How Does the Law Combat Genetic Modification?

How does the law adjust for genetic modification. If we look at how it combats it now we might be terrified for how the future might look. Monsanto is the world’s largest GMO seed company and uses its wealth to harass and bully farmers into using their product indefintely. However, farmers aren’t the only ones tricked into succeeding into Monsanto’s plans. Congress has just passed a bill alleviating Monsanto of any liability if people get sick from their modified seeds.
What does this mean for human gene editing? Right now the big issue is patent infringement. The CRISPR/Cas9 is the only type of tool like it out there. But, as history has shown, a successful invention is a copied invention. But if a couple have a child who has received modified genes from one parent, does one company own those genes? The video above shows my thoughts and feelings on the subject. Up next on the blog is how does this tool affect how our society will interact, react, and live in the future…

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/04/02/exposing-the-anti-gmo-legal-machine-the-real-story-behind-the-so-called-monsanto-protection-act/
http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n3/full/nbt.3160.html
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/04/farmer-monsanto-genetically-engineered-wheat/2388957/

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One Response to How Does the Law Combat Genetic Modification?

  1. Amber Bockin November 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Very interesting post. In regard to Monsanto’s behavior I believe they are acting as the predator because protecting their product to the point that they can sue if a seed is found on a farmer’s property who has not purchased the seed is ridiculous. Seeds are spread multiple ways, some can be prevented but as per nature farmers cannot fully combat all outside seeds from entering their property. A farmer cannot completely combat a bird from dropping a seed on their land or the wind from snatching the seeds a farmer purchased away from their own land.
    One major issue arising is in the fact that Monsanto’s has such a cap on the industry that it is beginning to show characteristics of a monopoly. They have become the world’s largest GMO manufacturing and are holding barriers due to the fact that their seed is patented and now they are protected through the courts. There is little to no competition that has any effect on Monsanto’s company and product which means that they have control on the price of the good at the moment. Another factor is that the seeds must be purchased every year, these plants cannot be replanted but instead have been genetically modified to only be used for one harvest.
    In terms of Monsanto’s protections through Congress it is one thing to protect one’s product through patent but to alleviate all liability in regard to the health of consumers. GMOs if crossed wrong can be harmful to the means of death or terrible sickness and for the company not to take responsibility for their product makes me wonder how confident they are in regard to their product being safe to consumers. Monsanto’s has no regard to business ethics and the fact that they protect the product through the law but not the effects of the product is a red flag. In the USA Today article it says that no genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming though the USDA has said the genetically modified wheat from Monsanto’s seeds grown in Oregon was safe to eat. I am more concerned about the long term effects of eating genetically modified food, I believe with the growth in today’s technology the genetically modified food may be good to eat but there are natural occurrence we cannot control. What will the GMOs do to our bodies or the bodies of animals?
    I believe to better the crops produced is one thing, but to not understand the side effects and long term outcomes of genetic modification is another. Clearly it is not understood as to the long term effects of Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds if they cannot take responsibility for them when it comes to the ultimate consumers’ health.

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