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Old 19-09-2003, 04:20 AM
Martin Branson
 
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Monsanto, a leading promoter of genetically modified crops in third
world nations, is under attack for their untimely exit from a program
in Indonesia. After failing to quell vocal public opposition to GMO
crops in Indonesia, Monsanto abruptly terminated a program to provide
genetically modified cotton seed to Indonesian farmers - leaving
thousands of subsistance farmers with no crop to plant.

In light of Monsanto's prohibition of "seed saving", using patented
seed crop seems like a poor choice for third world farmers. Even if it
is more productive seed, these poor farmers can hardly afford to
purchase new seed every year. We should all be offended by the fact
that a decision by a multi-million dollar executive in St. Louis has
brought further difficulty to these poor farmers. Monsanto has a moral
obligation to compensate the people who they have left in the lurch.

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Old 19-09-2003, 07:23 AM
Jim Webster
 
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"Martin Branson" wrote in message
om...


In light of Monsanto's prohibition of "seed saving",


this depends purely on the legal system in the country where the peasant
lives. Argentina and Brazil produce considerable amounts of GM crops from
saved seed and monsanto is not able to do anything but wimper

Jim Webster


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Old 19-09-2003, 03:42 PM
Martin Branson
 
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"Jim Webster" wrote
this depends purely on the legal system in the country where the peasant
lives. Argentina and Brazil produce considerable amounts of GM crops from
saved seed and monsanto is not able to do anything but wimper


I am very interested in this, as my understanding is that Monsanto
compels those who use its seed to sign a license agreement prior to
delivery. There is some legal question as to how that agreement would
impact someone who might come into possession of the seed through
other means, but I hadn't heard of the exceptions you mention. If you
could direct me to any articles about that, it would be greatly
appreciated.
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Old 19-09-2003, 05:42 PM
Jim Webster
 
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"Martin Branson" wrote in message
om...
"Jim Webster" wrote
this depends purely on the legal system in the country where the peasant
lives. Argentina and Brazil produce considerable amounts of GM crops

from
saved seed and monsanto is not able to do anything but wimper


I am very interested in this, as my understanding is that Monsanto
compels those who use its seed to sign a license agreement prior to
delivery. There is some legal question as to how that agreement would
impact someone who might come into possession of the seed through
other means, but I hadn't heard of the exceptions you mention. If you
could direct me to any articles about that, it would be greatly
appreciated.


Monsanto can sign any licence agreement it wants, but unless the courts will
support it, the agreement isn't worth the paper it is written on. Also If
you were to sell me soya beans to feed my cattle and I then plant them, how
do you know and I haven't any agreement with Monsanto. And courts in
Argentina and Brazil seem reluctant to accept Monsanto has any right to sue
me. Similarly check through the Indian Press, there are a lot of Indian
farmers breeding their own GM seed
Jim Webster


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Old 20-09-2003, 03:42 PM
Ron Koyne
 
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You guys are overlooking the REAL problem. GMO is controversial
amongst folks in Europe and the United States. I doubt that most
people in the third world even understand the significance of the
issue, they are just responding to whatever NGOs are telling them. I
doubt that the corporate advocates of GMO are going to provide them
with a balanced education on the issue either, so how can they can
engage in an informed decision?

The reason Monsanto had so much trouble in Indonesia is that they
failed to adequately educate the public. The result was mistrust all
over. If Monsanto's timing was responsible for a lost year of crops,
they should pay. Failure to do this will not only taint their image in
Indonesia, but in other nations which may be considering GMO crops in
the future.


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Old 20-09-2003, 04:12 PM
Jim Webster
 
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"Ron Koyne" wrote in message
om...
You guys are overlooking the REAL problem. GMO is controversial
amongst folks in Europe and the United States. I doubt that most
people in the third world even understand the significance of the
issue, they are just responding to whatever NGOs are telling them. I
doubt that the corporate advocates of GMO are going to provide them
with a balanced education on the issue either, so how can they can
engage in an informed decision?


if Monsanto cannot make its patent rights stick, as it obviously cannot in
India and South America, then it looks like the farmers in the third world
are smarter than the over fed activists in the first world who are getting
all indignant over them.
Back in the middle of June UK media was running stories of Indian farmers
breeding their own 'pirate' GM crops. Looks like they have made their
decision whether we like it or not

Jim Webster


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Old 20-09-2003, 04:32 PM
Oz
 
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Ron Koyne writes
You guys are overlooking the REAL problem. GMO is controversial
amongst folks in Europe and the United States. I doubt that most
people in the third world even understand the significance of the
issue, they are just responding to whatever NGOs are telling them. I
doubt that the corporate advocates of GMO are going to provide them
with a balanced education on the issue either, so how can they can
engage in an informed decision?


You find out as soon as you grow the crop, or more likely when a
neighbour does.

The reason Monsanto had so much trouble in Indonesia is that they
failed to adequately educate the public. The result was mistrust all
over. If Monsanto's timing was responsible for a lost year of crops,
they should pay.


Generally so, if it's provable.

Failure to do this will not only taint their image in
Indonesia, but in other nations which may be considering GMO crops in
the future.


Bit late for most main growing areas, I would say.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.
Note: soon (maybe already) only posts via despammed.com will be accepted.

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Old 20-09-2003, 07:12 PM
Martin Branson
 
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Dean Hoffman wrote:
Was Monsanto giving the seed away as some sort of promotion or trial?


My initial assumption was that they gave it away the first year in
order to gain a foothold in the market. I did a bit of research to
answer your question, and found I was wrong. According to an article
clipped from the Jakarta Post:

Branita Sandhini, a subsidiary of the multinational Monsanto Group,
said it would provide the seeds and fertilizer through a credit
scheme. Then the company said it would buy the farmers' cotton at a
good price, allowing them to pay off their debt to the company and
improve their income.

Ultimately, yield was far below Monsanto's promise, and they set a
lower than expected price for the product, trapping the farmers in
debt to Monsanto. Monsanto, of course, denies all these claims.

[Full article @ http://www.gene.ch/genet/2002/Jun/msg00008.html]
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Old 21-09-2003, 01:17 AM
Martin Branson
 
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Oz wrote:
I doubt that the corporate advocates of GMO are going to provide them
with a balanced education on the issue either, so how can they can
engage in an informed decision?


You find out as soon as you grow the crop, or more likely when a
neighbour does.


You find out about yield, under that year's growing conditions -
that's all. What you don't find out is more important things like
whether the pesticide resistant gene can be transmitted to other,
unwanted plants. There are a lot of unanswered questions, which is
precisely why GMO crops are so controversial, even in situations like
cotton where their suitability for eating is not an issue.

If Monsanto's timing was responsible for a lost year of crops,
they should pay.


Generally so, if it's provable.


Right. If a group of third world farmers want to try to prove it in a
court of law, then they can collect. I don't see a fleet of American
contingency fee lawyers leaping to their defense. In any case, that
attitude is a far cry from the Monsanto Pledge, which CEO Hugh Grant
describes as "what we stand for as a company." Honesty, decency,
consistency and courage. It's an admirable creed, but it seems little
more than hot air when they are hiding behind a fleet of defense
lawyers.
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Old 21-09-2003, 07:13 AM
Oz
 
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Martin Branson writes
Oz wrote:
I doubt that the corporate advocates of GMO are going to provide them
with a balanced education on the issue either, so how can they can
engage in an informed decision?


You find out as soon as you grow the crop, or more likely when a
neighbour does.


You find out about yield, under that year's growing conditions -
that's all.


You obviously aren't a farmer.
Yield is an important, but not the only, criteria for variety selection.
Indeed I rarely choose the highest yielding variety because they
frequently have a nasty failing elsewhere.

For rape in the UK, resistance to falling over before harvest is
probably more important than yield in many areas, for example.

What you don't find out is more important things like
whether the pesticide resistant gene can be transmitted to other,
unwanted plants.


Remember that genetic resistance to selective herbicides has been with
us since the very first modern sprays. So far I know of not a single
case of genes moving from one species to another and thus conferring
resistance. Do you?

There are a lot of unanswered questions, which is
precisely why GMO crops are so controversial, even in situations like
cotton where their suitability for eating is not an issue.


What unanswered questions are these?

If Monsanto's timing was responsible for a lost year of crops,
they should pay.


Generally so, if it's provable.


Right. If a group of third world farmers want to try to prove it in a
court of law, then they can collect. I don't see a fleet of American
contingency fee lawyers leaping to their defense. In any case, that
attitude is a far cry from the Monsanto Pledge, which CEO Hugh Grant
describes as "what we stand for as a company." Honesty, decency,
consistency and courage. It's an admirable creed, but it seems little
more than hot air when they are hiding behind a fleet of defense
lawyers.


So no difference to any other corporate then.
Hardly news.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.
Note: soon (maybe already) only posts via despammed.com will be accepted.

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Old 21-09-2003, 07:23 AM
Jim Webster
 
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"Martin Branson" wrote in message
m...
Dean Hoffman wrote:
Was Monsanto giving the seed away as some sort of promotion or trial?


My initial assumption was that they gave it away the first year in
order to gain a foothold in the market. I did a bit of research to
answer your question, and found I was wrong. According to an article
clipped from the Jakarta Post:

Branita Sandhini, a subsidiary of the multinational Monsanto Group,
said it would provide the seeds and fertilizer through a credit
scheme. Then the company said it would buy the farmers' cotton at a
good price, allowing them to pay off their debt to the company and
improve their income.

Ultimately, yield was far below Monsanto's promise, and they set a
lower than expected price for the product, trapping the farmers in
debt to Monsanto. Monsanto, of course, denies all these claims.


as Dean commented

Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

This happens with all companies to all farmers, never worried you before
when it happened to us, why is it worrying you now?

Jim Webster




 
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