Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monsanto's smoking gun

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot

The Governor of Vermont recently signed into law a bill that requires foods sold there and made from Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMO's, to be labeled as such.  In retaliation, Monsanto, one of the world's largest agrichemical (read: GMO) businesses, has threatened to sue them, saying such a law "is a violation of their (Monsanto's) right to free speech."

Huh?  How would this law prevent them from saying whatever they want?

I've never thought much about GMO's, or preservatives, or food colors, or much of anything else in my food.  If there's something wrong with it I think my system has already adapted to it.  But now after reading this.....

Not being a scientist myself I'm just guessing that GMO's exist because they enable farmers to achieve more crop yield per acre, or they're more disease resistant, or they're better able to withstand drought....something like that.  Right?

Hold on there, Kemosabe.  If their stuff is all that benign, why not just say so and go on about your business?

Here's "the rest of the story":  Apparently there's some really nasty stuff that goes into GMO's.  Twenty-five states are considering mandatory labeling just like Vermont, but they're all scared of the agribusiness legal backlash.  They say they will put forth a bill only AFTER another state goes first.  Vermont is now that state.

For their part, Monsanto has partnered with DuPont and Kraft and maybe others to try and squash such labeling requirements.  They are said to be ready to throw unlimited financial resources into fighting it, while itty-bitty Vermont keeps their legal defense fund in a mayo jar in the bottom drawer of their AG's desk.  This is turning out to be a huge David vs Goliath re-match.

I'm thinking Monsanto has already lost, at least in the public's mind.  Whenever you're caught trying to suppress transparency, well....it's like pleading the 5th Amendment.  Whenever you hear that, don't you just assume the party is guilty?  Legally of course they aren't, but in the court of popular opinion, it's "off with their head".  Smooth move Monsanto.


Out with the old....

Have you ever taken a carriage ride around a quaint old town?  Aren't they fun?  Especially in the winter.  There's you and your honey all cuddled up under a warm blanket in the back, sipping hot chocolate, while the driver narrates all the historic sites his/her city has to offer, always mindful to never turn around and look to see what's going on back there.  ;)

At least that's the way it's supposed to be.  In reality my experience has been I'm sitting 8' behind a horse that had a super-sized feedbag full of broccoli for dinner and is single-handedly doing irreparable damage to the Earth's ozone layer.

But I digress.

Now animal right's groups are saying the horses aren't treated well and the practice should be stopped.  Their movement (pardon the pun) seems to be gaining traction.

In with the new

Now a Florida-based company has introduced the "Horseless eCarriage".  It's an electric vehicle that evokes at least some of the nostalgia of traditional carriage rides, but without the "exhaust".  It can go up to 30 mph (try that, horse!) and has a range of 100 miles.

I wonder if they could synthesize that "clippity-clop" sound a horse makes?  But not that other sound.  :)

I'd try it.  Would you?



  1. Yes, I'd definitely give it a try. What a novel idea--a horseless carriage! What will they think up next?

  2. "Genetically modified" does bring to mind images of mad scientists from some 50s sci-fi movie. Attack of the 50-Foot Corn!

    I read about that horse carriage controversy a couple weeks ago. I guess Liam Neeson is a big supporter for the horses; there's someone you probably shouldn't piss off. I mean come on, he can punch a wolf to death with his bare hands!

  3. If GMO's are cheaper, I'm buying them. Yet to hear anything concrete about why they are bad, just mumbo jumbo. DO they inject them with radiation? I'm agaist people owning GM Dogs, either mutts or Labradoodles. There must be something evil about that kind of breeding.

    When they eliminate the maltreatment of horses in NYC central park, those mistreated horses will become glue...way to go!

    1. Ha! Good point. Maybe PETA didn't think that through too well.

  4. We can trust the gubment to tell us if GMO's are safe. Until then, paying the up charge for some organic or growing organic seems prudent.

    1. I wonder how we can trust the "Organic" label? Lots of money to be made faking that or paying people off to get it.

  5. My best carriiage ride was in Nassau. All the best houses are painted pink, That's what the driver said. Lots of pink places.

  6. Three cheers for Vermont! If GMO's are harmless, or are great for humankind, why not let the people decide? It's the secrecy and the opposition to labeling that makes me suspicious. Monsanto seems like a bully terrorizing all the independent family farmers.

  7. and agent orange was just a nice safe weed killer..... if a company has a board of directors, a listing on the stock exchange and enough capital to have a lobby group and pay off politicians....they do NOT have the public's best interest in mind. They aren't looking at their impact in 5 years or 50 years or any year in between - they are thinking about their stock prices and how much house that bonus is going to buy in the Hamptons.