Why Is Monsanto the Most Hated Company in the World?

The most hated company in the world right now isn't a member of Big Oil. It's not a shady Internet company or a bailed-out megabank. Populist discontent toward dirty energy, high-tech snoops, and greedy bankers has occasionally been fierce, but it's never been laser-focused like the outrage that drew an estimated (by the organizers) 2 million protesters to anti-Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) rallies in more than 50 countries at the end of May.

Think about that. If those numbers are accurate, a single private company drew almost as many protesters in a single day as the worldwide Occupy movement at its peak. Monsanto didn't even have to bankrupt any economies or leech billions of dollars off taxpayers. All it took was three little letters: GMO.

What is GMO?
You probably know something about GMOs, which stands for genetically modified organisms, since it's as closely associated with Monsanto as "IRS" is with taxes. The popular definition of a GMO is (according to Wikipedia) "an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques." If you want to get pedantic about this definition, humankind has been genetically modifying organisms ever since the first nomads settled down to grow crops, since virtually nothing we eat today is the same exact plant or animal (or Twinkie) it was 10,000 years ago. But that's not why everyone's afraid of Monsanto. Monsanto is scary because -- in the eyes of detractors -- it's compressing 10,000 years of genetic adaptations into 10 years of mad science.

The history of commercialized GMO foods as we now know them began just two decades ago, with an "enhanced" tomato that was so unprofitable to produce that its developer wound up selling itself to Monsanto. Since then, other developments have embedded GMOs into a rather substantial part of the world's food supply.


Source : ISAAA Brief on Global Status of Commercialized Biotech Crops, 2012.

Total global cropland, by comparison, amounts to roughly 1.5 billion hectares, so GMOs now take up more than 11% of all cropland in the world. ISAAA -- the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, a pro-GMO nonprofit supported in part by Monsanto's funding -- says that GMOs have made 100-fold gains in terms of planted cropland since 1996. The United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and India comprise the lion's share of GMO cropland, as more than 152 million of the world's 170 million GMO hectares are found in those five countries.

All of this adds up to big business. The six largest seed-and-weed companies -- which typically pair specially engineered seeds with herbicides that often eliminate any plants not attuned to their unique chemical structure -- accounted for close to $50 billion in global sales across their various product lines in 2009, the last year for which complete data was available:

Company

Seed + Trait Sales

Global Seed Market Share

Agrochemical Sales

Global Agrochemical Market Share

Total Agro-Tech R&D Spending

Monsanto

$7,797

27%

$4,427

10%

$1,032

DuPont (NYSE: DD  )

$4,641

17%

$2,403

5%

$955

Syngenta (NYSE: SYT  )

$2,564

9%

$8,491

19%

$720

Bayer CropScience

$700

8%

$7,544

17%

N/A

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW  )

$635

7%

$3,902

9%

$874

BASF

N/A

N/A

$5,007

11%

$1,705

TOTAL

$16,337

68%

$28,184

71%

$5,286

Source: Hope Shand in The Heritage Farm Companion; 2009 sales in millions $USD.

Fear of a mod planet
A quick search of "GMO" will turn up all sorts of scaremonger websites, with all sorts of frightening claims that when you eat a Monsanto-developed crop, you're consigning yourself to a short, sickly life of gastrointestinal (or just general) agony. Cancer, allergic reactions, liver problems, sterility, and even the unnatural modification of your genes -- these are just the claims I found on the website of the Institute for Responsible Technology, which purports to be a leading anti-GMO advocacy group. I won't go into some of the anti-Monsanto conspiracy theories you'll find bandied about on less reputable corners of the Internet.

It may not be easy to debunk all of these claims, but thanks to extensive national medical records, we can at least see how close to the mark they may strike. Since America was the earliest adopter of GMO foodstuffs, and is now the world's predominant grower and consumer of GMO crops, it should be experiencing the worst of the purported GMO health problems.

Are we more cancerous today than we were in 1996? Actually, not by a long shot:


Source: National Cancer Institute, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2010.

The results are even more pronounced when focusing on cancers of the stomach, colon, and rectum, which all show a persistent and significant downtrend throughout the entire tracked period across race and gender divisions. If we're eating ourselves to death, shouldn't our digestive systems be the most damaged by these Frankenfoods? Cancer statistics don't back up anti-GMO claims at all, and with more than 16 years in the food supply, you'd expect there to be a statistically significant change. The one statistically significant spike on these graphs, occurring around 1990, is often blamed on the Chernobyl disaster.

There has been an increase in death rates from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in recent years, by about one person per 100,000 from 1999 to 2010 -- but keep in mind that these liver problems are typically alcohol-related. Simply noting a slight statistical uptick isn't enough to blame on modified crops. People might just be binge-drinking more.

Food allergies, however, might be a different story:


Source: Centers for Disease Control, NCHS Data Brief, 2008 .

The little disclaimer at the bottom reads "statistically significant trend," and the prevalence of food allergies among children increased by 18% from 1997 to 2007. That's rather notable. The average number of food-allergy-related hospital visits per year also spiked toward the end of the tracking period, from only 2,600 per year in 2000 to more than 9,500 in 2006. On its own, this may not be enough to blame on GMOs -- except for soy, none of the foodstuffs on the CDC's list of common food allergens is a known GMO crop (although wheat appears headed in that direction). The body may react to one type of food by increasing its reaction severity to other types, but the interplay between these factors is complex and not easily reduced to a simple cause-and-effect relationship.

Other noted health problems -- here I refer to a long essay by Earth Open Source, no more an impartial observer than the ISAAA (impartiality is all but impossible to come by in the GMO debate) -- include toxin contamination from the overuse of herbicides on GMOs modified for herbicide resistance, stomach lesions, and adverse immune reactions in mice, liver and kidney abnormalities in rats ... well, it goes on like this. You can read about the effects in detail at this link, beginning on page 37 (PDF opens in new window). If you can name an ailment, there's probably a study somewhere that has traced its cause to GMOs. Yet the world continues to live longer. U.S. life expectancy has increased from 76 years in 1996 to 78.6 years in 2011, and global life expectancy has increased from 66.4 to nearly 69 years in the same time period. If we're less healthy, we sure are coping with it more effectively.

Economic benefits?
There has to be a reason farmers keep using GMOs. The most obvious would be that the end product -- that is, the stuff you eventually eat -- would yield more per planting (that is, per acre), which should result in lower costs at the consumer level. To the extent that this is true, it can't be credited to the adoption of GMO seed, as yield improvements and price declines began long before Monsanto got into the seed business:


Source: Prof. Mark J. Perry

Soybean yields haven't grown quite as impressively but have still doubled on a per-acre basis over the same time frame. Cotton yields have also soared over the past several decades. GMO crops had nothing to do with it -- old-fashioned hybridization, improved production techniques and infrastructures, and the spread of these two important developments around the world created a modern agricultural revolution after the Second World War. GMO crops might be in the process of extending that revolution today, but they may not. Few processes are so simple that a simple tweaking of one element can completely explain a change in another.

GMOs can't claim to have reduced crop costs through efficiency gains, either. Since commercial introduction in 1996, two of the three major crops planted have nearly doubled in price:

US Producer Price Index: Farm Products: Soybeans Chart

US Producer Price Index: Farm Products: Soybeans data by YCharts

Ultimately, this is probably good for farmers, but bad for everyone else. Not only are you buying Frankenfoods that will wreck your health, but you're also paying twice as much for the privilege. Agriculture can be so cruel. (Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek.)

Monsanto itself claims that GMOs benefit farmers through increased yield, greater insect and disease protection, and drought and heat resistance. The modified crops also conserve the soil, minimize the use of herbicides, and reduce the energy used in the growing process.

I've already shown that yields have been increasing for decades, so Monsanto is at best merely continuing a long-running trend, and at worst piggybacking on other improvements to make disingenuous claims. Herbicides and fertilizers have shipped in more than 35% greater quantities this year over the volumes seen in 1996. Fertilizer, as you might expect, is one significant part of increasing crop yields. Since fertilizers are quite energy-intensive to make (many are derived from natural gas) and can be damaging to soil quality over time, this one factor tends to disprove a number of Monsanto's claims:

US Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing Shipments Chart

US Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing Shipments data by YCharts.

The increased use of herbicide designed to work with GMOs (and vice versa) appears to be creating strains of "superweeds" that actively resist the chemicals. Nature tends not to sit idly by while scientists try to pound it into submission. The long-term consequences of an arms race between chemical-cum-GMO producers and the invasive species they want to push out of farm fields could very possibly result in damages beyond the circumstantial ones I've already highlighted.

The only real claim that I can't disprove (or at least weigh down with caveats) is that of drought and heat resistance, mostly because it's not easy to find data on the claim in either direction. Reducing water use is no small feat in a world quite obviously enduring a period of abnormal heat and drought. However, this alone can't answer for the fact that something should be done about widespread droughts beyond the creation of GMOs that drink just a little bit less water -- particularly if these GMOs result in the indirect use of more water by herbicide-resistant weeds.

How do you solve a problem like Monsanto?
It's tempting to reduce complex issues into outraged sound bites, like "GMOs are killing people!" or "GMOs are feeding the world!" The truth, as always, isn't quite so easy.

The threat of tainted food -- whether by chemicals or through genetic manipulation -- is a cause that arouses outrage at a pitch few other causes will ever muster. The threat of a shadowy corporation with its fingers buried in the heart of our food supply only heightens this outrage, and Monsanto's heavy-handed efforts at control have done nothing to soften its public image. However, the science of GMOs has been carried out in a highly ideological way on both sides, which doesn't help when all you want is the truth.

It seems that GMOs will inevitably become a larger part of our food supply, because the corporate motivator in the United States has proved to be stronger than the citizen motivator in recent years. A few protests won't change that. It will take concerted, long-running national efforts to change diets and attitudes before Monsanto and its peers are forced to loosen their grip on American farmlands. If you choose to be one of the people on the vanguard of that effort, make sure that you understand the science as it is, and not as you'd like it to be.

Are we less healthy today than we were two decades ago? It's possible, even though most of the statistics don't show that. Is it all Monsanto's fault? Probably not.

What macro trend was Warren Buffett referring to when he said "this is the tapeworm that's eating at American competitiveness"? Find out in our free report: "What's Really Eating at America's Competitiveness." You'll also discover an idea to profit as companies work to eradicate this efficiency-sucking tapeworm. Just click here for free, immediate access.


Read/Post Comments (34) | Recommend This Article (15)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 3:39 PM, megalo99 wrote:

    This article brought to you by Monsanto.

    And while I'm at it, you say we should be tracking GMO health problems. If you contend they do not cause health problems in the first place, then there's nothing to track, genius.

    I'm done with this joke of a site.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 4:03 PM, johnnyrico01 wrote:

    if its safe, label the food and let the people decide if they want it.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 4:08 PM, TMFBiggles wrote:

    @ johnnyrico01 -

    I fully support that suggestion. Knowledge of the food supply would go a long way towards encouraging better eating habits and better agricultural practices.

    - Alex

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 4:11 PM, NJTalks wrote:

    1. Genetic engineering as used in crop development is not precise or predictable and has not been shown to be safe. The technique can result in the unexpected production of toxins or allergens in food that are unlikely to be spotted in current regulatory checks.

    2. GM crops, including some that are already in our food and animal feed supply, have shown clear signs of toxicity in animal feeding trials – notably disturbances in liver and kidney function and immune responses.

    3. GM proponents have dismissed these statistically significant findings as “not biologically relevant/significant”, based on scientifically indefensible arguments.

    4. Certain EU-commissioned animal feeding trials with GM foods and crops are often claimed by GM proponents to show they are safe. In fact, examination of these studies shows significant differences between the GM-fed and control animals that give cause for concern.

    5. GM foods have not been properly tested in humans, but the few studies that have been carried out in humans give cause for concern.

    6. The US FDA does not require mandatory safety testing of GM crops, and does not even assess the safety of GM crops but only “deregulates” them, based on assurances from biotech companies that they are “substantially equivalent” to their non-GM counterparts. This is like claiming that a cow with BSE is substantially equivalent to a cow that does not have BSE and is thus safe to eat! Claims of substantial equivalence cannot be justified on scientific grounds.

    7. The regulatory regime for GM foods is weakest in the US, where GM foods do not even have to be assessed for safety or labelled in the marketplace, but in most regions of the world regulations are inadequate to protect people’s health from the potential adverse effects of GM foods.

    8. In the EU, where the regulatory system is often claimed to be strict, minimal pre-market testing is required for a GMO and the tests are commissioned by the same companies that stand to profit from the GMO if it is approved – a clear conflict of interest.

    9. No long-term toxicological testing of GMOs on animals or testing on humans is required by any regulatory agency in the world.

    10. Biotech companies have used patent claims and intellectual property protection laws to restrict access of independent researchers to GM crops for research purposes. As a result, limited research has been conducted on GM foods and crops by scientists who are independent of the GM industry. Scientists whose work has raised concerns about the safety of GMOs have been attacked and discredited in orchestrated campaigns by GM crop promoters.

    11. Most GM crops (over 75%) are engineered to tolerate applications of herbicides. Where such GM crops have been adopted, they have led to massive increases in herbicide use.

    12. Roundup, the herbicide that over 50% of all GM crops are engineered to tolerate, is not safe or benign as has been claimed but has been found to cause malformations (birth defects), reproductive problems, DNA damage, and cancer in test animals. Human epidemiological studies have found an association between Roundup exposure and miscarriage, birth defects, neurological development problems, DNA damage, and certain types of cancer.

    13. A public health crisis has erupted in GM soy-producing regions of South America, where people exposed to spraying with Roundup and other agrochemicals sprayed on the crop report escalating rates of birth defects and cancer.

    14. A large number of studies indicate that Roundup is associated with increased crop diseases, especially infection with Fusarium, a fungus that causes wilt disease in soy and can have toxic effects on humans and livestock.

    15. Bt insecticidal GM crops do not sustainably reduce pesticide use but change the way in which pesticides are used: from sprayed on, to built in.

    16. Bt technology is proving unsustainable as pests evolve resistance to the toxin and secondary pest infestations are becoming common.

    17. GM proponents claim that the Bt toxin engineered into GM plants is safe because the natural form of Bt, long used as a spray by conventional and organic farmers, has a history of safe use. But the GM forms of Bt toxins are different from the natural forms and could have different toxic and allergenic effects.

    18. GM Bt toxin is not limited in its toxicity to insect pests. GM Bt crops have been found to have toxic effects on laboratory animals in feeding trials.

    19. GM Bt crops have been found to have toxic effects on non-target organisms in the environment.

    20. Bt toxin is not fully broken down in digestion and has been found circulating in the blood of pregnant women in Canada and in the blood supply to their foetuses.

    21. The no-till method of farming promoted with GM herbicide-tolerant crops, which avoids ploughing and uses herbicides to control weeds, is not more climate-friendly than ploughing. No-till fields do not store more carbon in the soil than ploughed fields when deeper levels of soil are measured.

    22. No-till increases the negative environmental impacts of soy cultivation, because of the herbicides used.

    23. Golden Rice, a beta-carotene-enriched rice, is promoted as a GM crop that could help malnourished people overcome vitamin A deficiency. But Golden Rice has not been tested for toxicological safety, has been plagued by basic development problems, and, after more than 12 years and millions of dollars of research funding, is still not ready for the market. Meanwhile, inexpensive and effective solutions to vitamin A deficiency are available but under-used due to lack of funding.

    24. GM crops are often promoted as a “vital tool in the toolbox” to feed the world’s growing population, but many experts question the contribution they could make, as they do not offer higher yields or cope better with drought than non-GM crops. Most GM crops are engineered to tolerate herbicides or to contain a pesticide – traits that are irrelevant to feeding the hungry.

    25. High adoption of GM crops among farmers is not a sign that the GM crop is superior to non-GM varieties, as once GM companies gain control of the seed market, they withdraw non-GM seed varieties from the market. The notion of “farmer choice” does not apply in this situation.

    26. GM contamination of non-GM and organic crops has resulted in massive financial losses by the food and feed industry, involving product recalls, lawsuits, and lost markets.

    27. When many people read about high-yielding, pest- and disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, and nutritionally improved super-crops, they think of GM. In fact, these are all products of conventional breeding, which continues to outstrip GM in producing such crops. The report contains a long list of these conventional crop breeding successes.

    28. Certain “supercrops” have been claimed to be GM successes when in fact they are products of conventional breeding, in some cases assisted by the non-GM biotechnology of marker assisted selection.

    29. Conventional plant breeding, with the help of non-GM biotechnologies such as marker assisted selection, is a safer and more powerful method than GM to produce new crop varieties required to meet current and future needs of food production, especially in the face of rapid climate change.

    30. Conventionally bred, locally adapted crops, used in combination with agroecological farming practices, offer a proven, sustainable approach to ensuring global food security.

    The report is available here: http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58

    Authors

    Michael Antoniou, PhD is reader in molecular genetics and head, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London School of Medicine, London, UK. He has 28 years’ experience in the use of genetic engineering technology investigating gene organisation and control, with over 40 peer reviewed publications of original work, and holds inventor status on a number of gene expression biotechnology patents. Dr Antoniou has a large network of collaborators in industry and academia who are making use of his discoveries in gene control mechanisms for the production of research, diagnostic and therapeutic products and human somatic gene therapies for inherited and acquired genetic disorders.

    John Fagan, PhD is a leading authority on sustainability in the food system, biosafety, and GMO testing. He is founder and chief scientific officer of Global ID Group, a company with subsidiaries involved in GMO food testing and GMO-free certification. He is a director of Earth Open Source. Earlier, he conducted cancer research at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in academia. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology from Cornell University.

    Dr Fagan became an early voice in the scientific debate on genetic engineering when in 1994 he took an ethical stand challenging the use of germ line gene therapy (which has subsequently been banned in most countries) and genetic engineering in agriculture. He underlined his concerns by returning a grant of around $614,000 to the US National Institutes of Health, awarded for cancer research that used genetic engineering as a research tool. He was concerned that knowledge generated in his research could potentially be misused to advance human germ-line genetic engineering (for example, to create “designer babies”), which he found unacceptable on grounds of both safety and ethics. For similar reasons, around the same time, he withdrew applications for two additional grants totalling $1.25 million from the NIH and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). In 1996 he started Global ID when he saw that GMO testing could be useful to assist industry in providing consumers with the transparency that they desired regarding the presence of GMOs in foods.

    Claire Robinson, MPhil is research director at Earth Open Source. She has a background in investigative reporting and the communication of topics relating to public health, science and policy, and the environment. She is an editor at GMWatch (www.gmwatch.org), a public information service on issues relating to genetic modification, and was formerly managing editor at SpinProfiles (now Powerbase).

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 4:18 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    Readers & Investors should be aware that over the years much of the protest and rage against Monsanto has been overtly and covertly fueled by the unethical Management of the second-ranked, second-rate player in the seed business, namely DuPont. DuPont Management has deployed its employees and furtive agents to wage an unceasing smear campaign against Monsanto. One can see this malignant misconduct over the internet at various sites to this day.

    SOURCE: See the published letter, Aug. 17, 2009 of Monsanto Chief Hugh Grant to then DuPont Chief, Chad Holliday, cc to current DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman, wherein Grant calls for an investigation by independent DuPont Directors into the bankrolling and use of "masked third parties" to defame Monsanto's business.

    ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 5:10 PM, placy wrote:

    Send plea email to Mossad to stop Monsanto:

    [ mossad d0t gov d0t iL ]

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 5:15 PM, Bidnow73 wrote:

    ==Are we more cancerous today than we were in 1996? Actually, not by a long shot==

    Are we more cancerous today than we were in 1975? Yes, by a long shot.

    Foolish investors who may not remember the 1970s may be interested in researching Agent Orange, which might also be a contributing factor to any long term organized protests against the company.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 5:39 PM, CharlieTX wrote:

    Our family went GMO free about three months ago - I had forgotten what real food tastes like, plus we all feel better, higher energy levels, etc. I don't see us ever going back. And although I expected our grocery bill to go up as we switched over to organic,it actually stayed the same as we became more focused on healthy living. One has to wonder, too, is the GMO industry the next cigarette industry? It was what - 50 years and untold millions of lives impacted before the real effects of cigarettes were understood. Where will we all be in 50 years with GMOs in everything we eat?

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 5:44 PM, rudolfvs wrote:

    If Monsanto is hated by some, then it is because the haters are just ignorant, that is why.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 7:16 PM, Gary603 wrote:

    As much as I can appreciate an article about the strength of an investment this company needs to go away.

    Bioengineering the worlds food supply is a dangerously bad investment for the future of the health of humanity.

    With all of the independent studies that are being conducted on Monsantos' products there is more and more compelling evidence against the validity of the research being presented by the laboratories of Monsanto.

    There is one argument, however, that cannot be disputed. To quote from the article...

    "humankind has been genetically modifying organisms ever since the first nomads settled down to grow crops"

    As much as this be a truthful statement the argument has no viable validity. Man has used cross pollination and grafting in an effort to produce a better and hardier crop or even a new product. Monsanto is altering the genes of the plants to accept and adapt to the pesticides (man-made chemicals) that are inserted into the seeds.

    In addition to the pesticides these plants are being engineered to resist herbicides.

    That is where the "round-up ready" term comes from.

    This practice allows the fields in which these plants are being grown to accept the herbicide that kills weeds without affecting the crop.

    These chemicals are in the genetic makeup of the plant and do not dissipate as the plant matures.

    These chemicals are designed to kill the pests and weeds that attack the plant. These chemicals are not washed or cooked out.

    Two of these chemicals are Glyphosates and Neonicitoids.

    These chemicals and others are becoming the focus of many studies in laboratories around the world.

    My primary source of information can be found at responsibletechnology.org

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 7:30 PM, SparkyRules wrote:

    Bob Marley was an uneducated Rasta idiot. This would be the4 scientific definition of Bob Marley. Hmm yet think about it, Mr Bob Nesta Marley as his uneducated foolish self probably has done more for the planet with his music than most religions have. Science has all sorts of fancy graphs etc. As I love Bob Marleys music and the brilliants of its intuitive wisdom I have the same intuitive sense that ALL the so called science that supports GMO's is really just BS and this is nothing more than the tobacco companies again only this time its not just ciggs, it is the entire worlds food supply. AND I am willing to bet as smart as science is, nature will outsmart it and in fact already has as in many of the herbicides are no longer killing the weeds, they have already morphed to counter act their effectiveness. As a betting man I will bet the answer is not more science and more GMO idiot fraken sh**T but more humility and more learning to love and live with in nature, more organics etc. My bet is the earth is alive and if we learn to love this planet and respect it it will love us back. The issue is science itself that uses rationality over humility and has made an assumption that the earth is inert of life and that what lives on it is not part of earth's inner spirit. Yeah, I sound like some crazy indian yeah... and yet it is they who will live on after we have destroyed ourselves. Remember exxon relevation that there is no hope for our present course of action... Well there is, admit we are wrong, that how any junkie starts to turn his life around.. humility!

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 7:52 PM, sparky023 wrote:

    lets see... because paranoid tweekers have a coumputer?

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 7:54 PM, 18RC wrote:

    I see alot of similarities between the Monsanto haters and the KKK. Both groups are white anglo saxon protestants (few minority people are Monsanto haters). The goal of both groups is to prevent change; i.e the KKK marched to retain power for whites and withhold power from blacks. The Monsanto haters march to retain power for conventional farming methods and prevent the adoption of advanced technology methods.

    The vast majority of farmers are not Monsanto haters...that's why the Whole Foods organic grocery chain doesn't bother opening up stores in farmer dominated areas of the USA like the upper Midwest corn belt.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 8:59 PM, GeorgePolitico wrote:

    There is no reason in principle to fear genetically engineered food. Moving one component from an edible organism into a second edible organism is very likely to produce an edible organism. If there is any lingering doubt that some new protein, biochemical, virus particle, etc, has been produced--these possibilities can be tested.

    There is an enormous amount of medical research involving transgenic mice and rats carrying genes from many sources, including bacteria, fireflies and jellyfish. The implanted genes behave predictably and cause no wild problems.

    Farmers prefer genetically engineered crops because they increase yields. Either food prices go down, or they remain the same and the farmers and Monsanto make more money and pay higher taxes. Either way, Americans benefit.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 9:13 PM, nomofunfun wrote:

    A certain Monsanto lover likes to twist information against DuPont, of all companies, just because of a personal agenda.

    We can all see that Monsanto is HATED WITH GOOD REASON! Just because one has a grudge against a former employer doesn't mean one has to lie on behalf of Monsanto, now does it?

    Be smart, sell any MON shares you have and pick-up two red-hot DuPont shares for each MON share you dump. You'll enjoy the wholesome seeds made by Pioneer and sleep well at night.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 9:15 PM, Shanaroooo wrote:

    This article is a fluffe r piece which was probably written by Monsanto. It doesn't even mention 85% of the terrible things Monsanto has done.

    Look up how many Indian farmers have committed suicide due to Monsanto.

    Look up all the wonderful chemical agents Monsanto has created. ie. DDT, agent orange, PCPs ...

    Look up how Monsanto uses its patent on the breast cancer gene to profit off the research of curing it.

    Look up how Monsanto sues farmers who do not use their GMO seeds but have their fields contaminated with them via wind and birds. How they sue family owned farms for millions, always win and then confiscate their property and livelihood.

    I am really angry that the Motley Fool would post such an obviously bias article.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 9:39 PM, ljmnz wrote:

    Monsatan, Dow, Sygenta, Bayer, they're all to blame and not to be trusted.

    The 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs from an article at this link:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/06/06/did-monsant...

    Corn, soy beans, alfalfa, sugar beets. All these crops have been genetically modified by Monsanto and its GM brethren to the point where there are virtually no alternatives for farmers. GM corn accounts for 86% of the country's supply. More than 90% of the soy beans have been altered. Sugar beets are half the country's sugar supply, and 95% of those seeds are from Monsanto.

    All told, Monsanto, DuPont (NYSE: DD ) , and Syngenta (NYSE: SYT ) control 53% of the world's seed production, yet their control of our food supply is almost all-encompassing, because they cross-license their technology between themselves and with other companies.

    Monsanto recently agreed to share its technology with Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) and Bayer (and vice versa), while DuPont and Bayer similarly expanded their collaboration. Syngenta is cross-pollinating Dow's AgroSciences division with its GM technology.

  • Report this Comment On June 08, 2013, at 10:51 PM, depiccinis wrote:

    Article brought to you by Monsanto.

    The author of the article is either a shill for the Monsanto or completely ignorant about gmo and has no business spreading misinformation. .

    In the first paragraph he starts by confusing hybridization the crossing of compatible varieties, happening naturally in the wild

    with genetically modified organisms. In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and “recombine” them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter. For example, genetic engineers have transferred genes from a bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt into the DNA of corn. Bt genes express a protein that kills insects, and transferring the genes allows the corn to produce its own pesticide, etc... etc...

    Do I want to eat a plant that produces its own pesticide and kills the insect by having his stomach explode ,NO .

    Numerous studies have linked gmo with endocrine disruption , cancer and other problems.

    Monsanto is hated because of its arrogance and abuse and wanting to force fed us his crap by fighting labeling and sneaking a bill that puts them above the law. Etc.... Etc.... Etc.... Very disappointed with Motley Fool to publish such a bias and amateurish article

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 12:10 AM, larry888 wrote:

    This is an embarrassing piece of MotlyFool propaganda, which is a black eye to the credibility of this site. Wow this stuff is clearly poison and they are poisoning the American population for the last 20 years. Cancer rates EXPLODING, DIABETES EXPLODING, Chronic Inflammation EXPLODING, allergic reactions EXPLODING. I could go on and on!!! For Gods sake even PERU is smart enough to be GMO free and reject MonSATAN. The French GMO study says it all, tumors and cancer for all rats tested. 50 other countries around the world OUTRIGHT BAN THIS POISON!!!! You have the nuts to write an article claiming this crap is good for us??????? MonSATAN has lobbied for congress to pass a law that bans them from ANYONE prosecuting them. Why would they need to have a law like this if there food was so great??? Why are the VEHEMENTLY against labeling? Why? Answer: because they know what is coming...it is a tsunami of anger that will put this company out of business for good. It is COMING FAST!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 12:23 AM, Dave2011 wrote:

    The fools who write these articles need to stick to giving stock tips and quit writing about things they know nothing about.

    If monsanto, dow and the other CHEMICAL...NOT FOOD COMPANIES think Genetical Engineered Organisms are harmless then label them and let people decide what they want to eat.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 12:39 AM, curry123 wrote:

    Another article trying to tell the public that altering plant DNA is ok, nothing wrong, this has been going on for 10,000 years.

    We were not all born yesterday.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 1:18 AM, Lyshlebus wrote:

    The Monsanto haters shtick is so predictable...... When presented with a well written analysis of much of the evidence both pro and con, they immediately revert to calling the author a shill, and repeating their pseudoscience like it is fact, while all the while declaring that no studies have been done to support claims of GMO safety...over 600 published peer reviewed studies have been conducted and very few find GMOs to be unsafe.... You greenies hold that everybody is concerted in this huge conspiracy to take over the world by destroying the food supply. That is so paranoid.... Yet you're willing to blindly follow anti GMO prophets, that when you research their credentials, they rarely pass muster...their collective hands are often out soliciting your support as well. Ever consider that they might be false prophets??? Remove your blinders and look objectively at the evidence, it is available to the public.... GMOs and Monsanto aren't evil...it is your collective ignorance of the facts and fear that allow you to be lead so easily.....

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 1:30 AM, vv234 wrote:

    I agree with Dave2011: let the consumers decide whether MGO foods are good or bad for them by labeling all foods that contain GMO, simple and fair, just like other ingredients.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 2:50 AM, kriddle4 wrote:

    And if you really hate GMO products, you might be interested to learn that this next season's flu shot that you might receive will have insect DNA in it. It is the first GMO vaccine approved by the FDA after only being tested on about 3000 people in which several died due to fluid around their lungs and heart which the FDA does not contribute to the vaccine. It is still in testing stages but they want to see what will happen with the general public now. According to Flublok's package insert, the vaccine is trivalent, which means it contains GM proteins from three different flu strains. The vaccine's manufacturer, Protein Sciences Corporation (PSC), explains that Flublok is produced by extracting cells from the fall armyworm, a type of caterpillar, and genetically altering them to produce large amounts of hemagglutinin, a flu virus protein that enables the flu virus itself to enter the body quickly

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 9:35 AM, shorinkan wrote:

    monsanto is the anti-christ of corporations

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 12:36 PM, eyeknonothing wrote:

    I am reiterating what some other fools said; if GMO's are sooooooooooo great, then let's label them. By the way, if anyone is interested there are anti gmo groups in almost every state and they have pages on FB. Join us to bury Monsatan and their ilk.

    NJTalks- great response.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 2:21 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    "I've already shown that yields have been increasing for decades, so Monsanto is at best merely continuing a long-running trend"

    But that's how productivity increases work. _Each_ new technology generates the next _increment_ in increasing productivity. It's not like you invent a new tool and that tool generates increasing productivity perpetually. No, a new tool creates the next _increment_ in productivity. And then it takes another new tool to create the next increment. And a succession of new tools over time creates an ongoing trend in increasing productivity. To claim that preceding increases in productivity is somehow "proof" that GMO isn't contributing to increasing productivity is to be ignorant of this fact. Who is to say that GMO isn't the _next_ new tool that _enables_ the continuation (next increment) of that trend of increasing productivity?

    From another sector, it's like saying some new semiconductor fabrication technique didn't contribute to the trend of Moore's law because Moore's law has been ongoing for some time. The reality is that it is a _succession_ of _new_ techniques that has made possible the realization of Moore's law and that new technique is just the latest in that succession of techniques.

  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 2:31 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    "...because the corporate motivator in the United States has proved to be stronger than the citizen motivator..."

    And the "motivator" has nothing to do with the basic fact that when push comes to shove, people want their food to be cheap and affordable. The near-food-riot conditions in Mexico and the Middle East after shortage and price hikes of staples after yield issues seems like an indicator of a pretty powerful "citizen" motivator in rejection of lower yields and higher prices. So when it comes to a choice between food-riots or Monsanto, which do you think will be the "citizen" motivated choice?

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 9:12 AM, reginabee wrote:

    Monsanto is the most hated mulitnational corporation for good reason. They make claims about agriculture lthat are false, they insert their employees in government positions which allow them to make laws to protect and deregulate their products in the US market and they sue farmers for genetic contamination that is mainly their doing. The notion that this (gmo) is harmless, to our environment and to our health is irresponsible and preposterous, put a label on these "foods" and let the people decide. I for one, do not want to be force fed a chemical, genetically altered version of what monsanto, A CHEMICAL COMPANY has deemed "safe" and necessary. This is NOT the same as hybridization or even a speeded up version of it, it is LAB EXPERIMENT, one that could cost us our food supply, our health, our pollinators health and our world. Good bye Monsanto, we don't need you.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 12:32 PM, AmusedSpaceman wrote:

    This writer cites longevity statistics, saying we're living 2 years longer since 1996. Those are people who grew up in the 1930's/1940's. They did not grow up in today's toxic environment. Further, Monsanto's history is nothing but a series of lies and atrocities. DDT, Agent Orange, Nutrasweet, the list is endless. Read about the newest one: Anniston, Alabama. Do you really think what their lies on GMOs will never be exposed? Aside from the immorality of supporting a company like MON investing in it is high risk. With all the whistleblowers coming out, its only a matter of when the Monsanto whistleblower officially exposes the GMO atrocity to the world.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 12:33 PM, AmusedSpaceman wrote:
  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 1:15 PM, CluckChicken wrote:

    "1. Genetic engineering as used in crop development is not precise or predictable and has not been shown to be safe. The technique can result in the unexpected production of toxins or allergens in food that are unlikely to be spotted in current regulatory checks."

    So to play devil's advocate with this.

    1. By what standards is this claim of it not being safe made? This is then followed up by a claim that the process "can result in" some bad things but we have no tests to actually prove this point.

    The EarthOpenSource document reads like a best selling horror book.

    This whole GM vs Non-GM fight is very lop sided in the way the two sides go about this. The GM side tends to use well funded research to support claims. The Non-GM side tends to use hysteria and blanked far fetched links to support the claims. If GM stuff is causing all of these things fund a real study to show us that it is, there is a decade plus of heavy use so according to the claims it should be obvious.

    Stop waiting for the big "its only a matter of when the Monsanto whistleblower officially exposes the GMO atrocity to the world" and show us. Please don't claim the money isn't there for such a study as crowd funding would easily generate enough funds for one. Heck I'll even chip in.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 3:14 PM, Chickie23 wrote:

    PLEASE someone tell me this article is a joke! Why is it that only in the United States are people even questioning this atrocity??

    Are you related to an ostrich, or do you just prefer your head in the sand? Do you realize that first of all while yes our lifespans have extended beyond the generations before us--but how many diseases are becoming rampant? How many that we never had before or were a rarity that are becoming as common as a cold?

    Your point of "If you want to get pedantic about this definition, humankind has been genetically modifying organisms ever since the first nomads settled down to grow crops, since virtually nothing we eat today is the same exact plant or animal (or Twinkie) it was 10,000 years ago. But that's not why everyone's afraid of Monsanto. Monsanto is scary because -- in the eyes of detractors -- it's compressing 10,000 years of genetic adaptations into 10 years of mad science." literally made me spit my water across my screen. How arrogant can you be truly to think you have ANY right to play Mother Nature???

    Furthermore while yes, you collected a lot of facts and data, but where is your data on long term effects on the human body, and the effects it could have genetically encoded to future generations?

    As I have stated in my own articles on the Examiner, Monsanto is like a Hydra, each time you cut off a head another takes its place. That being said, my growing knowledge is my weapon, my articles my battle paint, and just as Hercules marched towards almost certain death to defeat this terrorizing beast, I march on yelling my battle cry “Death to Monsanto!”

    I don't know if you work for Monsanto, or if you're just turning a blind eye to such blatant reality, but for whatever it's worth--I sincerely hope you wake up brother.

  • Report this Comment On August 31, 2013, at 10:00 PM, the99percent wrote:

    As stated before; "This article brought to you by Monsanto."

    I would like to also say: "This web site brought to you by Corporate America."

    Any fool knows that you can't go to a lemon tree for orange juice...

    Just as any fool [should] know that you can't come to a site that is about "Stock Investing Advice" and expect to learn the truth about GMO's and Monsanto.

    Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri. It is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate, which it markets under the Roundup brand. Monsanto is also the company that manufactured the insecticide "Agent Orange".

    Agent Orange contaminated more than 3 million civilians and servicemen, and an estimated 500,000 Vietnamese children have been born with deformities attributed to Agent Orange, leading to calls for Monsanto to be prosecuted for war crimes. No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese civilians and though some compensation was paid to U.S. veterans, according to William Sanjour, who led the Toxic Waste pision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “thousands of veterans were disallowed benefits” because “Monsanto studies showed that dioxin [as found in Agent Orange] was not a human carcinogen.” An EPA colleague discovered that Monsanto had apparently falsified the data in their studies. Sanjour says, “If [the studies] were done correctly, they would have reached just the opposite result.”

    Are we "the 99 percent" going to allow another decade go by while Monsanto continues to poison our food supply?

    Remember... You have the purchasing power to stop this madness.

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2479058, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/21/2014 8:27:11 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement