Today on our weekly Food Revolution Papers the panel of Mannie Barling, Ashley F. Brooks and Simon Barrett were joined by special guest Barbara Peterson who is the founder of the food industry watchdog web site farmwars.info.

The Food Revolution Papers is a program dedicated to discussing the politics of what is on your plate. Food is a hugely political subject, it has nothing do with traditional ‘party lines’, it instead is all about how certain mega corporations like Monsanto have so ingrained themselves in the political fabric of the US that (no pun intended) they are able to write their own food ticket.

By effectively controlling the FDA and USDA they have essentially negated one of the basic functions of these organizations. Equally troubling is the influence that Monsanto may have with the Supreme Court. This could have grave consequences should a Monsanto case reach that level. In some ways this is the real world version of John Grishom’s novel The Pelican Brief.

One piece of information that Barbara Peterson shared with us today that I was not previously aware of concerned the Terms Of Use agreement that Monsanto has implemented concerning the GMO Alfalfa seeds. Why would they deem it needed to ban their use for the purpose of ‘sprouting’?

It is a very small line item in what apparently is a 44 page document. But why is it there? Is there something inherently dangerous with these sprouts? The obvious analogy that springs to my mind is buying a t-bone steak at the supermarket that comes with a legal stipulation of the brand of charcoal you must use to BBQ it. Or a 5lb bag of potatoes with a label that makes it illegal to roast them!

So what is the big problem with sprouting Monsanto Alfalfa seeds?

The simple solution would be to permit some independent research on the subject. But guess what? That is not permitted by Monsanto. All research is done ‘in house’ or by well (Monsanto) funded independent universities and research facilities. Of course it could be argued that Monsanto are just really nice folks who don’t want some independent lab to have to spend their own money to check out a perfectly fine product! I find this odd. I am a book and music reviewer. Authors and musicians want independent people to review their work. They are proud of what they have achieved, they want to share it. Incidentally, why they would all love to make the best seller list or the Billboard top 10, few of them are in it for the cash.

With Monsanto I keep coming back to one word WHY? Why do they need this level of nondisclosure? If there is nothing to hide, why hide it? I am guessing that if I was to contact them and ask for some ‘review’ seeds, they would decline. In fact, if I understand it correctly, even if I buy some seeds I cannot review them!

There is something wrong here!  I can watch a movie and legally share the opinion that it smells worse than a CAFO manure lagoon, but apparently I cannot say anything about a Monsanto seed. And if I did manage to get some yummy Monsanto Alfalfa seeds and decided to eat the sprouts, what would happen? A law suit? The police on my doorstep “Sir stand away from the sprouts”!

It boggles my mind.

If you missed todays program you can catch the recording here.

Simon Barrett

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