1. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Back in 1999, a story by the UK press Independent reported:
    ...that Monsanto employees don't eat their very own GM (genetically modified) foods, in their High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire UK facility.

    Of the 1999 article, Greenpeace locked on to the news story, reportedly exposed by Friends of the Earth, was subsequently spread by the local and international media.
    (no reference found on the FoE site)
    The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group......not their employers, Monsanto.
    That UK facility is now closed

    That was 1999...more on that later. ***

    But let's look at the facts as described by the initial story.....
    1) One Monsanto facility, in the UK, in 1999
    2) The decision was posted by a contracted caterer, employed by Monsanto.
    3) This story was never confirmed. (denied later)

    Lately, the current anti-GMO activists have renewed (recycled) this story.

    Now it is quite popular that the kindergarten school-game of "The Telephone Game", or Chinese_whispers is inadvertently played here on the net.

    So now in 2012 we see the story reported as :
    -- all Monsanto's facilities practice this non-GM diet
    -- is a great juxtaposition of company values, exposing the real threat of GMO's
    -- even the Monsanto employees won't eat GMO's

    (notice the plural, "canteens")

    Here is a rebuttal of that initial story...
    ...yes, that was from a Monsanto blog. I feel like employees have a right to defend themselves, and to attempt to expose the truth.

    *** OK, back to 1999 in the UK, when the original news article was written, and the claims issued....
    Yes, the GMO issue in the UK and the EU was hot then.
    In fact, in 1999, the UK parliament banned GM foods from their work-supplied meals and resturants...

    ...and the 1999 public in the UK was also very unsure of GM foods....so why wouldn't an independent catering company (who happened to also worked for Monsanto) have and share the current public outcry for "testing before serving" ?? After all, as an independent catering company (not only serving to Monsanto), their reputation is based on their actions. Those actions would surely reflect upon their other catering jobs, outside of Monsanto.
    It's not too hard to imagine that they may have took a small amount of pride, in beating down the giant (GMO = Monsanto) by offering only non-GM food, to a GM giant. This is of course my own guess, and I have found no data to back-up that guess. But as a cook, and who has friends as caterers, I know their "healthy goal". Healthy is part of their business attraction, otherwise people would not hire them, they'd hire deep-fry chefs.
  2. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    So many myths persist in anti-GMO circles. Another that has cropped up for over a decade is that Monsanto company seeds contain a "Terminator" gene which makes seeds produced by their crops sterile. While Monsanto does own such patented technology, the trait has never been sold in any seed the company sells.

    There is an interesting connection between the early genesis of the Monsantodevil cult and the present anti-geoengineering pressure groups.

    Having followed both issues for over a decade, I recall that in the 1990's, when the internet was very young and basic, the prime mover who developed much of the irrational Monsantodevil material was known as RAFI, Rural Advancement Foundation International.

    Essentially, RAFI was a Ludddite organization opposed to technology advances in general, and headed by Pat Mooney.

    It later morphed into the ETC group, now a prime mover in the production of anti-geoengineering material.

    Pat Mooney is credited with coining the word "Terminator Technology".
  3. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Interesting, Jay.
    BTW.....I am not some "Monsanto lover". Their legal practices bother me greatly, as I have posted before.

    Also, I often see complaints from "open pollinator" farmers (farmers that save some seed for the next year's planting), that their crops are being "infected" by neighboring farms' GM corn pollen....and that the seed harvest from their carefully protected heirloom varieties are now ruined. I do have sympathy there. But if that IS the case...>> that their heirloom crop is being pollinated by a neighbor's non-heirloom crop (a different variety).....does it matter that the infection comes from a GM plant, or just another "organic" variety ? ....either way, their corn flower may be pollinated by either, or both.
    I'm getting off subject though....

    Back to the subject....
    Regardless of the difficulties when dealing with mass/corporate agriculture industries, and their real issues.....the public "eats-up" false stories more hungrily than the investigated truth.
  4. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

  5. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Exactly right. To produce good seed with 99%+ true type requires more than most people think. many thousands of mosty young people earn good money to do this job. Here is a 3 minute documentary showing part of the process:

    In this one, the machine you see getting stuck is the detasseling machine:

    If you want to grow seed corn, you can't complain about the other guy, you simply have to take the steps necessary to protect your own crop:
    Knowledgeable small farmers can easily control pollination to produce seed by shoot bagging the silking ears and pollinating with the desired pollen. If someone tries to make the claim that their corn was "contaminated" by another variety, they simply don't know what they are doing. Here is how the process is done:
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I'm interested in the appropriate "buffer zone" needed.
  7. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    My main issue with GMO crop producers (including Monsanto) is with the concept of chemical poison resistance. It's the decision of the customer to pay "double" for seeds and poison, but the real problem is that the use of the matching poison is encouraged, which may lead to health problems for workers and possibly to a growing resistance of weeds, pushing the poison usage even further up.

    I consider this a failed concept.

    And yes, other farmers (and consumers, obviously) should be able to easily "opt out" of getting their crop polluted with engineered gene material.
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member