Hating Monsanto – Do Boycotts Work?
I’ve just read yet another another heartfelt comment from someone who can’t bear to support Monsanto and therefore will not buy seeds produced by any of the companies under its ever-widening corporate umbrella. Yes, I agree completely. Monsanto is an evil behemoth.* The urge to boycott is understandable.
But I do wonder:
If the only problem with the seeds is that they produce revenue which then goes to Monsanto, and the ultimate goal is to have all seed buyers do likewise, it seems like success could backfire.
If successful, a boycott would make growing those seeds unprofitable. If growing them becomes unprofitable, the company that produces them will stop doing so.
Taking it one step farther, if such seeds are that company’s major product, the company itself will be unprofitable and Monsanto will wish to get rid of it. But it can be difficult to sell a company with no market for its products, so there’s a good chance that Monsanto would simply simply shut it down or merge it with another, more compliant outfit.
No matter where the chain stops, end of seeds or end of company, making good seeds unprofitable for Monsanto just results in their producing more GE seeds and less of anything else. Taking one’s dollars elsewhere may be a benefit to the elsewhere – but it’s not likely to hurt Monsanto any.
* Hard to talk about the thing without personifying it, but I try to remind myself Monsanto is not evil. Monsanto is a corporation, with “neither a body to kick nor a soul to lose.” All we have to do to make it change its ways is somehow acquire enough voting stock.
Update/Correction: I went back to find the origin of the quotation and learned:
a) I had it backward, it’s “neither a soul to lose nor a body to kick,” and
b) I thought it was one of those popular quotations that everybody knew, but googling suggests it’s no such thing.