In case you missed it, Mad Money host Jim Cramer did a killer segment a couple of weeks ago on Monsanto, the seed behemoth and Roundup weed killer manufacturer. He stated the Obama administration is stepping up its antitrust enforcement, and Monsanto is a sitting target for the Department of Justice to slap an antitrust suit against it for their monopoly on seeds.
This is great news for small, local and independent farmers.
Tom Brennan writes about Cramer’s segment:
” A series of competition-crushing acquisitions made this biotech disguised as an agriculture outfit the market leader in genetically modified US corn, soybean and cotton seeds. And Monsanto maintains strict agreements with its farmer clients that leave them virtually no choice but to feed at the corporate trough. Plus, the company plans to push through a 42% price increase on its new seeds, and there’s nothing these farmers can do about it.”
The behemoth seems to have farmers in an iron grip. Cramer states:
“When farmers buy Monsanto’s seeds they have to sign a stewardship agreement, and a contract saying they won’t save the seeds from one year to the next, or replant seeds reproduced by the crops they grow from Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds. This forces the farmers who want to buy Monsanto’s seeds to buy new ones, year after year, and pay ever higher and higher prices.”
Cramer goes on to state, “… Why is this important? Traditionally farmers have always tried to save seeds from year to year, but if you try to do it with seeds bought from Monsanto, some people say they will sue your pants off until you cave…”
Cramer says he thinks “the government is worried about the family farmer being destroyed by Monsanto’s practices” and to make matters worse, Monsanto’s increase in seed prices is “begging the Justice Department to go after them […..] They are tempting the wrath of Obama.”
In addition, Cramer says, Monsanto “better hope the guys at [The] Justice [Department] don’t go to the movies” and see the documentary film Food, Inc. which goes head to head with Monsanto’s methods, and our industrialized food system.
Not only is it great that the current administration cares, but I think it’s pretty cool that those interested in personal financial growth – Cramer’s audience – have been turned on to this issue. I’ll be keeping an eye on this topic as it develops…in the meantime, let me know what you think!