Posted by: ivetteromero | December 8, 2011

Puerto Rico and Monsanto’s Caribbean Experiment, Part 1

Eliván Martínez reports in Mi Puerto Rico Verde (miprv.com) about Monsanto’s experiments in Puerto Rico with crops including corn, sorghum, cotton and transgenic soy. The journalist points out that the paradox that, while agriculture is dying on the island, last year Puerto Rico was the fifth most important center for transgenic research of the entire United States, after Iowa, Illinois, Hawaii, and Nebraska. In the first article of a three-part series, Martínez writes:

Here there is a reality that the Government hides and sponsors: the island is an important center for eight companies, seven of them multinationals, which are developing the first generations of genetically modified seeds to be distributed to United States and around the world.  The fields of control of these corporations are spreading to public and private estates, especially the best arable lands in the southern part of the island where, in the past century, her Majesty—the sugar cane—ruled, supported by landowners who sought to keep hold of the land.

Most of these seed producers occupy more than the limit of 500 acres that are allowed by Puerto Rico’s Constitution, while they receive juicy benefits from the Government as well as the Promotion and Development of Enterprises of Agricultural Biotechnology Act [in place since 2009 and promoted by Governor Luis Fortuño], which was tailor-made to favor these companies. Among these is the main seed producer in the planet, Monsanto, which holds a lease on 1,500 acres of land between Juana Díaz, Santa Isabel, Isabela, and Aguadilla. Of these acres, 500 belong to public property managed by the Land Authority, and the rest belongs mostly to Sucesión Serralles in several villages of the South, as confirmed by Juan Santiago, Chief of Operations in Puerto Rico for this multinational.

But to have more than 500 acres represents a clear violation the Constitution of Puerto Rico (which prohibits an agricultural corporation to possess more than 500 acres). Section 14 of Article VI was once aimed to keep U.S. landowners from establishing a monopoly and displacing small local farmers.

Are we facing a new colonization of agriculture? Is it the beginning of a new monopoly?  [. . .] The events of agricultural history are repeating themselves. “As was the case with several sugar corporations over the past century, one of these companies, Monsanto, changes its name to access more land than is allowed under the law,” says a source at the Center for Investigative Journalism. [. . .] Monsanto Caribbean LLC had been incorporated in 2004 by Carlos Morales Figueroa, who was the vice-president of the company at that time. Two years later, he incorporated Monsanto AG Products LLC.]

[. . .] Among these corporations are the German company Bayer CropScience LP (Sabana Grande), the Swiss company Syngenta AG (in Juana Díaz and Salinas), and U.S. companies AgReliant Genetics LLC (headquartered in Santa Isabel), Dow Agrosciences LLC (in Santa Isabel), Illinois Crop Improvement Association Inc. (Juana Díaz), Rice Tec Inc (in Lajas), and the second largest seed producer of GM crops in the world, Pioneer Hi-Breed (in Salinas, Santa Isabel, Guayama, Juana Díaz). Joining this group is the Puerto Rican company 3rd Millennium Genetics Inc. (Santa Isabel).

Between them they produced about $70 million last year, according to Juan Carlos Justiniano, owner of 3rd Millennium Genetics Inc. Despite the profits they obtained on the island and the multi-million dollar business deals that they have around the world, the Government of Puerto Rico gives them the same tax exemptions that they give to a bona fide local farmer.

For the full article, see http://www.miprv.com/puerto-rico-el-experimento-caribeno-de-monsanto/


Responses

  1. for some reason or the other I am reminded of the movie ” Soilent Green. the people who control the future of food surely want to fuck everyone in the planet until the is nothing else but dead people to process as food! thank god for this as he allows these bastards into prosperity and allows them to fuck us as they please!

  2. Will get worse..Helped by the lame(local)”press”,the ignorant people that don’t care about nothing(well,they care about FAST FOOD ,hang out at the Mall and soap operas) .oh, and the corrupt politician$ who probably received some campaign funds…Instead of defend the CONSTITUTION.

  3. WHY IS IT THAT PUERTO RICO IS *ALWAYS* ON TOP OF THE LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT DO THINGS THAT MAKE NO SENSE?? IT’S EMBARRASSING. EVERY OTHER COUNTRY NOTICES THAT, AND THEY ALWAYS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM BECAUSE THEY LOOK LIKE THE ISLAND OF DUMBS AT THIS POINT. AND TO MAKE IT WORSE, THE PUERTO RICAN GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN! PUERTO RICO IS TRULY A JOKE. NOTHING GETS TAKEN SERIOUSLY IN THAT ISLAND. SPECIALLY, THEIR HEALTH ISSUES. HORRIBLE.

    • Because we are a USA colony and in this country corporations rule, not people. There is not much that the people can do against Monsanto in the same way that there is nothing that americans can’t do against the poisoning of their waters by big gas companies or the endless wars or the bailouts. For the record, Monsanto was summoned by Puerto Rican Senate and they just didn’t respond, they are protected by the US government and the Federal Court, just like in the states. And about being dumb, if you go outside the US to almost any industrial country, they also think that americans are dumb, ignorant, uncultured and unrefined. It’s only the poor and the wretched who look up to america and of course, the very rich. Where else can they rule with impunity?

  4. PLEASE RE-TWEET!!:
    Monstersanto. The monster that lives under your bed. I mean, death bed! #Monsanto #MAM #MarchAgainstMonsanto

  5. […] violations of federal regulations governing the use of pesticides on farms. [Also see previous post Puerto Rico and Monsanto’s Caribbean Experiment, Part 1.] Here are excerpts with a link to the full article […]


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