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Comment Number: AGW-13024
|Sent:||Friday, December 25, 2009 11:43 PM|
I am writing because I am concerned about the lack of competition in agricultural markets. For example, Monsanto controls most of the commercial seed market in the U.S. and has practices that increase pesticide use on crops which poisons our water and soil; they push genetically modified seed, which endangers the integrity of neighboring crops and of wild plants; they create farmers' dependence on buying new seed each year; they promote monoculture crops resulting in loss of plant diversity.
I've heard of Monsanto demanding that farmers destroy crops that were accidentally contaminated by neighboring farms' GMO plants, claiming that it is illegal for those farmers to have Monsanto-created plants they haven't bought the seed for.
I'm horrified by the persecution of the farmers and also by the legally protected concept of corporate ownership of genetic material.
One effect Monsanto's practices have on my own life as an individual consumer is that I cannot trust the food I buy is not contaminated by pesticide or genetic modification. The use of both is so widespread now that even organic farms can be affected by the practices of neighboring farms, and by the persistence of pesticides, herbicides and the unfolding consequences of genetic modification.
I have had cancer twice and have special reason to be cautious about what I eat. And as I see more young people and even small children succumbing to chronic illness and cancer, I am ever more concerned about the poor quality of food available from agribusiness.
I also sorely feel the loss of a sense of integrity and community and mutual responsibility that should exist among the U.S. government, farmers, suppliers and consumers. I think that big agribusiness is bullying farmers and consumers and should not be allowed to continue doing so.
I would like to see smaller independent farms supported and protected by law, and encouraged to use organic methods--ideally returning to the tradition of rasing both animals and crops so that manure is used instead of chemicals, beginning the process of restoring lost and degraded topsoil. We really need to get back to the basics of natural life. The present abuses of soil, water, air, plants, animals and human beings will not work longterm anyway.
Thank you for considering this important issue.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment.