Letters to MotherJones

Court missed the bull
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/6/01

The ruling in Monsanto’s favor is outrageous. In the judge’s decision, the crucial analogy linked to this case, the “bull analogy,” was discarded: if your bull wanders over to my property and harms my cow, aren’t you liable for your bull’s damage?

Melissa Matthewson

 

Big ag walks
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/6/01

It is frightening that citizens are not being protected from corporate interests. If Schmeiser had been a corporation, and he had lost revenue due to the negligence of another land owner, his corporation would have probably won the lawsuit, and been paid for the damages of selling genetically modified crops to unknowing customers.

The judicial system will lay down the red carpet over the little people so that the big ones — corporations — can walk all over them.

Roxanna Vahed

 

You can’t eat a trademark
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/6/01

The very fact that governments are allowing companies to patent seeds — the lifeblood of our food chain — tells me that we’re in big trouble.

Erin Friedrich
Kansas City, Mo.


 

Multinationals need to be put in their place
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/5/01

I think this is yet another case of a multinational using the courts to silence someone and clogging up the legal system while doing so. My opinion is that this is, yet again, an example of a big corporation dubiously using patent law to silence someone.

Monsanto is about as low in the food chain, morality-wise, as it is possible for any organization to go. They are right up there with the 39 leeching pharmaceutical companies who are doing their best to stop South Africa from helping its own people to cope with AIDS.

It’s time to make corporations, in this case Monsanto, realize that the voters and customers want more out of multinationals than straightforward money-grubbing, free speech-denying, unethical behavior.

Grant Cairncross
Australia


 

City slickers missed the details
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/4/01

I think MoJo’s reporting on this case has failed to explain to the public a couple of facts. Percy lost in a lower court. In the Canadian system he still has to go to the Federal Appeals Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Percy has a case. The judgement is flawed because legally speaking the case was badly put. First, the debate centers on the density of Roundup Ready in the sample of Percy’s field. Speaking as a scientist, this was never accurately ascertained. Monsanto paid an investigator to go find out. Paid investigators are like paid informants — as an independent contractor you won’t live long if you don’t come up with the evidence your client wants.

Second, the debate revolves around how the high density of Canola got there. Numerous local farmers will tell you that if one neighbour plants canola in one quarter section of his field, the seeds will be blown into nearby areas and can fully contaminate his neighbor’s fields.

Unfortunately, Percy lost because his case was argued by lawyers who live in cities, before a judge who based the case on written legislation, rather than on case law and precedence. In the legal precedents, farming traditions and the rights of commons are firmly entrenched. I am looking forward to the sequel.

Loys Maingon
Research Associate
Centre for Studies in Agriculture Law and Environment
University of Saskatchewan


 

30 years of history does not a significant monument make
Re: “Et Tu, America?”
4/4/01

How can you compare an incredibly important, ancient, religious monument that holds worldwide significance with American sports stadiums built in the 1970s? The reason American culture is so easily destroyed is very much a factor of its youth. You are arguing that advances in technology that improve the quality of life through safety and efficiency — and sometimes, surprisingly enough, increase beauty — should be ignored in order to preserve cement relics of the 70s? You are placing too much value in an outdated concrete structure with only thirty years of history.

Candace Jantzen-Marson

 

W’s way or the highway
Re: “The Bush Files”
4/4/01

Mr. Bush is no better than the high school bully in the hallway — it’s his way or the highway, and every time he opens his programmed mouth out comes another bit of arsenic.

Let’s have some real visible discourse on saving the fabric of American life, on what this country is supposed to be about: lifting people up and creating a better world.

Judith Gibbons

 

No more Frankenfoods!
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/4/01

This was a travesty of justice! I hope word gets around, so that all anti-GMO groups take on Monsanto. Who bought that Canadian judge? I don’t know how the Canadian court system works, but a countersuit should definitely be filed on behalf of consumers who don’t want crops polluted with Frankenfoods.

Joyce Umamoto
San Francisco, CA


 

Some felons deserve rights
Re: “Voteless in Florida”
4/4/01

If someone commits felonies that are only destructive to oneself, then disenfranchisement isn’t fair. Rape, murder and child molestation are another issue — I think those people should lose the right to vote. Start small. Reestablish the rights of people who committed non-violent acts and then go from there.

Kerry Escobado

 

Baltimore’s Buddha
Re: “Et Tu, America?”
4/3/01

A perfect example of Rall’s point can be found in Baltimore. Recently, demolition began on Memorial Stadium — built to honor those that gave their lives in battle for our country. The project was quickly approved so that a retirement center could be built in its place. If this can happen here, it can happen other places as well.

Morgan Burton

 

Buddha’s a bigger deal
Re: “Et Tu, America?”
4/2/01

Ted Rall’s logic is seriously screwed up. To compare a sports stadium with ancient artifacts of one of the major world religions shows an elementary attempt at agenda gathering and over-zealous America bashing. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders are just plain nasty folks.

Jim Pryts

 

Concern vs. ownership
Re: “Et Tu, America?”
4/2/01

Without property rights, we have no rights at all. Who do you suggest should decide what I do with my property — the person who pays for it, or some “concerned” person with no financial stake?

James A. Robertson

 

Monsanto’s real threat
Re: “Score One for Monsanto”
4/2/01

Percy’s current crop and his 50 years of farming have been destroyed by Monsanto’s carelessness.

This is frightening to farmers and consumers alike. Corporations have not convinced me that their genetically modified foods — canola, corn, soy — are safe, yet I’m forced to consume them.

The issue is larger than a farmer’s rights on his own land or consumer safety. We must know that whoever controls the world’s food supply controls the world.

Shirley Emerson
Gerald, Mo.


 

Environmental stupidity
Re: “All I Need Is the Air That I Breathe”
4/2/01

For George Bush to myopically assume that the state of the US economy holds more value than the fate of the entire planet is unabashedly irresponsible. When I consider the unfeeling ways that he perceives the nature of reality and the reality of nature, I conclude that if ever there were a need for Plato’s philosopher-king, it is now. George Bush is an eco-political moron.

R. Kiffin Hope
Thornton, Colo.