Monsanto completely dominates the corn and soybean market. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM corn is now planted on nearly 80 percent of the farmland in the U.S., and Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready gene is in 93 percent of U.S. soybean seeds.
Monsanto has now released GM seeds for corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa, and is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops.
Family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations with over 270,000 members, including thousands of certified organic family farmers, recently filed suit against Monsanto challenging the company’s patents on genetically modified seed.
The plaintiffs have sued Monsanto preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.
In a short documentary called “Farmer to Farmer: The Truth About GM Crops“, Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer, investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA ten years after their introduction.
Hart travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM crops.
Hart listens as farmers discuss difficulties involving the increasing costs of seeds and chemicals, and the troubling persistence of weeds now resistant to Monsanto’s own herbicides. US farmers explain to Hart that only one herbicide application is a myth, and Hart learns that three or more passes (herbicide applications) are the norm for GM crops.
As weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate, (the active ingredient in Roundup posing a grave threat to public health), there has been a sharp increase in the use of herbicide tank mixes, patented and owned by the biotech companies, forcing some farmers to resort to physical labor to remove weeds.
According to the documentary’s website, “farmers have seen the costs spiral, for example, the price of seed has gone from $40 to over $100 per acre over the last few years. Farmers referred to co-existence (the ability to grow GM crops next to non-GM and organic crops) as “unsolvable”and say that it does not work.
In short, the documentary covers how farmers are experiencing a huge “weed“problem, how GM crops do not co-exist with organic crops, and how farmers are trapped within the genetically modified biotech system, and forced to pay huge price increases for seeds and sprays — well beyond the price increases farmers have received for their crops.