“As agricultural productivity increases, efficiency grows and, as in all mature industries, margins contract. (Cargill, for example, reported profits of just $1.6 billion on sales of $120 billion last year). With gains from technology diminishing, consolidation is one of the few area left for the ag industry to wring future growth. Just as family concerns have been snapped up to form mega farms, the crop science business is ripe for mergers.
Along with Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto, Dow and DuPont are in discussions to merge and spin out a new agricultural company and China National Chemical Corp. is attempting to buy Switzerland’s Syngenta. If the deals all proceed, it would leave 75% of the global crop market in the hands of three companies, according to Bloomberg….”
“John Sanders worked in the orange and grapefruit groves in Redlands, California, for more than 30 years. First as a ranch hand, then as a farm worker, he was responsible for keeping the weeds around the citrus trees in check. Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer, was his weapon of choice, and he sprayed it on the plants from a hand-held atomizer year-round.
Frank Tanner, who owned a landscaping business, is also a Californian and former Roundup user. Tanner relied on the herbicide starting in 1974, and between 2000 and 2006 sprayed between 50 and 70 gallons of it a year, sometimes from a backpack, other times from a 200-gallon drum that he rolled on a cart next to him.
The two men have other things in common, too: After being regularly exposed to Roundup, both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that starts in the lymph cells. And, as of April, both are plaintiffs in a suit filed against Monsanto that marks a turning point in the pitched battle over the most widely used agricultural chemical in history. Continue reading →
“Zen Honeycutt represented John Harrington of Harrington Investments at yesterday’s meeting to ask for shareholder support for Item No. 5, Shareowner Proxy Access—an essential mechanism for accountability supported by institutional investors and the SEC.
As the founder of Moms Across America she spoke on behalf of millions of mothers, a significant group of long-term stakeholders of Monsanto. Her presentation contained the following:
1 out of 2 children in America today have a chronic illness such as asthma, allergies, autism, autoimmune disease, Crohn’s, diabetes and obesity. (1) All of these conditions and more can be directly linked to GMOs and Glyphosate–to Monsanto’s products. Continue reading →
“A couple of years ago I showed you how Monsanto (probably) stole the California GMO Proposition 37. They just did the same thing in Oregon. As I did in 2012, I have been following the vote count closely. This was easy since we got live updates from Oregon’s own state election site. As they did in California, when the vote got close, they just quit counting and reported final numbers. This despite the fact no final numbers have been tallied. No final numbers were ever tallied or reported in California, and it looks like no final numbers will ever be coming out of Oregon, either.
In California in November of 2012, the early numbers went against GMO labeling, but late numbers went for it. The late precincts were in the big cities, where yes on 37 was around 65-70%. So as the night wore on, the vote moved closer and closer to 50/50. Curiously, the vote counting stalled that night and the (final) result was reported, despite the fact that no real final result had been tallied. More than a week later state officials admitted many millions of votes had still not been counted, even in close races like Prop 37. Those complaining were told the State had a month to report final numbers. Continue reading →
It would really take a dedicated blog to keep up with the flow of GMO news and information out there these days. Although the Bovine is primarily focused on raw milk, we do sometimes give a nod to other issues in the food rights sphere. And while raw milk has always been a minority concern, GMOs in food will affect everyone. What will our children’s children think about this time in history when they look back from 2050 or so? The following is from Jon Rappoport’s blog:
What will the children think? Click image for photo source.
“I recognized my two selves: a crusading idealist and a cold, granitic believer in the law of the jungle” – Edgar Monsanto Queeny, Monsanto chairman, 1943-63, “The Spirit of Enterprise”, 1934.
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job” – Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998. Continue reading →
“Monsanto stock being dropped from hedge funds; are the markets reacting to public outrage over Monsanto’s policies?
While consumer groups and activists have been expressing outrage against the agribusiness giant Monsanto, the markets have been reacting—the massive public backlash against Monsanto’s back-door legal dealing and the health concerns over genetically modified organisms have tanked Monsanto’s ratings on Wall Street.
Dr. Thierry Vrain visited Surrey, BC on June 5 to address the general public at the Northwood United Church. He made an hour long speech accompanied by a powerpoint presentation projected on a large screen behind him. Thierry, in his soft and patient manner, untangles the long story of how GMOs came to interest farmers on the promise of lowering labour for weed and pest control efforts, by replacing it with easily available and applicable pesticides, and also by using specialized genetically engineered crops that are either tolerant to specific pesticide/herbicides or produce toxins themselves, that would kill the pests without the need for additional pesticide. That, initially, worked like magic, and saved a lot of labour for the farmers. But, the gain proved to be short lived, while the damage and danger, turned out to be rather ominous for the health of people as well as the sustainability of a biologically diverse ecology. Continue reading →
“If you have a feeling that genetically modified (GM) foods are being forced upon the population by a handful of business interests and vociferously defended by the scientists that work in the agriculture industry or at the research institutions it funds, you might be onto something.
The zeal with which GM proponents evangelize transgenic seeds (and now, transgenic food animals) is so extreme that they are even pouring vast sums of money to defeat popular efforts to simply label GE foods – like the nearly $50m spent to defeat the popular 2012 ballot measure to label GE foods in California, Proposition 37. Continue reading →
Our Constitution guarantees that the laws, from which our government derives its mandate, shall work in the “public interest.” In actuality, this mandate is mostly an experience of illusion for the public, because the government and its agencies prove to be chronically delusional. The difference between an illusion and a delusion is that an illusion is a misconception, sometimes based on deception; illusions are correctable through reality checks. A delusion, on the other hand, refers to a belief maintained despite contradictory proof. Delusional views and policies refuse to be confused by the facts. Shedding illusions is the first step towards eliminating delusions. True, this is hard slogging, often painful, extremely frustrating, but unfailingly liberating. So, here we go! Continue reading →
“During last week’s oral testimonies before the United States Supreme Court, a 75-year-old soybean farmer from Indiana faced down Monsanto, as he challenged the biotech giant’s aggressive and frequently criticised pursuit of patent infringement cases. Continue reading →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)