Quiz: The World According to Monsanto

Please answer the following questions on the documentary, The World According to Monsanto

    1. a. Please explain the relationship between pesticides and genetically modified food.
    2. Both peticides and gentically modified are two main issues brought up in this video. The simlairty between the two is related to their common theme of food saftey and the awareness that pushes us to make a change. Both pesticides and genetically modified food are related to the chemcials that are harmful to us and yet still somehow make it into our food. Pesticides are supposed to be used for pest control but they are often abused in the sense that spreads past the actual pests and into our crops. Both products are said to be the solution to different problem that may arise but are more harmful to us then anything else. Both have been linked to cancer and serious health problems in animals.
    3. b. Please explain what transgenic contamination is and how this affected the bio diversity of corn in Mexico
    4. The transgenic contamination takes place all over in  different parts of the world. It is when we force the change of the DNA in crops to make it grow faster. This sounds like something useful however most of these products are contaminating the crops and then being fed to the animals and the people which in turn is making them sick. It actually changes the chemicals in the crops and turns something healthy into something harmful. Mexico is the traditional home of corn, where the plant was first domesticated some 10,000 years ago. Companies like Monsanto put genetically altering chemicals into the crops that prevent the corn from growing…this in a way forces the farmers to buy there crops in order to grow them which arises the same issues and makes there corn like everyone else.
    5. c. How has transgenic contamination affected countries such as Paraguy?
    6. The first example brought up in the video is the farmer in Paraguay who is forced to buy genetically modified seeds from the company Monsanto and the herbicides that enable them to grow. This is happening so that the soybeans and are then fed to the farm animals of Europe and other markets. This is changing the way of farming that has been around for many years and is also wiping out most jobs for farmers. Illegal Roundup Ready seeds were smuggled in before GMOs were approved.
    7. d. What’s happening in India?
    8. By forcing cotton making farmers to pay four times the amount they had been paying before pesticide was offered to them as a way out of their cotton perisites they were created by the company. In 2006 the harvest was ravaged by a disease that is to genetically engineered cotton.  However farmers had to borrow money just to afford it which left them all in debt. Thousands of people committed suicide as a result of this.
    9. e. What happened in the case of the Troy Rush the Indiana farmer?
    10. Troy Rush was a biotech who was once wrongly accused of saving harmful seeds. Since then it has brought more awareness into the eyes of the people on how exactly Monsanto’s actions are harmful to the crops and the seeds of different food sources.
  1. What is the principle of substantial equivilance?
  2. “Substantial equivalence embodies the concept that if a new food or food component is found to be substantially equivalent to an existing food or food component, it can be treated in the same manner with respect to safety (i.e., the food or food component can be concluded to be as safe as the conventional food or food component)” This principle can be manipulated far too easily and was probably just another tactic on how food companies can make more profit. They have the ability to say when and what even if it’s not the case or holds any truth.
  1. What’s the “revolving door” please give at least 3 examples of it from the video.
  2. Revolving door basically means a situation where the same event or issue keeps happening in a continous cycle which perfect way to describe what monsanto is doing. They have all this power which allows them to smuggle there way into the process of making food and not receiving any consequences. In Anniston Alabama they say that Monsanto was able to get away with there crimes for decades. Lots of people in that town were dying of cancer and diabetes that were related to pecticides that was contaminated by the food. Michael Taylor was threatened to be sued by the company of he published any evidence he had found about GMOs and what its doing to the people and and the miller case are other examples of this. Monsanto has sued many a farmer when their GM crops have turned up on the farmer’s fields even though the farmers say they never planted them. When farmers try to fight back they are forced to sign a very lengthy form which promises that they will keep there mouth shut. This act has happened again and again over the last few decades.
  3. What’s the danger of Monanto (and other companies such as Avantis, Dupont, dow and syngeta) buying up seed companies?
  4. This is dangerous because these companies have the power to put harmful chemicals into the seeds and have no kind of reprecussions. They do it so that the crops will grow faster and they can make more profit uncaring of the severe consequences and the data of health issues drawn from the root of the seeds that are used to make crops and feed animals which are inevtiably fed to the people. The worst part about it is the power they have in decalaring what is safe while still sneaking around poisoning the food for decades. When Monsanto’s transgressions are reported to authorities, somehow the company is magically let off the hook. It gives that feel that they are above the law and there is no way of preventing the harmful acts that are being done.
  5. Why can’t GMO products be labled as such in the US?
  6. When taking into account that Monsanto is the one in charge of saying what is safe and what isn’t you can see that they are protected. There was a case when someone investiageted the GMO products and was ordered to stop. The government refused to make new laws claiming that we had enough data to determine what was suitable and what wasn’t. The GMO technologies was based more of politics then science.
  7. Talk about patents and “intellectual property” rights.

The intellectual property rights were protected agressively by binding farmers in contractual agreements where buyers are forced ti agree to limited use of GM seeds which also gave them the rights to inspect the buyers land to make sure they weren’t saving the seeds after the alotted time. Basically it’s a ridiculous right that keeps people from talking. They haven’t been able to rule out the problems in health to genetically engineered organelles and yet they are doing nothing to fix it.


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