Why say NO to Monsanto?
A Multinational Agricultural and Biotechnology corporation. The leading producer of Genetically Engineered Seeds and Roundup pesticide (and of the herbicide Glyphosate which is a component of roundup). Started in 1901 it originally began producing plastics and synthetic fibres. They are behind the insecticides, DDT, PCBs and agent orange. They are also responsible for bovine growth hormones.
They began genetically modifying plant cells in the 1980’s and have since become the greatest supplier of GMO produce in the US.
Monsanto produce a number of GMO seeds and products with one being terminator seeds, seeds that will produce plants but sterile seeds, ensuring that purchases MUST be made from Monsanto. I believe these were the seeds that were sent to Africa to “help” surely helping would have been to send non GMO seeds and allow farmers to collect the seeds at harvest and re use them.
Should a farmer attempt to save seeds (from varieties that will produce seeds) instead of buying them can look forward to a law suit that Monsanto is most likely to win since they patent their seeds. Some farmers have even been imprisoned. The problem is, the seeds in question could carry like normal seed does in nature. Seed cleaning has also been under scrutiny by Monsanto, seeing to it that seeds cannot be cleaned and re used.
Numerous court cases have been brought against Monsanto in relation to health. Although the law in the US now protects them from such law suits. Fox news were threatened by Monsanto during 1997 when reporters wanted to do a story on the negative effects of Posilac the bovine growth hormone. Needless to say the reporters were fired.
In 1996 Monsanto tried to say it’s Roundup brand was non toxic and was advised to cease due to it being misleading.
Glyphosate, Roundups main ingredient is classed as dangerous for the environment and toxic for aquatic organisms. Monsanto however advertise their products as being biodegradable and were convicted of false advertising in 2007. In August 2012 they were ordered to pay $250.000 for the same misrepresentation in Brazil from 2004.
Monsanto test their genetically engineered products for 3 months before release, the FDA does not conduct independent testing. Recently scientists in Europe conducted testing on both the GMO seed and roundup, continuing after the 3 month cut off and found that month 4 is where things start to go wrong. An increase in mortality rates infertility and tumours in rats. Recent research completed by the friends of the earth has shown that roundup ingredients have been found in the urine of Europeans despite GMO being relatively new there. The evidence suggests that roundup is linked to a series of health problems including Parkinsons, Infertility and Cancers (Published in the Scientific Journal Entropy)
Research in Argentina found that from 2000 to 20009 following the expansion of GMO soy and rice crops in the region that the childhood cancer rate tripled.
Agent Orange is a herbicide used by the US in Vietnam and is accountable for over 1 million deaths, deformities and health issues.
Watching documentaries and reading articles has shown me that people link Monsanto to a number of diseases including chiari malformations, many farmers have said they have been put under pressure to use Monsanto seeds and those that have refused have had their entire crops burned due to accusations of Monsanto seed growing there. People have grown GMO corn and natural corn and found that animals will not eat the GMO corn. Evolution has provided natures fauna with the ability to know what is good to eat and what is not, the birds say no to Monsanto.
In 2011 Monsanto spent $6.3,000,000 on lobbying the US congress. In 2013 the Farmer Assurance Provision Act was part of a bill to provide continued funding to the federal government, which the President signed into law. Protecting Monsanto and their seed even if a judge deems it unapproved.
In conclusion to this I would like to say that firstly 3 months of testing is not sufficient by any standards. There has been no research conducted by Monsanto on the long term effects of their produce on humans, wildlife or the ecosystem. In any other industry this would not be acceptable. I wrote to the UK Health and Food Minister about my concerns over Monsanto in that they have been linked to numerous health defects and their crops have destroyed natural crops and their response was they are not worried about one crop.
I find this irresponsible on the part of our government, we should be concerned about the extinction of any item in our world, be it animal or plant. The unheard of protection from the US government, the misleading advertising on numerous occasions and the plight of farmers. When farmers are committing suicide due to the acts of a corporation and no one asks any questions that is surely a warning sign. I am not against biotech, science holds a multitude of benefits for humanity and the planet, but I do object to poor testing, protection by governments and monopolies.
The majority of the food in the US is controlled by a few companies, Monsanto included, the detrimental effects to health and environment are being reported all over the states. Campaigning for GMO labelling has been underway for some time. Sadly on writing to the Embassies of several countries I have been informed that GMO foods are welcomed into most countries subject to legislation and yet these products have not been sufficiently tested.
Personally I will not buy anything from any company affiliated with Monsanto and I constantly try to raise awareness and get some moral responsibility accepted by officials. I urge you all to say NO to Monsanto who put profits before people. To conclude I have a list from Wikipedia, the list of people who have held positions in government, Monsanto and the FDA, EPA and Supreme Court
Mr. Earle H. Harbison, Jr. served with the Central Intelligence Agency for 18 years, rising to the rank of Deputy Director, after which he had a career at Monsanto, rising to the roles of President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Monsanto, which he held from 1986 to 1993.
- Michael A. Friedman, MD, was Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Medical and Public Policy for Pharmacia, and later served as an FDA deputy commissioner.
- Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995 to 2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.
- Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before working as an attorney for King & Spalding, a private-sector law firm that represented Monsanto among other clients. He later served as deputy commissioner for policy to the FDA on food safety between 1991 and 1994 during which time the FDA approved rBST. He was accused of a conflict of interest, but a federal investigation cleared him. Following his tenure at the FDA, Taylor returned to Monsanto as Vice President for Public Policy. On July 7, 2009, Taylor entered government as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration for the Obama administration.
- United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. which found that “newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.”
- Mickey Kantor served on Monsanto’s board after serving in government as a trade representative.
- William D. Ruckelshaus served as the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) in 1970, was subsequently acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then Deputy Attorney General of the United States. From 1983 to 1985, he returned as EPA administrator. After leaving government he joined the Board of Directors of Monsanto; he is currently retired from that board.
- Between serving for Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was chairman and chief executive officer of G. D. Searle & Company, a pharmaceutical company which produced aspartame apparently while working on an ulcer drug. Monsanto bought the company in 1985, and re-branded aspartame as NutraSweet. Rumsfeld’s stock and options in Searle were $12 million USD at the time of the transaction.
Further reading: http://www.kidsrighttoknow.com/