Monsanto’s Newest Colony: Iraq
Some of the largest multinational corporations seem to think our entire planet is one big juicy pie that they can just carve up and have all for themselves. When you think of this you probably think: Halliburton, the oil companies, arms manufacturers. Monsanto isn’t exactly a household name, but when you learn more about this amoral twisted bunch of sickfucks, they make Halliburton and the oil companies look like Mother Theresa.
If Monsanto could find a way, they’d suck all the oxygen out of the air so they could sell it back to us.
Monsanto is a huge agrochemical company, specializing in genetically modified (GM) crops. They’re one of the ringleaders in pushing genetically modified crops on the world population, replacing “organic” crops that have a natural-born resistance to pests and diseases. They’re also determined to exempt themselves from any labeling laws, so that shoppers will have no way of knowing whether the produce they’re buying is genetically modified or not.
When Monsanto gets its foot in the door, farmers eventually end up being required to purchase Monsanto’s patented seeds. This patent means that farmers can no longer store some seeds from their own crops for next year’s planting, or purchase seeds from a local market. They have to purchase their seeds every year from Monsanto, or face legal action for violating Monsanto‘s patent. For Third World farmers who are barely making it, this is a crippling expense.
And that's not all. Monsanto often files lawsuits against non-GM farmers for “violating” their patent. Sometimes seeds get blown over from one field to the next, and the neighbor of a farmer growing GM crops will end up with some of those GM crops growing in his own field. And Monsanto is right there with an army of lawyers, ready to sue for patent “violation.”
Conservatives who are always blithering about “too many lawsuits,” “too much litigation,” never seem to be bothered by this kind of lawsuit. They only get upset when an individual sues a large corporation (usually after every other avenue has been closed off). Apparently it’s just fine when a global corporation sues an individual — sort of like Goliath hitting David with a slingshot.
And now, guess what’s in store for our newly liberated farmers in Iraq. You got it. (Check Story #8 at this website.)
L. Paul Bremer III, the former American administrator of the Iraqi occupation, issued a directive to the Iraqi authorities before they took over last June. This directive sets criteria for the patenting of seeds that can only be met by multinational companies like Monsanto. Because of naturally-occurring cross-pollination, Monsanto’s GM plants will eventually wipe out native varieties. Monsanto’s GM seeds — which all farmers will eventually be forced to buy — will be more susceptible to diseases because of the lost biological diversity.
It’s kind of ironic. Mesopotamia (what’s now Iraq) is where agriculture is thought to have begun about 10,000 years ago. Now a global corporation is coming in and forcing everyone to do it their way. Iraqi farmers will be “re-educated” to grow industrial-sized harvests, for export, using American seeds.
Jeremy Smith of The Ecologist said: “It is here, in around 8500 or 8000 B.C., that mankind first domesticated wheat, here that agriculture was born. Iraqi farmers have been naturally selecting wheat varieties that work best with their climate ... and cross-pollinated them with others with different strengths. The U.S., however, has decided that, despite 10,000 years practice, Iraqis don't know what wheat works best in their own conditions. The people whose forefathers first mastered the domestication of wheat will now have to pay for the privilege of growing it for someone else. And with that, the world's oldest farming heritage will become just another subsidiary link in the vast American supply chain.”
cross-posted at Bring It On!