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Monsanto - The Black Stain on The Biotech Industry

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Geneticly Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page.


The Monsanto company does not have a Facebook page. They are well aware that if they did, it would just become a wall of constant protest. There's good reason for the resentment, too: a long, complicated history including everything from poisoning public waterways to manufacturing Agent Orange, bovine growth hormones, and DDT pesticides. They've become the black stain on the biotech industry to anyone with a CSA subscription and a reusable bag.

In fairness, that was the legacy of the "old Monsanto". The company was restarted in 2001 and focuses entirely on agriculture now. But while they may no longer be dumping PCBs in Alabama streams or helping create atomic bombs, a new series of books and documentaries are again pointing angry fingers at the company. Between Monsanto's past liabilities and more recently filed suits against Canadian and American farmers, the folks wearing lab coats in Missouri are regarded as enemies by many in the sustainable farming movement.

In short, I would not want to be head of Monsanto's PR department.

A bit on their history: Monsanto has been around since 1901, when they hit the ground running with saccharin, the sugar-substitute still sold in its famous pink packet. After that initial venture, the company changed direction and focused on agricultural chemicals. By the mid 1940s they had produced 2,4D (the original selective pesticide). Meanwhile, the post-war west was starting to produce food on an industrial scale for the first time.