brvheart, on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011, 10:22 PM, said:
That's not what I was talking about. I know farmers that have purchased Monsanto seed and then used seed from that for the next season, but that's not what I'm talking about.There are plenty of farmers that use their own seed and don't get sued. They just have to be careful.
That's not what I'm talking about, either. I'm not talking about using their crop from one season to the next. I'm talking about, making your own crop, year after year, going back generations, and then getting sued by monsanto because your corn gets cross pollinated with a neighboring farm. For example, Monsanto has a copywrite for the "Round up ready" gene. Round up is a herbicide made by Monsanto. It kills basically every plant that doesn't have the round up ready gene. Monsanto leases the right to use this gene to seed companies. However, they also make it so when a farmer buys the seed, they are licensing the right to use that gene for 1 year, 1 crop. This insures that private farmers can't buy a Round up ready gene seed one year, and then use that crop to make their own seed year after year. IF they do, Monsanto sues them. But, they don't just sue farmers who bought Monsanto genes and then " stole" the right to use them. They sue farmers who's crops have these genes, who have never purchased a Monsanto product. THe gene's presence in their crop, in even one plant in their field, is a product of cross pollination. And since Monsanto gene crops overwhelmingly dominate the market, it's highly likely your farm will be surrounded on all 4 sides by Monsanto farms, making cross pollination inevitable. It's not a matter of "Being careful". You can't just like, put up a fence and wear gloves. You can't block the wind. You can't block pollinatatory insects. These farmers haven't stolen anything, they haven't broke any contracts. They just do what they've been doing for generations, farming. And they get sued by Monsanto. And Monsanto wins, in basically every country, because of WTO trade agreements. These independent farmers end up losing their farms due to legal costs/rulings against them, or agree to stop producing their own seed and plant official monsanto licensed seed. Other independant farmers see what happens to the guy down the road, see the example that gets made out of a neighbor, who did absolutely nothing wrong. And they switch over to Monsanto Seed out of fear. That shit ain't right. I'll grant you, Round up Ready is a great product, it's made farming incredibly productive. We use it on the farms I own. But it's basically true that you have no choice but to use a Monsanto product, and Monsanto has actively tried to establish a monopoly by bullying farmers. And it's worked. The round up ready copywrite runs out soon, I think in 2014. Round up is already phasing it out infavor of "round up ready 2" (which is essentially the same gene, in a different spot on the genome) so farmers don't just start making their own seed after the copywrite expires.