farmers

DuPont contracts private paramilitary police force to terrorize farmers over GMOs

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: DuPont, GMOs, farmers

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(NaturalNews) The nation's largest holder of genetically-modified (GM) soybeans, DuPont, is taking the biotechnology industry's mafia-style intimidation tactics to the next level by hiring its own private paramilitary police force to scare American farmers into continuing to purchase its products in accordance with patent protection laws. As reported by Bloomberg, the biotech giant is planning to hire an additional 35 former police officers within the next year to make surprise visits at farms that use its Monsanto-licensed Roundup Ready soybeans to ensure they are in compliance.

Farmers that have agreed to purchase GM soybean seeds from DuPont are required to abandon the longtime farming tradition of saving seeds every year, and instead purchase new ones for each planting season. Though the legitimacy of this requirement is currently being challenged in federal court (http://www.naturalnews.com), existing patent laws appear to protect companies like DuPont in their pursuit of farmers that try to buck the requirement and save seeds in defiance of its harsh contract provisions.

This is the exact reason, of course, why DuPont has decided to begin patrolling rural America in search of farmers that might be saving seeds in violation of its patent requirements. In Canada, where DuPont also has a considerably large agricultural presence, the company has already established a paramilitary force of 45 mostly ex-cops whose only job is to visit farms; examine their planting and purchase records, walk their fields, and make assessments on whether or not they are in violation. If farmers are found to be in violation, DuPont then pursues legal action against them, and many end up losing their farms and livelihoods.

"Farmers are never going to get cheap access to these genetically engineered varieties," said Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, to Bloomberg about the industry's approach to creating and marketing its "Frankenseeds." "The biotech industry has trumped the legitimate economic interests of the farmer again by raising the ante on intellectual property."

Monsanto to unveil 'Roundup Ready 2' to keep farmers chained to its patents

Benbrook is referring, of course, to a new lineup of so-called "Roundup Ready 2" crops that will supersede existing Roundup Ready crops, many of which are set to lose their patent protections within the next year or two. Many farmers are planning to either continue replanting existing Roundup Ready crops once their patents expire, or ditch GMOs altogether and revert back to natural crops for which there are no restrictive patent requirements.

Organic crops, after all, have been shown in numerous studies, including a 2011 Rodale Institute study, to outperform GMOs both in yields and in overall sustainability. And with a growing public awareness of the presence of GMOs in the food supply, as well as the dangers associated with GMO consumption, it only makes sense that farmers would choose to make the switch back to the organic crops of our ancestors, few of whom suffered from autoimmune disease and the many other chronic illnesses that pervade society today. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033925_organic_farming_crop_yields.html)

Sources for this article include:

http://www.bloomberg.com

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