Daily Archives: January 29, 2011

USDA Caves To Big Ag. Again.

I was too angry to write about this the other day, but the upshot is that USDA has given Monsanto permission to bully farmers into using genetically engineered “Roundup ready” alfalfa, just as the company has bullied farmers into using its genetically engineered soybeans and corn.

Simply put, Monsanto bases much of its business on the fact it has been able to obtain patents on plant genes, and thus, according to our perverted system of law, has the right to license seed from numerous edible plants. I believe Monsanto fancies itself as the Microsoft of the world’s food supply. It thinks every farmer and gardener should be forced to buy a license to rent Monsanto seeds.

Think of Monsanto seeds as Windows, and open-pollinated seeds as Linux, and you’ve about got the picture. Except, since the government allows Monsanto and other companies and universities to “patent” plant genes, it has given Monsanto the ability to, in effect, turn Linux into Windows.

See, if a farmer grows alfalfa or corn or soybeans from open-pollinated seed – in a field right next to the same crop grown from Monsanto-patented seed, cross pollination from wind or bees is all but a certainty. Believe it or not, Monsanto sends its lawyers around and sues every seed-saving farmer it can get its hands on – claiming they are violating the Monsanto patent while all the open-pollinated farmer is doing is minding his own business.

And in case you think the big boys of bio-ag are going to stop after they get their fingers on everyone’s grain seed stocks, think again. They’ve already made a play on eggplants. Where does it end.

All of this, by the way, is aside from the fact that Monsanto’s “Roundup ready” genetically engineered Frankenstein plants don’t work in the long run. In the long run, they just result in “Roundup ready” super weeds that can’t be killed with mere pesticides.

The USDA decision is wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin. Luckily, Rachel over at Dog Island Farm has laid it all out clearly and methodically. Read it and weep.

As for me, you can have my open-pollinated tomato seeds when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Posted in Big Ag, Factory Food