Thursday, October 22

Monsanto, Michael Clayton and toxic waters

A clip from the film Michael Clayton in which the the acting lawyer deals with a case involving a killer herbicide that leeks into neighboring farms water supplies and destroys everything.  Turns out we have a real life corporation that does nearly the same thing... Monsanto.  

These days most people have heard about Monsanto and have some idea of what they do, but I will provide you with a quick refresher.  We have Monsanto to thank for the destructive chemical Agent Orange, RoundUp, RoundUp Ready seeds and Supreme Court cases such as Monsanto v. Schmiser.  To put it simply, Monsanto wants to take over the world with, what they call, sustainable agriculture.  This really means that they control the seed market so all farmers must purchase seeds from Monsanto.  A binding contract is then signed forcing the farmers to, from that point forward, purchase only Monsanto manufactured herbicides,  pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and any other "icides" you can come up with (because I'm sure Monsanto already has).  Since all seeds that come out of Monsanto are genetically modified, and most carry a gene called the "terminator gene," which renders the plants infertile and essentially useless after one full crop rotation and fruit producing cycle, this means that farmers must continue to purchase more seeds year after year, season after season.

I was at the climbing gym earlier today and a local radio station was playing over the PA system.  An advertisement came on that was all about creating communities of sustainable agriculture through biotechnology, feeding the world, and putting an end to starvation.  The ad is, of course, sponsored and paid for by Monsanto Corp.  I'm not sure how any company can even attempt to end starvation when some of their own products contain something caller  the "terminator gene."  After a few quick internet searches I discovered this ad is being played on NPR stations all across America.  I am having a hard time finding an actual audio clip of the ad online but I assure you, it was an invigorating piece of propaganda.  I did, however, find this Democracy Now! show addressing more issues of toxic water, similar to Michael Clayton.

Here is a link to yet another Democracy Now! show in which a Monsanto spokesperson and Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century; Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World, debate.  The "terminator gene" is mentioned in a segment about bio-safety.  This segment begins in the second half of the show, after the part about Malcolm X.


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