Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monsanto: Mother Nature's adversary

On Pagan Musings, we have been exploring Activism as a Pagan Obligation and Healthy Pagan Lifestyles, with an emphasis on exploring GMOs and Monsanto. In case some few of you do not follow every aspect of my life with an avid fascination (say it ain't so!), I've decided to give a run-down, along with some additional information that may not have been addressed in the podcasts.

Monsanto is evil. Let's just start there.

Here's some things I've heard of over the few years that I've been interested in this (and, yes, they are so unbelievable that I have to add links):
  1. Monsanto is trying to patent the pig. Yeah, chubby, pink, curly tail, makes bacon... the PIG. If you think I'm joking, just follow the link and read.
  2. Monsanto sneaks in to countries to steal native plants and plant breeds, so that it can patent them and then control the distribution of the seeds.
  3. Monsanto has targeted people who save seeds using tactics reminiscent of the back-alley gangsters of prohibition. They attempt to shut down farmers because they won't buy Monsanto seeds.
  4. Monsanto persistently sues other farmers despite being shut down for lack of evidence.
  5. Brazil (the whole COUNTRY) sues Monsanto for royalties fraud. "In essence, Monsanto argues that once a farmer buys their seed, they have to pay the global bio-tech giant a yearly fee in perpetuity – with no way out."
  6. India (again, the COUNTRY) sues Monsanto for the same thing as Brazil. The Monsanto patent blackmail (my assessment) is "responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes" in India due to the outrageous cost of dealing with the company.
  7.  The UK has fought many a battle with Monsanto and GMOs, including: the infiltration of GMO crops where not wanted; the effects of GMO crop use on other plants used as food by birds, bees, and beneficent insects; and the persistence of GMO crops even when a farmer switches to another crop.
  8. France banned GMOs, but later redacted the ban.
  9. Sweden destroyed GMO crops unless a permit was obtained.
  10. Hungary destroyed GMO crops after making GMOs illegal.
  11. Poland banned GMO corn because there are indications that GMO crop pollens contribute to the mysterious colony collapse disorder issues seen world-wide in bee populations.
  12. Peru banned GMO crops for 10 years to protect native biodiversity.
  13. Russia banned GMO corn due to the link between GMO foods and cancer.
  14. Biodiversity, or genetic diversity, is something that the monoculture-loving biotechs don't appreciate. Monocultures have a huge number of problems with pest control, chemical use, soil stripping, and more.
  15. Boulder, CO voted to phase out GMO crops due to links to cancer. Oh, and the toxins are now commonly found in human blood due to the prevalence of foods that contain GMOs.
  16. Oh, and the major point of using GMOs, to increase crop yields by decreasing weeds or pests, doesn't even work in the long run. The famous b-t corn that prevented rootworms has been getting attacked by, wait for it... rootworms!
  17. Here's more info on what countries around the world (including the US) are doing about GMOs.
  18. Monsanto sues a farmer, who spent decades saving and breeding his own seed, because his field was contaminated with Monsanto's GMO seeds. The farmer lost all his work. Monsanto won the case. But only temporarily. In a massive coup, the farmer won a settlement for Monsanto to clean up their "environmental contamination" and retained the right to resue if the contamination happens again. This case is featured in a documentary film "David versus Monsanto."
BTW, California has a proposed law, Prop 37, that would demand labeling of GMOs, something the biotech's, led by Monsanto, have fought against a little too hard to not belie their reasoning (that it wouldn't make a difference and GMOs are perfectly safe).

While incredibly biased against Monsanto, this has some bet-you-didn't-know trivia points.

This video is so cool, I had to include it! Don't forget to take note of the IndieGoGo crowd-sourcing project for a FUN documentary on Monsanto's evil-ness.

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