I’ve been most concerned about the trend to patent foods, and Monsanto is one of the worst offenders. I say every government has the right to refuse to honor patents, like pharmaceutical and food patents. The ethanol mandate in the US serves Big Ag, specifically Archer Daniel Midland, which controls every aspect of its corn production, distribution, distillation, commodity future, insurance, and overseas sales chain.
Ethanol is the chemical name for whiskey, the same stuff that caused the Whiskey Rebellion in the US, and for the same reason: taxation. Now, would you rather drink it or pour it in your cars?
Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse !
News broke this week that Monsanto accepted a $66 billion takeover bid from Bayer. The new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Bayer’s crop chemicals business is the world’s second largest after Syngenta, and Monsanto is the leading commercial seeds business.
Monsanto held a 26 per cent market share of all seeds sold in 2011. Bayer (mainly a pharmaceuticals company) sells 17 per cent of the world’s total agrochemicals and also has a comparatively small seeds sector. If competition authorities pass the deal, the combined company would be the globe’s largest seller of both seeds and agrochemicals.
The deal marks a trend towards consolidation in the industry with Dow and DuPont having agreed to merge and Swiss seed/pesticide giant Syngenta merging with ChemChina, a Chinese government concern.
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Such vast multinationals now. There was a petition to try and prevent the merger, not sure what’s happened to it.
I believe the merger is waiting approval, but the proponents have so much clout in places that count that I don’t expect much to happen with the protest. I suppose Monsanto will move their corporate headquarters to Germany to escape US corporate taxes. The article does say there’s opposition to the Dow/DuPont merger.
This is why attacking foreign patents may at least slow them down. If Cuba, for instance, refuses to honor foreign patents, the corporate monsters may have less interest in poisoning the land with GM foods, chemicals, and plastic.
All very depressing though.
Yes, but people like us are here to make a difference. Awareness is the first step.
It is and even just contribute get, sharing and signing online petitions.
It’s most important to have camaraderie among the quiet earth-preservers, since we are outshouted by the mass media, which persists in looking the other way.
Katharine, the larger these corporations grow, the more difficult it becomes to control them and the negative fallout for people everywhere. History teaches us that they will eventually collapse from within. But that’s cold comfort, since they will leave mass destruction in their wake.
We’ve never had the internet before. It allows regular people to communicate with each other, and to reveal these divide-and-conquer strategies these assholes (for lack of a better term) use. They are “only human,” after all, not the demi-gods they’ve spun themselves to be. Their power is empty, if deprived of popular support. The best way to deprive them of power is to stop paying taxes, but that takes monumental courage.
Another facet of this is that we need to hold the Food and Drug Administration accountable. There is a conflict of interest between the FDA and the rights/protection of the consumers who will eventually be eating all those pesticides. Many of those who are in the FDA and who also deal with complaints from farmers and other groups (parents for example) have a vested interest in protecting the chemical companies which they have stock in.
You are absolutely right. I’ve been tracking the FDA and its all-too-frequent food scares for ten years. It’s a blog in itself.
Usually they go for independent, small businesses, and manage to bankrupt them on flimsy, unsubstantiated evidence. The business is tried by the media, which takes the FDA’s word for it and doesn’t follow up on obvious leads. The business is ruined by re-calls, lawsuits, fines, and all the bad press. E. coli in the spinach scare, pet food scare, peanut scare here in Georgia, bird flu scares, egg scares, cantaloupe scare just at harvest time, turkey scare just before Thanksgiving and Christmas. All calculated (according to me) to raise food prices for the factory farmers. (Just as FDR did during the Depression, according to Studs Terkel’s, “Hard Times.”
Nothing changes until all is exposed. There are many grass roots movements across the nation that are beginning to make some impact through education and political activism. As you know, though, there is an extremely long way to go.
Not so long, maybe. The internet can wake people up quickly, especially when they realize they are not alone. A few bold people can inspire others to take more risks. A “revolution in consciousness,” I like to call it.