Heirloom maize/corn/mealie

Is Neil Young rehashing myths about Monsanto?

In a post to his LinkedIn account, entitled: Neil Young: We’re More Like You than You Think, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, says of Neil Young’s The Monsanto Years album: ‘If you listen to the new album, you’ll hear a rehash of many of the myths we’ve long heard about our company’.

I listened to the album to try to discover what myths Fraley claims Neil Young is rehashing. Are these perhaps they?


If you click on the indented text below each ‘myth’, you will be taken to the song’s lyrics (sourced from AZLyrics) and if you click on the title in brackets, you will be taken to a video or to a streamed audio of the track in question.


  • Monsanto hasn’t sued farmers?

We’re from Monsanto we own the seeds || (Workin’ Man)

  • Monsanto hasn’t played a part in the Grocery Manufacturers of America’s putsch to block the state of Vermont from passing their law requiring GMO foods to be labelled?

When the people of Vermont wanted to label food with GMOs
So that they could find out what was in what the farmer grows
Monsanto and Starbucks through the Grocery Manufacturers Alliance
They sued the state of Vermont to overturn the people’s will
 || (A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop)

  • Monsanto hasn’t corporatized nature?

Seeds have floated, birds have flown
Seeds have travelled far from home
Seeds are life it can’t be owned
Not even by Monsanto
 || (Rules Of Change)

  • By corporatizing nature Monsanto hasn’t highjacked farmers’ rights to re-use seeds, as farmers have done for generations?

Every year he buys the patented seeds
Poison-ready they’re what the corporation needs, Monsanto
 || (Monsanto Years)

  • Farming practices advocated by big multinational biotech/agricultural corporations (Big Ag) like Monsanto (GMOs/herbicides/chemical fertilisers/pesticides/mono-cropping) haven’t plundered the soil?

Wolf moon thank you for risin’
Big sky I’m grateful for your parting clouds
Seeds of life your glowing fields of wheat
Windy fields of barley at your feet
While you endure the thoughtless plundering
 || (Wolf Moon)

  • Farming practices advocated by Big Ag haven’t displaced indigenous people, small-scale farmers and/or farm workers?

It’s a bad day to do nothin’
With so many people needin’ our help
To keep their lands away from the greedy
Who only plunder for themselves
 || (A New Day For Love).

  • Ordinary people don’t need to take back the power ceded to corporations?

How can we regain our freedom
Lost by our own laws we must abide
When will we take back our freedom
To choose the way we live and die
 || (Big Box)

After following the links above do you agree with Robb Fraley’s criticism that Neil Young is rehashing many of the myths we’ve long heard about Monsanto? Either way, please add your perspective to the comment section below.

Finally, this is vintage Neil Young: raw, melodious, passionate, angry, driving, understated, and compassionate. All the tracks work. On a personal note it’s a relief to discover that the sixties protest tradition still lives. So do yourself a favour: buy the album, which comes with an immediate download, so you can enjoy the album in advance of the CD arriving in the post. By the way, Neil Young’s backing group The Promise of the Real is a worthy complement

Acknowledgement: This is an edited version of my reply to Fraley’s LinkedIn post.

Image: Heirloom Red Inca maize/corn/mealie

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