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On “The World According to Monsanto

I watched all 10 parts (about 10 minutes each) of the documentary "The World According to Monsanto," released in March, thinking I would post the part I thought had the most or best information. But each part had two things in common: the second half was better, and there was at least one scene or set of scenes that I found particularly powerful. Therefore, I recommend watching a part at a time, throughout a day, if you don’t have the appropriate time block, although some parts end mid-sentence, so the first minute of the subsequent parts might be confusing if you’ve left a lot of time between them.

Or not.

There’s so much in the film, and some of it was dealt with in "The Future of Food" (which I wrote about last December), but there’s a lot of material I didn’t know and questions I didn’t ask back then that are addressed. Here are the highlights for me:

  • Monsanto’s phrase for contamination of non-transgenic crops by
    their transgenic seeds is "adventitious presence." And it’s
    advantageous for them because sooner rather than later, all crops will
    be contaminated to the point that farmers must use the fertilizer and
    pesticides Monsanto manufactures in order to grow their crops (that
    weren’t supposed to be genetically modified).
  • Roundup-ready soybeans were the first genetically-modified crop
    introduced. This was in 1996, and now those soybeans account for 90% of
    those grown in the US. Here’s my question: The few soy products in my
    refrigerator all say "non GMO." How do they know? (In the film, you’ll
    see that many crops that are supposed to be non GMO were tested and
    found to have transgenic properties.)
  • You can create an entire documentary by following the results of Google searches.
  • The US government’s role in the harming of its own people, though
    not surprising, is nonetheless chilling when you see what occurred and
    follow the personal stories of scientists smeared and lives ruined.
  • I haven’t given enough thought to my cotton and where it comes
    from. It’s a bit like Pandora’s box, except I know what’s in it (and I
    don’t think hope is included).

I recommend watching the film and then going through your mutual
funds to make sure you don’t own any Monsanto (though remember the make
up of the funds do change, so going with a fund that excludes Monsanto
is a good idea). You can Google "funds that own MON" (Monsanto) for a quick list.

Oh, and  . . . buy organic (although I’m more skeptical than ever about all labels, and I’m just waiting for the day I find out my ridiculously expensive organic strawberries–grown here in Florida–aren’t really organic. Or worse).

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Angus #

    Coincidentally, on Saturday I went to a talk by Percy Schmeiser, the Saskatchewan farmer who was sued by Monsanto when their seeds contaminated his fields.

    July 8, 2008
  2. Angus,
    It was so upsetting to hear about how little (read: none) power farmers have, and how their lives and their farms can be easily ruined by Monsanto. Then there's the food supply . . .

    July 8, 2008

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