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Comment Number: AGW-14769
|Sent:||Monday, January 4, 2010 8:58 AM|
|Subject:||Declaring Monsanto a Malevolent Monopoly|
P.O. Box 6975
Eureka, CA 95502-6975
January 4, 2010
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."
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. To add insult to
injury, Monsanto then prosecutes the victimized farmers. My neighbors to
the south in Mendocino County, California fought back and successfully
established the entire county as GMO-free. This movement was spearheaded
by an organic farmer who, after his organic drop was ruined by traveling
pollen from nearby fields planted with GMO crops, was then sued by
Monsanto for the inadvertent -- and unwanted -- possession of their
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.