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corporate dominance | genetic engineering

Monsanto's Udder Disgrace

The dark side of U.S. corporations...
Monsanto's Udder Disgrace

Some might say that Monsanto is more of a threat than al-Qaida, but I won't say that. I remember the track record of Monsanto when it comes to seeking revenge against anyone who is critical of Monsanto's corporate policies. I won't say that I feel compassion for those who have been injured by Monsanto. I won't say that cows suffer painful mastitis because of injections of Monsanto's BGH.

I won't say that Canadian farmer Percy Schmiester deserves support because of what Monsanto did to him. Schmiester was sued by Monsanto. In fact, so many farmers have been sued by Monsanto that a national hotline was set up to assist them.

I won't say that Monsanto puts profits ahead of the health of all of us. I won't say any of these things because I don't have a legal defense fund sufficient to wage a battle against the giant Monsanto. In this land of free speech, sometimes only those with power and wealth have freedom of speech.

What I will say is that, in my opinion, what Monsanto is doing to Ben & Jerry's is an udder disgrace. Monsanto, known for its strong-arm legal tactics, is opposing the labeling of ice cream. Why would Monsanto want information withheld from consumers? It's all about money. Allowing consumers to have the facts could affect the corporation's bottom line. BGH, otherwise known as Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, is a drug developed to increase bovine milk production. Ben & Jerry's is fighting for the right to continue to label ice cream that is made with milk from BGH-free cows.

The food chain is under worldwide assault by U.S. corporations. The Master Race of corporations has seized control of the very essence of life itself. We are now in the age of Genetically Modified Doomsday Seeds. Why has there been no public discussion on who should have control of the planetary gene pool?

I applaud vegans. They have reached a higher moral plane than the rest of us; but even they are at risk of Monsantoitis. They must be vigilant if they want to avoid GMOs and "Roundup Ready" soy products.

It must be emphasized that all in this article is just my opinion - no Monsanto Process Servers knocking on my door, please.

I vaguely remember, a few years back, Monsanto ran the most oppressive lobbying campaign in the history of the State of Vermont. The crux of the controversy was the labeling of milk - not exactly nuclear physics or brain surgery. Some citizens and members of the State Legislature thought that it was a good idea to indicate on the label if milk came from cows that had not been injected with Monsanto's money-making BGH. This would allow consumers the freedom to make an informed choice in the super market. Monsanto's position, which was supported by the USDA - no surprise there- was that consumers did not have the right to that information.

The milk labeling controversy - and other corporate practices of Monsanto - have been issues for years. For a while every time I saw my Senator, I would greet him with the same comment, "Hey Bernie, when are you going to do something about Monsanto?" Senator Bernie would shake his head and raise his hands in frustration. I often heard him say that no matter how bad you think things are in Washington, they are really much worse. While the Congress is distracted with growth hormones taken by sports figures, our farm animals are being abused with other hormones. Baseball players have a free choice. Cows don't.

The current attack by the giant Monsanto on our beloved Ben & Jerry's shows the dark underside of the corporate culture. Monsanto should back off. They should keep their drugs out of our cows and keep their hands off our ice cream. Is there nothing sacred? Do they have no shame? This is the stuff of summer time picnics, church socials, and children's birthday parties. Sometimes it is only ice cream that can put a smile on the face of Grandpa. Ice cream - the magic potion that was fed to kids in the old days to soothe painful throats after tonsillectomies.

Giant corporations intent on waging battles against the little guys should chill out. It's time for those corporate execs to feast on some Chunky Monkey or maybe a little Cherry Garcia. It just might be the perfect medicine to soothe the savage beast inside their desolate corporate souls.

ROSEMARIE JACKOWSKI  dissent@sover.net

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont.