Films about patents
Miraculous and vital, Seed—The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers that are tirelessly working to protect a 12,000 year-old food legacy. For only in the last century, 94% of seed varieties have disappeared, as biotech and chemical companies rapaciously took over control over the majority of the world’s food seeds. Farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight literally a battle for life to defend the future of food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to a treasured source of life, and revive a culture connected to food, and the Earth.
The Biotech Revolution is largely an exploration by scientists working in genetics and biotechnology that repeatedly promise “unprecedented health benefits and longevity for all,” amongst other things, to rationalise their work in the so-called “biotechnology revolution.” But in reality, isn’t this “revolution” simply just more of the same control imperative of science and this culture’s technology, essentially ending in the prospect of a monoculture of genetically modified people? Will such control foster into globalisation a history of inclusion and harmony? Or, will we simply end up in an extension of the current order, albeit one that is further divided, this time by genetic apartheid?
Imagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, without your knowledge or consent, foreign and genetically-modified seeds are in your vegetable patch which you have nourished and maintained for over 50 years. A few days later, representatives of a large multi-national corporation secretly visit your home, only to return later and demand that you surrender all your vegetables and seeds. Then, they file a lawsuit against you for the illegal use of their patented and genetically-modified seeds that you never planted or used and, what’s more, the court rules in favour of the corporation. Yet, you still fight back. This is the true story of Percy Schmeiser versus Monsanto.
The Idiot Cycle investigates six major chemical companies—Dow Chemical, BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Astrazeneca and Monsanto—that are not only responsible for producing decades of cancer causing chemicals and pollution all across the globe, but also profit extensively from controlling cancer treatments and the production of drugs for those treatments. The irony is palpable. Also examined is how these very same companies own the most patents on genetically modified foods that have also never been tested for long-term health impacts like cancer. When there’s dioxin in every mother’s breast-milk, rivers throughout the world that no longer support life, cataclysmic environmental damage from industry and manufacturing—when do we say enough is enough?
Monsanto corporation seems to be stopping at nothing: Controlling corn, wheat, soy beans, canola, mustard, okra, bringe oil, rice, cauliflower… Once they have established the norm, they aim to claim all these seeds as their intellectual property, royalties will be collected and enforced by patent law. If Monsanto controls seed, they control food and they know it. It’s strategic. It can be more devastating than bombs, it can be more powerful than guns. This is their way to control the populations of the world, and as The World According to Monsanto reveals, it’s governments in the cross-hairs also.
Patent applications for the “Monsanto Pig” were published in February 2005 at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. A researcher monitoring patent applications uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result. And as the seeds of the world are slowly being taken over by Monsanto, the company is aiming to extend its control to animals by patenting and thus privatising gene sequences—all of which are found and occur naturally and are not invented…
In the “race to feed the planet”, scientists have discovered how to manipulate DNA and produce what they claim are stronger, more disease-resistant crops. However, fears that Genetically Modified Food may not be safe for humans or the environment has sparked intense protest. Are we participating in a dangerous global nutritional experiment? This film asks is the question — is the production of genetically modified food a panacea for world hunger or a mass poisoning of the worlds food supply?
The Future of Food brings together the many complex issues surrounding the troubling changes that have occurred in the industrial food system during the past decades—genetically modified food, seed patenting, pesticides; and the corporate takeover of the entire food chain, from soil to seed to fork. The issues raised in The Future of Food are more pressing than ever, as the collusion between governments and large multi-national corporations is more visibly on display than ever before—the use and abuse of the legal system, politicking, and privatisation drive this rapacious strangle hold on much of the world’s food. The film focuses on unlabelled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have been sold in supermarkets in the United States, unbeknownst to the public, for the past decade. In addition, there is a focus on Canada and Mexico. Also described is the concern about ‘terminator’ GMO seeds that pose a huge threat to diversity and local food systems. Genetically modified food is as controversial today as ever, and The Future of Food presents a vital educational tool for activists and educators worldwide.
Did you know that the legal system recognises a corporation as a person? What kind of ‘person’ is it then? What would happen if it sat down with a psychologist to discuss its behaviour and attitude towards society and the environment? Explored through specific examples, this film shows how and why the modern-day corporation has rapaciously pressed itself into the dominant institution of our time, posing big questions about what must be done if we want a equitable and sustainable world. What must we do when corporations are psychopaths?
The human genome is being privatised. Another corporate takeover. The genetic sequences that make up you and me are being patented and one Australian company, a hot item on the stock market, is aggressively enforcing a suite of patents that affect an extraordinary 95 percent of every living creature’s DNA. The company claims most laboratories around the world are infringing its patents — nature itself included — and the company is now trying to charge licence fees for this…