Cori Schumacher: State of Flux



April 2014



Monsanto vs. Surf Activists

Written by , Posted in environment, Environmental Justice, Surfing

Surf Activists vs. Monsanto

At the end of March, Monsanto was taken to task by Kelly Slater (who recently left his longtime sponsor, and Monsanto-linked, Quiksilver), Cyrus Sutton and Kyle Thiermann on the company’s newly created Instagram account.

In this conversation, Kelly Slater brings up GM cotton:

“I will say that certain cottons, for instance, are proven to need fewer or even no pesticides and produce larger crops but even with that we have no idea what the long term effects on environment and ecosystems potentially could be.”

I would add this video to the conversation which illustrates quite clearly the deplorable and disastrous effects of GM cotton, or “Bt cotton”.

(Click here to read more about how Bt Cotton and Quiksilver’s link to Monsanto.)

You can view the exchange between Monsanto, Slater, Sutton and Thiermann here along with all the 200+ comments by others, but only via Instagram’s mobile app. For some reason, only a small amount of comments are accessible if you are viewing Instagram on your computer. I have included some comments by others to help with context. I have typed out, verbatim, the longer comments where multiple screenshots would have been required.

The exchange begins…

Mons insta shot

Mons first com

KS: “@Monsantoco the argument for the cost of labeling foods being an issue is absurd. Let me ask you this… what was the last food product you guys changed ingredients in and how much did that cost to re-label? People change their labeling all the time. It’s so trivial that Monsanto and others are able to fool people into believing it’s an actual issue! it is literally as simple as changing the print on the next round of packaging. And to pass any increase on to the consumer based on something that is already someone’s job and an essential part of doing the business you are in is simply illogical, irrational and irresponsible. How do you guys fool the powers that be with this stuff? @brubrodrigues you should do some studying yourself, actually. Gov’t subsidies coupled with huge streamlined distribution and control over food supplies actually allow large conglomerates to drive tier prices down to where they are. Higher local and organic food prices are generally giving money straight to the people who produced your food in a good and fair exchange of business and generally provide a much healthier product liked with more nutrients. @alex_boykin that may be one idea or creating gmo’s but if you’re familiar with business practices, the larger des is control over product which can’t be copied due to patent protection/market control. And Monsanto clearly is fighting labeling by way of dollars and promotions against labeling. it’s absurd to say anything else. Seriously. It’s very clear their stance on it.”

I hope ur not as dumb

mons tnx 4 stoppong by

KS: “@Monsantoco Cheerios doesn’t hae ingredients that need GMO labeling. Or am I mistaken? @jblake118 and I was wrong in presuming the direct to consumer good products, probably misguided by the fact that Monsanto is anti GMO labeling as defined by their proactive campaign against it. If GMO was so superior as proven by science and peer reviewed studies, there would be no need to actively participate against its labeling, right? @Monsantoco do you have a response even though you aren’t opposed to ‘voluntary labeling’? I will say that certain cottons, for instance, are proven to need fewer or even no pesticides and produce larger crops but even with that we have no idea what the long term effects on environment and ecosystems potentially could be.”


KS: “@jblake118 *food products. Damn autocorrect makes spelling a nightmare and proof reading a must.”

cheerios made an ann

KS: “@Monsantoco I appreciate the discussion and responses. I know you guys get more hate than basically any business on earth and it’s hard to respond to throngs of angry humans. Maybe it’s too much of a headacke to directly answer most people. As @jblake118 so eloquently pointed out and I was mistaken on, Monsanto is a seed company not selling food products directly to consumers, with patented seed IP. Many people are curious as to why Monsanto would so strongly oppose Mandatory Labeling if it isn’t selling food products to the consumer directly. It would have zero effect on the price of your product even if that myth of increased prices due to labeling were true. There may be a justified answer other than some conspiracy most people expect. I read on your site that labeling foods GM might imply that these food products are somehow inferior to organic or organic counterparts. Or it might imply, from your POV, that they are superior, right? So why the push back against it? Last question for now… I saw it addressed on your site about lawsuits regarding farmers saving seeds. Totally understandable when agreed to ahead of time. But why would Monsanto sue farmers who seeds have been constaminated by GM seeds simply by being downwind or in close proximity (which has apparently happened numerous times)? Seems like that’s something Monsanto themselves would have to protect fom happening and the opposing farmer would have a suit against you guys for contamination (and possibly trespassing to obtain seed samples illegally). It is clear in these circumstances that the person with more money wins out in these lawsuits out of fear or simply having more artillery to hold out. Thanks, Nick. Just happy to have open discussion as a concerned citizen.”

mons i do my best

Enter Cyrus Sutton…

cyrus this is not about

farmerswife natural and hybrid

CS: “@thefarmerswife71 ‘terminator seeds’ refers to seeds that do not propagate forcing people to buy new seeds every time they need to plant. My research is far beyond blog science. 500-1000 mono cropping can’t be done sustainably- ‘weeds’ and ‘pests’ are nature’s answer to damaged landscapes and will always seek to reinstate biodiversity. Singularity of species (ie hundreds of acres of corn) can only be found in man-made systems and will perpetually be doomed for failure. The future of this ‘ask a farmer’ model will only result in eventual soil exhaustion and poisoning of the ecosystem. Try talking to Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms or Mark Shepard of Regenerative Agriculture or Paul Wheaton or Geoff Lawton of Australia’s Zaytuna Farm, or The Bullock Bros. On Orcas Island, or Sepp Holzer in the Austrian Alps. These people have proven by example in all climages, from the Midwest to the subtropics, to the mountains that integrating biodiversity into large acreages produces much more resiliency (doesn’t need herb/pesticides) and more long-term yield. Farmers need to remove their faith from subsidized science and marketing/pr campaigns and return to studying the earth. @killemducks”

Cyrus continues…

CS: “@thefarmerswife71 @killemducks @kellyslater and before you label me as some idealist- I am well aware of the conundrum facing the modern farmer needing to get their seasonal return of investment to maintain their livelihood and provide for their families. They should look into ‘alley cropping’ as a way to SLOWLY TRANSITION from a reliance on a subsidy-based income and take back their autonomy through the raising of high value plants in concert with other trees and staple crops and the reintegration pastures livestock. The demand is there and growing rapidly. Techniques that promote clean- no pesticide, REAL no-till agricultural practices which resuscitate the earth’s natural self-fertilization and natural ‘pest’ mitigation through diversity is the only way to provide a sustainable and autonomous way of life for our children and children’s children. This is exciting stuff and a reawakening of our connection to the land is happening right now. I urge you guys to look into agroforestry, food forests, regenerative agriculture, and permaculture.”

Enter Kyle Thiermann, @surfing4change, who recently made a video about Monsanto’s presence in Hawaii


A lot of folks were supportive and stoked by the fact that these guys have chosen to be vocal…

accolades 2

accolades 3

accolades 1

There is nothing left to say except Go KS and CS to which I would add also, surf activist Kyle Thiermann. Well done, gentleman. Can we please have more!

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