Soylent is Proudly PRO-GMO


I get the sentiment. I’m definitely pro-GMO if it benefits the human species. However, I am definitely opposed to corporate copyright trolling like that performed by Monsanto (the Soy in Soylent is very likely sourced from Monsanto seed).

Big corporations are fine when they advance our economy and create competition, but Monsanto prosecuted farmers for growing and planting their own seeds. It’s absolutely un-American.

When dealing with GMOs I think it’s important to make sure they aren’t used to take advantage of innocent people. A 100% pro stance on anything can be harmful to intellectual discussion.


Do you have sources on this? The cases I’ve read about are all examples of where there has been reasonable grounds to assume the farmers specifically grew Monsanto’s products without paying royalties - I’ve never heard of them suing over simple cross-pollenation, though I have read plenty of articles claiming this happens without backing it up at all.


This is by far the most notable case and is rather abhorrent.

That said, it’s not the only example.

Honestly, I think the idea that a corporation is entitled to the offspring of the plants you grew is ridiculous in the first place, copyright or not.


Thank you, that does seem unfair.

I understand the nature of the copyright due to the cost involved with designing the product, but this seems to be too far.


This has never, ever happened.

This is misrepresented often.

I don’t have a dog in the fight. But Monsanto has filed over 150 lawsuits in the last 20 years. They have won each and every one. The case you cite, Bowman lost at every level of the court system, including a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court.

At that point, you can 1) believe that Monsanto is an evil, Illuminati organization, 2) the United States legal system wants to crush small farmers, or 3) that perhaps Monsanto has a credible case that has been severely misrepresented by the anti-GMO crowd.

From what little I know about the Bowman case, he signed a licensing agreement with Monsanto. But then he tried an end-around, buying seed from a third party where he knew he could get some of the licensed seed. I’d compare it to owning an illegal movie screener. He didn’t film it himself illegally in a theater, but he knowingly bought an illegal copy from another vendor, and then distributed it himself.


“Writing for the high court, Justice Elena Kagan said that Bowman is perfectly free to purchase grain elevator beans to eat or feed to livestock, or even to resell, but he could not do what he, in fact, did: plant the beans from the grain elevator in his own fields, test them for weed resistance, and then harvest, re-harvest and re-harvest multiple times, without paying Monsanto for use of its patented product”

Different people are going to have different opinions on it. I personally don’t think that Bowman should have been held liable on the presumption he may have assumed reharvested seeds were Roundup resistant. This is America, we have a right to privacy. GMOs have great potential, but in the hands of the selfish they can also do harm.

We have a duty as informed citizens to address all possible concerns.

All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t take an extreme stance one way or the other.


Bowman didn’t just assume that re-harvested seeds were Roundup resistant. He had signed an agreement that he wouldn’t plant second-generation seeds. He did plant second-generation seeds. After testing them repeatedly to make certain they were second-generation seeds.

More Justice Kagan: “In the case at hand, Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article. Patent exhaustion provides no haven for that conduct. We accordingly affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

There is nothing “extreme” about this stance.


This is an equally ridiculous claim. Multiple courts unanimously found Mr. Schmeser lied. Repeatedly.

You say, “different people are going to have different opinions on it.” But all the legal opinions have been unanimous. Canadian and American court systems. Liberal and conservative benches.


The honest truth? I don’t think you should be able to copyright or patent a living organism, even if you modify it. That’s like saying the original breeder of the domestic dog should have rights over every dog breed on the market.


I disagree, but I respect your opinion.

I would (humbly) suggest that your beef lies more with the legal system, then, and not with Monsanto or other big corporations.


I’m glad we could at least have a conversation about it. I try to consider things from all sides. A lot of the food I eat comes from GMOs and I’m fine with it (there are no legitimate health risks I know of) but I also think we need to rethink how they fit into our legal system.


I don’t think it’s unwarranted to have concern for how people will use their copy “rights” (dare I say, privileges). But copyrights have been useful in the past and don’t seem inherently abusive. Under the right circumstances I would even consider letting someone (even a company) have copyrights on my DNA.

Post-offense litigation is rarely enough to undo a person’s wrongs. Even environmental “clean ups” by court order will cut corners. Shouldn’t we yearn more for a society of mature individuals across the board? That way litigation is never necessary in the first place.


After reading this whole thread, it’s obvious that some people have a very emotional anti-GMO stance that isn’t borne out by science. I think that Soylent has a healthy (no pun intended) take on the subject. I’ve been a vegan for thirty years and I’m very concerned with my health, the environment, and the well-being of all mankind, and I think that GMOs are just another tool that can be used safely and effectively to enhance our lives.