Neil Young Records Anti-GMO Themed Album Titled “The Monsanto Years”

Neil Young has long championed the farmer, as evidenced by his co-founding, along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, of Farm Aid in 1985. Young has often been an outspoken critic for and against various political and social issues, some of which I didn’t and don’t agree; but, on the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms I’m in agreement. Moreover, I concur with his insistence on high quality recording for music; and his early rejection of digital in favor of analog was spot on, though the higher quality digital recording techniques and media have now reached more than acceptable levels. But I digress.

Young’s newest album, recorded with two of Nelson’s sons, is set for release on June 30th. NPR posted a review of the record, including full audio of the 1st disc of the 2-disc set. While I certainly don’t look to Neil Young for Biblical interpretation, I find these lyrics poignant:

Don’t care now what the Bible said so long ago – not Monsanto

Give us now our daily bread and let us not go – Monsanto

The seeds of life are not what they once were

Mother Nature and God don’t own them anymore

For those not aware, Monsanto successfully won patents for its pesticide-resistant seed. When spores from these patented seeds travel via wind currents and mix with non-GMO farms’ plants, the result is the formerly pure seed is now tainted with the GMO and may be considered a patent violation for the unfortunate farmer, who may have to pay Monsanto.  Food and Water Watch had this to say about the issue:

Trying to keep a farm GMO-free is harder than you might think. Some GMOs don’t stay put where they’re planted. It’s quite common for them to contaminate neighboring farms, or even farms many miles away when pollen from GMO crops drifts on the wind. Seed supplies can be contaminated with GMOs, too. In 2013, an Oregon farmer found GMO wheat in his field – an unapproved crop that hasn’t been field tested since 2005. This is a serious problem for organic farmers, who are not allowed to use GMOs.

More to the point, perhaps, is that most, if not all organic farmers do not want GMO crops. And I certainly don’t want genetically modified food. Yet, I wonder, given the ease with which organic farms can be contaminated, just how much food labelled “organic” is truly GMO-free.

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