I remember when buying seed was simply buying seed. You went to the feed store and purchased as many bags of seed that you needed, paid for it, loaded it in your truck, and went home to plant: simple, effective, and economical. Seed was saved for the next year’s planting, and that was normal. Not so anymore. Now a simple farmer must sign a grower’s contract with agribusiness giants in order to gain permission to plant GM (Genetically Modified) crops, which gives the seed company the right to monitor his farming operation, go onto his property to take samples anytime and anywhere it wants to, and to literally shut his operation down for non-compliance with the contract.
Why do farmers get tangled up in this mess? Probably because they have swallowed the lie that GM crops are beneficial, are thinking about higher profits, less work, and don’t take the time to read the fine print in the documents they sign. Now they are stuck. It’s either comply or go broke, and so the cycle continues.
Which brings me to the following question: when did we stop reading what we sign? Let me ask you a personal question. Do you read everything that you agree to whether it is in writing or via electronic medium? If you do, you are in the minority. Let’s take those agreements that we have to agree to every time we download a program. Do you read them? Do you go through all of the fine print and understand all of the terms and conditions? I didn’t think so. You’re not alone, neither does Congress. Not one Congressman read the entire Stimulus Package before it was signed. Reading the entire thing in as short a period as they were given was impossible. And so it is with farmers. Oh, they have the time to read the fine print, but do they?
I cannot imagine agreeing with the following statement that comes directly from the Monsanto Technology Use Agreement Terms and Conditions (TUA) for Roundup Ready Canola:
Item #4 The Grower grants Monsanto the right to inspect, take samples and test all of the Grower’s owned and/or leased fields planted with canola, or any other land farmed by the Grower, and to monitor the Grower’s canola fields and storage bins for the following three years for compliance with the terms of this Agreement...
Okay, so let me get this straight. Let’s say that I am a farmer, and I go into a store and buy Roundup Ready Canola seeds and sign the agreement. I plant the seeds, and after realizing that I would rather not use the seed again next year, I must make sure that I completely clean the fields, storage bins, seed cleaning equipment, and any place that a seed might get lodged and actually grow, because Monsanto can come in and inspect my fields and equipment for three years after my purchase to make sure that I am in compliance. If the company finds a Roundup Ready Canola plant anywhere on my property, then I am in violation of the agreement and the following paragraph of the Agreement comes into play:
Item #5 If the Grower violates any of the Terms and Conditions of the Agreement, the Grower shall forfeit any right to obtain any Agreement in the future and this Agreement may, at Monsanto’s option be terminated immediately. In the event of any use of the Roundup Ready canola seed, which is not specifically authorized in this Agreement, the Grower agrees that Monsanto will incur a substantial risk of losing control of Roundup Ready Canola seed and that it may not be possible to accurately determine the amount of Monsanto’s damages. The Grower therefore agrees:
a) to pay Monsanto $15.00 per acre for every acre planted with Roundup Ready Canola seed not covered by this Agreement; and
b) to deliver to Monsanto or its designated agent, at the Grower’s expense, all seed containing the Roundup Ready gene that results from the unauthorized use of Roundup Ready Canola; or at Monsanto’s option, the Grower shall destroy all crop containing the Roundup Ready gene resulting from the unauthorized use of Roundup Ready Canola;...
To read the rest of the article and view the video, please go HERE