GMO's and Monsanto: The Company Who Has No Concern for Consumers
Monsanto is an organization that is responsible for several advances in agricultural technology. They pride themselves as an ethical organization there to promote the health and wellbeing of consumers and farmers alike. They stand for providing technologically advanced products meant to enhance our existence. However, this is a facade used to drive profits. The truth is that their products cause many negative effects on consumers and farmers alike. Monsanto is an unethical company. This is proven through their lack of ethical considerations with consumers and farmers.
Monsanto provides a variety of products on the marketplace including aspartame (an artificial sweetener), saccharin (an artificial sweetener), and Bovine Growth Hormone (BST) (used in cows to increase milk production). Most commonly known are their genetically modified seeds, with over 2,000 seed varieties and pesticides (Monsanto, 2014). Most food in the marketplace today comes from genetically modified crops. About 60% to 70% of processed foods are genetically modified, with 88% of corn and 94% of soy being genetically modified crops (Dupont, Veronique, 2013). Monsanto is the host for several brands. Weed control brands include Roundup, Degree Xtra, Lariat, Micro-Tech, OutRider, INTRRO, and Harness (Monsanto, 2014). Their vegetable seed brands include De Ruiter and Seminis and their agricultural seed brands include Asgrow, channel. Kruger seeds, Gold Country Seed, Deltapine, Lewis Hybrids, and Hubner seed among many others (Monsanto, 2014). They are also partnered with Corn States, Acceleron, Genuity, and Integrated Farming Systems (Monsanto, 2014). The goal of this partnership, from Monsanto's words, increase the use of technology to create higher crop yields or seeds to be healthier and grow faster (Monsanto, 2014).
Monsanto supports their use of technology and the safety of their products for consumers. They have conducted many private studies through researchers on their payroll to furnish this information for the public. In addition, their advertising efforts are also promoting the safety and positive effects of the technology and products. Their propaganda illustrates their dedication to farmers and consumers, and highlights their appreciation in consumers utilization of the products provided. Through the use of technology, Monsanto voices that their genetically modified seeds produce crops that are nutritious and can endure pesticides more than unmodified crops. Their advertising efforts primarily focus on the increase in crop yield and the overall reduction of loss of crops due to insects and seeds. Their website directly states, "whether it's ensuring environmental standards are not only met, but exceeded or protecting safety of our people and communities, Monsanto's stewardship commitments are a top priority" (Monsanto, 2014).
Monsanto Cuts 16% of Work Force as Sales in Roundup Herbicide Fall 34%
- Monsanto Cuts 16% of Work Force as Sales in Roundup Herbicide Fall 34% - Sustainable Pulse
Monsanto announced Wednesday that sales in the company's agricultural productivity segment, which includes its probable carcinogen Roundup herbicide, fell
Do you choose organic or GMO free options when shopping?
One must ask, with the message Monsanto is sending, how can they ignore the mounting evidence against the safety of the products and technologies they are providing? They were part of the Manhattan Project and was the leading producer of Agent Orange in the 1970's (Hartley, 2014). These efforts were an established effort to eliminate lives, not to enhance lives. There have been many examples of populations experiencing the negative effects of Monsanto products. A recent instance occurred on Molokai, Hawaii. Though still being researched, it is evident that upon the entrance of Monstano's Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn. This is a genetically modified crop that expanded across 1,850 acres on the island (Martino, 2014). Monsanto has been spraying glyphosate (also known through brand naming as RoundUp) across the crops and nearby residents claim to see an increase in health issues since (Martino, 2014). There has been evidence linking breast cancer to pesticides such as glyphosate. Other locations such as India and Argentina have been showing concerns with Monsanto products being used (Martino, 2014). Thanal, an environmental organization from India explains:
As the acute toxicity -- reflected in the WHO (World Health Organization) classification of glyphosate is low, it has long been promoted as safe. However, recent evidence shows substantial adverse health and environmental effects, especially of formulated products . . . Recent experiences and studies show a wide range of long-term adverse health effects, again mostly related to formulated products, such as leukemia and other cancers, skin diseases, and birth defects, gastrointestinal problems, and alterations to the central nervous system. Other findings link glyphosate and especially formulations with affecting embryo development, damage cells and DNA, and interrupting the hormone system (Martino, 2014).
David Verses Monsanto
The Island of Molokai is living proof of what Thanal expressed. Oregon found itself as a laboratory for Monsanto when it was uncovered that genetically modified wheat was being grown without the authorization (Dupont, 2013). Monsanto's products have created many negative and long lasting effects to consumers and residents in areas where products are used. Many of the effects were not seen until recent years, due to the long term onset. It took time to measure the effects and equate them to the use of Monsanto products.
Many studies have been conducted further proving the negative impact of Monsanto's products and technology. In 1998 Arpad Pusztai, presented evidence that genetically modified organisms caused organ damage, reproductive failure, among many other effects (CMNEWS, 2014). Hussein Kaoud from Cairo University‘s Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene fed rats genetically modified wheat, soy, corn and canola and concluded there were alterations in the kidneys, liver, and spleen. He found that learning and memory were affected as well (CMNEWS, 2014). A recent study published in Food Chemistry provided evidence from Iowa soybean crops and expressed that genetically modified soy is less nutritious and contained more herbicide residues than non genetically modified crops (Philpott, 2014). The University of Pittsburg also found that Roundup water caused morphological changes in frogs. The glyphosate also harmed beneficial bacteria, which can shift the balance of gut microbiota (Philpott, 2014). This can occur just the same in humans. There are also many concerns about long term environmental impacts of glyphosate. We now ingest it through our food, water, and through the air (Philpott, 2014). The amount we are subject to seems to increase year over year. In 2012, a report called the 2012 Nutritional Analysis: Comparison of GMO Corn versus Non-GMO Corn, illustrated the stark contrast in nutritional differences between genetically modified and non genetically modified corn. The analysis concluded that:
- Non-GMO corn has 6130 ppm of calcium while GMO corn has 14 – non-GMO corn has 437 times more calcium.
- Non-GMO corn has 113 ppm of magnesium while GMO corn has 2 – non-GMO corn has about 56 times more magnesium.
- Non-GMO corn has 113 ppm of potassium while GMO corn has 7 – non-GMO corn has 16 times more potassium.
- Non-GMO corn has 14 ppm of manganese while GMO corn has 2 – non-GMO corn has 7 times more manganese. (Barrett, 2014)
The study also found the corn contained formaldehyde at 220 ppm, which is 200 times more than the maximum safety amount (Barrett, 2014). These are just a few of the many studies conducted over Monsanto products, further highlighting the negative impacts of their products.
Do you believe GMO's are a major problem and a cause for consumer concern?
These studies prove that Monsanto's claim to care for the safety of their products and the highlight of the importance of the consumer is a sham. It is propaganda to gain a solid customer base and hide the negative effects of their products. In result, the goal would be to secure more profits, without regard for the collateral damage created.
The farmers are also impacted negatively by Monsanto. There is much legislation that protects Monsanto and makes it difficult for farmers to stay independent. Monsanto is responsible for suing many farmers whose crops become contaminated by Monsanto's seeds (Hauck, 2014). In turn, farmers then are forced to pay Monsanto for the seeds that were unintentionally used, and must continue to buy Monsanto seeds year after year, further adding to Monsanto's profits. This is slowly driving out independent farmers as more and more Monsanto farms are created. These farmers do not have the goal of utilizing Monsanto's products, but are strong armed into it through litigation and Monsanto's relentless efforts to create a gain out of inevitable natural occurrences, such as cross pollination (Hauck, 2014). Monsanto's website attempts to excuse their suing efforts against farmers. It explains how farmers sign an agreement that they will not replant seeds from Monsanto and that a small percentage of farmers do not honor the agreement, so they have the right to sue in these instances. However, in most of the cases where Monsanto has sued farmers, these farmers were not customers of Monsanto. They had no interest in the use of Monsanto products, and therefore are not subject to the agreement the website mentions.
As an organization Monsanto is a greedy company solely interested in gaining profits. Their products have been causing harm to consumers and farmers for many years. However, they seem to be immune to any litigation or government regulation. Many researchers have exposed the fallacies behind their claims of safety and benefit to consumers and farmers alike. There is no increase in crop yields, nor is there a reduction of pesticides used on crops that are genetically modified. The company has portrayed a false image of ethical considerations, when in fact there is a complete disregard for ethics. They are responsible for negative impacts on the environment and humanity. People and animals are becoming sick. The water and everything around us is contaminated with chemicals that cause cancer and other ailments. It is unavoidable and all the responsibility of Monsanto. Instead of educating customers on the risks behind their products, they use propaganda and false promises to mislead. Monsanto has even launched efforts to eliminate the labeling of genetically modified products (Costa, 2014). Through their vast resources, including wealth, their efforts have been felt. Their goal is to make sure consumers are not educated on what they are eating.
Monsanto's is driven to achieve high profits. There is a lack of consideration on the effects to consumers and farmers. Their products are harmful to health and the environment and consumers and farmers are not properly notified of the risks.
Ask Your Local Congressman to Support GMO Labeling
- Contact Congress | Just Label It
We need you to take immediate action and tell Congress you support federally mandated GMO labeling! Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) introduced legislation in 2014, and are expected to introduce similar legislation
Petition - Stop Monsanto's Dream Bill!
- Let Me Decide: Label GMOs | Food & Water Watch
People have questions about whether GMOs are safe to eat, but the government doesn’t ask enough questions to know. That’s why at minimum we should label GMOs so people can decide for themselves.
Do you view Monsanto's business practices as ethical?
Barrett, Mike. (2014). Study Finds Monsanto's BM Corn Nutritionally Dead, Highly Toxic. Healthy Holistic Living. Retrieved from http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/study-finds-monsantos-gm-corn-nutritionally-dead-highly-toxic.html
CMNEWS. (2014). Scientist that Discovered GMO Health Hazards Immediately Fired, Team Dismantled. CMNEWS. http://consciousmedianews.com/scientist-that-discovered-gmo-health-hazards-immediately-fired-team-dismantled/
Costa, Tamra. (2014). GMO Labeling Update: State Efforts Pick Up Momentum, Big Ag Doubles Down. Civil Eats. Retrieved from http://civileats.com/2014/04/16/gmo-labeling-update-state-efforts-pick-up-momentum-big-ag-doubles-down/
Dupont, Veronique. (2013). GMO corn, soybeans dominate US market. PHYS.ORG. Retrieved from http://phys.org/news/2013-06-gmo-corn-soybeans-dominate.html
Hartley, Jo. (2014). Who and What Is the Monsanto Chemical Corporation? Natural News. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/023094_Monsanto_WHO_industry.html
Hauck, Darren. (2014). Supreme Court hand Monsanto victory over farmers on GMO seed patents, ability to sue. RT. Retrieved from http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-patents-sue-farmers-547/
Martino, Joe. (2014). How Monsanto Annihilated A Paradise & Turned It Into An Island Of Illness. Collective Evolution. Retrieved from http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/25/how-monsanto-annihilated-a-paradise-turned-it-into-an-island-of-illness/
Monsanto. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/default.aspx
Monsanto. (2014). Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?. Monsanto. Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/why-does-monsanto-sue-farmers-who-save-seeds.aspx
Philpott, Tom. (2014). Monsanto GM Soy Is Scarier Than You Think. Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/04/superweeds-arent-only-trouble-gmo-soy
Smith, Jeffrey M. (2010) Exerpt: Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risk of Genetically Engineered Foods. IRT Institute for Responsible Technology. Retrieved from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/health-risks
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