Friday, September 01, 2006
Who Owns My Arugula?
I remember my grandmother saving the seeds out of her tomatoes every year so that she could plant the next year's tomato plants. There is a natural order and a freedom to this practice.
Now, thanks to our government and Monsanto (don't even get me going on what I think about Monsanto!), farmers all across the globe will potentially be held hostage by corporations that provide their seeds.
With the genetically altered Terminator seeds, people will not be able to plant the seeds saved from one year to the next. If the farmer or gardener has no money, they'll have no seeds.
According to Wikipedia, Monsanto has pledged not to commercialize the technology, but I have trust issues here - and cross-pollination can and does occur even miles away from the original plant. See Monsanto vs Schmeiser
From the Center for Research on Globalization:
"For almost a quarter century, since 1983, the US Government has quietly been working to perfect a genetically engineered technique whereby farmers would be forced to turn to their seed supplier each harvest to get new seeds.
Terminator is the answer to the agribusiness dream of controlling world food production. No longer would they need to hire expensive detectives to spy on whether farmers were re-using Monsanto or other GMO patented seed. Terminator corn or soybeans or cotton seeds could be genetically modified to 'commit suicide' after one harvest season. That would automatically prevent farmers from saving and re-using the seed for the next harvest. The technology would be a means of enforcing Monsanto or other GMO patent rights, and forcing payment of farmer use fees not only in developing economies, where patent rights were, understandably, little respected, but also in industrial OECD countries.
With Terminator patent rights, once a country such as Argentina or Brazil or Iraq or the USA or Canada opened its doors to the spread of GMO patented seeds among its farmers, their food security would be potentially hostage to a private multinational company, a company which, for whatever reasons, especially given its intimate ties to the US Government, might decide to use 'food as a weapon' to compel a US-friendly policy from that country or group of countries."
There are those who think that we will start to create peace when we get the war in Iraq stopped. I would be sooo happy if our country got out of Iraq. But I think that we really need to be paying attention to the things that are going on under the surface with regards to food, oil, and water issues. I feel a chess match in the air as countries are lining up their pieces in order to have an advantage. In the future, he who has the resources wins.