The Myriad Genetics gene patenting case and GMO’s
Maybe I am twisting this out of context, but bear with me as I explain. With the Myriad Genetics case that went to the Supreme Court and was recently ruled on as being basically wrong for any company to claim and patent basic human genes that naturally occur, then shouldn’t this have some bearing on how SCOTUS rules on genetically modified crop cases?
See, Monsanto company, out of St. Louis, Mo., has for the better part of a century been creating chemicals and other things including GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). Many times Monsanto has been before appellate courts and the Supreme Court, at the hands of small farmers and some other organizations that claim damages to crops, danger to genes of other crops, and most recently the cross-contamination that occurs by GMO’s mixing with traditional seeds by accident, and further having Monsanto shut the farms down complaining that their patents were violated.
What does this have to do with genetics?
Well, all of these cases generally revolve around Monsanto claiming patent on certain genes that they splice with other genes in seeds to create supposedly high-yield and disease-resistant crops. Unfortunately, these claims are usually less than true when Round-Up, which is a glyphosate-based chemical herbicide that Monsanto produces, stops working on the weeds and makes your crops unhealthy because the gene and the food produced from it usually contains high amounts of the chemical and a genetic mutation that Monsanto claims doesn’t exist and is completely safe. Yet, I digress.
Maybe, under the recent genetic ruling by SCOTUS, Monsanto’s creation of seeds that are patented are legal and maybe work. However, another side to any of these cases, is and will be the fact that when genes are patented by a company, they hold a monopoly of that gene and its possible actuary tests that can prove the gene is safe. So, what I am saying is, that if Monsanto can claim patents on their genes and hold a monopoly over the agricultural and food industry in which their crops are the main progenitors for our food supply, then why can’t the people and SCOTUS claim that Monsanto is violating the right of the people to choose what is in their food? After all, they are shutting down and shutting up farmers who claim as much and are in bed with the USDA and FDA which further protest GMO’s safety, even when Monsanto only provides them with internal junk science claims and does not allow or even consider third-party testing as to the GMO’s actual safety.
While numerous third-party studies have been produced by universities and other governments of the world, and which contest the safety of GMO’s by showing that the genes and the chemicals used on the plants may be causing widespread and undue harm to major swaths of the population of the world who consume them, this seems to matter little to Monsanto, the FDA and USDA, or have bearing on SCOTUS’ rulings. This, frankly, is cause for concern. Yet, that is why I am bringing it up in context with the recent Myriad Genetics ruling.
It is also possible that the SCOTUS is being held hostage or blackmailed when such cases arise, but that is hardly provable. Again, I digress.
I can hardly understand why our government, including its law-enforcement arm are always in favor of the multi-billion dollar mega corporation that is crushing competition and literally holding the United States’ food supply hostage with its potentially hazardous seeds and chemicals. Multiple nations of the world, and the greater European Union have either banned GMO’s, have restrictions on their growth, and or require the labeling of said foodstuffs. The United States is one of the last to stand idly by, but it’s probably not a big deal, right? Actually, it is.
While it may seem “out there” to some, there are too many claims throughout the world of agriculture and science that have risen red flags to the production of GMO’s. In the United States, it’s all hush-hush, and the general public unfortunately are less than educated on what they’re actually eating, so it’s is quite concerning that our food may be harming us instead of providing us with real, wholesome nutrition.
There are too many possible studies or claims that could be rooted in bad food, including possible links to autism in children and Alzheimer’s and links to cancers in adults. It’s not a funny issue and should be taken seriously, but it seems as if we haven’t yet reached a tipping point. I hope it comes soon though, considering all of the dissent amongst much of the educated public against GMO’s or their labeling.
So, maybe the Myriad Genetics case could have some bearing on GMO’s by existentially providing a crux as to the companies producing GMO’s needing to show burden of proof that their patented products are completely safe for human and animal consumption and do not harm the environment. Of course it must be real science that is proven by third-parties working closely with government regulators, and no interference by Monsanto or others.
Otherwise, can’t it be said that we as a population are being held hostage against our will with our food and have not been given credible evidence, simply because a company claims patents on genes that make up the greater food supply? Just think about it.
Sam Ludtman lives in Reno.