Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why Is Monsanto Viewed So Negatively?

A scientist posted this question on Crop Talk this morning. I haven't met the gentleman but hope to next month.

Why is Monsanto viewed so negatively? I think it is because how they brought genetically modified seed to the marketplace. I don't see any other way they could have done it, either.

They were able to convince our government to change the PVPA or Plant Variety Protection Act by making genetically modified seed intellectual property and retaining all rights to the germplasm with royalties and penalties for use and misuse of the seed.

This changed the old practice of farmers saving their own seed. This not saving seed had already happened naturally in hybrid corn for 60 years or more but this amendment keeps farmers from saving their own soybean, wheat and other varietal seed.

Farmers are not going to breed their own hybrid corn but they could have kept their own genetically modified soybean without this amendment. This totally changed the seed markets and Monsanto put up the money to enforce these new laws.

The fear of "Pinkerton's" on farms and in seed houses became rampant as Monsanto prosecuted one lead after another of farmers and seedsmen who didn't get the message. More fear ran across the barnyard than across tree hugger's dinner plates who screamed GM food is Frankenfood.

Almost 20 years later Monsanto has the US and some world seed business locked up and the farmer pays a large tech fee for planting their genetially modified seed. All other seed companies had to take a stance and play the game too to get their royalties to stay in business.

bT corn and RR soybeans must work, don't they or why would farmers choose them over non genetically modified seed?

Monsanto has become a powerful life science company that has changed how we farm and what we eat. Some people are never going to agree how they did that.

Ed Winkle


  1. 1. Because the greenies hate capitalists
    2. The way in which they went after enforcement of the technology agreements. I don't know exactly how they should have done it differently but it was not good for their public image
    3. Their aggressive efforts to buy up all the smaller seed companies make us sympathize with issue numbers one and two.
    4. We hate paying the technology fee.
    5. Their aggressive efforts to form monopolies.

    I grow Teff hay. There are no chemicals except round-up labeled for Teff. Why? because Monsanto is supposed to have lobbied to have Teff classified as neither a grass nor a grain instead of being classified as both. The word is that big M has a GMO variety of Teff in the works. If so it would have a pretty big impact on those countries who use Teff as a grain.

    And... the second to the last paragraph made me laugh. bT corn and RR soybeans don't have to work that well, there just has to be a critical mass of farmers planting them. A lot of farmers just follow their neighbors and pretend they know what they are doing.

    Just my opinion...

  2. I had to read this twice but it all makes very good sense. However you state no opinion on the science, health and safety of it which is fine. No sense making an observation if you have no fact to back it.

    I am really PO'd at the dog right now as I was starting a pan of bacon for BLT's and trying to start a wood fire and while reading this she ate the bacon from the pan.

    I could shoot her right now. Shock collar is going back on. Nothing worse than a bad dog that is really a good dog and I didn't do my job.

  3. I can only speak for myself as to why I absolutely HATE Monsanto and view it as just another criminal organization posing as a 'Fortune 500' company.

    First of all, they purchased Holden Foundation seed company, as well as a vast number of 'independent seed companies' and then deliberately, after a few years, withheld the good, most advanced corn genetics from the non-Round-Up seed corn varieties, regardless of their host name brand. (Last year was the LAST year some of these were available.) In short, they only allow their best genetics SOLELY in RR seed corn products.

    I personally believe that's restraint of trade.

    Secondly, they have bankrupted both small and medium size farmers over the issue of seed "Piracy" when they knew from the beginning some of these operators were innocent of the charges, but they continued these actions in order to make examples out of them and spread fear throughout their respective communities.

    To me Monsanto's business tactics represent the very worst of the Capitolist/Free Enterprise system. They are also working hard to establish a 'monopoly' on the good corn genetics as well as those that hold promise for our future.

    My personal belief is they have only avoided prosecution for their methods through political contributions and nefarious other means. At one point a few years ago they lost patent protection and then suddenly the U.S. Patent Office gave it back to them without explanation.

    My view is they are so crooked they could give lessons to the Mafia...

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

  4. Thanks, Frank. I appreciate your comments and I appreciate your blog very much.