Monsanto Watch: Targeting American Farmers With Lawyers, Fear and Money

Monsanto is Big Brother of the agriculture industry. To farmers trying to make a living, Monsanto is watching you, especially if you buy their wonder seeds or your neighbor does. Bob Cesca, a contributor to Walletpop and the Huffington Post, interviewed Scott McAllister, an Iowa farmer driven out of business by Monsanto's harassment.

After confronting the wrath of Monsanto, Scott McAllister went from owning a prosperous farm in Mt. Pleasant with $3 million in gross annual sales to a divorced equipment salesman with health issues and a mountain of debt.

Monsanto ruined him over the company's false [paranoid/greedy] conviction that McAllister was stealing seeds:

The most often cited trespass against Monsanto is patent-infringement involving its seeds. It might sound innocuous enough -- not unlike the recording industry's pursuit of file sharing internet downloaders -- but this is actually very serious business, and too many farmers have been ruined in the process.

More on McAllister's supposed "crime":

...If a farmer wants to recycle seeds from a previous crop and plant the seeds in a new crop, a process known as "seed cleaning," he or she can be sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. The corporation insists that farmers purchase all new seeds for each crop, and, legally, Monsanto is allowed to get away with this.

Furthermore, if you're a neighboring farmer and Monsanto seeds are naturally blown or scattered onto your farm, Monsanto can sue you, too. After all, you could be stealing their property. In this case, seeds.

Unfortunately for everybody, McAllister wasn't involved in any of this. Monsanto simply made an example of him, as Cesca's full story here explains, citing another serious case of harassment uncovered by Vanity Fair. Oh, and it gets worse:

From here, McAllister's story gets really creepy. He alleges that between September, 2000 and June, 2001, Monsanto essentially stalked him. "They started following me, my family, my employees, my customers, and were interrogating people the about my business, telling them I was going to jail and they would too if they didn't cooperate." McAllister claims that investigators broke into his house, tapped his phones and "tailed his vehicles."

Monsanto is being investigated by the Justice Department for anti-trust violations, since it controls 90% of the GMO market, but this isn't enough if it can behave like an Ag Darth Vader. We need serious...what?...REGULATION--that thing that protects the interests of the greater good over a single company's monstrous profits and tactics.

To learn more about how Monsanto destroyed the livelihood of McAllister and other farmers, continue reading on