Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Evil Empire of Agriculture (well, one of them anyway)

Monsanto. Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone. Most Americans probably haven’t. What may surprise you is that you most likely consume their products everyday.

Monsanto touts itself as being all about promoting farmers. This is true in the same sense that a crack dealer is all about promoting crack addicts. You see, Monsanto produces a genetically engineered seed that they sell to farmers.
You may think that the resulting plant produces a seed that the farmer can then plant again in the future. You would be wrong. You see, genetically engineered crops (let’s just call them GE to spare my typing fingers) cannot be used for seed (in other words, they are not sustainable). The farmer must return to Monsanto every time they wish to plant a crop, creating a dependency between farm and company. And the farmer must pay a patent fee (every year) for the privilege of using these GE seeds. Yes, a patent fee for seeds (and here I thought God owned the patent on those!).

Monsanto has also developed quite a reputation for suing non-GE-seed-using farmers who are unlucky enough to have fields located adjacent or in the somewhat general location of a farmer who does use GE seeds. Why would they sue these hapless farmers? Because sometimes in nature (something Monsanto obviously has little exposure to while locked away in their evil scientist labs), pollen is carried by the wind, or birds, or insects, or other things in NATURE; and when this GE pollen is carried to a non-GE plant, sometimes there is a thing called cross-pollination that occurs. And when this happens, those plants infringe on Monsanto’s patent! Patent infringement by plants during the course of natural occurrences…. those farmers should have to pay!!! How dare they!

But what I find most disturbing about Monsanto and their GE products, is that we really have no idea of the long-term effect of these products on the environment and our bodies, because they haven’t been around long enough for us to know for sure. And perhaps, to be on the safe side, you would like to avoid these products. Good luck! The FDA does not require any type of labeling for genetically modified foods, and though you may not purchase or consume the corn, soybeans, or canola that is produced from Monsanto’s lab; you are most certainly eating the meat, that comes from the chicken, cow, or pig, that did eat those products (that is, if you eat meat from the vast majority of grocery stores or restaurants).

Please take a few minutes to watch the informative video below. If you are a skeptic, there is no need to take my word or Greenpeace’s word at face value. There is plenty of information out there about the harmful effects of genetic engineering, as well as, the detriments of a monocrop culture. The wisdom of centuries, tells us that crop rotation and animal and plant variety are essential for maintaining healthy soil. Modern scientists have decided that chemistry can replace this antiquated practice, but if there is one lesson we really should have learned by now it’s that when you mess with nature, nature has a funny way of messing back!

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