Sunday, February 28, 2010

GMO Seed

Spring nears and my thoughts turn to seeds and planting. Today at church our pastor, who is also a dedicated farmer, mentioned the high price of soy bean seed. You see soy is one of the most widely grown GMO crops in the US.

Seeds, being part of nature and created by God, not man, remained unpatented for many years. However, that changed several years ago. In today's world a large corporation, known as Monsanto, is allowed not only to alter life by genetically modifying the seed given to us by God, but they are also allowed to patent it. To claim ownership of the genetic components of the seed itself.

For those of you that aren't bothered by eating genetically engineered food, let me explain why this is still a problem. Historically, farmers stored their own seed from this years crop to germinate next years crop. Genetically modified (GMO) seed ended that tradition because the seed from the vegetation is not fertile. In other words, if I grew GMO soy beans, I could not use them to grow more beans next year. You must buy the seed from Monsanto. Furthermore, the soy crops spread to other heirloom crops inbreeding with them.

In time, we will all rely on Monsanto for seed and they will have a corner on the market charging anything they wish for their GMO seed. Not only that, but heirloom (or non-GMO seeds) may not exist any longer exist. It is no surprise to me that the cost of soy bean seed is rising. Soy beans are one of the most widely grown GMO crops in our country.

Give Monsanto time and the rest of the seeds will be equally expensive and we will be at their mercy.

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