Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Monsanto Seed Patent Case Gets U.S. Supreme Court Review - Businessweek


The merits of the US IPR system are debatable, but that doesn't make Monsanto any different than Apple. Saved seed is genetically copied and freely distributed intellectual property. If its not OK to copy and distribute freely the iPad OS, then it's not OK to do it with Roundup Ready soybeans. You either accept IPR or not, which again is a debatable concept. But if you reject that IPR is really 'property' as some economists do, then your beef is with the US government, not specifically Monsanto. It just puts Monsanto and Apple in the same boat. Apple has the advantage that it's much harder to copy and distribute their OS than it is to copy the OS of a self pollinated plant, so enforcement costs illicit different tactics from different companies. i.e. Monsanto gets more attention from the far left as they hold hands with far right wing conspiracy theorist counterparts that have somehow convinced themselves that it is OK to restrict 'economic' freedom to promote 'food' freedom (i.e. prop 37, gmo bans, etc)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Food and Farm Freedom Q & A

Farm Food Freedom KY is a KY based interest group that has gotten some attention from a few of our lawmakers in Frankfort. But, are they really interested in economic freedom for all KY farmers?  Do they support the current heavy regulatory burden faced by most KY farmers? Would they actually support more interventions that would burden farmers and limit consumer choice? Why do they consider big government left wing special interests to be among their national allies? Well, let's ask and see. I contacted the administration at fffky and asked them the following questions: 

1) What is your definition/conception of 'food' freedom and how is it similar to or different from 'economic' freedom?

2) Your page does a good job highlighting many food freedom related issues such as the regulations that hinder the sale of raw milk and other locally sourced food products.  However some of the tweets posted on the http://www.fffky.org/contact-us/ web page (which I assume @FarmFoodFreeKy is your official twitter account) are critical of GMO foods. Particularly one tweet states that the U.S. is behind with regard to a ban on GMO foods in France.  Seehttp://t.co/xkLVrZtF . Other tweets also seem to support Proposition 37 in California, which seeks to require mandatory labeling of GMO foods.

a. Would you support a similar labeling requirement in KY similar to California's Proposition 37?
b. Do you feel we need less regulation of locally sourced foods (like raw milk, processed meat etc.) but more regulations or even bans on GMO foods?

3) Are you associated with the NoGMOKentucky Facebook page? Is that fffky.org's official facebook page?

If so, the mission statement says:
"To stop GMOs from being planted or pursued in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky."
Is this mission primarily about consumer education and persuasion or would you consider legislative or regulatory approaches to reduce the planting of GMO crops in KY?
4) If you agree with the mission statement, how would a mission to stop GMOs in Kentucky be consistent with the food and economic freedoms of the many family farmers that rely on corn and soybeans that utilize this technology?
5) On the fffky.org website, there is a section titled 'National Allies' and a link labeled 'like minded sites.' Among these include links to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), EWG, and HSUS. These groups have not historically been friendly to agriculture (i.e. CSPI supports NYC's soft drink regulations, EWG campaigns for less meat consumption, and HSUS supports initiatives to increase regulation of family owned livestock farms). 
Why do you consider these groups to be 'like minded' even though they support initiatives and regulations that limit consumer choice and economic freedom as it relates to food an agriculture?