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Vanity Fair Covers…Monsanto?

field.jpgFor people who don’t regularly read Vanity Fair, one might think it’s not much more than a fashion magazine, but VF is known not only for high-fashion photo spreads, but for in-depth exposΓ©s as well.Β  This month, Vanity Fair is taking on agribusiness giant Monsanto in Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele’s article “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear”.

We’ve written about Monsanto’s attempts to control both agribusiness and the public perception of agribusiness.Β  Shirley wrote about Monsanto’s attempts to keep dairies from labeling their own milk “rbGH-free” andΒ  Beth wrote about Monsanto’s genetically-engineered sugar beets.Β  Barlett and Steele focus on Monsanto’s tactics of attacking farmers for alleged patent violations and their impact on rural communities, and their article is a must-read for those interested in where their food comes from.

Monsanto is a hot-button topic in the slow food community.Β  Does Monsanto provide invaluable research and development that feed entire nations, or are their strong-arming tactics disguised as defense of intellectual property rights destroying rural economies and farmers livelihoods?Β  What do you think?

9 comments
  1. Carla Wise

    Kelli,

    I haven’t seen the new Vanity Fair, but the more exposure Monsanto’s misdeeds get, the better, as far as I’m concerned. For years I’ve read about all kinds of things they are up to directly threatening public health, environmental protection, and farmer’s well-being. Also, I wanted to let you know that I posted back in March about rBGH, and mentioned that Monsanto has funded a fake “grassroots” organization to try to block our rights to label milk that comes from cows not treated with rBGH: http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2008/03/13/food-facts-milk-labels-choices-and-rbgh/
    Thanks for calling attention to this issue!

  2. bill

    Investigations directed toward the judicial system in St. Louis, MO to determine political connections(if any)maintained by Monsanto can help the general public understand the situation…….suing & threatening small farmers & businesspeople needs to be STOPPED NOW, as so many are convinced we do not NEED Monsanto….thank you Vanity Fair for exposing Monsanto but don’t stop now, the real meat of this story may be found in a judge with connections to Monsanto…….putting rumors to rest is always welcome….exposing political corruption….hmm…well……depends WHO is suspect….

  3. Sarah S

    Thank you for posting this investigation into Monsanto. It is really disturbing to read about the tactics this company uses to take control of our food supply. They have a history of being a bad corporate citizen and should be exposed. Our world will be forever changed thanks to the Dioxin, PCB’s, Agent Orange, and other dangerous chemicals and GM products that they have introduced. It is really scary that they are still at it, and expanding every day. Why have we allowed this to happen?

  4. GB

    I’ve only recently been shown the documentary, The Future of Foods and I feel like I live in the most corrupt nation around. A government that has no intention of protecting most of its people living here, must less showing interest in helping other countries unless there’s a big corporation (like Monsanto) making a profit. Why doesn’t the United Nations do something on a global level to boycott Monsanto products until further (unbiased) testing is performed and proper labeling of GMO products is adopted?

    Monsanto is buying up seed companies at an alarming rate. An interesting quote was given in the aforementioned documentary: “He who controls the seed, controls the food.” Isn’t that a scary thought…money talks, huh?

    Support the organic industry (it’s growing)!!!! (Although I’m sure Monsanto is doing all it can to contaminate the organic industry too.) We need to rescind that obsurd law that allows Monsanto to patent genes (Genes ARE living organisms, even if they are “corrupted” – therefore, Monsanto shouldn’t be allowed to patent nature). Organic farmers should be allowed to sue Monsanto any time Monsanto’s GM plants contaminate their crops.

    There are many individuals who worked for Monsanto that are showing up in other food, governmental organizations, chemical industries, etc. (for example, Jennifer L. Garrett, Ph.D., became Director, Nutrition Marketing for Kellog’s in 2007 (previously Industry Affairs Director, Public Affairs Director and Technical Services Director with the Monsanto Company). How do these people sleep at night? (I guess when big media isn’t showing the negative effects of Monsanto’s products, people are prevented from seeing or hearing things that personalize the negative effects that are occuring – since seeing the negative stories are mostly being told quietly and not being broadcasted to the vast majority of Americans. It’s easy to keep people complacent about the GMO issues when they are kept in the dark and made to think all Monsanto’s intentions are good.)

  5. Carey

    Ask the residents (or what’s left of them) of Anniston, Alabama what they think. They know first-hand of this corporation’s contributions to the planet. Ask the folks in China about their Bt Cotton, or the farmers in India. Ask the soldiers from Vietnam who are cancerous from Dioxin what they think of Monsanto. Look out for articles claiming Dioxin is not as bad as we once thought. The fact is that there is a lawsuit against Monsanto by the folks from Nitro, WV who have become ill from Dioxin. You will start to see articles stating it is not really that bad. They control the media for the most part and the government even more so. I would not trust this company with anything that mattered, much less something as important as the food supply. They want to “FEED THE WORLD” by creating seeds that produce plants whose seeds will not germinate, so that farmers have to buy new seeds every year from Monsanto. This technology is also known as the Terminator or Suicide gene. I think this company needs to have criminal charges filed against them for all they have done. Their revolving door with the FDA, EPA and USDA is sickening; google Michael Taylor! Almost as much so as the apathy in this nation that has allowed for this company to become as powerful as it has despite its horrible reputation. Pay attention people! What they are unleashing on this planet is not something we can take back once it is too late. There is a bill protecting farmers from lawsuits from this company. The company has sued hundreds if not thousands of farmers for “patent infringement” on their technology. These are the same folks the company claims to be helping. Check it out. Just google Monsanto and look past the first three listings; everything else you will see is negative.

  6. Dr. Ann, PHD

    Monsonto has distributed a product to tens of millions of Americans that correlate with Cancer, Brain tumors, and autism. Dr. John Olney, founder of the neuroscience field called excitotoxicity, testified on the damage of aspartame to the brains of children: “If a human infant or child sustained hypothalamic damage from glutamate or aspartate, delayed sequelae such as obesity and subtle disturbances in the neuroendocrine status of the individual are the types of effects to be expected and it would not be until adolescence or perhaps early adulthood that such effects would become evident.” Now we are plagued with the obesity epidemic he prophesied.
    Dr. Olney warned of the damage that this product would do to the unborn and to children. He said that the FDA acknowledged “aspartame had been shown to induce brain damage in neonatal animals” but FDA dismissed the neurotoxicity as irrelevant on grounds that the approved uses of aspartame don’t include feeding it to newborn humans. Yet aspartame can be found in prescription and over-the-counter pediatric drugs and in pediatric vitamins. Nursing babies receive this poison from mothers who breastfeed. The recent plague of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, and birth defects manifest the neurologic devastations of aspartame.

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