Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monsanto - is the devil working for an agricultural company?

Picture from Vanity Fair feature on Monsanto dominating the American food chain (Barlett and Steele). Picture by Melvyn Calderon /Greenpeace HO / AP images. Anti-Monsanto crop circle made by  farmers in the Philippines.

It seems Monsanto are officially making their move to spread their questionable crops across Nepal (see Himalayan Times or Agro News or USAid.

Who makes the decisions about which companies, crops and farming practices should be promoted and celebrated in Nepal? I mean, which individual person is responsible for the incredibly stupid move to ACTIVELY PROMOTE Monsanto to farmers in Nepal? I want to meet this man (and in Nepal it'd be a man) and give him one word of advice: GOOGLE.

A search on Monsanto will return 17, 400, 000 results. The first page of links reveals "Monsanto - World's Most Unethical and Harmful Investment", a title like that has to at least give you pause, if not cause for further investigation. There is an abundance of articles discussing the failure of Monsanto crops, the possible health effects and the risks to food sovereignty and food security posed by the companies aggressively promoted GM, Hybrid and alarmingly pesticide dependent crops. 

So not the reading type but that's not really an excuse, there is also a video: "Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years". but I guess with the slow internet it might take too long to load it. 

I know politicians are not known for their unbiased appraisal  of proposals put forward by international big business but this is a joke. 

Why is USAID, a development agency, working so hard to push US products and companies on to developing nations? I have ethical issues with USAID, their food aid policy is despicable, they allow people starve to death in order to use their own boats and crops but that's another blog post entirely. My problem with USAID and Monsanto working together is it gives Monsanto the appearance of being motivated by concern and caring. Let's not forget this is the company who produced Agent Orange, the chemical used in the Vietnam War. 400,000 people killed or disabled and 500,000 children born with birth defects due to exposure to the chemical. We are talking about giving a company with no soul freedom to promote itself to farmers in Nepal. 

In my opinion (and feel free to argue) the long term health effects to consumers and farmer and the ecological impacts of hybrid and GM crops and the pesticides which come with them, have not been adequately established.  Rather than spend an appropriate amount of time and money figuring out if these things are safe they flog them off to poor countries in the name development and wait and see what happens. 

There have been studies which indicate some Monsanto crops MAY lead to decreased fertility in mice. The studies have been labeled inconclusive and no one can say IF this could also be the case in humans. Maybe its just me but i'd like to know if something is going to lower my fertility chances before i eat it, not in 20 years when the tests are finished! Why are they allowed to give this stuff to farmers if they aren't even sure if it is safe? In Haiti farmers are refusing the vegetable seed given to them by Monsanto because: 

"The hybrid corn seeds Monsanto has donated to Haiti are treated with the fungicide Maxim XO, and the calypso tomato seeds are treated with thiram. Thiram belongs to a highly toxic class of chemicals called ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs). Results of tests of EBDCs on mice and rats caused concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then ordered a special review. The EPA determined that EBDC-treated plants are so dangerous to agricultural workers that they must wear special protective clothing when handling them."  Beverly Bell Huffington Post 2010

And what about sustainability and food sovereignty. There has been a lot of noise about Monsanto coming into Nepal to help local farmers increase maize output and help with food security. Trials in the Tarai region saw the crops fail. The crops grew but there was not actual corn. The farmers were the big losers as thousands of hectares had to be destroyed and monsanto have refused to pay compensation. The cause of these crop failures? According to monsanto it was cold weather... Nepal is a cold place, maybe it isn't the best country to be pushing crops which are sensitive to cold climates?

Ok, i could keep ranting but i have run out of steam. If you want to read about Monsanto and the unhappy maize farmers in India the look at Tehelka. Or check out the Organic consumers Association - millions against Monsanto.

**NOTE** if your wondering how i got on to this topic it was over here at With love, from KTM


  1. very interesting post. the food lobby in the US puts the tobacco lobby to shame.

    What's also interesting is, my uncle who is a retired general in the nepal army, said that the americans came and injected people in the nepal army with a vaccination for hepatitis E [hasn't been approved yet]. i'm pretty sure that someone, somewhere in nepal [and since the king was the head of the army then, I'm going to say it was him] was given a lot of money.

    1. Pause and think about the big picture, is Monsanto the Devil? or is there something bigger than this and every other evil corporation in America:

    2. Julia in USA - I am also extremely concerned !!!

      I have suffered from chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, etc. for many years, and now wonder if Monsanto, and other pesticide makers are to blame ?

      Since moving into a new home in 1997, my husband has used pesticides on the patio to kill weeds. He uses them excessively.

      The other day I noticed an excessive amount of Preen... a pesticide that is in the form of tiny granules that you sprinkle.

      ( husband mostly uses Round up which is made by Monsanto )

      My husband constantly sprinkles an excessive amount of these granules onto the patio, and my dog who lays on this patio, seemed to be very sleepy. My feet were also burning and when I wiped them with a wet cloth, they seemed to burn more.

      Then I have been noticing my 12 year old son's eyes being very irritated, and especially after being around our dog... extremely red and irritated, and he will keep rubbing them.

      I now know that when my son plays, or wrestles with his dog ( golden retriever ) and the dog had been on the patio, the pesticides in the fur of his dog would get into his eyes.

      After I investigated the ingredients in Preen and Round Up, I was shocked. One of the affects of the active ingredient Trifluralin... that is contained in this pesticide called Preen is... sleepiness ! Which would explain my extreme fatigue, and another of the symptoms it causes is... eye irritation. Trifluralin has also been shown to cause non-hodgkin's Lymphoma, and Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

      My husband did have Hodgkin's Lymphoma( cancer )a few years ago.

      Our patio was never sealed with a sealer, so the weeds grow in between the bricks, and instead of pulling the weeds out by hand, my husband sprinkles this pesticide excessively onto the patio to kill weeds.

      When I told him about what I found out about the Preen, he told me he has mostly used Round-up ( made by Monsanto )since we have moved in ( 1997 ).

      The ingredients in Round up ( made by Monsanto )are just as poisonous, or even worse than the ingredients in Preen.

      If I did not get the Preen granules stuck on my feet, I never would have even investigated any of this, and I am sure most people in the U.S.A. and other countries are not aware of these poisons that are used in such products.

      I am very concerned, as I read these pesticides remain in the soil for years, and heat ( such as a hot day ) can cause poisonous vapors, and rain can cause the poisons to be absorbed through the skin even more easily than when dry.

      I now believe that our patio is bio-hazardous, and will continue to be.

      My cat died of cancer about a year ago, and he would lay on the patio all the time.

      My Chronic Fatigue is so severe that I can sleep 10 hours... and still wake up exhausted, and my muscles feel extremely weak all the time.

      My son suffers from a.d.h.d. and I have a.d.d.

      Monsanto was the maker of Agent Orange and I am extremely suspicious of their product Round up, and also the Preen, made by another manufacturer. These pesticides are extremely dangerous and are used much too freely.

      After my research on Monsanto, I am extremely suspicious about this company and their intentions for the planet earth.

      Please do not think that every person in the U.S.A. is unaware of what is going on. There are many people here ( U.S.A. )that are extremely against these dangerous companies, and are desperately trying to fight them. These ( extremely powerful forces )companies must be stopped from destroying agriculture, animals, people and the entire world !!!

      I also wonder if an evil force ( devil ) could be involved.

      Julia in the U.S.A.
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