I came across this today and of course had to share it here as it's of particular interest for gardeners, particularly those who grow their own produce...
For those of you who are not familiar with Monsanto then you should probably educate yourselves as they are a power to be reckoned with... and not for the side of good, as far as I'm concerned and I know I'm not alone there.
Despite masquerading as 'A Sustainable Agricultural Company' and trying to align themselves with farmers, in trying to help them meet the needs of a growing population... Monsanto are nothing more than profit hunters doing whatever it takes to take over agriculture with Genetically Modified Crops... and now they are targeting home gardeners...
'What most of these home gardeners don’t realize is that corporate
behemoth and GMO titan Monsanto has been gobbling up the seed market
faster than a caterpillar can munch a tomato plant! With one fell swoop
in 2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market with its acquisition of Seminis.
This means that a home gardener could unknowingly be supporting the
development and proliferation of genetically modified crops if the seeds
used are from Seminis. In addition, Monsanto now apparently owns many of the names of the seed varieties themselves!'
While I am not sure if Australia imports the seed brands now under the Monsanto umbrella it is well worth being aware of and keeping an eye on. Educating ourselves is our best defense if we care what we inadvertently support when we shop, if we care what we bring into our homes and our gardens!
It's like the whole hemp conspiracy theory all over again... and what a coincidence that DuPont are Monsanto's biggest competitor... like minded and power hungry they want full control just like they did back in 1937 as some of the big money people stricking out to protect their interests...
'Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst led the crusade to ban hemp.
Hearst owned millions of acres of prime timber land and a machine that
simplified the process of making paper from hemp had just been
invented. Hearst used his power as a publisher to create public panic
about the evils of hemp and marijuana. Another big money player Pierre
DuPont held patent rights to the sulfuric acid wood pulp paper process.
In 1937 DuPont patented nylon rope made from synthetic petrochemicals.
The big money people prevailed and near the end of 1937 Congress
passed the Marijuana Tax Act. By placing a prohibitively high tax on
hemp production it destroyed the industry. This was done to protect
these big money interests of the timber, petrochemical, and cotton
industries.' (quoted from here).
Food really is BIG business now (think Food Inc.) and organisations like Monsanto and DuPont sell their services to the American government, American farmers and the American people by way of striking fear into their hearts that there will be a food shortage if we don't start genetically modifying our crops and so many people have fallen victim to this belief and given them carte blanche to take over. It's a horrifying thought for those of us who don't want to go down this path, whether we are a farmer or a consumer.
There is so much more I could say on this subject as it feeds into a really big picture... but instead I will leave you with a more feel-good story*, though it starts out somewhat depressing... and a note on this: the beginning is the reality of what business has done to farming and although she refers mostly to the impending energy crisis... it could just as easily be what chemicals have done and what GMO's will inevitably do. For me the most poignant moment is when she refers to some old video footage of one of their fields from the 1980's, where the life in the soil was a feast for the birds (at ploughing time) yet 20 years later there are no birds... because the soil is dead... but really, it's worth watching the whole thing because she discovers some very positive and innovative people that are healing this earth.
* Can't link to original on BBC website but this is a legitimate version on youtube
If you care about what you eat or what you grow or what your shopping dollar supports then there are some great organisations out there finding out the dirt so we can avoid what we don't want and support what we do... here are just a few: Truefood Network; The Ethical Consumer Guide; Local Harvest, The Sustainable Table... the list goes on but these will keep you going for a while and will no doubt lead you on your own journey of discovery and education.
... and I'll leave you with something I read on Facebook today: 'YOU, AS A FOOD BUYER HAVE THE DISTINCT PRIVILEGE OF PROACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN SHAPING THE WORLD YOUR CHILDREN WILL INHERIT' - Joel Salatin