In an attempt to combat years of poor public relations, Monsanto has decided to take their case directly to the people through various campaigns
. On a new site called The Conversation
they are answering questions directly from consumers. [more inside]
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
Seriously impressive fourteen-year-old Rachel Parent debates Monsanto investor Kevin O'Leary about genetically modified foods.
Parent, who is the founder of the anti-GMO organization Kids Right To Know
, takes on O'Leary (best known for playing the antagonist in shows like Shark Tank
) in an unexpectedly solid debate, countering him point-by-point and cutting him off when he attempts, in his typical Mr. Wonderful way
, to condescend to her.
"We were basically incorporated to be a sewer."
The small village of Monsanto
, Illinois was incorporated in 1926 to be a low-regulated tax haven for Monsanto Company's chemical plants. These days it's named Sauget, after the family which runs virtually every aspect of it—its real estate
, its minor league baseball team
(which plays on Sauget Field), and several of its nightclubs, of which there are so many that they are collectively known as the Sauget Ballet
. The town's pollution has led to numerous lawsuits
, and inspired the song Sauget Wind
by alt-country group Uncle Tupelo. [more inside]
: "About a month ago, a farmer in eastern Oregon noticed some wheat plants growing where he didn't expect them, and they didn't die when he sprayed them with Roundup." The wheat was tested and found to be genetically engineered.
"Nobody knows how this wheat got to this farm. Monsanto's last field trials in Oregon were in 2001. After all such trials, the genetically engineered crops are supposed to be completely removed. Also, nobody knows how widely this genetically engineered wheat has spread, and whether it's been in fields of wheat that were harvested for food." [more inside]
Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing.
The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder. [more inside]
Mark Lynas, author of several
books on climate change
and once a leading figurehead of the anti-GMO movement, has made an about turn on his opinions regarding GM crops
. In an address to the Oxford Farming Conference
, he stated:
"For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment. As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist." [more inside]
"Farmer Bowman began purchasing Monsanto’s patented seeds in 1999 and, because of the licensing agreement, did not save any of the seed for future planting.
But he also bought so-called “commodity” seed from a local grain elevator, which acts as a clearinghouse for farmers to buy and sell seed.
But given that more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted in the area were Roundup Ready crops, the elevator’s seed was contaminated with Monsanto’s patented seed.
Farmer Bowman planted that commodity seed, which was substantially cheaper to purchase, to produce a second, late-season crop, which is generally more risky and lower yielding. He then used seeds generated in one late-season harvest to help produce subsequent late-season crops.
Monsanto sued him for patent infringement, and he lost." [more inside]
Back in September a group of French Biologists published a "ground breaking" study on the impacts of GMO Corn.
funded by CRIIGEN. [more inside]
Industry regulators have known for years that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide causes birth defects
according to a newly released report
by Earth Open Source. Regulators knew as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate, the chemical on which Roundup is based, can cause birth defects in laboratory animals... Although the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least 2002, the information was not made public.
) [more inside]
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today
that the sale of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa
will be fully deregulated
: USDA factsheet [PDF
]. Advocates of organic agriculture are outraged
, while the biotechnology industry supports the decision
. Monsanto is also pleased
by the USDA's action. [more inside]
The World According to Monsanto
- A full documentary on the agricultural giant. All sorts of previously
. [more inside]
No conflict of interest there, no sir.
Organic food fans and small farmers alike are saying if HR 875 is passed, it will mean the end of organic farming in the United States. An overstatement? Perhaps, but HR 875 has serious flaws. The bill, introduced by Rosa DeLauro last month (who happens to be married to Stanley Greenburg of Monsanto, the world's largest producer of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds), is here
. [more inside]
A recent study shows that farmer suicides in India have not increased due to introduction of GM crops
The Washington based research organization IFPRI
claims that "Bt cotton is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the occurrence of farmer suicides. In contrast, many other factors have likely played a prominent role." Their study
has been wielded in the empirical arms race by big pharmaceutical corporations such as Monsanto
against NGOs that oppose GM modified crops in India such as Gene Campaign
and activists such as Vandana Shiva
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear.
"Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
In the early 1950's, Monsanto Chemical Company
, MIT and Disneyland collaborated
their resources and creative brainpower to build
"the house of 1986." Using 30,000 pounds of plastic (The building's structure, carpet, chairs, sinks, appliances and floors were all plastic. About $7,500 to $15,000 worth.), the Monsanto House of the Future
* was opened to an excited public in June of 1957. It was closed in 1967 as ideas of the future were beginning to change. Let's take a quick tour,
shall we? *(Not to be confused with Xanadu Homes of Tomorrow.) [more inside]
has excellent recipes, visuals, articles and information about life, history, living in Bangladesh
, which borders India, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam, Burma and is near the Himalayan country of Bhutan. Among the many interesting things included in this site is disturbing information: mustard oil, whose production and consumption were until recently integral to India's way of life, has been banned, so as to provide a market for Monsanto's soya oil
and the poisoning of between 85 and 125 million people with arsenic
The Pennsylvania government is worried that consumers will be “confused”
by labels such as “pesticide free”, “antibiotic free”, and “contains no artificial hormones”. After all, doing so might seem to imply that products without such labels might be unsafe!
PA Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff
is very concerned about that sort of “confusion”, which surely has nothing to do with the fact that he owns a 600-acre dairy farm.
Oddly, while Mr. Wolff said his office had received many calls from confused consumers, his office was unable to come up with the name of even one consumer who had complained.
Rats fed GM corn develop abnormalities
A new study reveals that rats fed on a diet rich in genetically modified corn develop abnormalities to internal organs and changes to their blood, raising fears that human health could be affected by eating GM food.
Farmer Homer McFarland is being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Monsanto corporation.
His crime? Replanting his crops' own seed
, as farmers have done for millennia, which violates the biotech giant's intellectual property rights, the company claims. Quietly, Monsanto's aggressive "seed police" have been suing farmers in 25 states for years, often settling out of court for huge sums, according to the Center for Food Safety's
new report, Monsanto vs. US farmers
[PDF link]. For more information, also see a new documentary called The Future of Food
Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastics
TO ORDER, SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:
The Center for Global Food Issues
(operated by The Hudson Institute
..funded by ConAgra Foods, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, McDonalds, Monsanto, etc etc etc...)
Monsanto Wins Fight to Control Plant
The Canadian Supreme court sets international precedent by ruling that since Monsanto holds a patent on a gene, it can control the use of the plant.
So does this mean that in the future that an engineered human gene could be patented, and therefore if you receive this gene you will have to make royalty payments? And if you renege on paying can they repo the gene?
Listen to a true ready made Halloween horror story about a David vs Goliath type struggle.
On her October 24th show Caroline Casey creator of the VisionaryActivism Radio show interviewed Percy Schmeiser a canola farmer from Saskatchewan Canada whose organic Canola fields were genetically contaminated with Monsanto's Round-Up Ready Canola. Schmeiser a 40 year organic canola seed saver is in the fight of his life against the powerful Monsanto corporation. This powerful interview should make you cry and provoke you to clean your pantry and refrigerator and rethink food choices like I did.
Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution.
Short version: PCBs, small Alabama town, Monsanto knew about problems, told no one, and ignored warnings. Neal Stephenson fans will find the descriptions of the toxic effects of PCBs eerily familiar
The genetically modified cat is out of the proverbial bag.
New study finds traces of GM corn DNA in wild maize fields, over 60 miles away from the closest possible source. Are GM crops still the great idea that Monsanto thought they were? [via the pocket
A major advance in genetically modified foods.
Developed with government funding, and intended eventually to be given away to farmers, there has been a major success in the use of salt water to irrigate crops. They've developed a tomato which grows fine in salt water or on salty soil. Thousands of lives will be saved in parts of the world where fresh water for irrigation is scarce, including up to one third of the arable land in India where salt has been accumulating. Interestingly, these tomatoes are so good at what they do that they remove salt from the soil, improving it. The genetic modification which was done to these tomatoes should be possible with many other crops, including especially rice (on which major effort in Egypt is underway now).
Monsanto wins case against Canadian farmer
. Percy Schmeiser
, who has attained folk-hero status, was held liable for growing genetically modified canola without paying the royalty. The decision in a federal court in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was a significant setback for farmers who fear they will be held liable if pollen from neighboring farms blows onto their fields, transmitting patented genes to their crops without their knowledge or consent.
Monsanto, the megacorp who brought you terminator seed technology, and who is known for suing farmers who harvest seeds from crops grown from patented Monsanto seeds, has had a busy couple of weeks. On April 4, they merged with pharmaceutical giant Upjohn to form meta-megacorp Pharmacia. That same day, in a spurt of overactivity, they decoded the genetic sequence of rice.