Neil Young and Monsanto

Thought those on both sides of the issue might like to look at this.
A Skeptical Look at Neil Young’s New Album “The Monsanto Years"
Posted on June 23, 2015 by Mike Rothschild
Going back to the late 60’s, rocker Neil Young embodied the social consciousness of rock music, in some ways picking up the torch of protest singing that Bob Dylan dropped after he went electric. During a diverse and willfully eclectic career of nearly 40 solo albums, Young has continued making music in this vein. In recent years, he’s used music to attack the Bush administration of the conduct of the Iraq War, criticize “factory farming", stump for the electric car and lament the death of American traditions.
But his newest album takes aim at the most sacred of all hippie sacred cows: Monsanto. On his new album “The Monsanto Years", Young pulls out all the stops and pulls no punches. He attacks corporate giants like Wal-Mart and Chevron, blasts genetically modified organisms, slams campaign finance law for crushing democracy and laments that people only want love songs, not to be told what’s really going on with their food and politics. But it’s Monsanto that Young saves his sharpest barbs for, explicitly slamming the agribusiness monolith over and over for its perceived vice-like grip on the food supply.
More at
http://skeptoid.com/blog/2015/06/23/a-skeptical-look-at-neil-youngs-new-album-the-monsanto-years/

No worries, Neil Young’s music won’t reach anyone under the age of 60. If they’re going to be exposed to anti-GM sentiment it won’t be from him.
At any rate, Young and his graybeard ilk have never been right about anything, so why hold that against them now?

I agree with Mid on this. Young’s fans are anything but. He is not likely to reach the demographics that would make a difference. This anti-GMO meme has already reached alarming levels and in the lay arena people repeat it without even understanding why they are against GMO’s. Even consumer reports has come out against them with an article that was full of incorrect claims ( ie. GMO’s increase the risk of allergies - they do not)
Its disappointing that there is another poorly educated voice making itself heard on this subject but as mid pointed out, he will most likely be singing to himself and to a bunch of people who don;t even know what a GMO is.

I don’t want to get into the GMO stuff because it’s over my head… or should I say out of my band-width.
Nor Neil Young, haven’t heard the album, who knows when or even if I will.
But I think GMO is only part of the problem many have with Monsanto and agra-business in general.
I think there’s a more basic lament going on about the PROFITS ÜBER ALLES mindset and all the destruction that has led to.
You know the mega corporations who couldn’t care less about the damage they inflict and
who have convinced themselves that an ever expanding bottom-line is all their is in the universe.
Compounding interest isn’t just for bookkeepers - it’s a down to earth natural law.
PS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo

Wow citizens, kinda of a strong opinion for something you say you don’t know much about. You’re doing the Argumentum Ad Monsantum there. The “concept” corporation is not evil, but there are some big corporations that are doing evil things. Monsanto is one of the more important cases where we need to separate fact from fiction. It will probably work itself out as more smaller companies enter the genetic engineering market. When people start to beneficial uses of GE, they’ll realize they have to rethink what Greenpeace told them about GMOs.

It would be civil to keep attribution clear and not imply I said something that I did not say !! >:(

http://www.westword.com/restaurants/monsantos-plan-to-take-over-the-worlds-food-supply-5121410 In the early years, the St. Louis biotech giant helped pioneer such leading chemicals as DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange. Unfortunately, these breakthroughs had a tendency to kill stuff. And the torrent of lawsuits that came from random killing put a crimp on long-term profitability. So Monsanto hatched a less lethal, more lucrative plan. The company attempted to take control of the world's food supply. It began in the mid-'90s, when Monsanto developed genetically modified (GM) crops such as soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets and wheat. It bred Franken-crops that were immune to its leading weed killer, Roundup. That meant that farmers no longer had to till the land to kill weeds, as they'd done for hundreds of years. They could simply blast their fields with chemicals. Problem solved.
My point is there's more to the fear and loathing towards Monsanto than an few GMO crops.
So Monsanto hatched a less lethal, more lucrative plan. The company attempted to take control of the world's food supply. It began in the mid-'90s, when Monsanto developed genetically modified (GM) crops such as soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets and wheat. It bred Franken-crops that were immune to its leading weed killer, Roundup. That meant that farmers no longer had to till the land to kill weeds, as they'd done for hundreds of years. They could simply blast their fields with chemicals. Problem solved. __________________________________________ My point is there's more to the fear and loathing towards Monsanto than an few GMO crops.
Well, you've confirmed what you said initially about not knowing much about this issue. How exactly are they going to take control of the world's food supply? What is a Franken-crop? Have you heard of the BENEIFITS of no-till farming? And who exactly is stupid enough to buy more chemicals than they need? Who is doing this blasting?
It began in the mid-'90s, when Monsanto developed genetically modified (GM) crops such as soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets and wheat. It bred Franken-crops that were immune to its leading weed killer, Roundup. That meant that farmers no longer had to till the land to kill weeds, as they'd done for hundreds of years. They could simply blast their fields with chemicals. Problem solved.
We need to be careful about using meaningless scare words like "Franken-crops" and "chemicals" in conversations like these. They serve no purpose and are misleading ( ie. chemicals are manmade and they are all dangerous. Nature doesn't make chemicals and its products are safe. Genetically modified organisms are different from randomly modified organisms in some very dangerous way - none of which is true). There are GMO's that are resistant to roundup and so this product which appears to be much less harmful than many other herbicides can be used to create a much greater yield than traditional methods. Farmers are still free to farm the old fashioned way but choose to use these products because there is an economic advantage to doing so. If we went back to using the old methods they would be far less productive, food would likely be more expensive, and a substantial portion of the worlds population would probably starve. I have no doubt that Monsanto produces these products for less than altruistic reasons but if the world as a whole benefits from it then I don;t see why there is a controversy aside from the nostalgic lament on the part of some that the small inefficient family farm is becoming a thing of the past. That may be a shame and regretful but its not evil.

The first thing anyone who wants to comment on this topic should do is stop reading articles written by filmmakers and journalists and start reading what farmers have to say. This one talks about how seeds are selected, from a large variety of choices, for business reasons, not because Monsanto is forcing them to do anything.]

Well that really sucks - I hit edit rather than quote, so my original post is gone and the one I wanted to put here up there at #5.
DON’T ATTRIBUTE WORDS TO ME, WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY QUOTES FROM OTHERS !

The first thing anyone who wants to comment on this topic should do is stop reading articles written by filmmakers and journalists and start reading what farmers have to say. This one talks about how seeds are selected, from a large variety of choices, for business reasons, not because Monsanto is forcing them to do anything. http://findourcommonground.com/food-facts/corporate-farms/
OK I read around at that site, including "How We Select Seeds for Our Farm" and their GMO stuff and Corporate Farms vs. Family Farms Found this interesting bit information,
USDA breaks down the number of farms based on gross annual sales: 10 percent of farms have gross sales of more than $250,000 and produce 80 percent of the country’s food and fiber. 30 percent have gross sales between $10,000 and $249,000 and produce 18 percent of U.S. food and fiber but are often not full-time farmers. 60 percent have gross sales under $10,000 and produce less than 2 percent of food and fiber.
But, none of that touches on the fear and loathing many have towards Monsanto being bigger than God and Governments and trying to force the world into their business plan. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Farmers are still free to farm the old fashioned way but choose to use these products because there is an economic advantage to doing so. If we went back to using the old methods they would be far less productive, food would likely be more expensive, and a substantial portion of the worlds population would probably starve.
Yeah so instead we're on the insane path of the Impossible Hamster and are making and feeding way the hell too many babies, so that now we find ourselves destroying our very planetary life support system much faster than it has a chance to repair itself. Sure there's no turning back what we do. But, that doesn't mean nature's self-regulating mechanism aren't going to correct for the Haber Revolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process) in due course. Either way major portions of the world's population will probably be starving to death by mid century. Go progress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo _____________________________________________________
Farmers are still free to farm the old fashioned way but choose to use these products because there is an economic advantage to doing so. If we went back to using the old methods they would be far less productive, food would likely be more expensive, and a substantial portion of the worlds population would probably starve.
Yeah so instead we're on the insane path of the Impossible Hamster and are making and feeding way the hell too many babies, so that now we find ourselves destroying our very planetary life support system much faster than it has a chance to repair itself. Sure there's no turning back what we do. But, that doesn't mean nature's self-regulating mechanism aren't going to correct for the Haber Revolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process) in due course. Either way major portions of the world's population will probably be starving to death by mid century. Go progress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo _____________________________________________________
You're railing at the wrong end of the problem unless your suggestion for population control is that we become less efficient farmers and let everyone starve. Obviously we need fewer mouths to feed but to accomplish that by refusing to feed them is not the best solution. We need to look at why people are having so many kids and address those needs in a way that the birth rate comes down. Educating women and giving them access to jobs and birth control is one of the most effective ways to reduce birth rates but there are areas of the world where that is heresy unfortunately.
You're railing at the wrong end of the problem unless your suggestion for population control is that we become less efficient farmers and let everyone starve. Obviously we need fewer mouths to feed but to accomplish that by refusing to feed them is not the best solution. We need to look at why people are having so many kids and address those needs in a way that the birth rate comes down. Educating women and giving them access to jobs and birth control is one of the most effective ways to reduce birth rates but there are areas of the world where that is heresy unfortunately.
You got the question right Mac, and if I may put a finer point on it. People are having lots of babies for the same reasons they had them for most of human history, to increase their chances for survival. If you are a small owner farmer, away from infrastructure, babies take the place of migrant workers, social security, and savings, and the more you have, the better chance a few will live long enough to provide you those benefits. It seems weird to anyone in a society with a middle class because we have so much of that infrastructure. My country built a middle class a long time ago, and like everywhere else that did that, the birth rate dropped. After a few decades of seeing how dumping commodities on starving populations does more harm than good, we're finally starting to get the connection. They are starting to focus on irrigation and building grain elevators and starting exchanges. Africa is also much more complicated of a growing environment, so they education is important, especially where AIDS or war have killed off the people who once had the farming knowledge. And like Mac said, promoting women's rights.
Found this interesting bit information,
USDA breaks down the number of farms based on gross annual sales: 10 percent of farms have gross sales of more than $250,000 and produce 80 percent of the country’s food and fiber. 30 percent have gross sales between $10,000 and $249,000 and produce 18 percent of U.S. food and fiber but are often not full-time farmers. 60 percent have gross sales under $10,000 and produce less than 2 percent of food and fiber.
But, none of that touches on the fear and loathing many have towards Monsanto being bigger than God and Governments and trying to force the world into their business plan. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maybe because they don't have a business plan like that. Something you can actually do is write your congressman about farm subsidies. The system we have now created those skewed numbers. It also affects Africa because it is tied into how we do foreign aid. I'm cooking up a website, rather retyping my explanation of this over and over. Here's a good resource if you are interested. ]

Here are the humble beginnings.] I’m into the 2nd week of our 3 weeks of summer in Minnesota, so don’t expect too much in the near future. But I have lots more to add.

Let’s be straight I’m just pointing out there are legitimate reasons why many fear Monsanto for many different reasons.
(me myself, I fear all mega corporations because their business plans are plain suicidal in the long term.)

Maybe because they don't have a business plan like that.
Hmmm ‘Monsanto Bill': A Timeline By Jesse Hirsch on April 4, 2013 http://modernfarmer.com/2013/04/monsanto-protection-act-a-timeline/ ~ ~ ~ MAY 2008 Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/05/monsanto200805 ~ ~ ~ Here's an interesting article, that pretty blames it all on poor PR, but it seems a decent review of why so many revile them. By Lessley Anderson on March 4, 2014 http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/monsantos-good-bad-pr-problem/ Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto? In recent years, no company has been more associated with evil than Monsanto. But why? ~ ~ ~ http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Monsanto

Yes, you’re “just sayin" but with not much to back it up. The reason they are associated with evil is that there has been a very concerted PR campaign to paint that picture. I don’t completely understand the motivations for that, but I do know that if we simply say there will be only organic farming, then we are saying billions of people have to die, and it ain’t gonna be 'mericans.
I’ll make a response to your stupid articles a priority for my web page, but I’m not going to regurgitate what you can find yourself.
The so-called Monsanto bill protected farmers. Federal judges can prevent a farmer from bringing their crop to harvest if some aging hippie manages to convince one to do it. The bill was a temporary measure to prevent that, saying an action to stop harvesting must be approved by a board of scientists, not just one judge in San Francisco.
And before someone calls me a shill, sure, I’m a shill for these people.]

Well I’m looking forward to reading your deconstructions.

Yes, you're “just sayin" but with not much to back it up. The reason they are associated with evil is that there has been a very concerted PR campaign to paint that picture. I don't completely understand the motivations for that, but I do know that if we simply say there will be only organic farming, then we are saying billions of people have to die, and it ain't gonna be 'mericans. I'll make a response to your stupid articles a priority for my web page, but I'm not going to regurgitate what you can find yourself. The so-called Monsanto bill protected farmers. Federal judges can prevent a farmer from bringing their crop to harvest if some aging hippie manages to convince one to do it. The bill was a temporary measure to prevent that, saying an action to stop harvesting must be approved by a board of scientists, not just one judge in San Francisco. And before someone calls me a shill, sure, I'm a shill for these people.]
Please don't go getting all defensive on me. I never called you a shill and I never cried GMO's are horrible. I tried to convey some of the other reasons people have fear and loathing towards Monsanto and the mentality behind mega-corporations - as much for conversation as for finding out what else you had to say about it. I'm a bit irritated that you seem to find nothing wrong with misattributing a quote to me, when I was clearly sharing the complaint from another source. That you won't apologize doesn't reflect too well on your own sincerity in this conversation - so you don't hold no high moral ground here. Also pretending it's all about GMOs and nothing else, doesn't help your credibility too much either. Incidentally I did read geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/01/26/10-studies-proving-gmos-are-harmful-not-if-science-matters/ biofortified.org/2014/08/consumer-reports-publishes-unscientific-analysis/ ( Incidentally, I don't buy organic milk because I don't like that it's all UltraPasturized, a prejudice I picked up decades ago. ) slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/08/can_gmo_corn_cause_allergies_don_t_believe_elle_s_scary_story.2.html and found them informative. ( fyi, I don't have issues with GMO's although refusing to put it on labels seemed flakey a move - seems a little proactive outreach and education could have gone a long way - but that's not how corporations do things, PR spin and pushing their weight around is how it's done. And they wonder why people resent them )
Yes, you're “just sayin" but with not much to back it up. The reason they are associated with evil is that there has been a very concerted PR campaign to paint that picture. I don't completely understand the motivations for that, but I do know that if we simply say there will be only organic farming, then we are saying billions of people have to die, and it ain't gonna be 'mericans. I'll make a response to your stupid articles a priority for my web page, but I'm not going to regurgitate what you can find yourself. The so-called Monsanto bill protected farmers. Federal judges can prevent a farmer from bringing their crop to harvest if some aging hippie manages to convince one to do it. The bill was a temporary measure to prevent that, saying an action to stop harvesting must be approved by a board of scientists, not just one judge in San Francisco. And before someone calls me a shill, sure, I'm a shill for these people.]
Please don't go getting all defensive on me. I never called you a shill and I never cried GMO's are horrible. I tried to convey some of the other reasons people have fear and loathing towards Monsanto and the mentality behind mega-corporations - as much for conversation as for finding out what else you had to say about it. I'm a bit irritated that you seem to find nothing wrong with misattributing a quote to me, when I was clearly sharing the complaint from another source. That you won't apologize doesn't reflect too well on your own sincerity in this conversation - so you don't hold no high moral ground here. Also pretending it's all about GMOs and nothing else, doesn't help your credibility too much either. Incidentally I did read geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/01/26/10-studies-proving-gmos-are-harmful-not-if-science-matters/ biofortified.org/2014/08/consumer-reports-publishes-unscientific-analysis/ ( Incidentally, I don't buy organic milk because I don't like that it's all UltraPasturized, a prejudice I picked up decades ago. ) slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/08/can_gmo_corn_cause_allergies_don_t_believe_elle_s_scary_story.2.html and found them informative. ( fyi, I don't have issues with GMO's although refusing to put it on labels seemed flakey a move - seems a little proactive outreach and education could have gone a long way - but that's not how corporations do things, PR spin and pushing their weight around is how it's done. And they wonder why people resent them ) Quick reply on the holiday here. I don't think I've ever participated in a GMO thread without someone saying "shill", so I was being proactive, not necessarily saying it would be you. Labeling: Labeling laws are for things that are potentially harmful, like peanuts being used in a processing plant where the food was made. GMOs are not harmful, so the expense is not justified. The organic industry is doing just fine with it's own marketing of anti-GMO. I see no reason why my taxes should help them. FYI: I am member of my co-op. It's not just GMO: Fine, then what it is it? Chemicals? Sure, but glyphosate is popular because it is less toxic than other chemicals. I don't have a way to solve the chemical runoff problem, but I do note that organic chemicals, like copper are part of that problem, not a solution to it. I wish people would leave Monsanto and GMOs alone and talk about the actual issues, like educating farmers or changing our ditch laws. You're right, some proactive education would have helped. They were busy saving a billion lives in India, and it seemed like a popular idea at the time, then this anti-Green Revolution started and they were caught were their pants down. It's happened to a lot of science.