THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: MON(STER)SANTO BUYS UP HEIRLOOM SEED COMPANIESJanuary 19, 2016
Many regular readers here shared this article, and its importance require alerting you to it. Over the years, I've been blogging about the GMO issue, and chiefly from the point of view of its potential geopolitical significance, advancing the idea that eventually nations like Russia, which have registered profound misgivings about the "science" behind GMOs assuring consumers of their safety, could conceivably steal a march on giant Western agribusiness companies like Mon(ster)santo by entering the international agricultural market and selling not only non-GMO foodstuffs, but also non-GMO seeds. Additionally, recent court decisions in France have raised issues, once again, about the corporate claims for the safety of their products, and finally, because of the growing backlash against GMOs, agvribusiness giants like Mon(ster)santo have recently announced cutbacks and layoffs due to falling profits.
It's against that backdrop that I suggest one must understand this article:
I suggest that the crux of the matter is here:
The NM Tree and Garden Center located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico has discovered that Monsanto is buying heirloom seed companies. They are also buying the trademarks to a number of heirloom seeds. This means that you may think you are supporting an heirloom seed company but in reality the company is owned by Monsanto. The seeds themselves are still non-GMO and heirloom and they can be saved at the end of the harvest and resown next season, but you are still giving money to Monsanto.
Monsanto are also buying trademarks so that no matter where you buy certain seeds, they get money from it. Here is a LINK to the trademarks and seed companies Monsanto supply and ones that they do not supply in the USA.
Why are small organic/heirloom marques being acquired by the big global corporates? Firstly, there is a commercial market for them. Secondly, what you own you can control. Thirdly, if you are a vast industrial magnate and own one of these companies you can marginalise its market if you wish.
So which is it? Are the agribusiness giants buying up heirloom seed companies because they wish to "marginalize," i.e., simply get rid of heirloom seeds altogether, and reduce the world to the status of serf populations paying endless rents and royalties to the corporations simply for the privilege of living? or are we dealing with some other agenda?
I put nothing past the oligarchs and plutocrats of the West, I really don't. I think, personally, that these are some of the most toxic, narcissistic, psychopathic individuals in history, and that a certain segment of them would not hesitate to embark on such a program. These companies have well-deserved reputations for sharp practice against farmers whose fields have been discovered to contain GMO products, even when they did not want or desire to plant them.
But there is a problem with such an analysis, at least, in this case, and the problem is, quite frankly, Russia. Such a strategy of buy-out and elimination of heirloom seeds might be practical if indeed one was dealing with a monopolistic or cartel situation, with absolutely no major competitors on the market, and no major competitive assumptions, i.e., if one controlled the philosophical discussion and debate, On the last count, the debate and discussion, while initially comfortably controlled by said narcissistic and psychopathic corporations, has been increasingly and visibly under fire and question. The corporations are no longer driving the debate, and cannot buy off corrupt politicians fast enough to silence it. And with Mr. Putin's recent address to the State Duma in Russia, he has made it clear that Russia does intend to step up and fill the vacuum as a source of non-GMO food, and presumably, of non-GMO or heirloom seeds.
Thus, I suspect that what one might be looking at here is a subtle admission by the agribusiness giant is that in the long-term, GMOs are dead. They are increasingly a political hot potato that farmers, and eventually investors, are fleeing from. To protect itself, therefore, it must enter the non-GMO market, or simply wither and die. In short, it's a tacit victory for the anti-GMO community, albeit a Pyrrhic one, for as the article also notes, the non-democratic European Union has cleared the way for GMO crops to be planted throughout Europe.
Like all Pyrrhic victories, however, vigilance is required, for that quiet penetration into the heirloom seed market as a measure of self-preservation could easily turn into the other motivation - "marginalization" and "elimination" - if the pressure on these companies and their "assured results of modern science" relents. The war over GMOs, in other words, is far from over.
See you on the flip side...