monsantoTheir first claim to fame was the artificial sweetener saccharin, and later aspartame

Ever since the beginning of man, there has always been a conflict between good and evil. “Good” always seems easy to identify whereas “Evil” is sometimes more difficult to spot. “Good” does the work of God and “Evil” does the work of Satan. I suppose there are some that don’t even realize they are in league with Satan and this goes for the individual and the corporation.

Much has been written on a company known as Monsanto. Let’s look at some of its activities and then decide whether these represent just plain evil.

The company has been in existence for over 100 years, and has primarily dealt with chemicals, in one form or another. Their first claim to fame was the artificial sweetener saccharin, and later aspartame, sold under the brand name NutraSweet.

Monsanto later became a major manufacturer of industrial coolants known as PCBs, the very deadly insecticide DDT and the herbicide commonly known as Agent Orange. All of these became pollutants to our environment, yet despite growing public controversy and mounting scientific evidence, Monsanto found ways to continue their manufacture.

A search on the Internet shows Monsanto was also involved in the creation of the first nuclear bomb, and operated a nuclear facility for the federal government in Miamisburg, Ohio, called the Mound Project.

Beginning in the 1980s, Monsanto began to get involved with biotechnology, and concentrated their efforts on genetically modified organisms (GMO). This is the process of altering genes of seeds and plants to create, in theory, superior plants. Their goal was to make plants less susceptible to pests, more resistant to drought and just generally stronger overall; ultimately representing the cure for world hunger.

“…there has never been a single, verifiable safety study proving that any GMO is safe…”

In the years to follow, Monsanto furthered its development by buying up all of the smaller seed companies. They are now the world’s largest seed company, which has greatly limited agricultural diversity and freedom. By patenting genetically modified seeds that no one else owns, they not only are making billions of dollars from them, but are also taking over the world supply of food.

Genetically modified corn and soybean are in approximately 90% of the fields in America today. It is becoming increasingly difficult for farmers to obtain natural seeds. Many farmers feel they have no choice but to go with the flow.

The next step to weaken the farmer is the development of the “terminator” seed, known technically as GURTs (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies). Rather than the usual practice of farmers saving and re-planting harvested seeds, terminator seeds could be genetically modified to “commit suicide” after one harvest season. That would automatically prevent farmers from saving and re-using the seed for the next harvest. These seeds have not yet been commercialized or field-tested, but tests are currently being conducted in greenhouses in the United States.

Literally thousands of farmers from across Canada and the United States have been sued by Monsanto’s legal team. When farmers fields not containing GMO seeds become cross-pollinated with GMO seeds (birds dropping seeds, blown in from neighbour’s fields, etc.), Monsanto takes action. The “guilty” farmer must pay retribution for the selling of a crop grown from GMO. While most farmers reluctantly pay the fee, (rather than the legal costs to fight it), Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser turned the tables and countered-sued, launching a $10 million lawsuit against Monsanto, accusing the company of a variety of wrongs, including libel, trespass and contamination of his fields. In an out of court settlement finalized on March 19, 2008, Percy Schmeiser settled his lawsuit with Monsanto. Monsanto has agreed to pay all the clean-up costs of the canola that contaminated Schmeiser’s fields. Also part of the agreement was that there was no gag-order on the settlement and that Monsanto could be sued again if further contamination occurred. Schmeiser believes this precedent setting agreement ensures that farmers will be entitled to reimbursement when their fields become contaminated with unwanted GMO plants.

So are GMOs as good as promised? Well, not everyone is thrilled with them. According to David Murphy, founder and Executive Director of “Food Democracy Now!”, “None of Monsanto’s original promises regarding genetically modified seeds have come true after 15 years of wide adoption by commodity farmers. Rather than increased yields or less chemical usage, farmers are facing more crop diseases, an onslaught of herbicide-resistant superweeds and increased costs from additional herbicide application”.

To date, there has never been a single, verifiable safety study proving that any GMO is safe for people or for the environment. David Suzuki says, “Because we aren’t certain about the effects of GMOs, we must consider one of the guiding principles in science, the precautionary principle. Under this principle, if a policy or action could harm human health or the environment, we must not proceed until we know for sure what the impact will be. And it is up to those proposing the action or policy to prove that it is not harmful.”

How concerned is Monsanto for our health and well-being? A Monsanto official told the New York Times, October 25, 1998, that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products. “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”

Several countries have now banned the import of GMO crops. Headlines such as “Mexico Rejects Monsanto’s GMO Corn”, “Brazilian Farmers Declare War on Monsanto” and “India Files Biopiracy Lawsuit against Monsanto” are appearing more frequently in our daily newspapers. Last year, shares of Monsanto’s stock have plummeted 40%, primarily due to the fact that GMO crops are yielding less, not more produce, as promised. Earnings for the fiscal year were well under projection. The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations.

This company represents one of the biggest threats to your future health, and that of the planet. Try to avoid all GMO foods where possible. In Canada and the U.S., demand is growing for the labelling of all GMO produce sold in stores. When buying your produce in bulk, check the PLU code that may have been placed on the food. Numbers beginning with a 9 are deemed to be organically grown. If the PLU begins with an 8, it is a product of GMO. Be sure to check these codes if you are concerned about GMOs.