Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-14924

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Comment Number: AGW-14924

Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 1:38 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comment on MONSANTO

Coco Culhane
136 Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217-2267

January 6, 2010

US Department of Justice

Dear US Department of Justice:

Something must be done about this corporation's illegal actions. They
abuse workers, the environment, human health, animals, and the economy, in
addition to abusing the legal system and compromising the integrity of
government agencies such as the EPA and FDA.

It is the government's JOB to stop monopolies like this that are doing
such damage to its citizens.

The text below is essentially a form letter but I wanted to add that as a
law student I find it dubious that Clarence Thomas was the justice who
wrote the majority opinion on patenting seeds--he worked for Monsanto in
the 1970s. While the legal principles of patenting may be sound,
Monsanto's tactics, and the monopolizing effect on the market, are
illegal. They are endangering the future of not just agriculture, but our
world's plants.  Their actions all over the globe are so damaging but most
other countries do not have a Department of Justice to examine them.
Please do not fail to thoroughly investigate the repercussions of this
corporation's methods.

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

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 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.

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.


Coco Culhane

Updated April 7, 2016

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