First, the company had been selling Roundup for years without any
problems. Second, and perhaps most important, the company’s
scientists had just spent more than a decade, and many millions of
dollars, trying to create the Roundup-resistant plants that they
desperately wanted — soybeans and cotton and corn. It had been
incredibly difficult. When I interviewed former Monsanto scientists
for my book on biotech crops, one of them called it the company’s
Considering how hard it had been to create those crops, “the
thinking was, it would be really difficult for weeds to become
tolerant” to Roundup, says Rick Cole, who is now responsible for
Monsanto’s efforts to deal with the problem of resistant weeds.
So they thought small scale would be the same as saturating
90+% of every corn, soybean, peanut, and cotton field in the U.S.
and numerous other countries with virulent poisons.
Because they wanted the money.
publishes a letter
from Col. (Ret.) Don M. Huber,
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University,
APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS).
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to
my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that
appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and
probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread,
very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR)
soybeans and corn-suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the
presence of Roundup. This organism appears NEW to science!
Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.’s business practices
reveal how the world’s biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors,
controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the
multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated
Press investigation has found.
Why should you care?
Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes
that ripple out to every family’s dinner table. That’s because the corn
flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you
ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s
In addition to the problems produced by the pesticides Monsanto seeds are
developed to be immune to,
Peter Whoriskey writes in the Washington Post
about how 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the U.S. now
comes from Monsanto-developed seeds.
And during the decade in which that has happened:
…for farmers such as Lowe, prices of the Monsanto-patented seeds have steadily increased, roughly doubling during the past decade, to about $50 for a 50-pound bag of soybean seed, according to seed dealers.
Many farmers are fed up with Monsanto’s ruthless use of litigation. All over the United States, the wind is carrying Monsanto’s genetically altered seeds into neighboring fields. Monsanto regularly sends out investigators to visit farms and to test whether any Monsanto strains have shown up on those farms. If they have, then Monsanto proceeds to sue the living daylights out of those farmers.
A commenter makes the monoculture point:
They don’t have to be more susceptible to crop diseases. They have extremely low genetic diversity, so a disease that strongly affects that strain of plant will be able to spread over millions of acres of nearly identical targets.
This is exactly what happened to the Irish during the potato famine. The Inca, who discovered the potato, had thousands of varieties. Some resisted blight, some resisted insects, others performed better in dry years, etc.