A good number people have probably heard of Monsanto. I'm sure a lot haven't. At any rate, I think it is very important that people understand just what this company does, and what they really stand for.
To start off, Monsanto is a huge, American corporation that produces herbicides and pesticides.... But that's not all they do! They also genetically modify crops for the food we eat.
Because these foods are "created" by Monsanto, they "own" them and all the offspring, etc. Farmers that buy Monsanto seeds are not permitted to save seeds for the next year - rather, they have to buy new seeds from Monsanto the following year. Clever concept, right? Annoying - but clever.
Just wait. This is about to get a little more clever....and a lot more annoying.
Even if a farmer doesn't buy Monsanto's product, should GMO crops cross pollinate with non-GMO crops, the gene can be found in this farmers crop the next year. So if said farmer reuses the seeds from his non-GMO crop, Monsanto could test for their genes and find them. This means a lawsuit for the farmer - which the rich and powerful Monsanto almost never loses.
So farmers not caving to Monsanto and using their product, are now in danger of a lawsuit that would leave them bankrupt. In this way, Monsanto is moving towards monopolizing the food industry in America.
If that's not scary enough for you, don't let out your sigh of relief yet.
Recently, Monsanto released their first direct-to-costumer product: GMO corn. This corn contains a Bt toxin - a protein that ruptures the stomach of any insects that attempt to feed on it.
This toxin has been found to cause organ failure in small mammals.
Umm. I know it's a stretch to say that the corn could be dangerous to people - but I'd prefer my corn the way millions of years of evolution designed it...not exploding my insides.
Well, there's a special PLU code for GMO products. I could just make sure to stay away from codes with five numbers, starting with an eight.
OH WAIT! Companies aren't required to use the special PLU, so I really have no way of knowing whether I'm eating genetically modified "food" or not.
That makes me a little scared, super frustrated, and even angry. Does it make you angry? Because it should.
But what can We do about it?
Well, There's actually a few things you can do to help make a difference. Send letters to your legislature or house of representatives protesting Monsanto. Elsewhere in the world, GMO products are already illegal or at least regulated by the government. We deserve the same protections.
Also, you should know about the companies that are known to use GMO products.
"Control the food supply, control the people." Dont let that happen. Fight back. Just say no...to Monsanto.