The Monsanto menace takes over

The feds see no evil as a belligerent strongman seeks control of America's food supply

Last month, Harvell's GM-labeling law overwhelmingly passed the Maine House (141-4) and Senate (35-0) and awaits the governor's signature. That makes Maine the second state (nine days after Connecticut) to pass a GM-labeling law.

The Right to Know movement has picked up steam since chemical companies defeated California's labeling initiative, thanks to a $46 million publicity campaign full of deceptive statements. A recent ABC News poll found that 93 percent of Americans surveyed support GM labeling.

When Vermont raised the issue a year ago, a Monsanto official indicated that the company might sue. But the states are smart. The new laws in both Maine and Connecticut won't take effect until other states pass similar legislation so they can share defense costs.

Kansas farmer Bryce Stephens had to stop growing organic corn and soybeans for fear of contamination from genetically modified crops.
Kansas farmer Bryce Stephens had to stop growing organic corn and soybeans for fear of contamination from genetically modified crops.
Dr. Charles Benbrook says Monsanto is costing farmers money
Dr. Charles Benbrook says Monsanto is costing farmers money

What's interesting is that Harvell, by his own admission, is a very conservative Republican. Yet on this issue, left and right have the same quest for greater caution.

"God gave the seed to the earth and the fruit to the trees," Harvell says. "Notice it didn't say he granted Monsanto a patent. The human body has developed with its seeds. You're making a major leap into Pandora's Box — a quantum leap that maybe the human body isn't ready to make yet."

As more information comes out, it's increasingly clear that GM seed isn't the home run it's portrayed to be. It encourages greater pesticide use, which has a negative impact on the environment and our bodies. And whether or not GM food is safe to eat, it poses a real threat to biodiversity through monopolization of the seed industry and the kind of farming monoculture that inspires.

Meanwhile, a study by the University of Canterbury in England found that non-GM crops in America and Europe are increasing their yields faster than GM crops.

"All this talk about feeding the world, it's really PR," explains Wenonah Hauter, author of Foodopoly and executive director of Food & Water Watch. "The hope is to get into these new markets, force farmers to pay for seed, then start changing the food and eating habits of the developing world."

Since farming is such a timeworn tradition, there's a tendency to take it for granted, and that worries a lot of people. But as much as he hates GM, Bryce Stephens is sanguine.

"I've seen changes since I was little to where it is now," the Kansas farmer says. "I don't think it will last. This land and these people here have gone through cycles of boom and bust. We're just in another cycle, and it will be something different."

Providing we don't break it irreparably first.

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Current members of the board of directors of Monsanto are:

  • David L. Chicoine, president of South Dakota State University Yikes!
  • Hugh Grant, president and CEO (" a Scottish-born business executive and CEO ..."Hugh Grant Is Elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto"--Scotland--isn't that where mad cow disease was created?
  • Arthur H. Harper, managing partner of GenNx360 Capital Partners ("As front-line operating executives at General Electric, several of our senior partners led and transformed diverse industrial businesses; generating billions in operating profits. ")
  • Gwendolyn King, president of Podium Prose, a speakers bureau
  • Laura K. Ipsen, senior VP and general manager of Connected Energy Networks at Cisco Systems, Inc.(NASDAQ:CSCO)
  • C. Steven McMillan, former chairman and CEO of the Sara Lee Corporation  (McMillan=Cargil)
  • William U. Parfet, chief executive officer of MPI Research Inc. ("...built its reputation on its toxicological experience and knowledge with small molecules. However, the company is ahead of the curve in responding to recent market trends with biotechnology-derived products, commonly known as “biologics,” or biopharmaceuticals.")
  • Janice L. Fields, president of McDonald's USA (food that doesn't rot or nutritious -my personal thouts/experience)
  • George H. Poste, chief executive of Health Technology Networks
  • Jon R. Moeller, chief financial officer of The Procter & Gamble Company.[64][65]

Lobbyist--here's one example:

that's one powerful board but isn't it just as easy to make lots of money creating edible safe food?  do we really need to kill every weed, insects and small animal that attacks crops resulting in food that may harm those who eat it?  The world is protesting and here's what's going on in your world:

their moto is "feeding the world" or is this a new form of birth control--kill off the poor.  sad but making lots of money isn't satisfying enough, complete world control is the ultimate level of self-serving satisfaction.  Oh there's lots of stuff out there about Monsanto to read most is bs but it is a sign that "we've had enough and we're not taking it any more" and our main weapon is sarcasm which just confuses and voids any real protests.

ExpertShot topcommenter

I wonder how much I can get paid writing for Monsanto on comments like these?  Does anyone know? 


The city pages should be ashamed to print this yellow journalism.


Maybe someday they will see the connection between Celiac and other food intolerances like Gluten intolerance and sensitivity. Those illnesses exploded as Monsanto products became more and more widespread. I have to be careful what foods I eat, most foods make me explosively ill. 

We need labelling on our foods so those of us who cannot tolerate these modified non-foods can steer clear of them.


Deepest thanks for your well-informed coverage of this important issue.  GMOs are next cigarettes--the FDA has totally abdicated its job protecting us from these "foods." 

Even the University of Minnesota says HALF of the studies they reviewed showed risk inherent in eating GMOs. And most of the rest are industry funded. 

Minnesota has a bill in the House and Senate to label GMOs--at least we should be able to decide whether we eat GMOs or not. But that's only the first step. Farmers are taking their livestock off GMO feed because they're becoming sick and infertile--and we're still feeding them to our kids.

No yield increases, toxic chemicals, health risks for all of us, profits for big biotech. It's sad that our government is in the pocket of this industry. Twenty years from now we're all going to be talking about who was to blame for letting us eat untested GMOs for so long and no one will take responsibility.

Look for the non-GMO seal, organize to pass labeling, and do all you can to fight the corporate takeover and contamination of the food on which we all depend.


"Learning" of Monsanto from this biased propaganda screed is like learning African-American history from the KKK.

Monsanto's seed patents expire in 20 years, to be free for ALL.

The first Roundup-ready seed to expire is soybean, becoming free in 2014.

Non-gmo seed is available, no one FORCES farmers to buy GMO, but farmers prefer the lower cost farming and greater yields provided by the GMO varieties. Roundup ready saves an immense amount of expensive tractor fuel and no-til has allowed America to avoid a dust bowl despite droughts.

Take the ignorant 2 minute hate somewhere else.


My backyard squirrels won't eat GM corn.

Yvonne Schram
Yvonne Schram

If we had labeled food, we could choose to stop buying GMOs.

Drewey topcommenter

Why would a "job creator" hurt us? This sounds like more "lame stream media" brainwashing. This is the kind if governing that happens when we are completely divided as a country. While we waste our time arguing about simple equality issues and backwards abortion laws politicians are playing yes men to guys with a shit load if cash.



So you believe that a gluten molecule from one corn ear is different from another?

How about the sugar molecules in GMO beets? 


@RSweeney Round-up Ready seeds lose their effectiveness much earlier than 20 years.  In mono-culture systems, pests, weeds, & disease respond as if on cue every time.  GM crops solve nothing.  They simply prolong an agri-business model that has only existed a relatively short time on a massive scale.  


@RSweeney Actually, seed diversity is going down in countries that grow GMOs...Nongmo varieties are simply not available to them.  Patents are going to be extended via trade agreements (see the TTIP, TPP), plus it doesn't matter as Roundup is not working any more so they just create new patented varieties to replace them.  Please dig deeper before spreading your hate. 



Corn's a great example, it's not a natural food to begin with, It was cross bread recently in history. ~5,000 years ago. Virtually all the corn you see today are hybrids form the 1860s and on.


@foodisgood @RSweeney  

We have lived (in the US) in monoculture system of agriculture for over 100 years.

But you are correct, evolution never sleeps.



So here we are in a 2 minute hate screed against Monsanto and I am the one spreading hate?