Over the past couple of years multi-billion dollar companies have been putting small farms out of business. Farming has been a way of life since the beginning of time, and not much has changed until recently. GMOs or genetically modified organisms are the cause of this change. Monsanto is the main contributor of GMOs to farms around the United States.
John Francisco Queeny founded Monsanto in 1997 in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Monsanto was one of the first to genetically modify plant cells and to perform field trials of genetically modified crops. Genetically modified organisms, are organisms that have been altered to withstand dieses and are made to make the biggest and most successful product. There are many different types of genetically modified organisms such as bacteria, insects, animals and plants. Monsanto is famous for their GMO plants, which they sell to farms in the form of seeds of which then they grow. These plants are sometimes used in foods, which would be called genetically modified foods.
Monsanto sells the genetically modified seeds to farms around the United States and they plant these seeds, but instead of using these seeds again the next season they have to throw them away. Monsanto had patented their seeds so that companies have to rebuy the seeds every year. The expensive seeds yield a product that gains a hefty profit but only big farms can keep up with this big stakes, big rewards game. This is in turn putting small local farms out of business, because grocery stores and companies want to buy the plant that is the biggest and has the most product to it.
Not only do Monsanto’s plants put small farms out of business, there have also been many lawsuits against them for contaminating organic farms. Runoff from GMO farms to organic farms has cross-contaminated the crops. Steve Marsh, an Australian organic farmer, reports that his organic farm had been contaminated by his neighbors Monstanto “Roundup Ready” modified seeds. Marsh then had 70% of this farms organic status revoked, causing him to loose over $85,000. Monsanto can be held liable for ruining the crops and in turn the farmers’ livelihood.
Thomas Helscher, an executive director for Monsanto, exclaims that they are helping farmers grow cheaper and better crops. He believes that Monsanto is helping the farming industry and that it is benefiting national, regional and local companies. Though this argument might be compelling it has been met with a strong opposing force. Loiederman, a Monsanto protestor, rebuked if we don’t deal with GMOs now all crops will be contaminated.
Monsanto and other big name GMO...