Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Genetically Modified Seeds and Farmer Rights

Category: People Power

In his recent post Sowing the seeds of change — Monsanto vs. the world, Craig Kyzar analyzes the recent standoff between biotech giant Monsanto and farmers who disagree with the terms accompanying sale of genetically modified seeds.

Kyzar teels, “The case seeks to overturn a federal court ruling that Mr. Vernon Bowman violated Monsanto’s patent rights by harvesting an unauthorized second generation of genetically modified soybean seeds rather than purchase another batch of seeds directly from Monsanto. Mr. Bowman has argued that Monsanto exhausted its patent rights at the point of sale and, therefore, has no rights relative to soybean seeds harvested from an initial planting, despite the fact that these second generation seeds also carry the herbicidal resistance produced by Monsanto through a tremendous degree of research and development.”

He points out, and so very pertinently, that we live in an industrialized society which runs on profit. Those who invest in technology that runs industries vital to our existence also have an upper hand when it comes to the question of rights.

Kyzar gets to the heart of the matter:

“When in the history of civilization has the taking by eminent domain encouraged the continuation of pioneering progress? While it is human nature to want something for nothing, the idealistic expectation of philanthropic support from privatized industry is an unsustainable concept, further weakened every time it is espoused by any individual who has not himself volunteered to continue his own career with no need for salary.”

So does it mean that an individual’s rights have literally been bought by groups of investors even when some individuals choose not to be part of this profit-industry interplay? The answer, sadly, seems to be “yes”. Looks like we have a long way to go in empowering the non-investing individual to a reasonably high stand against corporate interest.   

Posted by Prometheus on 10/09 at 01:36 AM | Permalink
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