Commentary: March Against Monsanto is misguided
Ludwick goes on to say, “What we value (either in making law or making purchases) drives what farmers grow and thus why Monsanto is so successful. Throughout human history, the problem has been producing enough food, mostly grains (no one dies if the tomato crop fails, but they do if wheat fails). So our government agricultural subsidies have been setup to support that. Now we are in an era of plenty. Food is cheap, nutritious, safe and plentiful.” Historically, we haven’t worried as much about local or global pollution (whether it’s carbon emissions or pesticide and fertilizer runoff) in the past as much as we are today. As a society, we haven’t reward farmers who produce high yields with the least impact.
Activists like to point to Monsanto as a representative of holding a monopoly on agriculture. That is so far from the truth. Monsanto is not the only company investing in agricultural technology. But the names of the other companies are rarely mentioned. You never hear of a March Against Syngenta or March Against Bayer CropScience or March Against DuPont Pioneer.
Monsanto is also criticized for lobbying members of Congress. Nearly every corporation and association in the country has Political Action Committees set up. It is not illegal or unusual for lobbyists to ask representatives and senators to change or support various laws favorable to their business.
Monsanto is no different from General Motors, Ford, Honda, etc. in having a monopoly or lobbying Congress, yet we don’t see rallies against GM or Ford, etc. These companies are giants in their industry, just as Monsanto is. If these activists are against corporate greed, why only attack Monsanto? Surely, there are other global companies much larger to attack. Why don’t we see the vitriol directed at them?
Ludwick also reminds readers of the old adage, it is better to be for something than against. Until people inside agriculture and outside can work to solve the world’s food problems together, a comprehensive solution will be evaded, and activists will continue to protest with no clear directives or solutions being offered.