Washington, D.C. and Brussels—From its beginnings as a small chemical company in 1901, Monsanto has grown into the largest biotechnology, seed and agrochemical company in the world with net sales of $11.8 billion (€9.2 billion), 404 facilities in 66 countries across six continents, and products grown on over 282 million acres worldwide. Today, the consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Europe released its report, Monsanto: A Corporate Profile, for use by the growing movement of people around the world who want to take on the company’s undue influence over lawmakers, regulators, and the food supply.
“Even though you won’t find the Monsanto brand on a food or beverage container at your local grocery store, the company holds vast power over our food supply,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Europe. “Monsanto has peddled everything from plastics to pesticides, a reality that is at odds with its environmentally friendly, feed-the-word image that it spends millions trying to convey.”
Monsanto: A Corporate Profile provides a deep-dive into Monsanto’s history as a heavy industrial chemical manufacturer, offering a timeline of milestones in the company’s history including chemical disasters, mergers and acquisitions, and the first genetically modified plant cell.
“Despite its various marketing incarnations over the years, Monsanto is a chemical company that got its start selling saccharin to Coca-Cola, then Agent Orange to the U.S. military, and, in recent years, seeds genetically modified to contain and withstand massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides and pesticides,” said Hauter. “Monsanto has become synonymous with the corporatization and industrialization of our food supply. The first step towards combatting this foodopoly is to know the facts.”
The report concludes with recommended actions EU authorities and U.S. federal government should take to temper Monsanto’s anticompetitive practices and control over agricultural research and government policies. It also suggests steps that regulators should take to better protect consumers and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of GE crops.
Contact: Eve Mitchell, EU Food Policy Advisor +44 (0)1381 610 740 [email protected]