More Dirt on Monsanto

Photo by Peter Blanchard. Some rights reserved.

American biotechnology giant Monsanto has taken a lot of slack in recent years for their controversial industrialization of genetically modified food and artificial growth hormones. In the last decade, a handful of critically acclaimed documentaries have taken on Monsanto for all different types of malpractice: Food, Inc. criticized Monsanto for unfairly pursuing legal action against international farmers accused of saving and reselling or replanting Monsanto-patented seeds. The Corporation featured a doctor attempting to expose the criminality of Monsanto-sanctioned Posilac, a growth hormone used by Monsanto for producing extra milk in dairy cattle. 2004’s The Future of Food took on Monsanto directly and frequently for their international stranglehold on farms and farmers, and for their influence over the US government.

With all the bad press, then, it comes as little surprise that the Atlantic called Monsanto “the worst-performing stock of 2010,” a claim that is supported by a bullet-point list of bad news the company received over a period of just a few weeks, a list which includes a halved income, plummeting herbicide sales, and a Justice Department investigation for antitrust violations. Yet even still, Monsanto, along with Dupont, Syngenta, and Groupe Limagrain (“the big four” of food production) is responsible for 75% of seeds sold internationally. Pretty crazy!

Well, a series of WikiLeak cables released last week are sure to cause further commotion, as they show evidence that the US government funded “biotechnology outreach programs” in a number of developing countries, while it is also suggested that Craig Stapleton, former US ambassador to France, recommended pressuring European countries not already supporting the sale of GMO foods.Food Whistleblower has links to these WikiLeaks documents.

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