Free Our Food
Our food supply is monopolized by a handful of corporations with highly controversial histories. Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dow-DuPont have bought over 200 independent seed companies and now dictate nearly everything that is planted in America. Monsanto, a chemical company rebranded as an agriculture firm, is responsible for developing some of the most toxic substances on earth: Agent Orange, Dioxin, DDT, and PCB’s. They are credited with 50 toxic superfund sites where cleanup is near impossible and environmental devastation has raged on for the last fifty years. Even after Monsanto had clear evidence that the toxins were an extreme health hazard, they hid the knowledge for decades, sacrificing public safety rather than disrupt the income streams generated. Chemical companies with horrific moral atrocities on their records should not be allowed in the food industry at all; and certainly should not be permitted to control it!
I had heard Monsanto was evil for years, but never looked into it. I thought, “Fresh eyes for the usual suspects”, but quickly found mass opinion to be justified. For example, Monsanto sued farmers when Monsanto’s seeds would blow over into their fields and mix with the farmer’s crops. Believe it or not, they sued for patent infringement! So dishonorable an approach is obvious, but right or wrong, most farmers couldn’t sustain the lawsuit and their business as well. They would be forced to settle. Such farmers are morally justified to sue for GMO pollution: the contamination of their fields with unnatural agents, which fortunately, is the current trend of the law. Farmers now have legal protection against this, so the system can work.
Monsanto claims on their website to have launched under 150 lawsuits against American farmers over the years, wondering why, when they deal with a few hundred thousand farmers, such a small number would have given them so negative a reputation. What they don’t mention are the thousands of lawsuits threatened and settled out of court yearly (4,500 in 2006 alone), the risk of which terrorizes their entire customer base. They employ individuals known as Seed Police, who travel the country investigating and intimidating farmers for infractions in seed storing. Farmers are encouraged to report on their neighbors, provoking such queries perhaps for competitive advantage, where accused farmers find it cheaper to pay settlements than to litigate and face Monsanto’s seizure of their land and equipment. Monsanto claims that the proceeds are donated for agriculture scholarships, yet the amount taken from farmers has been as high as $68 million in a year, while the amount given charitably averages less than $1 million per year. This gives decent Americans several thousand if not millions of reasons to despise them.
In a recent folly, claiming Monsanto’s product Round Up is non-toxic, GMO advocate and Monsanto lobbyist Dr. Patrick Moore said in 2015, “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.” The journalist then put a glass of the weed-killer in front of him, inviting him to prove it. Refusing, he said “I’m not stupid.” But they think we are? Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Round Up) has since been found to be carcinogenic, and 125x more toxic than regulators claimed. For all the spin and maneuvering Monsanto’s representatives have done to distance themselves from past atrocities, they haven’t changed.
Monsanto sues its customer base as a regular course of business, and their competitors are now following suit, leaving farmers nowhere to turn. Imagine being able to do that. That is a coercive monopoly, and we owe no allegiance to those who hold us under threat. It isn’t easy to gain monopolizing control of a field—fate of mankind type of control—without deep connections. I expect that if you look into the core ownership of the firm, you will find political holding companies controlled by sheiks, kings, military generals, and ex-presidents, such as the Carlyle Group; men accustomed to control without accountability. Planning in advance for environmental lawsuits, Monsanto has layers of shell corporations they shed with each major suit, having one entity admit blame and pay penalties which amount to a small percentage of the overall profit, making it a routine cost of business. This practice should be legally disallowed, 100% or more of the profit relinquished, and the stench of dishonor glued to the executives and owners responsible. If the well-informed health and freedom of mankind means nothing to you, your corporation’s survival means nothing to me.
Warrior Note: Any wealthy group practicing or seeking police powers is ripe for prosecution.
Farming regulations should be determined by a firm’s range of public impact with stiff regulations for large industrial farms and light regulations for small farms. Small farms are the core of American health just as small business is the lifeblood of the American economy. The size of their operation must be considered, placing as light a burden as possible on small businesses operating on a shoestring. Seed patent laws for example have been a disaster for farmers as they have resulted in this Gestapo practice run amok. Legalizing patents for living organisms was an unsound and immoral ruling that should be overturned. Once introduced to the natural environment, seeds are out of their control, and quickly morph into something the company did not create.
By protecting the small farmer, we protect the integrity of the food supply. No one source would be in control of what is contained within the crops planted; no corrupt agenda affecting the masses could succeed. No seed monopolies or patents should be permitted: 10% of market share maximum. No conquest lawsuits that risk the existence of the small farmer should be permitted. If a considerable disparity in the size of the organizations exists (say 5 to 1 or more), all legal fees and any financial disruption that threatens the stability of the smaller should be provided up front by the larger entity that files suit.
To have the best chance to stay healthy and GMO free, buy from local farmers markets. Verify their seeds were not purchased from multinational corporations. We need biodiversity to be safe: a great variety of seeds acclimated to many different environments. Each area has its own conditions that the plants have accommodated themselves to and are best suited for. Farmers must be free to develop their own seeds, to keep them, to store them, and to replant them. This is the foundation of the farming process from its inception in America, and our health, our freedom, and ultimately our lives, depend on it.