Published on March 26th, 2013 | by Jason Louv19
Monsanto’s Shocking Power Grab Continues
Monsanto Moves Towards Total Dominance of the World’s Food Supply, and They’re Making Sure You’re None the Wiser
On Friday, we reported that agribusiness behemoth Monsanto was in the position to become immune to USDA oversight—as did a few food activist blogs, and essentially no mainstream sources—outside of a middle-of-the-road report on NPR.
Mainstream blogs are also conspicuously silent—yesterday saw a stunning pro-GMO apologia from io9, a blog in the Gawker network, which I’ve also seen running what appears to be utterly obnoxious paid content for McDonald’s at their Lifehacker blog (they have a whole McDonald’s section).
io9 had this to say: “opponents of genetically modified organisms have been labeled the climate skeptics of the left, and for good reason: many of these criticisms are largely unfounded, and most miss the real issue entirely.”
You have got to be kidding me.
The article shouts the praises of GMO potatoes, by the way—one of Monsanto’s big products. Monsanto supplies the potatoes to McDonald’s for their french fries—how odd, then, that the same blog network that would consistently run McDonald’s ad content at Lifehacker would also run PR spin for GMO potatoes at io9.
It’s all coming on the heels of a very public hit campaign against prominent seed activist Vandana Shiva, who was torn down by the media for comparing GMOs to rape on her Twitter.
Well, when you own 90% of the world’s GMO food supply, paying off the media isn’t a problem, one guesses. Especially when you’re getting in position to own the rest of the 10% you don’t control yet.
It’s small potatoes compared to buying the government, for instance, as we saw in Monsanto’s power-jockeying over the USDA. And—how “odd” is this?—the very same week that Monsanto makes its move with the USDA, the Obama administration is pushing out Kathleen Merrigan, the USDA’s deputy secretary—the administration’s biggest and most powerful supporter of local and organic food. Her departure was described as “abrupt,” and could lead to “the end of local food at USDA.” How… strange.
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But pocketing the government and public opinion are minor efforts compared to the even bigger battle Monsanto won today: Reuters reports that Monsanto has settled with its main competitor, DuPont, over GMO seed technology, and that the two behemoths are now planning collaboration (with Monsanto driving). DuPont will now be allowed to produce Monsanto’s seeds, and have to pay royalty payments to do so; their stock dropped while Monsanto’s rose.
Monsanto Co and DuPont have settled a bitter legal battle over rights to technology for genetically modified seeds and will drop antitrust and patent claims against each other while forging a new collaboration, the companies said on Tuesday.
The deal tosses out a $1 billion jury verdict DuPont was ordered to pay Monsanto last August. Instead, the companies agreed that DuPont would make at least $1.75 billion in royalty payments over several years in exchange for broad access to develop products using Monsanto’s leading genetic technology.
Monsanto shares rose nearly 4 percent on the news, while DuPont shares fell nearly 1 percent.
All this means that Monsanto may soon control literally everything you eat—and no, io9, GMO products are not god’s gift to world hunger. Take a recent study of GMO corn—of which Monsanto owns 85% of worldwide, and growing. When fed to rats, the corn disrupted and destroyed their kidneys and livers in every instance.