Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13146

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Comment Number: AGW-13146

Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2009 9:08 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comment

Sarah Messer
1411 Ellis Ave #658
Ashland, WI 54806-3925

December 26, 2009

US Department of Justice

Dear US Department of Justice:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments in advance of the
Department of Justice's workshops on "Agriculture and Antitrust
Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy." But, honestly, you should
be reaching out to constituents in a much more active manner.
Particularly, in matters that are going to effect their health and genetic
wellness (not to mention, the planet's wellness).

As a gardener, environmentalist, and omnivore, I am particularly concerned
about Monsanto's control over the seed supply.

By buying seed companies and aggressively patenting life, Monsanto has
gained control over as much as 90 percent of seed genetics. This is
anti-competitive behavior that skews markets and subjects farmers and
consumers to the unchecked power of a company that can raise prices at
will. It leaves no option for consumers to buy anything, but what Monsanto
puts on the market.

But, my main concern is that, while Monsanto has acquired a diverse store
of seed genetics, they are only making available a few seeds that are
genetically modified to be dependent on their chemicals. Also, Monsanto's
crops do not produce seeds for the next planting season, so farmers have
to purchase more seeds every year.

The vast bounty of food crops that farmers have cultivated and improved
upon over the last 10,000 or so years should not be allowed to be bought
up and put out of commission by a company bent on whittling down food
varieties to a few pesticide-dependent genetically modified crops. The
fact that they can repel insects and other threatening creatures does not
make them superior. If there is one thing that humanity has learned from
centuries of mono-cropping, it is that diversity is the most sustainable
and beneficial state for any ecosystem, not excluding farm crops.

The most devious part of Monsanto's business model is that their
Frankenseeds can cross-pollinate with organic and traditional varieties,
destroying their unique characteristics and infecting them with
genetically engineered chemical dependence or even "Terminator" or
"Traitor" technology that renders seeds sterile, a literal death sentence
for seeds maintained through conventional breeding. Which is particularly
devious when these seeds are sent to developing countries in the name of
philanthropy. Then, the poor farmers, who are subsistence farming, must
spend whatever money they have on more Monsanto seeds.

The same way we protect animal species from extinction, we should protect
plant species, especially the tens of thousands of food varieties, from
companies like Monsanto that are consciously eliminating them.

I beg of you, prove me wrong in my belief that our country has become a
country run by corporations. If we are truly by the people and for the
people, then Monsanto must be stopped. In a true democracy, all votes have
the same strength. The power of any one person should not be influenced by
how much money they acquire.

Monsanto must go.


Sarah Messer

Updated April 7, 2016

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