November 24th, 2011
by Alex Hallatt
This cartoon was inspired by the way an agrochemical company protects its patents (on its GM crops).
According to the Guardian:
more than 80% of the GM seeds sold each year are owned and sold by one company, Monsanto
As a lapsed biochemist, I don’t have a problem with genetically modified crops on principle – extensive testing shows the organisms to be safe and there is potential to create plants which would be useful in a warming world (resistant to salinity and pests).
But the patents and ruthless enforcement of them mean that only the rich parts of the world gain from the technology. It also threatens organic farming and the seed-savers who should be able to co-exist with GM seed users.
Monsanto’s behaviour in suing small farmers (who have GM plants from seed blown onto their land) for patent infringement hasn’t helped their cause, or the cause of smaller GM entities who may have been able to provide truly useful (not extremely profitable) plants.
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