Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vanity Fair(?) vents at Monsanto

The current issue of Vanity Fair, May 2008, has an article whose title
gives you a good hint of the article: "Monsanto's Harvest of Fear".
Whether or not you like the article, it is worth the cover shot with
Madonna. The article's blurb:

Monsanto already dominates America's food chain with its
genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk
production. Just as frightening as the corporation's tactics
- ruthless legal [patent] battles against small farmers - is
its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

The article starts out like a movie pitch starring Jimmy Stewart:

Gary Rinehart ... was behind the counter of .. his "old time
country store" ... in a tiny farm community 100 miles north
of Kansas City. The [store] is a fixture. Everyone knows
Rinehart ...

Cue in violins and some cute kids trying to steal some candy from a hay
strewn barrel, with a grandma rocking in a chair. Sweet innocence. But
then, the gradually increasing theme music from the movie Jaws, as
dark clouds role across the sky, and .......

... when a stranger walked in ... and came up to counter and asked
for [Rinehart] by name. "Well, that's me.", said Rinehart.

Lightning strikes outside, children start crying, as .....

As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him,
saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto's
genetically modified (G.M.) soybeans in violation of the
company's patent. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto,
Rinehart says the man told him - or fact the consequences.

But Rinehart wasn't a farmer, so how could he be accused of planting
anything? Boohoo - what do the facts have to do with anything, as ...

When the stranger persisted, Rinehart showed him the door. On
the way out the man kept making threats ... to the effect of ...
"Monsanto is big. You can't win. We will get you. You will

Sometime thereafter, Monsanto filed a federal patent infringement
lawsuit, claiming that a Monsanto investigator, one Jeffrey Moore,
had reams of evidence of Rinehart's illegal seed planting. Whoops
- are we stupid - turns out Moore identified the wrong person, and
Monsanto dropped the lawsuit. The article goes on from there.

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