If 19 Countries Have Banned GMOs Shouldn't We At Least Label Them?
GMOs Aren't Natural
Virtually nothing in agriculture was naturally created. All of the fruits, vegetables, grains or tubers we eat are mutations, cultivars, and hybrids, the result of intensive selection and breeding for traits that we value but which for nature are irrelevant or even limiting. These plants are very different from their equivalents in nature. Often, as in many fruits and vegetables, there is not even an equivalent form to be found wild in nature.
Monsanto, Who Sues Farmers For Wanting To Reuse Their Own Seeds Instead Of Buying Annually From Monsanto.”
When farmers purchase A PATENTED SEED VARIETY, they sign an agreement that they will not save and replant seeds produced from the seed they buy from Monsanto and all the other seed companies sell their seed under similar provisions. Its NOT just Monsanto. And there is no requirement for farmers to buy these licensed patented seed varieties but every year 325,000 farmer do buy seed under these agreements in the U.S.
There are plenty of seed varieties that farmers can buy that they can use and then save seeds from sold by Monsanto and other seed companies too but even with that option available most farmers don’t save seeds (read the article: No, Farmers Don’t Want to Save Seeds – The Farmer’s Daughter USA).
Like any industry, however, there will always be people/companies/farms that cheat on agreements. Personally, I don’t see any difference between someone cheating on a seed agreement and someone stealing (pirating) software and the courts don’t see any difference either. The practice saving and reusing a patented seed variety is theft of intellectual property. The seed companies spend millions on first developing these seed varieties and then testing them for years if not decades so they deserve a return on their investment.
That said the percentage of farmers that actually cheat on seed agreements is very very small. In Monsanto’s case since 1997 they have filed only 147 complaints (that’s about 8 per year over an 18 year period) and to date only 9 of those case ever had to go to trial and in the cases that did go to trial the courts decided in Monsanto’s favor. And it worth mentioning too in those cases where the “evil” Monsanto won the proceeds of the settlements were donated to youth leadership and scholarship programs.
And while yeah that tiny percentage of farmers that do STEAL and cheat of seed agreements aren’t just cheating on Monsanto and the other seed companies they are also cheating on all those farmers who were honest and paid the licensing fees to use the technologies developed by those seed companies.
One of the very first pieces I found that helped change my mind about Monsanto being “evil” was the YouTube video of a segment of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast on “Monsanto Myths”. I already knew The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe really well for their championing of science and I deeply respected the thinking, opinions, and reasoning of Steven Novella, MD who ran the program and is the President of The New England Skeptical Society. Basically listening to that episode segment the big complaints that I thought were valid in regard to Monsanto were pretty thoroughly and easily debunked. I changed my mind in regard to Monsanto being cast as such a big bad evil company.