Sometimes learning is depressing

Monsanto is a name that those of us in the south grow up hearing.  It is synonymous with farming, cotton, seeds, soy beans, and farmers that you know and see everyday.  It has a non-intrusive, non-threatening, “we love farmers” vibe around here.  With Round-Up selling as fast as they can produce it and their Round-Up Ready Soy Beans and Cotton genetically modified seeds, needless to say they are more than a minor influence in the southern United States. So, when I saw the documentary “The World According to Monsanto” listed on my DirecTV guide, I immediately flagged it to record.  What I learned shocked me and really made me think about what Monsanto and its genetically modified seeds are doing for food production and the “intellectual rights” associated to a seed produced by a plant.

We learn in grade school that plants grow from a seed of some sort.  When that plant continues to grow it produces seeds of its own.  The plant does this so the plant can propagate its species.  You may assume that if you grow something from a seed you can replant the seeds that original plant produces and grow more plants.  That may be true…sometimes.  It is never true for a Monsanto seed.  Farmers must sign contracts that state they may not keep any seeds produced by the plants that they grow from Monsanto seeds.  Monsanto uses this policy to protect their “intellectual property.”

We also learn about cross pollination in grade school.  If a farm growing seeds bought from Monsanto cross pollinates with another crop near there grown from non-Monsanto grown seeds. The result is both fields produce genetically modified crops that fall under Monsanto’s GM seed property rights and the non-Monsanto crop owner will be sued. Mr. Schmeiser won is his ordeal, but hundreds others haven’t.


MONSANTO OWNS PATENTS FOR “TERMINATOR SEEDS” These seeds will yield pants with sterile seeds so farmers will have to buy MORE seeds next year and the next year and the next year.  This coupled with their stance on “seed savers” MONSANTO POLICY The only reasonable motivation is domination and control of the global food market.

WAIT, with all this talk about global food production and market domination, I have missed one important question… Is genetically modified food safe to eat? Well, Reports vary.  However the American Academy of Environmental Science has issued a moratorium on GM foods.  According to their study GM foods caused damage to the organs to animals who ate it.   Here is their position paper concerning their findings and an excerpt from that paper.

“However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”

In all fairness this may be a biased study…WHAT?  A former Monsanto employee feels GM food is unsafe????


So this study is saying that GM crops, like the ones Monsanto manufactures, are unhealthy to consume and cause health problems. I need to calm down….

Well thank god we have non GM foods to consume….ummm, apparently not.

“As of 2001, 75 percent of all food crops grown in the United States were genetically modified, including 80 percent of soybeans, 68 percent of cotton, and 26 percent of corn crops.”

Just to make it worse:  Here are the Top 10 Dangers of GM Foods

Well shit.

All I can say now is that we need to be more informed.   We just need to know that when we stop to smell the roses,  it may be a genetically “enhanced” blue rose.


About Matt

I was.

Posted on November 30, 2009, in food, My World, USA, world and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I hear ya!

    After watching that documentary yesterday, I felt like the weight of the world was on top of me. It WAS depressing! Especially if you like to eat and grow your own food.

    If you’ve seen the movie “Food, Inc”, there are references to the same kind of information in it. Same with Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.

    All I can say is….spread the word as much as possible!

    Thanks for posting!
    Marcia Davis

  2. Have you seen that crazy documentary “Food Inc.”? Super relevant to your blog entry.

  3. Seems to me, according to this God created the plants and put the seeds inside the plants…how in the world is it that the government today could even conceive of allowing any human company to claim the rights to something that God created?? Something Living?
    Genesis !: 11-12
    “11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”
    Monsanto has already started to patent livestock beginning with pigs…what is next? Humans? Don’t think for one minute it will not be.

  4. wow…this is a bit scary and a little eye opening for me. I knew a little about the genetic food market…but this just blew it wide open! I…I am more than glad that I have decided recently to try to make sure that I purchase certified organic foods…but how can I be so sure? Scary…

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