipag.org/
    BLATANT EDIT: Just so I can cut all the attackers. Here is a link and excerpt from Monsanto's own words about why they won't let you keep the seeds from your crops.
    Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?
    Monsanto patents many of the seed varieties we develop. Patents are necessary to ensure that we are paid for our products and for all the investments we put into developing these products. This is one of the basic reasons for patents. A more important reason is to help foster innovation. Without the protection of patents there would be little incentive for privately-owned companies to pursue and re-invest in innovation. Monsanto invests more than $2.6 million per day in research and development that ultimately benefits farmers and consumers. Without the protection of patents, this would not be possible.
    When farmers purchase a patented seed variety, they sign an agreement that they will not save and replant seeds produced from the seed they buy from us. More than 275,000 farmers a year buy seed under these agreements in the United States. Other seed companies sell their seed under similar provisions. They understand the basic simplicity of the agreement, which is that a business must be paid for its product. The vast majority of farmers understand and appreciate our research and are willing to pay for our inventions and the value they provide. They don’t think it's fair that some farmers don’t pay. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/why-does-
    EDIT EDIT EDIT!!! Just to be clear I don't dislike the concept of GMO's just the practices of people who sell them.
    Also here is another really good link to make you think.
    Indian farmers and suicide: How big is the problem? http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/22msif/hond

  6. randell says:

    every scientific body on earth has concluded that GMOs are safe also organic farmers use pesticides herbicides etc etc that are far worse for you then anything used in GM crops

  7. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    Nathan, check out all the links and references included in this post so you can get a better idea. There's a lot to explain if you're not yet familiar with Monsanto's doings. Too long to fit in a comment, hence the post. :)

  8. 60's protester says:

    You might also find it interesting that if more people decided not to eat meat there would be a surplus of grain/soy …enough to feed the world. As it stand now, most of the grain raised goes into the feeding of animals and poultry. But where is the profit in that? Makes you want to go hmmmmmm…….

  9. Emily says:

    The grains that they give away for "free" are still licensed. That means if they plant it, the next year they have to buy the seed at full price. They can't eat part of the harvest and replant the rest without getting into a lawsuit.

  10. BooMonsanto says:

    Watch "The Future of Food" on Netflix streaming…It's a great documentary about Monsanto's evil ways.

  11. __MikeG__ says:

    Statements, no references. Please back up your post with science.

  12. charmayne jayne says:

    if it's so ok then why not package food that contains gmo? it's not that hard!!!

  13. Mathew Sommers says:

    a start….

    Benbrook C. (2001) Do GM crops mean less pesticide use? The Royal Society of Chemistry 204-207.

    Chaves M.M. & Oliveira M.M. (2004) Mechanisms underlying plant resilience to water deficits: prospects for water-saving agriculture. Journal of Experimental Botany 55, 2365-2384.

    Cunningham S.D. & Ow D.W. (1996) Promises and prospects of phytoremediation. Plant Physiology 110, 715-719.

    Daly, M. (2000) Engineering radiation-resistant Bacteria for environmental biotechnology. Current Option in Biotechnology 11, 280-285.

    Doty S. (2008) Enhancing phytoremediation through the use of transgenics and endophytes. New Phytologist 179, 318-333.

    Dua M., Singh A., Sethunathan N. & Johri A.K. (2002) Biotechnology and bioremediation: successes and limitations. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 59, 143-152.

    Dunfield K. E. & Germida J.J. (2004) Impacts of genetically modified crops on soil- and plant-associated microbial communities. Journal of Environmental Quality 33, 806-815.

    Eapen S. & D’Souza S.F. (2005) Prospects of genetic engineering of plants for phytoremediation of toxic metals. Biotechnology Advances 23, 97-114.

    Eckardt N.A., Cominelli E., Galbiati M. & Tonelli C. (2009) Future of food and science: food and water for life. The Plant Cell 21, 368-372.

    Fernandez-Cornejo J. & McBride W.D. (2000) Genetically engineered crops for pest management in U.S. agriculture: farm-level effects. USDA Report 786 1-23. < http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/&gt; 31 March 2010.

    Gianessi L & Carpenter J. (2000) Agricultural biotechnology: insect control benefits. NCFAP 1-98. &lt ;http://www.ncfap.org/&gt; 1 April 2010.

    Givens W.A., Shaw D.R., Kruger G.R., Johnson W.G., Weller S.C., Young B.G., Wilson R.G. Owen M.D.K. & Jordan D. (2009) Roundup ready crops have major positive impacts on tillage practices. Weed Technology 23, 150-155.

    James C. (2008) Global status of commercial biotech/GM crops: 2008. ISAA Brief 39 1-275. &lt ;http://www.isaaa.org/&gt; 3 April 2010.

    Lovely D. (2003) Cleaning up with genomics: applying molecular biology to bioremediation. Nature Reviews Microbiology 1, 35-44.

    Phipps R.H. & Park J.R. (2002) Environmental benefits of genetically modified crops: global and European perspective on their ability to reduce pesticide use. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 11, 1-18.

    Pulford I.D. & Watson C. (2003) Phytoremediation of heavy metal-contaminated land by trees- a review. Environment International 29, 529-540.

    Qaim M. & Zilberman D. (2003) Yield effect of genetically modified crops in developing countries. Science 299, 900-902.

    Sayler G. S. & Ripp S. (2000) Field applications of genetically engineered microorganisms for bioremediation processes. Current Options in Biotechnology 11, 286-289.

    Tilman D., Cassman K.G., Matson P.A., Naylor R. & Polasky S. (2002) Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature 418, 671-677.

    Trewavas A. (2004) A critical assessment of organic farming-and-food assertions with particular respect to the UK and the potential environmental benefits of no-till agriculture. Crop Production 23, 757-781.

    Vinocur B. & Altman A. (2005) Recent advances in engineering plant tolerance to abiotic stress: achievements and limitations. Current Options in Biotechnology 16, 123-132.

    Wake D.B. & Vredenburg V.T. (2008) Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians. PNAS 105, 11466-11473.

    Wang W., Vinocur B. & Altman A. (2003) Plant responses to drought, salinity and extreme temperatures: toward genetic engineering for stress tolerance. Planta 218, 1-14.

    White C., Sharman A.K. & Gadd G.M. (1998) An integrated microbial process for bioremediation of soils contaminated with toxic metals. Nature Biotechnology 16, 572-575.

    Wolfenbarger L.L. & Phifer P.R. (2000) The ecological risks and benefits of genetically engineered plants. Science 290, 2088-2093.

    Wu C.H., Wood T.K., Mulchandani A. & Chen W. (2006) Engineering plant-microbe symbiosis for rhizoremediation of heavy metals. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72, 1129-1134.

  14. Mathew Sommers says:

    I appreciate your asking :) This is from a project I did for a critical thinking class at CU a while back. Good Stuff :)

  15. werdtoyamotha says:

    Thank you for mentioning this!! The FDA and USDA has been in bed with Monsanto for many, many years. Unfortunately, Obama is keeping up the trend. So disappointing.

  16. __MikeG__ says:

    Thanks, I'll check them out.

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