Monsanto Company, a Fortune 500 company, has moved into Casa Grande, Arizona. Turns out that it’s worse than any of us could possibly imagine. As I look around the community, I am seeing farm land for sale, miles of empty farmland that perhaps has been foreclosed upon, and back room deals are being rumored all over town. Monsanto recently purchased the 40,000-square-foot Pepsi distribution center in Casa Grande’s industrial district for $4 million. Oh joy,now I have to watch for GMO cotton sheets, tissues, napkins, towels, I can’t wait! What do you think they will do with this facility? MONSANTO has been buying up fields to plant GMO cotton for years. The St. Louis-based company has about a dozen employees at a site in the town of Maricopa ,AZ where it has close ties to a University of Arizona research site. Monsanto also has an Eloy location, the former Delta and Pine Land Co. site, which it bought in 2007.
“The region represents an important agricultural environment for our cotton business,“ Ty Vaughn, cotton technology lead for Monsanto, said in a media statement regarding setting up shop in Casa Grande. “Having an even greater presence will allow us to develop and test our products right where they will be used by our farmer customers.”
Roxy Lopez states, “I am surrounded by GMO cotton fields. I walk at least 5 miles a day, ride bikes, do yard work and have my own garden. My husband and I spend 30% of our time outdoors, and now we are breathing the cotton pollen, BT cotton pollen to be exact. Another concern is that we have a lot of blowing dust in Arizona, so my own garden is being cross contaminated with the GMO’s from the surrounding farms.”
You may wonder why farmers have elected to go with BT Cotton, and here is what one farmer Leister had to say . ” GMO cotton has simply had bT inserted into its DNA. Now, my GMO cotton plants come out of the ground with natural resistance to those destructive pink bollworms.Those 8, 10 and 12 bollworm-related insecticide applications were essentially eliminated in bT cotton and even without synthetic pesticide use we have effectively eradicated the pink bollworm in Arizona. Farmers seriously thought the world would be delighted when bT corn and cotton became available because it reduced the use of insecticides so much. So we were taken off guard when certain groups opposed them so passionately.” Excerpt from Leister speaking at a Farm City Breakfast this month (April) in Maricopa County. Maricopa County Farm Bureau hosts a series of Farm City Breakfasts throughout Maricopa County every springtime to share the Arizona agriculture story.
Government agencies say biotech crops are safe — the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency.But it’s not just these government agencies. The World Health Organization (WHO), the National Academies of Science (NAS), the European Commission (EC), and even the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science all agree there is no difference at all in food safety between genetically modified food and traditionally bred food crops. They claim that there is no evidence to support health risks, in fact they all endorse GMO’s.
The following are excerpts from “Remarks by Hugh Grant, Chairman and CEO, Monsanto Company, at the Towers Perrin Human Resources Roundtable, Oct. 29, 2008. In his own words, Mr. Hugh Grant states “Let me begin with a few words on who Monsanto is and what we do. I find it’s always better to start with who we are and what we do because there’s this perception that we are still the chemical company from the 1940s that makes carpet and spins nylon. But we’re not.
“Today, we’re about 20,000 employees in 70 countries around the world. We operate exclusively in agriculture – no carpets, no nylon. Today, agriculture worldwide employs upward of a billion people. It’s one of the oldest industries on the planet and is very global.” Monsanto
Last year, Monsanto boasted a whopping $11 Billion at the close of their fiscal year.
What would be interesting to find to ask Hugh Grant would be “Do you or any of your companies employees eat GMO foods?” and “If so, are any of them ill because GMO consumption or working with GMO’s being in agricultural conditions or in the lab?”
Many GMO activists may recall that in 1999 Friends of the Earth revealed that Monsanto refused to serve to its own staff the very same GE food , and to this day Monsanto continues to make claims that GE food is harmless – so why isn’t it it served it in its own office? August 22, 2011, the Independent newspaper reported that there was a a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory inHigh Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers “as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.”The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group.
Monsanto confirms the authenticity of the notice, but company spokesman Tony Coombes says the only reason for the GM-free foods is because the company “believes in choice.” Coombes says in other Monsanto locations employees are happy to eat GM foods because they are “sprayed with fewer chemicals.”
Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Although the public has recently discovered the company, many will be surprised to know that Monsanto has been around since 1901. In the 1940s it was a major producer of plastics, including polystrene and synthetic fibers and was associated with inventing the modern day carpeting. The company also formerly manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin. The fact is Monsanto has been around for over a century.
That’s good to know! But if GMO’s are really “safe” for human and animal consumption, then why has the Obama family opted out of GMO’s by requiring organic—and therefore non-GMO—foods served at the White House. They are even planting an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House, to feature 55 types of vegetables. The Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was “adamant” about it, but kept it all quiet.
All in all, the awareness needs to keep pumping into the general population, and the USA really needs to BAN GMO’s all together. In the meantime, here are some tips for our readers. Bon Apetite!
Reading suggestions for those readers who are interested in organic foods and where to purchase them:
List of healthy food spots in Arizona https://www.facebook.com/eatLocalGrown
March Against Monsanto Tempe AZ https://www.facebook.com/Tempe.march.against.monsanto