Conspiracy Theory Update - Theres No Monsanto Act

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
And this doesn't actually confirm there was anything sinister about the bill - just that the public thought their was and the senators acted according to the public perceptio and were influenced by it.
The original article which infowars uses...
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/senate-continuing-resolution-monsanto-rider-97301.html

It tries to imply Monsanto being behind it and trying to usurp oversight power, but they don't really give any evidence of it or references.
The perception was that, it's still not necessarily correct, but that is what they're responding to.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
The bill protected Farmers that had already planted a crop, if that crop was called into question by something like a court action.

Here is a good simple explanation of it


Genetically engineered crops are regulated. Once they get approved, farmers can grow them. However, if someone screws something up (like the environmental assessment), the approval can be revoked. This means farmers might be in the position of having crops that were legal when the planted them but illegal now. The thing everyone is up in arms about right now allows farmers to request that the USDA, if they deem it fit, to allow the planted crops to be grown as normal that season and not be destroyed until the GE crop in question can be officially cleared for cultivation again.

td;dr This thing isn't to protect Monsanto, that's just sensationalist nonsense, it is to protect farmers.
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In fact seed companies would make more if crops had to be destroyed and new crops planted.

From Wikipedia

If a biotech crop has already been approved (or deregulated) by the USDA and a court reverses that approval, the provision directs the Secretary of Agriculture to grant temporary deregulation status at the request of a grower or seed producer, to allow growers to continue the cultivation of the crop while legal challenges to the safety of those crops are underway.[7]
...

A joint letter from ten agricultural organizations[note 1] sent to congressmen Hal Rogers and Norman D. Dicks, the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations, on June 12, 2012, stated that the provision was a response to frivolous procedural lawsuits against the USDA which were attempting to "disrupt the regulatory process and undermine the science-based regulation of [agricultural biotechnology]."[10]

Section 733 provides certainty to growers with respect to their planting decisions. If enacted, growers would be assured that the crops they plant could continue to be grown, subject to appropriate interim conditions, even after a judicial ruling against USDA. Moreover, the language would apply only to products that have already satisfactorily completed the U.S. regulatory review process and does not remove or restrict anyone’s right to challenge USDA once a determination of no plant pest risk has been made. The inclusion of Section 733 is a positive step to ensure U.S. farmers and our food chain are shielded from supply disruptions caused by litigation over procedural issues unrelated to sound science or the safety of biotech crops.[10]
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David Fraser

Senior Member.
Didn't the debunking community debunk the notion that there is something commonly called the "Monsanto Act"? If there is no Monsanto Act then what in the world is the Senate talking about at the below?


http://www.infowars.com/victory-senate-to-kill-monsanto-protection-act-amid-outrage/
There is no Monsanto Act, but did not the debunkers also say that the provisions of the Farmer Assurance Provision are in force for 6 months.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmer_Assurance_Provision
 

dunbar

Active Member
from 'The Nation':

Formally called the Farmer Assurance Provision, the measure undermined the Department of Agriculture’s authority to ban genetically modified crops, even if court rulings found they posed risks to human and environmental health. Republican Senator Roy Blunt worked with the genetically modified seed giant Monsanto to craft the initial rider, and it was slipped into a funding resolution that passed in March. There was concern that an agreement to end the shutdown would extend the provision, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

Jon Tester, a farmer and Democratic senator from Montana, removed the measure from the bill yesterday. “All [the Farmer Assurance Provision] really assures is a lack of corporate liability,” Tester argued in March. “It…lets genetically modified crops take hold across the country—even when a judge finds it violates the law.”

The Monsanto Protection Act incited strong opposition from food safety and civil liberties advocates, as well as food businesses, environmentalists and groups representing family farmers. Although it was temporary, the rider curtailed already weak oversight over the handful of agro-giants that control the GMO market by allowing crops that a judge ruled were not properly approved to continue to be planted.
http://www.thenation.com/blog/176719/how-congress-just-stuck-it-monsanto#
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Cairenn

Senior Member.
There was NO Monsanto Protection Act. What it did, was to allow farmers, that had already planted an allowed crop, to grown and to SELL that crop, even if so judge that wouldn't know a sugar beet from turnip, had ruled against allowing that crop. To lose an entire season crop, could easily bankrupt many farmers. Yep, most farms are owned by families, not some mega corp.

GMO crops are tested before they are even offered for approval, normal hybrid aren't. Back in the 60s, a poison potato resulted from normal hybridization. Google it.

Do you know how many types of GMO crops are being grown in the US?

Monsanto is not that huge, it is slightly larger than Whole Foods is.
 

dunbar

Active Member
There was NO Monsanto Protection Act. What it did, was to allow farmers, that had already planted an allowed crop, to grown and to SELL that crop, even if so judge that wouldn't know a sugar beet from turnip, had ruled against allowing that crop. To lose an entire season crop, could easily bankrupt many farmers.

And put a nasty dent in big agra's bottom line, not to mention all the speculators in the futures market. The rider was written by Monsanto for Monsanto to protect the interests of... Monsanto.

Yep, most farms are owned by families, not some mega corp.
Well that's not quite true is it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_farming#Corporate_farm_vs_family_farm
One major difference between independent farming and corporate farming is that a corporate farmer is usually a contracted employee, rather than the owner of the farm. However, ownership itself does not mean independence. An owner-operated farm today faces many constraints that are completely out of the owner's control. Most of these can be seen in light of increasing concentration of ownership, not only of farms, but of the equipment and inputs necessary to farm, and the available sales channels.

Production contracts are a primary means of control and vertical integration of family farms. These are of two general types. Production management contracts specify the methods farmers must use. Resource-providing contracts require the contractor to also provide materials (e.g) and equipment. Under the latter, increasingly prevalent arrangement, the family farm owns its land and "sells" its output, but retains no real decision making control over the essential farming activities, like crop selection, equipment purchase, production methods, sales channels, and buyers.

Although 14% of total food production comes from the two percent of all farms in the United States that are owned by corporations or other non-family entities, 50% of food production comes from the biggest two percent of all farms.
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A farm scholar once asked an agribusiness executive when his corporation would simply take over the farms. The exec said that it would be dumb for the corporation to do so, in that it is not free to exploit its employees to the degree that farmers are willing to exploit themselves.
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GMO crops are tested before they are even offered for approval

They are tested by the corporations that created them and then submitted for approval to regulatory boards comprised of ex employees of the very same companies - its called revolving door regulatory capture and it's a total farce.

normal hybrid aren't. Back in the 60s, a poison potato resulted from normal hybridization. Google it.

Well then that should be addressed by regulators and lawmakers.

Do you know how many types of GMO crops are being grown in the US?

At least one too many.

Monsanto is not that huge, it is slightly larger than Whole Foods is.

In terms of what exactly? Monsanto has 5x the equity, 6x the total assets, 6x the net income, 5x the operating income, 3 billion dollars more in annual revenue. It also has inordinately greater influence within politics.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
I don't think this legislation allows or protects the planting of crops that have been found to be environmental hazards.

The Farmer Assurance Provision Act seems to protect those crops that have already been planted and deemed environmentally safe from being destroyed prematurely in the event of a dispute. That is to say, if there is a lawsuit disputing the safety of the crop, or some procedural non-compliance during the initial evaluation process, those crops are protected pending the outcome of a review.

Formally called the Farmer Assurance Provision, the measure undermined the Department of Agriculture’s authority to ban genetically modified crops, even if court rulings found they posed risks to human and environmental health.
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I find that statement a little misleading in that I don't think it's the judge that determines if a GMO crop is an environmental hazard in these lawsuits against the USDA. It seems the court only rules on whether or not the USDA had followed proper procedures when it evaluated the potential hazards of a GMO crop and if any new evidence of potential environmental hazards warrants a review by the USDA. After a court ruling, the process goes back to the USDA who ultimately determines the merits of the complaints or finish (restart) their evaluation of the GMO crop in question.

Jon Tester, a farmer and Democratic senator from Montana, removed the measure from the bill yesterday. “All [the Farmer Assurance Provision] really assures is a lack of corporate liability,” Tester argued in March.
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I don't see how or in what sense, section 735 of the Farmer Assurance Provision absolves corporations of liability. This notion is often quoted but never qualified neither by those repeating it, nor by Jon Tester when he first said it in his remarks to the senate.

The Monsanto Protection Act incited strong opposition from food safety and civil liberties advocates, as well as food businesses, environmentalists and groups representing family farmers.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/176719/how-congress-just-stuck-it-monsanto#
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Odd to find opposition among family farmers since the act can only be invocted at their request of a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer.
 

dunbar

Active Member
Yahoo makes the revenue 14.8B vs. 12.8B, which in my book is quite reasonably defined as "slightly larger".

Slightly larger if you look at the revenue. You could also compare the number of employees in each company, in which case wholefoods employs more than double the people. But in almost every way that actually matters, Monsanto dwarfs wholefoods by at least 5x.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Most farms are owned by families, sometimes as family owned companies (for tax reasons).

It did get opposition from the some boutique farmers with tiny farms, less than 100 acres. Many of these are in organic, back to nature, New Age hippie movement.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
Slightly larger if you look at the revenue. You could also compare the number of employees in each company, in which case wholefoods employs more than double the people. But in almost every way that actually matters, Monsanto dwarfs wholefoods by at least 5x.

Can you list ways it actually matters?
You'd think to an evil company like Monsanto, what "actuallly matters" would be the revenue.
 

dunbar

Active Member
5x the equity, 6x the total assets, 6x the net income, 5x the operating income, 3 billion dollars more in annual revenue, inordinately greater influence within politics.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
But only 15% more revenue?? Boy that makes Monsanto pretty inefficient - buy Wholefoods shares now - they're obviously got the goods on Monsanto, and all that money Monsanto is spending to destroy agriculture is just being wasted!!:rolleyes:
 

dunbar

Active Member
all that money Monsanto is spending to destroy agriculture is just being wasted!!:rolleyes:

I don't think 15 billion annual revenue can really be considered as "not that huge" or a "wasted" or futile enterprise. Monsanto's net income or bottom line profit for 2011 was approximately 1.7 billion$ while WholeFoods' was only 340 million, monsanto has 5x the profits of Wholefoods.


Monsanto is a massive global corporation that holds a virtual monopoly over the seed industry.

http://www.gmeducation.org/latest-news/p207220-the monsanto monopoly.html
if you consider that Monsanto - the largest and the best known – licenses its genetically modified traits to other seed companies and as a result, more than 80% of US corn and more than 90% of soybeans planted each year are attributable to Monsanto then monopoly comes to mind.
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Monsanto is a massive global corporation that holds unwarranted power and influence over regulatory, judicial, and legislative bodies around the world.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/monsanto-controls-government-chris-parker-135253110.html
In an interview with The Daily Ticker, Parker describes in detail how connected Monsanto is to Washington lawmakers, a feat accomplished by spending $70 million in lobbying since 1998 and $10 million in campaign contributions in the past decade. Earlier this year Michael Taylor, the former vice president of public policy at Monsanto, was named by President Obama as deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. Parker says this appointment underscores two things: how deeply embedded Monsanto has become in the higher ranks of government and how the company has been able to quietly influence national food policy.
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US Public officials' connections to Monsanto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#US_Public_officials.27_connections_to_Monsanto
Some individuals have held positions at Monsanto and in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Supreme Court at various points in their careers. These include:

  • Mr. Earle H. Harbison, Jr. served with the Central Intelligence Agency for 18 years, rising to the rank of Deputy Director, after which he had a career at Monsanto, rising to the roles of President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Monsanto, which he held from 1986 to 1993.[45]
  • Michael A. Friedman, MD, was Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Medical and Public Policy for Pharmacia, and later served as an FDA deputy commissioner.[326][327]
  • Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995 to 2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.[140]
  • Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before working as an attorney for King & Spalding, a private-sector law firm that represented Monsanto among other clients.[328][329] He later served as deputy commissioner for policy to the FDA on food safety between 1991 and 1994 during which time the FDA approved rBST.[140] He was accused of a conflict of interest, but a federal investigation cleared him. Following his tenure at the FDA, Taylor returned to Monsanto as Vice President for Public Policy.[285][286][287] On July 7, 2009, Taylor entered government as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration for the Obama administration.[288][289]
  • United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.[330] which found that "newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States."[140][330][331]
  • Mickey Kantor served on Monsanto's board after serving in government as a trade representative.[140]
  • William D. Ruckelshaus served as the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) in 1970, was subsequently acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then Deputy Attorney General of the United States. From 1983 to 1985, he returned as EPA administrator. After leaving government he joined the Board of Directors of Monsanto; he is currently retired from that board.[332]
  • Between serving for Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was chairman and chief executive officer of G. D. Searle & Company, a pharmaceutical company which produced aspartame apparently while working on an ulcer drug. Monsanto bought the company in 1985, and re-branded aspartame as NutraSweet. Rumsfeld's stock and options in Searle were $12 million USD at the time of the transaction.[140]
  • Monsanto is a client of the Lincoln Policy Group, a lobbying group created by former chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Blanche Lincoln after she lost her re-election bid in 2011. Robert Holifield, who was chief of staff on that committee, is a partner in the group.
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Cairenn

Senior Member.
Well, plants have been patented in the US, since the 1930s. Haven't you ever noticed that the more expensive Rose bushes will be listed at having a patent?



During Congressional hearings on the Plant Patent Bill of 1930, advocates introduced a letter from the renowned Luther Burbank to nurseryman Paul Stark.
“A man can patent a mousetrap or copyright a nasty song,” wrote the renowned botanist, “but if he gives to the world a new fruit that will add millions to the value of earth’s annual harvest he will be fortunate if he is rewarded by so much as having his name connected with the result.”
[ex/]
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Bill

Senior Member.
Monsanto is a massive global corporation that holds unwarranted power and influence over regulatory, judicial, and legislative bodies around the world.
[/ex]
I must be missing the point of this. Name an international corporation or industry that doesn't lobby world governments to advance their business interest or higher former government officials for the connections and influence they can bring to the company. Environmental and advocacy groups engage in similar practices. That doesn't make the practice or the practitioners inherently wrong and it seems biased to single out a specific company for the practice.
 

dunbar

Active Member
I must be missing the point of this. Name an international corporation or industry that doesn't lobby world governments to advance their business interest or higher former government officials for the connections and influence they can bring to the company. [...] That doesn't make the practice or the practitioners inherently wrong and it seems biased to single out a specific company for the practice.

Well I'd say that you are definitely missing the point if you take it for granted that the way of the world is sane or rational or healthy to begin with. I sort of agree with you in that a form of lobbying is necessary in order to apprise lawmakers of new developments and opening avenues of opportunity or potential threats or dangers, in this lobbying is essential and indispensable to the governance of society. That being said, lobbying, as it is practiced today is inherently wrong, extremely inappropriate and unethical, and verging on criminal.

Monsanto is remarkable in this respect in that while all corporations do engage in lobbying efforts, very few can boast such an illustrious gallery of rogues who have passed from its boardroom and executive offices through the revolving door into some of the highest and most influential positions within the government. I think the only corp. to outdo Monsanto in this regard is possibly Goldman Sachs.

The reason I'm going through the rigmarole on this is that a dubious claim was made about how Monsanto is just an innocuous smallish to medium size corp. just trying to play by the rules and turn a modest profit. The claim is bunkum and I debunked it 'cause I'm a debunker and that's just what we debunkers do.
 
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JRBids

Senior Member.
I don't waste time with distinctions like good and evil, I try to stick solely to the practical implications when developing an opinion on issues like this.

Suggest you do that then, Dunbar.


Well I'd say that you are definitely missing the point if you take it for granted that the way of the world is sane or rational or healthy to begin with. I sort of agree with you in that a form of lobbying is necessary in order to apprise lawmakers of new developments and opening avenues of opportunity or potential threats or dangers, in this lobbying is essential and indispensable to the governance of society. That being said, lobbying, as it is practiced today is inherently wrong, extremely inappropriate and unethical, and verging on criminal.

Monsanto is remarkable in this respect in that while all corporations do engage in lobbying efforts, very few can boast such an illustrious gallery of rogues who have passed from its boardroom and executive offices through the revolving door into some of the highest and most influential positions within the government. I think the only corp. to outdo Monsanto in this regard is possibly Goldman Sachs.

The reason I'm going through the rigmarole on this is that a dubious claim was made about how Monsanto is just an innocuous smallish to medium size corp. just trying to play by the rules and turn a modest profit. The claim is bunkum and I debunked it 'cause I'm a debunker and that's just what we debunkers do.

This, after admonishing me from using the word "evil" as a descriptor of Monsanto?
You conveniently hand waved his question, by the way.
 

Bill

Senior Member.
Well I'd say that you are definitely missing the point if you take it for granted that the way of the world is sane or rational or healthy to begin with.

That's opinion and hyperbole, it doesn't actually explain anything.

That being said, lobbying, as it is practiced today is inherently wrong, extremely inappropriate and unethical, and verging on criminal.

While I can't say I approve of lobbying, that is a subjective personal opinion. Other than the effects of technology, I can't see how the way lobbying is practiced today differs that much from how it was practiced in the past in both it's goals and outcomes. Companies have always used money and the promise of future employment to influence the outcome of government policy. Nothing I have seen makes Monsanto a greater offender than Boeing, Apple, the MPAA, the RIAA, the Sierra Club or countless other entities that try to influence government so why single Monsanto out as the "big bad wolf" of business.

Monsanto is remarkable in this respect in that while all corporations do engage in lobbying efforts, very few can boast such an illustrious gallery of rogues who have passed from its boardroom and executive offices through the revolving door into some of the highest and most influential positions within the government. I think the only corp. to outdo Monsanto in this regard is possibly Goldman Sachs.

More hyperbole. What makes them worse than others?

The reason I'm going through the rigmarole on this is that a dubious claim was made about how Monsanto is just an innocuous smallish to medium size corp. just trying to play by the rules and turn a modest profit. The claim is bunkum and I debunked it 'cause I'm a debunker and that's just what we debunkers do.

That actually seems to be a minor portion of it. Your major argument seems to be "I don't like Monsanto's business practices therefore Monsanto is bad". There is nothing objective involved. I've also picked up undertones of "I don't like GMOs, Monsanto makes GMOs therefore I don't like Monsanto". This is also not objective.

As for Monsanto's size compared to Whole Food Markets it really depends on the metrics you want to compare. As I read the financials they are both Large-Cap companies with MON being just over twice as large as WFM. Yes Monsanto has almost four times as much total cash but they are also carrying 78 times as much debt. In the absence of other information just picking a couple of statistics tells you very little about a company. You have to look at the whole thing.
 

betterways

New Member
But only 15% more revenue?? Boy that makes Monsanto pretty inefficient - buy Wholefoods shares now - they're obviously got the goods on Monsanto, and all that money Monsanto is spending to destroy agriculture is just being wasted!!:rolleyes:

Monsanto doesn't have the revenue yet. Wait untill they've succeeded in controlling & patenting all the seed & therefore the world's food supply.
 

betterways

New Member
Well, plants have been patented in the US, since the 1930s. Haven't you ever noticed that the more expensive Rose bushes will be listed at having a patent?



During Congressional hearings on the Plant Patent Bill of 1930, advocates introduced a letter from the renowned Luther Burbank to nurseryman Paul Stark.
“A man can patent a mousetrap or copyright a nasty song,” wrote the renowned botanist, “but if he gives to the world a new fruit that will add millions to the value of earth’s annual harvest he will be fortunate if he is rewarded by so much as having his name connected with the result.”
[ex/]
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That rose doesn't ruin the DNA of all the other roses all around it. And if you do grow a rose that end up contaminated with it's DNA, the patent holders don't sue you or demand royalties. And it's a perennial. Growers don't need expensive seed to replant every year.
 

scombrid

Senior Member.
That rose doesn't ruin the DNA of all the other roses all around it. And if you do grow a rose that end up contaminated with it's DNA, the patent holders don't sue you or demand royalties. And it's a perennial. Growers don't need expensive seed to replant every year.

I've read court the cases in which Monsanto went after patent violators.

Monsanto didn't go after people who simply had some Monsanto genes show up in their crop. Monsanto went after people that deliberately set aside seed stock that was round-up resistent and then used that seed in the round-up ready way. In other words the farmers were applying round-up over their crops indicating that they knew that they had round-up resistent plants. The farmers knew that they were effectively stealing Monsanto's technology.

It isn't like Monsanto was going from field to field testing plants and then nailing anybody that happened to have had their seed stock contaminated by neighboring farms.

For all I find wrong with big agribusiness (and it isn't limited to the Monsanto boogeyman) I haven't found wrong doing in their attempt to protect intellectual property from theft.
 

scombrid

Senior Member.
And if you do grow a rose that end up contaminated with it's DNA, the patent holders don't sue you or demand royalties. And it's a perennial. Growers don't need expensive seed to replant every year.

They'll sue you if you clone the patented rose and start to sell it.

That's effectively what the farmers that got sued did. They produced their own round-up ready seed stock and proceeded to use it.
 

betterways

New Member
OK - any idea when that is planned for?
???? They are working on it now. They already own many of the large seed companies. They also bought out one of the major researchers into the demise of bee populations. And of course, they've been infiltrating our government agencies.

Of course, the purpose of all this is to sell their chemicals. Lots and lots of chemicals.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Evidence? Do you have any? Even your own comments conflict with each other. Is Monsanto trying to corner the seed market or the chemical market?


What is your feelings about the Arctic apple and Golden rice?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Evidence? Do you have any? Even your own comments conflict with each other. Is Monsanto trying to corner the seed market or the chemical market?


What is your feelings about the Arctic apple and Golden rice?


BTW, farmers in developed countries stopped saving seeds over 50 years ago. Farmers CHOOSE to use GMO seed because they get better yields with less costs and less damage to the environment.


There is NO evidence that GMO crops cause or even increase CCD. CCD is a major problem in countries where there is not a GMO crop for a thousand miles.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
???? They are working on it now. They already own many of the large seed companies. They also bought out one of the major researchers into the demise of bee populations. And of course, they've been infiltrating our government agencies.

Of course, the purpose of all this is to sell their chemicals. Lots and lots of chemicals.
Really? There are hundreds of brands of glyphosohate in the market of which Round Up is one, and not even the cheapest. 10% of their revenue is based on Round up. Unless they plan to undercut the competition it seems a poor business model. Don't forget RR soy comes out of patent soon so they will probably start losing out to generics. Hardly owning the food supply
 

MikeC

Closed Account
???? They are working on it now. They already own many of the large seed companies. They also bought out one of the major researchers into the demise of bee populations. And of course, they've been infiltrating our government agencies.

Of course, the purpose of all this is to sell their chemicals. Lots and lots of chemicals.

Yah but you were saying they are going to patent all the seeds....so what's the plan for that?

Acquisitions are pretty much a normal commercial activity - whether you like it or not.
 
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