Control of food is control of society, but Control of seed is control of life on Earth!
Only a fool believes they can technologically solve in a few years what it took nature to create in 4 billion years! Just four companies control two-thirds of seed and pesticide sales worldwide, but a new bill moving through Congress could help lower prices and increase competition. A new bill, The Seeds and Breeds for the Future Act, would help lower seed prices and make genetic diversity more of a priority. The act was introduced by Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Martin Heinrich (New Mexico), Tina Smith (Minnesota), John Fetterman (Pennsylvania), and Ron Wyden (Oregon), and is supported by dozens of farmer groups and their allies.
In terms of details, the bill dedicates $75 million in USDA research grants for the development of new public seeds and animal breeds, focusing especially on those that are regionally adapted and bred for environmental resilience. It would also create a special coordinator position that would strategize with farmers and other public stakeholders on what to research and how to increase genetic diversity. Diversity is the key to life for any species be it man or seeds lack of it means an eventual death and extinction of the organism and quietly half the worlds food supply is being scienced out of existence. Given the negative impact that corporate consolidation has had on our food and farm system, this legislation is critical. Researchers, for example, have found that increasing consolidation makes supply chains susceptible to breakdown, while also allowing corporations the power to manipulate prices and collude with competitors.
Concerning seeds specifically, the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration has highlighted that four firms—Bayer (including Monsanto), BASF, Corteva Agriscience and ChemChina-Syngenta—control more than two-thirds of commercial seed and pesticide sales worldwide.
That the USDA reports seed costs rising more than 1000 percent between 2000 and 2022 for genetically modified seeds, and more than 300 percent for non-genetically modified seeds during that same time, shouldn’t come as a surprise. This also helps explain the persistently high food prices we’ve seen this year, as rising input costs—of which seeds are a part—are passed off from farmers to consumers. We need to return to a time when the average homeowner had a garden any kind of garden to protect seed existence and provide additional healthy foods whether it be from planting fruit bearing trees or growing tomatoes and onions!
Corporations take more than their fair share at both ends of the food supply chain, while consumers and farmers struggle. The Biden Administration has taken these concerns seriously by creating a task force in March with members from the USDA, Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to research intellectual property rights and monopolization in the seed and agricultural input sector.
As we wait for the task force’s recommendations, our legislators could place The Seeds and Breeds for the Future Act into the Farm Bill, which is slated to expire later in 2023. Concretely, the act could be included into the lesser known, yet critically important research title of the Farm Bill that is currently moving its way through the U.S. House and Senate.
While the seed man who used to come by our farm is gone, what he represents remains: the importance of competition and local control in our food system. Farmers must regain some of the power to grow what they want, as they also struggle to face what climate change and the market throws their way. Let’s hope that our legislators pay heed before it’s too late. the world isn't that far away from starvation. A small handful of corporations control the world’s food industry from farm to fork. This means a few powerful companies dictating what farmers can grow and how—and almost no choice for consumers. Are you actually free if someone decides for you what you can grow and eat or are you actually a slave unaware that your master feeds you what he wants you to have based on how cheaply he can grow it?
Industrial agriculture is a system with an expiration date. It’s only a few decades old, yet we can already add up the environmental costs of this broken system—more and more polluted waterways, clear-cut forests, inhumane treatment of livestock and megatons of greenhouse gases.
It’s quite simply unsustainable.
Thousands of workers in this industrial farming system see what’s going on. They are on the frontline, witnessing the havoc caused by this system gone wrong. Fieldworkers are forced to spray unnecessary toxic chemicals on their crops. Giant corporations sue small farms when patented GMO seeds accidentally blow into their fields. Rural communities are protesting stench and waste spewing from factory farms. To comprehend what’s at stake, we must understand where our food comes from. Right now, we’re headed toward a future where decisions about our food future are made in closed boardrooms by executives putting profits before people. Even now most countries won't accept American foods we have to give it away in Aid to counter losses because the food we sell actually does more harm than good so we pass off what cannot be sold to the starving of the third world giving them cancer and decreased fertility.
A significant percentage of processed foods purchased today contain some genetically engineered (GE) food products. As a result, each day, tens of millions of American infants, children and adults eat genetically engineered foods without their knowledge. Consumers have no way of knowing what foods are genetically engineered because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of these products. What’s worse, the agency also does not require any pre-market safety testing of GE foods. The agency’s failure to require testing or labeling of GE foods has made millions of consumers into guinea pigs, unknowingly testing the safety of dozens of gene-altered food products.
The FDA, in its response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety in 1998, admitted in court that it had made “no dispositive scientific findings,” whatsoever, about the safety of genetically engineered foods. In other words, the FDA has given the biotech industry carte blanche to produce and market any number of genetically engineered foods without mandatory agency oversight or safety testing and without a scientific showing that these foods are safe to consume.
Genetically engineered foods are different from other foods. Genetic engineering allows, for the first time, foreign genes, bacterial and viral vectors, viral promoters and antibiotic marker systems to be engineered into food. These genetic “cassettes” are new to the human diet and should be subject to extensive safety testing. Instead, in 1992 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ruled, without any scientific basis, that genetically engineered foods present no different risks than traditional foods. FDA’s own scientists ridiculed this unscientific agency view of genetic engineering. “What happened to the scientific elements in [the] document?,” one asked. FDA scientists consistently stated that “there is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering.
Genetically engineered foods are inherently unstable. Each insertion of a novel gene, and the accompanying “cassette” of promoters, antibiotic marker systems and vectors, is random. GE food producers simply do not know where their genetic “cassette” is being inserted in the food, nor do they know enough about the genetic/chemical makeup of foods to establish a “safe” place for such insertions. As a result, each gene insertion into a food amounts to playing food safety “roulette,” with the companies hoping that the new genetic material does not destabilize a safe food and make it hazardous. Each genetic insertion creates the added possibility that formerly nontoxic elements in the food could become toxic.
FDA was well aware of the “genetic instability” problem prior to establishing their no-testing policy. FDA scientists warned that this problem could create dangerous toxins in food and was a significant health risk. The scientists specifically warned that the genetic engineering of foods could result in “increased levels of known naturally occurring toxicants, appearance of new, not previously identified toxicants, [and] increased capability of concentrating toxic substances from the environment (e.g., pesticides or heavy metals).” These same FDA scientists recommended that long term toxicological tests be required prior to the marketing of GE foods. FDA officials also were aware that safety testing on the first genetically engineered food, the Calgene Flavr Savr tomato, had shown that consumption of this product resulted in stomach lesions in laboratory rats.
FDA’s response to the potential toxicity problem with genetically engineered foods was to ignore it. They disregarded their own scientists, the clear scientific evidence and the deaths and illnesses already attributed to this problem. The agency refused to require pre-market toxicological testing for GE foods or any toxicity monitoring. FDA made these decisions with no scientific basis and without public notice and comment or independent scientific review. The agency’s actions can only be seen as a shameful acquiescence to industry pressure and a complete abandonment of its responsibility to assure food safety. That is why Canada and almost every European country refuses our food they simply will not poison their citizens our leaders don't feel the same.