Soybean field in Kentucky, photo: Brian Bennett/Creative Commons
I'll say it bluntly and blanketedly: I can't stand Monsanto, even separate from my disdain for GM crops--they are a perfect example of the worst excesses of opaque corporate shenanigans that, alongside outright political dictatorship and oppression, are direct threats to true democracy.
Here's the source of that brief rant: As TruthOut highlighted earlier in the week, the Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement (the name itself is Orwellian in it's use of language to obscure and not illuminate) indemnifies Monsanto against "any and all losses, injury or damages resulting from the use or handling of seed (including claims based in contract, negligence, product liability, strict liability, tort, or otherwise)...in no event shall Monsanto or any seller be liable for any incidental, consequential, special, or punitive damages." Which would be bad enough, but even if you terminate your contract with Monsanto, "Grower's responsibilities and the other terms herein shall survive."
If a Monsanto GM Crop Causes Damage, Monsanto Off the Hook
One current example of application of this: Say the new research showing that roundup ready GM crops may cause animal miscarriages is confirmed and that animal miscarriages can be directly linked to use of GM alfalfa. You're a farmer and started knowingly using the feed but were assured it was safe. Now your animals start miscarrying. Besides the death of the animal, that's also a monetary loss. And you can't go after Monsanto for any loss whatsoever.
Beyond the issue with the crop itself, it's just disgusting to me that the manufacturer entirely refuses to acknowledge responsibility for potential harm caused by its product. It's utterly ridiculous.
Read more: TruthOut
More on Genetically Modified Crops:
Monsanto Continues to Block Independent Analysis of GM Crop Safety
New Research Finds That Roundup Ready GMO Crops May Cause Animal Miscarriages