Friday, January 6, 2012

Companies like Monsanto

It looks like Monsanto has managed to increase its profits...a 5% increase per share.  Lucky them, but I'd say not so lucky for everyone else.  Monsanto has a history, and not one I would be proud of.  It looks like they are increasing sales by infiltrating Latin America with its GM corn.  That's right, genetically modified.  Now, I'm sure several people hear about this corn and about how farmers can produce more because it has built-in chemicals to ward off and kill insects, but this also has devastating effects.  Not only does Monsanto keep very tight control of their seed ( they don't allow farmers to "save seed" and if their seed is cross-pollinated to a neighboring farm then they go after that farmer), but they are also killing insects that are harmless and creating new bugs that are resistant to their corn.  Any time we use pesticides and herbicides, there is runoff that can contaminate our water, aid in creating the dead zones, and the degradation of the land.  Also, many of our factory farms use corn to feed the animals, even though corn is not what they are meant to consume. For example, the cows we raise for beef who are meant to eat grass, hay, etc. and can't really digest corn, and geese that are force-fed to fatten up their liver.  For those of you who enjoy your organic products like I do, GM corn and other foods can threaten organic farms through cross-pollination.  It's another huge corporation in the food/ag business that's taking control. 

A little side note:  Ever heard of Bovine Growth Hormone, BGH, or rBGH?  This is a hormone, created by Monsanto, that is injected into our milk-producing cows to make them produce more milk than is natural.  Since the cows are producing more milk than normal, they release more pus into the milk, more antibiotics, and even a cancer-accelerating hormone.  The European Union has banned the use of BGH because of the health risks to humans and animals.  Amazing how the U.S. seems to lag in areas when it comes to animal welfare and the health of its people.


  1. Sadly, the things that stand out to me in all of the injustices carried out in the food industry are the many faults of unregulated capitalism. And one of the industries that is regulated the least is the food industry.

    Whatever makes the buck is good for them.

  2. Do you know how the countries affected by the European Union have managed to feed their people after banning BGH without crippling their economies further? It would be interesting me to see the difference in the food industries.

    1. I will be honest, I don't know much about the food systems of other countries. I have done a little research about the dairy industry in the European countries, so I can give you a little feedback. The housing conditions of dairy cows vary depending on the geographical location, resources and demand. They have indoor housing of several cows in some places, and they also have cows that are able to graze in the pasture. They are still impregnated on a continuous basis, in order to initiate milk production and their calves are still taken away immediately. Many places have automated, mechanical machines to milk the cows. Their diet, maybe not completely natural, is better than what we have in the United States. They are given hay and grass, along with corn and concentrates. A dairy cow only has 3 or 4 calves before they are replaced. Also, many male calves are still used for veal in Europe. I didn't see much about the demand, but I'm sure it varies depending on where you are at. I know that when I have visited other countries, milk did not seem to be a regular part of the day like it is here. Although, many of these countries use other dairy products on a regular basis. Hope this helps to give you an idea. The conditions seem slightly better for the animals, but only slightly. They do research the welfare of the animals and how that affects production, but a factory farm is still a mass-production of animals.