Political Ideologies and the Anti-GMO Movement


The Anti-GMO movement has been around since before GM technology first walked across the world stage. The mere hint of it initiated the creation of activist groups against it, and the ideology of anti-GMO began before the public really knew anything about the science. The pervasive question here is why? It should come as no surprise that the majority of anti-GMO sentiment comes from the left portion of the political spectrum. The common thought process is that the right supports GMOs because they support big business. This may be true to some extent, but I don’t think the causation is

“We Have a Right to Save Seeds. Right?”

Flowering purple basil on my patio. I also grew Italian basil and Thai basil. Photo by Anastasia Bodnar.

So says a video produced by Open Solutions Project. Flowering purple basil on my patio. I also grew Italian basil and Thai basil. Photo by Anastasia Bodnar. I can appreciate that people want to be able save seeds. I grow a few herbs on my patio and it would be nice to be able to save the seeds… assuming I had the time and wanted to spend the effort to dry the seeds, etc instead of just buying seedlings that have already established! I did let my basil plants flower so the bees could enjoy them, and I had big plans

High Court rules that farmers “make” seeds


Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued their ruling on the Bowman v Monsanto case, siding unanimously in favor of Monsanto. The court rejected Bowman’s arguments that Monsanto’s patent “exhausted” when he purchased seeds from a grain elevator to plant on his farm, and affirmed that the act of growing a crop of seeds is “making” those seeds, and are still covered under patent law. It was a narrow ruling that applied only to seed patents, but it could have long-term implications for other self-replicating technologies.

A Defense Of Plant And Crop Related Patents

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I cannot share the concerns that are being so widely expressed about the role of patents in agriculture. In fact, I cannot imagine a path forward without them.

The Frustrating Lot Of The American Sweet Corn Grower

We Americans love sweet corn – our uniquely national vegetable.   We consume ~9 lbs of sweet corn per person per year (see how that compares to other vegetables in the graph above).  The farmers that grow this crop for us do so on a much more local basis than for most fruit or vegetable crops.  There are significant sweet corn acres in 24 states and a total of >260,000 acres nation-wide for the fresh market and >300,000 for canned and frozen corn (see graph below). Sweet corn can be difficult to grow for many reasons, and is often