Home Page Link AgBioWorld Home Page
About AgBioWorld Donations Ag-Biotech News Declaration Supporting Agricultural Biotechnology Ag-biotech Info Experts on Agricultural Biotechnology Contact Links Subscribe to AgBioView Home Page

AgBioView Archives

A daily collection of news and commentaries on

Subscribe AgBioView Subscribe

Search AgBioWorld Search

AgBioView Archives





May 10, 2000


Certain coorporate targets...


- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

From: Pallais, Noel
> I would have been wrong because I realize now these targets represent the
> pillars that explain why the developed world is developed. Nonetheless, I
> would have joined them then, and I understand those that do so today. I
> think its the perception of corporate greed that elicits a name like
> Monsanto that does the trick. I think this perception they created to
> themselves is the root of the effective campaign against us that our
> have waged. I like Monsanto today, and I would even consider working for
> them provided I would not have to conceal my viewpoint, i.e., all this
> hoopla has been born from the perception of ravaging exploiters they have
> brought to themselves. By focusing on patenting instead of developing,
> etc.
Painting agribussness red with greed is not very fair. If Monsanto wants
to stay in business they have to do something besides rely on they
chemical business because the GMOs will do away with a lot of this
business. Precision farming and GMOs are cutting into their fertilize
business as well.

In the first 3/4 of the 20th century all you needed to be a seed company
was a farm to raise seed, a seed cleaner and some storage. A number
of varities were the work of one man. He was the breeder, the raiser
and did the marketing. That won't work any more. The coordniated
development of chemicals and crops that use/resist them take a lot
more education, technolodgy and money than it used to.
> Again, I am a proponent of biotechnology. But if I were running Monsanto,
> the first thing I would have done is to focus on creating goodwill about
> biotechnology, with real attempts . All they seemed to have been bent in
> developing is "mean-sounding" gene constructs that only they can market.
> It's the USA way, and I am all for it, but short term greed has made them
> forget the counterculture would rise again, as it did then. I think that
> companies like Monsanto should be busy repairing the bad karma they
> by demonstrating clearly biotechnology can serve the dispossessed in
> dramatic and impacting way.
I am sure that Monsanto wishes that called the "termantor" gene the
protector gene and sold it on the idea of it protects the envionment
form GMO genes escaping into the wild.

The fact that no one forsaw the Eco freaks taking a postion against
the technolodgy that gives them what they have been asking for for
30 years has a lot to do with it.

The equating of organic farming and sustainable agricultre is so redicouls
to anyone that understands crops nutruant requirments, a little bit
about farming and the ablity to use a pencil and calculator was caught
from our blind side.
> I work for the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, and when my
> Linda Lahman from Monsanto once came to CIP, I told her I felt aggressed
> their patenting fixation and I suggested to consider deploying "democratic
> genes". By allowing genes to be used for potato genotypes that produce
> tubers, what can they lose? On the contrary, beside goodwill, their
> potential markets might grow. As we can imagine, hungry people do not care
> about the size or shape of their potatoes. This is just a simple example;
> they should use their imagination and think of other likewise solutions.
> conclusion, I think lack of vision and shortsighted greed has made these
> companies bring this war to our camp. And I wish they would not have not
> that. But its too late, so now I wish they would do something quick that
> would have made me convince my friends not Ecoterrorize biotechnology, had
> been born 30 years after the fact.
At first I had mixed feeling about patenting plants. But the rapid
in cotton an wheat varities after their introduction convinced me they are
the best for the world. The fact that they expire and become public domain
after a preiod of time is mostly ignored by their opponants.

No farmer I know of will buy seed and pay $1 in tech fees if he doesn't
think it will make him more money than the same dollar spent on some
other input. There is no farmer in the world that isn't limited by
cost. I will not spend a dollar on better seed unless I think it will make
me more money than a dollar spent on fertilizer or a dollar drawing interest
or in my case interest not paid on a borrowed dollar. Now the balancing
act isn't perfect and if anything the system goes against new technolodgy.
Farmers are very conservitive people the world around they don't try
very much of the new before they are very sure it is better than the old.
One or two years of results are not enough "to bet the farm on it".

So if I pay 30 dollars and acre for round up ready cotton seed instead of
15 dollars and acre for regular seed I would expect that I would make
at least 15 dollars and acre more from the Roundup ready cotton. If
I was working on a budget that 15 dollars would have to compete with
fertilizer, other weed killers, and hired labor for the one that gives me
the most bang for the buck.

Even if I am not on a limited budget I won't put all my eggs in one
basket. I will plant several varieties and use several weed control
strategies to lower the overall risk.

The seed companies can only charge what their technology is worth
the farmer. It is not like pharmaceuticals where in many cases you
don't have another choice, or automobiles where there are only
a few manufactures. Any farmer still has the choice of raising his
own seed if he thinks that will make him the most money. He can't
steal the seed that some one else has legal rights to just because
he used to do it that way. The law has changed. If you don't
like the law take it up with the government. Don't blame Monsanto.
I don't think Monsanto owned a single seed when the law was


Gordon Couger