From my understanding of the pending legislation mentioned in the following article, this will even impact those of us who save seeds for our private gardens; seed saver organizations; and those who save and pass on heirloom varieties of different plants.  You might want to keep your eye on this legislation and look for other sources of information on the program it proposes.


South African GMO Crop Failure Highlights Dangers
of Food Supply Domination
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Barbara Minton, Natural Health Editor

(NaturalNews) Worry is building over the effects of the Food Safety
and Modernization Act of 2009, otherwise known as HR 875. This is the
bill currently working its way through Congress that would effectively
hand over control of America’s food supply to such a nefarious giant
as Monsanto and its lesser counterparts such as Tyson and Cargill. We
have a right to worry, because broad interpretation of this bill
reveals its potential to put an end to healthy food in America. Family
farms, local growers, organic producers, and even backyard gardeners
can all be put out of business by its heavy hand. Yet an even greater
threat may be looming at the front end of the controversy over the
food supply as harvests of genetically modified foods begin to fail.
GMO corn plants fail to produce kernels.

Farmers in South Africa have suffered millions of dollars in lost
income due to the failure of their genetically modified (GMO)
corn to produce kernels. The three varieties of plants look lush and
healthy from the outside, but when the husks were pulled back there
are no kernels. Monsanto’s GMO corn was planted on 82,000 hectares of
farmland, an amount that equals over 202,000 acres. The loss is spread
over three South African provinces, and 280 of the 1,000 farmers who
planted the corn have reported the lack of kernel development.

Monsanto has blamed the failure on under fertilization processes in
the laboratory and attempted to make light of the situation by
claiming that only 25% of the Monsanto seeded farms are involved in
the loss. But Marian Mayet, environmental activist and director of the
Africa Centre for Biosecurity in Johannesburg is not buying it.

According to her information, some farms have suffered up to an 80%
crop failure. She has demanded an urgent government investigation and
an immediate ban on all GMO food.

She points out that it is biotechnology that is the failure, and a
careless mistake would not affect three different varieties of corn at
the same time. The varieties failing to produce kernels were designed
with a built-in resistance to Monsanto’s weed killers, and were
manipulated to increase yields.

Mayet is justifiably upset. Corn is the primary staple food for South
Africa’s 48 million people.

Apparently Monsanto is upset too. It has offered immediate
compensation to all the farmers experiencing crop loss. Damage
estimates are being collected buy local farmer cooperatives, and
Monsanto is standing by with its checkbook. Locals are saying they are
satisfied that Monsanto is doing a good job to protect them. This kind
of largesse is uncharacteristic of Monsanto, a company more widely
known for its use of strong arm and bullying tactics, and total
disregard for people’s rights. It implies that Mayet’s concerns over
the failure of bioengineering may be justified.

Monsanto uses insidious plan to gain control of world food supply
Monsanto has pushed around farmers to the point where they cannot
simply refuse to buy Monsanto’s GMO seeds. In its insidious efforts to
feed its bottom line at the expense of feeding people, Monsanto has
established itself in countries often with the help of their
governments who approve the planting of their GMO Roundup Ready seeds.
Initially farmers save, multiply and sell seeds to other farmers as
they always have, and the area planted with GM seed
multiplies exponentially. Monsanto sits by and watches this happen
without a complaint. Then when the spreading of seeds is nearly
complete, Monsanto begins to threaten these farmers and call their use
of the GMO seed illegal. It gets the government behind them to enforce
patent laws.

Soon farmers who are paying patent royalties complain about those who
are not. Monsanto answers by enforcing their patents on everyone. By
this time the spread of GMO seed is so pervasive that any farmer who
has refused is bound to have a few stray GMO plants in his fields.
Monsanto seeks them out and then sues the farmers for patent
infringement. Farmers who buy Monsanto’s GMO seeds are then required
to sign an agreement promising not to save seeds or sell them to other
farmers. The result is that farmers must buy new seeds every year, and
they must buy them from Monsanto.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Monsanto is taking steps to block access to non
GMO seeds. They have bought up seed companies across the Midwest, and
have gotten legislators to put through laws that make cleaning,
collecting and storing seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork
that using normal seeds becomes almost impossible
. Laws are proposed
that ensure farmers cannot block the planting of GMO seeds even if
they contaminate other crops. Ownership of seed cleaning equipment is
made illegal by considering it a source of seed contamination. More
than 1,500 farmers whose fields have been contaminated by GM seeds
have been sued for royalty payments.

Monsanto controls over 90% of the patented seed market.

Today there is intense concentration and lack of competition in the
patented seed crop industry. Monsanto clearly dominates the playing
field, controlling over 90% of the market. There is strong evidence
that Monsanto uses various devices to squelch emerging technology that
might compete with its patented products. As a result of Monsanto’s
power grab, small and medium sized farmers have been denied the
ability to be competitive and profitable, having to over pay for their
patented seeds. Monsanto’s near monopoly of the GMO market has given
it the power to overcharge farmers and keep new and better
technologies from entering the field.

Monsanto is positioned to control legislation in the U.S.

To ensure the perpetuation of its near monopoly, Monsanto is helping
to install the right people in the right places. To that end, Michael
Taylor, the ex FDA head who approved the use of bovine growth hormone
(rBGH), has just become ensconced in the Obama transition team where
he may soon be overseeing food safety.

He will join already well placed Tom Vilsack, the pro GMO Secretary of
Agriculture. As a pair, Taylor and Vilsack, will be in a position to
continue the phasing out of small and medium sized farms to make
fertile farmland available for the intensive capital accumulation of
factory farms, and the phasing in of Monsanto’s take over of the
entire U.S. food supply.

Passage of the food safety bill will allow Monsanto to continue taking
control of farms without any obstacles.

Similar laws in the EU have already wiped out 60% of Polish farmers so
far. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), a
production control system for the food industry, is helping to smooth
the way for Monsanto by creating international harmonization of laws.
According to an article by Linn Cohen-Cole, "in Kansas alone HACCP
wiped out 72 small local meat processors who hadn’t had any problems,
and vastly lowered the number of inspections to the point where we
have over 70 million food borne illnesses a year now."

Cohen-Cole is shocked at the lack of awareness of what is going on by
people who support local and sustainable farming. She sees them as
excited about an organic White House garden while a food safety bill
is being put into law that would literally destroy everything they
have been working for. She is hoping groups that support the going
green agenda will wake up and join farmers in an effort to block the
legislation. She suggests contacting Rosa DeLauro, the woman who
sponsored HR 875.

DeLauro can be reached at:
Washington Office: Phone 202-225-3661 Fax 202-225-4890
Connecticut Office: Phone 203-562-3718 Fax 203-772-2260

HR 875 is long and tedious reading, and in the style being set by the
Obama administration, has probably not been read by the people slated
to vote on it. In the face of public outrage, these legislators may
not follow through with support for a bill making them targets for
their constituents. But legislators are not the only ones who have
been conned by the food safety bill.

Just like the Clean Water Act that ensured more contamination of
waterways, and the Clean Air Act that ensured rising levels of air
pollution, the Food Safety Act bears a name that makes it difficult to
resist if you don’t know the finer points. After all, who could be
against food safety? Anyone standing up for family and healthy living
is an easy mark for such deception. This well planned attack on the
food supply counts on the ability of liberal and progressive
communities to cut their own throats.

It may be that the South African crop failure is the first clue that
nature will triumph over the scientists and GMO products will end up
self destructing. It is certainly a wake up call to the dangers
involved in the domination of the food supply by one company and its
varieties of patented GMO seeds. It is something to hope for until one
thinks about the widespread starvation that would follow in the wake
of such an event. The threat of facing that makes contacting DeLauro a
much more appealing way to at least temporarily derail Monsanto’s

"First they ignore you,
Then they redicule you,
Then they fight you,
Then you WIN!!!  Mahatma Ghandi


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