Small victories against Monsanto in Europe are overshadowed by it’s tightening grip on US. agriculture and economy through Barack Obama.
What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it’s really a consolidation of the entire food chain – Robert Fraley, co-president of Monsanto’s agricultural sector 1996, in the Farm Journal. Quoted in: Flint J. (1998) Agricultural industry giants moving towards genetic monopolism. Telepolis, Heise.
Organized protests in more than 400 cities across 52 countries took place on 25 May 2013, to call attention to the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMO) or crops and its harmful impact on farmers, consumers and the environment. The outcry specifically targeted Monsanto, one of the world’s leading corporations of biotechnology. As a result, Monsanto is backing down on some of their projects, for now.
Monsanto will halt the pursuit of licenses for any new GM plants in most parts of Western Europe. They will also terminate all plans to do any new field trials of GM seeds in these areas. German newspaper Tageszeitung (Taz) / English Translation
Monsanto wants the world to know that it will not go where it is not wanted or at least where it does not have broad support. Thomas Helscher, spokesman for Monsanto
We’re going to sell the GM seeds only where they enjoy broad farmer support, broad political support and a functioning regulatory system, says Monsanto corporate. As far as we’re convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal. 31 May 2013, Reuters
Barack Obama’s signature on biotech rider, HR 933 – Section 735, more popularly referred to as the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, essentially gives seed producers free rein to do anything they want without risk of recourse for six months after it takes effect, by then the spring crops are planted. This rider was buried in a sneaky way 78 pages deep into the original document and it requires the USDA to ignore a court order that would stop new genetically engineered crops from being planted while the agency conducts further review. Yet, once the seed is in the ground it’s too late to undo any harm. However, for those who are outraged and want to take action, you can sign thispetition.
In addition to the offensive rider that President Obama signed, to protect Monsanto’s interests, the Supreme Court recently ruled in the company’s favor concerning the intellectual property rights of it’s patent on “Roundup Ready” soybeans. As reported by Adam Liptak in the New York Times, many predict this victory for the biotech giant will have an enormous impact on a variety of industries from health care, agriculture and environmental issues, as well as a variety of other industries from energy to biodegradable plastics.
In dispute was a case by Monsanto against Vernon Hugh Bowman an Indiana farmer for patent infringement, Bowman v. Monsanto Company (11-796). Self replicating patented genetically engineered seeds and live vaccines created by Monsanto that reduce risk of weeds, insects, and disease, can be reproduced easily and cheaply. Vernon Hugh Bowman who purchased Monsanto’s patented seeds for one season, signed a contract agreeing not to save seeds from the resulting crop to replant for the next season. This assures Monsanto a continued revenue as the farmer must buy new seeds every year and because these seeds are resistant to the herbicide Roundup, also a Monsanto product, many farmers agree to the condition. However, Bowman claimed that he discovered a loophole with no restrictions on the use of mixed seeds. So for a second crop, he bought seeds from a grain elevator filled with a variety of seeds in the hope that many of them contained Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready gene, then he planted and sprayed them with Roundup. When many of the plants survived he continued to replant their seeds for eight seasons of abundant harvests.
Monsanto, known for stealth surveillance of farming communities to monitor compliance of their contract agreements, found out about Hugh Bowman’s activity and successfully sued. As a result, a federal judge in Indiana ordered Mr. Bowman to pay the company more than $84,000. Then on appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent cases, upheld that decision. However, citing a doctrine called ‘patent exhaustion’, Hugh Bowman contended that he could do what he wanted with products he had legally obtained. He argued that Monsanto’s patent rights were exhausted once he bought the seeds for a season. In addition, he claimed that any progeny seeds were not his fault as soybeans naturally replicate or sprout anyway without much help from him. Yet, Monsanto claimed that the seeds could only be used for one growing season, meaning their offspring could not be saved and replanted without compensation. Next stop, the Supreme Court.
In response to Hugh Bowman’s claim that the seeds replicated without much help from him, Justice Kagan replied,
We think that blame-the-bean defense tough to credit. In all this, the bean surely figured. However, it was Bowman, and not the bean, who controlled the reproduction to the eighth generation of Monsanto’s patented invention.
Under the patent exhaustion doctrine, Bowman could resell the patented soybeans he purchased from the grain elevator; so too he could consume the beans himself or feed them to his animals. But the exhaustion doctrine does not enable Mr. Bowman to make additional patented soybeans without Monsanto’s permission, that is precisely what he did.
Then she argued that allowing for Mr. Bowman’s tactic would essentially destroy the value of Monsanto’s Patent.
The exhaustion doctrine is limited to the particular item sold, to avoid just such a mismatch between invention and reward.
This means that the beans could be resold or consumed by the farmer and his livestock but the moment they become a product of value to others, such as a crop, Monsanto must be rewarded. Actually that does make sense, because through a mature plant that bears fruit resulting from those particular seeds, a profit is made.
Here is the crux of the problem for which Monsanto requires a contract. The patent is on the technology which is genetic to the seed, not the seed itself. When a farmer agrees to plant a field with Monsanto’s genetically altered seeds he really pays for the technology, which is in the seeds and agrees that he will not benefit from future harvests that contain the company’s patented product unless Monsanto is compensated. Well and good, but once Monsanto’s seeds are in the ground does that mean that all future crops are subject to a fee, even if the farmer does not want to continue with Monsanto? If Monsanto can control and infect the entire seed industry with their products how any any farmer or for that matter, anyone with a personal garden in the backyard ever be free from GMOs again. After all, seeds do what they are programed to do, germinate, even if they have been dormant for awhile. So once a farmer has used a self replicating patented product, is he or she obligated indefinitely to pay a fee on any plants that might pop up from that patented technology? If so, then in time, who essentially is it that owns the property, the farmer or Monsanto? Furthermore, this becomes essentially a partnership of successful production. So what if a drought, flood or tornado destroys the crop, what then? What if the meat from genetically modified animals that farmer Jones sends to market hurts someone, who is liable? The farmer, the biotech company who sold him the technology, both, neither, why should the farmer be the one to take all the risks, but the biotech corporations suffer only the reward? Shall we rethink how we can protect the farmer, as well as our food supply. My point is this, if Monsanto or any other biotech company wants to reap the rewards for their technology through a successful harvest, which can only be attributed halfway through the efforts of their technology because the other half is through the farmer’s labor, then they should be willing to compensate the farmer through bad times. Otherwise, this is a one way street that in time becomes nothing more than a New Age feudal system, except it is global. If there are any farmers or attorneys out there who think my idea has any merit, or you have an interesting idea about how we can protect our food supply and our farmers, please leave a comment.
If you want to know more details about how the case between Monsanto and Hugh Bowman played out, you can read the transcript here. I am sure Mr Bowman could use a few words of encouragement from people who appreciate that he tried to slay Goliath, even if the crops he produced were GMO’s. Perhaps in the future he would be interested in organic farming? Who knows?
As for organic, and we must stand up for our right to that which is natural rather than be forced to ingest something that we don’t want. Clean, nutritious food is a basic human right but it seems to be increasingly difficult to assert that position. As strongly evident through his actions, Monsanto has no greater lobbyist than Barack Obama. That he so easily signed a provision that protects this company against the best interests of the American people, does not surprise anyone who is aware of his past behavior. On 25 Sept. 2012, Jon Rappoport published an article of facts that exposes Obama for what Conservatives have seen from the beginning, a liar. In his article, Rappoport reminds the reader of the 2008 election, candidate Obama clearly stated,
Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.
Furthermore, he points out that Obama promised a new era of transparency in government and his administration wouldn’t do business in “the old way.” His administration would be “responsive to people’s needs.
Then right after the election Obama stacked key positions in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issueswith Monsanto people. Jon Rappoport
The article then proceeds to expose Barack Obama as Monsanto’s man in the White House:
- USDA – Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center, became the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
- FDA Deputy Commissioner – Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto and instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, became the new food-safety-issues czar.
- USDA Commissioner – Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa who instituted a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
- Agriculture Trade Representative – Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist would be responsible for procuring contracts for the export of GMOs.
- USDA Counsel – Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.
- USAID – Rajiv Shah, who had preciously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research.
- Secretary of State – Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm. That firm was counsel to Monsanto. However, I think of many reasons that Barack Obama would want Hillary Clinton on his team regardless of any connection to Monsanto (keep your enemies close)? Now they both have something to hide together.
- US Supreme Court – Elena Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court. I am sure that her experience came in handy for the Monsanto vs Hugh Bowman case.
In addition, the Obama administration can take credit for the following GMOsintroduced to the market through his appointees:
- Monsanto GMO alfalfa
- Monsanto GMO sugar beets
- Monsanto GMO Bt soybean
- Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol
- Syngenta GMO stacked corn
- Pioneer GMO soybean
- Syngenta GMO Bt cotton
- Bayer GMO cotton
- GMO papaya strain
- Coming soon: Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn
- Perhaps soon, genetically engineered salmon and apples
- ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats
Barack Obama is the most GMO-dedicated politician in America. You don’t attain that position through errors or oversights. Obama was, all along, a stealth operative on behalf of Monsanto, biotech, GMOs, and corporate control of the future of agriculture. From this perspective, Michelle Obama’s campaign for home gardens and clean nutritious food suddenly looks like a diversion, a cover story floated to obscure what her husband has actually been doing. Nor does it seem coincidental that two of the Obama’s biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010. Jon Rappoport, 25 Sept. 2012, naturalnews.com
What makes the whole issue of Barack and Mischell Obama’s deception so outrageous to those who believed in them is the ‘bait and switch’ stunt they pulled concerning organic foods. Obama, most likely a Marxist, though he won’t admit it yet, is also using corporate fascism to gain control of the food supply. This is a long term goal and is not just about his administration, it is all about control, global control and food is very basic to that control, this requires new values to make it more palatable to the masses, values that echo Agenda 21.
Now in 2012, we are seeing, as Mike Adams reveals, a new coordinated attack on organic food: organic is an elitist fetish, a nonsensical preoccupation of the 1%, as against the 99%. We are told that conventionally grown, pesticide-laden, genetically engineered food is just as good as organic, is no problem, and patriotic Americans should be loyal to it. In other words, we should be loyal to the corporate giants who are taking over the food supply, are exercising patent rights on food ownership, are doing whatever they can to squeeze small farmers out of business, are giving us nutritionally deficient food, are lying through their teeth about the heavy health risks of eating this GMO food. We should be loyal to the police who are ordering homeowners to rip out their vegetable gardens on their lawns. Yes, this is a coordinated attack on clean nutritious unpoisoned food, and it reaches all the way up into the White House, does a quick detour around Michelle Obama’s smokescreen operation, and arrives in the Oval Office, at the desk of Barack Obama. Jon Rappoport, Natural News
As to my references to an article from Natural News, I am aware of the criticism in regard to Mike Adams and his work. I certainly don’t agree with everything he advocates such as Scientology, HIV/AIDS denialism, 9/11 Truth Movement, etc.. However, after doing my own homework on Barack Obama, I too believe that he was not born here in Hawaii. In fact, I believe that he has serious reasons for sealing his records from the public and am outraged that he has been allowed to get away with it. I agree with Adams that the story of Stanislaw Burzynski has merit because cancer is indeed big business. Furthermore, I too have questions about Sandy Hook and I like natural holistic medicine, just as I stated on my ‘About’ page. As to the critics who disparage his work as
Unscientific, conspiracy-mongering, or downright silly.
I say, ok lets take a good look and see what science is doing for us through companies like Monsanto and despite its triumph in the education system how our children are still being ‘dumbed down’ from critical thinking. I am not against science but we should not close our ears to other voices, because we all have critics. However, I checked Jon Rappoport’s claims and I like his work and I like his writing, so there we are.
The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded [with GMOs] that there’s nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender – Don Westfall, biotech industry consultant and vice-president of Promar International, in the Toronto Star, January 9 2001.
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