An oligopoly takes shape to corner the human food supply.
The hunter, it seems, has become the hunted. After wresting control of roughly a quarter of the global seeds market by acquiring a massive portfolio of seed companies, including Agroceres, Asgrow, Cristiani Burkard, Dekalb, Delta & Pine and the seeds division of Cargill North America, Monsanto now suddenly finds itself on the menu of two very powerful, much bigger rivals.
On Thursday, it was reported that Germany’s two chemical-industry titans Bayer and BASF, both of which have a market capitalization more than double Monsanto’s, are mulling a takeover bid.
– Monsanto and DuPont Lose Initial Appeals over Mexico GM Maize Ban (Sustainable Pulse, March 20, 2015):
The legal battles over the existing ban on the planting of GM maize in Mexico continue to unfold with a string of four important court victories by the Acción Colectiva del Maíz.
By Devon Peña Source: Environmental and Food Justice
On February 28, 2015, the collective of organizations known as Acción Colectiva del Maíz announced that they had secured four more favorable court decisions involving amparo (shelter) corporate challenges seeking to end the GMO corn ban in Mexico. These are pivotal victories but the group explains that more administrative and judicial reviews remain to be adjudicated, including five by Monsanto and Syngenta against the use of precautionary measures to manage the bio-safety risks posed by GM corn.
Don’t use anything containing Teflon.
– Major Chemical Company ‘Poisoned Water Supply’ for 50 Years (Natural Society, March 9, 2015):
A federal lawsuit has been filed against the chemical company Dupont by residents of West Virginia after being poisoned with a chemical called C8. The plaintiffs seek damages from Dupont for contaminating their drinking water.
DuPont has a habit of poisoning people – as many chemical companies do. The company has been sued hundreds of times for contamination both the environment and humankind. The chemical C8 is used to make the product Teflon, which can cause liver, prostate, and testicular cancer. Dupont was aware of this danger for a long time, but continued to use it in the manufacturing of products anyway.
As early as the 1950s, Dupont knew just how dangerous C8 could be to human beings. In the name of profit, white collar criminals decided to ignore the facts.
DuPont dumped C8 chemicals into two local aquifers, whereupon West Virginia residents have been drinking the poisoned water for years.
– The farce of GMO industry safety studies (GMWatch, July 11, 2014):
Who would have expected that toxicology would become a rich reservoir of farce and irony? Yet that is exactly what has happened in the area of GMO toxicity testing, thanks to double standards that mean studies finding harm are judged very differently to those finding safety.
The latest episode in the farce is a GMO industry safety study designed to test the effects in rats fed a GMO canola compared with rats fed non-GM canola. Unfortunately, the test animals were fed GMOs and pesticides and control animals were also fed – er – GMOs and pesticides. Unsurprisingly, the study found no effect from feeding the GM food under test and concluded that it was safe. In spite of its poor design, the study could be used to gain regulatory approval for the GM Roundup-tolerant canola under test.
– Big Biotech Sues Little Island of Kaua’i Over GMO Law (Waking Times, Jan 14, 2014):
As was expected, Big Biotech’s legal juggernaut has rolled into action in Hawai’i. On Friday afternoon, three big agrochemical companies—Pioneer-DuPont, Syngenta and Agrigenetics Inc. (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical)—filed a suit in a federal court in Honolulu seeking to block Kaua’i County’s new genetically modified organism (GMO) regulatory law. Two other big agribusiness concerns on the island that will be affected by the law—Kaua’i Coffee and BASF—haven’t joined the suit.The law, Ordinance 960 (formerly known as Bill 2491), was passed in November after surviving a veto by Kaua’i Mayor Barnard Carvalho. It requires agricultural companies and large farms to disclose the type and volume of pesticides they are spraying and the location of their genetically modified crop fields. It also requires the companies to set up buffer zones between fields growing GM crops and public places like schools, hospitals and parks. The law is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 16.
A similar regulatory bill was introduced on the island of Maui in December, just days after the mayor of Hawai’i Island, Billy Kenoi, signed into law a bill restricting biotech companies and farmers from growing any new genetically modified crops on that island.
– Exposed: Pesticide Industry to Receive Pollution Privileges in Farm Bill H.R. 1947 (REALfarmacy, June 14, 2013):
One need only do a quick search on the website InfluenceExplorer.com to see the reality that is special interest influence over lawmakers. The literal millions of dollars given to lawmakers should shed light on the fact that Washington D.C. does not represent your interests.CropLife America is a lobbying group for the giant chemical producers like Monsanto and DuPont. From 2011-2012 CropLife America has spent $4,929,594.00 lobbying on behalf of companies that think it is just fine to spray pesticides over waterways. But what about the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? Shouldn’t these acts of legislation prevent the discharge of pesticides over waterways? Well if you have enough money, you can write laws that exempt your company from the CA/CW Acts, and that is exactly what CropLife America has done in SEC. 10013. USE AND DISCHARGES OF AUTHORIZED PESTICIDES. Of H.R. 1947:
A version of this article appeared in print on June 4, 2013, on page B4 of the New York edition with the headline: Connecticut Approves Genetic Labeling.
– Connecticut Approves Labeling Genetically Modified Foods (New York Times, June 3, 2013):
Connecticut on Monday became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients — but only after other conditions are met.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after reaching an agreement with the legislature to include a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations.
The Connecticut bill also hinges on those states including Northeastern states with a total population of at least 20 million.
“This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Malloy said in a statement issued over the weekend after negotiations on the necessary provisions.
The legislature passed the bill on Monday, 134 to 3.
– GMO and the Corporate Patenting of Living Organisms: Monsanto’s Patents on Life (Global Research, March 1, 2013):
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a seed patent infringement case that pits a small farmer from Indiana, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman, against biotech goliath Monsanto. Reporters from the New York Times to the Sacramento Bee dissected the legal arguments. They speculated on the odds. They opined on the impact a Monsanto loss might have, not only on genetically modified crops, but on medical research and software.
What most of them didn’t report on is the absurdity – and the danger – of allowing companies to patent living organisms in the first place, and then use those patents to attempt to monopolize world seed and food production.
The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.
The press and public have fixated on the sticky legal details of the case, and the classic David vs. Goliath nature of the fight. But win or lose, Mr. Bowman’s predicament is part of a much bigger problem.
YouTube Added: 04.11.2012
Monsanto, DuPont and the other biotech company’s biggest marketing myth about GMOs is that they are going to feed the world…the opposite is true.
At a conference filled with experts on world hunger and agriculture, I asked the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a question about GMOs. When he suggested that GMOs were needed to feed the world, the audience began hissing and booing him.
Enjoy this excerpt from our full length documentary Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives http://geneticroulettemovie.com.
– DOJ Mysteriously Quits Monsanto Antitrust Investigation (Mother Jones, Dec, 1, 2012):
There’s an age-old tradition in Washington of making unpopular announcements when no one’s listening—like, you know, the days leading up to Thanksgiving. That’s when the Obama administration sneaked a tasty dish to the genetically modified seed/pesticide industry.This treat involves the unceremonious end of the Department of Justice’s antitrust investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in the US seed market, which it had begun in January 2010. It’s not hard to see why DOJ would take a look. For the the crops that cover the bulk of US farmland like corn, soy, and cotton, the seed trade is essentially dominated by five companies: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dow. And a single company, Monsanto, supplies nearly all genetically modified traits now so commonly used in those crops, which it licenses to its rivals for sale in their own seeds.
What’s harder to figure out is why the DOJ ended the investigation without taking any action—and did so with a near-complete lack of public information. The DOJ didn’t even see fit to mark the investigation’s end with a press release. News of it emerged from a brief item Monsanto itself issued the Friday before Thanksgiving, declaring it had “received written notification” from the DOJ antitrust division that it had ended its investigation “without taking any enforcement action.”