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Brace yourself for Monsanto vibes in Jurassic World Dominion

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For anyone involved in agriculture, the intent of Jurassic World Dominion to connect the corrupt actions of Biosyn Genetics to the ominous perceptions people had of Monsanto — and, in many cases, now of Bayer — could not be more apparent. The public had long seen Monsanto as a greedy corporation that was using genetics and other sciences to destroy our health and livelihoods more often than helping them. While that wasn’t the truth in the real world, that is definitely how things develop for Biosyn in the film.

This post will have only minimal spoilers, specific to the very early parts of the film. 

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know that dinosaurs now live alongside humans, but Biosyn has been contracted to collect as many of the creatures as possible and relocate them to the company’s isolated scientific corner of the world. Biosyn is a genetics company, which dabbles primarily in pharmaceuticals and agriculture science. You can quickly see where this is going.

We soon learn that hordes of giant locusts (about the size of a house cat) with signs of ancient DNA are gobbling up crops from Iowa to Texas, creating a food crisis across the U.S. They’re not only eating humans’ food, but also livestock food. It’s a central storyline to the movie, but food security isn’t always the most dynamic on screen, so Dominion’s dinosaur action takes center stage even as the idea of human extinction is uttered more than once.

In one telling scene about the kind of threat the locusts (and, by extension, corporate influence) is alleged to usher in and which brings the Monsanto connection home: These giant locusts eat the field of an “independent” farmer but don’t touch the crops grown with Biosyn seed. In this case, Biosyn and its genetics program becomes both the aggressor and the savior.

And that right there plays into real-world activists’ claims that companies like Monsanto had tried to control the world’s food supply through genetic engineering. The idea being that if everything we consume is Roundup Ready, then companies such as Monsanto would be at the top of the food chain, so to speak. Society would be unable to function without their genetic technology.

jurassic-world-locusts
Image courtesy of Universal Studios

I’m not the only one to recognize what the filmmakers were implying about the motivations of genetically driven corporations. The movie review from Variety states, “The greatest threat facing humankind in Dominion is devastating swarms of giant locusts, resurrected by the Monsanto-like BioSyn corporation.”

Forbes’ review also noted, “The specific plot eventually involves a diabolical perversion of science (an evil hybrid of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk using modified locusts to wipe out crops that don’t use ‘not Monsanto’ beans) which seems disconnected from the new normal.”

By now, however, most of us have gotten used to media and public activism using food production and other agricultural sectors as the health and eco-boogeyman, so it really is no surprise that a blockbuster film would approach this. Brace yourself, it’s there. And I wouldn’t be surprised if more people talk about this in the weeks and months after Dominion‘s June 9 theatrical release.

The kicker is, if you can get past this undertone of food-production fear-mongering, Jurassic World Dominion is a tense and thrilling film that should appeal to both the Jurassic Park and the Jurassic World generations.

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