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What can be done about Monsanto?

Answered on January 31, 2012
Created January 31, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Here is another example of Monsanto's attempt to control the worlds food supply:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/monsanto-pig-patent-111/

This corporation completely terrifies me and it's seems like we are helpless to fight against them. Whether it's seed, water, or livestock, this corporation has their hand in it and only decreases the quality of our food and water, while making them wealthier and wealthier. I first found out about Monsanto when I watched Food, Inc. 3 years ago and have since then read books and articles about the company and the amount of lobbying control they have over agriculture and farming. I just recently watched the documentary Corporation (yes I understand it's old) and again Monsanto was shown as the greedy, money hungry devil corporation that cares nothing for our health and well being. My biggest fear is that they will force the farming community to give in or give up and we will no longer have the option to purchase free range/pastured/wild caught/organic foods.

They have so much money, so much government support, and so many resources. Is there anything we can do to stop this company or at least slow it down?

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 31, 2012
at 10:39 PM

I tried to keep this as non-political as possible. Lord knows I'm anti-establishment, but this isn't the place for political debate.

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2 Answers

0
F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on January 31, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Stop buying the products they make. The free market will take care of the rest.

Better yet, show them that the margins are higher on whole foods raised in a decentralized way such that the farmers get paid fair prices for quality foods and Monsanto merely becomes a distribution optimizer (sourcing company).

Let me put it to you this way. People in urban areas are willing to pay 30% more for grass-fed beef than farmers charge for it given rural standards of living. Monsanto can reap the benefit of taking the spreads because the cost of getting the beef from point A to B is minimal. The margins are higher on meat in general anyway.

The real problem is that we live in a market that is based upon constantly increasing volume due to the nature of food as a normal good. Who would've thought that ancestral economics would be better than a centralized model as it relates to food? Milton Friedman is turning over in his grave as I speak.

...

Obviously, this is easier said than done. At times, I feel that human beings, as a whole, will only adjust to a threatening situation given extreme urgency (life/death). The situation isn't quite urgent yet, but I would say it's certainly headed in that direction. If 13% of Americans will have Type II Diabetes by 2020 (read that somewhere), the curve looks exponential and that growth rate may even yet be underestimated.

0
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 31, 2012
at 10:37 PM

There's nothing that a single person can do to topple such a monster, in my experience. But a community can still rally together, or individuals can do their share.

For one thing, support local farmers. Go to farmer's markets as much as you can. Order as much food as possible from farmers, and places where farmer's contract, like raw dairy sources or the ordering of grass-fed meats. The more people do this sort of thing, the better.

Second, use whatever resources you have available. I'm a theatre artist, and I've been thinking about making a street theatre piece about CSAs and sources of local food. So, things like that. use your talents.

As a corollary to that, do what you can to help advocacy organizations. There are groups advocating for raw dairy, grass-fed meat, all-organic produce, etc. It may sound like hippie rhetoric but in all honesty the organizations exist as a citizens' counter to big corporations.

Things like writing to government officials may help, too, but oftentimes representatives want to see action, like campaigns, support of organizations, etc.

Thankfully, movements like raw food and paleo are growing as more people are looking for alternatives, lending voice to your concerns. We are still a minority, but we can continue to grow and be enthusiastic. In the end, lead by example.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 31, 2012
at 10:39 PM

I tried to keep this as non-political as possible. Lord knows I'm anti-establishment, but this isn't the place for political debate.

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