Is Monsanto Satan? The Pleasure and Problem of Conspiracy Theory

In this contribution to It’s Your Fault, The Cubit’s series on blame in contemporary society, Alan Levinovitz explores the widespread animus toward Monsanto—and how that animus shapes the work of writers who, like him, cover food culture and policy.

For more on blame, read the introductory post or explore the full series.

In one of the Grimm brothers’ less popular tales, Satan visits Martin Luther’s study at Wartburg Castle to stop him from translating the New Testament. Luther, long accustomed to encounters with the devil and his minions, chucks an inkwell at Satan’s head, leaving a dark stain in the study. As the Grimms tell it, tour guides show the stain to visitors until, after hundreds of years, it finally fades away.

Belief in Satan, like Luther’s inkstain, has faded over the centuries. According to Barna data, the majority of modern Americans—and modern Christians—do not believe that Satan walks among us, preferring instead to identify the great deceiver as a symbol of evil. People today would likely blame the inkwell incident on madness. And we now see madness itself, once blamed on the Evil One and his servants, as emerging from the chaotic causal nexus of biology and circumstance.

But Satan has not disappeared. We need him too much. In the ongoing struggle with inexplicable suffering, there is no greater comfort than finding a target for simple, righteous blame. And so the list of Infernal Names, now secularized, grows ever longer: Big Government, Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Food. These are complex systems, of course—too complex to serve as satisfying scapegoats. But through the alchemy of capital letters we transform them into fairy-tale caricatures of corruption and deceit, villains that help to make sense of it all.

My own Satan has always been Big Business. For many years, I nurtured a hatred of profit-driven corporations and banks, engines of greed that deploy deceitful agents to visit iniquity on an unsuspecting public. I delighted in exposés of corporate malfeasance, and I found it difficult to conceive of investment bankers or advertisers as anything more than shells of humans, animated by an unholy desire to accumulate wealth and serve their masters. I saw my own occupation—professor of religious studies—as ideally situated for objective critique. I had traded the hollow promise of great riches for the intrinsic good of seeking truth.

So it came as quite a shock when people began calling me one of Satan’s minions.

It all started with MSG. While I was living abroad in China, I found that many expatriates insisted they were highly sensitive to MSG, yet multiple double-blind, placebo-controlled trials had led allergists to conclude MSG sensitivity is largely psychosomatic. In itself, this wasn’t surprising: the mind is well-known for having powerful positive (placebo) and negative (nocebo) effects on health. What surprised me was the dogmatic fervor with which my companions denied these findings. I noticed that similar dogmatism attends most debates about diet and health, and my fascination with the quasi-religious foundations of culinary culture led me to write various articles and a book.

The accusations began almost immediately. Again and again, online commenters accused me of being paid by Big Food to spread propaganda. And while Big Food consists of quite a few multinational corporations, commenters most often blamed my corruption on Monsanto, the agricultural biotechnology giant. Monsanto’s legendary depravity goes back for decades—they made Agent Orange for the government—earning it the nickname Monsatan (see #Monsatan on Twitter), a dedicated resistance campaign, Millions Against Monsanto, and yearly protest marches in over 40 countries.

Like most people, I knew how bad Monsanto really was, despite not having thought too hard about it. (It is the 3rd most hated company in America.) I knew Monsanto sues farmers into oblivion, caused a rash of suicides in India, suppresses negative media coverage, and pays politicians, and scientists to lie on its behalf.

But there was one story I didn’t believe, because I knew it wasn’t true: Monsanto hadn’t paid me. So I did what any academic or journalist would do, and started learning more about the company that supposedly had me on its payroll. In the process, I discovered that very little coverage of Monsanto included extensive discussions with representatives of the company. When it did, or when the coverage wasn’t completely negative, comment threads exploded with accusations of bribery. In one high-profile example, anti-GMO activist Vandana Shiva suggested that journalist Michael Specter and The New Yorker were Monsanto shills after Specter published a less-than-flattering profile of her activism.

David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, responded to Shiva’s criticism with a letter that the magazine subsequently released to the public. Remnick’s letter opens by acknowledging the futility of arguing with someone who believes in a great deceiver possessed of near-infinite power.

“I should say,” writes Remnick, “that since you have said that the entire scientific establishment has been bought and paid for by Monsanto, I fear it will be difficult to converse meaningfully about your accusation that the story contained ‘fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality.’”

This is why believing in Satan is so dangerous—and so tempting: If he really exists, we can protect our most deeply held beliefs by blaming any opposition on the work of a great deceiver. There is no need for dialogue. In fact, dialogue is inadvisable, because the deceiver is so powerful that any contact risks corruption. Best to avoid it entirely, lest you end up like Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who changed his mind on GMOs after visiting Monsanto.

Under most circumstances, the reasonable explanation would be that Nye was persuaded by argument and evidence. But for those who believe in Monsatan, the better—the only—explanation is that Nye was coerced, just as the best explanation for my skepticism about the dangers of grains or MSG is that the industry has paid me.

Shiva’s logic, the logic of believing in Satan, is really just the logic of conspiracy: simple, irrefutable, and empowering. Scholar of apocalypticism Michael Barkun puts it well:

[The conspiracy theorist’s view] is frightening because it magnifies the power of evil, leading in some cases to an outright dualism in which light and darkness struggle for cosmic supremacy. At the same time, however, it is reassuring, for it promises a world that is meaningful rather than arbitrary. Not only are events nonrandom, but the clear identification of evil gives the conspiracist a definable enemy against which to struggle, endowing life with purpose.

Unfortunately, reassuring narratives of good and evil are incapable of communicating complicated realities. Annie’s Naturals is owned by General Mills; Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox. Merck has defrauded the government; it has also developed a remarkable cure for hepatitis C. Independent university researchers—and activists!—can falsify data; corporate researchers can do excellent, unbiased work.

Monsanto may well be as bad as its detractors assert (tobacco companies certainly proved worse than anyone imagined). But the current climate makes it impossible to find out. Widespread belief in Monsanto’s irredeemably evil nature discourages unbiased reporting. I know this because I experienced it myself.

For a time, I wanted to write about the company being blamed for my work. I interviewed scientists who had worked there. A complicated picture emerged, of a large (but not too large—about the size of Whole Foods) multinational that employed a wide variety of people, some of whom cared mainly about making money, and others who cared mainly about doing good science. I saw a company that litigated fiercely, but no more fiercely than Sony, Disney, or Apple, and I wondered why people—myself included—felt that seeds should be governed by different intellectual property laws than, say, tractors.

But then I realized I would never write that story. It wasn’t worth it. Why risk associating myself, even in passing, with Satan? Other journalists have told me they feel the same way. “I’m not proud of the chilling effect it has on me,” says Nathanael Johnson, who writes about food and the environment for Grist.

“There’s a real problem. If you don’t want to be a biased reporter, you have to talk to Monsanto, but just talking to them will be perceived as selling out. You can’t do the same piece that a tech reporter might do about Apple—even though Apple is the biggest corporation in the world and much more litigious.”

This is tremendously problematic, not least because it means the public conversation about important issues will be dominated by zealots. Take GMOs. On one side there are the activists, wearing gas masks and waving anti-Monsanto signs emblazoned with skulls. On the other are those who come to believe that any opposition to GMOs springs from deep-seated idiocy; the work of anti-science demons.

It would be nice if none of this rancor affected reporting, but that’s wishful thinking. Journalists, editors, and publishers care about accuracy, but they also worry about their audience. When that audience insists on believing in Satan, stories will be far more likely to feature him—even if he doesn’t exist.

Like David Remnick, I fear it will be difficult to converse meaningfully with people for whom belief in a great deceiver endows their life with purpose. But as an academic and a journalist, the only thing I fear more than damaging my reputation is an environment in which meaningful conversation is rendered impossible by fervent belief in comfortable falsehoods. I enjoy believing that investment bankers are soulless agents of Big Banking, but not as much as I enjoy believing the truth.

The solution, as I see it, is for journalists to chuck their inkwells at Satan’s head. When confronted with the Evil One, we should remember that purity of vision usually reflects ignorance, not reality. We should challenge our own presuppositions, the better to challenge those of our audience.

And we should never make the conspiracist’s mistake, and fear that contact with the enemy can only end in corruption. Occasionally these efforts will confirm the existence of pure, naked evil. But in my own experience, most often the story ends like Luther’s, and Satan simply vanishes—a happy ending for those who value knowledge, in all its chaos and messiness, over fairy tales.

  • Jim Reed

    One big advantage of seeing Satan as a figment of ignorance and not reality is you can do the same with God. In fact, if you can get beyond the common conventions of men, Satan and God are pretty much the same. This makes many of the world’s contradictions drop away, and things make more sense, at least when dealing with all the religions.

  • Craptacular

    “You can’t do the same piece that a tech reporter might do about
    Apple—even though Apple is the biggest corporation in the world and much
    more litigious.” – Nathanael Johnson

    But Apple doesn’t make food or really any of the basic necessities of life. Nor is it attempting to gain control (via property rights) of every aspect of food growth/production. I can foresee a Monsanto-type corporation attempting to “own” a vitamin or some other necessary building block of life and then capitalizing on it. What are the bioethics of introducing a genetic strain of insect- and disease-proof wheat that can only be digested by our bodies with a supplemental enzyme that must be ingested…and Monsanto owns both?

    Also, part of the problem is that Monsanto seems to be attempting to make changes to parts of the ecosystem which we have no idea of what the repercussions will be…will they pay for the damages that occur due to their genetic tinkering? Damages that may not be apparent for decades (remember lead additives to gasoline…and guess how much oil/car companies paid for the damages they caused)?

    My guess is that they will not. It will be another Wall Street bailout where the corporation owners walk away with money and the rest of us have to clean up afterwards. But this time, they will have screwed up something that requires more than cleaning up a simple oil spill (which are by no means simple, by the way)…it has the potential to negatively impact millions of peoples’ food supplies.

  • mem_somerville

    Heh. On the other hand, Chipotle is our savior, and all press releases shall be stenographed via the NYTimes on high. Hail their holy round circle of bread… http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/dining/chipotle-quest-to-develop-a-better-tortilla.html

  • mem_somerville

    Wow, that’s a load of unsourced demonic fiction. Also exactly what this piece was about. Perfectly illustrated, thanks so much for that.

  • Craptacular

    It really doesn’t matter if the claims are true or not…and I used validity wording because I don’t know everything. Monsanto has an image problem that seems to get worse and worse every time they open their corporate mouths.

    Comparing them to an IT company or some other corporation that doesn’t make food, even if they are more litigious, doesn’t affect us in the same way. I think this is why people are more upset by Monsanto’s actions (both real and imagined) than with Disney dismantling our patent and trademark laws.

    So while the message of your snarky post might be valid, and there is no truth that Monsanto is evil incarnate and they are actually creating manna from heaven for us, other corporations have also assured us that their products were 100% safe, with the science to prove it, yet we are still cleaning up the messes they made after the corporation walked away with the money (lead additives to gasoline, cigarettes, etc.).

  • decathelite

    > Monsanto has an image problem that seems to get worse and worse every time they open their corporate mouths.

    Only to people who have already made up their mind that Monsanto is bad.

    Lead in gasoline was known to have poor health effects as early as 1924, just a few years after it’s inception in 1921. To date, no studies have shown it is a safe additive.

    With cigarettes, the first studies warning of the health effects started in 1950; warning labels were mandated on cigarettes packaging in 1966.

    There are simply no studies that give a clear indication that consuming GMO DNA is harmful, even after 30 years of a use more widespread than leaded gasoline or cigarettes. There is no good reason to think GMOs are anything like leaded gasoline or cigarettes.

  • mem_somerville

    Well a lot of people think communication is essential to life. And that screen time is harming the children. In fact, more people have died from texting than from GMOs. I’ll bet you Apple has a piece of that.

    And we know extractive mining for your gadgets hurts the environment, assembly harms factory workers, and Apple makes huge profits off of all of this.

    Seems the same thing to me. But nobody aims at Apple for other people’s misunderstandings of this or misuse of a technology.

  • DKeane123

    Normally we are in 100% agreement, but it appears that you need to do a bit more research into the risks associated with GMOs – hence your use of a lot of qualifying language (my guess – seems, etc). Some good sources of unbiased evidence based information is the GMO literacy project and the genetic literacy project. These helped me approach any potential concerns from an evidence based standpoint. Also a great post about how the process used to over-blow the dangers of “synthetic” chemicals versus “natural” is from Thinking Nutrition – Broccoli is Bad For You.

    As far as Monsanto (or a similar corporation) owning the key being able digest food – seems a bit overly dystopian to me. I would like to think that the human race is smart enough to not let that happen. Yet again, we common argue about the relevance of a 2,000+ year old book that says picking up sticks on Saturday is punishable by stoning. So I could be wrong 🙂

  • Don

    VEry brave to speak against the perceived wisdom of the masses. Trouble is, we despise them with reason. Much of what they do is unfair to us little guys, and could become a lot less fair for us in the long run if we let them continue unopposed. One way we oppose them is through exaggerated rhetoric.

  • Craptacular

    Actually, I don’t care as much about this as my post seems to indicate…corporate malfeasance does touch a nerve with me, but the whole GMO vs. “natural” debate, along with the labeling issue are a small potatoes, in my view. My kids and their friends, though, seem to be very involved and concerned with it.

    “As far as Monsanto (or a similar corporation) owning the key to being able digest food – seems a bit overly dystopian to me.” – DKeane123

    20 years ago, I would have agreed with you. However, the speed at which the American public accepted the surveillance state after 9/11 and USSC rulings granting businesses more rights than actual people have made me realize that for some, George Orwell’s writings were handbooks and primers on taking control.

    I grew up in an American culture filled with dire warnings about “Big Brother,” and the surveillance state was THE tool communists used to control every aspect of their citizens’ lives. The surveillance state was considered evil and unamerican…and now I find myself living in one.

  • Craptacular

    You are making my points for me. My concern is less about the actual science and more about what corporations will do to make money.

    “Lead in gasoline was known to have poor health effects as early as 1924, just a few years after it’s inception in 1921.” – decathelite

    Yet it was not removed for over 40 years. Why was that?

    “With cigarettes, the first studies warning of the health effects started in 1950; warning labels were mandated on cigarettes packaging in 1966.” – decathelite

    And, once again, it took us decades to remove smoking from the public sphere.

    And these were products that we KNEW were killing and maiming us.

    “There is no good reason to think GMOs are anything like leaded gasoline or cigarettes.” – decathelite

    Except for the fact that Monsanto, like the lead additive and cigarette manufacturers, are in business to make money. And businesses will lie to make money. Couple that fact with Monsanto’s business is a basic necessity, and hopefully you can understand the public concerns.

  • DKeane123

    I figured as much about the level of interest. I too have recently come across a lot of people in my social circle advocating for the drinking of unpasturized milk and eating local/organic. It is one of the reasons I’ve recently been looking into it more.

    Additionally, I’m a geologist in the environmental remediation business. The most dangerous things for your health (in New England) are all natural. Arsenic (drinking water). Radon (air and drinking water). UV exposure. So I have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction whenever someone promotes a “natural” lifestyle.

  • Craptacular

    “Seems the same thing to me. But nobody aims at Apple for other people’s misunderstandings of this or misuse of a technology.” – mem_somerville

    I understand you don’t get it. But you don’t seem to want to, either. Not everyone has an iphone. Everyone eats. You don’t have to use your iphone every day. Most of us eat every day. And what we eat over time has more of an impact on most of our lives and health than any “gadget.” (Also, I don’t blame a gadget for peoples’ inattention. It can contribute, of course, but it is not the root cause.)

    So it seems there is more personal concern regarding Monsanto’s products than Apple’s products. And rightly so, I would say.

    Curious because I see you do a lot of posting on GMO threads…do you think Monsanto would publicly volunteer the information if they do create a product that has unforeseen negative consequences once it is released?

  • Craptacular

    I am actually fine with idea of GMO foods, but have more reservations about the companies and corporations calling the shots. It is more about who is controlling the technology and if we can trust them.

    I also am leery about the long-term impact GMO’s will have on our environment. We humans seem to believe we know how things work and interoperability…until we break it.

    I guess tinkering with the building blocks of life sets my teeth on edge because I think most people are idiots. And they become bigger idiots when they are part of a corporation.

  • decathelite

    Regarding leaded gasoline, the FDA wasn’t nearly as big back then. Shit, 17 people died making tetraethyl lead and those factories didn’t shut down because safety procedures simply weren’t even close to what they are today.

    Cigarettes took a long time to get the warnings on them due to an aggressive advertising campaign by the Tobacco Industry. The FDA fought them tooth and nail to get those warning labels, and has ever since.

    With Monsanto, the FDA are the ones reviewing the safety data and agree that there is no harm. That’s the difference.

    > Except for the fact that Monsanto, like the lead additive and cigarette manufacturers, are in business to make money

    ALL businesses are in it to make money. Monsanto did $15 billion in revenue last year. Costco did $112 billion. Is Costco 7.5x more dishonest than Monsanto? Monsanto is the backbone of 80 – 90% of the nation’s core crops (corn, canola, soybeans, cotton, sugarbeets) that are consumed by the vast majority of Americans, so why aren’t they doing better for themselves? Why isn’t Monsanto doing better than Costco, which caters to a much smaller percentage of the population?

  • mem_somerville

    Nobody is forcing you to eat anything you don’t want. And since there are only 8 commercialized GMO crops in the US, it’s hardly the Armageddon you wish to pretend that it is.

    Yeah, I understand that you have no interest in these facts. You continue to make the point of this piece over and over. It’s really helpful.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    What is it they do exactly? Because, speaking specifically on Monsanto, I have yet to hear a claim about them that isn’t easily debunked or completely lacking context.

  • rick

    “There are simply no studies that give a clear understanding that consuming GMOs . . .”

    The term GMO does not actually describe a distinct and unique product like cigarettes or tractors. GMO does not mean some synthetic substitute for food. GMO describes a distinct process for introducing or expanding genetic variation accessible into crop or animal breeding programs, (and its use is not limited to genetic enhancement of animals or plants intended as sources of food). And it accomplishes this by utilizing a naturally occuring process of horizontal gene transfer, agrobacterium infection, that we are now discovering has throughout natural history altered the genetic endowment of many organisms, including familiar food crops we consume safely today.

    The utility of genetic engineering is nothing more, nothing less, than it allows us to access genetic variation beyond the confines of the variation currently existing within that species of plant or animal. Genetic engineering is not even the first, sole or most radical technique to allow us to do so.

    Again, people misuse the term GMO to imply that the effect, if not the intent, of genetic engineering is to achieve a synthetic substitute for familiar food items. GMO is a term of convenience to refer to a variety of a species that has one or more traits attributable to genetic information acquired through biotech mediated methods. “GMO food” is just a term of convenience to indicate a process for genetic improvement of the plant or animal source the food was derived from – it has little value and is not intended to describe the property of the food itself.

    Try rewriting the sentence this way: “There is nothing to indicate that utilizing biotechnology to expand genetic variation in food crops in and of itself instills harmful qualities in food products derived from them.”

  • absolutelyfabulous

    Perhaps the most idiotic article I have read this year.

  • mikemiracle

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist

  • This essay rubs me the wrong way, and I think it’s supposed to. The publisher on Levinovitz’s book: “An incendiary work of science journalism.” Levinovitz makes Vandana Shiva the demon and is on the side of angels with David Remnick in the essay. Likewise Tom Philpott is derided, but Keith Kloor’s journalism is “exmplary” [sic] in Levinovitz’s view. Levinovitz has a strong point of view, he stridently and sarcastically argues. It seems a bit rich to light fires and then complain about the heat.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Are you honestly trying to defend a pseudoscientist like Vandana Shiva?

  • decathelite

    Yes, thank you for clarifying.

  • I’m suggesting that ad hominem isn’t very useful.

    Remnick explicitly stated that his response to Shiva was not for publication. In her response to Specter’s article in The New Yorker, Shiva never said “that the entire scientific establishment has been bought and paid for by Monsanto.” It’s not clear where Remnick got that, and he isn’t quoting her. Remnick’s quote is central to Levinovitz’s argument. Levinovitz links to Remnick’s email to Shiva published on a site founded by Jon Etine. He’s also praised Ken Kloor at Twitter. Levinovitz hasn’t received money from Monsanto, but surely he is aware of controversy surrounding public relations money from Monsanto to Conde Nast that are part of the context of Remnick’s nasty response to Shiva.

    Levinovitz appears to me to be trolling in support of his Judith Regan-published book. He’s selling controversy in the guise of “fair and balanced” journalism.

  • Alan Levinovitz

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your responses. Let me try to address some of what I think are your objections.

    I thought Remnick’s response was entirely appropriate, especially given what Shiva insinuated in her public post about The New Yorker, about Specter as a racist, and about the publication’s lack of integrity. You seem to be implying that Monsanto “public relations money” somehow bought off Remnick’s response. Do you have evidence of that? If so, that’s really important and should be brought to light. But if not, that’s exactly the kind of problematic assumption about an all-powerful great deceiver conspiracy that I’m talking about. Instead of addressing Remnick’s points, it’s easier to just insinuate he’s been paid off.

    As for the quote–it may be that Shiva didn’t exactly say that, but I think anyone familiar with her writing would agree that the sentiment–“Monsanto has bought and paid for the scientific establishment”–is pretty accurate. It’s also accurate, I think, to say that Shiva believes the journalistic establishment–with the exception of people who agree with her–has also been bought off.

    In fact, you seem to agree, which is why you brought up the Conde Nast “public relations money”. But that’s *exactly* the problem that I am trying to point out. It’s an endless slog if people don’t respond to actual arguments, instead saying “Levinovitz is just trying to sell his book” or “Conde Nast gets Monsanto money”. You accuse me of making ad hominem arguments. That’s not at all what I’m doing. I’m arguing that we should always question our belief in pure evil and pure goodness, and we should challenge the idea that Big Business or Big Government (or whatever) are monolithic entities dedicated to deception. And I’m arguing that instead of pointing to financial motives behind arguments, we should address the arguments themselves, to move dialogue forward.

    You’ll notice that I’m addressing your arguments, not your financial motives–and I don’t accuse you of trolling, which is another way of avoiding engagement with what you’ve actually said. Similarly, I don’t address Shiva’s financial motives. I criticize those who believe that anti-GMO sentiment is all about idiocy. It isn’t. But until people like you stop accusing me of trolling to sell my book. or Remnick of selling out because of “public relations” money, and instead try to engage in a debate about actual ideas, we’ll be stuck in the cycle of partisan back and forth and belief in an all-powerful great deceiver that I’m trying to get us out of in this essay.

  • Fired, Aren’t I

    there are only 8 commercialized GMO crops in the US

    I am not opposed to GMOs, but I must pick at that statement a bit – there might only be 8, but how many of those 8 are so ubiquitous in foods that they cannot be avoided? If corn and soy and 1 and 2, that pretty much means they’re in the entire American diet and cannot be avoided.

    Monopolies are a bigger concern to me by FAR than GMOs.

  • Smoking Hamster

    Actually the first scientifically valid studies were done by the Nazis.

    Which shows the author’s point. It doesn’t matter that they were horrible people. They were perfectly correct on the tobacco question and saying “Nazi’s discovered it” is not a valid counterargument.

  • nightgaunt

    ‘Shaitan’ means ‘enemy’ so anyone can be your Satan as you could be Satan to others.

  • Jim Reed

    In Christianity Satan means the Devil. Once you grow out of Christianity, Satan is a myth, and you no longer see Satan hiding in the shadows like you did when you were a Christian.

  • nightgaunt

    Hard to find diamonds in that mountainous mass of scat that Monsanto is. Or is it just that Monsanto has an undeserved reputation? That the Left is as blinded as the Right in their prejudices against for for?

    And the common misuse of the word “theory” by everyone but scientists and some of them are slipping into the slepp of treating “theory” like the word “hypothesis” like here today.

    Conspiracy Theory is just nonsense. At worst they are just ideas, at best hypotheses only with very few as being theory.
    One such concerned the conspiracy to kill Pres. Lincoln but not for Chinese troops hiding in Mexico. See?

  • nightgaunt

    Until the courts rescind the idea that corporations can patent genes such a dystopian looms over us all.

  • nightgaunt

    Now that is what has been missing, dealing with the arguments alone on their merits. Adding aspersions to a person’s possible motives is a dodge and it clouds the issues at hand. I hope others take what you have done and proceed along the same path of clarity, not fear mongering and character assassination. Well done sir.

  • stunami

    Exactly. The writer should avoid comparing a technology company to a company that patents life and genetics which belongs to nature not to be owned by anyone. Life could exist without Apple but life would not exist without FOOD, WATER, AIR & SHELTER (the basic needs of life on this planet). The writer could start by reading every patent Monsanto has filed, been granted and others they are lobbying hard on because they violate the constitution. Read the ones where they are trying to patent animals. Only then will you start to see their master plan, Like any BIG business; it is Monopoly.

  • Craptacular

    Be careful, you might stir up the Monsanto mouthpiece haunting the thread.

  • Mark Trent

    Q: Is Soylent Green a Monsanto product ? Because we all know how that turned out ; )