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SCI/TECH: Monsanto Suing Farmers Over Piracy Issues

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posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 08:56 PM
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dr strangecraft said -- The farmer signs an agreement about how the seed will be used.

The thing is, there is a lot of unmentioned factors on both sides.

-GM seed is usually outrageously expensive. Unless it was tailored for your personal microclimate issues, it's generally not worth the effort.




thanks -- for the explainations.

My take on the article was that the farmer had x amount of seed left over from the previous year and he used that the following year. It sounds like you do have some experience with this situation -- is that also your take on the story.

jm




posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Take a look at this link. Talks about a case vs a Saskatechwam conventional farmer whos crop was contaminated by the GM crop very similiar to the Alberta Case(still can't find it,maybe it was this case I was thinking of), his wife was the Organic Farmer element in this case and she only had a Garden in which got contaminated too.


I like that fact that the wife is suing Monsanto for $140, to cover the costs of cleaning it up.
She has a good point. If they make it and don't want others to use it except by agreement, then they should take steps to keep it contained. I have no idea how you could do that, but that's why I don't make the big bucks.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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.
Monsanto, and Smithkline Beecham have patented huge chunks of the Human genome.
archive.greenpeace.org...

I think there should be a class action lawsuit for all people that we own the human genome collectively.

I have no problem with patents on some new unique combination of genes artificially produced, but how can you patent something you did not produce and has been in production for millions of years? That is innately in the public domain. Moreover it is inside each one of us in virtually every single cell.

Wait till Monsanto and Smithkline Beecham start suing you for your use of their patents.
.


MBF

posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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I'm a farmer and have planted GM corn and cotton.

One thing that I have found is that when you solve one problem, you can create other problems. If you use the roundup ready crops and spray with roundup you will discover that you have new weed problems. If you use bollguard cotton to control bollworms, you may end up having other insect problems that the plant will not control.

These GM crops DON"T always produce as advertised. They Don't produce the vastly greater yields that is claimed. The year that the bollguard cotton came out, I used a variety that was available in both conventional and bollguard. The conventianal proudced higher yields. I have even seen articles telling farmers that they will have to spray the cotton for worms a few times. That was the reason that we were paying them the high technology fees is so we would NOT have to spray for worms.

As for the roundup being poison, it is one of the safest chemicals that we use. I wouldn't drink it but one of the advantages of it is that it goes inert as soon as it contacts dirt. The label even says not to use spray mixture that has set overnight because it will lose effectiveness by breaking down. We use roundup to replace chemicals like atrazine which has been found in water wells and I think they claim that it can cause cancer. I have eaten my GM corn in the past and will continue to eat it in the future because I don't feel that there is a problem with it.

The conventional cotton varieties are getting scarce. It seems like that fewer and fewer are available every year. I know that at a meeting I attended one time, a seed rep was asked why we couldn't get conventinal seed and he said that the company didn't feel that there was any need in producing large amounts of conventinal seed any more. The technology fee on one bag of cotton seed is in the $100's of dollars so it is expensive to plant.

We farmers DO feel that monsanto is greedy and are trying to horde convential seed stock so that all farmers will have to buy their seed, that is something that we have talked about among ourselves for a few years now. They will jump on only the small farmer because they know that they can't fight back, they just don't have the money.

I have planted seed from previous crops in the past, but I have never planted a GM seed from a previous crops because of the grower contract. The farming situation right now is bad and sometimesyou have to cut corners any way that you can. Why pay $140 for a bag of corn seed when you can get $2.00/ bushel seed from your grain bin?



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 11:02 PM
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MBF,

That does seem like a tough situation. Do farmers have an association where they can band together for legal costs and perhaps combine purchasing power to get better prices on seeds, sort of a co-op? I'm sure you have lobby groups in the capital, does the government respond in any way?


MBF

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 12:09 AM
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It's hard to get farmers together for anything, we are too busy trying to keep from losing everything that we have worked for all our lives. We do all we can to keep our costs down, but if you think about it, we are the only business that doesn't set the price for the products that we produce to sell. We do have some lobby groups in Washington, but I can't see anything that they are doing except getting a big paycheck. What we need in Washington is some farmers to tell them what is really going on on the farm, and they need to listen before it's too late. When this older group of farmers die out, this country is going to be in big trouble.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 12:19 AM
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I have always been surprised that in countries such as yours and mine, Canada, whose economies are supposed to be based on capitalist principles, will not allow farmers to charge what the market wil bear for their product. While prices will go up, I think most farmers understand the laws of supply and demand well enough to not go overboard and gouge the consumer.


MBF

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 12:29 AM
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We only want a fair price for our product. That's all. Over 30 years ago I sold my corn for $3.25/bu. this year I may get $2.40/bu.. Our costs are at least five times what they were back then. Something has to change soon.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 12:53 AM
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Ouch! I can't think of any business that could survive that kid of pressure. I remember years ago, probably 10 or more, there was quite a bit of attention paid to the plight of the American farmer. Are these the same problems you were facing then and were never addressed, or are these new issues?


MBF

posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 09:41 PM
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The government gives the impression that they are going to help us, but nothing ever happens. People have the impression that we are just raking in the money and that just isn't true. When they go to a store to buy food or clothes, the price they pay for those products is no reflection of what the farmer gets paid. For example, I dout that cotton farmers get more than $.25 from the price of a shirt if that much.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:32 PM
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My farming experience was as a ranch hand on both small and large ranches in the southern plains. Corn, wheat, sorghum and beef cattle was the business.

I got out of that line of work over a decade ago; law enforcement looked safer and provided retirement and disability.

The air conditioning was a big factor in the discision as well.

I'd trust MBF's opinion's more than my own. He obviously will know the financials first hand.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 08:41 PM
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OK, I've been thinking about this a bit since 'speaking ' to MBF. And I've managed to really confuse myself.

Our two countries argue all the time about wheat. We constantly accuse each other of subsidizing the industry, and let's be honest, we both do. We pay huge amounts of money on legal fees for this. What is confusing me now is, if we let the farmers set their own price would we need to use our tax dollars for this? I can't remember why we have the wheat board. All the govt money goes to the big companies anyways, if it's anything like the cattle. The big guys are the ones who can afford to have someone help with all the paperwork.

So, if we let the farmer set his own price, didn't pay the taxes that were used to support the industry (like they'd actually give it back) and that covered the increase in price, and let the corporations in farming foot their own bill for a while, we'd basically be in the same place, except for farmers like MBF could make a decent living for a change. We wouldn't have to pay expenses of these boards that set pricing, and avoid a lot of legal fees.

This sounds like the good, capitalist thing to do. But it also sounds too good to be true and far too easy, that's why I know I must be wrong about the whole thing.


[edit on 17-1-2005 by Duzey]

[edit on 17-1-2005 by Duzey]



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
In my opinion, this is just silly.
Farmers should not have to worry about patents and licenses

They don't have to. However, if they want to use the patented and protected products then they have no right to break copyright and patent law just because it benefits them. What this man did is a crime, clearly.


Not only can the seed cause problems by cross pollinating with native seeds, as we see here, it can also cause problems with reuse of seeds with are not licensed.

Another problem is what happens when a farmer's stock crosspollinates naturally with monsanto brand stuff. All of this is a good argument for altering the product so as to not produce seeds. Of course, that means that they are reliant on monsanto's ability to get new manufactured seeds to them each season, rather than merely paying for the renewal license.


MBF

posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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Most countries do subsidize farmers just at different levels and different ways. The average American farmer gets about $69/acre where the average European farmer gets $400+/acre. Europeans say that they want their farmers to prosper because they know what it is like to go hungry. Thats something the American people haven't experienced since the 1930's. A few years ago I received about $20,000, now that seems like a lot of money to most people but it didn't even cover my costs for diesel, propane and electricity much less other input costs. Most farmers feel like the subsidies are just a form of welfare. We would just rather receive a fair price.

Tonight, at a farm meeting, we discussed how some of these boards that are supposed to help us are not doing anything for us. They are just a bunch of people sitting in an office making a big paycheck doing nothing except producing nice looking literature.

I don't know why the U.S. and Canada argue over the petty stuff that they do like wheat, beef and pork. They should work together for the benefit of both countries citizens.

Dr. you are smart to go into a "safer" line of work. A few years ago I was attacked by a 2000 lb. bull, I guess he had "mad bull disease". There is nothing like having a ton of mad beef coming at you as fast as he can run.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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I've never been a farmer so I'm going to ask a couple of questions, some may seem pretty stupid, but I won't know the answer unless I ask, right? How do you decide what to grow, is it just whatever you can make the most on? If something else did come along to grow, would you be able to just grow that instead? I guess what I'm thinking about is industrial hemp. If it were ever legalized (much closer in my counrty, but if the US could see the economics of it, and the whole lumber lobby went on vacation for 6 months), would that be something that would give options? Or would it just end up the same as it is now?


MBF

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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We can grow pretty much what we want to. I've grown tobacco, corn, peanuts, cotton, wheat, rye, triticale, sorghum, soybeans, watermelons, squash, bell pepper, collards, turnips, mustard, chinese cabbage, cows, hogs and goats. This year will be the first time in over 80 years that no tobacco wil be planted on this farm.

We try to decide which crop to plant by what will produce the most profit. For years now, there hasn't been any profit in just about anything so we try to cut our losses.

As a matter of fact there has been talk of industrial hemp as an alternative crop. Somebody did grow some and got arrested so everybody is scared of growing it. He did get out after the experts explained to the law enforcement what it was. Another problem with it is to have a delivery point, somebody has to process it and nobody around here processes it.

The problem with a new crop is that everybody will jump on it at the same time and flood the market and drive the price down. The buyers may keep the price up for a year or two to get a lot of growers involved and invest a lot of money in new equipment. Then they can't just stop growing the crop because they still have the equipment to pay for.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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Wow, sounds like the eating would be good at your place!


Seriously though, it sounds like you guys are really stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. How could you go about getting your whole lobbying group fired, since it's obvious they're not doing their job? If they live in Washington, how do they know whats going on? I've never been to Washington, but in all the pictures I've seen, there are no farms.

Are you worried that the small, independant farmer will be gone in the next few decades, replaced by the corporations? Not trying to be a wet blanket, it just seems that they are the only ones who can afford to stay in the business. That would be such a shame, it has been a part of so much history in your country. That's what you guys did when you got there, wasn't it, farmed?


MBF

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. But it costs a lot of money to hire lobbyiests, thats what motivates them.

I know that they are trying to put the small independent farmer out of business just from what has been done to me. In 1997 I was farming almost 1,000 acres today I farm only 140 acres. Not only was I having to fight low prices and weather, but I have been having to fight one department of agriculture employee that is determined to put me out of business.


My great grandfather bought this farm in 1912 and I hope that I will be able to continue to farm, but the future doesn't look too bright.



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 01:15 AM
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Blech, bureacrats. I think they are the same all over the world. I have a CRA auditor (our IRS) that takes great pleasure in trying to drive me insane.

This is really bugging me, and I'm not even a farmer. I wish there was something to be done, but the govt never pays any attention to the little guy, do they? I know we're perceived as lefties up here by some, but I can't help thinking that this is exactly the kind of thing the govt should step in on. If we're not going to let you sell it at fair market value, then let's subsidize the crap out of you. Equal subsidies on both sides of the border, so no one complains. There can't be that many small farmers left, so the military buys one less plane that year. Big deal. I know you feel thats like welfare, but at least you could still farm.

I hope that you will be able to keep farming too, it would be sad for that tradition to end in your family.


MBF

posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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I had a little trouble with our IRS too. They have been telling me for about three years that I owed them $46,000 because of a minor mistake that had been made. I don't know how many letters that my accountant had sent them explaining the problem, but I got fed up with them a few months ago so I called them up and they asked if I was going to have trouble paying the money. I told they there is no way in he-- I could pay and there was no way in he-- I was going to pay them. Well by the time I got off the phone with them they said they owed ME $11. I wish all my problems with the government was that easy to solve.

To make matters worse, the department of agriculture tried to foreclose on me a few years ago by claiming that I had not repaid a loan. I thought that it was odd that they would not let my lawyer enter my canceled checks where I had repaid the loan as evidence that I had repaid it at the hearing. Not only had I repaid it , but I paid it off early and over paid it $7,500.

I would like to see subsidies fair for ALL farmers. If I go down, I'll go down fighting.



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