Saturday, June 22, 2013

Three big companies

Three big companies now control more than half of the global seed market.

A position that has sent prices soaring. 

In the first half of the 20th century, seeds were overwhelmingly in the hands of farmers and public-sector plant breeders. 

In the decades since then, Gene Giants have used intellectual property laws to commodify the world seed supply.

A strategy that aims to control plant germplasm and maximise profits by eliminating Farmers' Rights.

Since the mid-1990s just five biotech giants - Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont - have bought up more than 200 other companies between them to dominate our access to seeds.

The top 10 seed companies account for $14,785 million - or two-thirds (67%) of the global seed market. 

The world's largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for almost one-quarter (23%) of the global seed market. 

The top three companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together account for $10,282 million, or 47% of the worldwide seed market.

Not coincidentally the report said the average cost of planting an acre of soybeans had risen 325% between 1995 and 2011.

The role of genetically enginered (GE) seeds

The introduction of GE, or transgenic, crops has fundamentally altered farming for thousands of
American farmers. 

And others worldwide.

Biotechnology firms claim comprehensive rights to GE plants by virtue of
inserting single genes.

The advent of genetic engineering has expedited claims for seed patents and
has subsequently become a gateway to controlling seed germplasm.

This shift toward market domination of GE seeds is a primary basis for the plethora of investigations and lawsuits targeting farmers.

The vast majority of the four major commodity crops in the U.S.are now genetically engineered.

U.S.adoption of transgenic commodity crops has been rapid, in which GE varieties now make up  the substantial majority:

Soybean 93 percent transgenic in 2010 and climbing further every year. 

Cotton 88 percent. 

Corn 86 percent 

Canola  64 percent.

The two major types of GE crops are:

1) herbicide resistant crops that enable application of one or
more herbicides to kill weeds without harming the

2) insect-resistant,Bt crops that produce
toxins in their tissues that kill certain pests that try
to feed on them.

There is and has been little or no research on the effects upon humans of eating these foods.

There is no research on the long term effects on human systems.

There could be a very high price to pay for biodiversity and human well being

Time will show

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