HIGHTOWER: The Market Shouts at Monsanto

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  That's an old philosophical question, but here's an updated version directed at aloof corporate power:  If consumers are shouting a message,  but Monsanto has genetically-modified corn stuffed in its ears, do the consumers make a sound?

Monsanto doesn't want to hear it, but the marketplace is shrieking at it, saying, "We don't want your genetically-altered Frankenfoods with pesticides spliced into grain, fish genes bioengineered into tomatoes, bacteria added to potatoes, and other manic lab experiments that you're trying to foist on us without even testing your mutant lab creations for their longterm impact on our health and the environment." 

The shouts of "No!" are practically universal: Polls consistently show that a good 80 percent of Americans don't want their families used as guinea pigs for Monsanto's science projects; Europe, Japan and other major buyers of U.S. grain and other foodstuffs have flat-out banned genetically-altered crops from coming into their markets; such food giants as McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Gerbers have rejected Monsanto-altered potatoes, corn, and soybeans; good grief-even cigarette makers are saying no to genetically-altered tobacco!

The latest group trying to get through to Monsanto is it's direct customers: farmers.  Plantings of Mansanto's bioengineered seeds continue to fall, and farmers are joining consumers and environmentalists in about half the states to push legislation that bans, imposes a moratorium, or requires a label on genetically-manipulated crops.  "We don't want to lose the ability to sell our wheat abroad," explained a North Dakota farmer who strongly supports a two-year moratorium on planting Monsanto's altered wheat.

This is Jim Hightower saying...America's farmers are simply listening to their customers, while Monsanto turns a deaf ear to them, preferring to hire PR firms and lobbyists to try forcing the world's consumers to eat their Frankefoods.

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