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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Looking Into The Monsanto Mania

I just watched this video about Monsanto. It is decidedly anti-Monsanto, and since this is my first bit of education concerning this company, I am going to withhold judgement until I look into the other side of the story. One thing that I am not pleased with, if it is true, is that I have been eating genetically modified food without realizing it. I am not thrilled with that.

Also, it seems these genetically modified strains of various crops are contaminating natural, local crops, such as Mexican corn. Oddly, this has happened despite the genetically modified varieties being illegal within Mexico.

But, like I mentioned, must do a bit of fact checking before I go off on a true rantathon.



Caci said...

The Monsanto mania is kinda misguided. Yes you have been eating GMO's but so did your parents and grandparents and everyone since Gregor Mendel first crossbred pea plants in the 1800s. Please realize that the farmers and ranchers who grow your food do their best to ensure they provide you and the rest of America with safe affordable food. As American's we enjoy the safest food supply in the world and the cheapest. Americans only spend 13% of their income on food where as European countries spend 25% or more. These improvements are essential to ensuring we have food to eat that is affordable. I greatly appreciate you wanting all the facts before passing judgement.

Retro Housewife said...

That is true - very true. Although there is a difference in what Gregor Mendel did, and the new forms of genetic modification. Not being a scientist myself, I have to rely on what the experts say - and these days it helps to know whether said scientists have ulterior motives when presenting their research.

Academia is skewed so far to the left, I take everything they say with a grain of salt. Business is obviously going to pursue their own self-interest - nothing wrong with that in and of itself - but still wise to scrutinize.

The economist in me however, gets upset when it hears things that sound like Monopolistic behavior - that is the caveat in the laissez faire approach to economics.

Do you work for Monsanto?


Caci said...

I agree that you do have to read between the lines and ensure the health and safety of your family. To answer your question...No, my husband is a farmer and I am a middle school science teacher. Many people don't realize that this kinda of information is skewed as you said and really causes the American Farmers and Ranchers to suffer from price drops and negative views from the public.

My concern is the general public understanding that we as farmers and ranchers do our best to ensure we are producing a safe product for our families and yours.

We have a dairy and beef operation. Many people question us about horomone usage. In the dairy side of the farm it doesn't apply to us as our coop doesn't promote the use of horomones and pays extra for our milk since it doesn't have hormones.

On our beef side however we do use growth implants to help improve the amount of weight gained and how soon we can get our steers to market. We have also found that using these implants improve the health of our animals as well. I have done a great deal of research about using these implants and found that I as a woman release more horomones into the air each day!!

I guess that is why I find it so important for the non-agriculture public to understand that we, as farmers and ranchers, do care about what we produce...its not just a job for us...this is our life...what we love to do! Similar to how as mothers we love our children. We are not just working towards retirement we are working to pass our farm legecy onto the next generation.

I hope this helps shed some light on this subject from a farm wife's view. Have a great evening!

Retro Housewife said...

I really appreciate your input. Here in California, we have done a great deal of damage to our farmers by withholding water from them - because of some fish in the Sacramento Delta.

I used to be all for these stringent eco-measures, until I grew up a bit and realized that we can't be so hostile to people trying to make a living - be it business or agriculture.

Wanting to be "all-natural" and "green" though they sound nice are sometimes more harmful than the alternatives. One forgets the nasty side of nature that used to plague mankind - disease, famines when crops failed. On the other hand, we have screwed up often enough to know that we just can't create something new and go nuts with it.

I think I have to conclude that we have to look at the benefits and costs of each issue and use our best judgement. We need to re-install reason and logic into our lives - instead of making decisions based on our whims or philosophies.

It's a lot of work. Hearing different perspectives certainly helps.