Posts Tagged ‘Monsanto’

The perversion of copyrighting food

February 23, 2015 Leave a comment

We all have to eat, don’t we?

Well, at least those of us who are still allowed to stay alive, apparently with the sole purpose of helping big capital make more money… Because even the most basic human needs such as food have become a new profitable market for global conglomerates posing as philanthropist entities.

In their never-ending (con)quest for profits, agro multinationals such as Syngenta, Monsanto and DuPont have devised their own, copyrighted strains of genetically modified seeds. Rice, for instance. – What good is it to copyright seeds, you ask? Why would anyone want to copy them? Well, the truth is: not many do. But it turns out, that is not the point.

This is where a trade agreement between the US and Colombia comes in. (There are others. Much the same applies within the US itself.) The trade agreement, signed by the Colombian government, demands that all protective measures for indigenous seeds and traditionally cultivated crops be anulled. Let me re-state that: An international agreement makes it illegal to use regular, non-corporate seeds to grow food! Instead, it becomes mandatory for planters, small-time farmers, to use the copyrighted seeds. And not for free, either!

So by law farmers are forced, year after year, buy seeds from the multinationals to sow. And heaven forbid they saved some of the crops to re-use as seeds the following year, as humans have done ever since the dawn of the neolithic era many thousand years ago. – No! They have to buy new seeds at approximately 6 times the price of regular seeds. For the big agro companies, it’s basically a licence to print their own money.

However, if farmers are found not to use the mandatory seeds, they are arrested and the crops are destroyed. A powerful example of how brutally the local authorities intervene to dump sacks of non-corporate rice into a landfill and arrest locals is in the video below. Mind you: They would rather throw away dozens of 40 kilo sacks of perfectly good rice for the simple reason that a major company did not get to sell their overpriced, unwanted seeds to the farmers. I guess some people play monopoly on a board, and others play it on a much larger scale, though still complete with paying rent and going to jail.

What this sick game of Monopoly is missing is a get-out-of-jail free card.
Instead, it’s all about go-to-jail free trade.

So by successfully lobbying their government, agro multinationals have managed to secure themselves the market of all markets: That of growing food! Growing food, surely the human right if we can agree there is one, has been turned into a profitable multimillion dollar industry with no opting out. (However, there is a silver lining.)

The 40 minute documentary below is a great example of how ruthlessly some of these faceless companies will pursue their hunger for profits. They will not only make you buy the very basis for your suvival from them, they’ll have you thrown into prison or fined, and your food destroyed if you don’t play along in this revolting travesty.

Watch out for TTIP and other dodgy “trade agreements” drawn up to abolish democratic legitimacy for the benefit of corporate sharks.