Monsanto was an American agricultural and agrochemical biotechnology business that was founded in 1901 and bought out by Bayer for $66 billion in 2016. Monsanto manufactured Roundup, a glyphosate-based chemical, and became a massive generator of genetically modified crops in the 1970s. Monsanto was one of the first companies to initiate genes into plants and to perform field trials of generally modified crops.
Monsanto was also first in line to use the biotechnology market business model and apply it to agriculture, using methods by biotech drug businesses. Because of this model, companies were able to win back R&D costs by exploiting the biological copyrights. Monsanto has been sued several times because of their lobbying of government organizations and roots as a chemical company, biotechnology merchandise, and participation in agricultural revisions.
Thinking about using a Monsanto product? Here are seven of the scariest things you should know about the company.
1. FORMER USE OF CHEMICAL DDT BANNED UNDER MOST CIRCUMSTANCES
DDT, or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, is a crystalline chemical that was initially created for insecticide use. Originally available for sale in America in 1945, it was always criticized for its harmful environmental effects. In 1972, a book that alleged DDT could cause cancer and agricultural use was detrimental to wildlife and birds. This led to a national public uproar the sparked a ban on using DDT in the United States.
Approximately 1.8 million tonnes of DDT has been manufactured around the world since the 1940s. Around 15 companies in America produced DDT, including Monsanto, and in 1963 they hit their maximum production at 82,000 tonnes a year.
2. HIGHLIGHTED IN FOOD INC. DOCUMENTARY REGARDING FOOD MALPRACTICE
In 2008, Food Inc was released. It investigated corporate farming in America and found that agribusiness generates food using methods that harm and abuse the environment, employees, and animals.
The third part of the film targeted Monsanto when talking about the legal and economic power, especially the regulations of food labeling, and how their benefits are from providing inexpensive but corrupted food. The film claims that Monsanto uses a large number of chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides as well as support unhealthy eating habits by Americans.
3. HAS BEEN PROTESTED AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO
The March Against Monsanto is a global protest against Monsanto. It initially began because California Proposition 37 failed to past, something Monsanto spent a lot of money making sure of it. This initiative would have made GMO labeling for food products a requirement.
On May 25, 2013, hundreds of thousands of supports came out to protest in about 400 U.S. cities. There were more marches that happened in October of 2013 and May of 2014 and 2015. March Against Monsanto has been covered by several news outlets inside and outside of the United States.
4. BAYER AND MONSANTO HAVE SPENT A COMBINED $120 MILLION ON LOBBYING
In 2016, Monsanto became the number one spender in the agricultural market by paying around $2.5 million on lobbying practices, making them the number one spender in the farming market. Bayer was number eight when it came to the amount they spent on lobbying, over $3.6 million. Over the past ten years, Bayer and Monsanto have paid around $120 million strictly on lobbying efforts.
Recently, both organizations have focused their lobbying practices on the labeling of GMO foods. They are both huge supporters of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. This act has been criticized for making it more difficult for consumers to identify GMO information on food labels.
5. FAMILY OF MAN WHO DIED FROM CANCER IS CURRENTLY SUING MONSANTO
On January 26, 2015, a man died from pancreatic cancer. His family has sued Monsanto alleging that their deceased loved one used more than 70 gallons of Monsanto glyphosate products for 11 years on his yard and used them almost on a daily basis. They are seeking $75,000 in costs, damages, and interest.
Monsanto presented the herbicide to be safe although, as the lawsuit points out, a 2015 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a possible carcinogenic to people.
If you know someone who has passed away due to Roundup or think you may have been harmed, here is more information.
6. REPORT CLAIMING GLYPHOSATE DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER IS BEING ACCUSED OF PLAGIARISM
Eighteen countries have voted to renew glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup. This decision has a lot to do with a report written by the BfR. They reviewed all the scientific data they had access to and determined that glyphosate when it is used properly, does not cause cancer.
The Guardian published an article in 2015 claiming that actual scientists did not write the report, instead, they were the European Glyphosate Task Force.
On January 15, 2019, a study was released proving the BfR scientists plagiarized 50.1% of the content by copy and pasting entire paragraphs that were already done by the agrochemical industry.
7. ROUNDUP HAS BEEN BANNED IN FRANCE, BELGIUM, ITALY, AND AUSTRIA
On January 15, 2019, Roundup was officially banned in France as a result of a court ruling. This ruling accused regulators of not acknowledging safety concerns when initially allowing the use of Roundup.
Belgium has banned glyphosate sales to non-professionals, Italy has banned Roundup from all public places, and Austria has banned GM crops completely.