Q)Who are the major biotech companies, and how influential are they?
A) Here's a good recent answer "Revealed: how seed market is controlled by Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow & DuPont" by Tom Levitt, 7th October, 2010.
Read the article using the link here. The documents below are a back-up if the links become broken or the articles are removed. Posted on GMOFreePortland.com 10-18-10 as the file "biotechgrip.doc" along with two pdf's referred to in the article.
We're not putting the documents alone below (except for the Major Organic Independents) because 1. We don't think they will go away. Dr. Howard is a research and publishing machine. Look at all the work he has done and how thorough he is. and 2. It needs to remain in context just the way he has it.
A lot of organic brands are owned by these same companies- and it happened when the chemical companies took over our food with the sneaky introduction of GMO's in to the food supply starting in 1996. You can watch it happen in horror in the animation that looks like a night sky chart. But these charts are taken from his research papers so I had questions after staring for a long time.... until I read the words between the charts that tie it all together for people not reading his whole papers. That was very kind of him. What can I say? I wasn't drawn to the small gray print between the big colorful diagrams. So its funny to me that my favorite chart on this page is the gray and black one on the Major Organic Independents.
Since this first chart we found a year ago, he has added amazing things- last month (September), for example, he gave us the black and gray bubble chart that tells us who is still independent! In other words, some of these big companies might be allies like Hain-Celestial (our opinion of them is very good) but we also have a list of independents to be very happy to give our business to. Are they more likely to remain independent if we give them our business? All we can say is that right now, they are holding strong and we feel good about buying from them.
A note about Professor Howard: We have been using his first chart for about a year, I saw it several years ago put up by a grad student in a Professor's lab, and we've recently been referred to him by a farmer friend in Iowa. Before we ask Dr. Howard questions, we're going to study his work which is extensive- but plan to send him a general email of support and gratitude for his unique and thorough work.