Tell the Dept. of Justice: Free Our Farmers! Break Up BigAg Monopolies Like Monsanto!

Photo courtesy of RawFoodLife.comPhoto courtesy of RawFoodLife.comLast December, we wrote about ana Sofia Joanes, food policy activist and director of the movie Fresh, and her campaign against BigAg monopolies. She was circulating a petition directed to President Obama’s anti-trust chief, Christine Varney, asking her to “break up these corporations’ total control on our food.” This petition was launched after Joanes heard Varney promise to investigate corporate behemoth Monsanto for its stranglehold on 93 percent of the U.S. soybean crop and 80 percent of its corn.

Joanes recently wrote us with a shocking update:

The Associated Press just uncovered a series of confidential commercial licensing agreements that give around 200 smaller companies the right to insert Monsanto's genes (resistant to their Roundup herbicide) in their corn and soybean plants... These practices are at the core of the investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice to determine if Monsanto is violating anti-trust laws.”

Apparently, Monsanto isn’t satisfied with its almost complete domination of the U.S. soy and corn market. Its predatory practices now have it negotiating to insert its patented Round-Up Ready DNA into other seed companies' products, as well.

Joanes is incensed: “Monsanto is blocking any competition in the seed industry, forcing farmers into growing genetically modified crops, and all the while increasing seed prices. Now, when farmers buy bags of seed from obscure brand names, they are paying for Monsanto's seeds.”

This point is, if Monsanto and others of its ilk are not stopped, a few mega-corporations will control all our food. Those of us who value small farms, organic food, sustainable agriculture and humane treatment of animals can't stand by and let this happen. As Joanes wrote: “It's imperative that we speak up about this NOW.”

But speaking up alone won't do it. We have to channel our words to the proper authorities:

“For farmers to survive and thrive, we need the government to take action that restores real competition to the farm economy -- not the current situation where a few corporations in the grain, seed, dairy and livestock sectors hold excessive control.

“In 2010, the Department of Justice will hold public hearings to discuss anti-trust issues in agricultural production. We want our voice to be heard in this process.”

Joanes urges you. I urge you. Your children and their children urge you. Please take one minute to click on this link and sign the petition to the Department of Justice. "Free our farmers" -- and ourselves -- from BigAg monopolies like Monsanto. The nice people from Fresh will deliver your signature and comments directly to the Department of Justice.

One more suggestion, for you mavens of social media. Joanes is asking you to spread the word through Facebook and Twitter using this text:

"Speak out against Monsanto's control over our farmers! Click here to sign. @FRESHthemovie"