Behind a Corporate Monster: how Monsanto pushes Agricultural Domination

on, by Alan Broughton, March 19, 2017.

Monsanto, one of the world’s biggest pesticide and seed corporations and leading developer of genetically modified crop varieties, had a stock market value of US$66 billion in 2014. It has gained this position by a combination of deceit, threat, litigation, destruction of evidence, falsified data, bribery, takeovers and cultivation of regulatory bodies … //

… Influence: … //
… Labelling: … //

… Market Access:

  • Along with the glowing advertising that promises higher yields for lower costs, which Monsanto uses around the world to entice farmers to buy its products, less open tactics are also used to grow its market.
  • For instance, vets in the US were paid $300 for each of their clients that adopted rBGH.
  • In the case of South America, the penetration of GM soy has been extraordinarily successful. Argentina was an early approver of GM products, but neighbouring Brazil and Paraguay initially refused to allow it.
  • However, GM soy seeds were smuggled in from Argentina in unmarked bags in huge quantities. These seeds were used by large farmers illegally to such an extent that the governments of Brazil and Paraguay were forced to change the law to make it legal.
  • It is suspected, but not proven, that Monsanto was involved in this introduction – it was certainly a huge beneficiary.
  • The extent to which Monsanto uses bribery is not known. One example that was revealed was the $700,000 paid to Indonesian officials between 1997 and 2002 to facilitate the introduction of GM cotton to that country. The US Department of Justice fined Monsanto $1.5 million for this bribery.

Data Falsification and Concealment: … //
… Threats and Litigation: … //
… Promise Versus Reality: … //
… Flooding the Market: … //
… Some Victories: … //

… Gaining Control:

  • Monsanto’s strategy in getting control of the world’s food system has so far been successful, relying on government support, effective advertising, intimidation and litigation.
  • But public opposition is mounting. Huge numbers of people around the world took part in the March Against Monsanto in 2015. The organic industry in the US is booming because this is the only way consumers can choose non-GM foods. Farmers are starting to reject GM seeds. However, there is a long way to go before Monsanto falls.
  • It was public action that led to the ban on PCBs and the hormonal herbicide 2,4,5-T.
  • In Australia we must continue to support the South Australian and Tasmanian GMO moratoria and pressure other governments to withdraw approval for GM canola and cotton and continue to block GM soy and corn.
  • We must support ecological farming systems that do not need the inputs provided by Monsanto or any of the other pesticide, seed and GMO conglomerates.

(full text, related stories).

(Alan Broughton is a member of the Socialist Alliance and involved with the Organic Agriculture Association. Along with Elena Garcia, he is a co-author of the recently released Sustainable Agriculture Versus Corporate Greed, Ed. Resistance Books, 2017).

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