It has been a curious evolution. We used to go out to hunt and gather. It was a full time job, but at least we knew what we ate. Then we started herding animals, planting seeds and growing crops. Every year we reap and plant again.
Now, after ten thousand years of agriculture we’ve outsourced it all to companies like Monsanto. And we have no idea any more where our food comes from, how it’s treated, or even what it is. You need a degree in chemistry to find out.
Chemistry is Monsanto’s business. They come from plastics and they went into poison when it was booming after WW2. One of their biggest hits was DDT, a highly toxic pesticide that was widely used in the forties and fifties against malaria. It was very successful in the beginning, but then it caused a forced evolution. New generations of mosquitoes started to become resistant. So more poison was needed. At the time it was good for business, but in the long run it wouldn’t be sustainable. The damage caused on human health and natural environment was devastating by the time people started to realize it. The only species that flourished from DDT were the mosquitoes it was meant to destroy.
Another fine Monsanto product was Agent Orange, a herbicide which was indiscriminately used by the U.S. army in chemical warfare against the Vietnamese population, in violation of Geneva conventions. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to suffer the consequences.
Monsanto didn’t leave the poison business when they went into food. In fact, it’s all sold as a package. If you buy the seeds, you have the buy the herbicide and the fertilizer as well. Monsanto treats the genetic code of seeds as any other chemical substance, modifying them for maximum profit. They have managed to develop terminator seeds that don’t reproduce. The end of a natural cycle, the threshold of intellectual property and registered trademark. As a farmer, you are forced to buy the same seeds every year again, from the same company. And once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.
But there’s also the wind and the elements. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not cultivated in a closed environment. They contaminate natural or organic crops, they contaminate our whole ecosystem. Perversely, corporations like Monsanto can sue farmers for trademark violations because of the contamination their own products are causing.
Many people and many countries have serious doubts about GMOs. Nonetheless they have been massively implemented under pressure from corporate lobby’s over the past few decades. without the general public being adequately informed, and without scientist foreseeing what the long term effects of GMOs can be. Monsanto also successfully lobbied against people’s right to know from the label if a product contains GMOs.
Companies like Monsanto are privatizing our food supply, endangering our agricultural heritage, our environment and our health in the interest of profit. They say there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s all safe, they say, just like they said about DDT. But somewhere deep down, Monsanto officials must be a bit worried. Or they wouldn’t have sponsored the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, which protects them against law suits for potential GMO damages.
Monsanto is one of the tentacles of the beast. Today, in 400 cities worldwide, we #MarchAgainstMonsanto. To raise awareness, to demand the repeal of the Monsanto Protection Act, to reaffirm our right to know.
For the sake of ourselves and future generations we need to reclaim our food supply. We need to start a grass roots revolution against destructive and voracious agribusiness. The seed for this has already been planted. All around, people are rallying to save bio diversity, to practice agriculture with respect for people and nature, to develop technologies that don’t rely on poison or genetic engineering.
Traditional agriculture is the foundation of our civilization. We can’t allow it to be sold off for a quick buck with complete disregard for the consequences.