Monsanto: Partners in Sustainability or Global Racketeers

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You can imagine… how farmers feel… when they (Monsanto) go to my neighbours and say, ‘If you support Percy and Louise Schmeiser we’re going to come after you. You won’t have a farm left!’ We didn’t think this ever could happen to a first world country like Canada, but it’s happening to hundreds and hundreds of people. The letters and the phone calls we have received, and how many farmers have just given up, caved in to Monsanto.” -Percy Schmeiser

“A seed company can’t stay in business without offering seeds with Round Up Ready in it, so if they want to stay in that business, essentially they have to do what Monsanto tells them to do.” -Jim Denvir, Lawyer working for Monsanto competitor Du Pont [1]

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The company Monsanto is a multinational Chemical and Agricultural Biotechnology company based in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

It is most famous (or infamous) for its production of genetically engineered seeds as well as its production of the weed killer Roundup.

The company, which began as a small chemical start-up company in 1901, has grown to become an immensely powerful corporation with Net Sales for the 2012 fiscal year of over $13.5 billion and operations in 68 countries across six continents. [2] [3] [4]

According to a recent study by Food and Water Watch, 93% of the US soybean market, and 80% of the US corn market contain genetics patented by the agribusiness giant. [5]

Monsanto owns over 1,676 patents on seeds plants and other agricultural applications. [6]

Since 1996, the amount of acreage supporting Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) crops has exploded from 3 million to 282.3 million worldwide. In the US alone, 151.4 million acres of land support Monsanto’s GE products, accounting for 40% of overall acreage devoted to agricultural production across the board. [7]

Monsanto’s success is not solely, if at all, attributable to its ability to create a superior product. Monsanto has been very aggressive in its lobbying and public relations efforts. According to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics, Monsanto has donated over $4,607,790 to US political campaigns since 1990, and has spent over $61,852,724 since 1998 lobbying elected representatives. [8]

More insidious perhaps, is the revolving door which sees Monsanto board members having worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Agriculture, not to mention positions in public universities, industry and trade groups. (See diagrams below.)

It stands to reason therefore that the government’s ability to regulate Monsanto products in the interest of the environment and human health may be as contaminated as the crops neighbouring a GE farmer’s field.

On the occasion of this Saturday’s world wide “March Against Monsanto,” a follow-up to the May event, the Global Research News Hour addresses the politics of Monsanto’s influence on policy and the entire agricultural sector by speaking with Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser.

The now legendary figure was drawn into a major legal battle with Monsanto when he replanted seeds from GE plants which had originated from another farmer’s field. As a seed saver, Schmeiser saw the seeds as his property, because they grew on his land. Monsanto disagreed as the multi-national owned the patent on the genetic material in the harvested seeds.

Percy Schmeiser makes his debut in part 1 of the show.

In part 2 we replay an interview with F. William Engdahl which originally aired in May. In this discussion, the author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation outlines GMO agriculture’s links to eugenics, the Rockefellers and a motivation to corner the market on food production.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Length (59:19)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour, hosted by Michael Welch, airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Fridays at 1pm CDT.
The programme is also broadcast weekly (Monday, 5-6pm ET) by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.

We welcome our new partner CHLY in Nanaimo, British Columbia! The Global Research News Hour is now broadcast on CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C every Thursday at 1pm PST!

References

1) Frank Morris, January 12, 2010, Monsanto GMO Ignites Big Seed War, NPR; http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122498255
2) Monsanto: A Corporate Profile; Food & Water Watch, US. May 2013, p. 3
3) Monsanto Co. Financial Highlights; http://www.monsanto.com/investors/Pages/financial-highlights.aspx
4) Monsanto Co. ; http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/our-locations.aspx
5) Monsanto: A Corporate Profile; Food & Water Watch, op cit. p 3
6) Ibid
7) Ibid, p 8
8) Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000055&cycle=A


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Seeds of Destruction: Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

F. William Engdahl

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