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Old Apr 19th 2010, 05:53 AM
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Default The World According to Monsanto

Did anyone happen to see the documentary that is running on cable, The World According to Monsanto?

Here's a link.

I only saw a bit of it last night, a segment about genetic contamination of Mexican corn, specifically varieties grown in the Oaxaca region. This corn has been around for thousands of years, seed passed down from generation to generation. Grown organically in the region, it is hardy, drought tolerant, and has been the basis of a sustaining diet for the population. That is, until cross contamination from genetically alterted corn produced by Monsanto has invaded, and many say, not by accident.

The contaminated corn can no longer grow without fertilizers and pesticides, pesticides such as Round-Up. Guess who makes that product? I didn't catch all of the documentary, but apparently this pesticide, while proclaimed safe by Monsanto, has had devastating effects on ecosystems where it has been used around the world. It kills everything except, wait for it... the genetically modified food plants that Monsanto produces, primarily corn and soy beans.

This documentary made me think that to rule the world, a company would do well to control the means of producing food. Seems that is Monsanto's goal. Pretty scary stuff.

The following article has more about the Mexican corn and the threats and smear campaign one scientist experienced when he tried to reveal his findings.

Quote:
Mexico Corn Contamination: How Monsanto & University of California Tried to Silence Dr. Ignacio Chapela
By Andy Rowell
GM Watch, May 7, 2009
Straight to the Source

'I don't want to be a martyr by any means, but I cannot avoid now realizing that this is a very, very well concerted and coordinated ad paid for campaign to discredit the very simple statement that we made.' - Ignaco Chapela

'Current gene-containment strategies cannot wok reliably in the field.' - Nature Biotechnology, Editorial [1]

In the autumn of 2000 a graduate student from the University of California held a workshop for local peasant farmers in the beautiful mountainous region of Sierra Norte de Oaxaca in southern Mexico. The graduate, David Quist, hoped to show the farmers how to test their seeds for GM. To do this he thought he would show them the difference in the purity of the local maize, called criollo, compared to the maize that had been shipped in from the USA, where some 40 per cent is GM. The US maize would test positive for GM and, naturally, the Mexican maize would be negative, he thought. But Quist was wrong. For some reason, instead of the local maize being negative, it kept coming up positive. [2]

Quist was visiting the region because his supervisor, Dr Ignacio Chapela, who was originally from Mexico City, had been working with the campesinos or peasant farmers in Oaxaca for over 15 years, assisting them in community sustainable agriculture.

Quist was told by Chapela to bring the samples back to the USA, where the two would repeat the experiments and test the native maize 'landraces' for contamination by GMOs. Although there had been a moratorium on the commercial growing of GM in Mexico since 1998, there was general concern that GM maize was coming across the border from the USA, either as seed or as 'food aid' and that it was contaminating the indigenous species.

This was seen as a worry for various reasons, the main one being that contamination threatens Mexico's unique maize genetic diversity. Mexico is the traditional home of corn, where the plant was first domesticated some 10,000 years ago. It is an important crop for a quarter of the nation's 10 million small farmers and corn tortillas are a central part of nation's diet. But now due to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), the country is a net importer of the crop. With some 5 million tonnes coming in from the USA every year, and because there is no mandatory labelling, there is no way of knowing if this corn is GM or not. [3]
http://www.organicconsumers.org/arti...icle_17843.cfm
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: The World According to Monsanto

I went searching for a previous Monsanto thread to give it a *bump* but I couldn't find it!

No doubt about it, Monsanto's corporate history is so ugly that I'd be suspicious about anything that company wants to do!
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: The World According to Monsanto

Monsanto in Mexico plus US publicly subsidized corn grown with the Monsanto process exported to Mexico have devastated the Mexican domestic corn industry.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Americano View Post
Monsanto in Mexico plus US publicly subsidized corn grown with the Monsanto process exported to Mexico have devastated the Mexican domestic corn industry.
Which in turn, is one of the driving engines of immigration from Mexico to USA...
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: The World According to Monsanto

One of the other HUGE issues with this corn is that it is being grown for ethanol production, not for food. There are over 500 different varieties of corn that were selected for and bred over that 12,000 year history of domestication from the tiny plant once known as teosinte. Each one is suited to its environment. We have transplanted one from a mountainous region in Northern Mexico to grow in our short summers here in Nova Scotia and its doing very well with the same pain-staking process of repeated selection of the best plant seeds. This is all that plants need to grow successfully. It is a slow process but when you start splicing in fish genes to make uber-corn, you've really lost your way. The effects of this are unknown, untested and unnatural. I could write volumes on the problems of doing this from the practical farming side to the legislative side to the environmental side. All in all it spells the end of farming the way we have been farming for the last 15,000 years. Farming is the legacy of all people everywhere and this patenting bullshit on life forms or parts of life forms has to stop being used as a means to economic domination.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Which in turn, is one of the driving engines of immigration from Mexico to USA...
When subsistence growers can't sell their meager surpluses for hard income because they can't meet the prices of subsidized US corn, villages experience economic decline. Larger growers who service higher population markets meet the same fate. We're starving people out of Mexico and bitching because they come here.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: The World According to Monsanto

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Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post
One of the other HUGE issues with this corn is that it is being grown for ethanol production, not for food. There are over 500 different varieties of corn that were selected for and bred over that 12,000 year history of domestication from the tiny plant once known as teosinte. Each one is suited to its environment. We have transplanted one from a mountainous region in Northern Mexico to grow in our short summers here in Nova Scotia and its doing very well with the same pain-staking process of repeated selection of the best plant seeds. This is all that plants need to grow successfully. It is a slow process but when you start splicing in fish genes to make uber-corn, you've really lost your way. The effects of this are unknown, untested and unnatural. I could write volumes on the problems of doing this from the practical farming side to the legislative side to the environmental side. All in all it spells the end of farming the way we have been farming for the last 15,000 years. Farming is the legacy of all people everywhere and this patenting bullshit on life forms or parts of life forms has to stop being used as a means to economic domination.
Ethanol production that actually provides lower efficiency (poor gas mileage) and shortened life in internal combustion engines. Big agra loves its kingmaker public subsidies.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: The World According to Monsanto

Export capitalism at its finest.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 05:35 PM
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Export capitalism at its finest.
US ethanol policy is strictly for the domestic political market. No one on the planet who is even remotely concerned about the environment is going to pay to import that stuff.

That being said, I think the planetary impact and environmental danger of Monsanto is many times larger than the 'ethanol-subsidy-game'.
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Old Apr 19th 2010, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Americano View Post
When subsistence growers can't sell their meager surpluses for hard income because they can't meet the prices of subsidized US corn, villages experience economic decline. Larger growers who service higher population markets meet the same fate. We're starving people out of Mexico and bitching because they come here.
I imagine Monsanto shareholders are pretty happy though.
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