I remember when buying seed was simply buying seed. You went to the feed store and purchased as many bags of seed that you needed, paid for it, loaded it in your truck, and went home to plant: simple, effective, and economical. Seed was saved for the next year’s planting, and that was normal. Not so anymore. Now a simple farmer must sign a grower’s contract with agribusiness giants in order to gain permission to plant GM (Genetically Modified) crops, which gives the seed company the right to monitor his farming operation, go onto his property to take samples anytime and anywhere it wants to, and to literally shut his operation down for non-compliance with the contract.
Why do farmers get tangled up in this mess? Probably because they have swallowed the lie that GM crops are beneficial, are thinking about higher profits, less work, and don’t take the time to read the fine print in the documents they sign. Now they are stuck. It’s either comply or go broke, and so the cycle continues.
Which brings me to the following question: when did we stop reading what we sign? Let me ask you a personal question. Do you read everything that you agree to whether it is in writing or via electronic medium? If you do, you are in the minority. Let’s take those agreements that we have to agree to every time we download a program. Do you read them? Do you go through all of the fine print and understand all of the terms and conditions? I didn’t think so. You’re not alone; neither does Congress. Not one Congressman read the entire Stimulus Package before it was signed. Reading the entire thing in as short a period as they were given was impossible. And so it is with farmers. Oh, they have the time to read the fine print, but do they?
I cannot imagine agreeing with the following statement that comes directly from the Monsanto Technology Use Agreement Terms and Conditions (TUA) for Roundup Ready Canola:
Barbara H. Peterson is retired from the California Department of Corrections, where she worked as a Correctional Officer at Folsom Prison. She was one of the first females to work at the facility in this classification. After retirement, she went to (more...