Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Multi-billion dollar Multi-national company Monsanto sues area farmers over pennies

First of all, if you don't know about Monsanto, watch the documentary The World According to Monsanto.  The director definitely has an agenda, but it is an interesting look into patenting, genetics, and the legal mechanisms that have allowed Monsanto to completely dominate the world seed trade; leaving many casualties in its wake.  Accordingly, the film also explores how Monsanto was able to legally patent a gene, and whether this is ethically justifiable.

I do not want to start giving away all of the details of the film, but the documentary shows the great lengths Monsanto has gone to in order to spread their gene across all crops, and the method it employs to ensure all farmers growing crops exhibiting their gene pay up.  Many farmers, whose families have been in the seed trade for generations, have been forced into bankruptcy by frivolous lawsuits and fear-mongering among neighboring farmers. 

It looks like Monsanto is at it again, suing two Erie area farmers over the 'illegal' practice of replanting patented seeds.  Whether they did or not, it's hard to prove their innocence given the fact that the gene is a dominant trait, and any plant that is fertilized by a Monsanto plant will show the patented gene.  For example, if a non-Monsanto corn field is planted down-wind from a Monsanto planted corn field, the next generation of non-corn seeds will express the Monsanto gene due to natural reproduction.  Therefore, by natural selection, the Monsanto gene is favorable.

Furthermore, these farmers stand little chance against Monsanto's lawyers who will pile litigation up on the farmers, until they can no longer afford the legal fees, and will be forced to shut down.  But Monsanto has to defend their product, right?


  1. I respect the idea of intellectual property and the philosophical implications and I also respect patent rights, but this goes over the top. Now maybe I am assuming all farmers are dumb hicks, but in reality now farmers are just as much corporate as any othe rbusiness, but that is unbelieveable that they could say that if wind blows my product you become responsible to pay. Would that not be as if a drug company carelessly left their formula out for someone else to have or someone found it in the trash? The seeds blowing is a risk to Monsanto and they have to live with it. That is an imperfect product and they are trying to tie up their carelessness in the creation of the product. If they are so smart they should be able to force the gene to self-destruct if mixed with non Monsanto genes.

  2. This is fascinating. I will keep an eye out for the documentary.

  3. If you click on the first link, it will bring you to the documentary. I believe the director / author of the doc put it online so all can see. It is absolutely fascinating, because if you control the main seeds that produce the main types of food grown, then.....

    It answers a lot of questions you may have about the global food supply, and just how far corporations are going to control it and make massive profits doing so.

  4. They are also a big part of the Food, Inc. documentary, which is fascinating. It has honestly changed the way I shop. As much as I can, I now try to buy natural ingredients and organic products. Every little thing helps.

  5. Yes after watching this it's easier to make the connection with the Food Inc doc

  6. Pills said...

    I just went to the Carnegie Library to check out 'The World According to Monsanto' and it was not available. It happened to be checked out so I asked the librarian to put a hold on it and order it for me via the inter-library loan. To my chagrin it had been 'in-transit' for over 1 year. After further investigation by the librarian it had gone 'missing' and that is why it was labeled 'in-transit'. She made the change to 'missing'. She told me that the DVD cost around $250 and a fine for this is extremely high. Could this be a convienient cover-up to hide the documentary from free public consumption by Monsanto? She checked other libraries around the country and there are only a few that are not 'missing'.