WILL OREGON FARMERS FINALLY BE ABLE TO SUE FOR GMO CONTAMINATION?October 23, 2017
Mr. B.H. found this article, and if you've been following the whole story of GMOs and the underhanded and unethical behavior of I.G.Farbensanto over the years, this is a whopper-doozie, and if true, finally a bit of good news.
For those who haven't, a bit of a review might be necessary. When GMOs first came into play during the administration of G.H.W. Bush (who else?), I.G. Farbensanto (our code for the big "agribusiness" companies) developed the principle of "substantial equivalence" to avoid the normal procedures of testing products. Substantial equivalence simply meant that, as far as regulatory policy was concerned, GMO products were no different than ordinary natural seeds and crops; GMO corn and soy beans and so on were to be treated exactly the same as their natural counterparts, and hence, there was no need for "a closer look." If it looks like a potato and tastes like a potato, then it's a potato.
Except, of course, when it came to licensing fees and sales, in which case, the GMO seeds and crops, which were of course genetically modified and therefore proprietary patented organisms, were owned by I.G. Farbensanto. Farmers could not withhold seeds for subsequent planting. For one thing, the seeds were engineered not to reproduce. Farmers would have to buy more seeds from the same company if they wished to grow and harvest GMO crops. But wait, there's more: I.G. Farbensanto actually sent out spies to make sure their seeds were not being grown on fields where farmers had not paid the requisite licensing fees. If these were discovered, the farmers were sued. "But wait," you might ask, "what about fields that were contaminated by GMO seeds that the farmers didn't want growing in their fields?" Answer: too bad.
That was the one-sided nature of the fascist alliance between I.G. Farbensanto and the government of the USSA.
Unfair? Yes, absolutely. Dangerous manipulation of the food supply? Yes, that too.
Well, finally, farmers that do not want their fields contaminated by this "substantially equivalent" nonsense might get an opportunity to sue I.G. Farbensanto back, if a new bill in Oregon goes through: http://ewao.com/2017/10/06/new-bill-would-allow-farmers-to-sue-monsanto-if-gmo-crops-invade-their-property/
Notably, the article references precisely the non-equal status of farmers under the "current arrangement" who have been squeezed by by agribusiness. Additionally, as the article also points out, the non-GMO farmer's livelihood is in danger by field contaminations from GMOs, which could lose his organic food producer certification status, and make it difficult to support export to countries banning GMOs, a list which is growing (see today's "tidbit').
It doesn't take much imagination to see why the debate in Oregon is so vociferous, but the bottom line is that organic farmers need the same equality before the law as the big agribusiness companies have. Their patents are not in question, and as the article points out, they can choose not to sell there product in Oregon. One can only hope other states will enact similar measures.
In the meantime, I don't know about you, but I continue to spend a little extra money for organic dairy and produce if for no other reason than the behavior of I.G. Farbensanto has been reprehensible, at best.
See you on the flip side....