Native Village Youth and Education News

May 1, 2009 Issue 198
Volume 3

Monsanto's Many Attempts to Destroy All Seeds but Their Own
Condensed by Native Village

Some believe Monsanto is among the most evil companies on the planet for trying to control the seeds that produce food. Monsanto produces GMO seeds (genetically-modified seeds.) Now Monsanto is taking many steps to keep farmers and other from buying, collecting, and saving normal seeds. Normal seeds are those which will, when harvested, produce new plants. 

Monsanto has:
1.  Bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.
2.  Written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through. The laws makes cleaning, collecting and storing seeds so complicated and expensive that having normal seed becomes almost impossible.
3.  Pushes laws that ensure farmers and citizens can’t block GMO crops, even if they contaminate regular crops.
4.  Buried regulations in the FDA rules that make farmers' seed cleaning equipment illegal. It is now considered a “source of seed contamination.”
Sued more than 1,500 farmers whose fields were contaminated by GM crops for growing illegal crops.

Until 1980, the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant patents on seeds. It viewed seeds as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents. This laid  the groundwork for a few corporations to take control of the world’s food supply.

Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds. It has at least
 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company. They invest over
$2,000,000 per day on research and development!

But Monsanto is not only patenting their own GMO seeds. They have also slapped patents on a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time. And they've done this without
a vote of the people or Congress. This makes Monsanto the sole owner of the seeds supporting the world’s food supply.

How do they defend this attempt to control the food supply? They write:

“Patent protection allows companies to see a return on their investment which enables further investment in R-and-D and product development. This profit-investment cycle drives product innovation that is responsive to farmer needs.”

Farmers buying Monsanto’s GM seeds must agree not to save their seeds or sell them to other farmers. This forces all farmer to buy new seeds every year. They must buy these new seeds from Monsanto.

owever, Monsanto is aggressively targeting and pursuing the same farmers for patent infringements on these same seeds. They do this by hiring people to videotape farmers, snatch crop samples from their land, and fly helicopters overhead to spy. All this is done to catch farmers saving or sharing seeds.  In 2005 Monsanto had 75 employees and a $10,000,000 budget to find and prosecute farmers for patent infringement.

Until recently, Monsanto sued farmers for GM crops growing on their land when, in fact, the farmers hadn't planted those seeds. The seeds had, instead, blown over onto their land from a neighboring farmer's field.

Monsanto is now considering using terminator technology on a wide-scale basis. These are genetically modified seeds which “self-destruct.” This means the seeds from forthcoming crops will be sterile. This solves their problem of needing “seed police.”

However, the traits from these terminator seeds can be passed onto other crops, and often are. Once terminator seeds are released into a region, seed sterility could be passed to other non-GMO crops. This would make most -or all -- of the regional seeds sterile. Every farm in the world might have to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply. It could destroy agriculture as we now know it.

 Determine which brands and products contain GMO ingredients
The True Food Shopping List:




Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

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