Posted by Barbara Peterson
By Linn Cohen-Cole
People say if farmers don’t want problems from Monsanto, just don’t buy their GMO seeds.
Not so simple. Where are farmers supposed to get normal seed these days? How are they supposed to avoid contamination of their fields from GM-crops? How are they supposed to stop Monsanto detectives from trespassing or Monsanto from using helicopters to fly over spying on them?
Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples and if they find any GMO plants growing there (or say they have), they then sue, saying they own the crop. It’s a way to make money since farmers can’t fight back and court and they settle because they have no choice.
And they have done and are doing a bucket load of things to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds.
So, after demanding that seed cleaners somehow be able to tell one seed from another (or be sued to kingdom come) or corrupting legislatures to put in laws about labeling of seeds that are so onerous no one can cope with them, what is Monsanto’s attitude about labeling their own stuff? You guessed it – they’re out there pushing laws against ANY labeling of their own GM-food and animals and of any exports to other countries. Why?
We know and they know why.
As Norman Braksick, the president of Asgrow Seed Co. (now owned by Monsanto) predicted in the Kansas City Star (3/7/94) seven years ago, “If you put a label on a genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”
And they’ve sued dairy farmers for telling the truth about their milk being rBGH-free, though rBGH is associated with an increased risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers.
I just heard that some seed dealers urge farmers to buy the seed under the seed dealer’s name, telling the farmers it helps the dealer get a discount on seed to buy a lot under their own name. Then Monsanto sues the poor farmer for buying their seed without a contract and extorts huge sums from them.
Here’s a youtube video that is worth your time. Vandana Shiva is one of the leading anti-Monsanto people in the world. In this video, she says (and this video is old), Monsanto had sued 1500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM-crops. Listen to all the ways Monsanto goes after farmers.
Do you know the story of Gandhi in India and how the British had salt laws that taxed salt? The British claimed it as theirs. Gandhi had what was called a Salt Satyagraha, in which people were asked to break the laws and march to the sea and collect the salt without paying the British. A kind of Boston tea party, I guess.
Thousands of people marched 240 miles to the ocean where the British were waiting. As people moved forward to collect the salt, the British soldiers clubbed them but the people kept coming. The non-violent protest exposed the British behavior, which was so revolting to the world that it helped end British control in India.
Vandana Shiva has started a Seed Satyagraha – nonviolent non-cooperation around seed laws – has gotten millions of farmers to sign a pledge to break those laws.
American farmers and cattlemen might appreciate what Gandhi fought for and what Shiva is bringing back and how much it is about what we are all so angry about – loss of basic freedoms. [The highlighting is mine.]