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Comment Number: AGW-14635
|Sent:||Saturday, January 2, 2010 4:12 PM|
3610 S Ocean Unit 601
Palm Beach, FL 33480-5877
January 2, 2010
US Department of Justice
Dear US Department of Justice:
I have been supplying an organic pet bird food for three decades to
veterinarians. Four years ago I decided the best way to support the farmer
who did the lions share of my product raw ingredient procurement and pre
cooking activities was to purchase a small farm and convert to organic.
My farm had only round up ready soybeans and corn for decades. In places 2
feet of soil were lost to erosion form the poor soil conservation
practices and artificial fertilizers and pesticides used.
Production from the start was low do to poor soil conditions. In these
four short years frogs, dragon flys, butterflies and earth worms have
returned. The soil has begun to lose the dense compact condition the
chemical damages have done. Production is improving.
This summer I accompanied a former Monsanto corn expert on a field
investigation. The corn had failed to produce cobs in a Monsanto GM seed
corn. I mentioned the corn had blight (mold infestation). The comment was
they would just suggest extra antifungal sprays for this variety.
That is what has happened to Monsanto GM corn and soy - farmers must add
more roundup to control weeds every year. This raises chemical cost not
production - that is Monsanto's grasp on the world seed market. More
chemical use while paying $300 a bushel for seed you are not free to use
after raising it or even if you did it would not breed true but instead
produce an inferior offspring with 1/4 the production.
Their goal of 400 bushels of GM corn per acer will increase the demand for
liquid ammonia which is already polluting wells, rivers and streams nation
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."
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
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.
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 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.
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 urge you to please 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.