MONSANTO

from

http://www.monsanto.com

MONSANTO by MONSANTO

“Monsanto offers farmers a wide range of corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, canola, sorghum and sugar cane seeds. We use our elite seed genetics and cutting-edge traits and technologies to create products that meet farmers’ wants and needs. These products are offered through various brands – each of which provides farmers around the world with the solutions that best fit their farms.”

Corporate Governance

At Monsanto, we are a company committed to the values of corporate governance. Corporate governance is an important part of who we are and how we conduct ourselves every day.

As a company, our business decisions are guided by the core tenets described in the Monsanto Pledge, our corporate governance guidelines as well as the charters of our Board and its Committees. The people of Monsanto have always been committed to the principles of a sound corporate governance program, and fulfilling the commitments outlined in these documents.

We are pleased to share the components of our corporate governance program with you in this section of our website. In keeping with the spirit of the Monsanto Pledge, we hope this information gives you a sense of how our board members and employees strive to provide transparent and understandable information about Monsanto in an easily accessible way.

Company History

Monsanto is a relatively new company. While we share the name and history of a company that was founded in 1901, the Monsanto of today is focused on agriculture and supporting farmers around the world in their mission to produce more while conserving more. We’re an agricultural company. Below is an interactive presentation with photos, videos and Monsanto stories. We invite you to explore the Monsanto history today.

Relationships Among Monsanto Company, Pharmacia Corporation, Pfizer Inc., and Solutia Inc.

Prior to Sept. 1, 1997, a corporation that was then known as Monsanto Company (Former Monsanto) operated an agricultural products business (the Ag Business), a pharmaceuticals and nutrition business (the Pharmaceuticals Business) and a chemical products business (the Chemicals Business). Former Monsanto is today known as Pharmacia. Pharmacia is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., which together with its subsidiaries operates the Pharmaceuticals Business. Today’s Monsanto includes the operations, assets and liabilities that were previously the Ag Business. Today’s Solutia comprises the operations, assets and liabilities that were previously the Chemicals Business. The following table sets forth a chronology of events that resulted in the formation of Monsanto, Pharmacia and Solutia as three separate and distinct corporations, and it provides a brief background on the relationships among these corporations.

MONSANTO’s  Pledge

The Monsanto Pledge is our commitment to how we do business. It is a declaration that compels us to listen more, to consider our actions and their impact broadly, and to lead responsibly. It helps us to convert our values into actions, and to make clear who we are and what we champion.

Integrity
Integrity is the foundation for all that we do. Integrity includes honesty, decency, consistency, and courage. Building on those values, we are committed to:

Dialogue
We will listen carefully to diverse points of view and engage in thoughtful dialogue. We will broaden our understanding of issues in order to better address the needs and concerns of society and each other.

Transparency
We will ensure that information is available, accessible, and understandable.

Sharing
We will share knowledge and technology to advance scientific understanding, to improve agriculture and the environment, to improve crops, and to help farmers in developing countries.

Benefits
We will use sound and innovative science and thoughtful and effective stewardship to deliver high-quality products that are beneficial to our customers and to the environment.

Respect
We will respect the religious, cultural, and ethical concerns of people throughout the world. The safety of our employees, the communities where we operate, our customers, consumers, and the environment will be our highest priority.

Act as Owners to Achieve Results
We will create clarity of direction, roles, and accountability; build strong relationships with our customers and external partners; make wise decisions; steward our company resources; and take responsibility for achieving agreed-upon results.

Create a Great Place to Work
We will ensure diversity of people and thought; foster innovation, creativity and learning; practice inclusive teamwork; and reward and recognize our people.

MONSANTO By MONSANTO

Corporate Brochure

http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Documents/Monsanto_Corporate_Brochure.pdf

Monsanto by Monsanto

Contact Information

Monsanto Company
800 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63167

General Inquiries:
(314) 694-1000

Media Inquiries:
(314) 694-NEWS (6397)

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Now MONSANTO from the other side of the street

From taking a good prolonged gander at Monsanto’s site and having perused its pages thoroughly, I had an overwhelming sense that this corporate Giant was trying above all else to  convince the reader that they are not MONSANTO but Monsanto or something to that effect. They seem to be trying to separate themselves from themselves and there own very controversial past by disguising it with different company names, red tape and a wizard of Oz curtains ta boot.All this and not one once of any kind of remorse for any of there past misdeeds and then moving on as if none of it ever really happened in the real world… Now some of the not so Monsanto approved stories. But stories none the less with a lot more TRUTH to them

Monsanto: a history

Monsanto was created in 1901. The company’s first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin. In the 1920s Monsanto expanded into basic industrial chemicals. During the Second World War Monsanto contributed to research on uranium for the Manhattan Project, which lead to the atomic bomb. Monsanto continued to operate a nuclear facility for the U.S. government until the late 1980s. During the 1940s Monsanto also become a leading manufacturer of synthetic fibres and plastics, including polystyrene – ranked fifth in the EPA’s list of chemicals whose production generates the most total hazardous waste. From the 1940s onwards Monsanto was one of the top 10 US chemical companies.
Following the Second World War, Monsanto championed the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. Its major agrochemical products have included the herbicides 2,4,5-T, DDT, Lasso and Agent Orange, which was widely used as a defoliant by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War and which was later shown to be highly carcinogenic. The Agent Orange produced by Monsanto had dioxin levels many times higher than that produced by Dow Chemicals, the other major supplier of Agent Orange to Vietnam. This made Monsanto the key defendant in the lawsuit brought by Vietnam War veterans in the United States, who faced an array of debilitating symptoms attributable to Agent Orange exposure. Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam.
Agent Orange contaminated more than 3 million civilians and servicemen, and an estimated 500,000 Vietnamese children have been born with deformities attributed to Agent Orange, leading to calls for Monsanto to be prosecuted for war crimes. No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese civilians and though some compensation was paid to U.S. veterans, according to William Sanjour, who led the Toxic Waste Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “thousands of veterans were disallowed benefits” because “Monsanto studies showed that dioxin [as found in Agent Orange] was not a human carcinogen.” An EPA colleague discovered that Monsanto had apparently falsified the data in their studies. Sanjour says, “If [the studies] were done correctly, they would have reached just the opposite result.”
The success of the herbicide Lasso had turned around Monsanto’s struggling Agriculture Division, and by the time Agent Orange was banned in the U.S. and Lasso was facing increasing criticism, Monsanto had developed the weedkiller “Roundup” (active ingredient: glyphosate) as a replacement. Launched in 1976, Roundup helped make Monsanto the world’s largest producer of herbicides.
The success of Roundup coincided with the recognition by Monsanto executives that they needed to radically transform a company increasingly under threat. According to a recent paper by Dominic Glover, “Monsanto had acquired a particularly unenviable reputation in this regard, as a major producer of both dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – both persistent environmental pollutants posing serious risks to the environment and human health. Law suits and environmental clean-up costs began to cut into Monsanto’s bottom line, but more seriously there was a real fear that a serious lapse could potentially bankrupt the company.”
Such a fear was not misplaced. By the 1980s Monsanto was being hit by a series of lawsuits. It was one of the companies named in 1987 in an $180 million settlement for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. In 1991 Monsanto was fined $1.2 million for trying to conceal the discharge of contaminated waste water. In 1995 Monsanto was ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping. That same year Monsanto was ranked fifth among U.S. corporations in EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. In 1997 The Seattle Times reported that Monsanto sold 6,000 tons of contaminated waste to Idaho fertilizer companies, which contained the carcinogenic heavy metal cadmium.
Then in 2002 the Washington Post ran an article entitled, “Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution, PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told”. Monsanto began production of polychlorinated biphenyls in the United States in 1929. PCBs were considered an industrial wonder chemical – an oil that would not burn, was impervious to degradation and had almost limitless applications. Today PCBs are considered one of the gravest chemical threats on the planet.
Monsanto produced PCBs for over 50 years and they are now virtually omnipresent in the blood and tissues of humans and wildlife around the globe. These days PCBs are banned from production and some experts say there should be no acceptable level of PCBs allowed in the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says, “PCB has been demonstrated to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system and endocrine system.” But the evidence of widespread contamination from PCBs and related chemicals has been accumulating from 1965 onwards and internal company papers show that Monsanto knew about the PCB dangers from early on. For instance, toxicity tests on the effects of two PCBs in 1953 showed that more than 50% of the rats subjected to them died, and all of them showed damage.
With experts at the company in no doubt that Monsanto’s PCBs were responsible for contamination, in 1968 the company set up a committee to assess its options. In a paper distributed to only 12 people but which surfaced at the trial in 2002, Monsanto admitted “that the evidence proving the persistence of these compounds and their universal presence as residues in the environment is beyond question … the public and legal pressures to eliminate them to prevent global contamination are inevitable”. Monsanto papers seen by The Guardian newspaper reveal near panic. “The subject is snowballing. Where do we go from here? The alternatives: go out of business; sell the hell out of them as long as we can and do nothing else; try to stay in business; have alternative products”, wrote the recipient of one paper. In 1969 the company wrote a confidential Pollution Abatement Plan which admitted that “the problem involves the entire United States, Canada and sections of Europe, especially the UK and Sweden”.
The problem was particularly severe in the town of Anniston in Alabama where discharges from the local Monsanto plant meant residents developed PCB levels hundreds or thousands of times the average. As The Washington Post reported, “for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as ‘CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy’ — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.”
Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group says that based on the Monsanto documents made public, the company “knew the truth from the very beginning. They lied about it. They hid the truth from their neighbors.” One Monsanto memo explains their justification: “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business.” Eventually the company was found guilty of conduct “so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society”.
But by the time that the Anniston pollution case came to court, Monsanto had already managed to hive off the old core of its business into a new company called Solutia. Although Monsanto and Solutia eventually agreed to pay $600 million to settle claims brought by more than 20,000 Anniston residents, Monsanto had by then relaunched itself as an agricultural biotechnology company.
Solutia was spun off from Monsanto as a way for Monsanto to divest itself of billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs and other liabilities for its past actions – liabilities that eventually forced Solutia to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a spokesman for Solutia, “(Monsanto) sort of cherry-picked what they wanted and threw in all kinds of cats and dogs as part of a going-away present,” including $1 billion in debt and environmental and litigation costs. Some pre-bankruptcy Solutia equity holders allege Solutia was set up fraudulently as it was always doomed to fail under the financial weight of Monsanto’s liabilities.
The key to Monsanto’s metamorphosis into a biotechnology company was the run away success of the herbicide Roundup. Within a few years of its 1976 launch, Roundup was being marketed in 115 countries. According to Glover, “Sales grew by 20 per cent in 1981 and as the company increased production it was soon Monsanto’s most profitable product (Monsanto 1981, 1983)… It soon became the single most important product of Monsanto’s agriculture division, which contributed about 20 per cent of sales and around 45 per cent of operating income to the company’s balance sheet each year during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, glyphosate remains the world’s biggest herbicide by volume of sales.”
By 1990 with the help of Roundup, the agriculture division of Monsanto was significantly outperforming Monsanto’s chemicals division in terms of operating income, and the gap was increasing. But as Glover notes, while “such a blockbuster product uncorks a fountain of revenue”, it “also creates an uncomfortable dependency on the commercial fortunes of a single brand. Monsanto’s management knew that the last of the patents protecting Roundup in the United States, its biggest market, would expire in the year 2000, opening the field to potential competitors. The company urgently needed a strategy to negotiate this hurdle and prolong the useful life of its ‘cash cow’.”
Biotechnology was increasingly seen not just as a valuable complement to Monsanto’s chemical technology but as a way of enabling it to further expand into agriculture and secure its “cash cow”. This lead to Monsanto selling off its plastics business to Bayer in 1996, and its phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) in 1999. Much of the rest of its chemicals division was spun off in late 1997 as Solutia, as already noted. This helped Monsanto distance itself to some extent not only from direct financial liability for the historical core of its business but also from its controversial production and contamination legacy.
By 2000 the current Monsanto had emerged from various transactions, including a merger for a time with Pharmacia, as a legally different corporation from the Monsanto that had existed from 1901-2000. This was depite the fact that both Monsantos shared not just the same name, but the same corporate headquarters near St. Louis, Missouri, and many of the same executives and other employees, not to mention much of the responsibility for liabilities arising out of its former activities.
As Monsanto had moved into biotechnology, its executives had the opportunity to create a new narrative for the company. They begun to portray genetic engineering as a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world. Monsanto executive Robb Fraley, who was head of the plant molecular biology research team, is also said to have hyped the potential of GM crops within the company, as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Monsanto to dominate a whole new industry, invoking the monopoly success of Microsoft as a powerful analogy. But, according to Glover, the more down-to-earth pitch to fellow executives was that “genetic engineering offered the best prospect of preserving the commercial life of Monsanto’s most important product, Roundup in the face of the challenges Monsanto would face once the patent expired.”
Monsanto eventually achieved this by introducing into crop plants genes that give resistance to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). This meant farmers could spray Roundup onto their fields as a weedkiller even during the growing season without harming the crop. This allowed Monsanto to “significantly expand the market for Roundup and, more importantly, help Monsanto to negotiate the expiry of its glyphosate patents, on which such a large slice of the company’s income depended.” With glyphosate-tolerant GM crops, Monsanto was able ìto preserve its dominant share of the glyphosate market through a marketing strategy that would couple proprietary “Roundup Ready” seeds with continued sales of Roundup.
Although the first of Monsanto’s biotech products to make it to market was not a GM crop but Monsanto’s controversial GM cattle drug, bovine growth hormone – called rBGH or rBST, Monsanto’s corporate strategy led them for the first time to acquire seed companies. During the 1990s Monsanto spent $10 billion globally buying up seed companies – a push that continues to this day. It has purchased, for example, Holden’s Foundations Seeds, Seminis – the largest seed company not producing corn or soybeans in the world, the Dutch seed company De Ruiter Seeds, and the big cotton seed firm Delta and Pine. As a result, Monsanto is now the world’s largest seed company, accounting for almost a quarter of the global proprietary seed market.
Monsanto’s biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for almost 90% of the total world area devoted to GM seeds by 2007. Today, over 80% of the worldwide area devoted to GM crops carries at least one genetic trait for herbicide tolerance. Herbicides account for about one-third of the global pesticide market. Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) seeds have reigned supreme on the biotech scene for over a decade – creating a near-monopoly for the company’s Roundup herbicide – which is now off patent. Roundup is the world’s biggest selling pesticide and it has helped make Monsanto the world’s fifth largest agrochemical company.
This concentration of corporate power drives up costs for farmers and consumers. Retail prices for Roundup have increased from just $32 per gallon in December 2006 to $45 per gallon a year later, to $75 per gallon by June 2008 – a 134% price hike in less than two years. Because gene technologies can be patented, they also concentrate corporate power – by 2000 five pesticide companies, including Monsanto, controlled over 70% of all patents on agricultural biotechnology. And this concentration again drives up costs. According to Keith Mudd of the U.S.-based Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), “The lack of competition and innovation in the marketplace has reduced farmers’ choices and enabled Monsanto to raise prices unencumbered.”
At a July 2008 meeting, Monsanto officials announced plans to raise the average price of some of the company’s GM maize (corn) varieties a whopping 35 percent, by $95-100 per bag, to top $300 per bag. Fred Stokes of OCM describes the implications for farmers: “A $100 price increase is a tremendous drain on rural America. Let’s say a farmer in Iowa who farms 1,000 acres plants one of these expensive corn varieties next year. The gross increased cost is more than $40,000. Yet there’s no scientific basis to justify this price hike. How can we let companies get away with this?” What holds good for maize, also holds good for other GM crops. The average price for soybean seed, the largest GM crop in the US, has risen by more than 50% in just two years from 2006 to 2008 – from $32.30 to $49.23 per planted acre.
Patenting also inhibits public sector research and further undermines the rights of farmers to save and exchange seeds. Monsanto devotes an annual budget of 10 million dollars to harassing, intimidating, suing – and in some cases bankrupting – American farmers over alleged improper use of its patented seeds.
Recent price hikes have taken place in the context of a global food crisis marked by rapid food price inflation, which has exacerbated extreme poverty and hunger, and increased social tensions. The World Bank attributes 75% of this global food price inflation to “biofuels”, and Monsanto has been at the very heart of the “biofuels” lobby, particularly the lobby for corn ethanol. Monsanto has been accused of both contributing to and benefiting from the food crisis, while simultaneously using it as a PR platform from which to promote GM crops as the solution to the crisis.
In 2008 the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations condemned corporate profiteering: “The essential purpose of food, which is to nourish people, has been subordinated to the economic aims of a handful of multinational corporations that monopolize all aspects of food production, from seeds to major distribution chains, and they have been the prime beneficiaries of the world crisis. A look at the figures for 2007, when the world food crisis began, shows that corporations such as Monsanto and Cargill, which control the cereals market, saw their profits increase by 45 and 60 per cent, respectively.”

http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-firms/10595-monsanto-a-history

Now Let’s see What Wikipidiea has to say

Monsanto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the corporation. For other uses, see Monsanto (disambiguation).

Monsanto Company

Monsanto logo.jpg

Type
Public company

Traded as
NYSE: MON
S&P 500 Component

Industry
Agribusiness

Founded
St. Louis, Missouri, US (1901)

Founder(s)
John Francis Queeny

Headquarters
Creve Coeur, Missouri, U.S.

Key people
Hugh Grant
(Chairman, President and CEO)

Products
Herbicides, pesticides, crop seeds

Revenue
decrease US$ 10.502 billion (FY 2010)[1]

Operating income
decrease US$ 1.607 billion (FY 2010)[1]

Net income
decrease US$ 1.109 billion (FY 2010)[1]

Total assets
decrease US$ 17.867 billion (FY 2010)[1]

Total equity
increase US$ 10.143 billion (FY 2010)[1]

Employees
21,400 (August 2010)[1]

Website
Monsanto.com

Monsanto stock price 2000–2010.

The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed in the Roundup brand of herbicides, and in other brands. Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed; it provides the technology in 90% of the genetically engineered seeds used in the US market.[2] It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.[3]

Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In 2005, it finalized the purchase of Seminis Inc, making it the world’s largest conventional seed company.

Monsanto’s development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation, political lobbying practices, seed commercialization practices and “strong-arming” of the seed industry[4] have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the alter-globalization movement and environmental activists. In 2009 Monsanto came under scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department, which began investigating whether the company’s activities in the soybean markets were breaking anti-trust rules.[4][5]

[edit]History

Maler der Grabkammer des Sennudem 001.jpg

Agriculture

General

History

Types

Categories

Monsanto was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901, by John Francis Queeny, a 30-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. He funded the start-up with his own money and capital from a soft drink distributor and gave the company his wife’s maiden name. His father-in-law was Emmanuel Mendes de Monsanto, a wealthy financier of a sugar company active in Vieques, Puerto Rico and based in St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies. The company’s first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin, which it sold to The Coca-Cola Company.

In 1919, Monsanto established its presence in Europe by entering into a partnership with Graesser’s Chemical Works at Cefn Mawr near Ruabon, Wales to produce vanillin,salicylic acid, aspirin and later rubber processing chemicals. This site was later sold and closed in 2010.

In the 1920s, Monsanto expanded into basic industrial chemicals like sulfuric acid, and the decade ended with Queeny’s son Edgar Monsanto Queeny taking over the company in 1928.

The 1940s saw Monsanto become a leading manufacturer of plastics, including polystyrene and synthetic fibers. Since then, it has remained one of the top 10 US chemical companies. Other major products have included the herbicides 2,4,5-T, DDT, and Agent Orange used primarily during the Vietnam War as a defoliant agent (later found to becontaminated during manufacture with highly carcinogenic dioxin), the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet), bovine somatotropin (bovine growth hormone (BST)), andPCBs.[6] Also in this decade, Monsanto operated the Dayton Project, and later Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio, for the Manhattan Project, the development of the firstnuclear weapons and, after 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission.

Monsanto began manufacturing DDT in 1944, along with some 15 other companies.[7] This insecticide was much-welcomed in the fight against malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. The use of DDT in the U.S. was banned by Congress in 1972, due in large part to efforts by environmentalists, who persisted in the challenge put forth by Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring in 1962, which sought to inform the public of the side effects associated with DDT. As the decade ended, Monsanto acquired American Viscose from England’s Courtauld family in 1949.

In 1954, Monsanto partnered with German chemical giant Bayer to form Mobay and market polyurethanes in the US.

Monsanto was a pioneer of optoelectronics in the 1970s. In 1968 they became the first company to start mass production of (visible) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), using gallium arsenide phosphide. This ushered in the era of solid-state lights. From 1968 to 1970 sales doubled every few months. Their products (discrete LEDs and seven-segment numeric displays) became the standards of industry. The primary markets then were electronic calculators, digital watches, and digital clocks.[8]

In the 1960s and 1970s, Monsanto became one of the most important producers of Agent Orange for US Military operations in Vietnam. Agent Orange caused an immense damage to health, also for US-soldiers, not at least by genetic modification.[9][10]

In 1979, Monsanto established the Edgar Monsanto Queeny safety award in honor of its former CEO (1928–1960), to encourage accident prevention.[11]

Monsanto scientists became the first to genetically modify a plant cell in 1982. Five years later, Monsanto conducted the first field tests of genetically engineered crops.

Through a process of mergers and spin-offs between 1997 and 2002, Monsanto made a transition from chemical giant to biotech giant. Part of this process involved the 1999 sale by Monsanto of their phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) for $125 million. In 2000, GLC sued Monsanto because of a $71 million dollar shortfall in expected sales.

In 2001, retired Monsanto chemist William S. Knowles was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation, which was carried out at Monsanto beginning in the 1960s until his 1986 retirement.

Throughout 2004 and 2005, Monsanto filed lawsuits against many farmers in Canada and the U.S. on the grounds of patent infringement, specifically the farmers’ sale of seed containing Monsanto’s patented genes. In some cases, farmers claimed the seed was unknowingly sown by wind carrying the seeds from neighboring crops, a claim rejected inMonsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser.[12] These instances began in the mid to late 1990s, with one of the most significant cases being decided in Monsanto’s favor by the Canadian Supreme Court. By a 5–4 vote in late May 2004, that court ruled that “by cultivating a plant containing the patented gene and composed of the patented cells without license, the appellants (canola farmer Percy Schmeiser) deprived the respondents of the full enjoyment of the patent.” With this ruling, the Canadian courts followed the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision on patent issues involving plants and genes.

As of February 2005, Monsanto has patent claims on breeding techniques for pigs which would grant them ownership of any pigs born of such techniques and their related herds. Greenpeace claims Monsanto is trying to claim ownership on ordinary breeding techniques.[13] Monsanto claims that the patent is a defensive measure to track animals from its system. They furthermore claim their patented method uses a specialized insemination device that requires fewer sperm than are typically needed.[14]

In 2006, the Public Patent Foundation filed requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to revoke four patents that Monsanto has used in patent lawsuits against farmers. In the first round of reexamination, claims in all four patents were rejected by the Patent Office in four separate rulings dating from February through July 2007.[15] Monsanto has since filed responses in the reexaminations.

In October 2008, the company’s Canadian division, Monsanto Canada Inc., was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean’s newsmagazine. Later that month, Monsanto Canada Inc. was also named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers, which was announced by the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper.[16]

In January 2010, Monsanto was named company of the year by Forbes.

[edit]Spin-offs and mergers

Through a series of transactions, the Monsanto that existed from 1901 to 2000 and the current Monsanto are legally two distinct corporations. Although they share the same name and corporate headquarters, many of the same executives and other employees, and responsibility for liabilities arising out of activities in the industrial chemical business, the agricultural chemicals business is the only segment carried forward from the pre-1997 Monsanto Company to the current Monsanto Company. This was accomplished beginning in the 1980s:

  • 1985: Monsanto purchases G. D. Searle & Company. In this merger, Searle’s aspartame business becomes a separate Monsanto subsidiary, the NutraSweet Company. CEO of NutraSweet, Robert B. Shapiro, goes on to become CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000.
  • 1996: Acquires 49.9% of Calgene, creators of the Flavr Savr tomato in April and another ~5% in November. Monsanto first entered the maize seed business when it purchased 40% of DEKALB Genetics Corporation in 1996. It purchased the remainder of the corporation in 1998.[17]
  • 1997: Monsanto spins off its industrial chemical and fiber divisions into Solutia Inc. This transfers the financial liability related to the production and contamination with PCBs at the Illinois and Alabama plants. In January, Monsanto announces the purchase of Holden’s Foundations Seeds, a privately held seed business owned by the Holden family, along with its sister sales organization, Corn States Hybrid Service, of Williamsburg and Des Moines, Iowa, respectively. The combined purchase price totals $925 million. Also, in April, Monsanto purchases the remaining shares of Calgene.
  • 1999: Monsanto sells off NutraSweet Co. and two other companies.
  • 2000 (spring): Monsanto merges with Pharmacia and Upjohn, and the agricultural division becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the “new” Pharmacia; the medical research divisions, which includes products such as Celebrex, remain in Pharmacia.
  • 2000 (October): Pharmacia spins off its Monsanto subsidiary into a new company, the “new Monsanto.” [18] As part of the deal, Monsanto agrees to indemnify Pharmacia against any liabilities that might be incurred from judgments against Solutia. As a result, the new Monsanto continues to be a party to numerous lawsuits that relate to operations of the old Monsanto.
  • 2005: Monsanto purchases Seminis, a leading global vegetable and fruit seed company, for $1.4 billion.[19]
  • 2007: In June, Monsanto completes its purchase of Delta and Pine Land Company, a major cotton seed breeder, for $1.5 billion.[20] Monsanto exits the pig breeding business by selling Monsanto Choice Genetics to Newsham Genetics LC in November, divesting itself of “any and all swine-related patents, patent applications, and all other intellectual property.”[21][22]
  • 2008: Monsanto purchases the Dutch seed company De Ruiter Seeds for €546 million,[23] and sells its POSILAC bovine somatotropin brand and related business to Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company in August for $300 million plus “additional contingent consideration”.[24]

[edit]Corporate governance

Current members of the board of directors of Monsanto are: David L. Chicoine president of South Dakota State University, Hugh Grant, the president and CEO of Monsanto, Arthur H. Harper, managing partner of GenNx360 Capital Partners, Gwendolyn S. King, president of Podium Prose (a speakers bureau), Laura K. Ipsen, senior VP and general manager of Connected Energy Networks at Cisco Systems, Inc., C. Steven McMillan, the former chairman and CEO of Sara Lee Corporation, William U. Parfet, chief executive officer of MPI Research Inc., Janice L. Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, George H. Poste, chief executive of Health Technology Networks, Jon R. Moeller, chief financial officer of The Procter & Gamble Company,[25] and George H. Poste, PhD, DVM, chief executive of Health Technology Networks.[26]

Former Monsanto employees currently hold positions in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Supreme Court. These include Clarence Thomas, Michael R. Taylor, Ann Veneman, Linda Fisher, Michael Friedman, William D. Ruckelshaus, and Mickey Kantor.[27] Linda Fisher has been back and forth between positions at Monsanto and the EPA.[27]

[edit]Environmental and health record

According to an anonymous 2001 document[28] obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, Monsanto has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being a “potentially responsible party” for 56 contaminated sites (Superfund sites) in the United States. Monsanto has been sued, and has settled, multiple times for damaging the health of its employees or residents near its Superfund sites through pollution and poisoning.[6][29][30] In 2004 The Wildlife Habitat Council and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Performance Track presented a special certificate of recognition to Monsanto Company during WHC’s 16th Annual Symposium.

Monsanto is the largest producer of glyphosate herbicides through its popular brand, Roundup. A report released in June 2011 linked glyphosate to birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower than those used in agricultural and garden spraying.[31]

Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications (referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) explained the company’s regulatory philosophy to Michael Pollan in 1998: “Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is FDA’s job.”[32]

[edit]Genetically modified organisms

Main article: Genetically modified organism

[icon]
This section requires expansion.

Many of Monsanto’s seed products are specifically genetically modified to make them resistant to Monsanto produced agricultural chemicals, such as “Round Up” herbicide. In a study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences, researchers applied a different statistical analysis on raw data obtained from Monsanto and concluded that these GM corn (maize) varieties induced a state of hepatorenal toxicity.[33]They suggested that the presence of the new pesticides associated with the inserted genes were responsible, although the possibility that this could be due to a mutation during the transformation process was not excluded.[33]

Monsanto was drawn into the Genetically modified food controversies over the Pusztai affair.[34] Dr. Arpad Pusztai’s experiments suggested that it was the process of genetic engineering, not the presence of the inserted lectin gene that altered the thickness of the gut epithelium in rats when fed genetically modified potatoes.[35] In other words it was the process of genetic engineering itself, not the presence of pesticides caused by the engineering which caused the damage to rats. The publication of this study has resulted in much controversy.[36]

[edit]Terminator seed controversy

Main article: Genetic use restriction technology

In June 2007,[37] Monsanto acquired Delta & Pine Land Company, a company that had patented a seed technology nicknamed Terminators. This technology, which was never known to have been used commercially, produces plants that have sterile seeds so they do not flower or grow fruit after the initial planting. This prevents the spread of those seeds into the wild, however it also requires customers to repurchase seed for every planting in which they use Terminator seed varieties. In recent years, widespread opposition from environmental organizations and farmer associations has grown, mainly out of the concerns that seeds using this technology could increase farmers’ dependency on seed suppliers.

In 1999, Monsanto pledged not to commercialize Terminator technology.[38] Delta Vice President, Harry Collins, stated in an October 2000 press interview in the Agra/Industrial Biotechnology Legal Letter, ‘We’ve continued right on with work on the Technology Protection System (TPS or Terminator). We never really slowed down. We’re on target, moving ahead to commercialize it. We never really backed off.’[39]

[edit]rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone)

Main article: Bovine somatotropin

Monsanto sparked controversy nationwide with the introduction of recombinant Bovine somatotropin, abbreviated as rBST and commonly known as rBGH. It is a synthetic hormone that is injected into cows to increase milk production. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone stimulated by rBGH in the cow’s blood stream, which is directly responsible for the increase in milk production. IGF-1 is a natural hormone found in the milk of both humans and cows causing the quick growth of infants.[citation needed] IGF-1 is also normally present in saliva.[40]

Though this IGF-1 occurs naturally in mothers’ milk to be fed to their infants it produces adverse effects in non-infants, behaving as a cancer accelerator in adults and non-infants; this biologically active hormone is associated with breast cancer (correlation shown in premenopausal women),[41] prostate cancer,[42] lung cancer[43] and colon cancers.[43][44]

A Monsanto-sponsored survey of milk showed no significant difference in rBST levels in milk labeled as “rBST-Free” or “organic milk” vs milk not labeled as such.[45]

According to The New York Times[46] Monsanto’s brand of rBST, Posilac, has recently (March 2008) been the focus for a pro-rBST advocacy group called AFACT, made up of large dairy business conglomerates and closely affiliated with Monsanto itself. This group has engaged in large-scale lobbying efforts at the state level to prevent milk which is rBST-free from being labeled as such. As milk labeled as hormone-free has proved enormously popular with consumers, the primary justification by AFACT for their efforts has been that rBST is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that the popularity of milk sold without it is damaging what they claim to be the right of dairy producers to use a technology that maximizes their profits.

Thus far, a large-scale negative consumer response to AFACT’s legislative and regulatory efforts has kept state regulators from pushing through restrictions that would ban hormone-free milk labels, though several politicians have tried, including Pennsylvania‘s agriculture secretary Dennis Wolff, who tried to ban rBST-free milk labeling on the grounds that “consumers are confused”. The statement by Agriculture Secretary Wolff was reported by pro-biotech site Earth Friendly-Farm Friendly which elaborated on the issues of rBGH/rBST labelling:

“Consumers are getting confused with the extra labels,” said Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Dennis Wolff. “They deserve a choice, and so do producers. But from the standpoint of safety, all milk is healthy milk. Our milk is a safe product. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is not in a position to say use rBST or not. The key word is: choice. I used rBST from day one of its approval to the last day that I milked cows. It was an important management tool on my dairy farm. What we oppose is the negative advertising or the selling of fear. If producers are asked to give up a production efficiency, and if that efficiency nets them $3000 or $10,000 a year for their dairy farm… That’s a lot of money.[47]

Proposed labeling changes have been floated by AFACT lobbyists in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, Missouri and Vermont thus far.[citation needed]

In October 2008, Monsanto sold this business, in full, to Eli Lilly for a price of $300 million plus additional considerations.[48]

[edit]Pollution in Anniston, Alabama

In 2002, The Washington Post carried a front page report on Monsanto’s legacy of environmental damage in Anniston, Alabama related to its legal production of polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), a chemical once used as a common electrical insulator, 40 years ago. Plaintiffs in a pending lawsuit provided documentation showing that the local Monsanto factory knowingly discharged both mercury and PCB-laden waste into local creeks for over 40 years.[49] In a story on 27 January, The New York Times reported that during 1969 alone Monsanto had dumped 45 tons of PCBs into Snow Creek, a feeder for Choccolocco Creek which supplies much of the area’s drinking water. The company also buried millions of pounds of PCB in open-pit landfills located on hillsides above the plant and surrounding neighborhoods.[50] In August 2003, Solutiaand Monsanto agreed to pay plaintiffs $700 million to settle claims by over 20,000 Anniston residents related to PCB contamination.[51]

[edit]Legal issues

Monsanto is notable for its involvement in high profile lawsuits, as both plaintiff and defendant. It has been involved in a number of class action suits, where fines and damages have run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, usually over health issues related to its products. Monsanto has also made frequent use of the courts to defend its patents, particularly in the area of biotechnology.

Monsanto has received media coverage for its alleged unfair suing of farmers, highlighted in the documentary The World according to Monsanto.[52]

[edit]As defendant

In 1971, the US government filed suit against Monsanto over the safety of its original product, saccharin; Monsanto eventually won, after several years in court.[53]

It was sued, along with Dow and other chemical companies by veterans for the side effects of its Agent Orange defoliant, used by the US military in the Vietnam War.[54]

Monsanto was the defendant in the longest civil jury trial in U.S. history, Kemner v. Monsanto. This case ran from February 1984 through October 1987. The case involved a group of plaintiffs who claimed to have been poisoned by dioxin in a 1979 chemical spill that occurred in Sturgeon, Missouri.[55]

In 2000, GLC sued Monsanto for the $71 million shortfall in expected sales.

In 2004, the world’s largest agrichemical company, Switzerland’s Syngenta, launched a US lawsuit charging Monsanto with using coercive tactics to monopolize markets.[56] There are several lawsuits going both ways between Monsanto and Syngenta.

In 2005, the US DOJ filed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement[57] in which Monsanto admitted to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1) and making false entries into its books and records (15 U.S.C § 78m(b)(2) & (5)).

In late 2006, the Correctional Tribunal of Carcassone, France, ordered two directors of Monsanto subsidiary Asgrow to pay a €15,000 fine related to their knowledge of the presence of unauthorized GMOs in bags of seeds imported by Asgrow on 13 April 2000.[58]

In November 2010, a federal judge ordered the destruction of plantings of genetically modified sugar beets developed by Monsanto after ruling previously that the U.S. Agriculture Department had illegally approved the biotech crop.[59]

[edit]As plaintiff

Since the mid-1990s, it has sued 145 individual US farmers for patent infringement in connection with its genetically engineered seed.[60] The usual claim involves violation of a technology agreement that prohibits farmers from saving seed from one season’s crop to plant the next, a common farming practice.[61] One farmer received an eight-month prison sentence for violating a court order to destroy seeds,[62] in addition to having to pay damages, when a Monsanto case turned into a criminal prosecution.[63]

In 2003, Monsanto sued Oakhurst Dairy in Maine for advertising that its milk products did not come from cows treated with bovine growth hormone, claiming that such advertising hurt its business. The president of Oakhurst responded by saying, “We ought to have the right to let people know what is and is not in our milk.”[64]

In 1998, Monsanto’s patented genes were discovered in the canola grown on Percy Schmeiser‘s farm. As a result, Monsanto sued Percy Schmeiser for patent infringement for growing genetically modified Roundup-resistant canola. The trial judge ruled that Schmeiser had intentionally planted the seeds, ruling that the “infringement arises not simply from occasional or limited contamination of his Roundup susceptible canola by plants that are Roundup resistant. He planted his crop for 1998 with seed that he knew or ought to have known was Roundup tolerant.”[12] This high profile case, Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, went to theSupreme Court level.

Monsanto representative Trish Jordan commented: “This is very good news for us, Mr. Schmeiser had infringed on our patent.” After years of legal wrangling, in 2004 the case was heard by the Canadian Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Monsanto, rejecting Schmeiser’s argument that by not using Roundup herbicide on the canola, he did not “use” the plant gene. The Court ruled that farming is an activity that requires human intervention, and so by planting the crops, Schmeiser was “using” the plant gene. However, Schmeiser also won a partial victory, with the Supreme Court disagreeing with the damages given by the trial judge. The Supreme Court stated that since Schmeiser did not gain any profit from the infringement, he did not owe Monsanto any damages. Though the amount of damages were low (C$19,382), this also meant that Schmeiser did not have to pay Monsanto’s substantial legal bills.

The case did cause Monsanto’s enforcement tactics to be highlighted in the media over the years it took to play out.[65]

Monsanto has asked Spanish customs officials to inspect soymeal shipments to determine if they use Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” technology.[citation needed]

[edit]Related legal actions
[edit]In USA

In 1997, it was alleged the news division of WTVT (Channel 13), a Foxowned station in Tampa, Florida, cooperated with Monsanto in suppressing an investigative report on the health risks associated with Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone product, Posilac.[66] Posilac, a synthetic hormone used to increase milk production in cows, while banned in many first-world countries, is used in the United States. Steve Wilson and Jane Akre reported on the dangers of the hormone. They were asked to recant their story and refused. Both reporters were eventually fired. Wilson and Akre alleged the firing was for retaliation, while WTVT contended they were fired for insubordination. The reporters then sued Fox/WTVT in Florida state court, claiming they could not be fired for refusing to do something that they believed to be illegal. In 2000, a Florida jury found that while there was no evidence Fox/WTVT had bowed to any pressure from Monsanto to alter the story, Akre, but not Wilson, was unjustly fired.[67] Fox appealed the decision citing that the FCC CODE that stated the news stations must report the truth, is just a “policy” not a law. The court overturned the decision.[68] The decision in Akre’s favor was then overturned in 2003 by an appeals court because thewhistleblower‘s statute under which the original case had been filed did not actually apply to the case.

[edit]Monsanto vs Andhra Pradesh Government in India

The state of Andhra Pradesh, India, at first resisted Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, and having failed to block imports of the seed, has more recently attempted to control its price. In 2005, after the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the Indian regulatory authority, released a fact-finding statement,[69] the state agriculture minister barred the company from selling cotton seeds in the state of Andhra Pradesh.[70]The order was later lifted. More recently, the Andhra Pradesh state government filed several cases[71] against Monsanto and its Mumbai based licensee Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds, after they challenged the order directing the company not to charge a trait price of more than Rs. 900 per pack of 450 grams of Bt. Cotton seed.[72] The Andhra Pradesh State Government has also sought a compensation package of about Rs 4.5 crore (about 1 Million US$) to be paid by the company to farmers affected in some districts.

[edit]In USA and Canada

On 30 March 2011 a group consisting of over 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations in Canada and the US, filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The plaintiffs say they are being forced to sue pre-emptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan.[73] On January 31st, 2012, in New York, a U.S. district court heard arguments to determine whether or not to proceed forward with the suit. [74] The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit on February 24. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald criticized the plaintiffs for a “transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”[75][76] The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and others already plan to appeal the decision.[77]

[edit]Dumping of toxic waste in the UK

Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto paid contractors to illegally dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing that their chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. TheEnvironment Agency said the chemicals were found to be polluting groundwater and the atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped.[78]

The Brofiscin quarry, near Cardiff, erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area, but the local community was unaware that the quarry housed toxic waste.

A UK government report shows that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs exclusively made by Monsanto, are leaking from one unlined porous quarry that was not authorized to take chemical wastes. It emerged that the groundwater has been polluted since the 1970s.[79] The government was criticised for failing to publish information about the scale and exact nature of this contamination. According to the Environment Agency it could cost £100m to clean up the site in south Wales, called “one of the most contaminated” in the UK.[80]

[edit]Indonesian bribing convictions

In January 2005, Monsanto agreed to pay a $1.5m fine for bribing an Indonesian official. Monsanto admitted a senior manager at Monsanto directed an Indonesian consulting firm to give a $50,000 bribe to a high-level official in Indonesia’s environment ministry in 2002, in a bid to avoid Environmental impact assessment on its genetically modified cotton. Monsanto told the company to disguise an invoice for the bribe as “consulting fees“. Monsanto also has admitted to paying bribes to a number of other high-ranking Indonesian officials between 1997 and 2002. Monsanto faced both criminal and civil charges from the Department of Justice and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Monsanto has agreed to pay $1m to the Department of Justice and $500,000 to the SEC to settle the bribe charge and other related violations.[81]

On 5 March 2008 the deferred prosecution agreement against Monsanto was dismissed with prejudice (unopposed by the Department of Justice) by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, thereby indicating that Monsanto had complied fully with the terms of the agreement.

[edit]Fined in France for false advertising

Monsanto was fined $19,000 in a French court on 26 January 2007 for misleading the public about the environmental impact of its herbicide Roundup. A former chairman of Monsanto Agriculture France was found guilty of false advertising for presenting Roundup as biodegradable and claiming that it left the soil clean after use.

Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought the case in 2001 on the basis that glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, is classed as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms” by the European Union. Monsanto’s French distributor Scotts France was also fined 15,000 euros. Both defendants were ordered to pay damages of 5,000 euros to the Brittany Water and Rivers association and 3,000 euros to the CLCV consumers group.[82]

[edit]Cooperation with BASF

Monsanto is cooperating with BASF in research, development and marketing of biotechnology.[83]

[edit]Resistance in Europe

Europeans have been resisting genetically modified food for a long time.[citation needed] Monsanto has been facing stiff resistance from the European Union over its portfolio of GM foods. Their approval is important for Monsanto as the EU’s position on GM foods influences the global debate. The GM industry has never gained wholehearted approval from the public in the EU. There have been several laws passed on this subject, and EU legislation of 2003 asked for strict rules on labeling, traceability and risk assessments of GM foods by all the biotech companies. The Regulation of 2004 laid down procedures on traceability and labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and all products produced using GMOs. The mandatory labeling legislation extends its requirement to all food and food ingredients produced from GMOs regardless of the detectable presence of DNA or protein within the final food product. These actions severely affected Monsanto as labeling foods as GM would stigmatise the foods.[84] In the EU, there has been a moratorium on the approval of new GM crops since 1998 caused by the public anxiety over the potential risks of GM foods.[85]

Among the documents obtained by Wikileaks include Monsanto asking the US government to maintain its strong pressure on the European Union legislation for the introduction of GMO foods.[86] After moves in France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety, the US embassy recommended that ‘we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU’.[87]

[edit]Soybean in Argentina

Monsanto claims one of its greatest success stories has been genetically modified soybean (Roundup Ready soya) grown and sold in Argentina, South Africa, and across the USA. There are claims that its use increased soya production by 75% and increased yields by 173% over five years until 2002, giving good profitability to farmers. This was good news for the farmers who saw GM soya as a cash crop which had a good export potential as feed for cattle. Therefore, Argentine farmers relied on GM soya as their only produce. In 2004, there were questions being raised about the actual benefits, scientists claimed that the consequences of growing RR soya in Argentina included a massive exodus of small farmers from the countryside because they could no longer make a living (as they could not afford GM soya) or were driven off their land.[88]

Monsanto reasoned that the soil degradation and increased use of pesticides was not due to the use of its GM Soya. It maintains that farmers need to rotate crops in order to allow the soil to recover. Farmers should grow GM soya and then rotate it with corn or other food crops. However, due to the growing demand of soya, farmers in Argentina did not rotate crops and grew only soya, resulting in damage to the soil.[89]

[edit]Criticisms

[edit]In Brazil

In 2003, a Brazilian organization of farmers protested Monsanto by invading a Monsanto research center in Goias.[90]

[edit]In China

Monsanto is criticized by Chinese economist Lang Xianping for having controlled the Chinese soybean market, and for trying to do the same to Chinese corn and cotton.[91]

[edit]In Germany

In 2004, Monsanto filed two patent applications for processes which controlled the breeding of pigs with a specific marker gene which attracted criticism from Greenpeace.[92] Both applications were sold to Newsham Genetics in 2007. Although one of the applications was objected to by the European Patent Office as relating to an essentially biological process excluded from patent protection and later abandoned,[93]the second application was granted in 2008[94] and became the target for demonstrations in Germany.[95] Protests were caused by allegations that Monsanto was patenting the breeding of all pigs, although German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner strongly opposes the patent.[96] Monsanto said that the patent applied only to pigs which were bred using a specific Monsanto technology capable of locating genes which increase pig size, but amid the controversy and misinformation have since declared they are “out of the pig business” after Monsanto sold Monsanto Choice Genetics to Newsham Genetics LC.[97][98][99]

[edit]In Haiti

After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, aid came from many places. Along with some national groups and the USAID, Monsanto looked to distribute seeds starting in May by donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds worth $4 million[100]. The reasoning behind the action was that Haitian farmers would not have sufficient seeds to plant after the disaster. According to several reports, the Haitians did indeed have enough seeds. Monsanto’s announcement came two months after the report, “A Rapid Seed Assessment in the Southern Department of Haiti” by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Southern Haiti was one of the worst places hit by the earthquake. CRS has experience in Haitian agricultural development and through this report and another released in June, they said that direct seed distribution should not take place. The reasoning was that the farmer’s have enough seeds and they also have a negative perception of external seeds. Additionally, they said that this disaster was not the appropriate time to introduce improved varieties on anything more than a small scale.

The seeds were considered hybrids. Emmanuel Prophete, head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Service National Semencier (SNS) was not opposed to the hybrid maize seeds because it at least doubles the yield of corn. Naturally, they require more water and fertilizer. Louise Sperling, Principal Researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) was not opposed to hybrids, but noted that most hybrids require extra water and better soils and that most of Haiti was not appropriate for maize hybrids. She was also concerned that these hybrids had not been tested before in Haiti. Prophete agreed that the seeds were not tested prior to distribution and said, “We are supposed to have a quarantine system, and all seeds should be tested for germination and adaptation before they are distributed…We don’t have the power to do that at this time.”[101]

Monsanto initially wanted to disperse genetically modified seeds (GMOs), but the Haitian government feared this would spark a rebellion. Of the seeds actually distributed, Monsanto stressed that these seeds were produced manually through cross-pollination, and were not GMOs. The seeds were distributed free of charge, which were in turn sold at a reduced price. In other words, the income was reinvested in local agriculture. Haitian farmers’ organizations say these seeds will not increase Haitian food sovereignty. Unlike the traditional Creole heirloom or organic seeds found in Haiti, the donated seeds from Monsanto cannot be reused each year, because they do not “breed true” or grow well in a second season. New seeds would have to be purchased each year, meaning that although the seeds were free initially, or bought at a reduced price, in the long run, it will cost the farmer money to keep buying new seeds. Additionally, the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture (MARDNR) issued a list of “approved” seeds, of which none of the maize are hybrids. Francesco Del Re of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said for its emergency seed distributions, only seeds on the MARDNR list were imported. He said, “…because the hybrids need to be renewed every year and do have to be bought by peasants every year.”

Another problem is that the pollen from the Monsanto seeds could contaminate local crops, preventing any crops to be replanted, and in turn making the entire country dependent upon Monsanto or another seed company. Furthermore, some of these seeds contain highly toxic fungicides such as Maxim in the corn seeds and thiram in the calypso tomato seeds. The EPA ruled that a special warning label must be used onpesticides containing thiram and it is banned in home garden products because most home gardeners do not own adequate protection [102] [103] [104] [101]

One of the country’s largest farmers associations held a demonstration on June 4, 2010 where thousands of people symbolically burned maize seeds. [101]

[edit]In India

Monsanto has had a controversial history in India, starting with the accusation that Monsanto used terminator genes in its seeds, causing demonstrations against the company. Later, its GM cotton seed was the subject of NGO agitation because of its higher cost. Indian farmers cross GM varieties with local varieties using plant breeding to yield better strains, an illegal practice termed “seed piracy”.[105][106] In 2009, high prices of Bt Cotton were blamed for forcing farmers of the district Jhabua into severe debts when the crops died due to lack of rain.[107]

In March 2010, Monsanto admitted that insects had developed resistance to the Bt Cotton planted in Gujarat. The company advised farmers to switch to its second generation of Bt cotton – Bolguard II – which had two resistance genes instead of one.[108] However, this advice was widely slammed by critics and even the Government of India who claimed that the admission by Monsanto was more of a business strategy. Maharastra Seeds, a Monsanto subsidiary, conducted several illegal trials in India and fields growing the GM seed were eventually burned in large scale protests.[109][110]

In February 2012, European and Indian activists are opposing a patent on virus resistant traits of indigenous melon varieties in India which was awarded to Monsanto. Monsanto acquired DeRuiter, a seed company, in 2008, who originally developed the patent. An application was filed with the European Patent Office in Munich on February 3rd. The activists claim it was not an invention of Monsanto but rather bio-piracy. Using conventional breeding methods, certain virus resistance was implemented from an Indian melon to other melons. European law prohibits patents on conventional breeding, in this case, traits on indigenous Indian melons . The activist claim it is bio-piracy because the plants originated in India and were registered in international seed-banks. [111]

[edit]Child labor

A subsidiary of Monsanto is alleged to employ child labor in the manufacture of cotton-seeds in India. The work involves handling of poisonous pesticides such as Endosulfan and the children get less than Rs.20 (less than half a US dollar) per day.[112]

[edit]Farmer suicides

Main article: Farmers’ suicides in India

A short documentary by Frontline (U.S. TV series) suggested that farmers using genetically modified seeds promoted by Cargill and Monsanto have led to rising debts and forced some into the equivalent of indentured servitude to the moneylenders.[113] Every thirty minutes an Indian farmer commits suicide and in the last sixteen years, more than a quarter of a million farmers have died.[114] Some claim a major cause is poor yields leading to mounting debt, an increased need for pesticides, and the higher cost of the Bt cotton seed sold by Monsanto.[115][116][117][118] Monsanto has responded by pointing to reports that link suicides to other factors, and argues that if it was the major cause of suicides then “why is it that Indian farmers represent the fastest-growing users of biotech crops in the world?”[114]

A report released by the International Food Policy Research Institute in October 2008 provided evidence that the cause of farmer suicide in India was due to several causes[clarification needed] and that the introduction of Bt cotton was not a major factor.[119] It argues that the suicides predate the introduction of the cotton in 2002 and has been fairly consistent since 1997.[119][120] Other studies also suggest the increase in farmer suicides is due to a combination of various socio-economic factors.[121] These include debt, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, the downturn in the urban economy forcing non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counseling services.[121][122]

[edit]In the United Kingdom

Prior to 1977 Monsanto dumped thousands of tons of toxic waste containing PCBs in a quarry near Groesfaen, Wales.[27]

[edit]In the United States

The Center for Food Safety[123] listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations.[27] The Center for Food Safety’s analyst stated that many innocent farmers settle with Monsanto because they cannot afford a time consuming lawsuit. Monsanto is frequently described by farmers as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” both because of these lawsuits and because of the questionable means they use to collect evidence of patent infringement.[27]

Monsanto is responsible for more than 50 United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites, attempts to clean up Monsanto Chemical’s formerly uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.[27]

As of May 2008, Monsanto is currently engaged in a campaign to prohibit dairies which do not inject their cows with artificial bovine growth hormone from advertising this fact on their milk cartons.[27] When theFederal Trade Commission did not side with Monsanto on this issue, the company started lobbying state lawmakers to implement a similar ban. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolfe attempted to prohibit dairies from using labels stating that their milk does not contain artificial bovine growth hormone, but public outcry led Governor Edward Rendell to step in and reverse his secretary’s position, stating: “The public has a right to complete information about how the milk they buy is produced.”[27]

In 2011, Monsanto was named “Worst Company of 2011” by environmental organization Natural Society for threatening human and environmental health, specifically their controversial seed varieties and the reported environmental consequence.[124]

[edit]Missouri

Gary Rinehart of Eagleville, Missouri was sued by Monsanto in 2002, which claimed he had violated their Roundup Ready Soybean patent. Rinehart was not a farmer or seed dealer, sharecropped land with his brother, but he still had to spend money for his legal defense. Monsanto eventually dropped the lawsuit, but never issued an apology, admitted to making a mistake, or was compelled to pay for Rinehart’s legal expenses. Saved seed was indeed found planted on the sharecropped farm, however the person responsible for the planted seed was Rinehart’s nephew, Tim.[125] The company has also been accused of showing up at farmers’ houses, making accusations, and demanding records.[125]

Monsanto sued the Pilot Grove Cooperative Elevator in Pilot Grove, Missouri, claiming that offering seed cleaning services to farmers was tantamount to inducing them to pirate Monsanto seeds. The Pilot Grove Cooperative Elevator had been cleaning seeds for decades before companies such as Monsanto could patent organisms.[27]

[edit]Illinois

In 1926, when environmental policy was generally governed by local governments, Monsanto Chemical Company founded and incorporated the town of Monsanto, later renamed Sauget, Illinois, to provide a more business friendly environment for one of its chemical plants. For years, the Monsanto plant in Sauget was the nation’s largest producer of polychlorinated biphenyls. And although polychlorinated biphenyls were banned in the 1970s, they remain in the water along Dead Creek in Sauget.[126]

[edit]Alabama

Monsanto is accused of encouraging residents of Anniston, Alabama to use soil known by the company to be contaminated with PCBs as topsoil.[27]

[edit]Political contributions

Monsanto gave $186,250 to federal candidates in the 2008 election cycle through its political action committee (PAC) – 42% to Democrats, 58% to Republicans. For the 2010 election cycle they gave $72,000 – 51% to Democrats, 49% to Republicans.[127]

[edit]Lobbying

The company spent $8,831,120 for lobbying in 2008. $1,492,000 was to outside lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists.[128]

Former Monsanto lobbyist Michael R. Taylor was appointed as a senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration (United States) Commissioner on food safety on 7 July 2009.[129]

[edit]Public officials formerly employed by Monsanto
  • Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.[130] which found that “newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.” This case benefitted all companies which profit from genetically modified crops, of which Monsanto is the largest.[27][130][131]
  • Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before he left to work for a law firm on gaining FDA approval of Monsanto’s artificial growth hormone in the 1980s. Taylor then became deputy commissioner of the FDA from 1991 to 1994.[27] Taylor was later re-appointed to the FDA in August 2009 by President Barack Obama.[132]
  • Dr. Michael A. Friedman was a deputy commissioner of the FDA before he was hired as a senior vice president of Monsanto.[27]
  • Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995 to 2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.[27]
  • Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was chairman and chief executive officer of G. D. Searle & Co., which Monsanto purchased in 1985. Rumsfeld personally made at least $12 million USD from the transaction.[27]

[edit]Sponsorships

Monsanto has been the corporate sponsor of many attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

At Disneyland they include:

And at Walt Disney World they include:

All attractions that the company has ever sponsored (except for the Magic Eye Theatre, in the Future World section of Epcot) were located in Tomorrowland.

Monsanto is cited as one of the major sponsors behind the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in many web sites but not in the home page of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.[133] Monsanto does share technology and patents with following companies mentioned in the referred document: The Australia based Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)[134] and the Swiss based company Syngenta AG[135]

[edit]Representation in the media

Documentaries:

Books:

[edit]Le Monde selon Monsanto

In March 2008, French journalist Marie-Monique Robin released the results of her three years of research worldwide into Monsanto. A book was published by La Découverte, a French editor, and a video documentary, Le Monde selon Monsanto (The World according to Monsanto), was released on DVD and shown on Arte, the Franco-German culture TV channel.[139][140]

It reveals numerous controversial facts about Monsanto. Marie-Monique Robin traveled the world to meet scientists and political figures in order to investigate the consequences of several Monsanto products. Those interviewed include Shiv Chopra, a Canadian researcher who was fired by Health Canada for revealing an attempted bribe by Monsanto regarding the attempted introduction of Bovine Growth Hormone into Canada. The author of the research met several independent scientists around the world who tried to warn the political authorities about the use of GM seeds. According to the journalist, most of these scientists actually lost their jobs as a consequence of their speaking out. The “revolving door syndrome” is also pointed out in the research as a threat to the quality and independence of the scientific conclusions about the effects of Monsanto products, especially those made by the Food and Drug Administration.

Robin travels to India, Mexico, Argentina, and Paraguay to see how Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have affected local farmers using it for their crops. The claim is that suicide rates of farmers in India have increased as farmers are finding it harder to earn a living using more expensive Monsanto seeds that despite claims still require specific pesticide and fertilizer (see above). Mexico, having banned GMOs, is trying to limit contamination and crossbreeding from subsidized U.S. GMO corn imported in via North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for eating. Argentinian farmers are giving up farming and moving to urban slums because they cannot compete with GM crops and are finding their farms, livestock, and children being negatively affected by pesticide runoff. Paraguay was forced to accept GMO crops as it was being anonymously imported and grown en masse, so not allowing its export would have negatively impacted the economy. In all cases genetic variation is reduced as a result of monocropping and ownership is increasingly concentrated.

Monsanto declined to participate in the documentary.

[edit]In popular culture

  • Mestizo band Mañana me Chanto together with Che Sudaka released a song entitled “Glifosato” criticizing the RoundUp series of products.
  • Sponsored the Circle-Vision 360° films “America the Beautiful” and “Magic Carpet ‘Round the World” in Tomorrowland, Walt Disney World.
  • In the 2008 film Michael Clayton, the fictional chemical company U-North is loosely based on Monsanto.[citation needed]
  • The folk band Seize The Day released a song entitled “Food `n health `n hope (Monsanto Song)”.
  • The documentary film Food, Inc. contains numerous references to Monsanto and its business practices.
  • Punk rock band The Adolescents released a song entitled “Monsanto Hayride” criticizing corporate wrongdoing.
  • Punk rock band Anti-Flag released a song entitled “The W.T.O. Kills Farmers” which accuses Monsanto of murder as a result of their business practices.
  • The Greek low-bap/rap band Active Member released a song entitled “Allios Skapste” criticizing Monsanto of its business practices.
  • In the second episode of the first season of Futurama, “The Series Has Landed“, a Moon carnival ride named “The Goophy Gopher Revue” is said to have been sponsored/owned by “Monsanto”.[141]
  • In the 2010 Indian film Peepli Live, the head of an Indian state asks his assistant to award all government agricultural contracts to a company called ‘Somanto’.
  • TV Show CSI: Miami (season 8) episode Bad Seed involves a corporation using tactics similar to Monsanto’s.
  • In the 2008 French documentary film “The World According to Monsanto”, Marie-Monique Robin shows the corruption of various government officials & the silencing of dissenting scientists by Monsanto. It also shows the effect Monsanto has had on some of the world’s agricultural markets. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1189345/
  • Folk artist Old Man Luedecke released a song entitled “Monsanto Jones,” criticizing Monsanto’s business practices by way of making light of a character named Monsanto Jones.

[edit]See also

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Agriculture and Agronomy portal

[edit]References and notes

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  29. ^ Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Michaud DS, Deroo B, Rosner B, Speizer FE, Pollak M (May 1998). “Circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I and risk of breast cancer”. Lancet 351 (9113): 1393–6. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)10384-1. PMID 9593409.
  30. ^ Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Gann PH, Ma J, Wilkinson P, Hennekens CH, Pollak M (January 1998). “Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study”.Science 279 (5350): 563–6. doi:10.1126/science.279.5350.563.PMID 9438850.
  31. ^ Vicini J., Etherton T., Kris-Etherton P., Ballam J., Denham S., Staub R., Goldstein D., Cady R., McGrath M., Lucy M. (July 2008).“Survey of retail milk composition as affected by label claims regarding farm-management practices”. J Am Diet Assoc 108(7): 1198–203. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.021.PMID 18589029.
  32. ^ “Frustrations Vented Over Questionable Milk Marketing Practices – October 26, 2006”. Earthfarmfriendly.com. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  33. ^ Grunwald, Michael (1 January 2002). “Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution”. Washington Post. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  34. ^ Sack, Kevin (27 January 2002). “PCB Pollution Suits Have Day in Court in Alabama”. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2008.
  35. ^ “$700 million deal announced in Anniston PCBs cases”. Associated Press. 19 August 2003. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
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  37. ^ Monsanto’s Greatest Hits Metro, Silicon Valley’s Weekly Newspaper. 11–17 May 2000.
  38. ^ Fawthrop, Tom (14 June 2004). “Vietnam’s war against Agent Orange”. BBC News.
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  42. ^ “The World Trade Organization at Cancún – Agriculture and the Environment”. Sierra Club of/du Canada. Retrieved Saturda, 23 October 2010.
  43. ^ Peter Shinkle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (7 May 2003). “Farmer who lied in dispute with Monsanto will go to prison”. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  44. ^ Democracy Now, Headlines (14 July 2003). “Monsanto Sues Milk Producer For Advertising It Sells Hormone-Free Milk”. Democracy Now. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
  45. ^ Gar Smith (2001 autumn). “Percy Schmeiser vs. Monsanto”. Earth Island Journal.
  46. ^ “Wilson, Akre describe corporate influence over news”. Proliberty.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
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  48. ^ “Angry Andhra uproots Monsanto”. Hyderabad. 23 June 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  49. ^ “India PM pledge over suicide farmers”. BBC News. BBC. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  50. ^ Vidal, John (12 February 2007). “The wasteland: how years of secret chemical dumping left a toxic legacy”. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  51. ^ “Brofiscin Quarry”. Environment Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  52. ^ Vidal, John (12 February 2007). “Monsanto dumped toxic waste in UK”. Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2009.
  53. ^ “Monsanto fined $1.5m for bribery”. BBC. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 28 September 2007.
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  62. ^ Peter, Laurence (16 April 2009). “Germans protest over pig patent”. BBC News. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  63. ^ gb/ncy, dpa/epd/Reuters/AP. “German farm minister rejects pig patent | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 18.04.2009”. Dw-world.de. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  64. ^ [2] Pigs and Patents
  65. ^ Patent On Pigs? Author: Monsantoco, April 2009 Monsanto
  66. ^ “Jhabua on its way to becoming Vidarbha-II?”. Hindu.com. 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
  67. ^ “Bt cotton ineffective against pest in parts of Gujarat, admits Monsanto”. The Hindu (Chennai, India). 6 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  68. ^ “India cheers while Monsanto burns?”. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  69. ^ “Monsanto ‘admission’ has business motives?”. The Hindu(Chennai, India). 12 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  70. ^ P. Sainath (August 2004). “Seeds of suicide – I I”. InfoChange News and Features.
  71. ^ a b Guillaume P. Gruère, Purvi Mehta-Bhatt and Debdatta Sengupta (2008). “Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: Reviewing the Evidence”. International Food Policy Research Institute.
  72. ^ Sheridan, C. (2009). “Doubts surround link between Bt cotton failure and farmer suicide”. Nat Biotechnol. 27 (1): 9–10.doi:10.1038/nbt0109-9. PMID 19131979.
  73. ^ Mishra, Srijit (2007). “Risks, Farmers’ Suicides and Agrarian Crisis in India: Is There A Way Out?”. Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR).
  74. ^ Heather (30 September 2010). “Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Ban On rBGH-Free Labels On Dairy Products”. The center for food safety. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
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Notes

[edit]Bibliography

****************

http://bestmeal.info/monsanto/facts.shtml

Top 10 Facts YOU Should Know About Monsanto

Some GMO foods have been proven in laboratory tests to…
CAUSE: cancer, sterility, miscarriages, seizures and even death!

RoundUp Ready Seeds

Principal Subsidiaries: Calgene Inc. (leader in plant biotech); Asgrow Seed Co.; DEKALB Genetics Corp. (second-largest seed/corn company in the United States); DEKALB Swine Breeders Inc.;Nutrasweet Co. (aspartame); Monsanto Agricultural Co.; G. D. Searle & Co.

Top 10 Facts YOU Should Know About Monsanto

#1: No GMO Labeling Laws in the USA!Diet Dr. Pepper Saccharine CAUSES Cancer in laboratory animals

Foods containing GMOs don’t have to be labeled in the USA. Monsanto has fought hard to prevent labeling laws. This is alarming, since approximately 70% of processed foods in the US now contain GMO ingredients. The European Union, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and many other nations now require mandatory GMO labeling.

#2: Lack of Adequate FDA / USDA
Safety Testing

Sweet 'N Low Aspartame
In May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA’s anti consumer right-to-know policy which stated that GMO foods need NOT be labeled nor safety-tested.

Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as Arpad Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research revealing severe damage to animals (monkeys, lab rats) fed GMO foods including: sterilization, miscarriages, cancer, NEW allergies, seizures, and DEATH!!!

Monsanto GMO Corn Safety Testing on Children

#3: Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out
of Business

Farmer's Markets
100s of American farmers have been sued. Century-old seed stocks were destroyed. 100,000s of Indian farmers commit suicide by drinking monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide after massive GMO crop failures bankrupted them. Monsanto uses the courts aggressively. It has sued hundreds of American farmers for patent infringement in connection with its GE seed. In a high profile case in Canada, which Monsanto won at the Supreme Courtlevel,

Monsanto sued an independent farmer, Percy Schmeiser, for patent infringement for growing GMO genetically modified Roundup resistant canola in 1998. Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian farmer whose canola fields were contaminated with Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready Canola by pollen from a nearby GMO farm. Monsanto successfully argued in a lawsuit that Schmeiser violated their patent rights, and forced Schmeiser to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Mr. Schmeiser maintained that this was accidental. He testified that in the previous year, 1997, he had suspected contamination by genetically modified Roundup resistant canola along the roadside in one of his fields and hence hadsprayed along the field edge with Roundup, whereupon he found that about 60% of the canola survived. The farm hand performing the harvest saved only seed from this contaminated roadside swathe for replanting in the next year, 1998, and presumably this seed was genetically modified Roundup resistant seed.

The court found that Mr. Schmeiser and his farming company (damages were assessed only against the company as Mr. Schmeiser was found to be acting in his capacity as director), “knew or ought to have known” the nature of the seed which was planted in 1998, and that by planting, growing and harvesting it, there was infringement of Monsanto’s patent on canola cells genetically modified for Roundup resistance. This finding was upheld at the appellate court level.

Monsanto Lawsuits Against Farmers In the United States

This type of biotech bullying is happening all over North America. The non-profit Center for Food Safety listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations. The Center for Food Safety’s analyst stated that many innocent farmers settle with Monsanto because they cannot afford a time consuming lawsuit. Monsanto is frequently described by farmers as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” both because of these lawsuits and because of the questionable means they use to collect evidence of patent infringement.

Monsanto Small Farmers

Indian Farmer Suicides After GMO BT Cotton Crop Failures

There have been 125,000+ small farmer suicides in the past decade, and about 4000+/year *REPORTED* in India. In 2006, 1,044 suicides were reported in Vidarbha alone – that’s one suicide every eight hours.

Some struggles facing Indian farmers are detailed in the article “Seeds of Suicide: India’s Desperate Farmers” on Frontline. The transition to using the latest pest-resistant seeds and the necessary herbicides has been difficult. Farmers have used genetically modified seeds promoted by Cargill and Monsanto hoping for greater yields. Resulting debts from such gambles with genetically modified seeds have led some farmers into the equivalent of indentured servitude. More than 125,000+ farmers have committed suicide, which some claim is mostly due to mounting debt caused by the poor yields, increased need for pesticides, and the higher cost of the Bt cotton seed sold by Monsanto.

Roundup Ready CanolaShankara, like millions of other Indian farmers, had been promised previously unheard of harvests and income if he switched from farming with traditional [ORGANIC REUSABLE] seeds to planting GM [GENETICALLY MODIFIED STERILE CARCINOGENIC NON-ORGANIC] seeds instead. Beguiled by the promise of future riches, he borrowed money in order to buy the GM seeds.

But when the harvests failed, Shankara was left with spiralling debts – and no income. So Shankara became one of an estimated 125,000+ farmers to take their own life as a result of the ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops…. ‘We are ruined now,’ said [another farmer’s] 38-year-old wife. ‘We bought 100 grams of BT Cotton. Our crop failed twice. My husband had become depressed. He went out to his field, lay down in the [GMO BT] cotton andswallowed insecticide [MONSANTO’s ROUNDUP]”.

A report released by the International Food Policy Research Institute in October 2008 provided evidence that the cause of farmer suicide in India was due to several causes and that the introduction of Bt cotton was not a major factor. It argues that the suicides predate the introduction of the cotton in 2002 and has been fairly consistent since 1997. Other studies also suggest the increase in farmer suicides is due to a combination of various socio-economic factors. These include debt, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, the downturn in the urban economy forcing non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counseling services.

  1. Seeds of Suicide: India’s desperate farmers from the Public Broadcasting Service
  2. Farmer’s Suicides“. Z Magazine.
  3. Indian Farmer’s Final Solution“. countercurrents.org.
  4. Rough Cut Seeds of Suicide India’s desperate farmers“. PBS Frontline. July 26, 2005. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  5. P. Sainath (August 2004). “Seeds of Suicide II “. InfoChange News and Features.
  6. Guillaume P. Gruère, Purvi Mehta-Bhatt and Debdatta Sengupta (2008). “Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: Reviewing the Evidence“. International Food Policy Research Institute.
  7. Mishra, Srijit (2007). “Risks, Farmers’ Suicides and Agrarian Crisis in India: Is There A Way Out?“. Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR).
#4: Monsanto Products Pollute the
Developing World

Monsanto is responsible for more than 50 United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites, attempts to clean up Monsanto Chemical’s formerly uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Monsanto’s deadly legacy includes the production of Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, and dioxin. Now massive aerial spraying of Roundup in Colombia is being used by the US and the Colombian government as a counter-insurgency tactic, contaminating food crops and poisoning villagers.

agent orange
1961-1971: Agent Orange was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides” employed in the Herbicidal Warfare program of the Vietnam War. Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the two largest producers of Agent Orange for the U.S. military. According to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 deaths and disabilities, and500,000 children born with birth defects.

Monsanto Pirates

1969: Monsanto produces Lasso herbicide, better known as Agent Orange, which was used as defoliant by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War. “[Lasso’s] success turns around the struggling Agriculture Division,” Monsanto’s web page reads.

1987: Monsanto is one of the companies named in an $180 million settlement for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Monsanto’s PCBs can be found polluting every corner of the Earth from the penguins in Antarctica, to the Arctic polar bears at the north pole, to you and your children. Dioxin offgasses from plastic food containers because our plastics are made from Rockefeller’s petroleum fossil fuel OIL! BPA is a sex hormone that migrates from plastic food containers (baby bottles, medical devices) into our food, and finally into our bodies.

1976: Monsanto produces Cycle-Safe, the world’s first plastic soft-drink bottle. The bottle, suspected of posing a **CANCER** risk, is banned the following year by the FDA.

Biomass like sugarcane or hemp are far superior replacements for industrial monsanto crops like soy (most “vegetable” oil), corn (HFCS), cotton (seed oil), canola (oil), alfalfa (fodder) – BUT biomass like hemp do NOT need herbicides* (Roundup), pesticides*, NOR the phosphate* fertilizers [***ALL*** made from petroleum fossil fuels] – and plastic bottles and food containers made from BIOMASS are not only **biodegradable**… they are so non-toxic (no BPA, PCBs, dioxin) and so nutrient rich that they’re natural fertilizers… plus EDIBLE!

#5: Monsanto Blocking Government
Regulations

Monsanto also has strong ties to the core players in the U.S. administration of George W. Bush, including John Ashcroft,Donald Rumsfeld, Ann Veneman, Tommy Thompson, and Clarence Thomas, a former attorney for Monsanto who was appointed to the Supreme Court by George H. W. Bush.

A revolving door exists between Monsanto and U.S. regulatory and judicial bodies making key decisions. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a former Monsanto lawyer, was the one who wrote the majority opinion on a key Monsanto case. Michael Taylor once worked for the FDA, later represented Monsanto as a lawyer, then returned as theFDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy when rBGH was granted approval.

Monsanto’s Monster Lobbying Budget

Monsanto spent $8,831,120 for lobbying in 2008. $1,492,000 was to outside lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists.

Former Monsanto lobbyist Michael R. Taylor was appointed as a senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration (United States) Commissioner on food safety on July 7, 2009.

Monsanto’s Monster Political Contributions

Monsanto gave $186,250 to federal candidates in the 2008 election cycle through its political action committee (PAC) – 42% to Democrats, 58% to Republicans. For the 2010 election cycle they have given $72,000 – 51% to Democrats, 49% to Republicans.

Public Officials Formerly EMPLOYED by Monsanto

  • Justice Clarence Thomas worked as an attorney for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas wrote the majority opinion in the 2001 Supreme Court decision J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. | J. E. M. AG SUPPLY, INC. V. PIONEER HI-BREDINTERNATIONAL, INC. which found that “newly developed plant breeds are patentable under the general utility patent laws of the United States.” This case benefitted all companies which profit from genetically modified crops (GMO), of which Monsanto is one of the largest.
  • Michael R. Taylor was an assistant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner before he left to work for a law firm on gaining FDA approval of Monsanto’s artificial growth hormone in the 1980s. Taylor then became deputy commissioner of the FDA from 1991 to 1994. Taylor was later re-appointed to the FDA in August 2009 by President Barack Obama.
  • Dr. Michael A. Friedman was a deputy commissioner of the FDA before he was hired as a senior vice president of Monsanto.
  • Linda J. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before she was a vice president at Monsanto from 1995-2000. In 2001, Fisher became the deputy administrator of the EPA.
  • Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (under President Ford AND Bush II) was chairman and chief executive officer of G. D. Searle & Co., which Monsanto purchased in 1985. Rumsfeld personally made at least $12 million USD from the transaction.
#6: Monsanto Guilty of False
Advertising & Scientific FRAUD

Monsanto ROundup Herbicide KILLS ALL ORGANICS!France’s highest court ruled in 2009 that Monsanto had lied about the safety of its weed killer Roundup. The court confirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide as “biodegradable”.

RoundUp herbicide KILLS anything that is ORGANIC. “RoundUp Ready” crops are GMOs that have a resistance to RoundUp – usually by mixing the food (corn) with BT (bacillus thuringiensis) bacteria. FYI RoundUp is made from Rockefeller’s fossil-fuel petroleum OIL. RoundUp foods are corn, soy, alfalfa, canola, and cottonseed oil… if it’s in a box or a can = you can bet it’s GMO.

Difference between regulatory registered
and commercialized formulations

In November 2009, a French environment group (MDRGF) accused Monsanto of using chemicals in Roundup formulations not disclosed to the country’s regulatory bodies, and demanded the removal of those products from the market.

False Advertising

In 1996, Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a law suit by the New York State attorney general. Monsanto had made claims that its spray-on glyphosate based herbicides, including Roundup, were safer than table salt and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish.

Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought a case in France in 2001 for presenting Roundup asbiodegradable and claiming that it left the soil clean after use; glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, is classed by the European Union as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms“. In January 2007, Monsanto was convicted of false advertising. The result was confirmed in 2009.

*Scientific FRAUD*

On two occasions, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has caught scientists deliberatelyfalsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate. In the first incident involving Industrial Biotest Laboratories, an EPA reviewer stated after finding “routine falsification of data” that it was “hard to believe the scientific integrity of the studies when they said they took specimens of the uterus from male rabbits”. In the second incident of falsifying test results in 1991, the owner of the lab (Craven Labs), and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts, the owner was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $50,000, the lab was fined $15.5 million dollars and ordered to pay $3.7 million dollars in restitution. Craven laboratories performed studies for 262 pesticide companies including Monsanto.

Monsanto has stated that the studies have been repeated, and that Roundup’s EPA certification does not now use any studies from Craven Labs or IBT. Monsanto also said that the Craven Labs investigation was started by the EPA after a pesticide industry task force discovered irregularities.

#7: Consumers Reject Bovine Growth
Hormone rBGH in Milk

In the wake of mass consumer pressure, major retailers such as Safeway, Publix, Wal-Mart, and Kroger banned store brand milk products containing Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered hormone rBGH. Starbucks, under pressure from the OCA and our allies, has likewise banned rBGH milk.

NO rBSTA recent court ruling found that there **ARE** THREE differences
between ORGANIC and rbST/rBGH monsanto pus milk:

  1. HORMONES in rBGH milk can cause CANCER!
  2. 3%- 20% PUS content (cow white blood cells)
  3. rBGH milk has DEPLETED NUTRITIONAL VALUE!!!

As of May 2008, Monsanto is currently engaged in a campaign to prohibit dairies which do not inject their cows with artificial bovine growth hormone from advertising this fact on their milk carton labels.

When the Federal Trade Commission did not side with Monsanto on this issue, Monsanto started lobbying state lawmakers to implement a similar ban. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolfe attempted to prohibit dairies from using labels stating that their milk does not contain artificial bovine growth hormone (rbST/rBGH), but public outcry led Governor Edward Rendell to step in and reverse his secretary’s position, stating: “The public has a right to complete information about how the milk they buy is produced.”

#8: GMO Crops Do Not Increase Yields

Do you know what a ***YIELD DRAG*** is? The last batch of GMO corn in South Africa came up 80% SEEDLESS. South African farmers suffered millions of dollars in lost income when 82,000 hectares of genetically-manipulated corn (maize) failed to produce hardly any seeds.

Terminator SeedsA major UN / World Bank sponsored report compiled by 400 scientists and endorsed by 58 countries concluded that GM crops have little to offer to the challenges of poverty, hunger, and climate change. Better alternatives are available, and the report championed organic farming as the sustainable way forward for developing countries. One of the best options is organic Permaculture.

In 1999, a review of Roundup Ready soybean crops found that, compared to the top conventional varieties, they had a 6.7% lower yield. This so called “yield drag” follows the same pattern observed when other traits are introduced into soybeans by conventional breeding. Monsanto claims later patented varieties yield 7-11% higher than their poorly performing initial varieties, closer to those of conventional farming, although the company refrains from citing actual yields. Monsanto’s 2006 application to USDA states that RR2 (mon89788) yields 1.6 bu less than A3244, the conventional variety that the trait is inserted into.

This concentration of corporate power drives UP costs for farmers AND consumers. Retail prices for Roundup have increased from just $32 per gallon in December 2006, to $45 per gallon a year later, to $75 per gallon by June 2008 – a 134% price hike in less than 2 years. Because gene technologies can be patented, they also concentrate corporate power – by 2000 five pesticide companies, including Monsanto, controlled over 70% of all patents on agricultural biotechnology. And this concentration again drives up costs. According to Keith Mudd of the U.S.-based Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), “The lack of competition and innovation in the marketplace has reduced farmers’ choices and enabled Monsanto to raise prices unencumbered.”

GenuityAt a July 2008 meeting, Monsanto officials announced plans to raise the average price of some of the company’s GM maize (corn) varieties a whopping 35%, by $95-100 per bag, to top $300 per bag. Fred Stokes of OCM describes the implications for farmers: “A $100 price increase is a tremendous drain on rural America. Let’s say a farmer in Iowa who farms 1,000 acres plants one of these expensive corn varieties next year. The gross increased cost is more than $40,000. Yet there’s no scientific basis to justify this price hike. How can we let companies get away with this?” What holds good for maize, also holds good for other GM crops. The average price for soybean seed, the largest GM crop in the US, has risen by more than 50% in just 2 years from 2006 to 2008 – from $32.30 to $49.23 per planted acre.

Patenting also inhibits public sector research and further undermines the rights of farmers to save and exchange seeds. Monsanto devotes an annual budget of $10 million dollars to harassing, intimidating, suing – and in some cases bankrupting – American farmers over alleged improper use of its patented seeds.

Recent price hikes have taken place in the context of a global food crisis marked by rapid food price inflation, which has exacerbated extreme poverty and hunger, and increased social tensions. The World Bank attributes 75% of this global food price inflation to “biofuels”, and Monsanto has been at the very heart of the “biofuels” lobby, particularly the lobby for corn ethanol. Monsanto has been accused of both contributing to and benefiting from the food crisis, while simultaneously using it as a PR platform from which to promote GM crops as the solution to the crisis.

In 2008, the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations condemned corporate profiteering: “The essential purpose of food, which is to nourish people, has been subordinated to the economic aims of a handful of multinational corporations that monopolize all aspects of food production, from seeds to major distribution chains, and they have been the prime beneficiaries of the world crisis. A look at the figures for 2007, when the world food crisis began, shows that corporations such as Monsanto and Cargill, which control the cereals market, saw their profits increase by 45% and 60%, respectively.”

New York Times Superweed Map

Actual USDA Releases 2010 Crop Yield Reports

Corn: 457.6 million bushels, compared to 446.76 million in 2009; average yield of 143.0 bushels per acre, compared to 150.0 in August and 153.0 last year; harvested area of 3.2 million acres, compared to 2.92 million a year ago.

Soybeans: 228.900 million acres, compared to 230.550 million in 2009; average yield of 42.0 bushels per acre, compared to 42.0 in August and 43.5 last year; harvested area of 5.450 million acres, compared to 5.3 million a year ago.

#9: Monsanto Controls U.S. Soy
Market

Roundup Ready SoybeansAlmost any food with oil in it is either Monsanto GMO soy, Monsanto GMO canola, or MonsantoGMO cottonseed oil. The bottle that says pure “vegetable oil” is usually 100% GMO soy. even the “olive oil” mayonnaise lists soy as the second ingredient after water. a safer GREENER plant to make these products out of is organic hemp oil, which would actually treat depression rather than causing cancer, sterility, and NEW allergies.

Soy protein is used in a variety of foods such as salad dressings, soups, imitation meats, beverage powders, cheeses, non-dairy creamer, frozen desserts, whipped topping, infant formulas,breads, breakfast cereals, pastas, and pet foods.

Soy protein is also used for emulsification and texturizing. Specific applications include adhesives, asphalts, resins, cleaning materials, cosmetics, inks, pleather, paints, paper coatings, pesticides / fungicides, plastics, polyesters, and textile fibers.

A 2001 literature review suggested that women with current or past breast cancer should be aware of the risks ofpotential tumor growth when taking soy products, based on the effect of phytoestrogens to promote breast cancer cell growth in animals.

In 1996, when Monsanto began selling Roundup Ready soybeans, only 2% of soybeans in the US contained their patented gene. By 2008, over 90% of soybeans in the US contained Monsanto’s GMO gene.

The United States (93%) and Argentina (98%) produce almost exclusively GM soybeans. In these countries, GM soybeans are approved without restrictions and are treated just like conventional soybeans. Producers and government officials in the US and Argentina do not see a reason to keep GM and conventionally bred cultivars separate – whether during harvest, shipment, storage or processing. Soybean imports from these countries generally contain a high amount of GM content – which is WHY GMO CONTAMINATED food shipments from the USA are generally rejected in (better educated) countries such as UK, Germany, France, Russia, China, and even African countries.

Over half of the world’s 2007 soybean crop (58.6%) was genetically modified (GMO), a higher percentage than for any other crop. Each year, EU Member States import approximately 40 million tons of soy material, primarily destined for use as cattle, swine, and chicken feed. Soybeans are also used to produce many food additives.

In 2007, 216 million tons of soybeans were produced worldwide. The world’s leading soybean producers are the United States (33%), Brazil (27%), Argentina (21%), and China (7%). India and Paraguay are also noteworthy soybean producers.

Worldwide soybean production: The first genetically modified soybeans were planted in the United States in 1996. More than a decade later, GM soybeans are planted in 9 countries covering more than 60 million hectares. These GM soybeans possess a gene that confers [MONSANTO RoundUp] herbicide resistance.

#10: Monsanto’s GMO Foods Cause
NEW Food Allergies

In March 1999, UK researchers at the York Laboratory were alarmed to discover that reactions to soy had skyrocketed by 50% over the previous year. Genetically modified soy had recently entered the UK from US imports and the soy used in the study was largely GMO. Aspartame is also known to cause NEW allergies and hives by the “reported cases” at the FDA.

Some GMO foods have been proven in laboratory tests (on rats AND mammals including monkeys) to CAUSE: NEW allergies, cancer, sterility (consumers losing their ability to get pregnant and have babies), miscarriages, seizures, and even death!

Poisoned by Monsanto GMO Food

Click here to read the FULL HISTORY of Monsanto (1901-2011)

Food Documentary Movies (click to watch)

Food Inc. Documentary
The World According to Monsanto
The Future of Food

Seeds of Deception
Sweet Misery A Poisoned World
Seeds of Destruction

Seeds of Deception
By Jeffrey M. Smith

Monsanto Informational Resources:

Monsanto’s Dark History | 10 Facts You Should Know About Monsanto
GMO Foods | Monsanto’s rBST/rBGH Pus Milk | Monsanto’s Aspartame
Documentary Movies About Monsanto | Books About Monsanto

please ask if you want more resources…

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