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Seeds Of Exploitation

When someone presents a social responsibility proposal at a corporate annual meeting, the inevitable response is that corporations are in business to make money for their shareholders, and saving the world is someone else’s responsibility. Which is, of course, the best argument anyone can make for regulating corporations because the profit motive is blind to human needs and human suffering.

In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, Monsanto “donated” 400 tons of seeds to Haitian farmers, who burned them to protect their native agricultural practices. According to an article by Ryan Stock at Truthout.org, farmers can’t replant with seeds of plants grown from Monsanto seed products either because the seeds have been genetically modified so their plants won’t drop fertile seeds or because of legal contracts. Monsanto’s business model compels farmers to buy seeds for each year’s crop from the company to ensure the firm’s profits. In poor countries such as Haiti or India this practice, Stock says, puts farmers in debt and has “driven many rural farmers to poverty.” But Monsanto doesn’t care. Why should they? Under our system of corporate governance looking after the well-being of poor Haitian or Indian farmers isn’t their responsibility. Their single-minded focus is making money for Monsanto shareholders.

Then who will step in and say, “No, you can’t do that?” The answer is government regulators. And to those who oppose government regulation we will reply that if our expectations of corporations require them to operate without humanity, then we must also expect governments to protect humanity from unfeeling corporations, because an inhumane world is not acceptable.

To read the Truthout article, see http://www.truth-out.org/the-new-earthquake-manifest-haiti-monsantos-destiny66930


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  1. 1

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.



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