Barbara H. Peterson
We are not talking about conventional or organic seeds. We are talking about GMOs. Has everyone simply lost their collective mind? How self-destructive is it to rally around GMO farmers to support their right to spread transgenic seed far and wide with no restrictions?
Take the case of Bowman vs Monsanto. Bowman is a grain farmer who lives in Indiana. He is going against Monsanto in a Supreme Court case that challenges Monsanto’s right to enforce patent regulations on second generation GMO seed purchased from a grain elevator:
The highest court in the United States will hear arguments on Tuesday in the dispute, which started when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents.
The St. Louis, Mo.-based biotech giant accused Bowman of infringing its patents by growing plants that contained its genetics. But Bowman, who grows wheat and corn along with soybeans on about 300 acres inherited from his father, argued that he used second-generation grain and not the original seeds covered by Monsanto’s patents.
A central issue for the court is the extent that a patent holder, or the developer of a genetically modified seed, can control its use through multiple generations of seed….
Bowman is not an innocent farmer who accidently got hold of Monsanto’s seeds. He is a GMO supporter.
All the while he continued to buy first-generation seed each year for his main crop of beans. For those purchases, he signed required “technology agreements” pledging not to save the offspring of those seeds.
I’m sorry, but I simply cannot get behind this movement to free GMO seed. End the patenting laws for seeds – YES. Fight for the right to spread next generation GMO seeds far and wide? NO!!! Double NO!!!
Isn’t the fight to free GMO seeds from second generation patent law restrictions so that farmers are free to plant them at will just shooting the food freedom movement in the foot? Seriously – think about it. Farmers who have already bought into the GMO movement are now joining the food freedom movement. Not because they want good, clean seed, but because they want to plant GMO seeds without paying Monsanto. And don’t tell me that Bowman didn’t know the seeds he got from the grain elevator were GMO. 93% of all soybeans grown in the USA are GMO. How could he NOT know? He most likely didn’t care since he already signs a yearly contract with Monsanto and grows them himself anyway.
This is a catch 22 situation. If GMO farmers are free to plant next generation GMO seeds with no restrictions, then the contamination of our world’s food supply by toxic transgenic crops will receive a major boost by the very same people who are at the forefront of the anti-GMO movement. Talk about an unintended consequence…. or is it?
Here is a quote by Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety:
“Through a patenting system that favors the rights of corporations over the rights of farmers and citizens, our food and farming system is being held hostage by a handful of companies,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups supporting Bowman. “Nothing less than the future of food is at stake.”
Correct, Andrew. The future of food is at stake. However, fighting for the right for GMO farmers to plant GMOs far and wide with no restrictions is NOT, I repeat, NOT the answer.
What is needed is an end to all patents on all seeds and a complete ban of GMOs, and that is unacceptable to the biotech industry and Corp USA. So, controlled ops, their compadres, and well-intentioned followers work for the dissemination of GMOs by “empowering” farmers to be able to save GMO seed and plant them intentionally with no repercussions.
The Hegelian Dialectic in Action
This is how it works:
Problem: Food freedom is compromised because farmers cannot plant second generation GMO seeds without paying Monsanto.
Reaction: Free the seed!
Solution: Free up GMO farmers to plant second generation GMOs and spread transgenic crops worldwide with no restrictions.
Fighting for farmers’ rights to save and plant seed is a good thing. Fighting for the right to spread GMO contamination worldwide is not. A two-edged sword.
The following is a hypothetical scenario if the Bowman vs Monsanto case frees GMO seed from a portion of its patent restrictions, but fails to address the root cause – the entire seed patenting system.
Take away the money-making tool (patenting) and you take away the profits on that patented technology and any incentive to continue it:
Problem: Farmers can now collect and plant GMO seed at will with no patent restrictions on second generation seed.
Reaction: Monsanto loses profits to second, third, fourth, etc. generation seeds, but retains first generation seed patents.
Solution: Monsanto simply rolls out the Terminators when the contamination level is at its tipping point, and complete control of the food supply is assured.
“Terminator” or “GURT” technology has been kept on the shelf due to public outcry. This technology renders the seeds from transgenic crops sterile. No viable seed, no problem of GMO farmers planting them. I believe that Monsanto is simply biding its time, waiting for the right time to implement this technology. Could a victory for GMO farmers in the Bowman vs Monsanto case be just such a time?
First you spread the contamination until nothing is left out, then you put a clamp on anyone being able to use saved seeds via Terminator technology. Game, set, match. If everything is GMO terminator, then who ya gonna call? Why Monsanto, of course, since they will have the only seeds that will grow anything.
Let me make this perfectly clear…
GMOs have no place on the planet. They are here, yes. But the solution is NOT to roll over, play dead, accept the coexistence lie, then rise up fighting for the right to use them. The solution is to institute a complete ban on the technology, get rid of all seed patenting laws, and get back to nature. Until we realize that, then we will still be on the road to “coexistence,” which only leads to the complete takeover of anything not GMO.
And the irony of it all? Those of us who know the hazards of GMOs get to watch while farmers actually participate in their own destruction and the destruction of our food supply by fighting for the right to plant GMO seed right alongside the same organizations who are supposedly fighting hard against the spread of GMOS. This is the very essence of controlled opposition. Brilliant. But evil.
©2013 Barbara H. Peterson