TED Conversations

artist/writer, springbright.org

This conversation is closed.

We just lost the constitutinal right to take Monsanto to court if their GMO crops sicken or kill us. Any comment?

Is this still America when the government grants freedom from responsibility for creating dangerous or deadly products to giant corporations? How can we protect ourselves when our bees are dying because of Round-up and Monsanto can easily get laws passed that free it from any responsibility for its products and the damage they cause, like killing all the bees?

Share:

Closing Statement from Spring Bright

I am glad a lot of people are well informed about GMOs, the death of bees and the battle for our right to know what's in our food.
Not long ago we didn't have to spend hours reading labels. Peanut butter was defined as peanuts and salt. maybe with sugar. Now hundreds of untested chemicals are added to food. We should not be forced to read labels to protect ourselves.
When companies don't have to disclose GMOs in our food we've lost the right to defend ourselves and our families. Anyone who is in favor of gun rights should be in favor of the right to know what's in our food and to not eat anything they find objectionable or even questionable. Shouldn't they?

Mr. Colera argues that GMOs aren't "conclusively proven" to be bad. I'm sorry, but corporations should not have all the rights. People deserve to have safe, unadulterated food and corporations should have to prove what they are adding to food is "conclusively safe" not the other way around.

They're adding "new" foods, they're profiting from GMOs, let them prove they're "conclusively safe" before they can sell them.
That's the logical, sensible, fair way to protect the public from "new" things.
People should not accept any industry assurance that something unproven to be safe should be allowed in food.

Why isn't this a major election issue? It should be.

  • Jun 8 2013: Hello, and thanks for commenting.
    Today Monsanto got a lot of America farmers punched in the nose. Japan banned American wheat because it's contaminated with GMO grain. Let's hope that bloody nose shakes other farmers awake. Isn't it encouraging to watch other governments protect their citizens?
    GMOs are also banned in most European countries.
    They aren't banning American wheat for fun. They have to get wheat somewhere else and pay more for it. There's no reason to think they're all stupid.
    No engineered foods have been proven to be safe.
    This is a great chance to change our own government, pushing it back to positions and laws that protected consumers from adulterated foods. The great thing about big government was we had unannounced inspections to insure the weight in packages wasn't short and that gas pumps were properly calibrated so buyers got what they paid for. And only natural ingredients were in prepared foods.
    Don't be discouraged. We can take this country back for the people living here. It hasn't been long since we had honor and fairness in business. Actually, we still have millions of honest businesses and good politicians.
    We can drop politicians who vote to favor business over people. We can retake control of local school boards, town councils and legislatures, and elect people based on their brains and social consciences, not their position on gay marriage.

    Countries that ban GMOs are exercising reasonable caution and that's the right of all of us. If we don't know what's in our food, we can't make informed decisions. That's not right. And it's not American.
  • thumb
    Jun 13 2013: OK, My comment.

    We haven't lost any constitution rights.

    No evidence has been presented that conclusively proves GMO food stuffs are harmful.
    Hearsay is not conclusive evidence. Foreign agriculture policies are not conclusive evidence.
    Strong beliefs are not conclusive evidence. A coroner's report of death by GMO foodstuff would be a good starting point.

    Most losses in bee colonies are from a virulent virus that effects bees. Agribusiness needing bee pollination of their crops often contract for hives to come in and suspend all spraying as not to effect bee.colonies.
    • A A 20+

      • 0
      Jun 14 2013: No scientific evidence? "The World According To Monsanto", read it and weep.
  • Jun 11 2013: Major tort lawyers are brave, thoughtful people who PAY the costs of litigation and spend years, up to a decade, fighting for clients against businesses that knowingly sell products that hurt or even kill people.
    They don't bother suing small businesses. They go after companies that can and should pay.
    They are scorned by pro-business zealots armed with vast war chests.
    They face armies of corporate lawyers on big salaries who don't pay litigation costs.
    But let's not pull punches.
    Under English common law, the basis of American law, if you knowingly selling a product that injures someone you must pay. Think snake oil salesmen. Selling poisonous pills was a crime, but congress has granted immunity from liability to drug companies if the FDA let them sell a product. This is true even if it wasn't tested, like hip implants, and even if it's proven (by tort lawyers, no doubt) to be poisonous, and even if the maker knew it was deadly poison, but lied to get FDA approval.
    We don't prosecute CEOs in America now, so the only things between us and death are tort lawyers. .
    Selling poisonous pills used to be attempted murder. And if the patient died from poisonous medicine that was first degree murder. It's killing for profit, like poisoning your husband for his insurance.
    Read about murder and mayhem in an old criminal law book and you'll see what I mean.
    We need an NRA type lobby against the unconstitutional business exemption from responsibility for crimes.
  • Jun 10 2013: Rights are taken away until someone rallies the troops to fire back. It is almost that time that T Jefferson spoke of, and to take back our country from the religious right wing supporters of corporational rights verses individual rights. The corporations have had their way for too long. On the other side, before bees, mosquitoes did most of the pollinating .
    • Jun 11 2013: Hello, timothy
      Mosquitos? who knew? Where I live, there are thousands of native bees and bumble bees. The natives live singly underground and they fly like bullets, just whiz past your head. An open area like a lawn will have hundreds of them buzzing around your ankles before they zip off past your ear. No honey, though. But they don't have stingers, so no fear.
  • Jun 8 2013: The USA that I knew as a child and young adult died at least a decade ago.

    Corporations now have many ways to avoid liability for their actions. Using their money to corrupt the government is just one of them, and it is very powerful. We now live in a plutocracy, not much different from Russia.

    In this talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html

    Lawrence Lessig says that campaign finance reform is "the first issue, the issue we have to solve before we get to fix the issues you care about."

    He is right. If you want to change ANYTHING in the USA, work on changing campaign financing, first.
    • Jun 8 2013: Look around you at how grossly overweight most Americans are. Do you think it's just because we're slothful and gluttonous? That we've changed that much in only a generation?
      It may be because we've given the food industry free reign to use chemically adulterated foods in almost all meals, cake mixes, crackers and cookies, cakes, frozen dinners. Go check the labels in the market. You'll be amazed to see that chemically altered hydrogenated oil, a totally unnatural ingredient, is in almost everything. And so is chemically altered high fructose corn syrup.
      Most Americans had no idea our food supply was being adulterated, and we still don't know if those ingredients are safe to eat. They have never been tested except through subjecting the public to them in food.
      The things we feed our kids as treats, like ice cream bars, aren't just fattening, they have chemicals that we know nothing about.
      Don't try to undermine my position or impune my intelligence or education by asking if it's the idea of GMOs. Why are you in favor of adding genes to food without knowing if they are safe? Is it fascination with the idea of creating something, or the idea that business is always right?
      Businesses have a history of pushing the envelope, selling Pintos knowing they explode and the passengers burn to death because Ford executives wanted to make a few cents or dollars more and it was cheaper to pay death claims than move the gas tank to protect their customers. A lot of people burned to death.
      Maybe GMOs will give a lot of people cancer. We don't know.
      Why screw around with the health of a nation so Monsanto can make a profit? It's incredibly short-sighted. We don't need their products. so maybe we should join the world and just say no.
      Breeding is not the same as genetic engineering, as I am sure you well know. We've made turkeys that could never survive if we didn't feed them, but they're still turkeys. Better we should breed better corn than add fish genes to it.
      • Jun 8 2013: "Why are you in favor of adding genes to food without knowing if they are safe? "

        I am not in favor of adding genes to food.
        • Jun 8 2013: Please forgive me. I mistakenly sent my reply to a comment to you instead of the person who made that comment. Of course you're not in favor of adding genes to food. I liked you comment. Very nice to get a positive one.
  • A A 20+

    • 0
    Jun 14 2013: How can we protect ourselves? Boycott. Boycott anything with corn or a corn derivative. About the only thing you can't avoid is ethanol.
    It takes very little self training to pick up a package and, following Mike Pollan's advice, if your granny wouldn't recognize it, put it back on the shelf.
  • Jun 14 2013: You are wrong on all accounts sir read more. Neoniconoids are in GMO's it is part of the round-up ready formula. Even if it was just a pesticide it is a pesticide that is used in conjunction with the GM Seed/plant. The pesticides and gmos were banned in most of the eu and the honey bees numbers have increased.

    Your sensationalist comment comes close to being a troll for the corporations themselves.

    There is nothing sensationalist about Margaret miller writing a report on rBGH while working for Monsanto saying it was safe and then passing the report through the FDA after she tool a position there.

    Clarence Thomas sides with Monsanto on every issue that hits the Supreme Court

    Farmers assurance provision disallows us to take the plants that are growing right now out of production when they are proven to be unsafe for human consumption.

    Look up the farmers that have lost their land due to cross pollination of GM crops into their fields

    WAKE UP!
  • Jun 13 2013: Nobody can lose the right to take anybody to court. The only caveat is that you have to have evidence for your claims. Actual evidence, not the misinformation perpetrated by the anti-GMO crowds.

    Should you have evidence that Monsanto's GMOs are sickening and killing people, then you would have a case no matter what or how other cases could have gone.

    Of course there's caveats. For example, if you have an allergy, then you can't blame Monsanto for your immune system anymore than you could blame those who cultivate peanuts for the allergies some suffer against peanuts. Et cetera.

    In summary, you have to have evidence and have a reasonable case.
    • Jun 13 2013: We have effectively lost our right to stop the production of GM plants if they are proven harmful to human health or the environment. We have also lost our right to have products that contain GM ingredients labeled on a state by state level, at the moment the labeling must pass on a federal level.

      The corporations have infiltrated our governmental system. They lobby our congressmen/women and senators, they sit on our regulatory boards and on our supreme courthouse. We have effectively lost control as The People

      WAKE UP!!!!!!
      • Jun 13 2013: Sorry Cody, but you are awfully wrong and awfully misinformed about science and about law.
        • Jun 13 2013: Entropy what exactly am I wrong or misinformed about? These topics are things I have followed for about 10 years now, have read medical and scientific journals on and have had accredited lawyers read me through bills when I do not understand the wording.

          So please in the greatest detail possible please tell me what me and my fellow activists, scientists, doctors and lawyers are so terribly wrong about.
        • Jun 13 2013: Or maybe try informing your self and read up on the issues

          Google search
          France + Monsanto + chemical poisoning + law suit
          Farmers assurance provision
          Margaret miller + USDA + Monsanto
          Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas + Monsanto + lawyer
          Monsanto + bees + neoniconoids
      • Jun 14 2013: The France thing has nothing to do with GMOs, but with pesticides. I would think that your "fellow activists, scientists, doctors and lawyers" would understand the difference between a GMO and a pesticide.

        The Farmers assurance provision seems to be a protection against sensationalist such as those who can't tell GMOs from pesticides.

        For Margaret miller + USDA + Monsanto I only found sensationalist press. So I can't make an opinion about it.

        The supreme court thing does not disallow anybody from suing if the GMOs were demonstrated to be as dangerous as you claim them to be.

        Neoniconoids are not GMOs either. They're pesticides.

        Yes, you're awfully misinformed.
  • MR T

    • 0
    Jun 13 2013: Are tobacco farmers murderers? Monsanto makes products, people buy them.
    • Jun 13 2013: Cigarettes have warning labels, GMOs do not. Yet they both cause cancer. A CEO of Monsanto was quoted saying "Putting a label on products that have GMO's in them, would be like putting a skull and cross bones on it!
      • MR T

        • 0
        Jun 13 2013: There is no evidence that GMO's cause cancer. However their is evidence that cigarettes do. I'm sure the CEO did not mean that literally, more that the media has given people a bad impression of GMO's meaning Its not going to sell if they use 'GMO' in their branding.
        • Jun 13 2013: If there is none, which is impossible to state, as a) you have a corrupted fda process, b) you dont know the long term implications.

          And why oh why was so much, and I mean so much effort put in to making sure the prop in California not get passed?

          Wasn't done for their (Monsanto's) health, now was it.
        • Jun 13 2013: Mr T here is an article about a little county called France that is in the process of during Monsanto for chemical poisoning. They have proven that GMO's cause cancer. There are also many reports done by very accredited US scientist that prove the same thing. These are not reported on and ignored by our regulatory system because it has been infiltrated by the corporations and industries that seek to control it.

          WAKE UP!!!! Don't stop to smell the roses they may kill you!
  • thumb
    Jun 12 2013: Spring, I think you have misdirected your anger at Monsanto ... they can not change or amend laws ... there must exist a receptive person in office that will do their bidding. You are mad at political corruption. Find out who is on the take, prove it, and expose him / her.
    • Jun 13 2013: I don't think it is misdirected at all, Monsanto has systematically infiltrated our governmental system and is using its minions to help pass bills into law that will help them no be held accountable for their actions. If you don't believe me google these names

      Dr. Margret Miller + monsanto + FDA
      Michael R. Taylor + lawyer + monsanto + FDA + USDA
      Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas + Monsanto + lawyer
      • thumb
        Jun 13 2013: Thank you I think you have proven my point.
        • Jun 13 2013: You are obviously not aware of whats commonly know as the "revolving door policy".
  • Jun 12 2013: I'm not sure which side of the debate you are on with those articles supporting more biotechnology. The problem we have is more of the same. A new GMO plant/seed that is resistant to the new superbug or weed. Eventually the bug/weed will win again and become resistant, this is proven to happen again and again... it's kind of controversial thing called evolution!
    The thing that seems to work is called biodiversity. Which is the opposite of a monoculture food system that we have set in place. Many people give the argument of how will you feed the world how can you feed the poor with such a laborious system. Yet we do not feed the poor now nor do we feed the world with the copious amounts of calories we produce with the subsidized system we have in place. Most third world starving countries don't even want our GM seed. This is because they know its a trick and it doesn't do anything but put them in debt.

    Our GM seed and products cause cancer, leaky gut syndrome and neuron problems to name a few. They cross pollinate with native plants which leads to extinction since GMO seeds cannot be saved to replant.

    Harmonizing with our planet again is how we feed ourselves. Most families can live off of less than1/8th of an acre of land if done properly. Not to mention the ease of use of a hydroponic system or better yet aquaponic or areoponic systems. Vertical farms are on the rise (pun intended) in cities across the countries and small scale sustainable organic farms are doing the best they can, but it is not enough to help heal the world we have so horribly maimed.

    The resource draining large scale monoculture and feedlot systems have to go or adapt to a better more sustainable system. We need to revitalize our once beautiful farming communities and breath life into our Main Streets. Let the big banks fail, corporate greed die and The American Dream be re-imagined. Homesteading and Off-Grid living will create new frontiers as people try to get away from poverty and anguish!
  • Jun 12 2013: I'll start with the "monsanto protection act" actually known as The Farmers Assurance Provision Section (Mike this is what you are looking for if you want to google it and read the jargon.
    Here is what bernie sanders says about the rider
    "Essentially, what that Monsanto Protection Act rider said is that even if a court were to determine that a particular product might be harmful to human beings or harmful to the environment, the Department of Agriculture could not stop the production of that product once it is in the ground. So you have deregulated the GMO industry from court oversight, which is really not what America is about." - Bernie Sanders

    This helps the big three chemical companies hold the noose around Americas food system. Monsanto, Syngenta and DOW

    So Monsanto brought us DDT, Agent Orange, Round-up, Round-up Ready Seed (also known as GMO's) and a handful of other nasty chemicals that people have been putting on food and in the ground for the three quarters of a century. They have infiltrated our political, regulative and judicial systems to pass numerous laws that help the biotech industry thrive with little to no resistance. Increasing "safe levels" of chemicals aloud to be in and used on our food. They have even breached the organic market allowing for "organic chemical fertilizers" and wording on organic labeling such as "our farmers pledge to not persistently use growth hormones and antibiotics". Here are a few people that have been placed in power

    Margaret Miller Ph.D - Dr. Miller was hired on to the Monsanto Agricultural Company in 1985 she put together a paper on rBGH - Bovine Growth Hormone. She was later hired into the FDA where she worked to approve the report she wrote!

    (current) Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas - Ex defense attorney for a Monsanto law firm

    Michael R Taylor - Has a long career bouncing back and forth from Monsanto to FDA and USDA (google him he's worth a read)

    The Honey Bees
    Google neonicotinoids + bees

    WAKE UP!!!
  • Jun 12 2013: It's scary what can happen when people stop paying attention. I, however, am a firm believer that people will fight for this cause as soon as they wake up to how corrupt our food system is.
    • A A 20+

      • 0
      Jun 14 2013: People did not stop paying attention. Monsanto has gone to great lengths to hide this information from the public.
  • thumb
    Jun 12 2013: Hi Spring,
    I still haven't found any confirming sources about your statement concerning legal options with Monsanto?
    Can you lead me in that direction?

    By the way, Isabel
    Monsanto can't take all the credit for DDT. However, millions of Africans do not have malaria because of DDT.
    It's one of those "lessor of two evil things"....

    And that Agent Orange thing.... I am getting some superior medical care from my exposure including for medical issues that they are not sure about... I am being helped by that "don't know, but treat just in case" attitudes...
    • Jun 13 2013: I'll start with the "monsanto protection act" actually known as The Farmers Assurance Provision Section (Mike this is what you are looking for if you want to google it and read the jargon.
      Here is what bernie sanders says about the rider
      "Essentially, what that Monsanto Protection Act rider said is that even if a court were to determine that a particular product might be harmful to human beings or harmful to the environment, the Department of Agriculture could not stop the production of that product once it is in the ground. So you have deregulated the GMO industry from court oversight, which is really not what America is about." - Bernie Sanders

      Monsanto has systematically infiltrated our governmental system and is using its minions to help pass bills into law that will help them no be held accountable for their actions. If you don't believe me google these names

      Dr. Margret Miller + monsanto + FDA
      Michael R. Taylor + lawyer + monsanto + FDA + USDA
      Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas + Monsanto + lawyer

      You are one of few that are getting good services from our government for the treatment. If you were affected by Agent Orange they would know it does some nasty things to genetics. You should google some images of agent orange victims and descendants.
      • thumb
        Jun 13 2013: If I understand the rider as noted, The USDA can not stop production of planted crops. OK.
        But that doesn't address the title of this conversation. Monsanto is not free of legal liability.
        You also pointed out that Monsanto has friends in high places, nothing surprising there.
        What wasn't fully explained is why a major corporation expose itself to civil and criminal charges
        by marketing a product that could cause illness or death as GMOs have been described here.
        Further, I have yet to read that GMO foods have been proven harmful, except from opponents of GMO foods. USDA labs, FDA, nothing big from them. But the biggest testament that GMO foods are safe? There is no commercial on TV by some big tort law firm asking if you've been harmed by GMO,call us.
        • Jun 13 2013: So mike you don't think those friends in high places help hide the fact that GMO's are bad for human and environmental health? Why not try google some of those name and see what you come up with. Margret Miller helped pas a report that said rGBH was safe and wouldn't affect humans health. It is now close to being banned because of evidence that it is very unhealthy for us. Here is an article about a little country named France that is during Monsanto for chemical poisoning of its people. They have found not only found evidence but have proven that GMO's cause cancer.

          http://www.policymic.com/mobile/articles/15889/french-gmo-research-finds-monsanto-corn-causes-cancer-america-should-pay-attention

          Mike WAKE UP!! But don't smell the roses they might kill you!
        • A A 20+

          • 0
          Jun 14 2013: Regarding, "There is no commercial on TV by some big tort law firm asking if you've been harmed by GMO,call us."
          That is the reason they don't want GMO on the labels - quite literally, they don't want you or the CDC to know what you've been eating. They cannot distinguish cause if they're not allowed to track. That is the very point of their push for no GMO labels. The NH Senator Shaheen said 70% of all processed food contains GMO and at least 88% of corn is GMO. Corn processors say they use the same processing equipment for GMO and non-GMO, so they speculate at best the other 12% is contaminated.
  • Jun 11 2013: Monsanto brought us DDT, that sickened & killed many and is still in the blood of every man, woman, & child in America. That was before the Vietnam war, then Monsanto brought us Agent Orange, and the world saw how that turned out, then they brought us roundup, one of the biggest cancer culprits in american history, then they own aspartame, a neurotoxin that should have never been introduced into the food supply, but then how would Dick Cheney & Donald Rumsfeld make money, starting the 2nd day Ronnie Reagan was in office. Amazing evil and now the GMO threat to humanity. The world says NO, and so Monsanto stuffs it down americans throats. 85% of the GMO in the world, consumed by americans, since no other country will allow it inside their borders. China burned 3 ships filled with the poison GMO. Japan, ditto, Peru, Hungary, France, etc....
    • thumb
      Jun 12 2013: I don't think it is just "Monsanto" that stuffs things down our throats. In many respects we do more damage to ourselves stuffing McDonald's Big Mac's down our throats.

      http://healthnews.ediets.com/health-topics/obesity-more-dangerous-than-smoking.html

      Or how about this: http://www.examiner.com/article/obesity-death-rate-is-overtaking-cigarette-smoking

      Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! Monsanto is Evil! OK?
      • Jun 13 2013: McDonalds and most other forms of fast food have extremely high level of GMO products in them, thus is why they are so bad for your health. They have been proven to cause cancer, yet there is no warning label.
        • thumb
          Jun 13 2013: GMO - Genetically Modified Organism? What kind of GMO stuff is in a McDonald's burger!
      • Jun 13 2013: GMO wheat for the bun
        GMO soy for filler in the burger
        GMO feed that the cow ate to make the patty
        GMO soy and canola oil used to fry the fries
        GMO lettuces released last year
        GMO tomato called the FlvrSvr was one of the first GM crops available
        GMO high fructose corn syrup in your soda

        Should I continue? please google all of this

        The only GMO that McDonald's has fought is the potato and thats because it just started making an appearance this year and their is way to much public out cry for them to do it.
        • thumb
          Jun 13 2013: Thanks for the info. Glad I'm not dead yet, but maybe I should worry? Also, I'm really glad that all this GMO stuff didn't change the taste of any McDonald's food.

          But I guess the health/GMO issues are a much bigger deal.
      • Jun 13 2013: Juan, Watch the documentary called "Food inc" and another by a french company, cant remember the title about Monsanto. That one covers all aspects of what Monsanto is doing. Try youtube. But be warned the details, eg the suicide rate of farmers in india, amongst other things, is frightening.
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: Tort lawyers are not heroes, especially on class action suits, I would change my mind if they had to pay court costs if they lost. Most corporations are not your straw man but small business' that are exploited by the tort lawyers. It has nothing to do with justice.

    Do you have any proof that bees are being killed by round up?

    On the other side of the Monsanto coin people like Norman Borlaug fed a lot of people that otherwise would have starved.
    • thumb
      Jun 9 2013: Pat,
      you've addressed some of my problems.

      A good friend of mine moves his 200 hives from north to south and back. Now this is probably an unique situation, but I am sure there are things that bee keepers can do to protect their hives in troubled times.
      Further, I can believe that if you spray bees with .... most anything, you'll not be doing them any good.

      GMO? Man has been modifying flora and fauna since forever. Breeding, cross breeding, man has "created" all kinds of goodies for our tables. Now, I know doing changes at cellular levels is new and I also know that there are some who seem to fear change at a very deep level. Their warnings can be useful, we keep an eye out for strange things happening. What I find troubling is their fears seem to approach severe paranoia or what ever the correct diagnosis. I fear people who would maim and kill over their concerns for most anything except other people.
      • thumb
        Jun 9 2013: Yes this a neurotic society. I look at just the beginning of the Matt Ridley and the Peter Diamandis as they indicate mans tendency toward the negative.
      • Jun 11 2013: The difference between GMO and breeding new dogs is huge. Impossible to bridge.
        GMO foods have genes from other animals or plants stuck into their chromosomes.
        The genetically modified pesticides called neonicotinoids are derived from a poison in tobacco.
        They are sprayed on crops to kill insects, which they do extremely well. They kill bees, butterflies and all sorts of other insects.
        This chemical that is being sprayed on our food plants is so deadly it has been banned in most European countries.
        Japan just banned the import of all GMO grains from the US. The Japanese are not kids hiding from monsters under their beds. They have more nuclear plants than anybody per capita, and look what not being afraid of the future got them there. Thousands of years of not being able to inhabit vast areas of their own country.
        Read Bees and the European neonicotinoids pesticide ban - The Guardian, on Google to get the facts about GMOs from one well informed source.
        Countries don't ban our cheap abundant grain for fun. They do it to protect their kids and their unborn babies from ill-conceived, harmful GMO products. It will cost them a huge amount to find alternatives to American grown grain.
        It will also bankrupt a lot of American farmers, whether or not they grow GMO grain.
        Mr. Gilbert is advocating progress no matter what the cost, an all too common mistake based upon the false notion that corporations won't poison their customers for an extra few cents profit per share. That position has been proven wrong over and over.
        We can't afford to close this barn door after the horse if gone.
        By the way, why should bee keepers have to move their hives to avoid newly created toxins that are being sprayed on our food?
        • thumb
          Jun 11 2013: Superlatives, aren't they wonderful.

          But. let's look a little closer. Yes, GMO functions get right to the heart of the matter. Before, breeders had to do many repetitive breeding seasons to get the desired results. Now, they get in it in one. Maybe two.

          Another point is the agricultural economy. It is easier for other countries to ban GMO products for safety reasons then the fact that they are protecting their own agricultural interest. Read voters.
          Watch and see how the dangers of GMO products will be found wanting about the time the International patents expire and there will be no premium to pay for seeds.

          There have been companies that and mostly unintentionally caused illness and death through their products. An extremely distressing event. Examination of this situation would show that a company usually does this only once.

          I can't speak for all beekeepers. My friend found that by moving his hives south every fall to warmer clime gave him an addition commercial production. He say it is a lot of hard work but a very profitable endeavor. He contracts with agribusiness's that needs bees for pollination. When his bees are in place there is no spraying.
      • Jun 13 2013: It does not matter if the spraying stops or not, if they have been sprayed once the bees will still die. Also if it is a GMO crop the bees will still die. The neonicotinoids are embedded in the genes of the GM plant. All Bee keepers across the country are pushing for GMOs to be banned just like in the EU, where after the the ban the bee populations have improved and started to flourish again.

        The reason that countries are banning GMOs is because they want to keep their independence and not become slaves to the BigAg system. The GMO crops the third world nations would produce wouldn't even stay in that country they would be exported for cheap feed for US fedlots. The farmers would be worked for pennies and stuck. Thats why their are so many suicides of Indian farmers today.

        The breeding and cross breeding has taken place since agriculture began and we effectively mad great crops that we can share and trade with one another. Monsanto is set on destroying that tradition with their patent on life. If a GM crop cross pollinates a field on non-GM crop. Monsanto can sue the farm with the non-GM crop for now have a GM crop. Farmers have lost everything because of this and Monsanto now owns most of agricultural system.
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: I know reading these comments and news can be depressing. But, there is a cure. Robotics. Robots can take the place of bees to pollinate some crops. I grow stuff that is inclosed in a basement where the poisons and insects outside can't get to them. Not this year but last year we had plenty of Tomaties by pollinating them ourselves. The need for bees is really only necessary for farms that grow many fruit for resale.

    For the average home owners who is only trying to feed their family, Monsanto and it's herbicides are not a problem. They can produce all they need in a hydroponic garden. If people did this, Monsanto would soon be out of business because they need people to buy their products.

    It appears to be an impossible task to turn back the forces of the food industry. But, it is not impossible. If people embrace the DIY and Home Sustainable philosophies, Not only while we be healthier, but our communities will prosper from so much food, grown locally, that imported food will go out of style and those companies will have to focus on feeding their own local populations.
    o get ride of the 3000 mile salad greens, we have to start growing our own. LaMar Alexander, a contributor on the Ted.com website, has his own website where he is showing some simple ways that people with less can accomplish more with thier lives if they just give it a try.

    http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/

    It's good reading and will fill your mind with ideas and hopefully take away those "the sky is falling" blues.
    • Jun 11 2013: Hi John,
      Vote with your feet and your rake and shovel. And your hydroponic indoor garden.
      How are the grow lights now? Can you use LED or other lower energy bulbs. I have a little green house for starting things.
      It's a pleasure to step outside to harvest an onion or a head of lettuce when I'm cooking, and we eat a lot more greens.
      I find most heritage seed are hearty and don't need pesticides, even outside. Most native plants like potatoes can fight off local insects and viruses. I spray fruit trees with Neem, a fungicide, insecticide, bactericide from India that has been used possibly for thousands of years. People there use little branches off the Neem tree to brush their teeth.
      When a corporation tried to patent the active ingredient in Neem, a very brave indian woman was so outraged she got a group to take it to international court, and they won. International law says you can't patent an existing, traditionally used gene sequence.
      • thumb
        Jun 11 2013: They tried to patent a number of natural herbs. India has won each time I believe.

        Many countries ignore our Stupid patent laws. That is why manufacturing is moving from countries with patent laws like our to other countries where they don' t care so muh. And, until we change those laws, they won't be coming back.

        A good example of international violation is the three day old broccoli sprout. John Hopkins University holds a patent on it. It is an existing, traditionally used gene sequence. They own patents on human gene sequences, especially those associated with female breast cancer. For some women, it is cheaper to have their breasts removed than to pay the money for the tests.
        I'm not using LED yet. Too expensive.

        I buy organic carrots at the wholesale market and replant them in the garden. They double in size and I eat them. That way I only pay half as much. :)

        One of the great things about organic food is you can eat the whole plant. Like Radishes, I eat the whole thing, leaves and all. I eat Sweet Potato leaves too.I do a lot of sprouting. How about you?
  • Jun 8 2013: I stated growing greens, fruit and vegetables three years ago on only a tenth of an acre. There is often such abundance that we take van loads to the food bank. We grow potatoes, onions, garlic, pecans, squash, peaches, etc. If we let things go to seed they popup all over the little lawn we have left. Anybody with a half acre in the suburbs can grow all the vegetables they need. In summer there's chard, in winter there's cabbage; potatoes and onions left in the ground are usable all winter.
    The reason for huge industrial farms is profit from patented fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, food and seeds. Genetically altered seeds that must have patented chemicals to survive are the logical next step if your only motive is money. And that step has been taken The growing monopoly on seeds really scares me, which is why I'm writing this. I won't get anything out of it, so the people at Monsanto think I'm stupid.
    We use drip irrigation, (no wasting water spraying the air) so we're not watering weeds, so we don't need herbicides.
    There are solutions if we rise above profits or if profits stop rising. Everybody in my neighborhood grows heritage gardens. We share. It's fun and we get to know each other.
    Monsanto bought our source of heritage seeds and now they have very few available. We need an anti-trust president.
    The Pinto case exposed execs who had opted to let people burn to death and pay off the law suits rather than fix a gas tank problem. I'll get the case name if anyone wants it.
    Tort lawyers are heroes. They've saved many thousands of lives by suing on behalf of injured people. They protect the public from dangerous drugs, cars, products.
    Thank you, Tom Girardi and all the other plaintiff's lawyers.
    • thumb
      Jun 8 2013: What you are doing is laudable. Growing you own garden and sharing produce, wonderful. We have a small raised bed in the back yard. We used the square foot method and only organic fertilizers and supplements. One zucchini plant and our neighbors are shutting the door on us. Trading seed with friends, great.
      But, your conversation is about GMO products and Monsanto not being legally liable. What are you saying?
  • Jun 8 2013: I am not a fan of corporate socialism either. I can't evaluate what you have told me. However, as we keep growing the population of the country despite the public's preference not to do so It will be harder, harder, and harder to feed us all. Then there is water and garbage and energy etc.
    • thumb
      Jun 8 2013: Corporate socialism? Political Socialism!!
      • Jun 9 2013: Mike - I am not as impressed with corporations as a number of others are that's all I mean.
  • thumb
    Jun 8 2013: I have researched several sources and found none that hold Monsanto free of legal suit.
    It would appear that bees that are sprayed with herbicides could be harmed and subsequently cause damage to hives.
    The question begs why spray bees? If bees are kept next to areas where herbicides are used then it is a recipe for disaster. Hives are movable, even over long distances
    But you question GMO crops and I got lost in your discussion of bees.
    So, why do you think a major corporation would market a product that would sicken or kill people. Ignore legal ramifications, how long do you think they could stay in business.
    Is it the idea of GMO? Most every living thing around us has been genetically modified. Your little pet poodle was once a wolf. Corn found with the discovery of the Americas looks nothing like those big yellow cobs we find today. Even doctors are modifying cells to cure disease.
    So, what are we talking about?
    • Jun 8 2013: They're not spraying bees. The bees go into the sprayed fields and/or to the genetically altered plants that have poisonous nectar or pollen and they die from pollinating poisonous plants. It's been reported in the business papers that Monsanto has bought a company that was raising bees that are resistant to round-up. Don't you think Monsanto will try to corner the market on round-up resistant bees and we'll all have to get bees from them because all the other hives will be dead? I've read that as much as 80% of our honey bees have already died. And the most talked about suspected cause isround-up. A few years ago all the butterflies died near a test field of Monsanto corn that had some added gene that produced a pesticide, many plants evidently make poisons to fight off other plants, like tobacco, which creates a toxic zone around itself. Monsanto and some other companies make derivatives of nicotine, like round-up, that are killing bees. The basic design of the poison is natural, but so is arsenic and whatever is in Oleander plants and toadstools.
      I wonder how much of those genetically engineered toxins we're getting in corn meal and flour.
      I'm sure nobody knows. Maybe that's why so many people can't tolerate wheat anymore.