In the 1950’s an eager young executive presented his plan. “The first thing you need to make money is a market, and to make the most money you turn that market into a monopoly. If you have a market and monopoly then people are forced to buy from you because you are the only company selling. This is good business, right?
What is the product that everyone has to buy? Food. After water food is the next basic essential – note I am sure there will be companies now trying to control water turning it from a free resource into something we have to pay for. Where does food come from? Originally farms, so to make our profits we must control the farms. Now farmers are always complaining about subsidies – farmers want a free lunch, so there won’t be much popular resistance if farmers start complaining. So we will control the farms.
Controlling farms is very difficult because farmers work with Nature, how do we control her? Seeds are Nature – originally a free resource like water. So we need to make farmers buy seeds from us and no-one else. So we have to find a way of owning the seeds, now that is difficult because seeds are life – Nature. That is the first part of our problem.
Pre-war farmers had a diversity of their own seeds, grew them to their satisfaction, and made a comfortable living. Let’s get our government wing to subsidise certain crops so the farmers will start to grow them more – a monoculture. But science tells us that this will present problems, and this will help us. With this monoculture there will be an increase in pests so they can buy pesticides from us – we have the plant and a surplus of pesticides from the war. So with the subsidies we are beginning to control the market because they are buying pesticides. But they are not necessarily buying our pesticides so this is the second part of our problem.
What if we can connect the seeds and the pesticides? That is our objective, our business plan – our mission.” The board agreed.
Many years later the next clone of an executive came along. “I have a way of connecting the seeds and the pesticide, and with it a way to force people to buy from us. Our scientists have developed seeds that are designed to work with our pesticide so that with these seeds the only way to get a yield is with our pesticide, but the yield will be higher- mmmm. If we increase the subsidies on these crops then farmers will want to buy our products.
But this still doesn’t force them to buy from us, however because our scientists have used science that has changed the genes we can argue that it can be patented. You might say that this argument is weak but it is enough for us if we put someone from our legal staff on the supreme court. I am equally sure there will be objections from food scientists claiming that if we alter the genes we have altered the food so we need someone to be at the FDA to get us approval. Again the argument is weak, the food is substantially equivalent, but that doesn’t matter so long as we have someone in place and can exert influence.
Next we patent as many seeds as we can, once they have accepted that our seeds can be patented. Then we stop those seeds from being used and we start to have more control. Once we have the patent we can force people to use our seeds by using patent law. We can use nature to make our profits. Once we start growing the wind will blow our seeds onto other land, and as a result we can claim that farmers are breaking our patent. Even the organic farmers cannot fight the wind and pollination. Again this patent ownership is a weak argument but we can use our legal department to force this to happen. Over time farmers will be forced to buy our seeds, and we will control the US market.
Once we have the seeds and pesticide patented in the US and have this form of control, it will allow us to spread the seeds globally. It will take time but we can do it. In the Third World we can setup NGO’s backed by benefactors from the business world. They can go in and tell the farmers that their yields will increase. With the benefaction we can subsidise the initial use of the seeds but once we have the monoculture the farmers will have to come back to us.
There will be resistance in more developed countries, and that will have to be worked on. No easy task but we can use political pressure, they will come over.” The young exec sat down, and looked at the three reports he had in front of him, he read the attached memo:-
1)In the long term it is likely that Nature will develop resistance to the pesticides, and new “superpests” will come into being.
2) Whilst we can get FDA approval, there is still the problem that there will be health issues with the use of GM foods. That’s a thought, the Exec said to himself, maybe we can develop a pharmaceutical division specifically to deal with the health effects from our seeds and pesticides, an amusing irony he thought.
3) Although initially the yields will be higher in the long time we are not so sure.
He pushed the reports to one side.
Out of the 1% grew the early company who paid for the scientists, who placed Michael Taylor in charge of the FDA, and placed Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. The company became Monsanto.
Amusing PR gaff. One caterer for a UK branch of Monsanto refuses to serve GM – newspaper report.
This clip was sent by BrasschecksTV, reporters explaining how their news was killed by Monsanto. Not unexpected – just factual:-