Monsanto and the problem with gene patents

The company Monsanto have created soybeans that can stand high doses of pesticides so that the crops can be protected from pests. However they have highly restrictive sales that prohibit farmers keeping some seed to replant for the next year.

Obviously,  this is advantageous for the company as all farmers have to buy the seeds from Monsanto each year,  furthermore as they hold the patent, they have the right to charge what the like – there is no competition. As such they have the farmers stuck.

What is more ridiculous, is if their seed blows into the field next door and sprouts, that farmer can be sued as he doesn’t have a license even though he didn’t want the crop growing on his land.

As Monsanto has done this with corn as well,  it means that one company controls the majority of the American food production,  though patents. While patent law may allow Monsanto to operate in this way antitrust law (to do with competition,  and not being able to control above a certain % of a market), the government needs to step in and change things.

If Monsanto was broken into 5 companies in competition, this problem would vanish – will the USA step up and challenge businesses that grow too big?

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