Social media and its war on Monsanto – COM0011 – Blog Post #2

control seed control food

Scary right? About as scary as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin teaming up to rule the world. Here’s another one.

breat feed

 

I breastfed for what seemed like forever. Based on this, I think my child might be an alien. I don’t think I even knew what glyphosate was before I decided to write this article. All I know is that my Facebook friends hate Monsanto. In a major way. They hate Monsanto and anyone who supports it or uses GMOs. According to their posts, Monsanto is about to take over the world and we are all doomed unless we stop it…them…hmph!?! Stop them from what? Stop them from this…….

 

mankind #3

 

It’s all so overwhelming, so I thought I should start with some definitions to help me decide if I should join the war or buy a Starbucks latte and hit Target up for some not so last minute holiday shopping.

G.M.O. – A genetically modified organism (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Created to improve crop protection and diminish use of pesticides.

Monsanto – A publicly traded American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. Leading producer of genetically engineered seed which it markets under the Roundup Ready brand. Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley won the World Food Prize (equivalent to Nobel Peace Prize) in 2013.

Roundup (or glyphosate) – The name for glyphosate systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. Enables farmers to kill weeds without damaging their crops.

Roundup Ready Crop – Glyphosate resistant crops.

Here are some other terms you might want to look up – Biolistics, Agro Bacterium, Gene Knockout.

 

Okay, not bad. I come from a family of scientists. My father was an award winning physicist and chemist, and my sister has a PhD in molecular biology. My father is no longer with us so I figured I would pick some of his former colleagues brains for some answers. The truth? They looked at me like I was kind of crazy. In their world, GMOs have existed forever. Not only are they necessary in the accommodation of our lifestyles, they are also engrained in every part of our daily lives, like cars for example or hydro and  “evil” vaccines. Now these guys are all in their late seventies, I thought for sure my much younger Dr. Sister would have a different opinion. NOPE. The conversation seemed almost irrelevant to each of them. Of course, cars aren’t really that good for us but most of us “need” them in order to maintain our way of life. GMO plants require less water than non GMO plants, are resistant to pesticides, and yield overall healthier and more plentiful crops. They are a huge help in the fight against world hunger, and looking a little better than cars right about now.

That being said, we don’t know what effect GMOs will have on us in the long term. We don’t know if herbicide resistant crops will in turn help create herbicide resistant weeds. The unknown can be scary. Since 1997, Monsanto has filed suit against 145 farmers in the United States for illegal use of seed and patent infringement. Only eleven went to trial.  All eleven cases were found in Monsanto’s favour. Apparently, studies in the UK indicate soy allergies doubling since the release of GM soy but from what I have read, the studies have proven to be inaccurate. The Indian farmer suicides also turned out to be myths. I researched Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. Schmeiser plead guilty. The more I dig, the more “facts” against Monsanto seem to be bogus. Looks like I might be going to Target after all.

I’m all for supporting farmers and buying local but I’m beginning to think this anti-Monsanto social media trend is illogical. Go ahead and label what you want. If all GMOs are not created equal, then be clear about it. There may be other ways of feeding the world’s hungry but no one else is stepping up to the plate. And what about DARPA and its potential in rebuilding veterans lost limbs? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Sometimes I think we jump on social media bandwagons and attack heavily without doing our research. This allows us to seem illogical and unreasonable to law makers and good arguments often get ignored. I’m sure Monsanto has its faults but no one is going to take this seriously.child

 

At least I hope not.

 

 http://www.trueactivist.com/monsanto-wins-nobel-prize-for-agriculture/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/monsanto-executive-is-among-world-food-prize-winners.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1417874646-TbmY1ordPmqXakx32/UzSQ

http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2012/06/06/why-labeling-of-gmos-is-actually-bad-for-people-and-the-environment/

http://www.researchgate.net/post/GMO_crops_Is_there_any_peer_reviewed_scientific_evidence_that_questions_their_safety

https://www.facebook.com/Anti.Monsanto

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Social media and its war on Monsanto – COM0011 – Blog Post #2

  1. This is such a complicated…and confusing debate. Personally I would rather we kept everything to nature…but again I see the argument for more food=less world hunger…although you can debate that it doesn’t reduce hunger, but just creates more obese people in rich countries. So, yah, it’s a doozy — to say the least.

    I certainly appreciate all the research you did for this and it is refreshing to hear someone look at both sides of the story for once. I will admit, that I still lean towards the “Monsanto is a monster” mindset but could it be I have been brainwashed by social media? Perhaps. I will definitely keep my mind open to both sides, but I recall watching a documentary a few years ago that really went into depth about the negative affects of these seeds and the money hungry machine that the company is. It was VERY convincing (wish I could recall what it was called).

    Fingers crossed that we are not all in doom’s way – or at least my children’s generation. Sigh.

  2. Thanks for your comment. It is a complicated debate. It’s not that I actually think Monsanto is amazing, it’s that I don’t think anyone actually cares enough to really deal with world hunger. It isn’t a disease, we aren’t waiting on some miracle cure. World hunger exists because we like driving cars and playing on smart phones. How many billionaires hoard they money because they don’t trust anyone else with it? I can’t blame someone who is obese when we are all selective about how we share. If we weren’t so afraid or selfish, I don’t think we would even have the time to be “against” a company like Monsanto.

    The human population on this beautiful planet is growing and it will need to be fed. The climate is also shifting and is very uncertain. We may be very thankful for GMOs someday.

  3. I am going to keep this comment short. When you say ” GMOs have existed forever” that is not quite true GMOs have not been around forever, cross pollination or cross breeding has been but gets confused for GMOs.

    As for the more food=less world hunger debate its not a matter of producing more food but wasting less. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. If it was not wasted we could end world hunger.

  4. Of course sirnic16! I did not say they existed forever, I was referring to my fathers former colleagues opinion “In their worlds, GMOs have existed forever.”. I totally agree that there is more than enough food to feed the world but no one is doing it! We are not collectively stopping world hunger even though we can and until we collectively get together and do so, Monsanto and other GMO companies will always have reason to exist.

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