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article imageUS government approves Monsanto seed experiment across America

By Anne Sewell     Mar 16, 2012 in Food
Washington - For the first time, the U.S. government has signed off on a large-scale experiment with genetically modified crops from Monsanto engineered corn seed.
RT reported that the experiment will introduce Monsanto's engineered corn seed across America from South Dakota to Texas
The giant GMO corporation has been given the go-ahead to test a man-made corn variant which apparently can thrive in dry, unfavorable conditions. Much of the American south and southwest is experiencing abnormally arid conditions, and Monsanto says that the GMO seed could thrive under these drought conditions and "revitalize" a large portion of the nation's agriculture.
However, it is far more likely that a success with the experiment would simply improve Monsanto's profits and not much more.
The U.S. government has approved Monsanto's test of the biotech crop on farms owned by the company, to see if the seed could be commercially viable. If it is viable, then the seed is expected to be made available for purchase in 2013.
As reported by Digital Journal recently, America's small farmers are already in danger and are threatened by the industry giant Monsanto. Recently a class action suit by farmers, saying that Monsanto's crops were infringing on their organic crops, was rejected by the courts.
Success of the latest test could see more farmers unable to compete and being forced to throw in the towel on their farming operations.
Monsanto has attracted much criticism for its legal practices, after suing many small farmers for the unauthorized use of GMO crops patented by the corporation. Between 1997 and 2010, 144 organic farms were hit by lawsuits. In most instances it is believed that the so-called "unauthorized use" was actually caused by seeds being blown on to the small farms by wind and other forces of nature. Many farmers lost not only the law suits, but also their farms.
Hence the attempted law suit by 300,000 farmers against Monsanto, as farmers say that Monsanto is the one doing the infringing. The farmers are hoping that an appeal against the court's decision will prevail, as if this new corn crop survives the test, it will be the final straw for many of America's independent farmers.
Last month Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, issued a statement saying, “Monsanto's threats and abuse of family farmers stops here. Monsanto's genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace — to decide what kind of food they will feed their families - and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose.”
The approval by government marks the first time that the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services has approved testing of a product that has been genetically engineered to survive a weather condition such as drought, rather than a herbicide or pesticide.
Occupy Wall Street protesters are planning to hold a conference in St Louis this weekend, which they are calling "Occupy Midwest". They intend waging a demonstration against the Monsanto Corporation, which has offices in that area.
The US-based non-profit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) went after the White House recently for ignoring Freedom of Information requests. Members of the group suspect that certain government correspondence can link the Obama administration with key lobbyists for the Monsanto Corporation.
More about Monsanto, Food, Seed, Corn, Gmo
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