A few weeks ago I started to watch a documentary about genetic modified crops. I was immersed in the climate change topic and I didn’t really want to watch a documentary about other environmental topic because It could be interesting then I would start search more material about the topic. But I gave a shot anyway and the domino effect began. I started with one documentary, then another one, one more… I knew it.
The big picture is: some big corporations are trying to dominate the food production in a global scale. My first thought was, Ok it sounds like a conspiracy theory. Global dominance? It can’t be done. However after I finished the first movie I was amazed. These guys are really smart. They found a way of doing. I wasn’t happy at all because it is really not fair, but real life is not fair most of the time.
What came into my mind was what happened a long time ago with Microsoft and the antitrust law. Microsoft was accused of monopoly because of its internet browser. Also Microsoft and Windows where consider the beast from the apocalypse (really???? because of Windows????). Then Google was the next target. Privacy issues, misuse of personal information, a company which is too big, and the list goes one. I am not defending Microsoft nor Google but honestly these two companies are nothing compared to the food/genetic companies approach. What I found in the movies was way more scary and profound than anything that I heard about Microsoft and Google together (and trust me I heard a lot about these two companies). They take advantage of farmers misinformation and high expectations of better crops.
I also found interesting that the 5 movies I am posting here were made by different cinemakers from different countries acting almost as independent sources.
The World According to Monsanto
This was the first movie that I saw about the topic. It talks about how Monsanto is converting seeds as their property and collecting the royalties. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns and it is the best way to control the populations of the world. They not only control the seed but also one can use the seed only once. What is more scary is they can track back, find and sue the violators – it’s strategic.
The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. Thanks to these links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market.
Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.
Patent For A Pig: The Big Business of Genetics
This is even more scary than the previous one. Now it is about a patent for pig breeding in 160 countries. The patent is for specific parts of the genetic material of pigs which Monsanto’s genetic researchers have decoded. If this patent is granted, pig breeding would be possible with the approval of the company. Wow. Because they have the technology to decode the DNA they are saying that they own pig parts which already exist.
Some farmers and breeders are trying to use DNA tests to prove that there is no new invention in the patent applications. If the patent is approved, money will have to be paid to Monsanto for every pig in the world carrying this genetic marker. Many farmers in the US have already become dependent on the company.
Life Running Out Of Control
From the loss of biodiversity to health scares about GM food, the effects of genetic technology are prompting more and more debate. This documentary shows both sides of the issue.
Sorry I tried to post the video directly here but i couldn’t. You can click here to watch the documentary.
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/696/Life-Running Out of Control
Poison on the Platter
Poison on the Platter, is a film, made by movimakers from India illustrating how all of our lives are gonna be (adversely) affected by genetically modified foods. It is no more a farmer’s issue alone, it’s a matter of the consumers’ right to food safety.
About 70% of the food of USA contains genetically engineered ingredients and the biotech industry is spending million a year to convince americans that this technology is theirs only hope. FED UP! presents an entertaining and compelling overview of the current food production system from the Green Revolution to the Biotech Revolution. Fed Up! presented two sides of the argument for using GE foods to feed impoverished countries.
Considering when the movies were released, the information needs an update. I didn’t have time to research if for example the pig patent was approved or not.