Monsanto: Providing for the Masses or Evil Bully?


Monsanto: Providing for the Masses or Evil Bully?

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto, said “There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I’m going to do this, then everything else shouldn’t exist. There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us” ¹. He was stating an opinion that the critics of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) used in the company’s products are simply opposed to Monsanto because of their own desire to keep poor people from cheap food. Last month, the state of Vermont made headlines when Monsanto threatened to sue if state legislators passed a bill requiring GMO foods to be labeled as such. While the bill received overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators held up the labeling bill and refused to take a vote.

This is not the first time Monsanto has used its judicial connections to bully the state. In 1994, Vermont became the first state in the nation to require mandatory labels on milk and dairy products derived from cows injected with the controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone. “Monsanto’s minions sued in Federal Court and won on a judge’s decision that dairy corporations have the first amendment “right” to remain silent on whether or not they are injecting their cows with rBGH - even though rBGH has been linked to severe health damage in cows and increased cancer risk for humans, and is banned in much of the industrialized world, including Europe and Canada” ². To further illustrate just how deeply influential Monsanto has become in Washington, D.C., “Congress recently passed a provision dubbed by critics as the "Monsanto Protection Act," which allows companies like Monsanto to continue selling USDA-approved seeds that are facing court challenges over safety and other factors.

The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of a challenge to Monsanto's patent earlier this week. As a result, farmers who use the company's pesticide-resistant seeds will be required to purchase new ones from the company every year instead reusing the seeds once the crop grows” ¹. This all begs for two very important issues to be addressed. First, just how much influence does Monsanto have over our government? When the voice of the people is being obscured, and even obliterated, by the bullying of one corporation, can we really refer to our government as “by the people?” Secondly, if there really is “space in the supermarket shelf for all of us,” why can’t those who wish to know, whether they are elitist of not, have the right to know if GMOs are present in the products they are buying? Why is Monsanto so afraid of telling people when their products are being used?   ¹: Huffington Post ²:

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