From The Ecologist:
1st December, 2010
Proposed merger between Dupont-owned Pioneer Hi-Bred and Pannar Seeds could spell disaster for local farmers and food security, watchdog claims
A proposed merger between two giant seed companies in South Africa has raised concerns among campaign groups that farmers could be forced to become dependent on just two foreign seed market giants, DuPont and Monsanto, for local seed supplies.
Pioneer Hi-Bred, owned by biotech corporation DuPont, is attempting to buy a majority stake in the largest remaining South African seed company Pannar Seeds. If successful, the merger would mean the South African seed market would be effectively duopolised by DuPont and Monsanto, which acquired two other major South African seed companies several years ago.
Tuesday 09 November 2010
A delegation of politicians and community activists gathered on August 7 in La Leonesa, a small farm town in Argentina, to hear Dr. Andres Carrasco speak about a study linking a popular herbicide to birth defects in Argentina’s agricultural areas.
But the presentation never happened. A mob of about 100 people attacked the delegation before they could reach the local school where the talk was to be held.
Dr. Carrasco and a colleague locked themselves in a car as the mob yelled threats and beat on the vehicle for two hours. One delegate was hit in the spine and has since suffered lower-body paralysis. Another person was treated for blows to the head. A former provincial human rights official was hit in the face and knocked unconscious.
Witnesses said the angry crowd had ties to local officials and agribusiness bosses, and police made little effort to stop the violence, according to human rights group Amnesty International.
Dan Joseph – Agriculture Secretary and Ex Monsanto Lobbyist Defends Dropping Potatoes From Federal Food Program for Low-Income Mothers
From the Activist Post:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says there is nothing wrong with eating potatoes in moderation, even though the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program – one of the largest federal food assistance programs – is now finalizing an interim rule that bars participants from buying potatoes with their federal dollars.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture also is limiting potatoes in the federal School Lunch Program.
Over the span of two years, Monsanto managed to grab control of the market for sugar beet seeds (and American sweet tooths), effectively wiping out the competition. Find out more from Tom Philpott.
Once the darling of Wall Street and the Darth Vadar of the agribiz universe, Monsanto has fallen on hard times. The reason may have to do with the essentially over-hyped nature of GMO technology. Tom Philpott explains.
In this TED talk, product designer Eben Bayer describes a low-energy, fully compostable packaging assembled by a fungus from agricultural waste. Watch the video.
Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto: The Story of a Canadian Farmer’s Fight to Defend the Rights of Farmers and the Future of Seeds
From Democracy Now!:
Gathered here in Bonn this week are some eighty Right Livelihood Award laureates, including the Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, who has battled the biotech giant Monsanto for years. When Monsanto seeds blew into Schmeiser’s property, Monsanto accused him of illegally planting their crops and took him to court. Ultimately his case landed in the Canadian Supreme Court. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1997 for fighting to defend the rights of farmers and the future of seeds.