Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Monsanto and PCBs

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the three-eyed-fish dept.

Science 580

blamanj writes: "While this story isn't about the gadgetry that typically appeals to /.ers, it's worth a look. The Washington Post has acquired documents showing how a Monsanto Corp. PCB plant polluted a small town in Alabama with full knowledge of what it was doing. Their own tests showed that when fish were placed into a local stream, "Their skin would literally slough off." They showed no concern for the residents, only about potential expensive regulations or bad publicity. Why is this relevant? Well, Monsanto is currently one of biggest proponents of GM (genetically modified) foods." Very thorough investigative article about how a corporation reacts when a profitable business line is threatened, or a cautionary tale about wonder technologies, take your pick.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A splendid FP for your mother. (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777582)

Send her my regards, darling...

First Erin Brockovich ps0t! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777584)

Where is she when Alabama needs her?

Re:First Erin Brockovich ps0t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777742)

Fighting the lawsuits that the "grateful townships" that she saved have thrown against her and the slimy law firm she works for. Why do you think she was so pissed the movie came out? When people started digging into the real Erin Brockovich they dug up all sorts of shit.


You filthy liberals and your precious activists all need a big dose of reality.

Large biotech firms (4, Informative)

cadfael (103180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777590)

Be not surprised by this sort of actions. These people are so bottom line centered, they hired a private investigator in Canada to determine if a farmer was using their GM seed for a crop without their permission (or without paying a fee...something to that effect).

I love the smell of greed in the morning. It reminds me what a miserable bunch of animals humanity really is...

fast post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777598)

It's hard to read the post as fast as you must have typed it.
Who cares anyway.. all meaningless, just an attempt to FP.

Thank you.

Re:Large biotech firms (5, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777633)

Living near the Candian boarder I've been reading about this in our local newspapers. Seems a canadian farmer obtained some freshly harvested canola seed which he planted the very next year. Well, this wasn't the cheap stuff, it was Monsanto RoundUp-Ready canola (GM to resist RoundUp... spray field with RoundUp, kill everything but the canola... better yields, only downside is possible glyphophosphate poisoning). But, the license for Monsanto RR canola specifically states that it cannot be harvested for use as seed (that is, you have to keep buying your seed from Monsanto each year). Somone reported the farmer and Monstanto investiaged and sued. Farmer made some pretty weak excuses, but at least did grab some media attention.

What he did was illegal, but I don't blame him. Farming is hard business these days, especially when only certain crops get subsidies and the seed and fertiziler companies are out to suck the farmer's wallet dry.

Re:Large biotech firms (1)

cadfael (103180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777658)

I actually live not far from the guy who was convicted, and yes, what he did is illegal and yes, its hard to farm. What I was trying to point out (which I believe you saw) is that these people are not much interested in the "wellness of humanity" as they are the bottom line.

S

Re:Large biotech firms (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777708)

I believe that farmer counter-sued Monsanto because he made it a point to grow non-GM crops. Neighboring farms used the Monsanto seed and genetic drift caused the farmer's crops to become Monsanto patented soy, even though he didn't want it. He contended that Monsanto's GM seed polluted his seed. Of course his counter suit was crushed by the Monsanto legal machine, but it was an interesting point.

Re:Large biotech firms (1)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777778)

hey ac, can you send a link or 2 to back this up?

I'd like to see how "genetic drift" can account for the crops' automagical transformation into the patented form Monsanto sells.

Meneer de Koekepeer

Re:Large biotech firms (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777721)

Isn't it a good thing that Round-up is generally much much safer than other chemical alternatives?!
It's Monsanto's intellectual property. They've already went out on a limb in a gamble to develop this technology. They've already put up the cost. Should they be allowed to reap any benefits? Think of it like the U.S. drug companies. They actually develop the drug in a hope that they'll be able to make some returns on it some day.

Being from a farming background, I find that there is so much utterly fallacious material and information that gets expounded as fact when dealing with agriculture. They start you off young in grade schools with how bad pesticides are. But the same people ostracising farmers as destroyers of the environment will have nice green front yards from fertilizer and excessive watering and pesticides. And they will also demand the best quality, unblemished produce from the market. And they scream bloody murder when the prices for these products seem unreasonable to them.

But at least they all understand "how hard it is to be a farmer"...

Percy Schmeiser (2)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777666)

Slashdot had a link to a story [slashdot.org] on the Percy Schmeiser case a long time ago. It may also be worth checking out this site [percyschmeiser.com] on his continuing conflict with Monsanto; whois records indicate it's run by a relative of Percy, and it seems rather thorough.

Monsanto is nasty corporation that fights dirty and wants to control everything it touches. It's Microsoft crossed with tobacco companies. Monsanto was one of the companies that produced the Agent Orange defoliant for the US military during 'Nam, and currently produces Roundup and Roundup Ultra. The latter is being indiscriminately dumped [witnessforpeace.org] on various locations around Colombia [witnessforpeace.org] as part of the US War on (Some) Drugs. This doesn't even get into Monsanto's legal and technical games with genetics.

Monsanto is also a candidate for being "first up against the wall" when "the revolution" comes. Whatever that turns out to be, it can only mean good things for life on Earth to evolve and exist outside of manipulation for profit.

Re:Percy Schmeiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777750)

So... when is this revolution rolling along? And can I add michael to the list?

Re:Large biotech firms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777763)

Of course, the Washington Post is the most trustworthy of all neutral, unbiased news sources.

Death of another WIPO Troll (-1, Troll)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777592)

Well, I guess this is it. Tomorrow, I am going to kill myself via nonstop, furious masturbation with a plastic bag tied around my head. I wonder how long it will take for me to die, covered in my own spooge.

I hope all you fellow trolls remember me each time you squat and push out a big, stinky one. Goodbye, cruel Slashdot...

(Oh, and: michael, may you burn in hell.)

Re:Death of another WIPO Troll (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777610)

Can I sell the spooge + bag on ebay? A portion of the proceeds will go to your funeral, of course...

Re:Death of another WIPO Troll (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777618)

If you want to scrape it off my corpse, certainly. Question: how long must one masturbate with a bag over their head before they die? I've never tried this before...

Re:Death of another WIPO Troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777653)

Please don't become another silent victim. [silentvictims.org]

-FTM

Re:Death of another WIPO Troll (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777700)

Bwahahahahahahahah.
Why're you poasting anonymously, Fecal?

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777593)

firstpost

Corporate... (3, Insightful)

darkov (261309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777594)

...fuckwits. They should be made to move to the town they polluted. With their families.

Re:Corporate... (2, Interesting)

debiandude (515835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777609)

Well don't you think that a little harsh. I sure not everyone that worked for them new. For instance my aunt worked for a dry cleaners in Maopac New York. At this establishment they were poring the chemicals down the drain. My aunt didn't know this. Any today the whole shopping center where this dry cleaners was the water is polluted. Now obviously I think the moron pouring it down the drain should drink the water there, but I wouldn't sentance my aunt to the same sentance.

Re:Corporate... (5, Interesting)

darkov (261309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777625)

My comments were aimed at the people making the decisions. They are the ones who should take responsibility, not people who just do what they are told.

The best way to punish corporate fuckwits is not to impose financial penalties. That can be factored in as an expense and risk factor. These people should be made to live in their own filth. We should show them complete disregard for their lives, just as they have for others.

Why is it that if I kill someone by accident, I'll go to jail (most probably). But if some corporate idiot kills tens or hundreds of people in a cimmunity, he'll still get his bonus?

Re:Corporate... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777730)

You sir have hit the nail on the head. Corporations are faceless entities - you can't point a finger at an individual. Remember the days when corporations couldn't use the 5th amendment? But in 1976 [nancho.net] , US v. Martin Linen Supply was the first time a corporation used the 5th. Now corporations are beginning to take on more of the freedoms as individuals while possessing freedom inherent of being commericial - they can get away with anything.

Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the movies (4, Insightful)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777604)

I never thought companies like Monsanto existed outside of the paranoid writings of science fiction writers or in surreal alternate reality fantasy stories until I found out about their infamous Monsanto Terminator Seeds [google.com] ?

Selling third world farmers infertile seeds so they have to keep buying your seeds with the full knowledge that these sterile seeds could spread and render entire regions infertile is so nefarious, mere words cannot convey the feelings of disgust I feel.

Re:Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the mov (1)

anzha (138288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777619)

There was a plus side, I thought, for the terminator technology. If its sterility genes are dominant, it can't pass on GM traits to other species of plant. *THAT* is one thing taht a great many activists are worried about.

Food for thought there...

Re:Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the mov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777682)

yeah. and we all know how well the Chinese public respects the concept of intellectual property. look at software piracy there!

Do you really think any one would pay for the "real" seed if they could get second generation seed (unregulated/uncontrolled) from Joe "3rd world farmer" Schmoe?

A company spends their time and name and other fortunes in a gamble to reinvent themselves (remember BST - the milk-production hormone -- that was Monsanto as well) in an effort to benefit humanity, and they shouldn't be allowed to protect their investments? Do you really think that they should develop a technology only to give it away? The bulk of Monsanto's current research focuses on making crops disease and pest resistant. Solutia [solutia.com] is the spin-off of what was previously Monsanto's chemical making business.

The article cited in this story has its focus at a different time in this nation's history (late 60's).

It is unbelievable how much naivete exists in this forum. Companies exist generally to make profits. Lately, only a few of them have been able to do that, especially in the tech industry. If there's nothing stopping you, you are going to try to maximize profit. With all the bitchers here about Microsoft having an unfair monopoly, you'd think the concept of profit maximization would be understood.

Re:Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the mov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777731)

Fuck makes me want to get an MBA after college and work for them. The promise of power corrupts all men.

Re:Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the mov (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777739)

with the full knowledge that these sterile seeds could spread and render entire regions infertile

Would you care to explain how sterile seeds can "spread"?

How "Sterile" Seeds Spread (2)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777774)

Would you care to explain how sterile seeds can "spread"?

Under certain conditions the pollen from a "terminator" plant could be used to cross-pollinate other plants as shown in this BBC article [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Monsanto akin to evil corporations from the mov (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777788)

I couldn't agree more. Ordinarily I roll my eyes when I see articles about "corporate evil" on Slashdot, but Monsanto is an exception. Unequivocably, without doubt, Monsanto's corporate charter should be revoked, the CEOs should be stripped of all but their posessions but $500 and a suit, their assets should be auctioned and checks cut to any shareholders who are not involved with day-to-day decision making.

They are just pure evil. I already knew about the terminator seeds, and as shocking as the PCB article was when I read it this morning, it didn't surprise me.

Shouldn't be a surprise (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777614)

Monsanto is the Microsoft of the ag world. They are constantly buying up smaller seed and chemical corporations and/or their patents. They have no regard for safety, only their bottom line financial figures. Some of their more scary research and development involves genetically engineered plants (and seed) that reacts to only certain (Monsanto-brand) chemicals and fertilizers.
This is certainly a company to be watching. At least Microsoft only fiddles around with computers and home entertainment gizmos. Monsanto plays god with our food supply at all levels. It's scary and it gets more scary each year.

Re:Shouldn't be a surprise (1, Insightful)

legLess (127550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777678)

Quoth the poster:
Monsanto is the Microsoft of the ag world.
You need a serious fucking reality check, pal. Monsanto makes Microsoft look like Ben & Jerry's. Monsanto is one of the top 2 or 3 most evil corporations in existence. They are quite, literally and with no exageration, having a negative impact on the survival potential of the human species. As another poster suggested, do a Google search for 'terminator seed.'

Microsoft bashing is one thing, but c'mon. So they swallowed a few companies, crushed some others, and flouted some economic laws. On the scale of 'evil corporations' that barely registers. They don't pay governments to kill their own citizens, or dump toxins into local water supplies. Heck, they don't even strip mine beautiful wilderness.

I don't like Microsoft much either, but let's have some sense of proportion, eh?

Re:Shouldn't be a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777740)

Don't you think you're being a little harsh?

Disclaimer: I own Monsanto stock [yahoo.com]

Re:Shouldn't be a surprise (0)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777765)

I own Monsanto stock
You idiot! What the fuck are you doing on Slashdot at a time like this? Get over to eTrade and sell, sell, sell before this story hits the morning papers! :-)

Re:Shouldn't be a surprise (2)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777785)

You know, I'm not sure why this is moderated flamebait. I'm aware that the general Slashdot bias is to assume Microsoft is the bearer of all things evil, but like legLess said, I've never had Microsoft fuck with my very existence. Bill Gates isn't dumping stuff in the water that is going to give me cancer. If I don't like Microsoft, I have alternatives. There is no Linux for drinking water, you know. Companies like Monsanto are a whole other realm of evil. Microsoft is Mini-me compared to Monsanto's Dr. Evil.

oh crap... (1)

magicslax (532351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777616)

i see a link back to the previous article, "attack of the clones."

......it seems the pollution is worse than we know.

slashdot: bringing the latest news on mutant invasions across Alabama! ^_^

Appalling, but not suprising. (3, Interesting)

DevilJeff (243585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777622)

Unfortunately, stuff like this happens all too often. Here in Ohio our EPA is so bad that they actually fired someone for reporting that a school was built on a Military waste dump. I work for a group [ohiocitizen.org] that deals with these political and corporate problems everyday, and it's really eye-opening to see the disregard some people have for public health and the enviroment.

Re:Appalling, but not suprising. (1)

Cheesemaker (36551) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777680)

Well, heck, look at the Buckeye Egg farms over the past couple decades. I grew up with the smell of the chickens in Croton, OH, then they expanded to other towns in the state. They've been getting slaps on the wrist from the EPA for their rampant health and safety violations....

Since this has been happening for years... (1)

I Love this Company! (547598) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777623)

It's a wonder the government still has the environment on the back burner. Sure, we have the EPA and other agencies, but the fact of the matter is we're not doing as much as we can to reduce emissions and really go after those who are illegally dumping and poisoning the ecosystem.

And no, I'm not some wacko tree-hugger, I'm just really angrified. :D

A day in the life of CmdrTaco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777630)

A day in the life of CmdrTaco

[empeg.org]
Sadly mistaken, CmdrTaco belives this object is a faggot asshole pleasurer and is worshipping it. Strangly enough, the one who looks like a female in the background is really one of CmdrTaco's homosexual high school friends who had an "operation". This was spent with the money CmdrTaco makes whoring himself daily around VA Software's heardquarters.


[crynwr.com]
CmdrTaco, now is not a good time to take out your anal lube grease in order to satisfy you and your homosexual buddy


[anneke.net]
No CmdrTaco, now is not a good time to play with your anal ramming rods, especially not in public.


One could only imagine what sick, twisted thoughts are going through CmdrTaco's head when these photos were taken...
here [anneke.net] and here [anneke.net] .

ALL XYZ'S are ALWAYS ZZZZ (-1, Flamebait)

darkPHi3er (215047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777632)

what Monsanto (and numerous other chemical companies') employees have done, by exposing millions of people all around the world with excessive and illegal exposures to a whole rash of toxic and carcinogenics substances is:

immoral

illegal

unethical

and deserves the harshest possible punishment,

JUST LIKE MICHAEL deserves the harshest possible censure for dumping stories like this on /., and then pumping them up with his own personal political perspective

ONE, MICHAEL shows himself to be a bigot...

monsanto is not a person, it is a bunch of people, some good, some obviously bad, and many somewhere in the middle, micheal tries here to lump in all the monsanto employees into the same category...hundreds of thousands or millions of people in 3rd world countries have nutrition they wouldn't otherwise have, thanks to genetically engineered foods

but, apparently Michael would rather have these people subjected to malnutrtion and stravation, in order to satisfy his personal beliefs..

TWO, by michael using /. as a polemic device to further his politics, he lowers the quality of /. discussion

whether or not this story belongs on /. is subject to the decision of the majority

Michael's personal political agenda surfaces (yet again), in order for him to stroke his own ego, by starting another round of trolling and flamebating on another story that have very little connection to computers, computing or computing technology

MOD LOSER PARENT DOWN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777686)

Please. It's just obvious, stupid flamebait.

Re:ALL XYZ'S are ALWAYS ZZZZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777722)

When reading your post, I noticed a few things. I think it's funny how you continue to read slashdot, post comments, and take an active part in slashdot, yet you seem to love to bitch about it. No one is forcing you to continue to read slashdot, if you are upset with the political agenda of the editors, STOP READING, simple enough? While you may not care about world politics and such, many people do, and slashdot gives an outlet to express those viewpoints. Also, I noticed how you comment on the quality of slashdot discussion, yet you do not seem to want to contribute anything useful. Why not worry less about the editors and be happy that you have a free news service that is interested in technology.

Re:ALL XYZ'S are ALWAYS ZZZZ (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777756)

I agree totally with the above rant and maybe, just maybe it is flamebait. But until /. has a public forum for feedback where else should people object to the editoral comments.

But ranting about Mikey, and for that matter Katz and Timmy, is not going to do any good. /. is only interested in generating page views so they can justify their ad revenue.

/. will not post stories that criticise /. or it's editors, see this page [spectacle.org] for a comment on Mikeys ethics. Then try and get it posted :-)

What is most sad about /. is the fact that a site that is supposed to attract intelligent people in reality swamps any thoughtful comments with group think moderation.

Remember, a little power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Re:ALL XYZ'S are ALWAYS ZZZZ (1)

pvanheus (186787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777764)

This is just ridiculous.

Two claims I want to tackle here:

  1. Monsanto is not a person, just a group of people (some good, some bad). Its a long argument, but I think that the fact that corporations over the world are counted as legal persons recognises an important fact: they exhibit a collective purpose. Management within a company plays the role of trying to get everyone to line up behind a common mission. Management sets a corporate culture, a climate where certain behaviours are acceptable, other unacceptable. If you work for a company, you can't fail but notice this, and if you see that your company's culture is unethical, its YOUR responsibility to do something - leave, object, whatever.

  2. Secondly, GM crops feed the starving of the third world. Prove it! At the moment the vast majority of GM planting is not in the third world. And the traits which would make a crop interesting to third world farmers - e.g. drought resistance - do not exist in GM strains. The trend in GM is to engineer things which are useful in a very first world context - e.g. the ability to withstand a higher dose of herbicide (Roundup). GM crops fit well within the existing first world agribusiness paradigm, which involves industrialisation and high inputs, large farms and monoculture. In the third world, where most farmers lack the cash to engage in the first world style of agriculture, GM crops will have a much harder time taking off. Specifically, existing small and subsistence farmers will have to be dispossessed to make way for the kind of farming where GM is workable. They will have to be replaced by larger, cash cropping, export oriented farmers, and the main problem that the poor of the third world face - being seperated from the means of their own survival - will be further, not closer, to being solved.

    Thus GM fits in well with the global agribusiness scenario - the consolidation of worldwide agricultural production within networks oriented around the large agribusiness multinationals - but has bugger all to do with solving third world hunger.

Peter

Re:ALL XYZ'S are ALWAYS ZZZZ (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777793)

Now you may just be trolling here, but your story pegged my bullshit meter. This story is an important story, and probably should have been posted at an hour where more US readers would have seen it.

...hundreds of thousands or millions of people in 3rd world countries have nutrition they wouldn't otherwise have, thanks to genetically engineered foods

This may technically be true, but it could also be said that many of the large companies which create genetically modified foods are also causing much starvation by not allowing developing countries to become prosperous. By creating self-destructing vegetables, farmers are lured into being forced to pay for seed year after year after year. Instead of being able to save a small amount of seed for the next year's crop and becoming self sufficient, Monsanto is forcing farmers in these poor countries to come back to them year after year and beg for more seed.

whether or not this story belongs on /. is subject to the decision of the majority

Nope, it belongs to the people who own the site. They have entrusted Michael with editorial powers and the ability to post stories. If you do not like this fact, then I suggest you should probably take it up with the owners, instead of the readership at large.

Michael's personal political agenda surfaces (yet again), in order for him to stroke his own ego, by starting another round of trolling and flamebating on another story that have very little connection to computers, computing or computing technology

But that's not the exclusive focus on this site, now is it? If you remember, this site is "News for Nerds, Stuff That Matters," not "All Tech News, All the Time." I don't know about you, but stories about the continued health of the planet that I live on is definitely newsworthy. If you don't like the fact that this story shines a light on a subject certain parties want to keep secret, then tough. Sometimes the most important stories aren't all that pretty.

A strong person is willing to have their values checked. I for one try to make it a point of looking at things from the other side. Do you have that same courage and strength?

Guilt By Association, don't buy it (5, Insightful)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777639)

Why is this relevant? Well, Monsanto is currently one of biggest proponents of GM (genetically modified) foods.

It should be obvious, but it probably needs to be said:

To claim that GM foods are bad because a corporation that have done evil things is a proponent of it, is no more valid an argument than claiming that since Hitler claimed that 2+2=4, the real value must be something else.

If there are any real factual arguments against GM foods, by all means present them. But if this is the best argument, it's a big endorsement of GM foods.

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777651)

How about this: we can't trust Monsanto's claims that GM foods are safe, because they lied about PCBs.

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (1, Flamebait)

scrote-ma-hote (547370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777665)

Read the post, Monsato deliberatly poisoned a waterway. They did this with no regard for animal or human safety. Now, explain to me how I am supposed to trust a company that does things like that with something that is as potentially as dangerous as transgenic crops. That's why it's relevant.

And of course that's not the biggest arguement, if you don't know that, then you shouldn't be posting stuff like that in the first place!

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (2, Insightful)

mizukami (141102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777675)

I think that the point is not that GM foods are evil because Monsanto is making them, but rather the fact that Monsanto has a long history of covering up even known problems that would adversely affect profits, and therefore would perhaps not be forthcoming in admitting any health issues related to GM foods, and therefore must be watched closely.

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (5, Insightful)

metis (181789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777691)

To claim that GM foods are bad because a corporation that have done evil things is a proponent of it, is no more valid an argument than claiming that since Hitler claimed that 2+2=4, the real value must be something else.

Not exactly. The main line of pro-GM arguments is that we can trust the science and the corporations. First, we are supposed to trust GM producers to do safety tests for the product and publish immediately any health issue that comes up. Second, we are supposed to trust the GM industry as a whole with essentially taking over the management of agricultural bio-diversity and become the unofficial management of the planet's supply of food.

Most critics of GM focus on the first problem (health) because it is more concrete and easy to explain ( and to scare with). But the second problem is by far the most dramatic. The possibility of a disaster that will make the Irish famine look like small potatoes should scare the bejesus out of everyone.

The science is an unknown, as research and commercial deployment go in lockstep. It isn't 2+2=4. Furthermore, the most important aspect of GM is management of food supplies (practical ad hoc decisions), not theoretical scientific questions. So it all boils down to an issue of trust. Can we entrust the future of the food supply of the planet to entities whose time is measured by wall-street ticks?

The new information simply reinforces the feeling that the only sane answer is NO.

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777737)

Amen! There is a quote in some anti-GM food screed I read which said "We are not affraid of making new mistakes (viruses, etc.), we are affraid of perfecting old ones."

There are a few subtile Health risks assosiated to GM crops, but I think we should accept these risks. The real threat comes in the form of a threat to bio-diversity. Your comment about the Irish potatoe famine is right on. What happens when some bug desides that Roundup ready is lunch time. Will if only corn is Roundup ready then we don't eat corn. If all our staples are Roundup ready then we starve. With a little luck this will hit about 3 years after the baby boomers create a second great depression by retiring.. :)

I think the solution is to make all farm subsadies based on biodiversity, i.e. you recieve zero if 30%+ of the crop (corn, etc.) grown by U.S. farmers is of the same genetic background. This would both prevent monopolies in the GM food buisness and enshure that there were profit margins for Organic foods.

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (5, Funny)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777782)

... make the Irish famine look like small potatoes ...

Um, small potatoes would have been an improvement on the Irish situation. ;)

Re:Guilt By Association, don't buy it (5, Interesting)

TheAJofOZ (215260) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777787)

To claim that GM foods are bad because a corporation that have done evil things is a proponent of it, is no more valid an argument than claiming that since Hitler claimed that 2+2=4, the real value must be something else.

A number of people have stated that this analogy is incorrect already, but none of them seem to be getting the point through to people, so let me try an analogy to show why these actions are in fact reason to question the GM production from Monsanto.

Let's say that you have a friend who you've known for a fair while and trust. You tell this friend a secret which is really important to you that it is kept secret and they break your trust by telling a whole bunch of people your secret with no reasonable justification for these actions. Needless to say you're pretty annoyed, you yell and scream etc, etc. Then you notice that your friend gets on really well with your girlfriend.

Now, there is no evidence to suggest that your friend is doing anything with your girlfriend and before this friend betrayed your trust you never would have even thought he would steal your girlfriend - but you never would have thought he'd breach your trust either. It's pretty clear in this situation that while you shouldn't jump to conclusions you probably shouldn't put blind faith into your friend who has clearly and blatantly betrayed your trust.

Now lets suppose that you know a corporation who makes weed killer and the weed killer works really well - you've been buying it for a fair while now. Suddenly you discover that in producing this weed killer the company has been dumping all kinds of dangerous chemicals into a river - affecting a significant number of people - with no good reason.

Then you notice that this corporation is producing genetically modified foods (which you regularly eat). Clearly it's not a time to go jumping to conclusions, but it's also not all that wise to continue to put your blind faith in the corporation.

Whether or not there is evidence that the GM foods produced by Monsanto are good, bad or indifferent is irrelevant. When a company shows this much flagrant disregard for the health and saftey of people, it is probably worth taking a closer look at their other areas of operation - not doing so is akin to burying your head in the sand.

your reasoning is flawed (2)

markj02 (544487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777795)

The situation with PCBs and GM foods is quite analogous: in both cases, large corporations, driven by short-term profits, assert that a productthey desparately wanted to produce because is safe. In the case of PCBs, those assertions turned out to be false. It would be prudent to assume that the same could happen with GM foods decades from now.

The burden of proof that GM foods (or any other products, for that matter) are safe in the long term for consumption and the environment rests entirely on the shoulders of their proponents, the people who want to release those organisms into the environment. And biotechnology and ecoology are such new fields that we really can say very little about long term effects.

Personally, I think most GMOs are likely to be non-poisonous and non-invasive. But I think they will be harmful indirectly--by allowing human populations to push further into previously non-arable lands. Ultimately, GMOs don't hold the answer for hunger or human suffering; at some point, we have to limit our growth, and we might as well do it as long as there is still a little bit of earth left.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777640)

HISTORY OF THE WORLD (Score:5, Funny)

by Yu Suzuki (dural@doramail.com) on Tuesday May 23, @09:27PM CDT

2.5 million B.C.: OOG the Open Source Caveman develops the axe and releases it under the GPL. The axe quickly gains popularity as a means of crushing moderators' heads.

100,000 B.C.: Man domesticates the AIBO.

10,000 B.C.: Civilization begins when early farmers first learn to cultivate hot grits.

3000 B.C.: Sumerians develop a primitive cuneiform perl script.

2920 B.C.: A legendary flood sweeps Slashdot, filling up a Borland / Inprise story with hundreds of offtopic posts.

1750 B.C.: Hammurabi, a Mesopotamian king, codifies the first EULA.

490 B.C.: Greek city-states unite to defeat the Persians. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the Greeks "get it".

399 B.C.: Socrates is convicted of impiety. Despite the efforts of freesocrates.com, he is forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock.

336 B.C.: Fat-Time Charlie becomes King of Macedonia and conquers Persia.

4 B.C.: Following the Star (as in hot young actress) of Bethelem, wise men travel from far away to troll for baby Jesus.

A.D. 476: The Roman Empire BSODs.

A.D. 610: The Glorious MEEPT!! founds Islam after receiving a revelation from God. Following his disappearance from Slashdot in 632, a succession dispute results in the emergence of two troll factions: the Pythonni and the Perliites.

A.D. 800: Charlemagne conquers nearly all of Germany, only to be acquired by andover.net.

A.D. 874: Linus the Red discovers Iceland.

A.D. 1000: The epic of the Beowulf Cluster is written down. It is the first English epic poem.

A.D. 1095: Pope Bruce II calls for a crusade against the Turks when it is revealed they are violating
the GPL. Later investigation reveals that Pope Bruce II had not yet contacted the Turks before calling for the crusade.

A.D. 1215: Bowing to pressure to open-source the British government, King John signs the Magna Carta, limiting the British monarchy's power. ESR triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

A.D. 1348: The ILOVEYOU virus kills over half the population of Europe. (The other half was not using Outlook.)

A.D. 1420: Johann Gutenberg invents the printing press. He is immediately sued by monks claiming that the technology will promote the copying of hand-transcribed books, thus violating the church's intellectual property.

A.D. 1429: Natalie Portman of Arc gathers an army of Slashdot trolls to do battle with the moderators. She is eventually tried as a heretic and stoned (as in petrified).

A.D. 1478: The Catholic Church partners with doubleclick.net to launch the Spanish Inquisition.

A.D. 1492: Christopher Columbus arrives in what he believes to be "India", but which RMS informs him is actually "GNU/India".

A.D. 1508-12: Michaelengelo attempts to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling with ASCII art, only to have his plan thwarted by the "Lameness Filter."

A.D. 1517: Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the church door and is promptly moderated down to (-1, Flamebait).

A.D. 1553: "Bloody" Mary ascends the throne of England and begins an infamous crusade against Protestants. ESR eats his words.

A.D. 1588: The "IF I EVER MEET YOU, I WILL KICK YOUR ASS" guy meets the Spanish Armada.

A.D. 1603: Tokugawa Ieyasu unites the feuding pancake-eating ninjas of Japan.

A.D. 1611: Mattel adds Galileo Galilei to its CyberPatrol block list for proposing that the Earth revolves around the sun.

A.D. 1688: In the so-called "Glorious Revolution", King James II is bloodlessly forced out of power and flees to France. ESR again triumphantly proclaims that the British monarchy "gets it".

A.D. 1692: Anti-GIF hysteria in the New World comes to a head in the infamous "Salem GIF Trials", in which 20 alleged GIFs are burned at the stake. Later investigation reveals that many of the supposed GIFs were actually PNGs.

A.D. 1769: James Watt patents the one-click steam engine.

A.D. 1776: Trolls, angered by CmdrTaco's passage of the Moderation Act, rebel. After a several-year flame war, the trolls succeed in seceding from Slashdot and forming the United Coalition of Trolls.

A.D. 1789: The French Revolution begins with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Bastille.

A.D. 1799: Attempts at discovering Egyptian hieroglyphs receive a major boost when Napoleon's troops discover the Rosetta stone. Sadly, the stone is quickly outlawed under the DMCA as an illegal means of circumventing encryption.

A.D. 1844: Samuel Morse invents Morse code. Cryptography export restrictions prevent the telegraph's use outside the U.S. and Canada.

A.D. 1853: United States Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrives in Japan and forces the xenophobic nation to open its doors to foreign trade. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Japan finally "gets it".

A.D. 1865: President Lincoln is 'bitchslapped.' The nation mourns.

A.D. 1901: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marcoli first demonstrates the radio. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich immediately delivers to Marcoli a list of 335,435 suspected radio users.

A.D. 1911: Facing a break-up by the United States Supreme Court, Standard Oil Co. defends its "freedom to innovate" and proposes numerous rejected settlements. Slashbots mock the company as "Standa~1" and depict John D. Rockefeller as a member of the Borg.

A.D. 1929: V.A. Linux's stock drops over 200 dollars on "Black Tuesday", October 29th.

A.D. 1945: In the secret Manhattan Project, scientists working in Los Alamos, New Mexico, construct a nuclear bomb from Star Wars Legos.

A.D. 1948: Slashdot runs the infamous headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Shamefaced, the site quickly retracts the story when numerous readers point out that it is not news for nerds, stuff that matters.

A.D. 1965: Jon Katz delivers his famous "I Have A Post-Hellmouth Dream" speech, which stated: "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the geeks of former slaves and the geeks of former slave geeks will be able to sit down together at the table of geeks... I have a dream that my geek little geeks will one geek live in a nation where they will not be geeked by the geek of their geek but by the geek of their geek."

A.D. 1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon. His immortal words: "FIRST MOONWALK!!!"

A.D. 1970: Ohio National Guardsmen shoot four students at Kent State University for "Internet theft".

A.D. 1989: The United States invades Panama to capture renowned "hacker" Manual Noriega, who is suspected of writing the DeCSS utility.

A.D. 1990: West Germany and East Germany reunite after 45 years of separation. ESR triumphantly proclaims that Germany "gets it".

A.D. 1994: As years of apartheid rule finally end, Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa. ESR is sick, and sadly misses his chance to triumphantly proclaim that South Africa "gets it".

A.D. 1997: Slashdot reports that Scottish scientists have succeeded in cloning a female sheep named Dolly. Numerous readers complain that if they had wanted information on the latest sheep releases, they would have just gone to freshsheep.net

A.D. 1999: Miramax announces Don Knotts to play hacker Emmanuel Goldstein in upcoming movie "Takedown"

It's called Ad Hominem (2, Insightful)

blueHal (9304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777641)

Well, Monsanto is currently one of biggest proponents of GM (genetically modified) foods.

Philip Morris is currently one of the biggest proponents of Macaroni and Cheese; it even markets this product to children! (Kraft is a subsidiary of Philip Morris, a company widely considered to have manipulated nicotine content in cigarettes and marketed addictive cigarettes to children).

Study the safety of genetic modifications, sure, just don't assume that because a corporation has been evil, everything it touches magically turns cold and dark. In other words, just because they concealed what they knew about PCB's, there's no reason to trust Monsato more or less than any other genetically modified crop producer.

Re:It's called Ad Hominem (4, Funny)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777674)

Er... are you saying that Kraft Dinner isn't a cold, dark evil?

You ever read the ingredients list? I'd sooner smoke than eat KD!

Re:It's called Ad Hominem (1)

blueHal (9304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777707)

I didn't say I ate Macaroni and Cheese. ;) Some people seem to think it's wholesome and good for kids.

Monsanto and The PCB's... (5, Interesting)

TheSauce (243403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777642)

More interesting and relevant from the article is the premise that they were aware as early as the late 1930's that they were doing lasting damage--and worked very hard to keep that from surfacing--since they had a complete monopoly on PCB's period. And production continued until two years before PCB's were banned for good in 1979.
Good corporate citizenship it wasn't. Worse, at the level intimated in the article (if true,) that particular factory and its overseers were committing mass murder. One has to wonder about our corporate law structure on that note.
Are fines and clean-up measures a reasonable response?

Probable? (1)

Wolfkin (17910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777644)

From the story:

The EPA and the World Health Organization classify PCBs as "probable carcinogens," and while no one has determined whether the people in Anniston are sicker than average, [...]

Yet, earlier, they say that millions of pounds of PCBs were dumped in or near Anniston.

If PCBs are any more "carcinogenic" than water, everyone near there or downstream should have cancer.

Something smells, and it isn't just the PCBs.

Randall.

Monsanto and the ag business (1)

j_w_d (114171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777648)

Monsanto also holds patents on the bovine growth hormone (BGH) used to increase milk production in cattle. If you poke around on the web, at Disinfo [disinfo.com] for instance, there is a considerable literature about the various ways in which standard procedure was violated by both Monsanto and the FDA itself during the testing and approval of the use of BGH on dairy cattle. The story is enough to cause you to switch to "organic" milk and milk products.

Still I ask why is it relevant? (2)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777649)

OK don't get me wrong here, I think it is totally repugnant that they pump this shit into waterways wherever they can get away with it. In a local sense this is a tragedy of major proportions.

BUT... We have a major multi-national manufacturing corporation polluting the environment and being worried only about public image. This is hardly newsworthy. In a global sense, so what?

In and of itself, that has nothing to do with their genetic engineering division, does it? Sure, it may say something about the overall corporate morality (yeah, I know. oxymoron and all that) of Monsanto, but is it really news?

Unless of course, Monsanto are genetically engineering a whole range of crops that are either resistant to or actively break down PCB's. Their polluting activities take on a whole new, somewhat darker perspective under those circumstances, don't they now?

Re:Still I ask why is it relevant? (0, Offtopic)

RevRigel (90335) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777713)

You should check out Neal Stephenson's Zodiac [amazon.com] . The main plot of the article is centered around aggregious PCB pollution in Boston harbor and a conspiracy to genetically engineer bacteria to cover it up.

Keep Trollin' Baby! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777652)

Keep Trollin' Baby

[Hmm, yeah. This just one of them days when yo' ass just wanna chill out and troll and them motherfucking moderators be all in yo' ear and shit, yknowhatI'msayin? Or that naggin bitch, that just like to hear herself talk blowin all yo' troll away. Now that's some fucked up shit, heh but it happens, yknowhatI'msayin?]

Note: to the beat of Limp Bizkit's [limpbizkit.com] "Rollin'" [limpsite.com] .

Chocolate Troll and the Hot Dog Flavored Jizz

Trollin' (Crapflood Vehicle)

Alright partner
Keep on trollin' baby
You know what time it is

Throw your hands up
Ladies and gentlement
Chocolate Troll
Keep on trolling baby

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now

Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
What?
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Come on!
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Yeah

Now I know y'all be lovin' this post right here
Anonymous Coward is right here
People in the house put them hands in the air
Cuz if you don't care, then we don't care
1 2 3 times two to the six
Jolts in for your fix with the Goatse [goatse.cx] mix
So where the fuck you at?
Punk, shut the fuck up
And back the fuck up
While we fuck this website up

Throw your hands up

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now

Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
What?
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Come on
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Yeah

You wanna mess with Anonymous Coward? (Yeah)
You cant mess with Anonymous Coward (why?)
Because we get it on (when?)
Troll Tuesday [idonthavealinkyet.com] all day and night (oh)
See this crapflood thing right here? (uh huh)
Well we're doing it all the time (what?)
So you'd better get some better moderators
And uh, get some better filters (d'oh!)
We got the gang set
So don't complain yet
24/7 never begging for a raincheck
Old school soldiers passing up the hot shit
That rock shit
And bounce in the mosh pit

Throw your hands up

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now

Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Come on
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
What?
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Yeah

Hey trolls
Hey flamebaiters
And the people that don't give a fuck
All the lovers
All the haters
And all the people that call themselves players
Hot mommas
Pimp daddies
And the people rolling up in caddies
Hey rockers
Hip hoppers
And everybody all around the world

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now

Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Yeah
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
What?
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Come on

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up
Tell me what you're gonna do now

Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
What?
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Come on
Keep trollin' trollin' trollin' trollin'
Yeah

Relevant? (1)

Mark Wells (8293) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777659)

I'm sorry, but what's the relevance of this to Monsanto's GM crops?

Sure, it's important for its own sake. The people at Monsanto who did these tests and realized that they were dumping dangerous levels of PCBs and didn't do anything about it should be held responsible. They should be criminally prosecuted if possible.

But the people who are working with GM foods today are, for the most part, a different set of people. There's no point in blaming them for what other people within the organization called 'Monsanto' did.

There is no 'Monsanto'. It's just a large group of individuals getting together and coordinating some of their actions. Giving the organization a name is convenient for them, and occasionally convenient for their critics, but it doesn't shift moral responsibility from the people who poisoned Anniston to anyone else.

Re:Relevant? (5, Informative)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777692)

There is no 'Monsanto'.

I've seen this argument posted a couple times to the thread. I'm going to play pedant boy for a minute here.

Yes, there is a Monsanto. Under U.S. law, Monsanto is a legal entity. It even has legal status as a person. Now, while the actions of Monsanto may be directed and carried out by thousands of individuals, ultimately, those actions are carried out under the 'Monsanto' corporate personhood.

Now, either the corporation takes a huge legal hit due to the corporation's past actions - halt of operations, massive compensation, et al - or the individuals directly responsible for the decisions must stand to account for the actions of Monsanto. A person - which a corporation legally is in American - may do great work in the community, may support a family, but if that person commits voluntary manslaughter, that person is going to have rights revoked and operations halted for a while, and the people who relied on the convict will have to find other ways to get along. Harsh as hell, but if corporations get to be people, they get to be subject to the same punishments as people.

Either way, someone has to take responsibility for this mess, be that someone a person, or the corporation.

Re:Relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777746)

None

considerations (2, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777754)

I suppose it is relevent from the point of "What aren't they telling us about GM foods?"

They knew about PCBs since '37 it seems. Just 40 years from now what will we find out they hid about GM foods? Maybe its best to avoid them for that reason. I've supported GM foods. I think that a lot of the mentioned benefits are real. But this makes me see things a little differently.

The free market line is that corporations won't deliberately hurt their consumers because that's how they make their money. This needs rethinking. Maybe it works out economically in some weird way for corporations. The effects are too distant, and so long as no one finds out for 40 years or so the exceptional profits over that time outway any possible criminal charges.

There is also the failure of the EPA to consider in this whole situation. The EPA isn't the oldest institution around, remember it was Nixon who signed off on it. Wouldn't a survey of all water ways have been on the agenda of an organization that is supposed to protect the environment? Why are they just figuring out the PCB levels in this town now?

There are two things to learn from this whole debacle:

  1. Corporations are not nice people.
  2. Government institutions designed to protect us have failed.

I heard some other posters mention a corporate death penalty. Sounds good to me. But just a quick web search didn't turn up much actual investigation into the subject other than people saying "Sounds good to me." Anyone reading this who knows of actual legislation that has been proposed would do well to paste a link.

There's only one solution. (5, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777664)

Write your representatives and demand the institution of a Corporate Death Penalty.

Corporations have made huge strides in gaining "personhood" rights, with none of the responsibilities.

They have evolved to become wholly irresponsible citizens of the nations. This must stop. Either send the corporate structure back two hundred years, withdrawing all the privileges they've gained in that time; or make them take on the responsibilities that all other citizens must accept.

Write your representative. Make a difference.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1)

pompomtom (90200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777685)

erm, mod parent up.

Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777784)

Yes, mod the parent up all right, but why do "Mod the parent up!" posts always themselves get modded up? Talk about a waste of mod points.

Ahh! Monsanto! Makers of Aspertame/Nutrisweet (2, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777672)

The PCB story should be no surprise.

I was doing a little light reading a week back and discovered that an absolutely RAGING but hopelessly ignored debate regarding the toxicity of Nutrisweet and the apparently spectactular corruption throughout the food manufacturing/safety industry.

Get this: Aspertame is apparently highly unstable, especially in fluid form, (the reason they put best before dates on Diet Pepsi).

Did you know that when Aspertame breaks down, about 10% of the by-product is Methyl Alcohol!, --which in turn breaks down into Formadyhide, which in turn causes a mess of neurological damage including the dissolving of the optic nerve.

--One of the ways the Monsanto P.R. people deal with this is to quickly point out that there's more Methyl Alcohol in a glass of Tomato juice. --But further research explains that Tomato juice also naturally contains more than enough Ethyl alcohol to neutralize the effects of the wood alcohol, which Nutrisweet does not.

Anyway, there's a TON of information on this and it makes for fascinating reading. Do yourself a favor and spend twenty minutes with Google over this.


-Fantastic Lad

Re:Ahh! Monsanto! Makers of Aspertame/Nutrisweet (1)

scrote-ma-hote (547370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777718)

Strugling to remember 100-Level biochem here, but:

FYI. Ethanol is broken down into ethanal by alcohol dehyrdogenase (an enzyme), if ethanol is there, competitively inibits the methanol, so you get ethanal or ethanoic acid or something. (Can't find it in my notes, can't be bothered searching). That's how ethanol neutralises the effects by stopping the conversion. But really how much methanal is being formed? Surely it can't be that much?

Re:Ahh! Monsanto! Makers of Aspertame/Nutrisweet (3, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777732)

Do yourself a favor and spend twenty minutes with Google over this.

Or you can ignore all the ravings of web lunatics, and read this page [snopes.com] which gives some useful information and links about this crapola.

Re:Ahh! Monsanto! Makers of Aspertame/Nutrisweet (1)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777777)

Regardless of the truth or non-truth of the comment, it's more important to realize that this is the same company that produces NutraSweet. I don't care what it does or doesn't do to you. I'm not buying it anymore.

If only subjects could be moded up without the associated comments...

Guilt by association (2, Insightful)

bcrawford (302664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777679)

While it could be said that Win XP is useless because it was brought to us be the makers of edlin, it doesnt validate the argument, regardless of your opinions on either.
GM foods can be a good thing (see golden rice), and pollution is a bad thing (see earth), please be carefull not to base any futher flames on the fact that one company is guilty of both.

Re:Guilt by association (1)

pompomtom (90200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777712)

The point is that this particular proponent of GM orgnanisms has lied in a most appalling manner in the past, including changing conclusions in studies, in order to maintain profits.

The poster has not said "GM is bad", but has shown that this proponent of GM is not to be trusted.

But really, this is Monsanto we're talking about.... it's not like it's news...

Yay for patents! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777694)

If Monsanto would be allowed more leeway on what they can patent, they wouldn't have to resort to this kind of research! Stop being so anti-intellectual property and start caring about lives, please!

Attempt at relevance (2)

legLess (127550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777697)

For those who don't know, Neil Stephenson's 2nd novel is Zodiak, about a drug-abusing, hell-raising, hippie chemist who makes life miserable for polluters in Boston harbor. He also finds monstrous amounts of PCBs in the water, and the story goes on from there.:)

Also, Neil's [slashdot.org] been mentioned here on /. much more than PCBs. :)

Re:Attempt at relevance (1)

RevRigel (90335) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777716)

s/Neil/Neal.
A lot of people make that mistake. It's also Zodiac, not Zodiak.

Monsanto also dumped 40-50 tons of mercury (2, Informative)

Harumuka (219713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777699)

TalkInternational [talkinternational.com] has a short but well worth reading blurb on a similar incident where the Monsanto plant dumped 40-50 tons of liquid mercury into a storm drain during the 1950's. The article goes on to say how the dumped mercury, caustic soda, and chlorine reacted to form PCBs.

Not only does Monsanto have no respect for the environment, they are also dishonest:

"In 1999,
Monsanto's spin-off Anniston company, Solutia, gave state regulators a brief description of the site's use of mercury," wrote reporter Elizabeth Bluemink. "But, company records show that the information Solutia supplied about the potential for mercury discharges was incomplete and inaccurate." Officials at Solutia told the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) that Monsanto had "likely" not released any mercury to the environment.

And it's not like activists haven't been fighting Monsanto. Early as 1967, Dr. Denzel Fergusen reported Monsanto's mercury discharges where killing nearby fish. The same article links to a 404 at Annistonstar (a newspaper for one of the highly affected areas), but a quick search reveals several relevent articles:

At least Monsanto is doing something about their situation. Paul and Joyce Guldin [annistonstar.com] , residents whose backyard includes Choccolocco Creek, received a $999.33 settlement check from Monsanto. Hopefully, many more checks are to come.

Stock (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777702)

MON is looks like a good day trading stocks this year. Specifically, It seems highly cyclical with a very short cycle [yahoo.com] . It's still on the decreasing part of the cycle, so you might still manage to short it (or sell it god forbid you own it). If I cared to day trade this I would go look at how GE preformed during it's PCB issues (course GE poluted something lots of people care about).

Anyway, I feal that some limited ammount of polution problems like this are acceptable as "growing pains," *but* the additude of corperate America towards these sorts of problems is truely dispicable. "we did a studdy and surpressed the results" or "we choose not to do a studdy because we knew what the resutls would be" are totally unacceptable behaviors. The natural deduction is that corperations are simply not being held sufficently accountable, but I think this could be incorect. People, not faceless abstractions, are making these decissions. The problem is that the faceless abstraction, and not the people, are being held accountable. Here are two proposals:

1) Make is easyer to throw corperate executives in jail for "statistical manslaughter," i.e. shortening a number of people's lives.

2) Remove the limited liability for shareholders, i.e. corperations would issue a one share "liability dividend" for each share of voting stock; these liability shares could be traded on the open market, but they would caust money to get rid of; those holding the liability shares for the relevent years get tagged for all clean up expences. Alternativly, you could just remember who voted that years and tag those people for the cost of the clean up (people who voted would buy inshurance). Anyway, the point is that share holders would get used to seeing the financial fall out of ignoring their companies enviromental policy.

Re:Stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777758)

The Monsanto message board [yahoo.com] is a great place to troll!

Short'n for Jesus

The great ignorance that created this... (1)

instinctdesign (534196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777704)


Robert Kaley, the environmental affairs director for Solutia who also serves as the PCB expert for the American Chemistry Council, said it is unfair to judge the company's behavior from the 1930s through 1970s by modern standards.
This is perhaps what struck me the most of all in the article as it speaks to all the naiveté that creates problems like the Monsanto Dump or Love Canal. THe point he tries to make is akin to saying, "Hitler or Stalin did some pretty bad things, but that was fifty years ago and times were different!" ...as if no one noticed Milosevic or the Khmer Rouge or Rwanda. To write off the past as something that can't be repeated due to our "advanced sensibilities" is to write the same past into our futures.

not Immoral, Amoral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777705)

Corporations arent immoral or bad, theyre just amoral, since they have no soul as such. Besides monsanto has a background of doing nasty things, and its must be more common than is actually revealed. If you dont keep a tight hold on corporates, they'll do whatever they please(the stockholders), which is make more money, at any cost. Anything else is entirely irrelevant.

PCB and GM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777709)

So..they lied and cheated about PCB so just because they support GM, GM is bad?

hmm..ok..

The KKK is ruthless and cruel, and they believe in J.C. and support the Bible. hmm...bible bad?

Wow.... (4, Informative)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777710)

Just glad to see this on slashdot. I would've submitted it myself if I thought it had any chance of being posted. Some of my favorite tidbits are....

1. 'The (Mosanto) committee even drew up graphs charting profits vs. liability over time.'

2."It is our desire to comply with the necessary regulations, but to comply with the minimum,"

3. "Please let me know if there is anything I can do . . . so that we may make sure our Aroclor business is not affected by this evil publicity," (hazard warnings)

4. "It only seems a matter of time before the regulatory agencies will be looking down our throats,"

5. '...the memo did not go so far as to propose a cleanup -- "only action preparatory to actual cleanup."'

To raise a little dissent, I have to say that I really despise the way this story is put out, apparently without any copy of the 'confidential' documents. It seems like a routine thing with most stories of this nature. God forbid they put up a .pdf or something. To put it simply, I trust the corporate media about as much as I trust Mosanto. And when the quotes trail off as if to say "I love.............hitler", I find the word-chasm annoying. I'm sure it's not misrepresentation in this case, but goddamnit, they have the full version and I don't see why they can't put that out......

Dj vu? (1)

cos(0) (455098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777711)

All throughout reading the article, the movie "Erin Brockovich" kept playing in my head...

Déjà vu...

Monsanto = Microsoft? (1)

reflexreaction (526215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777715)

Already I have heard comparisons between these two respective coorporate giants. However, the big difference between the unseemly tactics of Microsoft and Monsanto is that Monsanto "plays well" with it's competitors, ala the price fixing scandal in 2000, while Microsoft uses its MONOPOLY power to manipulate everyone it does not want in the marketplace. [netlink.de]
These kind of corporate tactics do not surprise me though. Money will always be the primary factor for coorporate morality and tactics.

GOD BLESS AMERICA, where NPR is supported by Monsanto while NPR reports about their unethical tactics.

Re:Monsanto = Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

pompomtom (90200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777738)

jeez, and I thought the big difference was that Monsanto's conduct will lead to illness and death.

Another Miracle from an ancient Disneyland ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777723)

Wow! Do I dare explore the wonders if fruit's inner space? No, I dare not.

Miracles from Molecules are dawning every day.
To create mutants and to snuff the light of day.
A neverending search is on by men who have no life...
Making modern miracles, or else they'd have to face their wives.

Oh! Da BIG BAD CORPORATION! DEY MUS STOP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777733)

Hey, Michael, exactly what would you know about "profitable business?" By the way, I'm sorry to hear about the drop in banner advertising revenue... it must suck, not having a real business model and all. Why don't you go ban a few more IPIDs to make yourself feel better, you homosexual hypocrite Hitler?

but are genetically modified foods bad? (1)

thule (9041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777736)

Just because a company did something terribly wrong doesn't mean that the whole concept should have a black eye. GM plants could also save lives. And what about the fact that humans have been modifying plants for *ages* now. We now have the technology to make specific changes... that sounds better and more controlled to me.

Farmers don't have to buy the seeds if they don't want to. Maybe GM foods will become easier to modify and some competing company will come out with seeds that grow good seeds. GM is still a new technology and it will probably get even better.

the use of GM? (1)

Miska (45422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777741)

I would be very interested to find out whether the majority of benefits of GM products isn't just to rememdy earlier technological blunders (eg. RoundUp).

REAM MY ASS HARDER....HARDER....HARDER...TOO HARD! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777749)

REAM MY ASS HARDER....HARDER....HARDER...TOO HARD!

A QUESTION FOR TROLLS: KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND THE "TROLL TUESDAY 2001" PAGE THAT SHOWS CMDRTACO AND ONE OF HIS GAY BUDDIES NAKED HAVING ANAL INTERCOURSE? I WOULD LIKE TO LINK THE PAGE IN THIS SONG...THAT IS ALL...

Ladies and gentleman, put our hands together for the largest ass on the Internet [goatse.cx]

G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 8th wonder of the world
The ass of the century, oh it's timeless, GOATSE! [goatse.cx]
Thanks for clicking that link
You coulda been anywhere on the web
But you're here with me
I appreciate that...

G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E

Reading drivel on that press release 'bout VA (Linux)
Was wondern' why they changed their names
Dumped that dirt cheap stock, through with them
If I worked there, I'd quit, no way I'd work for them
Wasn't born a coder, I just make fun of em'

G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E

Porno for freezy keeps my hard drive so sleasy
Can't leave Everquest alone, the game needs me
Hex editing my name into VB progs, it ain't easy
Slashdot wanna IP block me, I hang up and dial back in
And somehow, I beat the lameness filter like Rocky

G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E

Not guilty, he who mods me down is not real to me
Therefore he doesn't exist
So poof... vamoose son of a bitch

[Chorus]
G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E
Reading drivel on that press release 'bout VA (Linux)
G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E
That's the anthem get'cha damn hands up
G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E
Not guilty ya'll got-ta feel me
G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E
That's the anthem get'cha damn hands UP!

Holla at me...
I do this for the posters
To let 'em know what enlarged ass look like... when they shoulda looked at that link closer
Show 'em how to avoid a room full 'o taco snot coaxers
Get some good trolls in before the story's over
Posts with redirect goatse links [yahoo.com] even get modded up
I'm dissin JonKatz for those 15-year-old boys he seems to have a crush
Pay for premium Slashdot? You gotta be kidding us
If /. ain't profitable, pimp your boy whores for mo' bucks

[Chorus]
Yeah...
GOATSE [goatse.cx] is back, trollin' parody of rap
Go on, click that link, view the crater in that crack
Like I told you sell boys, no
JonKatz does that so hopefully you won't have to go through that
I was raised on Windows, point and click
If you don't like that, you can suck my dick
Got an X10 [x10.com] camera, focused on my ass
Wanna see the picture, PayPal [paypal.com] me some cash
Threshold under 0, why I got it so low?
Save good trolls on my disk, watchin' all the time for more
So you know I seen it all before
I seen redundant on karma whores when their link post was too late
Crapfloods and mod downs, the two things I hate
A good troll modded up, the two things is great

G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E

What else can I say about Slashdot [journ.com] , it'll turn a man gay

[Chorus]
G to the izz-O, A to the izz-T, S to the izz-E
(4x to fade out)


The above has been brought to you by the fine folks of Frost Pist Brewery [geocities.com] . Frost Pist Beer - Always ICE BREWED for a THICK head.

Well, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2777760)

"You're making our fish fall apart into fleshy bits!"

"Well, we're sorry. By the way, have you checked out our new line of OmniFish? Guaranteed not to dissolve in water!"

This is no different than Microsoft making crappy software, then selling updates to fix it.

Supermarkets of the world: bad for local community (1)

lucidvein (18628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777771)

Vandana Shiva has been protesting the interference of Monsanto with local communities for years. Biodevastation [greens.org] , Water Rights [liberated.tao.ca] .

Also watch out for Bechtel, using the same tactics in South America Water War Victory [thirdworldtraveler.com] .

These corporations are changing the face of the planet for a quick one-time profit. They lack any ties to the local communities they despoil. Take the money and run... Yet the after affects will be long lasting and world wide. And people wonder why we have a cultural image of mad scientists. Once again, proprietary science has allowed itself to create a monster it thought it could control. We'll see...

Equal Time (5, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777783)

Before this discussion gets biased, we must present equal time for the Libertarian side of the argument:

If the people of Anniston simply stopped buying products from Monsanto, then they could use their "market forces" to stop this kind of activity.

If all we do is ask for "government regulation" then companies will just start producing thier deadly chemicals outside our borders. Then America would lose twice!

So remember, kids: Trust the market, it is perfect.

And don't eat the fish.

Not a surprise seeing as how it's monsanto (1)

druiid (109068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2777786)

Umm, since monsanto basically was the main producer of agent orange and thousands of other "wonderful" chemicals, this comes as no surprise. I'm not sure how they're still allowed to stay in business seeing as how they have a blatent disregard not just for humans, but everything.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?