Do GMOs Matter To Sitka and Sitkans?

Thanks to Ed Ronco of KCAW for recording, editing, and playing the following Commentary on the radio.

I’m Brett Wilcox. My son, David, and I will run across America in 2014 to raise awareness of genetically modified organisms.

When I tell people about Monsanto and genetically modified foods or GMOs, the most common response I hear is, “What’s Monsanto?” and “What are genetically modified foods?”

These are good and important questions to which I’d like to add one more. “Do Monsanto and genetically modified foods matter to the city and the people of Sitka?

Monsanto is a multinational corporation based in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to the year 2000, Monsanto was best known for its production of PCBs, DDT, and Agent Orange, products Monsanto declared safe long after their own employees’ ill health and premature deaths proved otherwise.

In an attempt to clean up their image, Monsanto now declares itself to be dedicated solely to agriculture. To you and me, agriculture means food. To Monsanto, agriculture means profit, profit Monsanto achieves through sales of pesticides and genetically engineered seeds.

Monsanto and other biotech companies make genetically modified seeds by forcing the genes of unrelated species—most often bacteria and food plants—together through crude and imprecise methods. U.S. law allows these unnatural creations to be patented.

Monsanto licenses its patented seeds to farmers the same way software companies license software to computer users. If farmers save and replant licensed seeds the way they’ve done for thousands of years with natural seeds, Monsanto sues these farmers and wins in court.


So what! Why should Sitkans care about farmers, lawsuits, pesticides and GMOs? Here are 5 good reasons.

1. GMOs have resulted in increased use of pesticides. Pesticides are poisons. Farmers wear hazmat suits when they spray the poisons on the plants you feed your kids. Pesticide poisoning results in serious medical issues including infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and various cancers.

2. The process of genetic modification produces massive collateral damage to the plant cells, which results in unpredictable and potentially lethal results. 1,500 people developed serious illnesses and 37 died in 1989 after ingesting the genetically modified food supplement, L-Tryptophan.

3. Key Monsanto and government personnel routinely swap offices passing through what is known as the revolving door. Naturally, this makes our government pro-biotech. A pro-biotech government is far more likely to approve genetically modified salmon than a pro-citizen government. Salmon is the first of many animal species the biotech industry plans to genetically modify.

4. Pesticides and GMOs kill bees. The EPA approves bee-killing pesticides banned in the EU. Einstein said, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

5. Most of us eat GMOs and we don’t know it because our pro-biotech government refuses to label GMOs, even though GMOs are labeled or banned outright in over 60 countries, including China.

Monsanto and GMOs may be one of the most important concerns facing Sitka, the USA, and the entire world. Sitkans are meeting on May 17th and 24th at Centennial Hall at 7 pm, to learn more about Monsanto. And Sitkans will meet on Castle Hill, May 25th, at 2:00 pm to participate with over 300 other cities in a global March Against Monsanto.

March Against Monsanto 2

Deaths and Cripplings from Genetically Engineered L-tryptophan


Monsanto: a history

GMO Food Fight: Round Two 2013

Agent Orange and the Vietnam War

Hard to Believe: Monsanto Won

Organic Farmers Lose Right to Protect Crops

Monsanto Defeats Small Farmers in Critical Bioethics Class Action Suit


Lethality of Roundup ‘Weedkiller’ Extends Beyond Plants To Humans, Study Suggests

Monsanto: Big Guy on the Block When it Comes to Friends in Washington

Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators

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2 Responses to Do GMOs Matter To Sitka and Sitkans?

  1. Jason Dagenhart says:

    This website and your effort are a perfect example of the “postmodern” mindset that defines American culture. Lies, when repeated enough times, become truth. Your still spreading lies. Telling half the truth is telling all of a lie. Your use of half truths and disinformation is manipulation pure and simple. I hope you do get to go tour the country, I hope you get to talk to the farmers and the communities that they support. I hope you get a taste of the reality that you are sheltered from living here. The test will be as to wether you can listen to and accept “the rest of the story” or are you to caught up in your own hype. For example; When a farmer purchases certified/patented seed they SIGN A CONTRACT stating exactly what they can and can’t do with that seed. One thing the farmer says he won’t do in this contract is they won’t save for seed, or “bin run” any of the crop that is produced from that seed. When the farmer does re-plant or sell the seed from his crop HE is violating the contract that HE signed and he should be sued, period. This is no different in any way than if I were to buy a DVD burner, and start burning movies and selling them on as original movies at full price. When, after you have read this, you still have a problem with this process then fine but know that you have become a voice in support of the scumbags that do this. I’m sure that you claim to be community minded, well think about this, when a farmer does this and breaks the law he is cheating his fellow farmers and neighbors who aren’t breaking the law and I guarantee you he is in line at the elevator selling his crop and getting the same price as the guy that followed his contract. This is what you are supporting.

  2. Brett Wilcox says:

    Thanks for your comments. It’s true, Monsanto is never going to offer me a job as a lobbyist or PR person. Nor are they going to buy me a seat in congress. I don’t tell Monsanto’s story. There are thousands of other people paid good money to do that job. And they do a good job at it. Even though 93% of Americans want GMOs labeled, the industry lies convinced more than half of the voters in California and Washington that they would be better off not having GMOs labeled. Yes, we plan to visit farms and farmers on our run, document and share their stories. No, they won’t be the stories Monsanto would like people to hear. They’ll be the stories of pesticide poisoning, superbugs, super weeds, corruption, intimidation, etc. that the chemical giants’ chemical warfare form of agriculture would rather keep hidden from the public. As for your statement that I support patent violators, your logic escapes me. I support patent-free natural seeds. The patenting of life is the very heart of the problem of chemical-based, monoculture, resource destroying, GM agriculture.

    Farmers are learning that conventional beats GMOs

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