[From Deardra MacDonald - Based on a presentation at the Philosophy Club in The Villages, FL, 25 March 2011. Powerpoint charts are available on video at the end of topic. The proprietor of this Blog does not necessarily agree with this material.]My main reason for doing this topic at the Philosophy Club was to become familiar with the controversy surrounding the Giant Chemical Corporations, Small Farmers, Activists, and the Consumers. Three months ago I was like most Americans and had absolutely no idea that over the past couple of decades, giant Chemical Corporations has achieved a virtual monopoly on some of the most important seed markets in the United States and the world. So I started with the basic question, “What is a genetically modified seed?" The section that started my education was Wikipedia’s “Genetically Modified Food Controversies”. My research started by just reading this website and trying to absorb, or should I say struggling to understand genetically modified organism controversy! From that point my research took on over 100 website from Universities, Independent Research Centers, Lawsuits, Monsanto vs. Small Farmers, White House Involvement, on and on and on… to many to write in this article.
Consumer’s Fear That No Independent Research Done On Humans
An article by the Center for Research on Globalization Stated, “One of the great mysteries surrounding the spread of genetically modified plants around the world since the first commercial crops were released in the early 1990’s in the USA and Argentina has been the absence of independent scientific studies of possible long-term effects of a diet of GMO plants on humans or even rats. The real reason has now come to light. The genetically modified agribusiness companies like Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer, Syngenta and others prohibit independent research.
An editorial in the respected American scientific monthly magazine, Scientific American, August 2009 reveals the shocking and alarming reality behind the proliferation of genetically modified products throughout the food chain of the planet since 1994. There are no independent scientific studies published in any reputed scientific journal in the world for one simple reason. It is impossible to independently verify that GMO crops such as Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybeans or MON8110 GMO maize perform as the company claims, or that, as the company also claims, that they have no harmful side effects because the GMO companies forbid such tests! They are covered by the US constitution patent protection, allowing a monopoly of that invention for 20 years. The Internet is the places to go to find out about the research and risks.
The Revolving Door Policy George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama
The support between Monsanto and White House is unprecedented in the history of corporations. Monsanto is an American company; its headquarters is located in Saint Louis, Missouri. “ A statement was made by our President in 1992 proclaimed that genetically modified seed is “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO seeds”. The genetically modified seed was approved in the United States beginning with our President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and supported by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. High Level Connections.
Small Farmer and Monsanto Contract
The contract has been call by activist and farmer An Ironclad Contract. It is a contract that profits Monsanto. This contract is fundamentally unfair to farmers. Ironclad Contract What needs to be understood is that it is also fundamentally unfair to society, we the consumers are the third unrepresented party to such because we end up consuming the products of this agreement.
People have said if working with Monsanto is so difficult, farmers should just plant conventional seeds. That sounds like an easy fix, but where are they going to get the seed? The Center for Research on Globalization explains why Monsanto keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds. Monsanto has bought up the seed companies across the Midwest. They’ve written Monsanto Seed Laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork and testing and tracking every variety and being subject to fines, that having normal seed becomes almost impossible. Monsanto is pushing the law that remove community’ control over their own counties so farmers and citizens can’t block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops.
Small Farmer vs. Monsanto Lawsuits
Whenever you see the words Small Farmer and Monsanto in the same article, it is describing a lawsuit against small farmer by Monsanto. Monsanto is filing lawsuits around the world. See what Vandana Shiva from India says about small farmers. Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food-Part 1 Vandana Shiva Video.
Monsanto's efforts to prosecute farmers can be divided into three stages: investigations of farmers, out-of-court settlements, and litigation against farmers Monsanto believes are in breach of contract or engaged in patent infringement. Monsanto has set aside an annual budget of $10 million dollars and a staff of 75 devoted solely to investigating and prosecuting farmers.
Activist rally for labeling all genetically modified.
This is where the Activist and consumers have rallied together and have signed petitions to label all foods that have been genetically modified. Allergic reactions are a real concern of genetic engineering because it may transfer new proteins into foods, causing allergic reactions and many other symptoms in human. Since law does not regulate labeling genetically engineered food, those who have known allergies will have no way of identifying the contents of their food. The first Taco Bell crisis and the mixing of genetically altered corn not approved for human consumption into the nation's corn supply reveals how poorly government regulators have been doing their job. It was biotech opponents, not the FDA, who discovered that Taco Bell brand taco shells -- made by Kraft and sold in grocery stores -- was contaminated with animal seed Cry9C corn, marketed by the French biotechnology company Aventis under the name StarLink. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved StarLink in 1998 for use in animal feed or non-food industrial purposes only.
Where does the American Medical Association Stand on Genetically Modified Food
When I talk about the giant Chemical Corporation and genetically modified food, the first response I get back from other people always centers on a similar comment. People say that doesn’t make sense? Why would the American Medical Association support a corporation that produces a product that could be potentially harmful to humans? Then I patiently… remind people of the support that both the doctors and American Medical Association sided completely with the Giant Tobacco Corporations. The Journal of the American Medical Association published it advertisements of the safety of smoking in the early 1930’s. In medical journals and in the popular media, one of the most infamous cigarette advertising slogans was associated with the Camel brand: "More doctor smoke Camels than any other cigarette." The campaign began in 1946 and ran for eight years in magazines and on the radio. They are still bills in the House and Senate today trying to pass stronger wording against tobacco. Tobacco Regulations
When I put in “American Medical Association and Monsanto” using Google search engine, the first 3 websites on American Medical Association and Monsanto are on Monsanto’s letterhead? After the first 3 website then came the flood of websites reporting negative information. I selected this video under the topic American Medical Association and Monsanto: Video.
It is up to each person to decide what side of the “Controversy” they support. It is mandatory that consumers have a good understanding of “both sides” of this controversy because over 60% of what you buy in the grocery store is genetically modified food and ends up on your dinner table. This new genetically modified organism in our food has not been tested on humans. It will take generations to determine which side of this controversy is right?