Thursday, February 09, 2017 by Vicki Batts
Monsanto’s plans of spreading their GMO seeds continue to be obstructed, at least in other countries. For example, in Mexico, a ban on GMO corn is likely to be upheld for years, while an uphill legal battle rages on.
Just last week, a Mexican court chose to uphold a 2013 ruling that followed a legal challenge on the effects GMO crops have on the environment, which temporarily put a stop on GMO corn-growing, including pilot plots.
In an interview, Monsanto regional corporate director Laura Tamayo commented,”It’s going to take a long while for all the evidence to be presented. I think we’re talking years.”
The cost of yellow corn imports are expected to rise by more than 20 percent in the next season, thanks to increasing production costs and the peso growing weaker. While Mexico is totally self-sufficient when it comes to the country’s white corn, they rely on GMO corn that comes from the United States to feed livestock.
Several years ago, Monsanto reportedly submitted two applications to grow GMO corn commercially in Mexico’s northwestern state Sinaloa. The region is known for being the country’s largest corn-producing area, and Monsanto wanted a huge hunk of it: both applications requested 1.7 million acres of land.
And, both applications are still pending approval. Hopefully, that day never comes.
While Monsanto hails itself as an agricultural business, we all know that the truth is that the company does anything but help farmers. They’ve been destroying real farming for the last few decades.
Supposedly, Monsanto’s primary business in Mexico is “developing and selling conventional corn seeds and vegetable seeds,” but Tamayo says the company is committed to defending the so-called “benefits” of GM crops on what she calls “scientific grounds.”
If they really wanted to defend their seeds with science, they’d permit independent research on their products, now wouldn’t they?
Regardless, according Tamayo, the corporation didn’t feel the need to try to convince consumers that their products were good for years; instead, they focused on the farmers. This, she says, allowed environmental organizations to take over the debate.
“We made a mistake; it’s just that simple. For 18 years we didn’t explain (to the consumer) what is biotechnology, what’s it for and why it’s safe.”
Critics might argue that their true mistake lies in the creation of Monsanto as a whole, rather than their failure to try to brainwash the public more openly.
Opponents of GMO crops believe that these modified corn seeds could contaminate heirloom varieties, and that the pesticides used to protect GMO crops are harmful to beneficial insects like bees — which have been dying off in record numbers. Community advocates state that Mexico’s 59 varieties of native corn will be at risk if Monsanto is allowed to take hold of the corn market. [RELATED: Learn more about the dangers of genetically modified food at GMO.news]
Look no further than India if you wish to see the true effects of Monsanto’s monopoly on agriculture. Farmer suicide rates in India have skyrocketed, and one of the primary causes is the biotech giant’s impossible seed monopoly.
Lots of things changed when Monsanto entered India. For example, in 2013, they reportedly controlled some 95 percent of the cotton seed market in the country.
And what about seeds? Seeds had always been a resource for farmers, but Monsanto claimed them as “intellectual property,” and began collecting royalties on their products. Monsanto also sought out to change farming practices on the whole, eliminating open-pollinated cotton seeds, demanding monoculture farming techniques, and even subverting India’s own regulatory processes. [RELATED: Read about Monsanto’s corrupt business practices and more at MonsantoMafia.com]
In fact, the biotech corporation even managed to use public resources to promote its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs, with the help of “public private partnerships.”
Monsanto’s creation of seed monopolies and profit-seeking royalty collection, combined with the outright destruction of any alternatives, has left farmers in India devastated. Debt, distress, and suicide run rampant under Monsanto’s rule. Data from the Indian government even suggests this: some 75 percent of rural debt is attributed to “purchased inputs,” which likely suggests that as farmer debt grows, so do Monsanto’s profits.
An internal advisory by the Agricultural Ministry of India in January 2012 noted, “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.”
Monsanto loves to claim that they are in the business to help farmers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.