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Author Topic: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn  (Read 802 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« on: December 05, 2011, 01:24:23 PM »

I'm still looking for better (and hopefully more detailed) reports on what happened but it is just a symptom of how some people are acting against GMO (Gentically Modified Organisms) crops in general and specifically against Monsanto.

I think with proper supervision, regulation and planning GMO crops can do a LOT to help world hunger and our growing world population. In many ways GMO works and should be looked into, invested and followed. I belief with a proper screen process it could produce healthy food and benefit us all. I also think you should be able to know if you're buying GMO foods or not. It should be a choice just like choosing to buy milk that isn't produced with Artifical Growth Hormone or going fully Organic.

Monsanto on the other hand has spent a LOT money to make sure things go their way. I particularly despise how they handle the distribution of their Roundup resistant crops. If you try to stick to the traditional market model of retaining stock seed for the next year you get to be sued by them, usually in their own 'bought' court district. If you grow crops NEAR a field of GMO, you can have Monsanto agents sneak onto your land to ensure you're not violating their 'copyright'.

Thirty years ago, there were something like several THOUSAND seed recovery companies throughout the country. There are now less than a dozen, thanks in part to law suits by Monsanto. They either shut down to avoid being sued or were sued into bankruptcy.

That doesn't even cover the stuff they have 'promised' to not release. Such as 1-shot seeds. They grow and any seed product from them are automatically sterile.

I think the methods used by Monsanto to protect their intellectual properties are counterproductive and in the end will wind up hurting the development of GMO foods in the future. They have earned criticism in India, South America and now Europe for their policies and the near 'anti-trust' actions they are creeping up on how they control the market.

While it might be foolishly simpleminded of me, I think that it would be smarter in the long run to NOT push things like resisting a GMO label or moving to ban the labeling of 'non-AGH' milk or such. These moves WILL in the end bite them in the ass.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 02:36:36 PM »
Hungary and Hungarian politics are ... strange. On the one hand, I disagree with a lot of the Fidesz government's politics. The more I read about the negative aspects of globalization and global corporations, and the ways in which they exploit people, I can't help but feel they are, at least to an extent, right. I mean, if the stories circulating about Monsanto's practices are true, they represent everything that is wrong with massive corporations. I don't know why there's a GMO ban, but from a political point of view, I do understand and support it.

I mean, GM crops have the potential, as was pointed out, to help with world hunger. Being a bit of an idealist in that regard, however, I don't think that should happen at the mercy of multinational corporations. There's just too much potential for exploitation, and it needs to be better regulated.

Offline consortium11

Re: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 03:55:50 PM »
It's an awkward balancing act.

There's a kneejerk reaction to GM crops and foods that isn't really deserved. Take Norman Borlaug for example, a man for whom the notion that he saved a billion lives may not actually be hyperbole.

Yet balance that out by the fact that while no-one could consider him to be directly a corporate shill (or whatever term we're using this week), his work enabled Monsanto to get a foothold in places and start their ugly methods of exploiting every ounce of profit they could from a situation, almost regardless of consequences.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 07:58:00 PM »
I think GMO food is a needed thing to keep feeding the world. HOWEVER, that being said, I also believe that you (John Q. Public) have the right to know what is going into their food. Cut and dried. Monsanto and other groups are violently against that.

Some of their actions make me nervous about the way they are handling things.
-The company bought a company called Delta & Pine Land company for a technology called Terminator which limits the reproductive ability of a seed stock. That is.. you can produce a seed stock that NEVER creates fertile seeds and ensures that the farmer has to rebuy stock EVERY year. Though they have promised to implement the technology, they have admitted publicly they are still researching the technology. I doubt they are doing it out of curiosity. The fact that Monsanto seed stock has cross contaminated other seeds, one of their major suing points in some cases is that the farmer 'stole' their property because of cross pollination, makes for a scary implication to other farmers.
-The antics of Monsanto over the whole rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) issue shows that rather than address consumer and health questions they will throw tons of cash to cover their ass and make their product harder to watchdog. Transperency is a joke. Granted some production secrets should be covered, but actual health threats and concerns should be covered not covered up.
-Looking over the fact that some of the industry groups out there have actually OUTLAWED the right to speak out against them. That is WRONG. You should be able to speak out against what you think is wrong. As long as you're being truthful, you shouldn't be sued for it. Add in that they (various food industry groups) have had a lot of influence in penning laws against filming their production sites you have to wonder what they are hiding or afraid of being found.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a company making a profit. I do think a little ETHICAL consideration should be done. Upton Sinclair in 1906 wrote The Jungle, a book that so thoroughly covered the problems of the meat packers industry that he almost singlehandedly inspired the create of the FDA and Pure Food and Drug Act. Today, the man would have been sued into bankruptcy for telling the TRUTH.

Incidently given that we are looking for more cost effective ways to ship material, work a site and such the growing consolidation of things like meat packing plants to the point that a dozen facilities are responsible for the handling as much as 75 to 80% of all the meat in the US.

Thinking on a tactical point, that is a dangerous centrality for someone wanting to do something radical. Yes, I am thinking terrorism acts. I grew up in the US, but I lived in Europe (Specificaly the Republic of Ireland) and saw nightly the effects of terrorism in the news. BBC and RTE aren't as squeamish as American television.

From a business point of view, I would think you can diversify your support and transport system widely. I know in at least one case in North Carolina (a pork slaughtering house) they have to bus workers in from 2 hours or more away. Because the site is so big. You cannot tell me that it is more cost effective to do that than to decentralize and spread the facilities around.

We (American Business) have gotten amazing myopic in the last three decades and that needs to change. A lot of the issues dealing with the Food Industry in general and with GMO issues in specific could have been handled better. It would have only taken a bit more time, patience and willingness to compromise to have made this an non-issue.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 08:04:01 PM »
It really irks me that Monsanto is the company that is to GMOs like Kleenex is to facial tissue. They have become synonymous and inextricable from one another. I honestly feel that it would be different if GMOs were widely known for saving the papaya crop in the 1990s, when an outbreak of papaya ringspot virus threatened to absolutely destroy it. It would have devastated Hawaii's economy, despite tourism, and nobody looks at that. Yeah, science eventually came up with a non-GMO papaya resistant to ringspot (which actually means that they are GMOs but created via the inefficient method of hit-or-miss cross-breeding) but it wasn't until 2004. It would have been too late to save the farmers devastated by the outbreak.

Yes, the farmers. GMOs help farmers, too. GMOs help farmers make better use of their land, help the plants make better use of available nutrients. GMOs can be made to be resistant to common pests as well as to devastating viruses, and that would result in lower use of pesticides. GMOs are not the evil spectre they are made out to be, and they have the potential to be much more sustainable and much more eco-friendly. You know those algae blooms in the Gulf that are caused by an excess of nitrogenous waste flow out of the heartland and down the Mississippi? How long do you think they would persist if we had crops that made more efficient use of their soil and therefore didn't require as much nitrogen-rich fertilizer? That would process the fertilizer more efficiently so that what outflow exists couldn't be described as nitrogenous anymore?

Furthermore, it is not just Monsanto that is shady in the food system. They aren't even the worst. What they are doing or tried to do with selling sterile seeds and the Roundup racket is protect profits, and it's a perfectly logical move for a business to make. Is it humanitarian to be messing with the food supply? Certainly not, but they're not humanitarians, they're businesspeople. That's why we have regulations, and why deregulation can be a bad thing.

But this whole 'frankenfood' scare is, in my opinion as harmful as the stupid vaccines-cause-autism crap. And the science it's based on is just about as worthless.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Hungary Destroys Monsanto GMO Corn
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 08:14:32 PM »
I agree Trieste, GMOs can be very helpful but when you got people didn't give a damn about how GMOs are perceived. The problem with it is Monsanto is heavy handed and short sighted in their approach. Rather than club every opponent that comes down the pipe with lawsuits, questionable laws and backroom tactics.