Recently, the Supreme Court heard a case in which a farmer was getting leftover (junk) grain seeds (legally) and planting them. They had a high-percentage of Monsanto’s RoundUp resistance genes (GMO), and he only paid the fee for legally obtaining seed seconds, rather than the higher price of pure Monsanto seeds. Monsanto sued, and it was a case of David v. Goliath. Monsanto won: New York Times Article.
The judges ruled based on patent law, and maybe their ruling was just in the eyes of patent law. But this is one of those (more and more common) cases in which we see just how screwed up patent law is, and how it’s deficiencies have far and wide ranging negative effects. In this case, on the world food supply. Now, the supreme court could have chosen to rule on this in favor of the farmer, and made a patent exception, basing their ruling on common sense, rather than patent law. But they didn’t. For that reason, I think it’s important to look at the ruling from the perspective of the import it has on human civilization.
From that perspective, this ruling is absolutely insane and sickening. It’s corruption at its finest. One in which the corruptees don’t even realize they’ve been corrupted – in this case, all 9 judges. Unanimous rulings are few and far between, and the fact that this is, says something.
What’s fucked up about this whole situation – beyond the real and present danger that GM crops present, is that the need for GM crops is manufactured by companies like Monsanto. They cite all these reasons that they’re needed, but let’s look at just a few:
- RoundUp® resistance – well fuck me. stop using roundup. it’s noxious, destroys a healthy ecosystem that when managed properly actually results in higher long-term yields. Did I mention that Roundup is a Monsanto product?
- Disease Resistance – this is also utter horse-shit. if our agro-industrial complex (yes, we have one, the farming lobby is the single largest in DC. not kidding), would practice good planting and grow a variety of strains, rather than focusing on particular ones, we would have much better disease resistance as a whole. right now, we sit precariously on edge because we’re going 100% on single strains. it’s incredible.
- Drought Resistance/Hardiness – this is also an incredible lie. what monsanto (and other companies have done) has been to wipe out indigenous/endemic strains of crops that have adapted to live in places where they grow. they’ve then brought in their seeds (which largely produce _sweeter_ [read: more sugar, primarily fructose], which have changed the palates of folks who would otherwise be eating much healthier crops), and now those local, hardy, non-GMO strains have disappeared.
Furthermore, the single largest problem with GMO crops is that they’re absolutely uncontainable. their pollen mixes far and wide, mixing with endemic and other strains. Even Lab-only strains have found themselves in the wild. now all of a sudden, those seeds contain patented, money-making genes, and this ruling goes a long way to legitimize Monsanto’s efforts to profit on contaminated seeds.
The upshot of all this is that we’re inching closer to a world in which Monsanto, et. al., have manufactured a scenario in which they control food production. They’ll control the pesticides which kill other plants, they sell the plants that are resistant, folks won’t have access to endemic strains. It’s a lot like defense contractors lobby and push for wars because it keeps them in money. it’s a sick cycle, and the only ones that win are Monsanto, the people lose out. we lose. humanity loses. this is a big deal.