Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Monsanto - Again

Monsanto is a company associated with genetically-modified organisms such as super wheat and "Roundup Ready" soybeans and it's "Terminator" seed grain which produces sterile plants, preventing farmers from being able to use the seed for replanting. In a 2005 takeover, Monsanto became the largest seed company in the world with 16,000 employees. In addition to the herbicide "RoundUp," Monsanto is the producer of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone or rBGH, marketed under the name "Posilac."

Now rBGH has sparked its share of controversy. Posilac-treated cows are said to produce an extra gallon of milk per day - milk that comes with IGF-1, a hormone claimed to be a cancer accelerator and tied to breast, prostate and colon cancers. It seems there's a lot of public concern about dairy products from rBGH cows. Some people just don't want to drink their hormones like good little boys and girls.

Enter AFACT, or American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology which holds itself out to be a "grassroots organization" of farmers lobbying for their right to use Posilac in their herds.

For all its claims to be a downhome association of poor dairy farmers, AFACT is closely tied to - you guessed it, Monsanto. The group was organized by Monsanto and a Colorado consultancy that works for Monsanto. AFACT also has the services of a marketing firm whose founders include a former Monsanto executive.

Now, what is AFACT's idea of advancing their right to use Posilac? Wait for it. They want a ban on milk labels that tell consumers they contain "no artificial growth hormone." It seems a growing segment of the American consumer market is opting for no-hormone milk. Heaven forbid!

Will they get away with it? Stay tuned but realize that Monsanto has an insane amount of clout. We're talking here about the Dick Cheney of multinational chemical conglomerates. If you want to know more about Monsanto, check out the Wikipedia entry:


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