March 4, 2014 – It’s March, everybody! Spring cannot be too far away. The birds are singing up a storm, and though we’ve just gotten a fresh coat of snow on the ground, temperatures will be in the 40’s later this week. Thank heaven, the sun is shining very brightly.
You will be unsurprised to learn that Monsanto continues its march toward world domination. Are you as baffled as I am that they do so with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s complicity? Is EVERYBODY on their payroll? What does Vilsack stand to gain by helping Monsanto, et. al. to own the world’s food sources? Can this truly be some form of horribly dysfunctional patriotism??
In 2011, Vilsack convened an industry-controlled panel of stakeholders (known as AC21) in the ongoing confrontation between biotech companies and organic farmers. He ostensibly was seeking a fair solution to the problem of transgenic contamination. After he and his corporate cohorts racked their brains, trying to figure out what would serve their duplicitous ends the best, they decided to brand the term “coexistence.” It is Vilsack and company’s pretty name for the end of organic farming.
You see, the makers of GMO crops have decided that transgenic contamination cannot be allowed to stand in their way. Therefore, they are willing it out of existence. There – with a sweep of their magic wands, farmers of all and sundry ilks will simply co-exist. That’s not possible, you say? Everyone knows that GMO crops contaminate non-GMO crops? Ah, that’s the magic part.
In a world of “coexistence,” non-GMO farmers will be forced to purchase contamination insurance. Voila – problem solved! The Mighty Monsanto has retracted the laws of nature. A pretty good trick, if they could do it. At the time of writing, they can’t, and there’s the rub. Plants will continue to reproduce as they always have. Pollen will continue to be spread by means of the wind, insects, birds and animals. For as long as that is the case, GMO contamination of non-GMO crops will continue. Organic farmers, along with those who choose to farm conventionally but without planting GMO seed, will have to spend their money on what is bound to be expensive insurance, brought into being to protect them against the inevitable. It won’t be long before they are forced out of business; forced by either the cost of fake insurance (which can’t protect them anyway, and can only compensate them when their contaminated crops must be dumped), or the cost of having to grow their crops under hoops or in greenhouses. Either way, the price of organic food in the marketplace will go through the roof. At last: no more inconvenient competition for Monsanto to have to deal with.
Let’s see if we’ve got this right. Rather than force the patent holders of genetically engineered crops to compensate organic farmers when their fields are contaminated by Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Syngenta, AC21 would shift the entire cost of contamination’s consequences onto the injured parties. If the current AC21 plan is adopted, it could exempt the aforementioned companies from any future legal liability. Instead, mandatory arbitration would prohibit farmers from taking Monsanto to court because of GMO contamination. Ever.
If this infuriates you as much as it does me, please help the good folks at Food Democracy fight this travesty. Go to
and sign the petition. Email it to your friends. Biotech wins only if we let them.
To show you jut how fair-minded a person I am, I’ll let biotech have the last say.
In 2001, biotech industry consultant Don Westfall told the Toronto Star, “The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded that there’s nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender.”
White flag, anyone?
With thanks to fooddemocracy.org.