Monopoly: the Monsanto edition

The first time I learned about genetically modified food was back in my biology class of high school. (Learned a lot of neat things that year in biology. Good times.) The two clearest things I could remember on genetically modified food was how people would genetically modify cattle to be all around bigger to yield larger amounts of leaner meat, and that carrots were originally white; the orange carrot was popularized by some king sometime in perhaps the 17th century. (I’m mostly convinced that the latter is actually just a myth.)

 

I haven’t heard about Monsanto until this year. It kind of bothers me knowing that there’s this behemoth of a company that forces people to get rid of potential food – it seems terribly wasteful. If the point is to grow cheaper food to feed more people, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to destroy the extra seeds, in fear of losing out on cash? Food, people, money. You need one to sustain the other so they can sustain you with their cash. I doubt that any individual farms (or all the individual farms put together) could make enough extra cash on the sly to overthrow Monsanto. What are they so afraid of?

It’s so dumb that they go around accusing farmers of planting their seeds even if they weren’t in a contract with them. It’s not like those farmers could control what direction the wind decided to blow on some random day. How would they even know if the farmer is using a surplus of their seeds anyway? Where are the competing companies in this situation anyway? Monopolies should never be legal. My history teacher senior year once told us about how the American government began to give aid yearly to the farmer, even though farmers no longer needed it these days. I remember thinking that seemed unfair, and that money ought to go somewhere else more needed. But now, I think that money might not even be enough if things like Monsanto are happening.

 

How did Monsanto even become so big? How long does a contract force a farmer to buy seeds from Monsanto? I can’t imagine why anybody would want to buy seeds from them after hearing so many horror stories. Their seeds must be that much cheaper, and if so, what an insidious way of creeping in where you are unwanted.

photo source: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/monsanto-pig-patent-111/

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