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Is Monsanto Unstoppable?

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday October 23rd, 2009 | 4 Comments

roundup-monsanto

The French documentary, The World According to Monsanto (Le Monde du Monsanto), calls the agrichemical company, Monsanto, “one of the most controversial companies in the industrial age.” The reason Monsanto is so controversial can best be explained by listing the products it has created: Roundup, genetically engineered seeds, Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Monsanto is still a controversial company. A recent ruling in France’s highest court found Monsanto has not been truthful about the safety of its herbicide Roundup. The ruling confirmed a previous judgment against Monsanto that it falsely advertised Roundup as biodegradable and claimed it “left the soil clean.” The court fined the company 15,000 euros ($22,400).

A French environmental group sued Monsanto in 2001, claiming Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, is classed “dangerous for the environment” by the European Union (EU). Monsanto reported a fourth quarter loss of $233 million, “driven mostly by a drop in sales of its Roundup brand,” according to the BBC. Stil, Roundup is the world’s best selling herbicide.

The state attorney general of New York in 1996 fined Monsanto $50,000 for its advertisement which claimed its glyphosate base spray-on herbicides, including Roundup, were safer than table salt.

U.S. Department of Justice investigating Monsanto

Recently, Christine Varney, chief of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division said that “competition issues affecting agriculture have been a priority for me.” Monsanto revealed earlier this month that the DOJ is questioning it for possible violations of anti-trust laws related to its control of genetically engineered seeds.

In 2007, Monsanto acquired the cottonseed company Delta and Pine Land and controlled half of the U.S. cottonseed market as a result. Federal regulators required the company to divest itself of a cottonseed company it already owned which controlled 12 percent of the market, plus amend its licensing policies to allow other companies to combine Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds with their own.

Monsanto sued DuPont for intellectual property infringement, and DuPont countersued, accusing Monsanto of unlawful anti-competitive behavior. Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company and fifth largest agrochemical company. DuPont is world’s second largest seed company and sixth largest agrochemical company.

Worldwide protests held against Monsanto on October 16

October 16 was declared International Food Day by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. In honor of the day, La Via Campesina mobilized allies globally to protest Monsanto and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Actions were held in at least 20 countries and regions, including in Maine and Wisconsin.

“It’s time for all civil society to recognize the gravity of this situation, global capital should not control our food, nor make decisions behind closed doors. The future of our food, the protection of our resources and especially our seeds, are the right of the people,” said Dena Hoff, coordinator of Via Campesina North America.

This is the first installment of a series about Monsanto and other large agrochemical companies, including DuPont.


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Categorized: Policy & Government|

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  • lo

    Let them eat corn…. yeah we will see what happens when they lose this one

  • Charles Jordan

    What do you think will happen when a company like Monsanto donates millions in lobbying in Washington? Do you think our good Congresspeople and Senators will do anything?

  • Uncle B

    Monsanto’s power, based on the strength of the American Dollar, is about to crest and fall in the world! We will no longer have to contend with these Yankee Doodle Carpet Baggers! India has ousted them already! The oil barons tire of their money-printing sprees, one sided economic games, and as the world watches they are imploding upon themselves, unable to even maintain car manufacturing at home, where once they supplied the world! Their Military Powers, once legendary, now depend on the oil taps in OPEC’s hands for fuel, and the atomic submarines they harbor with great delight are unusable save for total destruction of mankind! And countered by many countries with missile capabilities to be certain, but an unusable weapon due to radiation backlash, and climate change! The Monsanto-Americans stand, over-fed, consuming 80% of the worlds resources for their survival, with a dollar so devalued by their own printing presses as to no longer command any resources from others, and about to fail as a nation internally, unable to do upkeep on infrastructure, medical care for the humble among them, and unmerciful towards their own kind when in need! Sad, filthy, polluted, wasteful and unsustainable society of slothful high caloric huge sized beings facing evolutionary facts of life! They are on the whole unsustainable, even in a self-less effort by all humanity! We simply cannot afford them any longer! Monsanto and seed manipulations have proven disastrous even to the already self – sustaining Indian population! Americans, seeking ROI, and farming by accountancies equations in place of Agricultural Sciences rules, are guilty of a crime against their very own survival! The fvcking fools salted fields in California out of greed for ROI! Good, self-sustaining, top-soil ruined forever for a short sighted ten year ROI gain! The assholes deserve what is coming to them, planned obsolescent cars, homes, McMansions in place of Earth-Ark like Survival Units, and all! As the chasms of Hell close over them, their screeches for More! More! will be heard echoing off the walls of Hell! Too greedy to save themselves! too dumb to understand sustainability, too propagandized by their own advertising propaganda to save even their own asses! Sad – For I am one of them too, caught in the irreversible spiral to the bottom, the end of an Empire!

  • Steven Rose, Jr.

    I just heard about this one on UC Davis’s KDVS radio earlier this evening. It’s scary and angering how a company can be so dishonest with the entire consumer masses. It’s scary that natural seeds are being engineered to fit technology and angering that companies and entrepreneurs try to put legal ownership on the seeds themselves, even those ones that naturally migrate onto other peoples’ property! It’s things like this kind of genetic engineering that causes corporations to put ownership on nature, including bastardised (genetically engineered) nature such as these seeds.

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