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17-Dec-2017 06:06

Monsanto has turned this ancient practice on its head. “It’s not like describing a widget,” says Joseph Mendelson III, the legal director of the Center for Food Safety, which has tracked Monsanto’s activities in rural America for years. Rather, it was a bacterium developed by a General Electric scientist to clean up oil spills.

But the precedent was set, and Monsanto took advantage of it. Farmers who buy Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seed produced after each harvest for re-planting, or to sell the seed to other farmers.

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat.

Others do, but ignore the stipulation rather than throw away a perfectly usable product. seeds to get mixed in with traditional varieties when seeds are cleaned by commercial dealers for re-planting. seeds and doesn’t want them on his land, it’s a safe bet he’ll get a visit from Monsanto’s seed police if crops grown from G. What they may not know is that the company now profoundly influences—and one day may virtually control—what we put on our tables. Many more products have been developed or are in the pipeline, including seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa. agenda, Monsanto is buying up conventional-seed companies. Another reason for their attraction is convenience.

Still others say that they don’t use Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds, but seeds have been blown into their fields by wind or deposited by birds. The seeds look identical; only a laboratory analysis can show the difference. For most of its history Monsanto was a chemical giant, producing some of the most toxic substances ever created, residues from which have left us with some of the most polluted sites on earth. The company is also seeking to extend its reach into milk production by marketing an artificial growth hormone for cows that increases their output, and it is taking aggressive steps to put those who don’t want to use growth hormone at a commercial disadvantage. In 2005, Monsanto paid

Monsanto has turned this ancient practice on its head. “It’s not like describing a widget,” says Joseph Mendelson III, the legal director of the Center for Food Safety, which has tracked Monsanto’s activities in rural America for years. Rather, it was a bacterium developed by a General Electric scientist to clean up oil spills.But the precedent was set, and Monsanto took advantage of it. Farmers who buy Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seed produced after each harvest for re-planting, or to sell the seed to other farmers.Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat.Others do, but ignore the stipulation rather than throw away a perfectly usable product. seeds to get mixed in with traditional varieties when seeds are cleaned by commercial dealers for re-planting. seeds and doesn’t want them on his land, it’s a safe bet he’ll get a visit from Monsanto’s seed police if crops grown from G. What they may not know is that the company now profoundly influences—and one day may virtually control—what we put on our tables. Many more products have been developed or are in the pipeline, including seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa. agenda, Monsanto is buying up conventional-seed companies. Another reason for their attraction is convenience.

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Monsanto has turned this ancient practice on its head. “It’s not like describing a widget,” says Joseph Mendelson III, the legal director of the Center for Food Safety, which has tracked Monsanto’s activities in rural America for years. Rather, it was a bacterium developed by a General Electric scientist to clean up oil spills.

But the precedent was set, and Monsanto took advantage of it. Farmers who buy Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seed produced after each harvest for re-planting, or to sell the seed to other farmers.

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat.

Others do, but ignore the stipulation rather than throw away a perfectly usable product. seeds to get mixed in with traditional varieties when seeds are cleaned by commercial dealers for re-planting. seeds and doesn’t want them on his land, it’s a safe bet he’ll get a visit from Monsanto’s seed police if crops grown from G. What they may not know is that the company now profoundly influences—and one day may virtually control—what we put on our tables. Many more products have been developed or are in the pipeline, including seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa. agenda, Monsanto is buying up conventional-seed companies. Another reason for their attraction is convenience.

Still others say that they don’t use Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds, but seeds have been blown into their fields by wind or deposited by birds. The seeds look identical; only a laboratory analysis can show the difference. For most of its history Monsanto was a chemical giant, producing some of the most toxic substances ever created, residues from which have left us with some of the most polluted sites on earth. The company is also seeking to extend its reach into milk production by marketing an artificial growth hormone for cows that increases their output, and it is taking aggressive steps to put those who don’t want to use growth hormone at a commercial disadvantage. In 2005, Monsanto paid $1.4 billion for Seminis, which controlled 40 percent of the U. market for lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetable and fruit seeds. By using Roundup Ready soybean seeds, a farmer can spend less time tending to his fields. But out in the American countryside, Monsanto’s no-holds-barred tactics have made it feared and loathed.

.4 billion for Seminis, which controlled 40 percent of the U. market for lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetable and fruit seeds. By using Roundup Ready soybean seeds, a farmer can spend less time tending to his fields. But out in the American countryside, Monsanto’s no-holds-barred tactics have made it feared and loathed.

According to Freese, investigators will say, “Monsanto knows that you are saving Roundup Ready seeds, and if you don’t sign these information-release forms, Monsanto is going to come after you and take your farm or take you for all you’re worth.” Investigators will sometimes show a farmer a photo of himself coming out of a store, to let him know he is being followed.As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him, saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto’s genetically modified (G. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto, Rinehart says the man told him—or face the consequences. He owned a small—a small—country store in a town of 350 people. You will pay.”Scenes like this are playing out in many parts of rural America these days as Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers’ co-ops, seed dealers—anyone it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds.