Two go forest gardening

…or how to live at one with nature and the French…

Avoiding Monsanto!


The march of Monsanto is of concern to us all, wherever we are. Hear the thoughts of Blueberry Hills Farm in Novia Scotia.

Blueberry Hills Farm

It’s been a long winter this year in Nova Scotia, and although we had a few warm spells that chased away some of the snow, the ground has been white since November. March has been unseasonably cold and with only two days left until the first days of Spring we still have a thick white blanket covering the garden, sometimes referred to as ‘Poorman’s Fertilizer’DSCF8509DSCF8510 The upside of all this is that there has been plenty of time to snowshoe and ski, or simply sit by the fire and recharge our batteries, there’s been opportunity to catch up on some reading, as well as enjoying lots of good food, often in the company of friends.

But all the signs are telling me that spring is just around the corner; the days are growing longer, and each day the sun sits a little higher in the sky. Our maple trees are…

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4 thoughts on “Avoiding Monsanto!

  1. What have you got against Monsanto? I know some people have an irrational fear of GM technology, much like some people have an irrational fear of immunisation, and others persecute those they believe to be possessed by evil spirits. But why is “the march of Monsanto of concern to us all”?

    • Perhaps you are unaware of the millions of people who protested against Monsanto’s attempt at “patenting” heirloom seeds in Europe so that it would be illegal for ordinary people who wanted to pass on seeds to friends and family to do so. Fortunately, the EU listened to reason and prevented this, but farmers do not fall within the exemption and will have to pay Monsanto every year for seeds which historically they have produced themselves from the previous year’s crop.

      While you may consider it irrational to be concerned that a huge corporation should have such a large slice of the seed market and can therefore manipulate it without accountability, or that individuals have no voice against the march of GM foods, others do not when the future of our food source is in question.

      • No comprende. One can only patent inventions. So we are dealing here with something Monsanto invented and farmers want to buy. Farmers would have been free to buy other seeds which do not have that limitation, even if the EU had permitted it. I cannot see why it would be unethical for Monsanto to want to market their invention on particular terms. Free market and all that.

        Of course if they had a monopoly that would be something for the competition authorities to sort out. I am not sure holding 23% of the proprietary seed market is dominance exactly.

        Anyhow remember that patents fall into the public domain after 20 years, providing a boon to all. Until then those who develop technology do need to get something back. They take a gamble when they invest in R&D and it seems pretty mean spirited after their investment produces something useful to try to stop them getting their money back.

        I appreciate millions hate “huge corporations” and also dislike the idea of GM. But I do not agree with them. I like to think I would not have agreed with burning witches or persecuting Catholics either, if I had lived in the 17th century. Personally I reckon we often benefit from large, well organised companies investing in new technology and driving down prices.

        Anyhow the good old EU still bans GM, despite there being zero scientific justification.

  2. Bernard, we are clearly not going to agree on this. I’m pleased for you that you can place your faith in large corporations whose driver is to provide profits to shareholders. I do not, and am open to understanding the wider, longer term ramifications of what may today be pursued because there is “zero scientific justification” for not doing so.

    So let’s go ahead, roll out GM and leave it to future generations to deal with any problems. The reverse is also true: for decades we have been told that heart disease is caused by a diet high in saturated fat. Only this week, yet another study has shown there to be no such link, but we have been told to take statins to ensure that we lower our chances of cholesterol-related heart disease. Hmmm, I wonder who told us that.

    You may like to read further on the concerns held by the wider community. I am not seeking to change your mind, just demonstrate to you that many people believe that the actions of organisations for short-term gain may irreparably impact this beautiful planet that nurtures us all.

    Here are some links which can find easily for yourself on Google which reflect the concerns of many people.

    I don’t propose to carry on our debate as it serves any purpose to continue to butt heads.

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