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The buck stops here

by Jim Goodman
Wonewoc, Wisconsin dairy farmer

(Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- Harry Truman claimed he was always ready to take responsibility for his office and his actions. Unlike him, biotechnology companies are not ready and not willing to take responsibility for theirs. And they have the government backing them up, saying they donít have to.

The CropChoice story of 11/07/02 (http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?RecID=1092) concerning the genetic contamination of Laura Krouseís Abbe Hills seed corn struck a personal note with me. I was one of Lauraís customers, buying a few bags of her open pollinated corn to plant as corn silage for my organic dairy herd. It was great corn, grew tall (often 15 ft.) and produced a tremendous yield. It was also higher in protein than hybrid corn. Last year we couldnít get any since Bt pollen had drifted and contaminated her crop. She couldnít sell her seed. Had she tried to, I suppose Monsanto could have sued her. Years of her work were ruined because Monsanto's pollen drifted. The government says thatís too bad but it wasnít Monsantoís fault. You canít sue them, but they can sue you because itís your fault if their patented product is found on your land, makes no difference how it got there. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Something is terribly wrong here. The biotechnology companies have succeeded in deflecting the original intent of Harry Trumanís statement by avoiding all responsibility for their action, and they have also succeeded in making sure the buck ($$) does stop on their desk, and that is all they really care about.