Scott: One of the things you just touched on, and I saw in one of your other presentations is something called a tech fee, that is included in the price of seed, if I'm not correct, right, when you buy GMO products. Can you explain exactly what that is and it might help answer I think, some motivation of the companies that are selling these products.
Howard Vlieger: The technology fee today is incorporated in with the price of the seed. I started selling seed corn in 1984, so I had a lot of years experience with that before we had to deal with the tech. fees. And when the, once the BT and the CRW and the herbicide tolerance, BT is corn borer, CRW is for rootworm and herbicide tolerance would be glyphosate, or glufosinate tolerance, once those three came together, then we were seeing the tech fees at about $150 a bag. The cost of the see was $100 a bag! And I would, you know the farmers would say, 'the ones we were thinking and, not looking at this thing euphorically', they'd say, ' you know, that don't pencil.' And I said, well, lets say they do a really good job of dotting their 'I's' and crossing their 't's', and running their business and this $100 bag of seed they get a 3 to 5 percent net return on investment. So that's $3 to $5 a bag. Now lets look at the $150 tech fee. It's safe to presume there's maybe a 50 or 75 percent margin in that side of the equation. Which road do you think they're going take? If they can make $3 to $5 a bag or fifty to seventy-five dollars, clear profit, a bag. And when you implement that in a broad scale way, that puts a lot of money in the coffer to be able to tell whatever story they wish to tell. It's their story, they can tell it any way they want to. Truth may or may not be a part of that equation.
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Howard Vlieger is a farmer who has become an expert in the business of genetically modified crops. He farmed before they became common place and has seen what they have done to the business of farming. Here, he talks about the actual business side of GMO crops. You'll be shocked to find out how much companies who make and sell GMO see might make from just one bag versus that of an organic crop.
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