Sunday, December 31, 2006

Is Everything for Sale?

I just finished watching the 2004 documentary, The Corporation. I would suggest it for any of you who need to sober up quickly after a night of New Year's Eve imbibing. While I didn't learn much of any new information from the film -- since I'm already well-versed in the evils of globalized-corporatism -- it underscored for me the motivation to stay active in trying to create a more sustainable world.

Of the volumes of quality information presented, there's at least one aspect of the corporate monster that I believe too few people are aware of: patenting of seeds.

In this documentary, the producers focused on Monsanto and their drive to patent seeds. (It should be noted that Monsanto is not the only agribusiness to pursue this strategy.) It would be bad enough if companies like Monsanto merely were patenting strains of crop seeds that they had developed through their own research, but they are bringing suits against farmers who retain seeds from non-Monsanto seeded crops AND the seeds they are creating have a built-in mechanism to ensure that the new crop doesn't produce any need seeds itself.

So, in essence, they are building a market for their product by ensuring it only has a one-time use. Farmers who get duped into this process must now buy their seeds each and every season.

What on earth could be the rationale for this set up (other than greed and profit)? How does this strategy benefit anyone other than Monsanto or like-minded companies?

The short answer is -- It doesn't.

4 comments:

  1. this is certainly a dangerous development. Although I don't believe it to be effective for a very long period. Governmental influence will not just wait until it's too late (I hope). I just can't imagine this to happen across the globe. We would all go back to the Medieval Ages ...

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  2. It is a great documentary. It's quite an arrangement of powers these days, clever. Kudos to you and Happy New Year.

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  3. Thanks to Monsanto and other companies, almost everyone in my family has chronic health problems. Living downriver from 'Chemical Valley' has taken many lives, and severely impacted the quality of those of us left, as we are fighting illness on a daily basis.

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