October 8, 2012
The truth really is much stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to the open and admitted future plans of major biotechnology companies. One such case involves a biotech company known as ProdiGene, the officials from which actually faced jail time back in 2002 for contaminating the traditional food supply with ‘biopharmaceutical’ crops that were growing pharmaceuticals and vaccine components associated with AIDS, diabetes, and diarrhea.
Contaminating 500,000 bushels of soy with their biopharmaceutical corn that contained pharmaceutical and vaccine components associated with deadly diseases, the company was slapped with a minor $500,000 fine by the USDA (the same government organization that gives Monsanto’s crops special speed approval and ignores the company’s blatant disregard for its regulations). As it turns out, the pharmaceutical crops were actually mixed in with traditional crops and unknowing farmers had already been planted for human consumption. The USDA claims, however, that the crops were confiscated.
After receiving the fine and some press coverage on the subject, ProdiGene decided not to apologize but to expand their mission. The company, in combination with estimates by Dow AgroSciences, stated that they sought to reach $200 billion in biopharmaceutical crops within 10 years (as of 2004). Furthermore, they estimated that 10% of the corn in the United States will be biopharmaceutical in nature.