Confusion about Monsanto GMO—HELP

08 Jun

First, this is simply my opinion and confusion about something.  I hope that the readers can explain things to me so that I might better understand how this is allowed to happen because I am completely confused by it.

Monsanto Corporation has estimated in excess of 11,000 patents in regards to plants, seeds and GMO (Genetic Modification) of what is considered in legal terms “life”.  In the 1980’s the United States Congress allowed “life” to be patented.

One of the many things in which they have patented is the Round Up Ready soy bean seeds.  As reported in the documentary “Food Inc”, in 2008 it was estimated that the genes of this Monsanto soy bean was in 90% of the worlds soy bean seed.  I don’t know what the estimates are for 2011 as I am still in the process of doing more research.  However, with 90% of these seeds holding the Monsanto genes, this would seem to me that it would qualify as a “monopoly” or “cartel” situation.  As such, it should fall under prosecution under the Sherman Anti-Trust act which was passed in 1890.  For more information about the Sherman Anti-Trust act please go to visit Wikipedia.  The purpose of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was to oppose the combination of entities that could potentially harm competition, such as monopolies or cartels.  The law directs itself not against conduct which is competitive, even severely so, but against conduct which unfairly tends to destroy competition itself.  With 90% of all soy bean seed now being tainted with the Monsanto gene, how is the Sherman Anti-Trust Act not being violated?

I don’t want their GMO soy bean in my fields nor in my food, yet the courts are not asking Monsanto to control their creation, rather they are penalizing anyone found guilty for their inability to control an act of god which taints and innocent persons crops with this gene.  Judges in lawsuits against farmers being sued by Monsanto are stating that it doesn’t matter HOW your crops become tainted by the Monsanto GMO genes, once your crops are tainted, be it wind, water, bird, bee or any other method, you can no longer save any of your seed and you must pay damages to Monsanto for using their gene.  I am confused that Monsanto is not held responsible for the control of their creation.  And if they are not able to control their creation, how are they allowed to sell it, much less in such a clear monopoly which goes against the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

I don’t want GMO seeds, I don’t want products containing GMO genes, yet I have been forced into it, because of the monopoly held by Monsanto.  The movie Food Inc estimated that 78% of all the processed products on the shelves in the local grocery store contain soy products.  With Monsanto GMO genes being in and estimated 90% of all the soy bean crops, that means most of the products we purchase today containing soy products are the result of Monsanto GMO soy beans.  Where is the fair trade here?  What are my options in NOT purchasing any soy products with their gene which is what I want?

My fear is not IF Monsanto GMO soy beans will be 100% of the available soy bean seeds, but rather WHEN.  And when 100% of all soy bean seeds are owned by them, they will effectively own 100% of the worlds soy bean crop and that frightens me.  Why?  Because I don’t want it yet as a consumer I have no other options available to me.

You might think I could get away from it by not purchasing soy products or the estimated 78% of everything on the grocer shelf.  But they don’t just produce Round Up Ready Soy beans, they also have Round Up Ready Alfalfa, and the courts found in favor of Monsanto Corporation stating it is not their responsibility to prove it is safe, nor to control the spread of their crop, it is only their responsibility to create and enforce payment from everyone growing their Round Up Ready Alfalfa.  It doesn’t matter if you plant their GMO Alfalfa or if you plant your own Alfalfa seed….if your fields become tainted, you owe Monsanto money for the use of their creation, even if you didn’t plant it yourself.  If your crops become tainted with the gene, you can not save your own seed, you must destroy your seed and purchase your seed from Monsanto.  Monsanto is also the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds on the planet, accounting for over 90% of the GE seeds planted globally in 2003.

Did you read that?  They account for over 90% of all GMO (GE) seed world-wide.  How is this allowing ME the consumer a choice?  The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was put into place to allow me the consumer a CHOICE and to ensure just competition in the market place.

Beyond them holding a monopoly, when they hit 100%, what happens to the price?  If you have seen the movie Dune, there is a line in the movie “If you control the spice, you control the Universe”…… and this frankly scares me to death.  It isn’t about if the product is safe or not, it is about having the freedom to choose something NOT containing GMO.  I am a backyard farmer, I pull weeds the old-fashioned way, I hoe them and I pull them by hand, I don’t want, nor desire a GMO seed designed to work with their herbicide, and I certainly don’t need their GMO seed with how I garden.

Can anyone help me understand how they are allowed to own so much of the GMO market, so much of the soy bean market, the corn market and now they are working on the alfalfa market?  How does it allow market place competition and how is it not considered a monopoly or a cartel?

When I went to the local farm supply store this year to obtain seeds for my garden I asked specifically for varieties guaranteed to not contain the Monsanto Round Up Ready genes.  I was told that because these genes are in so much of the crop, they could not guarantee any of their seed to be free from it.  In fact I was told to count on it CONTAINING the Monsanto genes. I asked him if he sold organic varieties, he said yes, but that it most likely contained the Monsanto genes as well.  Thus, there is no competition for the seeds I wanted and the Monsanto seed is the only option.  Well, I exercised another option, I simply didn’t plant those crops which could not be guaranteed to be free of the Monsanto genes.  Need I say I was highly limited in my choices?  What happened to my rights as a consumer under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act?

When they control our food chain, will they feed the people of the world at their cost…. or will we simply pay their asking price and for our own ignorance in allowing this to happen?  Will we have enough money?

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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Gardening, Soap Box


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