Genetically Modified Organisms and Monsanto are not new topics for this blog’s readers. Most of us already know about the safety concerns, the risks of contamination of organic crops, the killer weeds being created, the lawsuits filed against farmers, their questionable relationship with government agencies set to regulate them, and the general difficulty of finding true independent studies or labeling of genetically modified products. However, one new thing that has surfaced recently has shocked even me with it’s far-reaching consequences.
The Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement (downloads a PDF) is a lengthy, bizarre agreement which shifts ALL liability for whatever damages may be caused by these franken-foods from the manufacturer and seller (Monsanto) to the farmer who plants the crop. Here is a quote from the agreement:
“GROWER’S EXCLUSIVE LIMITED REMEDY: THE EXCLUSIVE REMEDY OF THE GROWER AND THE LIMIT OF THE LIABILITY OF MONSANTO OR ANY SELLER FOR ANY AND ALL LOSSES, INJURY OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE USE OR HANDLING OF SEED (INCLUDING CLAIMS BASED IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, PRODUCT LIABILITY, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT, OR OTHERWISE) SHALL BE THE PRICE PAID BY THE GROWER FOR THE QUANTITY OF THE SEED INVOLVED OR, AT THE ELECTION OF MONSANTO OR THE SEED SELLER, THE REPLACEMENT OF THE SEED. IN NO EVENT SHALL MONSANTO OR ANY SELLER BE LIABLE FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES.”
Here is a short video produced by documentary film-maker G. Edward Griffin and former Assistant District Attorney of LA County Environmental Crimes Anthony Patchett which explains this agreement in layman’s terms.
In addition, the agreement also states that the contract with the farmer does not expire upon his stopping planting of Monsanto seed, nor even of his selling the land. The contract passes as a covenant to the new landholder.
Think about that for just a second. Just think about it.
If genetically modified seed is as safe and beneficial to our world as Monsanto would have us believe, why the complete distancing of itself from the planted product and any real-world effects?
Getting this knowledge out there this spring is crucial as more and more farmers are getting ready to plant GMO alfalfa and sugar beets. There is another letter on the subject from Mr Patchett at this link, which explains many of these issues further.
If you know a farmer, or even if you don’t, please share this information. I believe farmers need to know what they are signing, and the public needs to know what Monsanto is truly asking of those who plant their seed.
NOTE: I originally wrote this post for the EcoEtsy team blog, here: News and Views: on Monsanto I’m copying it over here for posterity. Please check out the EcoEtsy blog for great posts by team members on all sorts of eco topics.