Genetically modified crops

As someone who has a high number of liberal friends on his social media outlets, I frequently see anti-Monsanto and anti-genetically modified food posts and pictures. Just this weekend there were all sorts of protests, including in my home state. Now here’s the thing: I don’t get it.

I’m not one to defend large corporations (which, incidentally, are not people but rather government-defined entities), but I’ve never considered myself part of the anti-Monsanto crusade that’s out there. I understand the desire to label food as a matter of general principle, but I’ve seen scant evidence that GM food holds any characteristics that should cause alarm. Indeed, I once saw a poll where one of the major reasons people were weary of such food was because it had DNA in it. Come on. That small family-owned farm with the kindly old couple that’s been growing organic potatoes for the community for decades is serving up a big healthy dose of DNA every season.

I also understand the misgivings people have about some of the lawsuits Monsanto has out there, but from what I’ve read, it’s all been greatly exaggerated. They certainly have a huge advantage in the market place by virtue of their size and wealth, but I’m not convinced they’ve been particularly unfair to other farmers. (Though I do worry about legislation for which they lobby. But that’s a feeling I have regarding every corporation.)

I’d be interested to learn what all this fuss is really about. I don’t think anyone has nothing but ulterior motives here, but I do wonder how much of the outrage is based upon legitimate concerns and how much is based upon the dissemination of false information.

2 Responses

  1. The anti-Monsanto movement relies on confusing two different issues: 1. (genuine) criticism of the behaviour of large corporations and 2. opposition against genetic engineering.

    Many people, not hindered by any lack of knowledge, conclude using bad logic that: since genetic engineering is mainly the work of large corporations that because of 1 genetic engineering is bad.

    Genetic engineering, like all other human inventions, can be used for both the good and the bad. We should clearly distinguish between 1 and 2.

  2. Monsanto has “spies” that monitor what seeds farmers use. If they do not use Monsanto seeds they are put on a list and can guarantee to be sued. They target these people and make them have the burden of proof that they have not infringed on Monsantos patents. It costs the farmers such an extreme amount of money they can not fight and end up settling. I would be surprised if there are any farmers left that use their own seeds. Monsanto is a bully using intimidation, money and politicians to hold a monopoly on soy bean seeds. I have no idea if the food is bad for us or not but they should be labeling what is in their products. I’ve also got to wonder why so many other countries have baned them.

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