Most Americans have absolutely no idea that over the past couple of decades, one giant corporation has achieved a virtual monopoly on some of the most important seed markets in the United States. Not only that, but this same company has done more to push genetically modified food on to the dinner tables of America than any other corporation. The name of that giant corporation is Monsanto, and today approximately 95 percent of all soybeans and approximately 80 percent of all corn in the United States grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. The power that Monsanto now holds is almost indescribable. Now, a stunning new investigation by the Associated Press has revealed how Monsanto is relentlessly squeezing their competitors, exerting tremendous control over the survival of smaller seed companies and ruthlessly protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered seeds.
During the course of their investigation, the Associated Press reviewed a number of Monsanto licensing agreements and they conducted dozens of interviews with seed industry insiders, agriculture experts and legal authorities.
What they found was nothing short of astounding.
It turns out that the Associated Press discovered that Monsanto uses ruthless contractual agreements to spread its technology. In fact, they have given approximately 200 smaller companies the right to insert Monsanto's genes into their separate strains of corn and soybeans.
However, the Associated Press discovered that those agreements come with plenty of strings attached. The following is how the AP described just one of Monsanto's unfair contract provisions....
"One contract provision bans independent companies from breeding plants that contain both Monsanto's genes and the genes of any of its competitors, unless Monsanto gives prior written permission — giving Monsanto the ability to effectively lock out competitors from inserting their patented traits into the vast share of U.S. crops that already contain Monsanto's genes."
So how much power do these one-sided agreements give Monsanto?
The AP report quotes one expert as describing this level of power to be "almost unbelievable"....
"We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable," said Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University who has studied the seed industry for decades. "The upshot of that is that it's tightening Monsanto's control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term. And we've seen this happening the last five years, and the end is not in sight."
So what does it mean if Monsanto raises prices?
It means that those price hikes filter down to virtually every dinner table in America.
Without any meaningful competition, Monsanto can raise prices without fear. As they raise prices, American consumers will soon find they are paying much more for cereal, soda, soup and many of the other products that they regularly purchase at the supermarket.
The reality is that as Monsanto has captured a rapidly increasing market share in the seed market over the past decade, prices for Monsanto genetically modified seeds have also rapidly increased. In fact, the prices for Monsanto seeds have approxmiately doubled over the past decade.
But it is not just consumers and Monsanto's competitors who are upset.
Many farmers throughout the United States are absolutely fed up with Monsanto's ruthless use of litigation. Monsanto is involved in so much litigation that it is not even funny.
You see, all over America the wind is carrying Monsanto's genetically altered seeds over to neighboring farms that are not using their seeds. So Monsanto regularly sends out "investigators" to visit farms that are not using their seeds yet to test whether or not any Monsanto crop strains have shown up on those farms. If they have, then Monsanto proceeds to sue the living daylights out of those farmers.
Does that sound like a "good" corporation to you?
There are others who are highly concerned about the negative impact that Monsanto is having on the environment.
Because Monsanto is creating an environmental nightmare that is unprecedented.
The truth is that once genetically modified crops created by Monsanto are released into the environment, it is virtually impossible to ever contain or recall them. Seeds are easily carried by insects, birds, and the wind into neighboring fields. Pollen from genetically modified crops ends up cross-pollinating with natural crops and wild relatives. In fact, once a strain of genetically modified crops becomes widespread enough, the natural strains can actually be bred into extinction.
It is just not possible to put the genie back into the bottle.
Once Monsanto's strains have become dominant everywhere, then they will own a patent over virtually all seeds and all crops.
They will have unprecedented power.
Meanwhile they may just be wrecking our health.
The reality is that many natural health experts are claiming that there is a growing body of evidence that genetically modified foods are linked to a vast array of diseases and illnesses. Just some of the diseases and illnesses that genetically modified food has been linked to by natural health experts include food allergies, intestinal damage, autoimmune disorders, anemia, diabetes, infertility and even cancer. In fact, independent scientific studies that have been done on the effects of genetically modified have produced some very troubling results.
So why have we not heard more about this?
The truth is that it has been documented that independent scientists and government officials who have dared to question the safety of genetically modified food have been harrassed, threatened and in some cases even fired.
It is clear that there is someone out there who wants to make darn sure that only one side of the genetically modified food debate is presented to the public.
But this lack of debate could have serious consequences.
For example, what if it is conclusively proven that genetically modified seeds cause cancer?
Well, if 95 percent of a particular kind of seed has to all of a sudden be taken off the market that would instantly cause a massive food shortage.
The truth is that for one company to have such extraordinary power over our seeds is a direct threat to our survival as a nation.
What if their seeds fail?
What if their seeds have unintended health consequences?
What if their seeds end up being particularly susceptible to crop diseases?
What if they decide that they want to start doubling prices every single year?
The "what ifs" are endless. But what we do know is that Monsanto's behavior is driving hordes of small farmers out of business, it is strangling competitors, and it is permanently altering the environment.
When are the snoozing politicians in Washington going to wake up and do something about this?