The two largest crops in the United States are soybeans and corn, with 90% and 60% of each of those being genetically modified, respectively. Go into any grocery store and see how many of the products you buy contain those two ingredients in one form or another. Then remember that there is no requirement to label food that has been genetically modified or contains such ingredients. Most of everything you eat daily probably has patent protected Monsanto genes in it. One capitalist (capitalism is a system that was created by the state and would not exist without the state) company therefore reaps the harvest of almost all the food sold in America.
Monsanto has been aggressive in going after farmers who violate its patents and intellectual "property", by, for example, saving seeds. They devote millions of dollars to prosecuting farmers who do so.
Take the case of Homan McFarling, a Mississippi farmer:
McFarling was one of Monsanto's first targets. The giant corporation sent the full weight of the law crashing down on the farmer's head, suing him and winning a judgment of $780,000 (he had originally bought $24,000 in seeds...
Preventing people from saving seeds and freely propagating crops has been tried before. In medieval times, merchants in the Levant strove mightily to corner the coffee market by refusing to export raw coffee beans that might be replanted. Their effort eventually failed, and coffee now flourishes in Latin America, South Asia, and southern Africa.
But Monsanto has patent law on its side. Monsanto has established for itself the right to claim ownership of genetic material -- a revolutionary step in the history of property rights.-Monsanto’s court triumph cloaks massive market power
As the author of the above quoted article says: Somehow, a single corporation has managed to use patent law to gain de facto control of the nation's two biggest crops -- and managed to annul the age-old right of seed-saving over a broad swath of farm country. Monsanto may have airtight logic on its side for patent law, but it has clearly run afoul of a much less-enforced branch of legal code: antitrust law.
A better idea is to abolish all intellectual "property" laws, then big corporations like Monsanto would have no ground to stand on in claiming that they "own" the genetic code of American's food supply.
It gets worse, though, as some GM (genetically modified) crops are now breaking free and are on the loose, mingling and evolving with non-GM plants (I guess it's wrong to keep Monsanto's "property" in the form of seeds, but okay if Monsanto's patent-protected genes escape the farm and spread in the wild).
Outside a grocery store in Langdon, N.D., two ecologists spotted a yellow canola plant growing on the margins of a parking lot this summer. They plucked it, ground it up and, using a chemical stick similar to those in home pregnancy kits, identified proteins that were made by artificially introduced genes. The plant was GM—genetically modified.
That's not too surprising, given that North Dakota grows tens of thousands of hectares of conventional and genetically modified canola—a weedy plant, known scientifically as Brassica napus var oleifera, bred by Canadians to yield vegetable oil from its thousands of tiny seeds. What was more surprising was that nearly everywhere the two ecologists and their colleagues stopped during a trip across the state, they found GM canola growing in the wild.
Nor does Monsanto claim ownership of the escaped plants, even those with multiple transgenes, according to company spokesman John Combest. "It has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented traits are present in fields as a result of inadvertent means," although researchers would have to obtain a license from the company to work with the GM plant.-Genetically Modified Crop on the Loose and Evolving in U.S. Midwest
Oh, the key words are "trace amounts" I guess. But even then, you'd have to have a license from Monsanto to work with the plants! This isn't freedom and this isn't the free market, but statist big corporation apologists like Rush Limbaugh and "conservatives" of his ilk continue to sing the praises of big business.
Perhaps Percy Schmeiser had more than trace amounts of Monsanto's "property" invade his canola fields, because Monsanto sued him.
Monsanto's position was that it didn't matter whether Schmeiser knew or not that his canola field was contaminated with the Roundup Ready gene, or whether or not he took advantage of the technology (he didn't); that he must pay Monsanto their Technology Fee of $15./acre-http://www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm
"Percy Schmeiser was mad as hell, and decided he wasn't going to take it.
Schmeiser has been growing canola -- the yellow-blossomed oilseed that used to be known as rapeseed -- for 40 years, and he knows his stuff. He's been experimenting, developing his own varieties, using his own seed and generally prospering with canola. reaping the benefits derived from growing an increasingly popular crop.
So when Monsanto, the giant multinational agro-chemical company that is at the forefront of developing genetically modified foods, accused him of patent infringement and demanded restitution for its seeds, his pride was hurt. He chose to fight rather than roll over and take it."
Next, it'll be genetically modified food animals, like chickens.
In the news today, some GM chickens escaped from an egg farm and ended up on Hilda Smith's organic cage-free egg farm, where Monchicken Corporation suspects they've interbred with the free roaming chickens of Hilda's farm.
Monchicken spokesperson Abigail Van Sue'em stated that cage-free egg farmers like Ms. Smith were benefiting from Monchicken's intellectual property without authorization, and that a major lawsuit is planned.