Saturday, January 29, 2005

Watch Out, My Friends With Hoes, For Monsanto Co.'s Seed Police

Check out this story from Associated Press:

Monsanto Sues Over Piracy Issues After Radically Altering Farming With Single-Season Seeds

The Associated PressThe Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO Jan 13, 2005 — Monsanto Co.'s "seed police" snared soy farmer Homan McFarling in 1999, and the company is demanding he pay it hundreds of thousands of dollars for alleged technology piracy. McFarling's sin? He saved seed from one harvest and replanted it the following season, a revered and ancient agricultural practice.

"My daddy saved seed. I saved seed," said McFarling, 62, who still grows soy on the 5,000 acre family farm in Shannon, Miss. and is fighting the agribusiness giant in court.

Saving Monsanto's seeds, genetically engineered to kill bugs and resist weed sprays, violates provisions of the company's contracts with farmers.

Since 1997, Monsanto has filed similar lawsuits 90 times in 25 states against 147 farmers and 39 agriculture companies, according to a report issued Thursday by The Center for Food Safety, a biotechnology foe.

In a similar case a year ago, Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was sued by Monsanto and sentenced to eight months in prison after he was caught lying about a truckload of cotton seed he hid for a friend.

Further down in the article one finds this incredible statement:

Some 85 percent of the nation's soy crop is genetically engineered to resist Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, a trait many farmers say makes it easier to weed their fields and ultimately cheaper to grow their crops.
So it turns out that one of the BIG dangers of using genetically engineered crops is that it allows farmers to spray them with Round Up. My God.

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