Feb 252013
 
 February 25, 2013  Posted by at 11:15 pm Finance
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Artwork: Ilargi for the Automatic Earth

The US Supreme Court heard a case on February 19 that is interesting perhaps not even so much because of the topic at hand but more because of the level of absurdity involved. It feels like we warpsped our way into a parallel universe where the laws of nature are entirely different from those on earth.

That is to say, the court should never have been in a position to hear the case, but it has created the legal space for itself, aided and abetted by Congress and the US patent system, to hear it anyway. Because of this we should all ask ourselves: How on earth have we ever allowed things to get this far? What were we thinking, and what were we not, because we were busy doing other things? And finally: how do we get out of this parallel universe and into our own?

I would argue that it's perhaps the US Supreme Court itself (and maybe the US government as a whole) that should be taken to court by the international community, for instance for grossly overstepping its legal boundaries, but let's first look at the case before the court last week.

The original suit, one that involved patent infringement, was filed by chemical conglomerate Monsanto, which has aggressively moved into the food industry in the past few decades with the implicit purpose of using it to sell more chemicals, against Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman.

It is one of a large number, 142, patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in the US. Monsanto alleges that Mr. Bowman has infringed on one of its patents, the Roundup Ready soybean, by buying cheap(er) "excess" soybeans from a local grain elevator for a late-season planting, which, first, allowed him not to pay the company the full price for its patented seeds, and second, runs counter to its demand that farmers buy new seeds for every planting instead of saving seeds from the previous harvest.

Reading about the case before it came before the court, I found Mr. Bowman's argumentation neither very strong nor very interesting. In fact, he might as well be on Monsanto's payroll. Mr. Bowman knew that many of the seeds he was buying were of Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety, and he had been buying these seeds at full price on previous occasions, even earlier the same year. Which is why he sprayed the late crop in question with another Monsanto product, the Roundup herbicide. The first reports are that the Supreme Court Appears to Defend Patent on Soybean.

"Why in the world,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked, “would anybody spend any money to try to improve the seed if as soon as they sold the first one anybody could grow more and have as many of those seeds as they want?"

I’ll get back to this, but one thing should be clear: People have spend time and effort, blood sweat and tears, throughout history, to improve seeds. Why would that stop with Monsanto? Because they spend money? Nobody ever had the idea that their improved seeds would be eligible for patents. Along comes the chemical industry, takes the seeds that have undergone all these generations of improvements, changes them a little bit, and voila! owns them outright. No, really.

What Mr. Bowman purports to fight all the way up to the Supreme Court is Monsanto's notion that the patent protection for its seeds "extends for generations down", and granted, that in itself is not a moot point. However, it pales in comparison with the much larger issues at play here. It's part of a far more severe case of insanity that has silently become our reality while we were chowing down the supersized "foods" produced courtesy of Monsanto's seed patents.

Here are some details from the Guardian:

Monsanto sued small farmers to protect seed patents, report says

In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the [Center for Food Safety] said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23 million from its targets, the report said.

However, one of those suits, against Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, is a potentially landmark patent case that could have wide implications for genetic engineering and who controls patents on living organisms. The CFS and SOS are both supporting Bowman in the case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court later this month.

"Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival and that historically has been in the public domain," said Debbie Barker, an expert with SOS and one of the report's co-authors. Another co-author, CFS legal expert George Kimbrell, said victory in the Bowman case could help shift that balance of power back to farmers. "The great weight of history and the law is on the side of Mr Bowman and farmers in general," he said.

The report also revealed the dominance that large firms and their genetically altered crops have in the US and global market. It found that 53% of the world's commercial seed market is controlled by just three firms – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta.

Meanwhile genetically-altered commodity crops – and thus the influence of patent protection – have spread to become overwhelmingly dominant. In the US some 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn crops come from such seeds.

Yes sirree, you heard that right: patents on living organisms. Also known as a licence to kill (among other things). And if a farmer cannot own his seeds, what about his animals? Or what if Monsanto figures out a gene variation that limits your own personal risk of a disease, say, cancer? Does it own you outright then? Or will it only give you the choice between becoming a debt slave or dying young?

And in this specific court case, it doesn't even stop there:

Monsanto, J.C. Penney, Elsevier: Intellectual Property

BSA – The Software Alliance, whose members include Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., told the court that eliminating patent protection for self-replicating seeds could facilitate software piracy. Research universities and biotechnology companies say a victory by Bowman would harm their ability to license their work in cancer research, crop protection and nutrition.

Diagnostic companies including Agilent Technologies Inc. and Life Technologies Corp. said they often sell items for research use only, which allows them to charge lower prices by preventing replication of their products. They asked the court to uphold Monsanto’s conditions.

Brave new world, don't you know. Once you manage to make people treat their food the same way they treat a software application, you have, let's say, redefined progress. Still, that the highest court in the land, any land, does it, is a both deeply saddening and literally life threatening abomination. And it paints a society teetering on the very thin edges of its moral wits.

The essence of what's involved is that Monsanto tweaked but one small part of the seed (a gene), but was subsequently granted full ownership of the whole seed by the US patent system. It can thus forcefully demand payment from farmers who may not even want the genetic mutation involved. What's more, certainly for crops that cross-pollinate it's inevitable that ever more "original" seeds become "contaminated" with Monsanto's tweaked genes. And there we enter a legal (and moral) one-way street: while Monsanto can sue a farmer whose crops have been contaminated with its patented seeds, the farmer can not do the reverse, since Monsanto's the only party that holds a patent. And that is truly insane on many fronts.

For 10-12,000 years, people all over the world have been improving agricultural crops in multiple ways, changing plants from their wild origins to their present domesticated versions. One of the most important changes, obviously, has been to make it easier to save seeds and plant these in the new year for the next harvest (no mean feat).

Monsanto now simply takes all of this away in just a few years time. With impunity. And with encouragement from the US government and Supreme Court. Farmers have to sign a contract that forces them to buy new seeds every single year, or they will be prosecuted. Some seeds have been genetically manipulated in such a way that seeds are infertile and impotent to begin with or don't develop at all (terminator seeds).

Monsanto takes a proud global tradition of 12,000 years that has involved millions of farmers through hundreds of generations and kills off their sweat, toll and achievements in just a few years' time. Making all farmers, and all people, dependent on its products. This is the opposite of food security. After all, when Monsanto et al thoroughly control our food supply, what do you think they will do? Lower prices? They are commercial conglomerates that run profit based businesses. Where and when possible, they are legally obliged to maximize profit for their shareholders. Hence, if and when they control our food supply they will in all likelihood be legally obliged to double or triple prices if doing so raises their profits.

When you think about it, it's crazy in a very deep and profound way that people's basic necessities are sold in international markets and thus subject to speculation and boom and bust cycles. Food, water, shelter, heating should be under control of the (local) people, not faceless corporations that can manipulate pricing as they see fit in their quest for profits that benefit equally faceless international shareholders. And I can rest assured I'll be labeled a clown for saying so.

People need to be able to grow their own food, and that food should not be limited to only those crops that Monsanto and its ilk choose not to tweak and patent. In the present situation, however, as reflected in the way it's treated by the US government and Supreme Court, you might be forgiven for thinking Monsanto does God's work. And that's not the only thing the company has in common with Goldman Sachs:

The Revolving Door: FDA and the Monsanto Company

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), its responsibilities include “[p]rotecting the public health by assuring that foods are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled.” This responsibility entails regulating a large number of companies producing this nation’s food, making appointments to the high-level positions within the agency very important.

Most high-level FDA employees have a background in either medicine or law, but one of the largest private-sector sources is the Monsanto Company. Over the past decades, at least seven high-ranking employees in the FDA have an employment history with the Monsanto Company. Tweet Stat:

Connections have led many to speculate whether any conflicts of interest exist within this revolving door between the big food companies and the department charged with regulating them.

At the forefront of this controversy is Michael R. Taylor, currently the deputy commissioner of the Office of Foods. He was also the deputy commissioner for Policy within the FDA in the mid ’90s. However, between that position and his current FDA position, Mr. Taylor was employed by Monsanto as Vice President of Public Policy.

During his employment with Monsanto, the company was developing rBGH, a type of beef growth hormone. Mr. Taylor advised the company on the possible legal implications of using the hormone on cattle that could reach beef markets for human consumption. However, when Taylor left Monsanto for the FDA, he became one of the main authorities behind the FDA’s rBGH labeling guidelines, posing potential conflicts of interest.

Also tied up in the rBGH debacle are Margaret Miller and Susan Sechen. Miller, the deputy director of the Office of New Animal Drugs at the FDA, and a former Monsanto scientist, helped develop rBGH. Sechen, a data reviewer in Miller’s department, worked as a graduate student on some of the initial bovine drug studies. These studies were conducted at Cornell University and were financed by none other than Monsanto.

Other Monsanto alumni include Arthur Hayes, commissioner of the FDA from 1981 to 1983, and consultant to Searle’s public relations firm, which later merged with Monsanto. Michael A. Friedman, former acting commissioner of the FDA, later went on to become senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs at Searle, which is now a pharmaceutical division of Monsanto. Virginia Weldon only became a member of the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee, after retiring as Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto.

Well aware of its accused ‘revolving door’ connection with the FDA and other government agencies, Monsanto has issued several press releases denying collusion with the government. In fact, it posted on its official website that collusion theories relating to these agencies, including the FDA, “ignore the simple truth that people regularly change jobs to find positions that match their experience, skills and interests.”

In real life, the US legal system should protect its citizens against both Goldman Sachs and Monsanto, because both pose very real threats to everyone's well being. Instead, both enjoy untouchables status and feed at the Washington trough. While there can be no doubt that Monsanto is a profitable business, the US agriculture industry still receives tens of billions in direct and indirect subsidies. Not that Europe feels like being left behind: from the recently agreed EU budget, no less than 40% goes to the food industry. Much of that ends up in France, lest a hundred kilometers tractors traffic jam wind up on the Champs Elysees, and if only French farmers would still use it to fight Monsanto, it might be well spent too, but those days are long gone.

It doesn't matter what Congress or the Supreme Court say or decide. People anywhere in the world, and that includes the US, have an inalienable right to feed themselves. Present politics, and present interpretation of existing law by a highly politicized legal system deny people that right. As time goes by, any American who wishes to plant corn to feed their family increasingly runs the risk of being sued by Monsanto because its manipulated genes have spread to heritage seeds as well.

It's not over the top to compare this to entering a parallel universe, because the laws that today govern our food supply are completely different from what people in the street think they are. Up is not up, and down not down. Our right to feed our children has been made subordinate to the right of chemical companies to change the very food we count on to keep our children fed. To top it all off, the "modern" food industry claims that it, and it alone, provides the necessary tools without which our children would go hungry. God's work indeed. Makes you wonder what keeps the devil occupied these days.

One thing is certain: a Supreme Court that tramples its citizens' inalienable rights has no authority. It's amazingly simple.

 


Home Forums Time To Stop Monsanto And The US Supreme Court

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February 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm #8397

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Artwork: Ilargi for the Automatic Earth The US Supreme Court heard a case on February 19 that is interesting perhaps not even so much because of the t
[See the full post at: Time To Stop Monsanto And The US Supreme Court]

February 26, 2013 at 6:35 am #6994

p01

Allegedly the Maker said to Man:
Thou shall not eat the seeds of plants, and maybe your kind will have a longer shot at it, and will not create Monsanto at the peak of your exponent.

February 26, 2013 at 7:02 am #6995

Ghung

I’ll never curse glyphosate resistant “Super Pigweed” (Amaranthus palmeri) again. Perhaps I’ll send a bouquet to the Supremes. Monsanto has nothing on Mother Nature; too bad we’re caught in the middle.

February 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm #6997

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Nicole is in Belize and has very little internet access. She should be good to go again in a week.

February 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm #6999

Anonymous

Before any entity “should be taken to court by the international community”, it would be prudent to find out if that ‘international community representitive’ is also complicit?

Time to expose and audit the UN and it’s agencies and their relationship to corporate interests, world banks land grabs in Africa and now Brazil, etc.

Remember this?

Armed Troops Burn Down Homes, Kill Children To Evict Ugandans In Name Of Global Warming

Prison Planet
September 23, 2011

Armed troops acting on behalf of a British carbon trading company backed by the World Bank burned houses to the ground and killed children to evict Ugandans from their homes in the name of seizing land to protect against “global warming,” a shocking illustration of how the climate change con is a barbarian form of neo-colonialism.”

“The evictions were ordered by New Forests Company, an outfit that seizes land in Africa to grow trees then sells the “carbon credits” on to transnational corporations. The company is backed by the World Bank and HSBC. Its Board of Directors includes HSBC Managing Director Sajjad Sabur, as well as other former Goldman Sachs investment bankers.”

Goldman Sachs investment bankers.”So what does this have to do with South America? you decide, might be a good opportunity for an aspiring writer…..see below

Google: Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint by Alex Newman

Federal Brazilian police and military personnel, some wearing United Nations insignia, are forcibly relocating whole communities in Brazil at gunpoint under the guise of returning huge tracts of land to a small group of Indians whose ancestors were allegedly there at some point.

Excerpt:Critics& local residents have accused the government of Brazil of mass corruption, saying the end goal is to smash private property ownership &all potential resistance — starting with the rural population. They argue, among other points, that federal authorities are doing the bidding of foreign interests &are in cahoots w/ the UN, massive international corporations, Western-based non-governmental organizations like Greenpeace, &other interests.
“other interests” ? like Harvard?

Remember this?

Harvard, Vanderbilt, Spelman Exposed for Taking Part in “African Land Grab”, June 20, 2011

Excerpts:
Called “Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa,” the report by the Oakland Institute claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their lands to make way for new industrial farming projects backed by hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food.

“But when they start buying even the means of production — they control labor, they control large tracts of land, they control water, they dictate what is grown and how it is grown — it is the kind of vertical integration of a food system that we have never seen before.
-
Spotlight on Harvard in Brazil, March 24, 2011
“From the 17th floor of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies’ Brazil Office on Avenida Paulista, President Drew Faust looked beyond nearby helicopter pads to the center of São Paulo and the Guarulhos International Airport, where she had arrived two days before. The clear day allowed her to take in the Serra da Cantareira mountains to the north, the green oasis of the University of São Paulo’s campus to the west, the Museum of Art of São Paulo across the street, and the sea of buildings that define South America’s largest city.”
-
Can Timber Rebuild Harvard’s Endowment?

By Michael McDonald on September 20, 2012

Jane Mendillo boarded a turboprop plane in Brasília in April and flew deep into the Brazilian countryside. The flight took her over dirt roads running through endless hills and valleys and unimaginably beautiful wilderness. But Mendillo, head of Harvard University’s $32 billion endowment, wasn’t there to sightsee. She was visiting tree plantations and inspecting Harvard’s holdings.

Hmmmmm?

Does anyone remember how Bush jr quickly hushed up any call to de-fund the UN and kick them out of the US when the UN’s food for oil scandal was exposed?

When will the connection finally be made regarding the UN, world banksters and the NWO?

When a simple to understand connect is made to the masses regarding the agenda of the UN, it’s cost in taxes, lost freedoms and sovereignty of the world’s citizens, then we can stop this collapse into the NWO and regain freedom and prosperity, not to mention get control over NATO.

“The UN & its agencies are immune to laws of countries where they operate” – Wikipedia, WHY IS THIS?

How many UN ‘agencies’ enjoy this immunity from law and don’t pay any tax? WHY, anything to do with “supranational sovereignty of the intellectual elite and world bankers” speech by David Rockfeller? The Rockefellers are big UN sources of revenue.
“The Headquarters occupies a site beside the East River, on 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land purchased from the foremost New York real estate developer of the time, William Zeckendorf, Sr. Nelson Rockefeller arranged this purchase, after an initial offer to locate it on the Rockefeller family estate of Kykuit was rejected as being too isolated from Manhattan. The US$8.5 million purchase was then funded by his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who donated it to the city.[6] Wallace Harrison, the personal architectural adviser for the Rockefeller family, and a prominent corporate architect, served as the Director of Planning for the United Nations Headquarters. His firm, Harrison and Abramovitz, oversaw the execution of the design.[7]” – Wikipedia

The IMF & World Bank are UN agencies (google it) & it’s sovereign eating un-elected dictator technocrats are UN agents… >that pay no fek’n tax. Do you think the UN is there for you?

“In fact, her IMF salary of $467,940 plus an $83,760 additional allowance is not subject to any taxes. See Christine Lagarde, Scourge of Tax Evaders, Pays No Tax. No taxes is the norm for most United Nations employees …”

This UN, who’s membership includes 3rd world tyrannical dictatorships-easily bought by the bankers & dynastic families) is trying to dis-arm Americans & spread western wealth to themselves through UN resolutions and increasingly an arm of NATO and drones, has already control over our parks, water (google it and wake up) & is well into forcing carbon taxes, Agenda 21 & smart meters down your throat, seize your property, shackle you with regulations, eliminate gun rights and other freedoms…. and who’s agency’s INCLUDE THE IMF AND WORLD BANK.

Expose the UN, audit the UN and all it’s agencies, freeze all UN activites, have congressional hearings regarding the UN’s Agenda 21. Call congressional hearings regarding the EPA handing 2.5 million US tax dollars to the the United Nation University for Sustainablilty and Peace.

February 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm #7000

Anonymous

“… an initial offer to locate it on the Rockefeller family estate of Kykuit was rejected as being too isolated from Manhattan.”

And maybe also give the appearance of a conflict of interest?

World citizens, wake up to the UN!

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years…. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national determination practiced in past centuries.”

– David Rockefeller, Bilderberg Meeting, June 1991 Baden, Germany

February 27, 2013 at 12:35 am #7005

Professorlocknload

But…They got by with Agent Orange contamination of vast geographic and demographic “collateral.” Been a great boon to the Medical Industry. And clears the streets of some pesky war vets too.

What’s the harm in a little “Round-up” ready seed cartel defending itself? Like Agent Orange, these franken innovations are for the general public welfare.

The Corporatocracy thrives under the auspices of “bringing good things to living, bringing good things to life,” yes?

As an anointed Corporatist Commando in Chief might proclaim, “Gotcha Covered, Monsanto.” Isn’t that right Justice Roberts? Sotomayer? Anyone? Hello?

Stop the Supreme Court? Sure, but wait, let me go long http://www.geogroup.com first. You’ll be another “Corporate Customer.”

“Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.” ~ Lily Tomlin

Not all voted for this oppression. There were other choices on ballots than D-R-D-R-D-D-D

When they come for the Monsanto opposition… http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-24/ron-paul-when-they-came-raw-milk-drinkers%E2%80%A6

February 27, 2013 at 2:22 am #7006

Anonymous

As I understand it, plants have been available for patent in the U.S. since 1930. Luther Burbank received several patents posthumously for his work.

There really should be no objection to patent protection for Monsanto’s genetically-modified products. If a farmer doesn’t wish to abide by Monsanto’s restrictions on their use, including a prohibition on propagation, the farmer shouldn’t use their product. It is improper to refuse to abide by their restrictions or to buy cut-rate products sold in violation of the manufacturer’s restrictions. This is no different than music piracy or copyright infringement.

The more interesting issue is of the farmers next door whose crops are cross-pollinated by Monsanto GMOs. While Monsanto alleges it does not go after such farmers (other than one in Canada), there should be product liability actions against Monsanto for cross-pollination damage to organic farmers or just to people who don’t want GMOs in the produce they grow. Assuredly, if Monsanto can genetically modify products to resist poisons or to not grow, they could modify products to not cross-pollinate with non-GMO plants. Alternatively, if Monsanto could not be sued (even though a neighboring farmer is damaged when the product is used in the manner intended by the manufacturer), there should be strict liability imposed on farmers for damages sustained by neighboring farmers as a result of their use of GMO crops (similar to the strict liability imposed on crop dusters or companies using high explosives). Such liability would probably quickly end the use of GMO crops.

February 27, 2013 at 4:07 am #7007

gurusid

Hi Illarghi,

Unfortunately I have found that it is very difficult to explain to people just how nefarious this technology is. Aside from the profiteering and law breaking there are some serious unanswered questions regarding the health implications of GMO, and the scientific basis for their ‘technology’:


Although the body of safety studies on GM foods is quite small, it has verified the concerns expressed by FDA scientists and others.

- The gene inserted into plant DNA may produce a protein that is inherently unhealthy.
- The inserted gene has been found to transfer into human gut bacteria and may even end up in human cellular DNA, where it might produce its protein over the long-term.
- Toxic substances in GM animal feed might bioaccumulate into milk and meat products.
- Farmer and medical reports link GM feed to thousands of sick, sterile, and dead animals.

But there is not a single government safety assessment program in the world that is competent to even identify most of these potential health problems, let alone protect its citizens from the effects.

(that last bit is the ‘missing’ science bit)

Also people have no idea just how crude the current commercial gene modification techniques are as this 2009 report states:


Research led by scientists at Iowa State University’s Plant Sciences Institute has resulted in a process that will make genetic changes in plant genes much more efficient, practical and safe.

The breakthrough was developed by David Wright, an associate scientist, and Jeffery Townsend, an assistant scientist, and allows targeted genetic manipulations in plant DNA, which could have a huge impact on plant genetic work in the future.
Until now, when scientists introduced DNA into plants, they would randomly inject that DNA into the plant cell. There was no way of knowing if it was in the right place or if it would work until many resulting plants were tested.

I mean, c’mon, “they would randomly inject that DNA into the plant cell… no way of knowing if it was in the right place or if it would work” and their feeding this sh*t to people I hear you say?

It reminds me of the Radium toothpaste days:

That’s right, radioactive elements were used in all manner of things for due to ‘their curative powers’ – yeah your teeth fell out so it ‘cured’ you of having to brush the damn things!

I guess this one would alleviate the need for a face lift. You’d just peel your skin off yourself.

Ok, ok hindsight is always 20×20, but don’t forget those guys saying it was ‘safe’ and ‘curative’ were some of the top ‘scientists’ of their day:


Marie Currie and her tragic but real scientific experiments that cost her her life.

So is it no wonder that today’s top ‘scientists’ think they are doing ‘gods work’:


The new technique harnesses a natural process called homologous recombination to precisely introduce DNA at a predetermined location in the plant genome through targeted DNA breaks generated by zinc finger nucleases.
This occurs about 1 in 50 attempts and is very efficient compared to unassisted methods that allow the same changes at a rate as low as 1 in 10 million.
“I’ve been working in this field for 29 years, just when we started learning how to modify genes,” said Townsend. “From that day, this was the goal — to actually get the research to the point where you can have homologous recombination. Now, we’ve done it.”
Using this process, a specific gene is located in a living cell, then a break is made in the DNA of that gene. When the cell begins to heal itself, existing DNA can be deleted or modified, or new DNA can be added near the break site. Afterward, the cell carries the genetic change and passes the change on to its offspring.
“It’s like surgery, only on the molecular level,” said Wright. “It’s been known for a long time that you if you make a break in a cell, you can get some DNA into that spot,” said Wright. “It’s just that you have three meters of DNA in a cell if you unwound it. Putting the break where you want it has always been the problem.”

Ok the guy’s good at what he does, but don’t you get the impression he might have been in the lab a bit too long…

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
- Upton Sinclair

And this was just one random sample of the attitude of technicians, sorry scientists in this field. Actually most so called ‘science’ today is in fact a manipulation of technique and is therefore a technical endeavour done by technicians. Real science involves hypothesising and doing real (i.e. double blind) experiments to check and discover whether the theory is correct, not fudging some data to get a technique approved for commercial use. And this god like hubris has to be seen in the flesh to be believed, and I’ve seen it up close and personal. :ohmy:
But the real crux comes with this:


In addition to the difficulty introducing changes where researchers want them using current methods, government regulations often slow the movement of research from the lab to the field.
Wright and Townsend hope the precision of this technique will speed the regulatory process.
“In the random process, regulators would say, ‘You really don’t know what you’re doing,’” said Townsend. “With this new technology, we can tell them, ‘The genome looks like this, this is exactly the change we want to make.’
“That’s the power of this technology. It makes it (genetic engineering) practical and much safer. It was impractical, and now it is practical.”

“…government regulations often slow the movement of research from the lab to the field.” If only! Of course there is no mention of what happens when these totally untested gene combination get out into the broader environment, yet alone their effects when fed to animals and humans. But then doing ‘gods work’ has so many potential benefits:


There are many applications for this that could allow stunning advances for many crops, according to Wright and Townsend.
For instance, canola is a commodity grown for its oil, just as soybeans. However, after the oils are extracted, soybean meal is sold as feed. Once oils are extracted from canola, the meal has a much lower value as a livestock feed due to several factors, including the presence of the chemical sinapoylcholine, also called sinapine.
The new technique could allow scientists to remove the genes that make sinapine. The result would be a more versatile canola product.
Farmers, especially in the upper Midwest and Canada, would benefit from this new market for canola meal.
plants could benefit as well.
Removing the genes that are responsible for peanut allergies, or removing genes that produce harmful chemicals or anti-nutritionals in other crops are just a few of the immediate crop improvements that Wright and Townsend envision for this technology.

No-one asks whether livestock should be eating canola in the first place, or what might happen if that gene got into other closely related species such as “Turnip, rutabaga, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, and many other vegetables are related to the two natural canola varieties commonly grown, which are cultivars of Brassica napus and Brassica rapa.” So a good excuse not to eat your broccoli I suppose. :whistle:

Oh and if you want GMO free honey, forget about it! Proof positive this stuff is everywhere… :blink:

Still, look on the bright side, unlike Radium, at least your face won’t fall off…


Byers began taking enormous doses of Radithor, which he believed had greatly improved his health, drinking nearly 1400 bottles. By 1930, when Byers stopped taking the remedy, he had accumulated significant amounts of radium in his bones resulting in the loss of most of his jaw. Byers’ brain was also abscessed and holes were forming in his skull. His death on March 31, 1932 was attributed to “radiation poisoning” using the terminology of the time, but it was due to cancers, not acute radiation syndrome. He is buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a lead-lined coffin.

Due to Byers’ prominence, his death received much publicity. The Wall Street Journal ran a headline reading “The Radium Water Worked Fine until His Jaw Came Off” after his death. His illness and eventual death also led to a heightened awareness of the dangers of ingesting radioactive materials, and to the adoption of laws that increased the powers of the FDA.

William Bailey was never tried for Byers’ death, although the Federal Trade Commission issued an order against his business. However this did not stop Bailey from trading in radioactive products. He later founded a new company – “Radium Institute”, in New York – and marketed a radioactive belt-clip, a radioactive paperweight, and a mechanism which made water radioactive.

:sick:

Yes we’ve been here before, many times… Ignorance, corruption, law breaking and the hubris of ‘doing gods work’ are all too human traits as history shows, but the consequences of uncontrolled use of GMOs could lie not in the realm of the gods but those of the damned hellish. :evil:

L,
Sid.

February 27, 2013 at 5:00 am #7010

rapier

This court always finds for corporations against individual citizens. It also always finds for the government vs individual citizens. It usually finds for corporations vs the government.

Or stated another way it virtually always finds for the largest institutional interest unless that be government in which case it finds for the profit making institution or for their interests . Chief Justice Roberts in not a conservative ideologue of the current fashion but rather is all in with institutions, particularly profit seeking ones.

There is zero chance he or Alito will find for Bowman and most likely neither will the rest of the conservative block. The chances the rest will find for Monsanto are fairly good as well. Each will make arguments, which they probably believe, that are based upon law or precedent but actually they will decide based upon deference to institutional power and profit.

February 27, 2013 at 6:29 am #7011

gurusid

Hi again,

And here is a taste of that hell:

How GMOs Unleashed a Pesticide Gusher

GMOs have added more than four pounds of herbicides to US farm fields for every pound of insecticide they’ve taken away.
The chemical war against pests will likely get yet another boost from the failure of Roundup. As I’ve reported before, GMO seed giants Monsanto and Dow are preparing to roll out seeds designed to resist both Roundup and older herbicides including 2,4-D, the less toxic half of the formulation that made up the infamous Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange. The industry insists that weeds won’t develop resistance to the new products. But last year, a group of Penn State weed scientists published a paper warning that the new products are “likely to increase the severity of resistant weeds.” Indeed, 2,4-D-resistant weeds have already been documented in Nebraska.

In his paper, Benbrook created a model for how a 2,4-D-resistant corn product, if released in 2013, would affect 2,4-D use. One of the actual benefits of Roundup Ready technology is that it has until recently made 2,4-D almost obsolete—its use on corn crops went from 4.4 million pounds in 1995 to 2.4 million in 2000. It hovered at that level for a while before jumping to 3.3 million pounds in 2010, as farmers increasingly resorted to it to attack Roundup-resistant weeds. If 2,4-D resistant corn is widely adopted, Benbrook projects, making what he calls “conservative” assumptions, 2,4-D use will hit 103.4 million pounds on corn fields per year by 2019. Overall, Benbrook projects a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D applied between 2000 and 2019. Because 2,4-D is so toxic, the result will not be pretty. Here’s Benbrook’s study:

Such a dramatic increase could pose heightened risk of birth defects and other reproductive problems, more severe impacts on aquatic ecosystems, and more frequent instances of off-target movement and damage to nearby crops and plants.

The only question on GMOs and pesticide use Benbrook’s paper leaves open is: When will Monsanto correct the absurd claim on its website that its highly lucrative technology has allowed farmers to cut back on herbicides?”

The answer is never as that is the real business of Monsanto and companies like it, selling toxic chemicals. The bigger the lie, the bigger the profits… :dry:

L,
Sid.

February 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm #7012

Golden Oxen

What a terrifying article. To think these people who poison us with Roundup and destroy the wonders of Mother Nature have the nerve to claim ownership over what they are destroying and go before our Supreme Court. They belong in jail and any justice that sides with them should be impeached for having dementia.

Where are the champions of getting second hand smoke from tobacco banned hiding, or 32 0z sodas; isn’t this much more deadly?

February 28, 2013 at 12:18 am #7015

Professorlocknload

@Golden Oxen “Where are the champions of getting second hand smoke from tobacco banned hiding, or 32 0z sodas; isn’t this much more deadly? “

They are in power now. That “personal health” agenda is no longer needed. Now, the new improved agenda towards absolute control will be the financialization of the entire energy consumption realm, and food, as a caloric energy source, will be included. The mantra is now “Carbon Tax,” alongside “GMO” patent protection/promotion. Then, when that is mastered, “Water” will be the last frontier to be commandeered. Never mind two thirds of the worlds surface is covered with it. It just irks sociopaths that it does not yet all belong to them.

That’s when the gates of the Forbidden Cities swing shut.

“Brave New World,” this is, eh? A fine Matrix.

February 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm #7016

justjohn

General agreement with your essay, the only faint hope is that this is a patent (20 year life) and not a copyright (extended for eternity, unless Mickey Mouse loses all value). I thought I saw in some of the coverage that the patent was already ~15 years old, so that particular seed would be fair game in a few more years.

The typical way for the corporation to avoid the “short” lifetime is to keep doing minor improvements (new patents) every few years, so the old patents have little value.

I guess these soybeans aren’t hybrids, otherwise the saved seed wouldn’t be true. Most corn seed is hybrid and the seed has to be crossed and recreated every year, so there is no value for commercial farmers to save it.

March 2, 2013 at 5:40 am #7017

rapier

The market and profit is the highest and purest organizing principal and the law is there to serve it. At least that is the view of most of our elites. It’s ‘conservatism’ now stripped down to the level of absurd. David Epstein a professor and Federalist Society major domo has said it is the duty of CEO’s to break the law to enhance profits. Now the government agrees and refuses to charge them with crimes or post facto absolves the or otherwise eliminates the crime itself from the books or in this case codifies a principal that lacks all principals, save profit, for the few.

This case was allowed to stumble all the way up to the Supreme Court so the court can put its stamp of approval on corporate ownership of life.

The law is obviously a fruitless method of fighting whatever you want to call this historic turn of events. Only nature of some other historic turn of events will render Monsanto and its seed meaningless.

March 4, 2013 at 5:50 am #7021

TheTrivium4TW

Various states have bills to label GMO foods.

If you can support the state intitiatives to label GMO, that’s a first step to trying to fight this branch of the Debt Money Tyrant tree.

The root source of the problem are the people behind the Debt Money Tyranny system. They want to patent and control the food supply and maximize their Big Chemical, Big Bio, Big Agra and Big Pharma profits.

Until we admit that the Debt Money Tyrants are the problem, nothing will change. Sun Tzu was clear – if you don’t even know your enemy, you are done.

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4768883/debtmoneytyranny-6-1-pdf-60k?tr=77

The debt is unpayable from society’s standpoint by design.

Debt is the banker “widget,” the people that run the mega banks run the world, therefore every solution to every problem is more banker “widgets.”

Until it isn’t – because increased debt issuance can not last forever.

So why do it? I’ll let one of the world’s top industrialists of his day explain…

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt.”
~Henry Ford

Ford correctly identified the root cause of society’s being brought into subjugation, the monetary system, and he identified the end goal as Big Finance Capital Debt Money Tyrant authoritarian rule over humanity.

Henry Ford, Sr. correctly identified the solution…

The youth who can solve the money question will do more for the world than all the professional soldiers of history. – Henry Ford Sr.

All the perplexities, confusion and distress (Ed. note – crime, poverty, substance abuse, family disintegration, government immorality and dishonesty, etc.) in America arise, not from defects in the Constitution or confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”
-President John Adams

“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe it is a part of sovereignty….

“Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business.

“When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and that until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.”
~William Jennings Bryan

We can scratch surface issues all day long, but until we identify the root cause of the problem and, even more importantly, the people willing that root cause into existence, we are doomed to simply watch as the Debt Money Tyrants wage Art of War on a defenseless population.

That is, until the boot lands on the neck of humanity.

A GMO thread with lots of relevant information.

The latest Big Finance Capital agenda is to put aspartame in the milk supply without labeling it as being included.

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/02/aspartame-in-milk-without-label-big.html

Don’t worry about the Big Finance Capital political operatives, though… they will be eating organic…

http://www.sfgate.com/green/article/Pelosi-leads-the-House-to-go-organic-in-its-3234457.php

March 7, 2013 at 4:14 am #7044

Supergravity

There’s something about Gravity…

March 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm #7050

Faust100F

The RR1 seed patent expires in 2014 and farmers can save seed again. Last week Brazilian farmers defeated a Monsanto and their attempt to collect the tech fees on seed sold in Brazil, the farmers contended that the patent expired in 2010, the Brazilian court agreed. In another case, Monsanto has been awarded a $1,000,000,000 judgement against Pioneer for violating licensing agreements, which precluded them adding traits to any seed that contained the RR trait. In my mind what this accomplishes is nullify those traits introduced by seed companies that were patented into seed containing the RR genetics. So next year farmers should be able to hold back seed from RR1 seed they grow. When the patent expires, all RR1 seed licenses with Monsanto expire.

March 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm #7052

Anonymous

I think I’ll buy a bible. I’ll change few words, here and there, (not too many you understand) and get a copyright on my “new” work. I’ll change my name to Monsanto and then I”ll sue everyone who quotes from my new work. I’m sure the Supreme Court will will find for me!

March 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm #7053

Otishertz

Supreme court justice Clarence Thomas is a former Monsanto lawyer. He has NOT recused himself in this case. That glaring conflict of interest indicates with whom the court will side. Yet another example of regulatory capture causing harm to public health.

Monsanto is guilty crimes against humanity that go beyond making people sick with fake food. Their actions are leading to the extinction of normal naturally bred corn and soybeans by widespread genetic trespass through insertion of genetic abominations that spread with cross pollination into our legacy food crops.The corruption of these important food crops is an assault on our shared heritage and ability to save seed to survive. Saving seed is something human beings have always done.

Patented self-replicating organisms trespass on the greater environment. This genetic vandalism must be stopped. Patented life forms must be contained or their owners held to account for the damage their escaped creatures do to other innocent organisms, like normal corn, soybeans, rapeseed, sugar beets, etc. Monsanto is deliberately infecting the genomes of these plants with ridiculous concoctions of unrelated genetic code to replace our vital food crops with their own “products.” They are pure evil. Protect yourself by avoiding their poison,

June 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm #7641

gurusid

Hi Folks,

Looks like it might be too late:

Reuters, By Julie Ingwersen and Charles Abbott.
U.S. officials raced to quell global alarm on Thursday over the first-ever discovery of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat, working to figure out how the rogue grain escaped from a field trial a decade ago.

“In the wake of news that a strain developed by biotech giant Monsanto Co (MON.N) had been found in an Oregon field late last month, major buyer Japan cancelled plans to buy U.S. wheat while the Europe Union said it would step up testing. Worried U.S. farmers wondered if their own fields had been contaminated.

Even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product. It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto’s strain, far from areas used for field tests, according to an Oregon State University wheat researcher who tested the strain.

Nine Department of Agriculture investigators are now on the ground in and around Oregon, collecting evidence including witness statements, records and samples, USDA spokesman Ed Curlett said. There is no timeline for concluding the enquiry, said wheat industry sources who were briefed on Wednesday.

“We have increased the number of investigators throughout this month to work quickly and carefully to cover as much ground each day to determine what we are dealing with, how it got there, and where it might have gone,” Curlett said.

The USDA said the GM wheat found in Oregon posed no threat to human health, and also said there was no evidence that the grain had entered the commercial supply chain.

But the discovery threatens to stoke consumer outcry over the possible risk of cross-contaminating natural products with genetically altered foods, and may embolden critics who say U.S. regulation of GMO products is lax.

It is all the more alarming because the wheat strain was thought to have been eliminated after test trials ended in 2005, as Monsanto abandoned efforts to secure regulatory approval due to worldwide opposition. While there have been more than 20 majors violations of U.S. regulations on handling or co-mingling biotechnology crops, none have ever involved wheat before.

…Bob Zemetra, the Oregon State researcher, said a local farmer contacted the university in late April after noticing that some wheat plants survived an application of herbicide that was being used to kill off unwanted plants in the fallow field.

Most plants died, but a few wheat plants unexpectedly emerged after the spraying. Researchers determined the wheat is a strain of Roundup-Ready tested by Monsanto in Oregon fields from 1999 to 2001.

etc.

While a few countries still reserve the right no to have this stuff foisted upon them, thanks to the all pervasive lobbyists of these companies, it won’t be long before approval is ushered in via the back door, especially if world hunger ramps up, something that they claim they can cure and which has been a favourite [strike]lie[/strike] argument put forward in favour of these ‘technologies’…

Update:

Bloomburg.

Monsanto Sued on Behalf of Farmers Over Modified Wheat
By Karen Gullo – Jun 7, 2013 5:38 PM GMT
“Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, was sued by an environmental group and a Washington farm over claims it failed to take steps to prevent genetically altered wheat from contaminating regular wheat. “

etc.

L,
Sid.

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