Updated: Jul 26
Monsanto is an American agricultural biotechnology corporation.
To cut right to the chase, they are most hated for their success related to genetically modified organisms GMO's.
Currently there is a Monsanto Protection Act (signed in 2016). This law removes all Monsanto's liability of negative environmental or human impacts that could have resulted from the production or use of their products. That just shows you how powerful these companies are within our government systems.
Apparently Monsanto has changed their name because they are so well known and hated. Here are some shocking facts I have found reading books and browsing the web:
They created "Agent Orange" (Dioxin) a chemical spray used in guerilla warfare in Vietnam. It was used to clear forests and villages. It killed and disfigured millions of Vietnamese people.
They (along with other companies) manufactured DDT in 1944, an insecticide used by soldiers to prevent lice and mosquito bites. By 1970 it was banned since we realized it was actually toxic.
Monsanto was involved in the creation of the first nuclear bomb.
Monsanto developed saccharin and aspartame. These are artificial sweeteners that are still used today in junk food, gum, medicine, toothpastes, etc... however they are on the National Institute of Health's carcinogen list.
This one really pisses me off. Monsanto's vision of the future is plastic-based. They produce polystyrene, a non-biodegradable petroleum-based plastic used to make styrofoam, fibreglass, rubber, etc. The effects of polystyrene have been classified as possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Environmentalists name styrofoam in particular, as one of the largest environmental waste products on the planet- it holds approximately 25%+ of all landfill space worldwide!
In 1944 Monsanto introduced (rBGH) recombinant bovine growth hormone, a synthetic hormone used to increase milk production in cattle. Today it has been banned in most of Europe and Canada, but is legal in the united states.
What about golden rice?
Monsanto holds onto the creation of 'golden rice' to lighten their impact on society. Golden rice was a panacea expected to eliminate famine and disease across the globe.
What was it? Golden rice was genetically modified to contain beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin responsible for many things in our body including eyesight, hormonal function, immune quality, energy, etc.
This is a prime example of a band-aid approach and thus why nothing has really come of golden rice.
The crops that are grown from GMO seed are commonly referred to as "pharmacrops"..
Monsanto's GMO seeds do not reseed themselves, they are called 'terminator seeds'. This means that farmer's are forced to re-purchase their seeds EVERY YEAR. Traditionally seed saving is a skill practiced by farmer's to harvest seed from their strongest plants, each year their crops can get stronger and more adapted to their specific climate.
Monsanto has built a clause into their seed sales that allows them to SUE farmer's who produce food via last years crop. So basically if you buy Monsanto seed, and somehow manage to save seed, next year if you plant those seeds Monsanto can sue you of breach of contract.
To go along with the GMO seed, farmers use the most heavily sprayed herbicide on the Earth, glyphosate, called "RoundUp". Farmer's wear has-mat suits when they spray to avoid the direct concentrated effects. However, we can't forget about the residue that remains on our food and in the runoff that enters our water system. After years of glyphosate flooding our planet we now see traces of it in our food, water, rain, oceans, lakes, urine, blood, breast milk...