Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mismatch in the milk wars

Monsanto, the huge company that sees genetic engineering as its present and future source of megabucks, is at it again, this time beating up on Stanley Bennett's dairy in Maine.

Stanley's a good guy. Ten percent of his profits go to organizations that promote healthy kids and a healthy environment.

This is a standard pattern for Monsanto --- threats and intimidation of small operators in the expectation that they will cave-in before the phalanxes of high-priced lawyers retained by the multinational. They can just drag out these lawsuits until the small guy runs out of money, in which case the merits of the case are moot.

Canadians may remember the courageous battle between Percy Schmeiser and Monsanto, ultimately won by Percy. The situation there was that Percy's Canola field somehow got contaminated with some Canola grown from Monsanto's "genetically engineered" seed, even though he had never purchased such seed. Speculation was that the stuff probably just blew in on the wind. Hear Percy tell his story. It will piss you off.

But getting back to Stanley Bennett. His "crime" was selling his milk with a label that said Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones. Monsanto thought that reflected negatively upon their drug Posilac, the brand name for rBGH, which is now injected into about 1/3 of the nation's 9 million dairy cows, so they went after him as they had done previously with dairies in Texas and Iowa.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, Stanley settled, agreeing to state on his label that the FDA says there's no difference in "milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormone."

What's in your milk?

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