Monsanto and GMOs Effects Essay
Monsanto and GMOs Effects, 478 words essay example
Essay Topic: monsanto
Not only that, but as Stein (2005) notes, if these small-scale farmers are found to be producing crops with Monsanto's patented genes, Monsanto holds the right to sue the farmer and either force them into a contract with the company or force them out of business entirely. Such legal language in trade agreements has enriched the US government and companies like Monsanto to the detriment and exploitation of native farmers (Stein, 2005).
The collusion between the US government and Monsanto came into the spotlight when WikiLeaks released classified US documents showing that "the State Department urged embassies to advocate for pro-biotech laws and to 'troubleshoot problematic legislation'" (FWW, 2013, p.7). This reveals a working dynamic akin to the transnational capitalist class model Sklair (2002) describes in which "the state faction of the transnational capitalist class produces the political environment within which the products and services can be successfully marketed all over the word irrespective of their origins and qualities." In this case, the US government ensures that other nations will have to purchase the products and technology that Monsanto offers (FWW, 2013).
A prominent example of US foreign trade policy working for the interests of Monsanto in establishing a foreign market, is Mexico after the enaction of NAFTA. In their study on the lasting effects of NAFTA, the Sierra Club (2014) analyzed how the trade agreement has affected the economy and the environment of the participating countries. In particular, the Sierra Club (2014) discusses the detrimental effects GMOs have had on native agriculture in Mexico in which native seeds have become "contaminated" by the GM corn imported from the US. The presence of genetically modified corn strains not only does not bode well for the native corn strains, but also hurts the native farmers who are at risk of patent infringement and can not compete or conform to the genetically modified farming practices (Wise, 2014) (Fox and Haight, 2010) (Stein, 2005). However, Monsanto seeks to greatly profit from its monopolistic control over the corn seed market in the US who as noted is seeing a substantial rise in demand from Mexico (Mitchell, 2014) (Fox and Haight, 2010).
Nonetheless, the Mexican government itself has sought to lower the restrictions on GMOs and Monsanto (Acedo, 2011). The reason for such deregulation and the establishment of Monsanto pilot programs is the emergence of climatic changes in the region that have led to inhospitable conditions for the cultivation of native corn strains (Acedo, 2011). Monsanto's GMO products, on the other hand, prove more resilient to climatic changes, while producing higher yields than conventional seed strains (Qaim, 2009) (USDA, 2003). In this vein, proponents such as economist Matin Qaim (2009) and Stein (2005) claim that genetically modified seeds can play an integral role in the eradication or alleviation of global food insecurity. In fact, Monsanto (2013) has pledged $50 million to the development of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, and has pioneered corn seed strains that requires less water for use in Africa (Monsanto, 2012).