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Comment Number: AGW-13271
|Sent:||Sunday, December 27, 2009 7:03 PM|
PO Box 19701
Portland, OR 97280-0701
December 27, 2009
US Department of Justice
Dear US Department of Justice:
The following is a comment in advance of the Department of Justice's
workshops on "Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st
As an organic consumer, 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
My main concern, however, is that--while Monsanto has acquired a diverse
store of seed genetics--Monsanto is only making available a few seeds that
are genetically modified to be dependent on their chemicals.
The vast bounty of food crops that farmers have cultivated and improved
upon over the last 10,000 or so years must never 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 most devious part of Monsanto's business model is that their
genetically modified seeds 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.
In the same way we protect animal species from extinction, we must protect
plant species, especially the tens of thousands of food varieties, from
companies like Monsanto that are consciously eliminating them.
I strongly urge you to include in your investigation a consideration of
the importance keeping seeds, the foundation of human life, at least in
the marketplace, if not in the public domain where they truly belong.