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Monsanto – Don’t Entrust Your Life to Them

Ever heard of Seminis?  I hadn’t until just the other day.  They are a seed supplier to the suppliers.  In other words, they supply seed to a lot of home garden seed companies that send you catalogues.

You’ve probably grown some of their 4,000 varieties.

  • Tomatoes – Big Beef, Celebrity, Sunbrite, Cupid.
  • Summer squash – Gold Rush, Goldfinger, Lemondrop, Embassy, Sunray, Dixie, Seneca
  • Peppers – California Wonder, Big Bertha, Fat n’ Sassy
  • Onions – Mars, Red Zeppelin, Candy, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Cabbalero.
  • Cucumbers – Fanfare, Marketmore 76.

The onion Candy and the cucumber Marketmore 76 hit close to home for me.  I have grown these varieties for years and years and have found them to be among the best.

This year – for the first time in almost 20 years I will not be growing candy onions. (Or any other Seminis product for that matter.) Why?

Day late and dollar short that I may be,  I am just learning that Seminis – the world’s largest developer, grower and marketer of vegetable seed, was purchased in 2005 by Monsanto.

Has the seed been changed?  I don’t think so. Not yet anyway. Then why not buy?

I’m going to answer that question, but before I do I need to give you some background on Monsanto’s dark history. I warn you though  – it reads like science fiction.

Where the Proof and Evidence Against Monsanto Comes From

Much of the proof of their dark deeds have come from Monsanto’s own records that were made public during court trials. Other information has come from scientists, veterinarians and others who worked within the FDA, the EPA, Monsanto or related companies. When these men and women would not perform unethically as their respective employer required of them in order to remain employed, they were fired. That  —  or it was made so difficult for them that they had to quit.

Hundreds and hundreds of articles and reports offer evidence and documentation on Monsanto’s atrocities.  They stand accused and have been found guilty of some the greatest crimes against humanity.

4 Well Known Examples  — although far from all encompassing

  • They are the makers of Agent Orange.  More than 3 million civilians and servicemen in Vietnam were effected by this herbicide.  And it is estimated that 500,000 children were born with deformities because of it.

In court cases against Monsanto it was revealed that the company KNEW of the dioxin contamination when it sold the chemical to the government.

  • They were found guilty in 2002 of poisoning the town of Anniston, Alabama with their PCB factory. (PCBs are mixtures of synthetic organic chemicals.)

When records were made public during the trials it was uncovered that Monsanto knew of the poison all along and covered it up for DECADES. One of the memos made public explained why, “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business.”

  • The story on the bovine growth hormone is still being played out. A little research will quickly make it clear that scientist have acknowledged the increase of antibiotics and pus in the milk from treated cows. Rather than going into all the gory details here, I’ll tell you that former Monsanto scientist have gone on record as saying that after conducting studies on rbGH (bovine growth hormone) they refused to drink any more milk unless it was not treated with the drug.

(Certified organic milk does not have rbGH.)

  • Round Up, the herbicide (glyphosate) that has “taken in” most of the population (much to the delight of Monsanto’s profits) is another ongoing story.

Their profits dropped a bit in 2009 when France’s highest court ruled that Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of the herbicide.  Monsanto claimed it was biodegradable, which it is not. 

It is also toxic, and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and human embryonic cell death. In 1996, the New York Attorney General fined Monsanto for falsely claiming that Roundup was biodegradable and good for the environment.

History of Covering up the Dangers

As should be obvious in the examples given above, Monsanto has a history of covering up the problems and dangers of their products. They are very skillful at it.  Their methods are varied and plentiful.  The lies they tell seem to be unending.  And they do it all cloaked in what I term sugar coated words and beautiful deceit.

A look at the Monsanto website will explain exactly what I mean:

Beautiful pictures and good design are accompanied by words that tell of the billions we will need to feed in the future. They tell of how Monsanto will do its part by “producing more, conserving more, and improving the lives — of all farmers who use our products—“ And that they will “do this by selling seeds, traits developed through biotechnology and crop protection chemicals.”

Evidence Indicates the Opposite

Certainly they will have to change their inner core and vastly improve their products in order to do all this.  At this time evidence indicates the exact opposite is true. Report after report tells of the biotech industry yielding negative returns for decades and in addition costing much more because of the fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides that are needed to raise these already much higher priced crops.

Contamination from gm crops is of world wide concern.  When it happens it is expensive.  Crops unapproved for human consumption can end up (and have) in the food supply and cost billions of dollars.

More Smooth Talk

Unbelievably, Monsanto claims to “operate under a genuine value system — our pledge —that demonstrates integrity, respect, ethical behavior, perspective and honesty as a foundation for everything we do.” They even speak of “protecting the safety of our people and communities.” This is almost ludicrous since nothing could be further from the truth and it doesn’t take much to find it out.

What Does Genetically Modified Mean

A GMO is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA are extracted from one species and artificially forced into the genes of an UNRELATED plant or animal. The genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or humans.

Genetically Modified Organism is abbreviated GMO.  GM means the same.  GE stands for Genetically Engineered and also means same.   The word transgenic is also used, because it denotes a transfer of genes.

How is This Different from Selective Breeding?

Man has been breeding selectively for centuries to create new varieties of plants and animals. Crosses until now have occurred only within a species.  For example dogs with dogs, cucumber with cucumbers, tomatoes with tomatoes, etc.

The difference in selective breeding and genetic modification is in the DNA—-

AND —-

GMOs Have Not Been Adequately Tested

These products (which are ingredients in 85% or more of non-organic processed food) are on grocery shelves everywhere and have not been adequately tested.  They are not labeled as GMOs. They were placed on the market without required labels, warnings, or post-marketing surveillance. Herein lies the problem with GMOs. Proper testing might extinguish all doubts one way or the other.

Independent tests have linked genetically modified crops to birth defects, sterility,  cancer, organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels and kidney and liver problems, not to mention the deaths of thousands of animals who died after eating genetically modified crops.

It’s interesting to note the finding that when animals are given choices of GM or Natural grown feed, all will reject the GM crops.

In spite of this these foods are everywhere and biotech experts estimate that almost 100% of our food could be genetically engineered within the next five years.

Unethical Tactics Get Genetically Modified Products Approved

It is frightening to learn of the way Monsanto has infiltrated and paid off government officials AROUND THE GLOBE!  Reports abound of their infiltration into the upper echelons of government and their unethical tactics to get their products approved.

Their pockets are deep and their arms long.  Here in the United States it matters not the party (whether Republican or Democrat) – their influence crosses party lines and goes all the way to the top.  Even the very attitude (as well as decisions) of government agencies like the FDA and EPA have been influenced and molded by Monsanto’s power.

After reading the accounts it becomes obvious that the line between regulator and regulated is blurred, if it is there at all.

They’re so powerful that they have kept TV programs that would expose them from airing.  They’ve stopped publications of books and have caused magazines already off the press (containing “whistle blowing” articles about them) to be shredded.

Monsanto and The Seed Industry

The seed industry was already concentrated into a few corporate hands. With Monsanto’s purchase of Seminis, Monsanto is now the world’s largest seed company.

Profit was already controlling what seeds were being grown and saved.  Minor crops like those specifically adapted for special regions, taste, nutrition and other specialized corners of the seed market were already in danger of being lost forever.  Even in 2005 there was less than 500 varieties of vegetable seed being offered in US seed catalogs compared to the 5,000 varieties available in 1981.

The seed biodiversity our food supply requires is being compromised globally.

Monsanto is the world’s leading advocate and practitioner of genetic engineering. In addition they are considered by many (myself included) to be the most unethical company in the world.   It doesn’t take a genius to see the handwriting on the wall.

Why I am no longer buying Seminis/(now)Monsanto Products?

If we continue to support Monsanto in any way it will be at a devastating cost. Every dollar we give them makes them stronger.  Judging from their past track record, all of it will be used against us – their fellow man.  They are proven masters of deception and their primary goal — in spite of what they say on their website — is profit.

It is not the profit that is the problem, but the way they obtain that goal.  In all probability, the way it is obtained will not be in keeping with the needs of humanity.

I choose not to support Monsanto in any way no matter the inconvenience. I realize we can’t fix the entire world all at once or by ourselves.  But we can do what is within our reach to do and together perhaps we can cause the “longed-for tidal wave of justice” to rise up!

______________

Addendum in 4 Parts:

PART 1:

To find out if the variety of fruit or vegetable seed you want was/is a product of Seminis (now owned by Monsanto), click the links.  From there you can click on the vegetable and a comprehensive list of the fruit or vegetable varieties will come up. http://www.seminis.com/global/us/products/Pages/default.aspx

I recommend checking out the list of vegetables for both Home Growers and Vegetable Growers.  REASON: Although one is for professional growers, it gives more information.  For example, if one checks only the second link which is for home gardeners — onions and some other vegetables are not listed.  I would never have known what onions were Seminis if I had only checked the home gardeners link since they are only listed under the professional growers link.

If the seed in question is not an exclusive of Seminis/Monsanto — there is the possibility that it may be grown by someone else — and the seed could be bought from the other grower without supporting Monsanto.  As far as I know the only way to find out for sure is to call or email your supplier and ask them where the seed comes from.  For more clarification click here.

(A word of warning: the site is now the property of Monsanto – so I suggest caution in believing what is said on other pages of the site.)

PART 2:

If you don’t want to do all the reading you might want to watch this almost 2 hour documentary that will give you an overview of what’s happening. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

PART 3: For More Reading:

Choose by topic from list after list of articles on Monsanto at this site: http://www.laleva.cc/pharma/monsantofiles.html#Anchor-36340

Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators by Jennifer Ferrara
The Ecologist September October 1998 (This edition was trashed by the printing office after threats from Monsanto) {it’s footnotes are missing} http://www.psrast.org/ecologmons.htm

Monsanto: The world’s poster child for corporate manipulation and deceit. July 2010 by Jeffrey Smith (I felt this was one of the best articles.  Has 67 footnote references.  This guy knows his stuff.) http://www.naturalnews.com/029325_Monsanto_deception.html

Monsanto: An Evil Company? by Jeffrey Hellender  (An excellent article.) http://www.seventhgeneration.com/learn/inspiredprotagonist/monsanto-evil-company

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear an article by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele (May 2008) I think this is a must-read. The story of Monsanto’s seed police and their methods to intimidate and strong-arm farmers and  put them out of business. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805

USDA Recommends “CoExistence” with Monsanto: We Say Hell No! by Ronnie Cummins, Director, Organic Consumer Association.  December 22, 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/usda-recommends-coexisten_b_800295.html This article really shows how the USDA and all the chemical companies just don’t get it!  Now, they think they can pay off the Organic Growers when their fields are contaminated by GMOs.  Talk about missing the boat!

This site will tell you the GE process in simple understandable terms and even tell you what combinations have been used (- like fish with strawberries.) http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process  TELLS the GE Process

GMO Conspiracy Reaches Highest Levels of US Government (Our U.S. Food Safety Czar is a Former Monsanto Executive) January 12, 2011 http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/616

Top 10 Resons to Label Genetically Engineered Foods http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20100727_top-10-reasons-to-label-genetically-engineered-foods

Tells how to avoid GMOs. http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/

Genetically Engineered Foods: Too Many Unknowns. An interview with John Fagan, a molecular biologist specializing in genetic techniques and  who took an ethical stand against genetically engineered foods. (2000) http://mothering.com/genetically-engineered-foods-too-many-unknowns

Judge’s Ruling on GE Beets Exposes Inherent Danger in Prevailing Food. December 2010.
http://caivn.org/article/2010/12/15/judges-ruling-ge-beets-exposes-inherent-danger-prevailing-food-system

Three-Pronged System Enables GMO Takover of American Agriculture. March 2010 by Aaron Turpen  (Tells what’s giving Monsanto total control over our food supply. No amount of health reform will make you well if the very basis of your health – food – is unhealthy.) http://www.naturalnews.com/028459_GMO_agriculture.html

GM Watch. A website to watch what’s going on with gmos.  http://www.gmwatch.org/

PART 4: By the way, in case you don’t already know —  Scotts (Miracle Grow) is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for the international marketing and distribution of consumer Roundup.

_________

All content including pictures is copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com.  All rights are reserved.

19 comments to Monsanto – Don’t Entrust Your Life to Them

  • Ann

    There was a PBS program about Monsanto that aired last year which must have been based on the Vanity Fair article. It was chilling and this post makes me even more worried about the power and influence of companies like Monsanto. Thanks for making me even more aware of the hubris of this company. The more information that comes to light will eventually bring change.

  • Theresa

    Ann, I hope this article will also bring to light the dangers of GMOs and there overwhelming presence in the marketplace.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Best,
    Theresa

  • Dink

    Please check ediblearia.com for more information on Monsanto.

  • Beth

    Monsanto’s atrocities are also briefly documented in the movie, “Food, Inc.” – unbelievable what’s actually going on in mass production…
    🙂

  • Beppy White

    We need to get this out to more people. I have known a lot of this but hadn’t thought about the seeds we plant. I will be ordering all seeds from Organic catalogs from now on.

    It gives me such a helpless feeling when I think about what kids are eating these days (even when they are eating relatively healthy food.)

    Thank you so much for enlightening us.

  • Theresa

    Hi Beppy,
    I felt more folks needed to know this as well. It is amazing how the vast majority just has no idea how harmful most of the food supply is.

    I saw the following list of Seed Suppliers that have guaranteed no GMO products or Monsanto affiliations on a forum and thought it would be helpful. I have not checked every Supplier myself so suggest that you do that before ordering — just in case.

    As always, thanks for commenting!

    Warmly,
    Theresa

    Abundant Life Seeds
    Amishland Seeds
    Annapolis Valley Heritage Seed Company canada
    Baker Creek Seed Co.
    Berlin Seeds – they don’t have a website. At least I didn’t find one.
    Botanical Interests
    Bountiful Gardens
    Diane’s Flower Seeds (she has veggies now, too)
    Fedco Seed Co. – phasing out seminis seeds.
    Garden City Seeds
    Heirloom Acres Seeds -This was noted with the list: “I’ve heard from several people their seed germination is poor and so is their customer service.”
    Heirlooms Evermore Seeds
    Heirloom Seeds
    High Mowing Seeds
    Horizon Herbs
    Irish-Eyes
    Kitchen Garden Seeds
    Lake Valley Seeds
    Livingston Seeds
    Local Harvest
    Mountain Rose Herbs
    Natural Gardening Company
    New Hope Seed Company
    Organica Seed
    Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
    Pinetree
    Renee’s Garden
    Richters Herbs
    Sand Hill Preservation Center
    Seeds of Change
    Southern Exposure
    Sustainable Seed Co (added on request of the company, see their Seed Pledge page)
    Territorial Seed Company
    Tiny Seeds
    Tomato Fest – noted with list: seed germination from this company is poor
    Underwood Garden Seeds
    Uprising Seeds
    Victory Seeds
    Wildseed Farms
    Wood Prairie Farm

    I think J.L Hudson and John Scheeper’s kitchen garden are ok as well.

  • Theresa

    Thank you Dink for the additional link.

    The article you suggested links to another article that I think is very powerful by Ronnie Cummins, Director, Organic Consumers Association posted December 22, 2010. USDA Recommends “Coexistence” with Monsanto: We Say Hell No!

    Be aware that the layout of the page can be a bit confusing. They give a quote with the date of Oct. 25, 1998 at the beginning and depending on how it shows on your screen you might thing the article was written then rather than its actual date of December 22, 2010.

    I hope everyone will read this article! (As a matter of fact I think I’ll add it to the link in the addendum to the article.)

    Best,
    Theresa

  • Theresa

    Yes, Beth it is. At this point in time I think we all have to be as aware as we can of what choices are available to us.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Best,
    Theresa

  • It’s amazing what goes on under our noses. Thank goodness for folks who try to communicate the truth to those who will listen. If this information was more widely distributed, I have no doubt that an uprising would result. I’m with you in not contributing in the least to companies like Monsanto. It’s a difficult road to navigate but even small efforts by individuals can help bring change. I’m anxious to see what the future holds in this respect.

  • Theresa

    Dear Farming Bear,

    I am glad to see the commitment of others to withhold support from companies like Monsanto. It is indeed sometimes a difficult road to navigate but it can be done. If we all pull together we will bring about change.

    Thanks for your input and support.

    Warm regards,
    Theresa

  • LeLee28

    Rice Dream is also owned by Monsanto.

  • Theresa

    Thanks for your input LeLee.

    Best,
    Theresa

  • Monsanto owns Rice Dream? What does that mean now, or later? I rely on Rice Dream drink (milk). It’s wonderful. How UNwonderful is it really? GLEEP!

  • Theresa

    Hi Betsey,
    I personally have not done the research to know if Monsanto owns Rice Dream or not. And I am not familar with Rice Dream and have never used it. It was input from another reader – LaLee – on March 2, 2011 — as you already know.

    It may take a bit a searching to find out exactly who owns it. Of course, if Monsanto does own it — that should send up red flags. But — that won’t mean that at this point in time Rice Dream is not ok. It depends on what it’s made with. That’s what will take some doing to find out as well. The main thing to keep in mind is that you really can’t believe anything Monsanto says. That makes it extremely hard to find out whether the product is ok now or not.

    One more thing — If you find out it is ok — and also owned by Monsanto —- you might want to start looking for something to take it’s place. Because sooner or later Monsanto could pervert the product.

    This kind of news never makes us happy. When they bought out Seminis I was devastated — because that company had so many things that I use (grow). Immediately I started looking for replacements because #1 – I don’t want to support Monsanto and #2 – I don’t know when they will pervert the seed. So I figured I might as well “bite the bullet” now rather than later.

    Check back in and let me know what you find out.

    Best regards,
    Theresa

  • Sandra

    Back to the garden then! Where we have some control – still.

  • Theresa

    My thoughts exactly, Sandra!

  • Carol

    Hi Theresa,

    I found this after reading your blog posting and doing some research on google. It is a list of safe seed companies in pdf form with details about each company and links to their sites.

    http://www.leaflady.org/SEEDS.pdf

    Carol

  • Theresa

    Thanks Carol. This is another great resource to have on hand. I certainly appreciate your posting it.
    Theresa

  • Carol

    I’ve just been checking out the sites. Many of them offer free catalogs. The pdf I listed also has a good list at the very bottom of companies that DO sell Monsanto seeds.

    Carol

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