Any remake of the 1950s movie The Bad Seed should cast Monsanto in the title role.
This biotech behemoth has a monopolistic grip on the creation and sale of Frankenseeds — the seeds of corn, cotton, soybeans and other crops that have had genetically modified organisms spliced into their natural DNA structure by corporate lab-techs. Why insert risky, inadequately tested GMOs into our food supply? To produce crops that can survive heavier doses of toxic pesticides — specifically, pesticides marketed by Monsanto. The corporation gets more profit, we get more pesticides and new man-made health risk.
That’s enough to make a truly horrific movie about the bad seed, but Monsanto has added to the horror by almost sadistically applying another level of its monopoly power. Having patented the GMO technology, the corporation asserts that when the plants grow in a farmer’s field and subsequently produce their own seeds, those second-generation seeds do not belong to the farmer, but are Monsanto’s private property.
Thus, the seed-saving ethic that has sustained agriculture all around the world for centuries has been decreed illegal to benefit Monsanto — and the profiteering giant prowls the country to find and sue any of its own customers who dare practice the sensible art of seed saving. The bully has 75 staffers and a $10 million-a-year budget dedicated to monitoring, investigating, prosecuting and intimidating small farmers, even if some second-generation GMO seeds crop up in their fields inadvertently.
This is a case of one deep-pocket corporation perverting patent law in order to monopolize the sale of seeds, gouge thousands of farmers, and endanger both human health and the environment. What a deal!
To fight the ongoing horror of this bad seed, go to: www.OrganicConsumers.org.
Respond: firstname.lastname@example.org This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.