Monsanto, the giant agribusiness and pesticide company, has just caused a major disruption in the world wheat market because of its experiments with genetically modified foods.

As the Washington Post reported, "Japan, the largest market for U.S. wheat exports, suspended imports from the United States and canceled a major purchase of white wheat on Thursday after the recent discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon."

This concocted strain of wheat "was developed by Monsanto to make wheat resistant to the company's own industry-leading weed killer," the Post reported. "Monsanto tested the type of altered seed in more than a dozen states, including Oregon, between 1994 and 2005, but it was never approved for commercial use."

The current wheat problem is typical of the havoc that Monsanto wreaks.

It introduces these GMO plants, which can take on a life of their own.

And the company's entire business plan is to swamp farmers with its products, and then require farmers to buy the company's patented seeds and pesticides.

It has crushed small farmers in the United States, subsistence corn producers in Mexico, soybean growers in Brazil, and cotton farmers in India.

And the health and environmental safety of Monsanto's products are also dubious.

Nevertheless, this spring, Congress passed what critics call "The Monsanto Protection Act," allowing companies to go ahead and plant their GMO crops even while they are being legally challenged.

The Executive Branch has also been doing Monsanto's bidding.

As the group Food and Water Watch has revealed, with help from WikiLeaks, the State Department has been busy peddling Monsanto products overseas.

Though the U.S. government supports Monsanto, millions of people around the world oppose the company and its products.

That's why consumers, environmentalists, organic farmers, advocates of democracy, and critics of corporate power came together for a historic, coordinated protest against Monsanto in more than 30 countries last Saturday, May 25th.

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If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Bachmann Runs Over Facts in Farewell.

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.


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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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