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Author Topic: Monsanto - What do you think?  (Read 6070 times)
T Beek
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »

The companies that sell open pollinated or 'heirloom' seeds is actually quite small.  I know of no conglomerates.  Most of those that I'm aware of remain 'family' owned and run.  Several are small co-ops, some are even nonprofits. 

Most consumers simply enjoy the 'variety' these (sometimes ancient) seeds provide, rather than the often substandard hybrid seeds (especially lacking in flavor IMO) created through hybridization.

The vast majority of seeds bought at local retailers are hybrids, including many from Monsanto or its subsidiaries, of which there are many.

That all said, even those who regularly purchase open pollinated seeds rarely 'save' any of the seeds themselves for the next season.  Saving seeds even on a small scale is not all its cracked up to be and is not easy or something you just go in to without some self educating and preparation, much like beekeeping Wink.

thomas
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2012, 10:40:41 AM »

What you say is true NOW Thomas.  But prior to the 1980s, farmers were able to buy open pollinated seed in large quantities and they did save seed year to year.  And there was much more diversity in the main stream markets.  Saving seeds is not hard and is certainly easy for farmers.  The "big" seed companies prior to the corporate buyouts were still family owned and were much larger than the mom and pop sellers of open pollinated seeds today.  What you are saying is correct, but it is the result of the decimation of family owned companies selling open pollinated seeds.
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T Beek
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2012, 11:34:03 AM »

I can sure agree with some of that FRAMEshift.  The corporate takeover of family farms during the 80's and 90's (and even continuing today) took a lot of the wind from our collective souls IMO.  I believe the elimination of competitor seeds was an after thought to the takeover, but I could be wrong on that (I just don't want to give them any credit, heck NO credit Wink  A sad part of our shared, yet mostly ignored history, also IMO. 

I've been saving 'heirloom' seeds since the early sixties, starting with some nicotania (tobacco) supplied by my Grandmother, and each year we try to save a little more, lots of veggies and flowers, some we believe are likely not available anywhere else but our gardens  Smiley.   And we're big supporters of the 'seed savers exchange' who've been around for a while.

The 'ease' of seed saving largely depends on the seed being saved.  Many are actually quite difficult, especially some of the bi annuals and those that require a stratification period. 

For example, corn seed is considerably more simple to save than tomato seed.

thomas
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2012, 03:07:13 PM »

 And we're big supporters of the 'seed savers exchange' who've been around for a while.

I joined Seed Savers Exchange in 1984 and was a member for 20 years.  I even visited the farm in Decorah, IA once.
Quote
For example, corn seed is considerably more simple to save than tomato seed.
Well, I guess it's a matter of what one means by easy or simple.  I save about 25 varieties but I do avoid biennials. Tomatoes are quite easy if you let the pulp sit for 3 days to develop a fungal coating.  Then just wash through a strainer.

Eggplant is a little finicky and some of the japanese veggies are impossible to start in a tray.   I guess you and I  have a lot in common Thomas.   grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2012, 03:53:27 PM »

Likely more than just seeds and bees  cool  Tomatoes are a favorite of ours for sure w/ so many great varieties.

Was that 25 varieties of corn?  shocked  Very impressive FRAMEshift. 

We can only keep up w/ one or two corn varieties per season and think 'that's plenty  grin  When the kids were still home we would grow a lot more and spend a couple weeks hand grinding most of it down to a meal we would then use for 'johnny cakes' (w/honey or maple syrup) all winter long, yum, yum.

Sorry to take this off topic to the rest  embarassed

thomas
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2012, 01:19:42 PM »

Surprisingly patents on genes were, until lately, impossible to get because of the very problems everyone's talking about here.  I have very little information on the subject.  I did see a documentary about it, including a Canadian farmer who bred his own seed for 20 years.  He noticed the Canola around the telephone poles that he sprayed with Round-Up, a Monsanto product, wasn't dying.  He thought it was just adaptation from the years he spent spraying in the same spot.

It happened to be pollen blown in from another field somehow.  I seem to remember trucks carrying Canola to the processing plant.  Monsanto tested his seed, found their gene and the farmer was forced to destroy 5 tons of seed he had kept for those decades.

The practice is completely unfair, it's ridiculous to assume wind and pollinators will adhere to the law.  In Mexico they have simply grown corn from saved seed without worrying about what Monsanto thinks.  All in all the answer is in using licensing.  Monsanto is also developing a suicide gene so the seed cannot be saved.
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T Beek
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2012, 07:39:17 AM »

Suicide genes?  That's what hybrid seeds contain CapnChkn, suicide genes.  You can save them but they will NEVER reproduce like the parent.

Monsanto's goal as stated above, is total control.  Cargill is up there too, lets not forget them Wink  

On a related subject I was talking to an old friend from the State Department the other day and he was telling me that a lot of the dollars currently supporting the opposition to the KEYSTONE PIPELINE (you know, the 1700 hundred mile 'gift' to BIG OIL) is coming from (now get this) Monsanto, who feels the pipeline could potentially threaten their profits in the bread basket of America.

Cool huh? Two of the worlds richest conglomerates going at it over their share of profits in middle America.  Wouldn't you all love to see what's going on behind those closed doors?

thomas
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 07:54:33 AM by T Beek » Logged

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SEEYA
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2012, 08:48:53 AM »

>> You can save them but they will NEVER reproduce like the parent.
     The 'suicide gene' is a fatal birth defect, the seed sprouts and dies.

Ask our friends from 'Down Under' what happens when you mess with genetics. Rabbits were introduced (Colonial era) and quickly became pests. 30(?) years ago, a virus was modified to introduce a birth control gene into the feral population. Then, oops, it killed 90+% of the rabbits.

England: (a few years ago) had an outbreak of anthrax(?) and it was an escapee from a laboratory.

ONE OF THESE DAYS: Some scientist, or laboratory, is going to release ( intentional or not) something that will make the 'Black death' look like a mild rash!
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T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2012, 09:04:15 AM »

Its likely already spreading accross the globe.  CLG NEWS has been reporting on a 'leak' out of Europe for a few weeks.

thomas
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 10:50:38 AM by T Beek » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 01:24:46 AM »

... I was talking to an old friend from the State Department the other day and he was telling me that a lot of the dollars currently supporting the opposition to the KEYSTONE PIPELINE ... is coming from... Monsanto...

You think Monsanto could be worried about loosing sales of dent corn and rapeseed inputs (like seed, pesticides, etc) to corn and canola growers who then turn around and sell their crops for the production of automobile fuel.  And less you think that I am not in the vest pocket or anyother pocket of Monsanto I will specify now that the corn to ethanol and rapeseed to diesel boondoggle burns as much petroleum energy as it it produces in renewable energy. Maybe more.

As for Monsanto suing farmers, the last time I looked, ALL Monsanto's seed customers were farmers.  If Monsanto did not produce seed products that farmers wanted, needed, and valued, no one would buy a single grain of GM corn from Monsanto.  Furthermore, if Monsanto treated its customers like some of you have been convinced by politicos that they do, no North American farmer would allow a Monsanto seed or seed salesman on his land.  Monsanto has way to much cash invested to treat customers or potential customers like that.  Step back and objectively listen to and read what is being said and written on the subject, but most of all don't let some politico dude or dudet with a hidden agenda jerk you around by the nose and make you nod your head, clap your hands, and yelp like a trained seal.
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splitrock
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« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2012, 06:09:13 AM »

"Step back and objectively listen to and read what is being said and written on the subject, but most of all don't let some politico dude or dudet with a hidden agenda jerk you around by the nose and make you nod your head, clap your hands, and yelp like a trained seal."

Now, kingbee, follow your own advice. If you think millions upon millions of acres chemically treated year after year to allow only ONE plant form to grow is good for this ol earth, you haven't read enough to be the expert you'd like everyone to believe you are.....

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T Beek
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« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2012, 08:22:10 AM »

The defense of Monsanto and their ilk would be laughable if it were not so misplaced, misguided and dangerous to us all. 

Yeah we should all believe that 'farmers' are telling Monsanto what kinds of seeds to produce  rolleyes

I think its more like Monsanto telling farmers, "if you want our backing, if you want to sell your crop, then you'd better plant our seed."

thomas
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SEEYA
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« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2012, 02:19:19 PM »

>> if Monsanto treated its customers like some of you have been convinced by politicos that they do, no North American farmer would allow a Monsanto seed or seed salesman on his land

Can you spell - M O N O P O L Y ?

>>"if you want our backing, if you want to sell your crop, then you'd better plant our seed."

OR ELSE !
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splitrock
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« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2012, 03:10:07 PM »

"the last time I looked, ALL Monsanto's seed customers were farmers."

The last time I looked, monsanto has bought up so many small seed company's, only they really know their customer base. They likely have a huge customer base of unsuspecting gardeners too now.

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T Beek
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« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2012, 03:57:34 PM »

They have several subsidiaries.  Most of the little seed packets sold at retail stores are Monsanto or Cargill in origin.

thomas
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luvin honey
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« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2012, 08:23:46 PM »

As for Monsanto suing farmers, the last time I looked, ALL Monsanto's seed customers were farmers.  If Monsanto did not produce seed products that farmers wanted, needed, and valued, no one would buy a single grain of GM corn from Monsanto.  Furthermore, if Monsanto treated its customers like some of you have been convinced by politicos that they do, no North American farmer would allow a Monsanto seed or seed salesman on his land.  Monsanto has way to much cash invested to treat customers or potential customers like that.  Step back and objectively listen to and read what is being said and written on the subject, but most of all don't let some politico dude or dudet with a hidden agenda jerk you around by the nose and make you nod your head, clap your hands, and yelp like a trained seal.
They do actually treat their customers this badly. It is well documented. My husband was in a meeting with Monsanto seed salesman, who had tacked on enormous "technology fees" to each bag of corn and soy seeds. When asked why, the salesman said "Because we can."

It is very hard for my husband to find non-GMO seed any more. That's not HIS choice. That's Monsanto, Cargill and others buying out the little guys and developing a monopoly.

As for your argument that Monsanto has too much $ invested to treat people badly, are you serious? The bigger a corporation gets, the less it needs to worry about the little guy. Do you think the health insurance industry or the tobacco companies or Big Oil are all concerned about treating their customers with dignity and kindness?
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luvin honey
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« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2012, 08:27:16 PM »

And, by the way, I find this truly terrifying, the thought of the nation's/world's future food source (seeds) in the hands of a monopolizing company. They absolutely, positively have their own pocketbook as their primary interest, no matter how much their marketing campaigns try to tell us they're trying to save the world.

I'm an organic veggie grower and had to contact every single company I order from to verify that their seeds are not GMO. It's not like when Monsanto buys up vegetable seed companies it advertises that on the cover. They're certainly well aware of their incredibly horrible public image.
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« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2012, 03:00:45 AM »

Kingbee.  The farmer has about as much choice as we do at the gas pump.  You can hate big oil companies but you have to have gas in your car, and oil in the furnace dont you?  Farmers need seed in their field to grow things too.  But they cant save money buy saving their own seed any more cause Monsanto genetics will blow in from the Neighbors and their seed will be contaminated.  Next Monsanto will be their suing them for theft and into bankrupt court.

Monsanto essentially has the deck stacked so they cant lose.  They win every hand.
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splitrock
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« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2012, 06:27:35 AM »

"I'm an organic veggie grower and had to contact every single company I order from to verify that their seeds are not GMO."

Good you care enough to make sure....Just FYI, I had a guy contact me from back east this winter needing some buckwheat honey. His regular source told him that the farmer had planted a hybrid buckwheat and his bee's wouldn't touch it.

Joel
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T Beek
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« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2012, 06:30:00 AM »

Excellent commentary on this thread by some knowledgeable folks with first hand experience.

For those who want to limit the authority of the FDA........or is it EPA  Wink ....well both the FDA/EPA may as well be run by Monsanto (it is, it is) and their kind so limit away  grin  They'd like nothing better.

thomas
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