Who is Monsanto? This is a question neither of us expected to hear in the 21st century, but yesterday the question was asked by three separate people, two who were observing the march against Monsanto in Galway asked Simon this question, he was staggered to say the least, the third person was a fairly new acquaintance who we consider intelligent and who grows his own veg Organically. Given all the publicity that there had been a few years ago about Monsanto and GMO's I just do not understand how anyone can not have heard of this evil company.
World wide the reported figures for the march are around two million which took place in four hundred and thirty odd cities, which average's out to just under 5000 people per march, clearly there must have been some big marches somewhere BUT there has been no mainstream media coverage of the event at all. Is this a coincidence or the power of Monsanto being wielded ? There are now plans to make this a yearly event until someone listens, maybe next year the press will cover it but I will not be holding my breath.
It is now thirty one years since Monsanto first genetically modified seeds and thirty years since the first field trials, yet they still have to spend millions in publicity campaigns to try to persuade people of their safety, 120 million in 2010 for example. If the products they produce are so safe why do they fight heaven and earth and spend millions to stop the labelling of their products, surely they would be proud of what they produce if they were safe.
But who in their right minds would trust such a company, one responsible for DDT, Agent Orange and PCB's. A company that uses the revolving door as a means of controlling the US government, Michael Taylor is the first name that springs to mind but there are others. In the three decades that they have been producing these seeds they have promised higher yields, drought resistant, flood resistant and higher vitamin content, any higher yields that have been reported are minimal with higher yields coming from selective breeding, as for the rest of their promises, they are just that.
Slowly the garden is catching up, with the broad beans well in flower but with the lack of bees we might end up with no crop at all. All the fruit trees are well in bloom but again we need some real warmth to bring out the pollinators.