30 July 2015

Neil Young vs. Monsanto. Monsanto wins.

Neil Young has released a short film that continues his campaign to draw attention to the alleged misdemeanours of the agrochemical corporation Monsanto. Seeding Fear is a 10-minute documentary telling the story of a farmer who defied Monsanto in court after having been accused of using the company’s copyrighted GM soya beans. He was one of a number of farmers sued by the huge corporation for copyright infringement...

The release of the film was timed to coincide with Thursday’s vote in the House of Representatives on a measure to block mandatory labelling on foods made with GM crops. The Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act, has been dubbed the and the “Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act” by opponents. Young’s intervention did not sway the vote: the bill, among whose architects was the Grocery Manufacturers Association, was passed by 275-150.
The video focuses on the decline of "seed-cleaning" whereby crop seeds are reused the next year.  The protagonist in the short film cleans seeds and has been threatened by Monsanto.  He can't clean seeds for the public because of the risk that Monsanto will send someone with GMO seed for him to clean, then sue him for doing so.


  1. Allegedly.
    They want to patent and control everything you eat.
    Their sub motto is only the dollar counts.
    They are about to patent Cannabis.
    They still own the most polluted site in the world and it is a quarry in Wales that they used to dump poisonous stuff and when the heat got too much they just changed their name.
    P.S. They are possibly financed by your (and I mean YOUR) savings account or pension plan.
    Sooner you die the less they have to pay.

    Wake up world

  2. Wow.

    He bought seed, agreeing by contract he wouldn't save and re-seed. He did that, even selling seed, it seems. How does that make him a hero? Is a person who sells copies of Harry Potter because s/he disagrees with copyright law a hero?

    He says he can't clean other seed because Monsanto will send someone to trick him?? That's paranoia. He only need ask farmers bringing him seed to certify it's not patented seed and he is in the clear.

    Disagree if you like with patent laws. Advocate and work for the changes you believe are important. if you are a farmer, don't buy patented seeds: get the ones you used to use, clean and replant them each year. That's how you can defeat patented seed stock: don't buy it.

  3. Re "they're going to patent cannabis?" They can only patent a very specific modified breed if they develop one and can prove it meets the requirements for patentability. Don't like that idea? Want to make them lose? If they offer a patented variety (a story I'm skeptical of but am not going to bother validating, as it doesn't affect the argument), don't buy it!

    Re the most polluted spot on earth? A bit tough to really refute since you offer only a vague generality, but WorldWatch says that title belongs to Lake Karatchy in Russia. In 2013 Blacksmith.org listed 10, none of them in Wales. Can you support the accusation?

    Anything I've read or heard makes Monsanto no more - and no less - evil or money focussed than other companies. I have no love for Monsanto, but likewise know no reason to hate them. I'm happy to change my mind when someone presents a solid rational and supportable case.

    As to Neil Young..he's a musician. He has money, which means he can finance a documentary when he is passionate about something, but any argument made carries no more weight as far as I'm concerned than if he were a bricklayer or a billionaire hotel and resort owner :-)

    Finally, re GMO labelling, as we have not a shred of solid, supported, evidence of harm, we'd be much better served tackling the almost completely unregulated supplement industry, which sells tens of billions of dollars of product each year, product which has poor or nonexistant manufacturing quality control oversight, labelling requirements, safety and efficacy testing

  4. Ah, here we go: Brofiscan Quarry in Wales. So in the 60's and 70's Monsanto *and BP* contracted with a waste disposal company to dispose of various chemical wastes. As was not uncommon at that time - bad, terrible in light of what we know now and what regulations we have in place now, but not uncommon then - that company contracted with a disused quarry to use it as a landfill site. Fast forward a few decades. The waste disposal company is no longer an active company, but the corporate entity still exists, now owned as part of a purchase of a family of companies by Veolian.

    The site, unsurprisingly, is leaking and contaminating groundwater. The site, called one of the most polluted sites in Wales (not the most polluted site in the world), becomes the subject of a negotiation and finally a court case against BP, Monsanto and Veolian to accept responsibility for the pollution and cleanup. The companies will not take responsibility - they never will, as it exposes the corporation to unknown but huge liability - but eventually lose the case for cleanup costs, which they are forced to split.

    Not sure where the name change thing came from; are you mixing up Monsanto and the other company?

    Regardless, many facts wrong.

    Mind you, certainly a case of corporate...well, if not exactly evil, at the least let's call it shameful shirking of responsibility. IF either or both of BP and Monsanto ever knew how the waste was disposed of. Regardless the right, the moral, thing to do would be to split the 1.5m £ required. Sadly, too few companies do more than they are required to do.

    So Monsanto is again no more and no less evil for this event than companies generally are. Let's hold them all to a higher standard.

  5. Final comment: no copyright violation, rather patent violation.

    Sorry for all the posts, but it bothers me to see accusations thrown around with little regard to facts and accuracy.


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