Future of Food AG 401 Michelle Vargas 29 August 2017
Running Head: Future of Food Introduction When food is purchased is goes down a cycle until it gets to the end consumer. It starts with the famer, processer, distributor, retailer and then the customer. There wouldn’t be so many crops to be offered to all the customers if it weren’t for the farmers who grow many seeds across their lands. Some of those seeds have been produced and formulated for many years in the family line of farmers. There are many plants and seeds that can be named throughout the world. Big name biotech companies meaning they have ownership have patented those names. Farmers for a while have been pushed away from their lands and robbed from their money due to the patents. By law nobody is breaking or doing very illegal actions. If the farmer is the one who is doing the most production why is it that they are the ones to have to suffer financially. Social Contract Theory A patent is a license that allows anyone to have ownership of something and exclude others from selling the product in which in the patent in under. In this case many seeds have a patent that is owned by the Monsanto Company. They have done it for years where they look into seeds that have no ownership and take advantage to patent it out. This gives them the profits for farmers to have to purchase from them and give them higher ground from other companies. Due to these patents Monsanto has sent out about 9,000 letters to farmers claiming they have been using their seeds illegally. One of the lawsuits was against a Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser. In 1997 Percy had been using the product round up that, is owned by Monsanto. He would spray around the power plants and ditches as he had done for many years. He began to notice that the canola plants were not dying. Monsanto soon found out about the growing canola and decided to investigate the farm without the knowledge of Percy. On August 9, 1998 Monsanto sought a lawsuit against Percy Schmeiser claiming he had illegally obtained the 2
Running Head: Future of Food genetically modified canola without a license and had infringed on their patent (Koons, D., 2004). By law Monsanto has the right to throw out lawsuits against anyone who they determine might be in use of their seeds illegally. They have a signed deal with the government and have full rights. The attorney of Percy suggested that he destroy his seeds, seeds that he had developed for many years, to ensure Monsanto didn’t get their hands on it and claim other lawsuits. 75% of the world’s 1.4 billion farmers depend on saved seeds as their primary seed source (Koons, D., 2004). At the end of the trial the judge rules Percy guilty of obtaining canola without a license. He has said that it did not matter in what way the seeds landed on his farm even though he had no control, it didn’t matter if the wind or birds were the ones that had carried it. He was still in violation of Monsanto patent. The judge also ruled that if any farmer’s plants were to cross- pollinate with Monsanto seeds against their wishes those plants were now Monsanto’s property.
- Spring '15
- The Land