Monday, December 5, 2016

Absolute Power: Monsanto And Bayer Combined Would Control 29 Percent Of World’s Seed

Absolute Power: Monsanto And Bayer Combined Would Control 29 Percent Of World’s Seed
By Kurtis Bright

Merger Of Monsanto And Bayer Would Mean A Third Of The World’s Seeds Controlled By One Entity

 There is plenty of reason to find the Monsanto corporation worrisome.

There’s the way the company poisoned the earth from top to bottom at least twice (PCBs and glyphosate), the way they screw the poorest farmers while literally squeezing the life out of them when the company’s wild promises of unprecedented bounty fail to materialize, and then there’s the company’s seemingly endless power to call the shots when it comes to humanity feeding itself.

All that’s bad enough, but it’s about to get worse.

A new study has revealed that if the proposed $66 billion Monsanto/Bayer merger goes through, the combined company would then control 29 percent of the world’s seeds, and 24 percent of its pesticides.

And these are not the seeds your grandfather sowed on his farm.

When we talk about Monsanto and seeds, we have to note that the company has spent decades altering the genetic profile of their seeds, creating strains that have pest resistance engineered into them, as well as an in-built ability to withstand repeated dousings with its powerful Roundup brand of glyphosate herbicide.

And as it becomes more and more evident that Monsanto will stop at nothing to further its grip on the various markets it occupies as well as its profits, it’s not hard to imagine how this hypothetical control over the seed market might play out.

Of course the combined entity of Monsanto and Bayer would push for production and sales of its own seeds, the seeds that are engineered to be sterile, and thus come with the inability to regenerate new seeds for planting the following years’ crops.

These are the seeds that also come with a Monsanto patent attached, and thus hefty licensing fees. These are the same fees that broke the spirits of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers and drove them to suicide, the ones that cause those farmers’ widows and orphaned children to refer to Monsanto products as “suicide seeds.”

Closer to home, the U.S. sugar beet industry is pretty much already lost to the forces of Monsanto: a staggering 95 percent of the sugar beets grown there are genetically modified to resist the glyphosate found in Monsanto’s Roundup.

And despite more and more people becoming aware of Monsanto’s reputation for a rampant anti-humanity, anti-environment corporate ethos, the company still isn’t shy about pulling strings to get its way.

Consider one example: the company and others like Bayer and BASF poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into defeating a modest, unremarkable county-level anti-GMO ballot issue in Oregon in 2013. Eight times more money went to fight that one issue than had ever gone into any previous county ballot issue.

And there’s a lesson to be learned about the company’s determination not to allow people to know what is in their food: the Vermont GMO labeling bill was preempted by a fully supine Congress passing the Dark Act II.

The proposed merger would mean Monsanto/Bayer would have more money, more power, and more control over our food and thus our lives--not to mention more control over the lawmakers who are purportedly our representatives.

That sounds like a very bad idea.

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