by Rachel Angelina Valazques
Many of you know me as the custodian at Old Paiute High School. I have not lived in Germaine for very long –about two years– so I hope you do not think me too forward about commenting on community affairs.
It has come to my attention that a very bad corporate citizen has set up a research facility in Wilbur County. This company, a huge transnational conglomerate, is called Malsanto. Let me tell you about Malsanto.
My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family farmed for many years in the area around Ontario, Oregon. They grew alfalfa and corn and melons, among other things. They are dead now, but my uncle kept the farm going until three years ago, when he took his own life, and those of his wife and three children.
Why did he kill himself and his family? One word: Malsanto. Now you may think that this is hyperbole, but let me tell you what Malsanto did.
You see, my uncle was struggling, as most small farmers do. Six years ago, the company which sells him seed offered to give him some melon seed at half price, if he would try this new variety.
Now, my uncle is not the most well read man, and he is a farmer, not a lawyer. So he didn’t read the fine print, which said that the crops would yield sterile seed. Now that is not such a big deal with melons, as many varieties are seedless.
But my uncle was a poor man. A portion of his crop always goes to seed production. They didn’t tell him that although the seed was sterile, the pollen was not. And that when the new varieties cross-pollinated with his seed crop, then all of his seed would be rendered sterile.
My uncle’s business, and his life, were ruined by this company, Malsanto.
And his cousin in Idaho was driven from business when his organic corn crop was contaminated by Malsanto’s genetically-engineered corn from his neighbor’s field. Not only did it destroy his organic farm, but Malsanto then sued him for “stealing” their G-E seed stock.
This is evil, and it is unconscionable. But let me tell you one more thing about Malsanto which you might not know.
This company is not only in the seed business. For decades they have produced pesticides and chemical defoliants which have been tied to cancers and other human ailments. They have produced horrible weapons for use in war. This is not a company which is out to better humanity. They are not a company which we should welcome here in Wilbur County.
If you care about this, then you should join a group of people who will be discussing Malsanto at the Germaine Public Library on March 3rd at 1 pm.