Tiltfactor | Profit Seed References
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Profit Seed References

Here are the references for all the information in Profit Seed. All information was taken from major news sources or peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Facts


Level 1

Through acquisitions and mergers with other seed companies, the Monsanto Corporation now controls 90 percent of the market for seed biotechnology traits. These traits are the genes that transform natural seeds into other varieties.
Monsanto Struggles Even as It Dominates

The world’s largest genetically modified seed corporation, Monsanto, has two main products: seeds and the Roundup herbicide. In addition to controlling 90 percent of all known genetic seed traits, Monsanto also dominates 90 percent the global herbicide market.
Monsanto Struggles Even as It Dominates

Level 2

In the last decade alone, Monsanto bought over 50 international seed companies, making them the largest producer of genetically modified seeds. In 2005, Monsanto paid $1 billion for Seminis, the world’s largest supplier of fruit and vegetable seeds.
Monsanto Buys Delta and Pine Land, Top Supplier of Cotton Seeds in U.S.

Over the last 10 years, Monsanto purchased over 50 international seed companies to expand its control over the genetically modified seed market. In 2006, Monsanto paid $1.5 billion for Delta and Pine Land Company, the leading supplier of US cotton seeds. This buyout was Monsanto’s second attempt, after the first bid in 1998 failed due to a rejection by federal regulators.
Monsanto Buys Delta and Pine Land, Top Supplier of Cotton Seeds in U.S.

Over the last decade, Monsanto purchased over 50 international seed companies to expand its reach. After Monsanto’s buyout of Delta and Pine Land Company in 2006, there has been concern that sterile seed technology (”Terminator”) developed by the company would begin to proliferate. Sterile seeds become unusable after a specified amount of time, thus preventing a farmer from saving the seeds. Monsanto has pledged not to commercialize this technology.
Monsanto Buys Delta and Pine Land, Top Supplier of Cotton Seeds in U.S.

Level 3

Presently, the two most prevalent GM crops traits are insect resistance and herbicide resistance. Genetically modified soybean is sold under the brand name Roundup Ready. These soybeans are resistant to herbicides, notably Monsanto’s own Roundup brand.
Gewin V (2003) Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks.

Today, the two most prevalent GM crops traits are insect resistance and herbicide resistance. Genetically modified corn is resistant to pesticides, specifically crop spray methods. As a health benefit, it is possible that disease-resistant corn may contain lower levels of carcinogenic compounds.
Gewin V (2003) Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks.

A well-known genetically modified rice is called “Golden rice.” This rice is modified to contain high levels of Vitamin A and was developed for Vitamin A-deprived countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. The technologies to engineer Golden rice are provided for free for humanitarian purposes by a number of seed companies, including Monsanto, Syngenta, and Bayer.
www.goldenrice.com

Level 4

Although Monsanto is the largest GM seed producer, DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer also among the handful of companies who own most of the worldís commercial seed. The adoption of GM crops has led to an increase in pesticide use: from 1994 to 2006, the amount of glyphosate applied per acre of soya rose 150%.
Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.
GM Crops Increase Pesticide Use

Although Monsanto is the largest, DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer are among the handful of companies who own most of the world’s commercial seed. According to a 2007 USDA report, nearly all soybean, corn and cotton crops in the US are genetically modified. Since 2000, use of herbicide-resistant soybeans has gone up from 54% of acreage to 91% in 2007. Genetically modified corn varieties rose from 25% to 73% in that time.
Friends of the Earth: Who Benefits from GM Crops? The Rise in Pesticide Use
Genetically Modified Crops Up Fast Since 2000

Although Monsanto is the largest, DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer are among the handful of companies who own most of the world’s commercial seed. The use of genetically modified, herbicide-resistant soybeans has risen from 54% per acre in 2000 to 91% in 2007.
Friends of the Earth: Who Benefits from GM Crops? The Rise in Pesticide Use
Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.
Genetically Modified Crops Up Fast Since 2000

Level 5

Monsanto, the largest seed company in the world, creates contracts that farmers must sign when purchasing seed. These “technology agreements” are meant to protect the company’s seed patents. The terms of the contract infringe on longstanding farmer practices, including the right to save and replant crop seed.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, creates contracts that a farmer must sign when purchasing seed. These “technology agreements” allow the company to investigate farmers’ property, put the farmer at risk for financial liability, and define many of the farmers’ rights when it comes to planting, harvesting and selling genetically modified seed.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

When farmers purchase seed from Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, they must sign “technology agreements” which restrict the farmer’s right to save and replant seeds for future seasons.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Level 6

As early as 2005, the seed company Monsanto filed 90 lawsuits against US farmers. Of these 90 lawsuits, 147 single farmers and 39 small businesses or farm companies are involved. Monsanto has 75 employees devoted full-time to farmer investigations and prosecutions.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Each year, over 250,000 farmers purchase patented, genetically modified seed. These farmers must sign contracts agreeing that they will plant only the seed they purchase. The farmers must also agree not to save and replant the seeds for future seasons.
Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?

The world’s largest seed company filed lawsuits against 120 farmers in the last decade for allowing patented seeds to grow on their farms. In all of these cases, the courts have ruled in the seed company’s favor, and the company has collected millions of dollars in damages. Seed companies argue that they are entitled to legal ownership of the organisms they genetically modify.
Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?
Saving Seeds Subjects Farmers to Suits Over Patent

Level 7

“Every farmer that ever farmed has saved some of his seed to plant again,” said Homan McFarling, a farmer who was brought to court over patent infringement. He was sued by the seed company for $780,000. Mr. McFarling was unaware of the dense legal terms of the contract when he purchased and saved the genetically modified soybean.
Saving Seeds Subjects Farmers to Suits Over Patent

In 2004, the Supreme Court upheld the patent rights of US-based Monsanto seed company when a farmer was found to have the company’s copyrighted seeds growing on his farm.
Monsanto Wins Patent Case On Plant Genes

Although the US-based seed company claims they only sue farmers who intentionally break their contract, the company has sued one farmer who did not even sign a technology agreement. The company’s claim of patent infringement remains strong in these cases, as the Supreme Court has allowed patents on life forms.
Saving Seeds Subjects Farmers to Suits Over Patent

Level 8

One reason why seed patents are controversial is that “genetic drift”, or the cross-contamination of crops by airborne seeds, is impossible to control. Seed companies that patent specific genes are unable to control where this genetic material ends up.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Even the seed companies that patent specific genes are unable to control where the genes go. Seeds travel in air currents or during transportation and can contaminate other crops when they land, unbeknownst to anyone. This phenomenon is known as “genetic drift”.
Seeds of Discord: Monsanto’s Gene/Police Raise Alarm on Farmer’s Rights, Rural Tradition

Level 9

Genetically modified seeds can worsen the effects of genetic drift and cross-contamination of crops. StarLink corn, a strain approved only for animal feed, ended up in taco shells and other market foods in 2000. It only took a small amount of the GM corn to contaminate hundreds of thousands of Nebraska soybean bushels.
Can Biotech Crops Be Good Neighbors?

Genetically modified seeds can worsen the effects of genetic drift and cross-contamination. A 2004 study by the Environmental Protection Agency demonstrated that a bioengineered strain of creeping bentgrass was found 13 miles from its source. Two companies, Monsanto and Scotts, developed this particular strain of grass for golf courses, to allow the course to be sprayed with herbicide while leaving the fairway intact.
Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles, Study Finds

Genetically modified seeds aggravate the effects of genetic drift and cross-contamination. If a genetically modified seed contaminates a farmer’s organic crop, they risk losing their organic certification and subsequently suffer damages to their business.
Organic Farmers Fight Genetic Pollution

Level 10

Farmers have been sued when they unknowingly planted patented seed. Hendrik Hartkamp purchased a farm in Oklahoma that contained remnants of Roundup Ready soybean seeds, unbeknownst to him. In April 2000, the farmer was sued for growing the seed without a license. He later had to sell the farm to recoup his defense costs in courst.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Small farmers are often left to incure the expense of creating a “buffer zone” between GM and organic seeds; cross-contamination of crops is nearly impossible to avoid and expensive to defend against. One North Dakota farmer, Rodney Nelson, spent thousands of dollars to safeguard his farmland from cross-contamination and further visits from Monsanto investigators, after being forced to sign a confidential settlement in a previous seed violation.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

One farmer, Percy Schmeiser, was found guilty of patent infringement when Monsanto brought him to court over genetically modified canola seeds found on his farm. The farmer neither purchased nor planted the seed himself. Cases like these set a troubling precedent for seed companies to sue farmers over “genetic drift,” the uncontrollable phenomenon of seed cross-contamination through wind and over-land transport.
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers

Level 12

Currently, most genetically modified seeds have only one specialized trait, such as resistance to herbicide or pesticide. However, research is being conducted on injecting seeds with multiple traits. This process is called “stacking”. Monsanto has said they are actively researching stacking technologies.
Monsanto Struggles Even as It Dominates

Currently, Monsanto produces seed with genetic traits that are designed to benefit the growing process and not the consumer. The company plans to introduce “consumer traits” into its seeds, and have such products as oil, corn, and canola fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
Monsanto Struggles Even as It Dominates

Level 13

Numerous scientific studies have indicated that GMO crops do not increase, and can sometimes decrease crop yields.
Feeding the World with GM Crops: Myth or Reality?

A scientific study from 2001 concluded that, “There is voluminous and clear evidence that RR [Roundup Ready] soybean cultivars produce 5 percent to 10 percent fewer bushels per acre in contrast to otherwise identical varieties grown under comparable field conditions.”
Feeding the World with GM Crops: Myth or Reality?

Level 14

Many countries outside of the US have outright banned the sale of genetically modified foods because of health concerns and infringement on farmer rights. GM crops are especially rare in Europe, where strict labeling laws and regulations exist and public opinion towards the technology remains negative.
EU officials propose ban on genetically modified corn seeds

Many countries outside of the US have outright banned the sale of genetically modified foods because of health concerns and infringement on farmer rights. Although GM foods sold in Europe must have DNA modification labels on their packaging, there is current no such labeling requirement in the US.
EU officials propose ban on genetically modified corn seeds
Sustainable Living: Is your picnic filled with ‘Franken-foods’?

In the United States, 89 percent of all soy, 61 percent of all corn, and 75 percent of all canola are genetically modified.
Sustainable Living: Is your picnic filled with ‘Franken-foods’?