Submitted by Lois Rain on April 11, 2011
As if Monsanto isn't a big enough giant, they constantly throw money to
influence serious legislation! Oh, but this isn't an act of pretentious
altruism for farmers. They have a vulnerable hide to cover if they don't get
their way in seeing that
Iowa's anti-whistleblower farm bill passes into law. Similar to other
bills in legislation like the
Florida farm photos bill, it's to keep public scrutiny out by
threatening the probing 'criminal' with lengthy prison time.
the focus has been on animal cruelty and keeping animal activists from
recording questionable behavior in Big Ag operations. But these proposed
laws keep all prying eyes out, including anyone who might discover
Monsanto's hand in 'crop operations,' their seed houses, research areas, and
What makes this a real Judas-kiss is that
Monsanto pretends to act on the behalf of farmers. Monsanto will make sure
you don't go snooping around, but they will continue to trespass on farms to
so they can sue that farmer for patent infringement if they find GM
seed. And yes, there will be provisions in Iowa's bill to allow Monsanto to
trespass and carry out their witch hunt. Don't you dare try to uncover
animal cruelty and 'seedy' operations, but Monsanto can continue to
pose as undercover land mappers and local fellow AA members to trap
Speaking of Monsanto, it turns out they are playing a role in Iowa's
proposed anti-whistleblower bill -- a bill focused primarily on agriculture.
Should the bill pass, it will become illegal to produce undercover videos at
various types of agricultural facilities (as well as to get a job at a
facility with the express intent of producing a video). Sarah Damian of the
Government Accountability Project, a 'whistleblower advocacy organization,'
observes over at the Food Integrity Campaign's blog that Monsanto has been
throwing lobbying dollars behind Iowa's effort to draw a steel curtain
around food production. And not without reason:
-- Monsanto has more facilities in Iowa than in any other state in the
country, with more than 25 offices. The company is heavily invested in the
bill's outcome because 'crop operations' are also covered, which would apply
to Monsanto's seed houses, pesticide manufacturing plants and research
facilities throughout Iowa. The biotech and crop chemical giant wouldn't
want any undercover videos produced on its clock, apparently. That's a bit
ironic, however, given the fact that Monsanto investigators are notorious
for trespassing on farmers' property and going to extreme measures to
produce evidence of seed patent infringement, including posing as land
mappers or even joining a local Alcohol Anonymous group to gain the farmers'
trust and gain video access to their fields. Talk about undercover.
And don't think that Monsanto hasn't planned ahead. According to Damian,
there are provisions in the bill that would allow Monsanto to continue
snooping around farmers' fields in its ongoing search for so-called 'seed
thieves' aka 'patent infringers.' Despite occasional setbacks and even
uncertainty in the marketplace, let it not be said that Monsanto has lost
its taste for playing the heavy.
BY TOM LASKAWY