As Challenge over Seed Rights Approaches Supreme Court, New Report Exposes Devastating Impact of Monsanto Practices on U.S. Farmers…


seed-giants

From CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY

Washington, D.C. – February 12, 2013 – Center for Food Safety and Save Our Seeds Investigate Role of Seed Patents in Consolidating Corporate Control of Global Food Supply

Today, one week before the Supreme Court hears arguments in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save our Seeds (SOS) – two legal and policy organizations dedicated to promoting safe, sustainable food and farming systems – will launch their new report, Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers.

The new report investigates how the current seed patent regime has led to a radical shift to consolidation and control of global seed supply and how these patents have abetted corporations, such as Monsanto, to sue U.S. farmers for alleged seed patent infringement.

Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers also examines broader socio-economic consequences of the present patent system including links to loss of seed innovation, rising seed prices, reduction of independent scientific inquiry, and environmental issues.

Debbie Barker, Program Director for Save Our Seeds and Senior Writer for the Report, said today:  “Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival, and that, historically, has been in the public domain.”

Among the report’s discoveries are several alarming statistics:

  • As of January 2013, Monsanto, alleging seed patent infringement, had filed 144 lawsuits involving 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses in at least 27 different states.
  • Today, three corporations control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market.
  • Seed consolidation has led to market control resulting in dramatic increases in the price of seeds. From 1995-2011, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent; for cotton prices spiked 516 percent and corn seed prices are up by 259 percent.

The report also disputes seed industry claims that present seed patent rules are necessary for seed innovation.  As Bill Freese, senior scientist at Center for Food Safety and one of the report’s contributors notes:  “Most major new crop varieties developed throughout the 20th century owe their origin to publicly funded agricultural research and breeding.”

Additionally, Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers reports a precipitous drop in seed diversity that has been cultivated for millennia. As the report notes:  86% of corn, 88% of cotton, and 93% of soybeans farmed in the U.S. are now genetically-engineered (GE) varieties, making the option of farming non-GE crops increasingly difficult.

While agrichemical corporations also claim that their patented seeds are leading to environmental improvements, the report notes that upward of 26 percent more chemicals per acre were used on GE crops than on non-GE crops, according to USDA data.

Further, in response to an epidemic of weed resistance to glyphosate, the primary herbicide used on GE crops, Dow AgroSciences is seeking USDA approval of “next generation” corn and soybeans resistant to 2,4-D, an active ingredient in Agent Orange.  Monsanto is seeking approval for GE dicamba-resistant soybeans, corn, and cotton.

At the launch of the report via teleconference today, experts from the Center for Food Safety and Save our Seeds were joined by Mr. Vernon Hugh Bowman, the 75-year-old Indiana soybean farmer who, next week, will come up against Monsanto in the Supreme Court Case.  When asked about the numerous comparisons being drawn between his case and the story of David and Goliath, Mr. Bowman responded, “I really don’t consider it as David and Goliath. I don’t think of it in those terms. I think of it in terms of right and wrong.”

In December of 2012, the Center for Food Safety, and Save Our Seeds submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mr. Bowman, which supports the right of farmers to re-plant saved seed. Arguments in the case are scheduled for February 19th.

For the full report: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Seed-Giants_final.pdf

More information on the CFS and SOS can be found at:  http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org
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2 Comments

Last week Tom Vilsack, secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), speaking at a forum sponsored by Farm Journal, claimed that rural America has become “less and less relevant.” Vilsack went on to say that “It’s time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America. It’s time for a different thought process here, in my view.”

Vilsack asserts that with more and more Americans moving into urbanized city-centers (Agenda 21), the farming communities in rural areas are not necessary in order to supply the US with food and other necessities. He believes that these areas of land would be better served without having to direct energy and resources to them. He is an advocate for Monsanto and genetically modified foods which would explain why Vilsack is against rural America and farming communities.

In fact, Vilsack stated that a farming policy that facilitated the reality of “rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that and we better begin to reverse it.”
Last week Tom Vilsack, secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), speaking at a forum sponsored by Farm Journal, claimed that rural America has become “less and less relevant.” Vilsack went on to say that “It’s time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America. It’s time for a different thought process here, in my view.”

http://occupycorporatism.com/usda-secretary-validates-agenda-21-says-rural-america-less-and-less-relevant/

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These absurd comments made last December by the head of Big Ag clearly show that what our Big Government has planned is not a ‘conversation’ but to make rural living and small scale healthy farming obsolete!

It is time to unplug from the system and assert localized independence from the machine, which has long lost its usefulness to a localized healthy way of life..

All these Greco/Roman/Phoenician cultures have the same problem. Rank in these societies is directly related to wealth. Even the ancients at least tried to remedy this absurd situation with various social engineering patches like democratic methods, sanctity of religious who were expected to live in poverty, etc. Nothing works. The GRP basic social design includes the basic features of oligopoly, extremes of consumption at the top and some form of slavery supporting the dominance of hereditary wealth. What we call globalization fits well into this pattern. The American antebellum South was one of many perfect examples of this cultural motif. People outside the European/Mediterranean area have pursued gross inequality as an organizing principle in their own way, but it is more important for us to understand how we enslave ourselves, understand the FACT that we submit to degrees of slavery without thought. The basic reflex that establishes this system is a fawning, self deprecating attitude, toward wealth.

Jesus rejected this attitude and was crucified (along with vast numbers of other uppity poor people) because of it. The hidden self hatred of the poor is the Roundup of our cultures. We use poor self esteem, and the manipulation such people are exquisitely subject to, to control the weed people. The continuing problem down through history is that eventually the weeds become strong under oppression, fight back and destroy the well planned fields of oppression laid out by their masters.

Everything is fractal under close analysis. What is a problem on the material plane will be recapitulated on the spiritual plane. In our cultures the original sin is to not take advantage of others when the opportunity arises. Wealth equals control, control establishes wealth. It is inevitable that Monsanto’s owners would seek to control food itself. All the GRP oligarchs attempt to do this as the final defense of obscene wealth is famine.

Freedom is a point of view.

ybera

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