According to a recent Associated Press investigation, agri-giant Monsanto regularly employs business practices that not only aim to eliminate all competition, but essentially position the company as the sole proprietor of all things related to food. While old news to many in the natural health community, the mainstream press is beginning to recognize the world domination tactics being employed by Monsanto that are slowly destroying the integrity of the global food supply.
Monsanto's genetic modification program has reached 95 percent of domestic soybean crops and 80 percent of domestic corn crops. It has plans in the works to insert its patented genes into wheat crops as well, given U.S. farmers agree to use them this time around. These percentages are likely even higher when considering the natural and unintended spread of pollen and seeds from these genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) into conventional or organic fields.
According to Neil Harl, an agricultural economist from Iowa State University, Monsanto now has patented control over 90 percent of seeds and seed genetics, a chilling notion that has far-reaching consequences. Since the company regularly buys up independent seed companies, its competition is dwindling and the prices for its patented seeds continue to rise.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and at least two state attorneys general are probing Monsanto's contracts and agreements that many are alleging violate antitrust laws. Everything from exerting unreasonable control on farmers who purchase its seeds to flat out lying about their benefits is under investigation.
Once a farmer agrees to use even a single Monsanto gene or seed he is essentially locked into a contract with Monsanto that is very difficult to get out of logistically. Once the seed traits have proliferated a crop, removing it in order to revert back to a conventional seed is extremely difficult and expensive, leaving many farmers helpless to escape Monsanto's control over them.
Monsanto's contracts also contain provisions that mandate the destruction of all seeds containing its genes if and when a seed company changes ownership, making it easy for Monsanto to buy up seed companies cheaply and eliminate all competitor participation in the bidding process.
Many seed growers and crop farmers feel cornered by Monsanto as it solidifies its control over the entire seed and crop industry. Most have no other option but to continue using Monsanto products or else face ruin. Unless the DOJ steps in and clamps down on Monsanto's quest for total control, the world's food supply may eventually be controlled by a single biotechnology corporation.
Food giant's power tactics - Salon
AN AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed business role revealed - GlobeGazette.com
Monsanto uses patent law to control most of U.S. corn, soy seed market - Cleveland.com