October 10, 2012

#Monsanto #GMO — yet another reason not to vote for ... #Obummer

Field of soybeans/Image via Wired
Yeah, yeah, it’s a conservative name-calling word in the header. And, I hashtagged it for Twitter purposes etc. So sue me.

Let’s get to the meat behind the sizzle.

There is indeed yet ANOTHER reason not to vote for Obama — Dear Leader shows that Monsanto's lobbying dollars have paid off indeed. Team Obama has asked the Supreme Court not to intervene in a patent case that involves Monsanto Roundup Ready GMO seed.

Sadly, the appellate court already agreed with Monsanto, showing just how badly corporate-tilted our court system is becoming.

Think about it.

If Monsanto wins this case, it could not only sue any farmer ever found with Roundup Ready seed in his field, even if it was “commodity seed,” it could also sue the grain elevator from which that farmer bought the seed.

In short, the ruling Obama appears to want (Congress is NOT going to change this law, even if it is “better equipped than this court” to decide such things. That’s not to mention this argument is itself specious.
The administration told the Supreme Court in a filing that the justices should not concern themselves with the possibility that such rigid patent protectionism could undermine traditional farming techniques, where parts of one harvest are often used to produce the next. The administration said Congress “is better equipped than this court” (.pdf) to consider those concerns.

If the farmer’s view were adopted, the government argued, “the first authorized sale of a single Roundup Ready soybean would extinguish all of [Monsanto's] patent rights to that soybean and to its progeny.”
The result, if Monsanto wins this? It would be essentially to put farming areas of the country into a potential corporate-run serfdom.

That said, this isn’t all about Obama. Romney, or any other typical Republican, and many a typical Democrat, would probably mouth the same sentiments.

And, with that, a note to the normally skeptical Bob Carroll of Skeptic’s Dictionary fame, too. This is reason indeed to support more skepticism of GMO food and more regulation of it in general, including California’s Prop 37, even if it’s only slightly tangential to the patent suit at hand.

That’s despite Carroll saying he’ll vote no.

And, yes, Bob, I’m going to keep hammering you on this. It’s said that too many skeptics think too many people worried about GMO issues are tin-foil hat wearers, first of all. Second, it’s sad that this issue isn’t more carefully parsed into how it involves attempts by Big Ag to extend corporate control, whether or not we should be concerned about actual (transgenic allergy transfer, with good statistical correlation, if not yet the most solid causal correlation) and potential health issues, as well as lack of investigation, inspection and regulatory control.

It’s more than sad that Carroll puts his “vote no” statement under a subheader called “science as propaganda” and calls the measure “fear-mongering.”

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