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Guest Blog: Declaring independence from Monsanto & Co.

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, my thoughts turn to what independence means to me: freedom from corporate interference and control.

I am an Eastern Indiana farmer and have experienced, first hand, the ways corporate giants control food and farming in this country.

I have been falsely accused, harassed and persecuted by Monsanto, as have many other farmers. It's time to protect farmers, their families and livelihoods, and reclaim food and farming from corporate domination. It's time to declare independence from Monsanto and company.

Business as usual for Monsanto

Even though I'd never planted Monsanto seed, the corporate giant came after me with false allegations of patent infringement in 2003. Two men arrived at my house presenting McDowell and Associates business cards and asking questions about the kinds of crops I was planting.

These men never indicated that they were Monsanto investigators, but four months later I received a letter from Monsanto’s attorneys demanding production records. Despite the fact I had no relationship with the company, I sent the records.

Based on these records, Monsanto accused me of purchasing too much glyphosate to be planting conventional soy and asserted that I therefore must be planting Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready soy. I was in fact planting only public, non-patented seed from two local universities. I hired an attorney and demanded an explanation from Monsanto.

I declared my independence from Monsanto back in 2003.

Monsanto persisted with the investigation and harassment, insisting I was violating federal patents. Monsanto’s attorney claimed the corporation had an agreement with the Indiana Department of Agriculture granting permission to search my land. At the time, the “Indiana Department of Agriculture” did not exist, and my attorney promptly requested a copy of the agreement. He never received it.

Declare independence

My family and I have spent years defending ourselves against Monsanto’s baseless harassment. And even though the corporate giant could not prove its allegations of patent infringement, Monsanto blacklisted me from purchasing its products.

Unfortunately, my story isn't unique. I am one of countless farmers who have been persecuted and bullied by big ag.

Take action » I declared my independence from Monsanto back in 2003. Will you join me? Stand with farmers and communities across the country as we celebrate Independence Day and reclaim food and farming from corporate control.

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Pesticide Action Network

Pesticide Action Network is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction

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