on why you have a problem with Monsanto

Quite simply because you formed your political opinions in the years of No-Corporate-Globalisation..
Late nighties, early noughties, when there was an enormous amount of uprising and contestation around issues of big multinationals overshadowing locally elected governments for the benefit of an increasingly smaller amount of individuals..
The issues are still current, nothing stopped, neither the corporation’s deals or the grass-root dissent.
There was a major media shift though, in 2001: first the last violent crack down on people assemblies (made up of groups as far apart as Churches, Farmers, Communist, Trade Unions, Civil Right Organizations, etc ) at the G8 in Genova, July 2001, and soon after the attack on the World Trade Center, September 2001, which marked the end of people’s right to voice their concerns.
No conspiracy theory here, just facts.

Crop Design - The fine art of gene discovery

Monsanto is a U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup”. Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it provides the technology in 90% of the world’s GE seeds. More info here

So, being an advocate for the reappraisal of ‘weeds’, as an under-appreciated resource, as a clear hint from the environment about self-remediation and importantly as a clear cultural connection, whoever makes Roundup is not gonna be on your good books. Roundup is the number one selling herbicide worldwide since at least 1980.

You recently re-acquainted yourself with the doings of this Monsanto, mostly due to the fact that the current project you developing, weedbook, is rather information hungry. You daily search around for links and stories to feed into the pages and weed profiles connected, and the corporation keeps coming up.

So this post is a kind of collection of links which have in common food production, agricultural sustainability, control of weeds in a monoculture system and Monsanto.

First up is this, a story from The Age, Seeds of Discontent by Geoff Strong, in which we are presented with an overview of the current state of Monsanto-dependent agriculture. Interestingly the article brings up a disenchantment with the Genetically Modified canola seeds which heavily rely on Roundup to guarantee high yields, but fails to deliver. Also very interesting are a few comments to the article by more disenchanted people.

Next is this article, in which it gets outlined the danger of a proposed Senate Bill in the USA that, if accepted, would ‘preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes’. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice.
Monsanto claimed no part in this political ruling, yet strong suspicions araised, and indeed the Corporation made a name for themselves already about its aggressive litigation, political lobbying practices, seed commercialization practices and “strong-arming” of the seed industry.

This is people with big money, strong political influence and great interest in monopolising food production.
We are a bunch of bloggers and whistleblowers and, in your case, make pretty statements in the form of ‘art’.
The lesson you got from the ‘No-Global’ years is that we were up against enormous media-machines, who could quite successfully disregard and/or deviate public concerns.
Yet ‘people’ are not stupid, they can read between the lines, took the blow and shifted, embodying the change rather than demanding it.
Not over yet Monsanto.

Peoples like weeds develop resistance, they indeed become ‘Super Weeds‘, and that is worrying Monsanto, so that for the past few years they have been working hard to come up with the next big weedkiller.
How sad is to see such a battle to engulf food production, to levels that now many other chemical companies devote themselves to the creation of the new super poison.
How short sighted in your opinion.

And yet, how much relief you get when you witness the growing interest of communities, farmers, gardeners and parents to take control of the way they live with the environment, by NOT using any of the aforementioned poisons.
Well done youse, you know who you are.

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
This entry was posted in Cultural diversity, Other's Weeds Art, WeedKiller, wide weeds debate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to on why you have a problem with Monsanto

  1. The Weed One says:

    and here’s another link about recent Monsanto’s doing:
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3007571.htm

    kind of scary really:
    ‘Last week the US-based Monsanto secured a 20 per cent minority interest in Western Australia’s InterGrain and launched an advocacy and “education” campaign to promote the benefits of genetic modification to consumers.’

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