Monsanto and DuPont's GMO War and biotech Monopoly
The giant four biotech companies including Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow own 80% of corn and more than 70% of soybeans. In less than 10 years the world largest seed company, Monsanto has been able to dominate the entire market. The aggressive policies of Monsanto and its monopoly over our seeds and food supply have pushed smaller farmers out of business.
As we covered last year, Monsanto has been suing DuPont for violation of Roundup license agreement back in 2002. Apparently, DuPont created its own pesticide called “Optimum GAT” that was supposed to compete with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM soy product. However, the Optimum GAT failed to function properly and DuPont violated the license agreement by adding Monsanto’s Roundup into their existing pesticide. So DuPont counter-sued Monsanto and accused Monsanto of its monopoly and restricted agriculture policies.
Recently, the fight between Monsanto and DuPont ended in favor of Monsanto and DuPont agreed to pay Monsanto its licensing fees.
According to phys.org, after four years of battle, DuPont finally agreed to pay Monsanto $1.75 billion royalty fee for the next 10 years. Apparently the previous court order required DuPont to pay Monsanto $1 billion for patent violations. However, both Monsanto and DuPont decided to drop charges against one another and DuPont agreed to drop its antitrust charges against Monsanto. That will put Monsanto in a very high position of strength, considering that Monsanto owns more than 80% of US corn and soy license gene traits.
However, the two companies both agreed to work together and according to phys.org DuPont Pioneer President Paul Schickler said that "This technology exchange helps both companies to expand the range of innovative solutions we can offer farmers and to do so faster than either of us could alone".
According to phys.org, Monsanto’s president Brett Begemann said the deal "endorses the value of our next-generation soybean technologies." He also added that "This signals a new approach to our companies doing business together, allowing two of the leaders in the industry to focus on bringing farmers the best products possible while working to advance innovation and long-term opportunity for agriculture."
DuPont is the last company among the giant four biotech and chemical companies that decided to sign up to use Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM soy traits. DuPont will also drop all the antitrust charges against Monsanto and will pay Monsanto $1.75 billion.
Now the four biotech companies including Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow are linked by Monsanto’s license and have joined to work together to control and dominate the whole market.
Ironically President Obama recently signed the Continuing Budget Bill into law while a biotech rider under the deceptive title of The Farmer Assurance Provision was added to the bill that will exempt Monsanto from being held liable in Federal Courts.
However, one would think that Monsanto’s gang and its lobbyists are powerful enough to bribe their representative to present a bill to the President of US that includes issues such as budget bill and violence against Women’s Act but it also includes a rider that will exempt Monsanto from any future lawsuits. This is all happening when according to US Center for Food Safety Monsanto has sued 410 farmers and 56 small farms and has forced all of them to pay for Monsanto’s technology fee. Also 4,500 small farmers who could not afford to pay for legal representation were forced to pay $85 million to $160 million out of court settlements to Monsanto.
Also despite the warnings of many independent scientists, including Dr Huber, Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup is widely used in the United States and across the globe. In fact Roundup makes up for 43% of the company’s income while recent figures show that Monsanto’s sales and profit have gone up drastically due to increased prices of Roundup Ready Soy.
Recently, Monsanto joined the chemical company Dow to create a new row of GMO crops called "Agent Orange Corn" that is resistant to both Monsanto's Roundup and active ingredient of Agent Orange called 2,4-D. The active ingredient in Roundup called “glyphosate” has been linked to infertility, liver damage, birth defects, allergies, cancer and nutritional deficiencies. 2,4-D in Agent Orange is also linked to health problems including cancer, liver toxicity, neurotoxicity, immune system disorder, Parkinson's disease and endocrine disruption.
Many Critics believe that Monsanto need a proper and full antitrust investigation
So far Obama who during the 2008 Presidential election promised food transparency and policies that will lead America towards a nutritional food system has done nothing to lead America towards its goal. According to Chris Hedges, the author of Empire of Illusion, “President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising."
Also Obama came to power by “change” slogan; however one would doubt that if anything is going to really change since partisanship, Wall Street and corruption runs corporate America.
Many Critics believe that Monsanto’s domination over our seeds and food supply need a proper antitrust investigation but the truth is that few who have stood up against the Pesticide Empire and biotech tyranny had to pay a very high price.
So the question is what will it take for the Obama administration to grow some balls and stand up for the few basic rights hat we have left and keep his promises to label GMO?