The Impact of GM Seed Monopoly
Farmers are now increasingly forced to use Genetically Modified seeds simply because there are so few alternative sources of seeds remaining. The effect of this is that we’re losing renewable agriculture – the practice of saving and replanting seeds from one harvest to the next.
As mentioned in The Ecologist, one solution to this growing problem would be to make patenting seeds, plants, and genes illegal. As it stands now, each GM seed is patented and sold under exclusive rights. Therefore, farmers must purchase the GM seeds anew each year, because saving seeds is considered to be patent infringement. Anyone who does save GM seeds must pay a license fee to actually re-sow them.
This, of course, results in higher prices and reduced product options.
Add in the increased need for pesticides and herbicides that GM crops require and the ever rising cost of these products, and what you end up with is a far more expensive crop that has the potential to not only fail more frequently than conventional crops, but that can also be extremely harmful to the animals and humans who eat them.
Talk about a lose-lose-lose situation.