El tema de hoy esta relacionado al uso de la tecnologia y la manipulacion genetica en nuestros alimentos. Es cierto que en realidad no nos toca de una forma directa a nosotros los puertorrique/nos, si lo vemos del lado llano del: 'y que me importa a mi? Si yo no siembro ni un matojo en mi condominio. Que me importa si ese ramo de ponpones salio de una semilla geneticamente modificada o no?. Pero en realidad las implicaciones futuras de las decisiones que se estan tomando en estos momentos es nefasta. No por el demonio de la tecnologia sino por la avaricia de quienes tienen el control de la misma.
Mi articulo ha sido inspirado por una nota de Antigonum relacionado a como las grandes corporaciones estan penalizando a los agricultores por almacenar semillas, lo que antes era una practica comun. Yo no soy ni agronomo y en realidad tengo un 'pulgar gris' en esto de sembrar plantas. Pero me he inspirado a investigar mas alla. Del tema que sea porque la vida es un camino de aprendizaje. Y lo que he encontrado del tema es que se nos ha hecho tarde para atajar las actividades monopolisticas que se cuajan en esto del mercado de semillas.
Se que este tema es tiempo perdido en Puerto Rico debido a que la siembra que se estimula aqui es la siembra de cemento con nuevas urbanizaciones para sembrar dinero para unos pocos beneficiados. Puerto Rico ha dado la espalda a la agricultura, en lo que historicamente ha sido nuestra unica industria autosuficiente. Eso es harina de otro costal. Este articulo enfoca en una situacion preocupante, como la avaricia de varias comp/nias de productos quimicos como Bayer y sobre todo Monsanto estan creando practicamente un nuevo monopolio en el comercio de semillas. El articulo de Antigonum esta debajo:
Decidi indagar un poco en el tema y es algo serio. Lo que he hecho es incluir links de diferentes grupos de agricultores estadounidenses protestando la nueva practica que los cabilderos de Monsanto han usado para intimidar los agricultores que quieren seguir la practica milenaria de conservar semillas de sus siembras para seleccionar aquellas que mejor aclimatan a una region y clima particular. Repito, eso no es muy relevante en Puerto Rico, que basicamente tiene o clima humedo tropical en el Norte o clima tropical seco la mayor parte del a/no en el Sur. Esto es imperativo en los Estados Unidos, sobre todo en la franja de alimentos, donde sale el trigo y la cebada que come el mundo entero. Escoger la semilla correcta es la diferencia de una cosecha pobre a una exitosa. El exito de una cosecha buena nos alimenta a todos.
Veamos lo que han hecho los distribuidores de semilla como Bayer y Monsanto. La tecnica es que se empieza con actos loables como creando rasgos de preferencia en las semillas. Resistencia a insectos, resistencia a sequia o a condiciones de desventajas. Una alternativa era causar mutaciones al bombardear las semillas con ciertos tipos de radiacion. Eso hasta ahora es la ciencia ayudando a la humanidad. Cuando comenzamos a eliminar opciones o a perseguir las practicas de los demas para que solo se use mi tecnologia ahi comienza el peligro y el monopolio.
Una introduccion del tema por Daily Yonder:
Daily Yonder 'Aschelons and Hercules' by Thomas Hart Benton (detail), Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
del daily yonder:
Prior to the gene gun’s invention, the seed business was highly competitive, though not as profitable as it is now (at least for some). Monsanto and the few other corporations involved with gene implantation say that random gene shots are time consuming and expensive. Patent protection is what enables them to recover costs, but if they can end up with $10 billion after paying Hugh Grant and all the other Monsanto employees, their dealers, and their lawyers, then it must be a pretty good business to be in. When you factor in that since 1995, Monsanto has purchased about 50 seed companies, the reason for those escalating profits is plain to see. They’ve been eliminating the competition.
Arguably the largest competitor Monsanto faces is Pioneer Hi-Bred. Once a stand-alone, farmer-owned seed house, PHB allowed itself to be purchased by chemical company E. I. Dupont de Nemours.Challenged by Monsanto for survival in
the marketplace, PHB merged with Dupont mainly to assure access to funds and legal resources needed for new product development, and to be able to withstand the Monsanto onslaught. In its quest for supremacy,
Monsanto bought out such U.S. agricultural seed mainstays as DeKalb, and Delta and Pine Land Company. The list of
Monsanto’s other acquisitions is very long.The newest patent application has been for “stacked traits.” That’s where companies put all their eggs in one basket by selling seeds, mostly corn seed, with nearly every trait developed to date. Stacked traits offer resistance to corn borers, corn earworms, corn rootworms, and various sundry other nibbling insects
responsible for corn farmer headaches. By asking the courts to give exclusive domain over stacked traits, Monsanto is saying that two or more patented traits combined into one constitutes a totally new creation.
So Monsanto is trying to stack the deck against PHB and its other few remaining competitors with Smart Stax hybrids, a combination of previously patented Monsanto and Dow genes. (They’ve entered into an exclusive agreement with
Dow.) In a lawsuit filed against Pioneer, Monsanto lawyers assert that earlier licensing agreements do not permit mixing Monsanto patented genes with those owned by other companies like PHB, effectively denying the same type of
stacked product marketing to the competition.
Lo que ocurre es que Monsanto ha comprado poder eliminando otras compa/nias de semillas y ahora hostiga a agricultores que lo reten. Por ejemplo, este caso es viejito, por almacenar semillas de soya:
Ahora es criminal guardar semillas...
Monsanto Successfully Intimidates Missouri Farmers for 'Crime' of Seed Saving
Monsanto, Missouri co-op reach settlement on seed use St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via TradingMarkets.com, September 2, 2008
Genetically Modfied Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach
by Linn Cohen-Cole
People say if farmers don’t want problems from Monsanto, just don’t buy their GMO seeds.
Not so simple. Where are farmers supposed to get normal seed these days? How are they supposed to avoid contamination of their fields from GM-crops? How are they supposed to stop Monsanto detectives from trespassing or
Monsanto from using helicopters to fly over spying on them?
Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples and if they find any GMO plants growing there (or say they have), they then sue, saying they own the crop. It’s a way to make money since farmers can’t fight back and court and they settle because they have no choice.
And they have done and are doing a bucket load of things to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds.
Tabula actividades relacionadas a cosechas Geneticamente Modificadas en Inglaterra y Nueva Zelanda
TAKE NOTICE: MONSANTO IS TRYING TO CAPTURE THE AGRICULTURE SEED MARKET BY PATENTING LIFE ITSELF. TAKE ACTION!
— Peg Britton @ 1:55 pm
Normally I don’t send these action alerts from activist organizations, but this one is very dear to my heart. Monsanto is trying to capture the agriculture seed market by patenting life itself. Genetically modified seeds have their pluses; they
are easy for a farmer to grow. They don’t need constant cultivating to keep the weeds out, but they cross pollinate with surrounding crops.
Therefore I can’t grow non-GMO seeds and keep them that way. Then, Monsanto and its goons come around, take a DNA sample of my crop and say I have illegally kept their seeds. They then sue me and put me out of business from the weight of legal fees. It’s that simple. That’s why this is so important. Read the following from CREDO and if you’re so moved, submit
a comment to the USDA and let’s try to derail the Monsanto train.
"Monsanto holds over eleven thousand U.S. seed patents. When Americans buy garden seed and supplies, most of the time they are buying from Monsanto, regardless of who the retailer is."
"Six companies, DuPont, Mitsui, Monsanto, Syngent, Aventis, and Dow control 98 percent of the world's seeds."
"Before it was acquired by Monsanto, Seminis eliminated 2,000 varieties of seeds from its inventory."
[Note: the seeds being eliminated are the older, open-polinated, heirloom varieties. They are being eliminated because they are not patented or genetically modified, which means they are not profitable.]
India defies Monsanto, Says No to GMO Crops
We’ve followed the story of the slow but increasing and badly needed pushback against Monsanto’s predatory business practices, which force farmers to buy Monsanto seed annually, rather than re-use it. Worse, Monsanto seed has been genetically engineered so as to require the use of Monsanto herbicides and fertilizers.
And with (until recently) the seeds patent protected, farmers could be sued for having Monsanto genes in their crops. And with Monsanto having established a near monopoly in seeds, it has set prices so as to extract a higher percent of agricultural revenues than it could otherwise command. Needless to say, what is good for Monsanto is not at all good for farmers...
Y que dice Monsanto a todo esto??? Que es ilegal guardar semilla porque viola la ley. No me creen?, de su pagina:
#1: Planting saved seed violates federal law.
U.S. Patent No. 5,352,605 (sometimes referred to as “605”), protects Monsanto’s intellectual property for biotech seed under federal laws. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office re-examined several of Monsanto’s patents and upheld their validity in October 2007.
Farmers also sign contractual use agreements that prohibit the saving of seeds for replanting. Under the agreement, they are allowed to plant the seeds and sell the harvest as a commodity. Because our seeds produce far better yield than conventional seed products, it is a critical investment for farmers.
Cases involving seed patent infringement cost time and money which impacts the ability to re-invest in research and development. Growers who plant saved Roundup Ready seed also create an unfair advantage compared to the vast majority of honest Monsanto customers.
Monsanto is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Over the last two decades, Monsanto scientists have focused on researching and delivering meaningful products to our farmer customers and the broader soybean value chain. Monsanto invests more than $980 million annually to identify and develop new solutions for growers.
#2: Saving seed creates an unfair advantage.
The primary reason for enforcing patents is to ensure a level playing field for all Monsanto customers and to discourage the use of technology to gain an unfair financial advantage.
Monsanto invests approximately three million dollars each day in research and development to bring new tools to farmers. If farmers ignored patent laws and saved seed, we would not be able to continuously fund the development of newer and better technologies designed to increase yields, use few natural resources, and improve the lives and economic conditions for farmers.
Monsanto is a company 100% focused on agriculture. Simply put, we succeed if – and only if – farmers succeed.
#3: Litigation is the last resort.
Monsanto does not like suing farmers. However it is something we feel we need to do both to protect the interests of our customers and our shareholders.
If evidence of seed saving is produced, Monsanto first tries to work directly with the farmer to resolve the issue. We start with discussions, not with lawsuits. Most farmers agree to a quick and amicable settlement, and maintain their good standing as a Monsanto customer.
The vast, majority of seed piracy cases are simply settled. With approximately 250,000 American customers in any given year, it is only a tiny fraction of those who save seed. Since 1997, Monsanto has had to file suit against farmers for seed piracy 138 times (as of July 2009) in the United States. Of those cases, most settled out of court, with only nine proceeding through a complete trial.
Monsanto won each of those nine cases and the appeals that followed.
#4: Monsanto invests settlement funds in youth leadership initiatives.
Monsanto directs all cash pretrial settlement funds for use in supporting youth leadership initiatives and agricultural scholarships. In a recent settlement case, Monsanto established a local trust in Pilot Grove, Missouri, to support county youth headed to college to study agriculture. Monsanto also supports the National FFA Foundation and national 4-H.
#5: The decision to save seed can have costly consequences.
It is never Monsanto’s intention to put anyone one out of business, even for serious mistakes such as patent infringement. Every effort is made by Monsanto to find a solution that will allow the farmer to continue his or her operation and very few farmers have been unable to meet these obligations.
Monsanto always seeks the farmer’s assistance and cooperation to personally verify evidence and answer questions. At the request of farmers during settlements, Monsanto works for creative solutions for payment of the settlement figure in order to minimize the financial impact over time.
#6: Investigators do not threaten farmers.
Discussions with farmers on saved seed are never productive unless they are civil. Licensed professional investigators, such as the ones hired by Monsanto’s attorneys, are specifically trained to avoid verbal or physical confrontations.
Most investigators have a background in agriculture and/or law enforcement. There are no incentives or commissions for catching those involved in patent infringements. Their only role is to gather information.
The investigators are diligent, persistent and have specialized training in conducting thorough interviews. Investigators are instructed neither to instigate nor to participate in heated arguments or confrontations. If discussions with farmers cease to be civil, our investigators are instructed to leave and end the conversation.
#7: Monsanto respects farmers’ privacy.
Most reports of seed piracy are made anonymously to Monsanto through our Customer Service Line, and each call is taken seriously.
Monsanto’s lawyers hire licensed and experienced professional investigators who follow up on these complaints as well as other leads. Their job is to gather evidence related to patent infringement. They follow all applicable state and federal privacy laws as they are required to do under their retention agreements.
If there is evidence of seed piracy, Monsanto will work with the farmer to confirm the facts and discuss how to resolve the issue quickly, amicably and professionally.
#8: Investigators do not trespass.
It is illegal to trespass, and investigators will not violate laws to gather evidence. Going on a farmer’s property isn’t necessary to obtain the needed information.
For sample-taking purposes, investigators will only enter a farmer’s property to knock on his / her door and ask for some time to discuss any concerns. Investigators will only enter a farmer’s field with his/her consent or a written court order.
#9: Accidental presence is not cause for a lawsuit.
Monsanto does not pursue farmers for the accidental presence of our patented technology in their fields or crop. We have no motivation to do so and we surely would not prevail in the courts if we did.
It is a myth that Monsanto sues farmers for the accidental presence of our technology in their crop. This rumor likely began with Percy Schmeiser who Monsanto sued in Canada for saving Roundup Ready canola seed. Schmeiser claims to this day that the presence of Monsanto technology in his fields was accidental. The fact is that the Canadian courts found on three separate occasions that it was intentional.
To learn more about this topic, please visit: http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/ag_products/stewardship/unintened_trace_presence.asp.
#10: It’s not okay to save seed for “personal use.”
No se ustedes, pero me preocupa que le estemos dando el control a unos pocos de nuestras cosechas futuras. En un mundo donde el agua y recursos cada vez escasean mas, precisamente por el mal uso y por el abandono de las practicas de anta/no.
Se que mi nota es un grito al viento, mientras esto ocurre estamos muy ocupados en la enajenacion que crea nuestra situacion colonial. Total, nuestro cafe se pierde en las fincas y la gente prefiere comprar las chinas dominicanas en el supermercado que comprarlas en la finca de Don Tomas (nombre ficticio) en Lares.
Veremos en un futuro mas detalles de esta guerra cuando Monsanto siga tratando de invadir los derechos de los agricultores de otros paises, que ya estan tratando de detenerlos por la via legal.
Para finalizar en una nota positiva les incluyo un link con buenas imagenes escaneadas por el Smithsonian de paquetes de semilla de principios del siglo XX:
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