By Rory Gilliland
All the controversy in today’s food supplies are stemming from large organizations and genetically modified foods. The main culprit here would be Monsanto and their stranglehold on soybean seeds in the United States.
This week, Hungary has decided to eliminate all plantations featuring GMO seeds from Monsanto. About 500 hectares of corn crops were burned in Hungary. The Minister of Rural Development Lajos Bognar mentions that the intentions are for Hungary to have virtually no produce that stems from GMO materials.
The cornfields that were burnt were all recently planted so there was no chance of pollen released in the air spreading and being exposed to the population. There is still a cost involved in this as the planting season is now over in Hungary thus meaning all crops are lost for the year. Farmers are not eligible for compensation either as the companies that sold the GM seeds have gone bankrupt. It’s up to the producers to ensure that their seeds are not GMO. If they are investigated and found that they are infact seeds from Monsanto, the crops are burned entirely to prevent them from spreading.
Products are not susceptible to search in the European Union as there is free trade but Hungary has taken a hard stance against GMO seeds in their country. In recent years, they have burned thousands of acres of GM crops that were derived from Monsanto seeds. Distribution and sales of GMO seeds in Hungary is a felony but it’s hard to enforce because of the open borders of the EU.
Genetically Modified foods have been banned in 27 countries as of right now. 50 countries mandate GMO foods to be specified in the label. The US falls under neither of these categories. There is a grassroots movement right now to eliminate Monsanto. This past weekend, over 2.1 million people in over 400 cities took part in the “March against Monsanto”. Of course, mainstream media did not cover the event.
Monsanto owns 86% of the worlds GMO seeds and patents. Ironically they also own pesticides such as Roundup.
While exploring my coffee roasting side project. I had direct contact with farmers that were affected by Monsanto’s patents. I was looking into buying some coffee equipment and there was a small family owned and operated company in Indiana looking to get rid of all their equipment. They were a soy company largely and a coffee roaster on a smaller scale. As i heard their story about how Monsanto put them out of business as they could only buy soybean seeds from them due to the patents, it saddened me a little bit. Just hearing how they were in the business all these years and then pushed out by this large organization was terrible.