Posts Tagged ‘pollen moves’


I will be the first to admit that I’m not as politically savvy or active as I could or probably should be. For the moment, I’ll blame that on the fact that I’m still new to this arena and I need to learn a whole lot before I can make informed decisions. Maybe one day I’ll get over the fact that every time I try to learn about politics I get so bored and/or frustrated that I give up.

However, I do know enough to give props to the little guy when we stand up for ourselves. Monsanto has been making the lives of small farmers miserable for years now. They have a nasty habit of investigating farms that haven’t purchased their seed but might be growing it. It happens. Birds fly, wind blows, and pollen moves. If a farmer is saving seeds from their organic, open pollination crops and some of those seeds were pollinated by his neighbor’s Monsanto-purchased crop, then any seed that has the patented Monsanto genes is considered to be Monsanto’s property. Even if the organic or heirloom farmer is just as annoyed as Monsanto about the contamination. Apparently one of the tests to see if there has been contamination is to spray a field with Round-Up. Anything that lives is Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready version of said plant. I have to say, the logic is impeccable.

Any farmer that is caught with Monsanto genes in their crops without having purchased the seeds directly from Monsanto is then subject to a lawsuit for illegal use of the patented material. I think everyone is aware of how little spare cash farmers have. Everything they own tends to be tied up in the farm itself. That means that even if Monsanto doesn’t win the lawsuit, the fact that the farmer has to defend him or herself means time and assets that they don’t have to spare are spent in the courts. It’s a great way to “legally” eliminate the competition. Fortunately, it looks like enough people have gotten sufficiently fed up with this game to fight back.

Not so long ago, I hadn’t the foggiest idea of the things that went on behind the scenes of the agricultural world. I grew up in farm-country, too, so it’s not as though I had no contact with that world. Even now my understanding is very vague. However, on the off chance that you believe Monsanto is being vilified here- they’re just trying to protect their patents and make a buck, after all- check this out. I, personally, don’t shop at Wal-Mart, but I know a lot of people who do. A lot of people with children. People that don’t necessarily think to check labels, assuming the pertinent ones are there, because why would something be labeled food if it wasn’t safe to eat?

I am still very much in the learning stage, here, but what I am learning is disturbing. I expect that the more I learn, the less comfortable I will be with a lot of modern practices. There is a reason that urban homesteading and self-sufficiency is regaining popularity.