It’s time to say it: Monsanto is doing evil

Evil is such a taboo word. I think it’s too harsh for our gutless society. I don’t mean we don’t like guts; we adore them, especially when they’re all over the camera lens in our favorite zombie movie.

But we have no gut; no courage; no strength, when it comes to labeling evil as such. I could talk about why… simply put, I think it’s because most of our society has completely abandoned its moral compass. But that’s for another post.

I’m willing to say it, and I’ll explain it. The company Monsanto, based out of St. Louis, Missouri (to the chagrin of many of my fellow Missourians), is an agent of oppression, disease, and evil in the world.

Quick clarification. I’m not anti-business (I’m a past, present, and future business-owner). I’m not even anti-corporations. I am, however, opposed to the unholy union of corporations and government.

Allow me to enumerate Monsanto’s foul deeds:

  • The company paints itself as a friend of farmers.

—This is patently false. Patently. Namely, when farmers try to do what they have done for millenia – save their seed for next year’s planting – Monsanto sues them into oblivion. This is because the federal government is in bed with Monsanto, and has ruled that Monsanto owns the patent to the genetic code they have engineered into their corn, soybean, and other crops. So when a farmer saves his seed grown from Monsanto crops, he, in the eyes of the perverse law, is stealing. Or even when a farmer doesn’t use Monsanto crops, but his neighbor’s Monsanto crops cross-pollinate his crops, or a passing  truck accidentally spills a little bit of Monsanto seed into his field, Monsanto will sue him if he saves his seed. This isn’t speculation. This has actually happened. The courts ruled in favor of Monsanto. Monsanto is not a friend of farmers.

  • The company says it is a sustainable agriculture company.

—In fact, that is the tagline on its website. “A Sustainable Agriculture Company.” As a matter of fact, Monsanto is the exact opposite of sustainable.

Reasons:

1) Monsanto has, in the past, looked into implementing a “Terminator Gene.” This would render all seeds incapable of producing fertile seeds. In other words, a farmer would be required to buy Monsanto corn. Then, if he tried to save his seed for next year’s planting, those seeds would never germinate. So he would have to go down to the store and buy some more Monsanto corn. They never implemented this (to my knowledge), but not because they realized it was unsustainable. It was because third-world countries screamed loudly enough in protest.

2) Monsanto encourages, by the very nature of the company’s core activities, the growth of mono-cultures. A mono-culture means a farmer grows only one variety of seed over large swaths of land. So just the Roundup Ready Monsanto corn, for 10,000 acres (really a whole lot more than that). The Irish Potato famine taught us the danger of that practice. When a disease or pest finds that it is perfectly suited for that one particular varietal being grown… well… the result is a complete wipe-out of that crop. Growing a variety of seeds means resistance to disease and pestilence. Monsanto does not encourage this.

Back to enumerating Monsanto’s evils…

  • Monsanto is married to the government. Truly. For a short list of Monsanto’s past and current connections, click here. Clarence Thomas was a Monsanto lawyer. Donald Rumsfeld was on a Monsanto Board of Directors. John Ashcroft received massive donations from Monsanto during his political campaigns.

—The result of this unholy union is that the courts rule in favor of Monsanto, the Congress passes laws encouraging the mass-production of corn, and the Department of Agriculture encourages policies that are perfectly suited for Monsanto and Big-Ag, and ill-suited for sustainable farming endeavors.

  • Monsanto tells one of the biggest lies of our time. “We feed the world.”

—One of the other biggest lies of our time is, “A woman should have the right to choose to destroy her unborn fetus.” But I won’t get into that.

—Monsanto does not feed the world. Big corn production does not feed the world.

—I’ve made a few charts, based on data provided by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). They’re not pretty, but then again, neither are Monsanto’s lies.

US Corn UsageI just realized that the numbers on the chart are in percentages, while the subtitle says they’re in millions of bushels. It’s not millions of bushels. It’s percentages.
Same thing for the next chart.

FSI breakdown

I had to make this chart particularly large so you could read the text from the tiny slivers of FSI production that are actually plantable and consumable. Note “Cereal & Other”… I’m pretty sure that’s the only category in which you would actually recognize that you were consuming corn. That’s 3.15% of 50.62% of all U.S. corn production. That’s tiny.

Food from corn

This graph shows FSI food uses vs. all other corn uses – basically, with the ethanol production lumped into “non-food” uses. And the above 11% includes High-Fructose Corn Syrup. In fact, the HFCS production makes up for over a third of that piece of the pie.

The point is, Monsanto corn doesn’t feed the world.

Monsanto corn DOES:

  1. Feed livestock, mainly cattle. Cow’s stomachs are not designed to process grain very well. They can handle a little, but when cattle are sold at auction and taken to Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs), they are confined to small areas (so they don’t burn calories) and given far too much grain for their bodies to handle. They’re also often given antibiotics in an attempt to keep them healthy, since they’re being made sick from the food and close proximity with thousands of other cows. Cows were made to eat grass. I learned this in my earliest piano lessons, when being taught the notes of the spaces on the bass clef (ACEG… All Cows Eat Grass). Grass not only makes for healthier cows, it also makes for leaner, healthier meats, it reduces the risk of e.coli contamination (which feed lots increase), and it can be far more profitable for farmers, if they manage their land well. Joel Salatin has been a leader in this method.
  2. Feed our gas tanks. This was a terrible idea, when Congress came up with it. They decided not only to further subsidize corn, for the purpose of ethanol production, but in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, they mandated that ethanol be blended into gasoline. It’s hard to imagine Monsanto wasn’t happy about that, being one of the leading producers of GMO corn and other seeds. And it’s hard to imagine there weren’t some Monsanto lobbyists pushing that legislation. Read more about this here.
  3. Feed our waist lines. After exports, livestock feed, and ethanol, the most common use for corn is to manufacture High Fructose Corn Syrup. ‘Nuff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

I’ll stop there.

Here’s why I’m so fired up about this today. This site recently reported that the judge who ruled against citizens’ legal right to consume raw milk in Wisconsin last year has now quit the bench to work for a law firm. A law firm that has, in the past, represented Monsanto.

Monsanto is out of control. And by saying that company is a worker of evil, I don’t mean to necessarily imply the same about every single employee of the company. I imagine many of them are nice. I met one, once. The company had made him rich. He liked Monsanto.

But I would say that any clear-thinking person, any person who loves liberty and understands the danger latent in the marriage of government and corporations, and any faithful Christian who knows their God loves justice, ought to do nothing less than condemn Monsanto’s activities.

It’s a strong stance, I know. But I also know I’m not alone. In this interview, Joel Salatin told me very plainly: “When Monsanto releases life forms that God’s creative patterns did everything to enjoin into the atmosphere to impregnate Genesis-honoring crops, and then sue those hapless farmers for patent infringement, that is not just innovative business.  It is not just a Wall Street permutation.  It is evil.”

Amen, Joel.

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5 Responses to It’s time to say it: Monsanto is doing evil

  1. Matt says:

    If you had a headache, and you took a $5 pill that a pharmaceutical company had spent one billion dollars developing, which cured your headache and subsequently caused you to cough up 60 or 80 or 100 more pills, how will the pharmaceutical company ever be able to recoup their initial investment?

    • I’m not sure I get what you’re driving at.

      • Matt says:

        Monsanto has spent a fortune developing the crops that you are so adamant that farmers be able to replant. What the farmers are paying for when they buy the GMO’s is the ability, for example, to spray round-up on corn and it kill the weeds and not knock back the crop. They are essentially buying a service. They are NOT paying for a lifetime supply, just one planting season. If the farmer can buy it one time and never have to pay for it again, how will Monsanto, or any other company for that matter, ever be able to make a profit? There must be regulations in place to allow business to make money. I don’t know enough about the rest of your points to comment one way or another, and I think you’re a really smart dude, so you get the benefit of the doubt on those. But if farmers are able to replant round-up ready corn or any other crop that has had millions of dollars spent on its development, it would be the same as if you coughed up 80 headache pills after buying only one.

      • Okay, I get you.
        I can agree that a terminator gene makes sense from Monsanto’s perspective, since it guarantees an ongoing revenue stream for them.
        But I think this points out the inherent error in trying to patent genetic codes. Gene transfers can be contained when it’s lab rats in cages. But cross-pollination happens by the wind. So that terminator gene could be transferred to a neighbor’s organic corn, ruining his ability to save his own seed, ruining his ability to market his premium product (Certified Organic has to be non-GMO), and potentially putting him in line for a lawsuit from the self-proclaimed friend of farmers, Monsanto.
        So yeah, a terminator makes sense when we’re talking about a product that can ONLY be manufactured in a factory. But plants are self-replicating, pollinating products. So this gene would not be containable, and it would absolutely decimate corn production, and render everyone necessary customers of Monsanto, since if they tried to save their own seed, it wouldn’t germinate, since it had been pollinated by a Monsanto terminator gene.

  2. friendmouse says:

    Yeah, when they seduce the government “players” to hop into bed with them, then I’m all for aborting their “offspring”. Slippery slope? Not really.

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