Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monsanto Increases Price 42% on Seeds CNBC Cramer Thinks Justice Dept Will File Anti-Trust Actions

It is about time! Monsanto is a crypto-criminal enterprise to a greater extent than most corporations. They purposely place their genetically engineered seeds adjacent to regular seed plants of small farmers and then sue them for stealing Monsanto seeds when some of it blows over during the planting season. The Canadian Supreme Court voted for Monsanto and against the lone farmer Percy Schmeiser for such so-called contamination called stealing. Small farmers cannot afford to go to court. Schmeiser used up all his retirement savings plus contributions from people like myself.

Small farmers do not make money because the 4-5 huge corporations which buy their product pay too low a price because farmers do not have many options. Without farm subsidies, they lose money. Watch the video "King Corn" about what farming is really about. Corn is grown mostly to feed animals so is not edible for humans. Because the corn and crowding makes animals sick, the feed contains antibiotics and hormones to keep them alive until harvested.

Monsanto tricked India's farmers to buy seed which they are forbidden to harvest for the crops the following year. When Monsanto doubled the price of seeds the next year, the farmers could not afford them and many committed suicide because of their huge debts.

Percy Schmeiser... "By cultivating a plant containing the patented gene and composed of the patented cells without licence, the appellants deprived the respondents of the full enjoyment of the monopoly," they said, writing on behalf of Mr. Justice Ian Binnie, Mr. Justice Jack Major and Madam Justice Marie Deschamps. "The appellants' involvement with the disputed canola was also clearly commercial in nature."

Mr. Schmeiser saved the seed and reused it "for production and advantage," the majority noted. "Whether or not patent protection for the gene and the cell extends to activities involving the plant is not relevant to the patent's validity."

The other judges, however, dissented in part, saying the majority were being inconsistent with a recent Supreme Court ruling that higher life forms ‹ which include seeds ‹ cannot be patented. That case involving a genetically engineered laboratory animal known as the Harvard mouse.

Led by Madam Justice Louise Arbour, the dissenting faction said a reasonable observer would conclude that "gene claims and the plant-cell claims should not be construed to grant exclusive rights over the plant and all of its offspring.

"Mr. Schmeiser was entitled to conclude that since plants cannot be patented, they fell outside the scope of patent protection," they said. "Accordingly, the cultivation of plants containing the patented gene and cell does not constitute an infringement. The plants containing the patented gene can have no stand-by value. To conclude otherwise would, in effect, confer patent protection on the plant."

Mr. Schmeiser, 74, cast himself as a farmer of the old school who habitually used seeds from previous crops to plant new canola. No fan of chemical herbicides, Mr. Schmeiser used Roundup sparingly in 1997 to eliminate weeds around some power poles and ditches. ...

Jim Kawakami, August 20, 2009, Health and Finance

CNBC Jim Cramer: Last week, Jim Cramer did a fascinating segment on the seed giant and Roundup herbicide producer, Monsanto. He posits that Monsanto could be a prime target for a Justice Department antitrust action for their monopoly on seeds.

Tom Brennan writes on Cramer's segment:

A series of competition-crushing acquisitions made this biotech disguised as an agriculture outfit the market leader in genetically modified US corn, soybean and cotton seeds. And Monsanto maintains strict agreements with its farmer clients that leave them virtually no choice but to feed at the corporate trough. Plus, the company plans to push through a 42% price increase on its new seeds, and there's nothing these farmers can do about it.

Cramer states he thinks "the government is worried about about the family farmer being destroyed by Monsanto's practices" and Monsanto's action of raising seed prices is "begging the Justice Department to go after them [.....] They are tempting the wrath of Obama."


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