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A Fistful of Seeds


On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk raises her hackles at the sight of Monsanto, a company which over the last century has churned out artificial sweeteners, sulfuric acid, myriad plastics, herbicides such as DDT, the pernicious defoliant Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, PCBs, and other chemical wonders. Since their first genetic modification of a plant cell in 1982, Monsanto has shifted increasingly to biotechnology, and now control 90% of the world’s seed genetics. Balking against this growing monopoly on our food crops, Astyk advises “Seeds are powerful. Get some good ones, save them and plant them.” On Tomorrow’s Table, Pamela Ronald reports that China has “approved release of the world’s first genetically engineered rice,” and that by 2015 the number of engineered crops will quadruple as Asian and Latin American countries engender global competition for Monsanto’s seedy interests. Finally, lest we deny them the right of reply, Mathew C. Nisbet presents the company in their own words on Framing Science. To wit, “Monsanto’s advanced seeds not only significantly increase crop yields, they use fewer key sources—like land and fuel—to do it. That’s a win-win for people, and the earth itself.”

Links below the fold.


  1. #1 IanW
    December 19, 2009

    Right! Like Matt Nisbet has anything of utility to say. Let’s chant the Nisbet Mattra: Monopolies are go-od! Freedom is ba-ad! Low prices are ba-ad! Racking up profits is go-od! Genetic diversity is ba-ad! Corporate control of our food is go-od!

    There now! Don’t you feel a lot better?