Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monsanto vs. Brazillian Farmers

It seems that wherever you look these days, someone is getting a group together to sue Monsanto, the US based company responsible for unprecedented numbers of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO's for short. The ones we're concerned with are the food crops that have traits built right into their DNA so that they can resist chemical weed killers. For example, roundup ready canola is a type of canola that's immune to the chemical herbicide Round-Up. Farmers spray the weed killer over their fields to kill every other plant but the canola is unaffected.  Just not natural, but handy for farmers who don't want to have to hoe each crop by hand.

Some people get upset to think that altering DNA is risky and could produce some unforeseen results. But what really irks me are the farmers who have to pay Monsanto for seeds each year and if they keep back a portion of their crop to be next years seed, they are either sued or charged a fee. Farmers who traditionally have kept back 10% of their crop to sow next year are now not allowed or have to pay a percentage of their income to Monsanto, even though they've paid it already on the initial batch of seed. So how long should they keep paying for? 1 year? 5 years? Should they pay at all? Do you think farmers should be allowed to keep their own seeds? Here's an interesting article about a group of farmers in Brazil who are fighting back against the monster corporation Monsanto. http://www.rt.com/news/monsanto-brazil-seed-soy-908/

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