what are people (especially farmers) protesting about? Watch this . . .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … P4E#at=130
I guess the old "something for nothing" is alive and well in most people.
Farmers want superior seed, but want neither to develop it themselves nor pay someone else to develop it either. Such is life today in the "gimmee" society of the US.
That's not really it, Wilderness. The Pilgrims brought seed over to the New World. Gardeners have been saving the seeds they purchased for decades. Farmers don't necessarily "want" GMO seed, but it's abundant. It has genetically altered DNA that gives the plant its own pesticide. I used to see dead grubs and rootworms around the base of GMO corn stalks. Not anymore. They're becoming desensitized to the pesticides in the corn.
But, you're probably not desensitized. And you're probably eating GMO corn. Farmers used to save hybrid seeds knowing they would revert back to the original.
When a crop is in a farmer's field, you're advocating that Monsanto retain control of what that farmer does with a bushel full of grain. That's nuts. Soon, gardeners will find it illegal to save a peach pit or the seeds from their marigold without paying Gurney's another fee.
Monsanto sells the seed corn. Do you think Monsanto is going to pony up the bucks if the crop fails?
If your child gets a blood transfusion - does he suddenly belong to the hospital.
Let's all try thinking about this sensibly.
And let's all speak out against Monsanto.
I didn't even mention how unhealthy eating all those genetic pesticides probably is. Do a little research.
You're doing exactly what the OP has done in other threads.
"They're becoming desensitized to the pesticides in the corn" (Or they are dying out in the corn fields; no grubs at all = no dead grubs.
"But, you're probably not desensitized"
"And you're probably eating GMO corn"
"how unhealthy eating all those genetic pesticides probably is"
I'm tired of hearing "probably" this and that, or "maybe" or "perhaps". Just as I told the OP, if you want to convince me of something it will have facts to back it, not possibilities conjured out of imagination. Critics have had years and years to eliminate those "probablys" from their complaints - why are they still there? Truthfully, it looks like they are still there because there is nothing to be found.
If "Farmers used to save hybrid seeds knowing they would revert back to the original" it's news to me. I don't understand how a seed, stored over the winter, will change it's DNA into two (or more) differing types of the same species. And I would question why that farmer bought GMO (hybridized) seed in the first place if that's not what they want.
Monsanto - if Monsanto is becoming too large and monopolizing the market, break it up just as we did to AT&T, Georgia Pacific Corp and a host of other companies. Just don't tell the shareholders that their patents are no good any more while everyone else's still are. Or that we will take the technology they've developed and give it, free of charge, to anyone that wants it. Monsanto has a perfect right to demand that their technology not be used to produce an identical product in competition with them - they can license their product in any way they wish and for any use they wish to, just as every other company in the country can.
GMO and hybridized are two completely different things. If you plant hybrid corn, the seeds from your harvest (if planted) will not produce a crop the same as the hybrid seeds you planted the first year. Seeds from a hybrid crop revert back to an earlier form of the seed. They are NOT genetically altered.
Monsanto, DuPont, and others are genetically altering corn, soybeans and other seeds to produce plants that develop their own internal pesticides and others that resist total-kill herbicide. Think "RoundUp-Ready." RoundUp kills all vegetation and commercial farm application is used to kill all foliage-out weeds. When the foliage dies, the farmer tills and plants. GMO RoundUp-Ready crops have been genetically altered not to react to the application of RoundUp, so the farmer can apply the total kill herbicide when the crop is in the field and kill cheat, bindweed or whatever else is growing. The crop STILL absorbs the herbicide - it just doesn't kill it. The corn/soybeans you consume that come from GMO crops were from plants that absorbed the toxic herbicide. This makes bigger crops - more profit - for farmers, so many will do it.
GMO seed, which is different from hybridized seed, has been genetically altered. The child seeds of the crops planted - will also be genetically altered.
You say Monstanto has a "right" to demand their technology not be used to produce identical plants - but that goes against the farmers choice of what to do with his seed. Why should a home gardener have a right to save seeds from his Gurney tomatoes if a farmer cannot also save seeds from his crops? That's the sticking point. How long - generationally - will you allow Monstanto to control the food source?
It's not a matter of monopolizing the market - it's a matter of Monsanto, DuPont - and other companies - being given ultimate power over our food source. That's not smart in any world.
Monsanto sells a seed - that's it. What someone does with that seed should be NONE of Monsanto's business. Zilch-O. You're trying to give Monsanto unprecedented control over something that has historically been the choice and right of a farmer.
The farmer STILL has to dump money into fuel to run big tractors, irrigation (if it's sweet corn) and harvesting equipment. The farmer is making a BIG investment - Monsanto sold their product - that should be it. A done deal.
The big thing with farming is that the govt. has farmers over a barrel. Crop prices are determined on the Commodity market and the USDA subsidizes farmers to control the prices. But, I've never known a farmer that didn't want out from under Big Brother's thumb. They just don't know how to get out. Taxpayers bitch about the subsidies - and they have that right. What they don't realize is that if the USDA quit subsidizing farmers, the farmers would be free to set their own prices and a loaf of bread could easily run $10.
GMO seeds offer farmers some profit insurance. But anyone with a lick of sense should realize that eating a crop from a plant that produces its own insecticide - might not be in their best interest.
I'm not going to hunt down PubMed studies - you can do that. You'll find that many of the studies were funded by the companies producing the seeds.
GMO might or might not be the answer to the world's hunger problem, but we simply do not have the long-term data to show that it's harmless.
But let's just say it is - for the sake of argument. What Monsanto is asking - generational control of our food crops - is still unconscionable.
No one should stand behind that kind of attempted power grab by anyone.
I don't think I could agree less, starting with the concept that hybrid plants/animals are not genetically modified. Of course they are modified; that's how we get daschunds, how we get mules and disease resistant corn. We repeatedly create the opportunity for the organism to gather genes from other organisms we find desirable and incorporate those genes into their genetic structure of their offspring. One is done via gene splicing and one is done via multiple efforts to gather specific random variations together, that's all.
The farmer voluntarily gives up his right of unlimited usage when he signs the contract with Monsanto. His choice, not yours, and he makes that choice without coercion. That it is economically valuable to him is the reason he does it, not because he is being forced somehow. Given that, there is absolutely no reason to limit the patents of any particular company simply because they are selling an extremely valuable product that everyone wants. That's exactly what patents are designed for; to protect the intellectual effort and rights of the developing company - not to give those efforts away for free.
If, as you say, hybrids will always revert to their original form, Monsanto could raise their price by a factor of ten or so, assuming that any seed would not retain the characteristics desired after 10 generations. Monsanto thus makes the profit they deserve, but farmers could not afford such seed prices. Or is that the real objective; change patent laws on just this one product until it's not economically feasible to produce GMO seeds?
Finally, why don't we have the data to show GMO is harmless? It's been around a long time - the Maize that is the current concern has been tested for 10 years. Is it because it doesn't matter what studies and research find, that there will always be someone afraid of genetic work and screaming another "maybe" or "might" regardless of actual potential? As far as I've seen, there is zero evidence that GMO food does harm; just those eternal "maybe's".
We're obviously not even on the same page if you think hybrids and GMOs are the same thing.
Here's a definition of the differences.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-foo … z2UKKhOMID
I think you misconception in understanding the difference in the crops might be a part of your thinking GMOs are safe. There is simply no long-term testing that proves that.
I don't have the time to explain and find the research for you - if you support a company controlling our food source - we're never going to come to an agreement on this one.
If you grow a none GM crop and save the seed from it, if your seed was fertilised by the GM crop in an adjacent farmers field you can no longer claim that your crop is organic but much worse than that your seed will carry the GM marker gene and you will be liable to the owners of that marker.
And that brings up a whole second legal problem. Did you do it intentionally in an effort to violate your contract without being caught? Did your neighbor's pollen pollute your crop and if so, do you have a case against your neighbor? Should the percentage of the crop "polluted" matter?
And how would I intentionally use my neighbours crop to pollinate mine? As far as I'm aware crops are pollinated either by wind or insect activity, both of which I have no control over.
And would my case be against my neighbour, who could no doubt rely on the might of the seed producer to defend him or would it be against the seed producer alone?
That's a good point. In addition there is some concern that GMO inner-pesticide crops might be contributing to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). Honeybees travel up to two miles to pollinate. If my neighbor has a GMO crop and I lose a third of my hives - I wonder if Monstanto will stand behind the toxic poisoning of my bees? I somehow doubt it.
DuPont is sending retired law enforcement officers around to farms to "test" farmers who previously purchased their seed to see if their crops have the genetic markers.
During any harvest, especially seed corn, kernels drop to the ground and can sprout the following growing season.
You are obviously knowledgeable on this subject, and I agree with the points you have made. It's insane to let a for-profit corporation have so much control over our food supply.
What control? They only have control if the farmer signs the contract! You want to blame someone, blame the farmer for planting the stuff and then selling it to a distributor that sells it to your grocery store.
Monsanto will certainly NOT stand behind the toxic poisoning of your bees - not when all you can point to is "concern that GMO inner-pesticide crops might be contributing to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder".
But that's the whole problem with GMO's in general, isn't it? The someone has a "concern" that a GMO "might" cause harm just doesn't carry much weight. At least not when that same someone has had years to prove their point and has failed to do so, while the GMO producer can supply study after study, all apparently valid, showing the opposite.
Who funds the GMO producer's studies?
Sometimes scientist can't "prove" that a substance can cause harm, perhaps because they don't skew data or want to make unsubstantiated claims- but they can warn of concerns that they might have. This is not unreasonable, not should it not be worthy of further consideration.
History, even if the drugs/pesticides/ problems are unrelated to the GMO issue, teaches us this:
Who funds the research? The company doing it of course. If you disagree and already know the answer please provide links showing otherwise. And then explain why Monsanto should be different than any other company getting govt. funding for research and then profiting from the results of it.
Yes, "scientists" have long claimed there might be problems with GMO foods, they just haven't been able to prove it. After years and years (decades) of trying they have nothing to show for it but "concerns". At what point do we begin to set "concerns" aside and use our technology instead of forever cowering in the corner with "concerns" we can't prove? That's the real question here - no one can prove a real danger, so how long to we cave in to demands that "concerned" people want GMO gone from our world?
Who funds the research? The company doing it of course.
Wilderness, that was exactly my point. They could hardly be assumed to "uninterested" parties could they? Well Monsanto is profiting because despite concerns, which you flippantly dismiss, are still able to incorporate practices which haven't been declared by all parties to be completely safe. You want absolute proof that they are not completely safe, whilst others want proof that they *are* completely safe.
It might be a couple of generations or so before these *concerns* are shown to be completely valid. In the meantime, I don't think it's unreasonable for people to opt for food which they know to be safe, but you appear to think that denying them the right to know what's in their food, is acceptable.
If you want to eat GMO foods, that's your right. But by the same token, others have to right to avoid it- and they have the right to *know* that what they're eating does not contain GMO ingredients.
Of course Monsanto would not stand behind CCD - the question was rhetorical. I admire your blind faith in the company, but it's unwarranted and premature.
People have a right to not be deceived as to what is in their food. Monsanto has been fighting food labeling for years. Do you put Monsanto's desire to promote their crops as more important than an average citizen's desire to make an informed choice as to what they're eating?
Monsanto realizes that if people know they're eating GMO products, some will opt for Organic.
Genetically pure crops have been around for thousands of years - we can be pretty sure they're safe for most - barring allergies. We don't know that about gene-altered crops.
We DO know that there are indications that they very well could be unhealthy or even dangerous. There have been studies that raise concerns.
This has nothing to do with Capitalism. I'm a Capitalist. I'm a fiscal conservative, but this is nuts. Under no circumstances should we hand over generational control of our food supply to a company that is fighting labeling of the foods that are made with their GMO crop-products.
This is about corporatism and cronyism.
And it shouldn't happen in this nation.
Or any other. Monsanto is having a negative impact on third world countries who need more and cheaper food not less and more expensive.
Your proof that a pound of ready to eat GMO corn is more expensive than a pound of ready to eat stock corn, please? Or proof that a pound of GMO corn seed produces less food than a pound of stock corn seed? Or proof that a pound of GMO corn requires more effort or materials (insecticide, water, etc.) than a pound of stock corn?
You seem to be claiming that a farmer will voluntarily purchase GMO seed that costs more, carries considerably more in the way of contractual obligation and produces less of either profit or product. I don't buy it.
As I rather expected my comments here have been mistaken for defending Monsanto. Look back over the posts and you will find very little if any of that; I'm more concerned about "data" and "research" that is nothing more than screaming DANGER! while never providing proof of anything. That and false claims and innuendoes.
I highly doubt, for instance, that there is a single food crop grown in this country (or anywhere in the world) that is the same genetically to anything grown "thousands of years" ago. We've genetically modified every plant we use through breeding programs if nothing else. They are NOT what our ancestors ate.
"We DO know that there are indications that they very well could be unhealthy or even dangerous. There have been studies that raise concerns"
This is what I'm complaining about. Lots of innuendoes and scary rhetoric but absolutely no proof. Indications. Could be... Even dangerous. Concerns.
Enough already! You want to ban GMO, give a solid, proven reason, not a bunch of "concerns". We've had those for decades; it's time to come out of our shell and either accept Monsanto's claims of safety or prove them false. We've had the time to do the research - let's see some real results and not more "concerns"!
I looked at your link. First glance showed promise, but checking some of the bibliography just showed more of the same. "We're concerned!" "Maybe this" and "maybe that". No studies, no peer review, just unbacked statements of concern and demands for more research. I'm sorry, but it's gotten to the point that these claims and concerns are coming across as nothing more that fear mongering and demands for research grants to keep the "scientist" in business.
Capitalism - yes it is about capitalism. Patents and the protection that patents is what this is about, at least as far as the contracts Monsanto demands (and gets) is concerned. It's about a company producing high tech that others want for free and the company being able to still profit from it. Your worries about labeling are nothing but a red herring - label all you want and as soon as people find out that every food they consume has some form of genetic engineering in it the fear will fade.
Corporatism - yes there is corporatism involved. Farmer Joe just doesn't have the resources to produce the seeds he finds valuable and wants to use; only a large corporation or government does. I suppose we could give the control over all seed stock to the government, but personally I find that to be a much worse solution that a few large companies having it. I trust our government even less that Monsanto or other giant corporation.
Cronyism - that isn't even a part of the picture - you'll have to look somewhere else for you scary stories. Cronyism is generally considered to be hiring your relative or close friend to work for you; claiming that hiring a government worker with whom you are familiar and confident of their abilities to fit your needs does not qualify. It's just another tactic without substance.
Wilderness, where you're going wrong, in my opinion, is in thinking Monsanto has any claim on a farmer's crop.
The original GMO seed is Monsanto's product. The seed from a subsequent crop is the farmer's product. That's why I said this isn't about Capitalism.
When the USDA steps in and allows Monsanto to control not only its product, but a farmer's product as well - it's cronyism - and it's a problem.
On the health angle - your argument appears to be that there is no absolute proof that GMO is hazardous to health. You're asking for something beyond what even the FDA asks for in making a determination. Medical evidence ALWAYS comes as "mights" and "probablies," because human are affected to different extents by different exposures to certain chemicals. That's what clinical studies reflect.
Telling folks that commies are getting ready to jump through the windows - is fearmongering. Pointing out that a massive chemical company is fighting against food labeling - at the same time its trying to control our food supply - is commonsense.
Because there are many types of GMO altering (not hybridizing) perhaps not all are dangerous - but injecting pesticides in your food? Be honest here. In the field of medicine evidence comes in "we're pretty sure" and "it's likely," Yes, even peer-reviewed studies use that terminology. You have no foot to stand on there.
Bt-toxin, and other GMO products *very likely* cross the placental barrier. Why do we think that? Studies. Is the study an absolute - of course not.
As I mentioned earlier, there is evidence of growing resistance to Bt and other GMO inner-pesticides. You understand that this affects non-GMO farmers and even the gardener next door.
There are so many aspects to this issue that it's hard to address even a few here, but the passage of H.R. 933, which by any measure is unconstitutional, put this on the front burner.
"Section 735 of the Act allows farmers to continue producing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) even if a federal court rules that they cannot do so."
http://lawreview.law.miami.edu/monsanto … -congress/
By saying that Americans are fearmongers if they want their food supply protected from massive chemical companies that circumvent the constitution - you're putting all of us at risk.
Bottom line is:
Foods containing GMOs should be clearly labeled.
Monsanto's product rights should be limited to their product sales.
Monsanto should be held liable for damage done to neighboring crops.
Monsanto should be held liable for producing "super bugs" that impact non-GMO farmers.
The public should be aware that there are no long-term studies that indicate GMO manipulation is safe for humans.
The USDA should fund clinical studies to determine what smaller researchers suspect, i.e., a link between Bt-toxin and skyrocketing autism rates, etc.
Ignoring the concerns and pooh-poohing those who raise red flags undermines everything this nation was built on.
Replying to just your list at the bottom:
If you demand that GMO foods be clearly labeled (no real objection from me although it does run the cost up) then include ALL foods that are genetically modified, whether by a decades long breeding program or by gene splicing. That includes every crop in the US.
Limited to product sales: You post a picture in wikimedia commons. You license it for use on non commercial content with no modification and attribution to you. Have you just given permission to change the picture, make money from publishing it on a monetized site and claiming is owned by someone else? I don't see the difference when you demand that Monsanto can't limit the rights of their seed.
Monsanto is liable, for damage, yes. Now define "damage" and explain why the farmer putting the seed into the ground isn't the one liable. Ford isn't responsible when you crash your ford into the neighbors house - why is Monsanto? There are legal problems to be solved, but simply going after the deep pockets because you can't get rid of GMO any other way isn't the answer.
Super bugs: Will you also hold makers of penicillin responsible for the same thing? What works for one manufacturer MUST work for all. More legal tangles, but going after just one company because you detest it or don't like their product isn't the answer.
Fine - tell the public there are no 100 year studies indicating GMO is safe. Include a thorough description of GMO as breeding projects so that people will understand we've done it for thousands of years. Also include that there are NO studies proving danger, either.
How many studies will you fund? 1,000? 10,000? 1,000,000? Because I'm not seeing an end to the claims of possible danger. People are scared, and will have those "concerns" forever - will you fund a thousand studies per year forever?
In the same vein, raising red flags is great - just provide a reason for the flag. We've all seen the conspiracy theories - Bush brought down the twin towers, the CIA killed Kennedy, and Obama set up Benghazi. With all the unsupported screaming this looks like more of the same. Maybe it's not - if not then let the flag wavers prove their point instead of accusing Monsanto of "poisoning our food", "cronyism", "revolving door policy", and a dozen other completely unsupported but vile actions. Leave the emotions at home, bring facts to the table and quit spinning everything. Give both sides, provide studies with both pro and con peer reviews.
And finally, for Pete's sake quite blowing thngs out of proportion and quit telling stories. Example; you claim HR933 is unconstitutional. Please proved a quote of the section that is unconstitutional along with the pertinent section of the constitution stating that. When you can't do it, then for God's sake quit claiming that Monsanto has produced unconstitutional laws!
Have we really been introducing none plant genes into plants for thousands of years!
We have absolutely modified the genetic structure of both plants and animals as long as we've been cultivating either. To pick on a particular gene, calling it "non plant" is a little silly; every mutation of any plant gene produces one that is "non plant". And then, when you encourage the reproduction of that gene through selective breeding, you have done the same thing the gene splicers have done. You just allowed it to happen in the first place through chance and thousands of tries instead of doing it via a needle.
So it's silly to call a none plant gene a none plant gene!
Look, I have no problem with you eating GM foods, just don't force me to eat them.
Wilderness - I gave you a link with a good explanation of the difference between hybridizing and genetically modifying an organism. Continuing to act as though the two are synonymous is disingenuous. Clearly labeling products isn't that difficult. And it's unlikely to raise the cost of the product. No one's asking for labeling of hybridizing - since we've established it's not the same.
On your wiki photo - not a good analogy. Photos do not get stuck in the ground and then produce new photos. Your original photo is always the same. If someone alters it - they've altered your original product - not a different product. Once Monsanto's product (seed) sprouts - the plant that produces a new seed - belongs to the farmer.
Funny you should mention penicillin. Now that known overuse of the antibiotic is creating super strains, its use is being curtailed in animal feed and being replaced by substitutes when possible. Thankfully, we don't have a group sitting around defending overuse of penicillin.
HR933 is unconstitutional, but I did not claim Monsanto produced unconstitutional laws. Monsanto does not make law - Congress does.
I'm not even going to respond to your conspiracy theory rant. It's a red herring. You were given links to studies - peer-reviewed studies. If you choose to ignore them - that's your choice. For some odd reason, you come across as thinking Monsanto hung the moon. That's your right.
Meanwhile, health-conscious people will continue to look after their own health. I think it's great that you have a cradle-to-grave need to swallow what Big Brother shoves down your throat. That's cool. Not everyone is up to taking responsibility for his or her own life and health. If Monsanto said their GMO crops were good - well, then, by gawd, they must be good. That's the lemming in you talking, my friend, and if you think that Koolaid tastes good - by all means...keep drinking it.
I think I'll pay a bit closer attention to tests and studies that raise concerns.
It appears that approx. 2 million people marched against Monsanto - so it's good to know that there are still many, many, many people who take responsibility for their own lives and health.
Monsanto can either belly up to the bar and address these concerns- or it can be forced out of the market by consumerism.
That's the great thing about capitalism.
I apologize - somehwere along the line I missed the link explaining the difference between hybridizing and genetic modification. I still don't see it - can you repeat it please?
I think the photo is perfect analogy - you want the farmer to violate his contract because Monsanto should not be able to limit usage. Just as the distributor of the photo doesn't want to follow the rules he accepted the same way the farmer did. You don't like that Monsanto can legally limit what can be done with their product - well, that's what the entire concept of patenting knowledge is all about. No one else can produce the same product - GMO seeds with specific characteristics in this case. That the purchased sees are what is used to produce more is irrelevant; the farmer is not only dealing with a patent on technology he also signed a contract guaranteeing he won't do it.
Again with the claim that HR033 is unconstitutional - as the Supreme Court has not made that judgement, I'll once more ask for a copy/paste of the part that YOU consider unconstitutional, along with a copy/paste of the section of the constitution it violates. Either back the claim up or drop it.
Sorry - I found exactly zero peer reviews in any of the studies you provided. I did not even find any studies; just the conclusions claimed to have been drawn from studies claimed to have been made. I do not generally accept such conclusions as valid, particularly when there are so many proven false and so many claims out of nowhere that are also false. I want the study with the raw data, methodology used and conclusions drawn. As I'm not a biologist, I want the peer reviews as well, from reputable biologists both pro and con.
You begin to understand; Monsanto says it's good and provides studies proving it. Nay sayers say it's bad but not a single "study" I have seen proves anything except they are "concerned". Which do YOU accept - the studies no one has refuted, the nonexistent ones or the ones that are refuted by multiple countries? Personally I'll take it with a grain of salt that it's OK, while continuing to watch for actual proof it isn't.
Yeah, it's great to know there are 2 million scared people that will march because they're scared instead of looking for facts. It's a great way to run a country and make laws: let fear determine what can and cannot be done instead of actually looking for and requiring facts. Works every time in a nation where emotional cries count more than truth and where beating the bushes with sticks will drive millions of lemmings ahead of the noise.
Monsanto DID address the concerns. What you ask - an literally endless list of tests - is impossible and if it were required of all inventions we would still be cooking over campfires. Just imagine how many "concerns" could be raised about microwave ovens - might harm livers, might hurt kidneys, might blind people, could affect an achilles tendon, possibly damage the inner ear - do we test to exhaustion each and every "concern" before allowing sales of microwave ovens? No, we test what we reasonably think could actually be harmful, find no evidence it is and go into production. Which seems to be what Monsanto did, as no one has ever proven an unacceptable level of risk in their products in spite of hundreds or thousands of "concerns".
A little misunderstanding. The contract you signed with Monsanto to plant their seeds in your second field, concidentally contiguous with the first, so that wind and insects would cross pollinate the first field and give you seeds hybridized with the GMO purchased from Monsanto.
Whether the second case would be against the neighbor or Monsanto is the question. Is GMO pollen pollution, is it avoidable, and is anyone liable when it is found in the "wrong" field?
But what organic farmer is going to enter into a contract with Monsanto?
As to your second point, the owner of the wrong field is liable according to Monsanto.
Please stop trying to defend the indefensible, have you not railed against the government having too much power and yet here you are arguing for a private corporation to have draconian powers over all of us.
No, an organic farmer isn't going to use GMO from Monsanto. The problem occurs when GMO is found in his field and the litigation begins.
Monsanto may claim that the owner of the wrong field, who has had wind and insects from a neighbors field pollinate his crop, is liable. I say BS - that's a claim Monsanto could never win in a court of law and I don't believe they would even try.
But Monsanto doesn't have draconian power. They don't use guns, they don't use jails and they don't use police except to enforce a contract voluntarily signed. You don't want GMO food - don't buy it. The farmer doesn't want it - don't buy it. It really is that simple.
Yes, Monsanto aggressively protects it's patents. Your point? Do you find it wrong to protect a patent? I protect the patent on my hubs to the limit of my capability - am I wrong to do so?
Protecting patents is fine, forcing people to use those patented goods without their knowledge is not.
The question is "how far can a patent reach?" In this case - too far, in my opinion.
I actually understand that you think it is too far. What I don't understand is why this single product is being singled out as to be unpatentable. To have no protection for the research and effort that went into producing it. I don't understand how it is different from all other merchandise that does deserve protection.
That the product is capable of producing more of the same product seems irrelevant to me - it is not a reason to deny patent protection to it. It is much like saying that if you purchase an patented industrial robot from ABB Robotics and use it to produce more identical robots that it's OK because the first one is from ABB.
The concept behind patenting is that the original developer of knowledge/product is entitled to have complete control over that product for a set number of years. That no one else may produce that product without specific permission. To use GMO seed to produce more GMO seed is exactly what patenting is designed to prohibit; that Monsanto requires a contract really does nothing but emphasize the protection they already have, along with millions of other inventors.
I also recognize that denying GMO producers the ability to recoup their costs and turn a profit by removing patent protection from that one product is a nifty way to deny GMO foods entirely, but it's not a very honest one.
The GMO seed is not unpatentable - Monsanto has patented the technology and no other chemical seed company can duplicate it.
There is no difference between GMO seeds and non-GMO seeds when it comes to saving seeds. Other manufactures sell non-GMO seeds but have no claim on the farmer's crop.
The farmer is NOT duplicating the patent in a lab. He's saving the fruits of his labor.
Giving Monsanto a generational patent is ludicrous. Especially since we know the GMO DNA can be found in cross-pollinated crops that were not GMO to begin with.
I've said it before - it's completely nuts.
So if IBM designs and patents a computer I can legally reverse engineer it and duplicate for sale as long as I don't use the equipment they used to manufacture MY chip?
The farmer is not duplicating the patent (a piece of paper or computer record); he is duplicating the product the patent covers.
If giving Monsanto a long term, multi-year patent is ridiculous it is for any other product as well. I just am unable to understand why seeds are any different than any other product. Just because they can be used to grow more seeds seems an unlikely reason to deny patents on them.
But Monsanto hasn't patented gene splicing technology; they have patented the particular gene sequence they developed. Regardless of the technology used to produce that sequence in a living organism it is still illegal to reproduce the sequence yourself.
This must be a fine product or it wouldn't be treated as negatively as it is.
Does that mean smoking crack is also fine?
It certainly does not help Monsanto's case when things like this are going on.
http://ivn.us/2013/02/11/the-revolving- … o-company/
"Do Americans want industry insiders regulating it, or those from the academic realm?"
Good question. Do we want a college professor that has no experience in the business world, does not know how business operates or how it might hide information? Or do we want an ex employee of just such a business that could well have been a part of skullduggery inside the company and thus knows all too well how things are hidden?
Personally I see definite pros and cons to each...
In this specific case - I would say "neither." I err more on the side of consumer choice in the matter.
Despite the idea that farmers are free to choose what to plant - pressure is exerted from many angles. Since GMO seeds appeared, COOPS stopped carrying a number of non-GMO seeds. I don't know why - I just know they're harder to get. In the case on non-GMO sugar beets, they're next to impossible to get.
The question we have to ask is "why is Monsanto fighting product labeling?" The answer is obvious - it will reduce their sales. I think everyone agrees that we have the right to know what is in our food.
Another fiasco coming down the pipe (not to get off topic) is the redefinition of "milk." This one is up-close-and-personal for me because my child is allergic to aspartame. The dairy association has petitioned the FDA to redefine milk to include artificial sweeteners. Nothing would appear on the milk label to indicate that the sweeteners were in the milk. The idea is that kids are more likely to drink milk if it tastes good - but if they see the words, "light" or "diet" they will avoid it. By adding sweeteners, skim and low fat milk will, ostensibly, taste better and kids will drink it. by redefining the word, "milk" they don't have to add "artificial sweeteners" to the label.
I don't think a decision has been made yet - but if the FDA approves that - aspartame (the most likely sweetener) will be in milk, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, butter, etc. -- all without a clue to its presence on the label.
When testing determined that my son reacted negatively to excitotoxins, it immediately cut numerous food items out of his diet. Anything with MSG, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame was out. There's an explanation that concerns neurotoxins becoming overly excited and firing until they die out.
I don't expect the world to revolve around my son's reaction to certain additives, but since we found this out - we've discovered many others that have similar issues.
At any rate - we should ALL be able to choose our food products with the knowledge that nothing is in them that is unwanted.
If a product is beneficial - it will stand on its own merit. This "hiding of ingredients" must stop.
As long as Monsanto keeps fighting labeling - they are NOT the good guys. Not by a long shot. the health questions are a separate issue.
Here's a quick link to the dairy story:
http://healthblog.dallasnews.com/2013/0 … duct.html/
Employees - I would choose where possible to have both ex-Monsanto (and other companies) employees AND academic. Headed by academic.
Then do not use an ex Monsanto employee to inspect a Monsanto plant or product unless accompanied by one from a different company or academic. He knows Monsanto, he knows how the company works and he knows where and how the people might be skirting the law. Fine - use that knowledge, but keep watch on it, too. It's terrible to suspect someone of unethical conduct merely because they left a big corporation for other work, but it's also life.Those ex-employees have the knowledge, skills and expertise we're looking for but with it comes suspicion and they'll just have to accept that.
Labeling - I would like to see labeling, but what will you put on the label? "THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN GENETICALLY MODIFIED FROM IT'S ORIGINAL GENE STRUCTURE"? That applies to every single food we eat. The label is useless.
Would you make it say "THIS FOOD HAS BEEN GENE SPLICED INSTEAD OF WAITING A FEW YEARS FOR NATURE TO PROVIDE THE GENES WE WANT"? That's fine if you want to scare people, but not of much value if you are actually informing them of something.
Would you require the genetic code to be printed on the package? Of absolutely no value.
So what would you put on a label? Something that actually informs what the food is, or maybe exactly how it differs from what is growing in Granny's garden? It wasn't too difficult to require fast food places to give a calorie count, but how do you tell an ignorant public how their food was developed without scaring the pants off of them? (Of course, I'm assuming here that the goal really IS information, not simply shutting down all GMO food)
You complain (rightly) that Monsanto is fighting labeling because it will cost them a lot of business - seems that most of the people fighting FOR labeling are doing so for exactly the same reason; to cost Monsanto their business.
Is either side willing to negotiate a label that informs without scare tactics? Will the naysayers stop the fearmongering that every single GMO is deadly poison if the labels go on? Don't be silly; labeling to them is nothing but another tool to rid the world of something they don't understand. Given that, why would you expect Monsanto to do anything but fight it?
Finally, I'd have to say that by your own reasoning this particular product IS beneficial and IS standing on it's own merits. You can't find non-GMO seed in a COOP because there aren't enough farmers wanting it to make it economic to stock. I'd say that farmers are making it pretty clear that GMO really IS what they want and is standing on it's own merit.
25 May 2013. March against Monsanto worldwide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … oEek#at=55
An estimated 2’000’000 at 370 events in 49 countries, all ACTIVELY say NO! to Monsanto
Wonder how many farmers there are worldwide that vote with their purchase orders and wallets that ACTIVELY say YES! to Monsanto from their millions and millions of locations? Got any numbers there to compare with?
I recognize that the farmers don't provide the circus the media likes, but voting with your wallet means a little more than ambling down the street with friends. At least it does to me...
When hundreds of thousands of farmers march IN FAVOUR of Monsanto . . . I would like to see that!
You may have to make that march on your own!
That's what I mean - the farmers march down to the bank, take out their money and march over to Monsanto to give it to them. They don't do it in bunches so as to provide a circus and attract media coverage, but I'd lay odds there are more than 2 million doing it, and have done it every year for quite some time.
So now you are making a mockery of ordinary people how want to make a stand against something they believe to be wrong - and by the way many of them ARE farmers, organic farmers who want to preserve the diversity of their crops and the right to choose what they grow in their own fields, free of harmful chemicals.
Oh, and now your doing what your critcise me and others for. Show me the evidence of the millions of Farmers who love Monsanto.
No, I mock the idea that forming a media circus is the right way to get laws changed. When you throw out that idea that facts and truth matter, when you depend on a circus to make laws from, it deserves nothing but mockery.
Can you point to a single farmer, anywhere in the world, that Monsanto has forced at gunpoint to spread their seed or chemicals on the field? They have a choice, they just don't want anyone else to have one.
Monsanto had sales last year of $13.5 billion, and I believe most of that ultimately came from farmers. Through an intermediary in most cases, but ultimately the farmer gave up the cash. That, to me, is pretty strong evidence that while farmers may not love Monsanto (who ever loves the company they pay?) they don't hate them enough not to buy Monsanto products. Those farmers make their living and feed their children from Monsanto products and I doubt you'll find very many in a media march anywhere trying to shut down the company.
Wilderness, we've established one thing - you're no farmer.
Farmers HAVE to plant what's available.
It's really that simple.
Forgive me if I don't believe that the only seed available in the US is GMO. Or that a farmer cannot make arrangements to have whatever he wants to be shipped to him. Or that a farmer can never plant anything but what's carried in his local COOP.
Dollars to doughnuts I can arrange to have a truckload of tobacco seeds delivered to me in Idaho even though there is no tobacco grown anywhere near here.
No farmer "marches over to Monsanto". They go to their local COOP grain supply.
Farmer's can't "vote with their wallets" when GMO seeds are running non-GMO seeds off the market.
Farmer's don't get to sit around and hope a non-GMO shipment comes in. When it's time to plant - it's time to plant.
Why do you think GMO sees are running non-GMO seeds off the local markets? Just maybe because that what is selling?
Every farmer I've ever seen or worked for is smart enough to make arrangements for seed long before it's needed; they don't wait until planting day to jump up and look for some. You want non-GMO seed in March, you order a truckload in January for March delivery. Or more likely you order it the year before. Or store it for a few months. Or save it from last year's crop.
Farmers aren't the dumb laborers you might like to believe; they use GMO seeds because that's where the highest profit is, not because that's the only thing available in the country.
Hey, we're with you on this. We had our National Lyme Disease Awareness protest on this same day. We are all non-GMO.
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