Our food supply is in danger because of Monsanto

Complete Transcript of Interview Questions with Deborah Koons Garcia
Filmmaker, The Future of Food
January 23, 2006
For Tech Museum of Innovation
http://www.tech.org/genetics

1. Tell us about your film and what inspired you to make it?
The Future of Food, my film is about the food system today is and what’s
happening around the corporatization of food, genetic engineering, patenting,
buying up of seeds by corporations, loss of family farms, and the solution to that.
I became a vegetarian in 1970, so I’ve been kind of food-obsessed since then
with healthy, organic food. When I did that, when I made that change, which is
actually the same year I began making films when I was in college, I started
studying about the food system and different foods, and what effect raising food
has on health and eating a certain way has on health and so I just became very
interest in it. I studied it through the years and I knew farmers, and I had a little
garden. For all these years I thought it would be very interesting to make a film
that crystallized all that, so I wouldn’t have to lecture people, or bore them with
my opinions. I could prove it! So a few years ago, I set about making the film,
and I thought it was going to be about pesticides and …I thought it was going to
be about that, but as I started making the film, it became clear that the big issues
now are genetic engineering and patenting, which are sort of tied up with the
corporatization and control of the food supply. So, that’s where a lot of the focus
is on the film because people don’t know about that.

2, Please explain why patenting life is so controversial.
Well, the whole patenting thing, which most citizens are totally unaware of –I
mean, I was- is that starting with this Dr. Chakrabarti at General Electric. He was
able to “patent life” because he genetically engineered a bacteria. He took it all
in and the patent office said, “No, we can’t patent this because it’s life.” He took
it all the way up to the Supreme Court and they agreed in the early 80’s that they
could patent life. That opened the door to patenting all kinds of things, including
seeds and human DNA and all kinds of stuff like that and it’s never been voted
on. It was just something that went through the court systems.

So, here we have these corporations that are able to control the seed supply.
They’re able to patent something, and they can let out that one patented seed
until the patent goes off and then they pull that back and they let out another
patented seed. Breeders used to be able to protect their work. They used to be...

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