Monsanto: Scum of the earth.....
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1,2,3 It's a con if a company makes claims of significant productivity gains that don't materialize when compared to using the same irrigation, fertilizer, and poison treatments that GMO requires on traditional breed. I suggest that before you continue to promote the lie of "greatly increased productivity" that you actually talk to a few farmers (hmm, sort of like my family maybe? Or our neighbors in Kansas that Monsanto sued?)
#4 a business only extracts and adds no net value to an industry then it's parasitic. The model that Monsanto uses is exactly that. There are plenty of varieties that are just as hardy and perform as well, and in many cases better, than Monsanto's seed. this is a fact.
#5 GPS guided is done by the larger corporate farms. It is actually quite necessary when you are talking about dozens of square miles if not a few hundred of farm land. The majority of family farms can't afford it. We use some of the most advanced gear to run our 5 square miles. It's starting to look like you read a bunch of stuff from newspapers and have taken it as gospel instead of talking to the family farms.
#6 Monsanto has it's own version of terminator seeds in the original GMO crops. It didn't work reliably (as we can see now with accidental cross-contamination, which you think is always deliberate). It's not a matter of "having it both ways". That's just a lame attempt at dismissing what has happened.
#7 Farmers that got into trouble. Everyone is automatically guilty. Right. I can see where your frame of mind is coming from. You'll pardon me for using the same standard as I find you guilty by default of being a Monsanto shill and/or fan-boy. Please defend yourself beyond a reasonable doubt that you must be innocent. If you can not conclusively prove it, with absolutely no doubt, then you will be written off.
Another item that has been coming about because of GMOs like "roundup ready" seeds. These crops rely on the chemical herbicide since they don't have as good of natural competitor suppression. This leads to higher use of herbicides. As we all know, this leads to the susceptible weeds being killed off while leaving behind the ones that have a natural immunity (where do you think they got the genes for their GMO seed to begin with?) End result, large areas of land int he USA are now unusable due to over-cropping and herbicide resistant plant life taking over.
See the problem yet?
radiation mutated......Interesting article. I'll check out the references. We learn something new every day. The question is can you learn the truth about Monsanto?Apr 6, 2012
- Deregulate GM? Please examine the situation in India to understand why unregulated GMO crops are a truly bad idea.Apr 6, 2012
- 1. On the efficacy of Monsanto's seed: If it were no good, people wouldn't pay extra for it to use it and wouldn't spray Round-up. Your like someone insisting that McDonald's food doesn't really taste good when billions of users disagree. What percentage of Monsanto's many, many customers do you think are either a) involuntarily using their seed because it "accidentally" got planted on their land and then they were "forced" to pay for it or b) repeatedly getting fooled into buying this seed even though it's a bad deal and the experience with it is over a decade long? It is not plausible that these two categories could account for more than a tiny fraction of Monsanto's huge worldwide customer base. So unless you have something like a controlled study from USDOA or the equivalent to back you up, I have to call BS on your empirical claim.
2. Any farmer who is able to be profitable today (especially without subsidy) has my respect, as global productivity has risen so much that its practically an Olympic sport. Back in the days when over half the U.S. population were farmers, markets weren't as developed and there were a lot of really lousy farmers working iffy land to compete against. Nowadays, with maybe 1% of the population farming and global trade in food greatly facilitated by better transport, communications, and institutions, there aren't that many weak players left in business (at least in the developed world). But that's precisely why I don't believe that all these sophisticated family and corporate farmers, who are highly specialized professionals with access to a wealth of information from both formal and informal sources, are consistently making the same costly mistake by using Monsanto's seed.
3. The "having it both ways" argument has to do with your comment compatriots who think terminator genes are evil when they work, as opposed to you who seem to think they're evil when they don't work.
New technologies or environments often create all kinds of property rights problems that have to get worked out over time. Cattle ranchers in the west had huge problems with rustling and encroaching on others' land. Branding was a partial solution, but it wasn't until barbed wire was invented that things got to be more regularized. Read Gary Libecap on the problems of oil-field unitization, which were never adequately solved and led to inefficiently high pumping rates and hence lower overall extraction from fields that cut across multiple owners' property.
4. The farmers who had to pay Monsanto were found responsible after court trials. Those finders of fact had detailed evidence about who did what to whom that we are not going to fruitfully out-guess in a comment thread. But due process was given, just as in any commercial dispute. The famous Canadian case around 2001 featured lots of damning testimony about the farmer concerned using Round-up even though he denied it, expert testimony that stray seeds could not possibly have led to 98% of his crop being Round-up ready, and then a court determination that all that was not even needed to prove because the guy was caught gathering up the seeds deliberately and planting them the next year. I get it that the pressures on farmers are great and the incentive to cut a corner or two in order to compete are high. But they got caught.
5. The argument for deregulating GM seeds is that the method of creating them is irrelevant to their environmental impact. If a seed with the same genetic structure is developed by "conventional" breeding (including zapping with gamma rays from a cobalt source), it can be introduced without any special regulatory oversight. But if the exact same genetic structure were created on purpose by genetic engineering, then it suffers a huge regulatory burden. That is simply irrational and works to protect Monsanto from competition.Apr 6, 2012
- Sales departments have been able to beguile people into buying the more expensive and less effective products for many many years now. I don't think I need to go into the details of how they accomplish this feat. The end result though is that top sales != good product.
As for #2, then thank you. We make money on the 3 or 4 year average. Some years are gangbuster, some bad, some break even.
#3 where did I ever say that terminator seeds were evil? I really wish you wouldn't put words into my mouth. My statement was to the effect that when the terminator seeds do not work, eg. they don't terminate the line, then Monsanto sues. That's a faulty product. It is also the fault of the product supplier, not the farmer.
As for #4, this is where I think you have a serious deficit of real world knowledge and are unwilling to learn. This is also where the majority of farmers that are against GMO crops have the biggest issue.
The farmers (and I have read the cases, and indirectly know a couple) were not trying to cheat Monsanto. Sure, there are a handful that do try and get caught. However the majority are guilty by accident. A simple mistake of which seed came from which field. Mix ups happen. Or there are MANY cases where a farmer never bought the Monsanto seed. They had a field down wind of another farmer's field that was Monsanto's seed. When the wheat was harvested the farmer thought (in good faith I might dd) that the seed was still one of the traditional breeds. The next year when it's planted and sprouts Monsanto comes by, spot checks fields (by trespassing I might add) of farmers that have never bought Monsanto seed. Monsanto then demands a penalty price for the entire field using their own thick-sown estimated (which are always way more bushels per quarter than is ever used in real life practice) and thus hold the farmer for ransom. The farmer, who was completely innocent of intentional infringement, is found guilty by the courts because patent law doesn't allow for innocent infringement.
If you read about the native corn fields in norther Mexico you'll find that they have lost almost all native corn breeds to contamination via the wind from nearby fields. The Monsanto corn has very nearly "bred out" hundreds of traditional corn varieties that are more hardy int he field. (The Monsanto breeds also include hyped up pollination and thus crowds out the other strains of corn)
Now go read up on how the farming industry is regulated in India and how Monsanto used to (and some indications show that they still do this) illegally influence through bribery and other methods the local officials that sign off on what seeds are available. In many towns in India (estimates range from 1/3 to 1/2 now) you simply can't buy non-Monsanto seed any more.
Again, you seem to be utterly ignorant of what's really going on here. I don't know if this is by choice, selective bias, or what. But you no longer have that excuse. If you persist in proclaiming Monsanto as completely innocent of harming farmers via it's GMO products, then I'll just have to write you off as a lost cause in rational thinking.
#5 The process of genetically editing and "zapping" with cobalt are completely different in process. However I agree that "zapping" should be regulated since it's not a natural mutation, but an induced one just like genetic editing. Only naturally cross-bred corn should be regulation free since the genes of the cross-breeding are all field tested so to speak prior to merging.Apr 6, 2012
- This has been interesting, but I think I'll have to let you have the last word since I don't feel that my last few points have been seriously contested, much less refuted, and time is limted. (You might want to ask yourself how a supposedly less hardy seed somehow gets loose and outcompetes all the other seeds or why the exact same gene is safe if it was inserted randomly rather than purposefully.)
Thank you for the dialogue. Best of luck with the weather, the bugs, the weeds, and the markets.Apr 6, 2012
- You might want to learn a bit about how pollination works for various plants before you so offhandedly dismiss reality.
But as you said, time is limited. :) It just sucks that you think yourself so superior to everyone else that you are unwilling to listen to them.Apr 6, 2012