Monday, 25 August 2008

Naughty, naughty, Monsanto

As U.S. multinational Monsanto appears to have the ear of Australian governments and seems determined to establish a strong GM crop presence in this country, perhaps it's time to look at the company's track record regarding corporate ethics.
Here is a list compiled from a cursory look using Google.

Oct 1998
Playing God in the garden article in The New York Times.
I thought about Maryanski's candid and wondrous explanations the next time I met Phil Angell, who again cited the critical role of the F.D.A. in assuring Americans that biotech food is safe. But this time he went even further. ''Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,'' he said. ''Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.'s job.''

Aug 1999
Monsanto GM food ads found to mislead
Monsanto, the US based food company, has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading the public about its genetically modified food and crops. In a report published today, the authority has upheld four complaints made by environmental groups about Monsanto's 1998 UK advertising campaign.

Aug 2000
Philadelphia Jury Rules against Monsanto in Chemical Contamination Case
Aug. 24--A Philadelphia jury stunned the Monsanto Co. yesterday by ruling that the company should pay $90 million in damages to the state of Pennsylvania for selling defective and toxic PCBs that left PennDot's Harrisburg headquarters contaminated after a 1994 fire.

Mar 2001
Italian police raid Monsanto GM stockpile according to BBC News report.
Police in Italy have raided a warehouse of US biotech company Monsanto and seized 112 tonnes of genetically modified maize, the use of which is illegal in that country.

Feb 2002
Monsanto Held Liable For PCB Dumping article in The Washington Post.
An Alabama jury yesterday found that Monsanto Co. engaged in "outrageous" behavior by releasing tons of PCBs into the city of Anniston and covering up its actions for decades, handing 3,500 local residents a huge victory in a landmark environmental lawsuit.

Oct 2003
Monsanto Fined for Crop Tests; Modified Corn, Cotton Improperly Handled
Monsanto Co. and its research partners paid $63,000 in fines for previously undisclosed violations in 2001 in testing genetically modified crops, the government said yesterday.

Dec 2004
Monsanto 'cheated' farmers, India panel claims
More than two years after the controversy, a House panel has recommended compensation for the farmers from multinational seed company, Monsanto, holding the company responsible for the non-flowering of maize seeds supplied to farmers in the name of Cargill 900 M.

Jan. 2005

A Columnist Backed by Monsanto
Michael Fumento's failure to disclose payments to him in 1999 from the agribusiness giant has now caused Scripps Howard to sever its ties to him Scripps Howard News Service announced Jan. 13 that it's severing its business relationship with columnist Michael Fumento, who's also a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute. The move comes after inquiries from BusinessWeek Online about payments Fumento received from agribusiness giant Monsanto (
MON ) -- a frequent subject of praise in Fumento's opinion columns and a book.

Dec 2007
Monsanto busted for contempt of Advertising Authority in South Africa
Transcript of the advertisement

This list was ready for posting last Friday, but I decided to tease 'Mr. Monsanto' who twice clicked onto North Coast Voices early that morning in the obvious expectation of yet another mention.


Anonymous said...

Well done. You might also be interested in FOOD POLITICS at and articles there including "Price Inflammation and Monsanto's Allergy to Labels" and "Rumsfeld and Your Boobs" at

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're stirring up a real tempest in a teapot here. The "transgressions" you've listed here don't sound as lurid or sinister as you make Monsanto out to be. Maybe you're confusing it with Phillip Morris or Exxon Mobile?

clarencegirl said...

"Maybe you're confusing it with Phillip Morris or Exxon Mobile?"
No, I'm not.
However if you want to read further on Monsanto's record for environmental and social damage you might start with:

"Three companies led by Monsanto Co. MON.N agreed yesterday to a $700 million settlement of two Alabama court cases involving thousands of plaintiffs who charged that their homes and lives were damaged by PCB contamination, plaintiffs' attorneys said.
Under the settlement, which also includes Solutia Inc. SOI.N and Pfizer Inc. PFE.N unit Pharmacia, Monsanto and Solutia will pay the damages and fund community improvement programs to end the state and federal cases that involved more than 20,000 current and former residents of Anniston, Alabama, according to an announcement from law firm Shelby Roden and Cartee, which represented some plaintiffs.
The problems arose decades ago when the former Monsanto Co. conglomerate of pharmaceutical, chemical and agrochemical interests operated a chemical plant in Anniston that made polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs." at

Or go to: