Posts Tagged ‘pesticide’

A Poisoned World – Pt17 – Food Inc


A Poisoned World – Pt17 – Food Inc

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Sodom – Agent Orange (Subtitulos Español) HD #monsanto


Sodom – Agent Orange (Subtitulos Español) HD

 

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SODOM LYRICS

album: “Agent Orange” (1989)

1. Agent Orange

Operation >>Ranch Hand<<
Spray down the death
Down on their farms
Assault against the population
Suppress by military arms
Only you prevent the forest
Legalize the war
They are deprived of their power
Eradication without law

Agent Orange
Agent Orange
Agent Orange
A fire that doesn’t burn

All the marks erased long ago
Scars are healed up
Cancer creeps into their innocent souls
Memorials of flesh and blood
Have survived unlawfully punished
Poisoned till the end of their lives
Physical deformity
What medicine will help?
Still births will rise

Agent Orange
Agent Orange
Agent Orange
A fire that doesn’t burn

Grieved weak hearts are crying
Waiting for the end
In this condition they are dying
Newborns of the damned
Preserved in test tubes for generations
Vicious circle of transmission
There’s no way for reparations
Must live with chemical agent called

Agent Orange
Agent Orange
Agent Orange
A fire that doesn’t burn

Agent Orange… burn
Agent Orange… burn
Agent Orange… burn

 

EL EFECTO MONSANTO – Vietnam (1962-1974) Argentina (1996-????)

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EL EFECTO MONSANTO (subtitled song) – Vietnam (1962-1974) Argentina (1996-????)

Military and civil use of herbicides under the same business portfolio

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Dioxins and their effects on human health

Fact sheet N°225
World Health Organization May 2010


Key Facts

  • Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants.
  • Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.
  • More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Many national authorities have programmes in place to monitor the food supply.
  • Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
  • Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.
  • Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins as much as possible.

Background

Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They have the dubious distinction of belonging to the “dirty dozen” – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems. Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body. Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years. In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher in the animal food chain one goes, the higher the concentration of dioxins.

The chemical name for dioxin is: 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo para dioxin (TCDD). The name “dioxins” is often used for the family of structurally and chemically related polychlorinated dibenzo para dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Certain dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with similar toxic properties are also included under the term “dioxins”. Some 419 types of dioxin-related compounds have been identified but only about 30 of these are considered to have significant toxicity, with TCDD being the most toxic.

Sources of dioxin contamination

Dioxins are mainly by products of industrial processes but can also result from natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Dioxins are unwanted by products of a wide range of manufacturing processes including smelting, chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacturing of some herbicides and pesticides. In terms of dioxin release into the environment, uncontrolled waste incinerators (solid waste and hospital waste) are often the worst culprits, due to incomplete burning. Technology is available that allows for controlled waste incineration with low emissions.

Although formation of dioxins is local, environmental distribution is global. Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment. The highest levels of these compounds are found in some soils, sediments and food, especially dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish. Very low levels are found in plants, water and air.

Extensive stores of PCB-based waste industrial oils, many with high levels of PCDFs, exist throughout the world. Long-term storage and improper disposal of this material may result in dioxin release into the environment and the contamination of human and animal food supplies. PCB-based waste is not easily disposed of without contamination of the environment and human populations. Such material needs to be treated as hazardous waste and is best destroyed by high temperature incineration.

Dioxin contamination incidents

Many countries monitor their food supply for dioxins. This has led to early detection of contamination and has often prevented impact on a larger scale. One example is the detection of increased dioxin levels in milk in 2004 in the Netherlands, traced to a clay used in the production of the animal feed. In another incident, elevated dioxin levels were detected in animal feed in the Netherlands in 2006 and the source was identified as contaminated fat used in the production of the feed.

Some dioxin contamination events have been more significant, with broader implications in many countries.

In late 2008, Ireland recalled many tons of pork meat and pork products when up to 200 times more dioxins than the safe limit were detected in samples of pork. This finding led to one of the largest food recalls related to a chemical contamination. Risk assessments performed by Ireland indicated no public health concern. The contamination was traced back to contaminated feed.

In July 2007, the European Commission issued a health warning to its Member States after high levels of dioxins were detected in a food additive – guar gum – used as thickener in small quantities in meat, dairy, dessert or delicatessen products. The source was traced to guar gum from India that was contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP), a pesticide no longer in use. PCP contains dioxins as contamination.

In 1999, high levels of dioxins were found in poultry and eggs from Belgium. Subsequently, dioxin-contaminated animal-based food (poultry, eggs, pork), were detected in several other countries. The cause was traced to animal feed contaminated with illegally disposed PCB-based waste industrial oil.

In March 1998, high levels of dioxins in milk sold in Germany were traced to citrus pulp pellets used as animal feed exported from Brazil. The investigation resulted in a ban on all citrus pulp imports to the EU from Brazil.

Another case of dioxin contamination of food occurred in the United States of America in 1997. Chickens, eggs, and catfish were contaminated with dioxins when a tainted ingredient (bentonite clay, sometimes called “ball clay”) was used in the manufacture of animal feed. The contaminated clay was traced to a bentonite mine. As there was no evidence that hazardous waste was buried at the mine, investigators speculate that the source of dioxins may be natural, perhaps due to a prehistoric forest fire.

Large amounts of dioxins were released in a serious accident at a chemical factory in Seveso, Italy, in 1976. A cloud of toxic chemicals, including 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD, was released into the air and eventually contaminated an area of 15 square kilometres where 37 000 people lived. Extensive studies in the affected population are continuing to determine the long-term human health effects from this incident. These investigations, however, are hampered by the lack of appropriate exposure assessments. A minor increase in certain cancers and effects on reproduction have been detected and are being further investigated. Possible effects on the children of exposed people are currently being studied.

TCDD has also been extensively studied for health effects linked to its presence as a contaminant in some batches of the herbicide Agent Orange, which was used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. A link to certain types of cancers and also to diabetes is still being investigated.

Earlier incidents of food contamination have been reported in other parts of the world. Although all countries can be affected, most contamination cases have been reported in industrialized countries where adequate food contamination monitoring, greater awareness of the hazard and better regulatory controls are available for the detection of dioxin problems.

A few cases of intentional human poisoning have also been reported. The most notable incident is the 2004 case of Viktor Yushchenko, President of the Ukraine, whose face was disfigured by chloracne.

Effects of dioxins on human health

Short-term exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins may result in skin lesions, such as chloracne and patchy darkening of the skin, and altered liver function. Long-term exposure is linked to impairment of the immune system, the developing nervous system, the endocrine system and reproductive functions. Chronic exposure of animals to dioxins has resulted in several types of cancer. TCDD was evaluated by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1997. Based on animal data and on human epidemiology data, TCDD was classified by IARC as a “known human carcinogen”. However, TCDD does not affect genetic material and there is a level of exposure below which cancer risk would be negligible.

Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure and a certain level of dioxins in the body, leading to the so-called body burden. Current normal background exposure is not expected to affect human health on average. However, due to the high toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.

Sensitive subgroups

The developing fetus is most sensitive to dioxin exposure. The newborn, with rapidly developing organ systems, may also be more vulnerable to certain effects. Some individuals or groups of individuals may be exposed to higher levels of dioxins because of their diets (e.g., high consumers of fish in certain parts of the world) or their occupations (e.g., workers in the pulp and paper industry, in incineration plants and at hazardous waste sites, to name just a few). [more]

RT: History of Monsanto


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Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farmers!. #GMO #OGM #FYW #OccupyWallStreet #USDOR


 Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farmers!.  #GMO #OGM #FYW

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Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farm…, posted with vodpod

scroll down for the text
this is a video response to
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Anonymous-Attacks-Monsanto-Network…
congratulations on this succesful operation

(message we uploaded before the hack)

To the free-thinking citizens of the world:
Anonymous stands with the farmers and food organizations denouncing the practices of Monsanto. We applaud the bravery of the organizations and citizens who are standing up to Monsanto, and we stand united with you against this oppressive corporate abuse. Monsanto is contaminating the world with chemicals and genetically modified food crops for profit while claiming to feed the hungry and protect the environment. Anonymous is everyone, Anyone who can not stand for injustice and decides to do something about it, We are all over the Earth and here to stay.
To Monsanto, we demand you stop the following:

-Contaminating the global food chain with GMO’s.
– Intimidating small farmers with bullying and lawsuits.
– Propagating the use of destructive pesticides and herbicides across the globe.
– Using “Terminator Technology”, which renders plants sterile.
– Attempting to hijack UN climate change negotiations for your own fiscal benefit.
– Reducing farmland to desert through monoculture and the use of synthetic fertilizers.
-Inspiring suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers.
-Causing birth defects by continuing to produce the pesticide “Round-up”
-Attempting to bribe foriegn officials
-Infiltrating anti-GMO groups

Monsanto, these crimes will not go unpunished. Anonymous will not spare you nor anyone in support of your oppressive illegal business practices.
AGRA, a great example:
In 2006, AGRA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, was established with funding from Bill Gates and The Rockefeller Foundation.
Among the other founding members of, AGRA, we find: Monsanto, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter and Gamble, Merck, Mosaic, Pfizer, Sumitomo Chemical and Yara. The fact that these corporations are either chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers is no coincidence.
The people of the world see you, Monsanto. Anonymous sees you.
Seeds of Opportunism,
Climate change offers these businesses a perfect excuse to prey on the poorest countries by swooping in to “rescue” the farmers and people with their GMO crops and chemical pesticides. These corporations eradicate the traditional ways of the country’s agriculture for the sake of enormous profits.
The introduction of GMOs drastically affects a local farmers income, as the price of chemicals required for GMOs and seeds from Monsanto cripples the farmer’s meager profit margins.
There are even many cases of Monsanto suing small farmers after pollen from their GMO crops accidentally cross with the farmer’s crops. Because Monsanto has a patent on theri brand of seed, they claim the farmer is in violation of patent laws.
These disgusting and inhumane practices will not be tolerated.
Anonymous urges all concerned citizens to stand up for these farmers, stand up for the future of your own food. Protest, organize, spread info to your friends!
SAY NO TO POISONOUS CHEMICALS IN YOUR FOOD!
SAY NO TO GMO!
SAY NO TO MONSANTO!
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

“GMO” the musical


“GMO” the musical

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No Monsanto

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Payday Monsanto – NO Monsanto , posted with vodpod

Just Say No To GMO

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EL EFECTO MONSANTO – Vietnam (1962-1974) Argentina (1996-????)


EL EFECTO MONSANTO – Vietnam (1962-1974) Argentina (1996-????)

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EL EFECTO MONSANTO (subtitled song) – Vietnam (1962-1974) Argentina (1996-????)

Military and civil use of herbicides under the same business portfolio

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Dioxins and their effects on human health

Fact sheet N°225
World Health Organization May 2010


Key Facts

  • Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants.
  • Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.
  • More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Many national authorities have programmes in place to monitor the food supply.
  • Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
  • Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.
  • Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins as much as possible.

Background

Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They have the dubious distinction of belonging to the “dirty dozen” – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems. Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body. Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years. In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher in the animal food chain one goes, the higher the concentration of dioxins.

The chemical name for dioxin is: 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo para dioxin (TCDD). The name “dioxins” is often used for the family of structurally and chemically related polychlorinated dibenzo para dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Certain dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with similar toxic properties are also included under the term “dioxins”. Some 419 types of dioxin-related compounds have been identified but only about 30 of these are considered to have significant toxicity, with TCDD being the most toxic.

Sources of dioxin contamination

Dioxins are mainly by products of industrial processes but can also result from natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Dioxins are unwanted by products of a wide range of manufacturing processes including smelting, chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacturing of some herbicides and pesticides. In terms of dioxin release into the environment, uncontrolled waste incinerators (solid waste and hospital waste) are often the worst culprits, due to incomplete burning. Technology is available that allows for controlled waste incineration with low emissions.

Although formation of dioxins is local, environmental distribution is global. Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment. The highest levels of these compounds are found in some soils, sediments and food, especially dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish. Very low levels are found in plants, water and air.

Extensive stores of PCB-based waste industrial oils, many with high levels of PCDFs, exist throughout the world. Long-term storage and improper disposal of this material may result in dioxin release into the environment and the contamination of human and animal food supplies. PCB-based waste is not easily disposed of without contamination of the environment and human populations. Such material needs to be treated as hazardous waste and is best destroyed by high temperature incineration.

Dioxin contamination incidents

Many countries monitor their food supply for dioxins. This has led to early detection of contamination and has often prevented impact on a larger scale. One example is the detection of increased dioxin levels in milk in 2004 in the Netherlands, traced to a clay used in the production of the animal feed. In another incident, elevated dioxin levels were detected in animal feed in the Netherlands in 2006 and the source was identified as contaminated fat used in the production of the feed.

Some dioxin contamination events have been more significant, with broader implications in many countries.

In late 2008, Ireland recalled many tons of pork meat and pork products when up to 200 times more dioxins than the safe limit were detected in samples of pork. This finding led to one of the largest food recalls related to a chemical contamination. Risk assessments performed by Ireland indicated no public health concern. The contamination was traced back to contaminated feed.

In July 2007, the European Commission issued a health warning to its Member States after high levels of dioxins were detected in a food additive – guar gum – used as thickener in small quantities in meat, dairy, dessert or delicatessen products. The source was traced to guar gum from India that was contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP), a pesticide no longer in use. PCP contains dioxins as contamination.

In 1999, high levels of dioxins were found in poultry and eggs from Belgium. Subsequently, dioxin-contaminated animal-based food (poultry, eggs, pork), were detected in several other countries. The cause was traced to animal feed contaminated with illegally disposed PCB-based waste industrial oil.

In March 1998, high levels of dioxins in milk sold in Germany were traced to citrus pulp pellets used as animal feed exported from Brazil. The investigation resulted in a ban on all citrus pulp imports to the EU from Brazil.

Another case of dioxin contamination of food occurred in the United States of America in 1997. Chickens, eggs, and catfish were contaminated with dioxins when a tainted ingredient (bentonite clay, sometimes called “ball clay”) was used in the manufacture of animal feed. The contaminated clay was traced to a bentonite mine. As there was no evidence that hazardous waste was buried at the mine, investigators speculate that the source of dioxins may be natural, perhaps due to a prehistoric forest fire.

Large amounts of dioxins were released in a serious accident at a chemical factory in Seveso, Italy, in 1976. A cloud of toxic chemicals, including 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD, was released into the air and eventually contaminated an area of 15 square kilometres where 37 000 people lived. Extensive studies in the affected population are continuing to determine the long-term human health effects from this incident. These investigations, however, are hampered by the lack of appropriate exposure assessments. A minor increase in certain cancers and effects on reproduction have been detected and are being further investigated. Possible effects on the children of exposed people are currently being studied.

TCDD has also been extensively studied for health effects linked to its presence as a contaminant in some batches of the herbicide Agent Orange, which was used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. A link to certain types of cancers and also to diabetes is still being investigated.

Earlier incidents of food contamination have been reported in other parts of the world. Although all countries can be affected, most contamination cases have been reported in industrialized countries where adequate food contamination monitoring, greater awareness of the hazard and better regulatory controls are available for the detection of dioxin problems.

A few cases of intentional human poisoning have also been reported. The most notable incident is the 2004 case of Viktor Yushchenko, President of the Ukraine, whose face was disfigured by chloracne.

Effects of dioxins on human health

Short-term exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins may result in skin lesions, such as chloracne and patchy darkening of the skin, and altered liver function. Long-term exposure is linked to impairment of the immune system, the developing nervous system, the endocrine system and reproductive functions. Chronic exposure of animals to dioxins has resulted in several types of cancer. TCDD was evaluated by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1997. Based on animal data and on human epidemiology data, TCDD was classified by IARC as a “known human carcinogen”. However, TCDD does not affect genetic material and there is a level of exposure below which cancer risk would be negligible.

Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure and a certain level of dioxins in the body, leading to the so-called body burden. Current normal background exposure is not expected to affect human health on average. However, due to the high toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.

Sensitive subgroups

The developing fetus is most sensitive to dioxin exposure. The newborn, with rapidly developing organ systems, may also be more vulnerable to certain effects. Some individuals or groups of individuals may be exposed to higher levels of dioxins because of their diets (e.g., high consumers of fish in certain parts of the world) or their occupations (e.g., workers in the pulp and paper industry, in incineration plants and at hazardous waste sites, to name just a few). [more]

Ishtarmuz’s rebuttal to: Monsanto’s Hugh Grant, CEO of the Year 2010


Ishtarmuz’s rebuttal toMonsanto’s Hugh Grant, CEO of the Year 2010 written by J.P. Donlon in Chief Executive July/August 2010

Recognizing that helping farmers around the world gain access to the best technologies is in everyone’s interest, Hugh Grant has made it central to Monsanto’s strategy to partner with others—governments and NGOs—to improve food security. By J.P. Donlon

To say this is to be totally blind to the history of this company, those whistle blowers that say the CEOs of Monsanto are front men and that they are in no way growing the profits of this company other than by litigation, deceptive public relations, flawed science, and an awesome business model that has doubled the size of the company in a few short years. Since we are talking Monsanto check out the 46 links in this CorporateWatch article.

Few other companies—not even, say, Google—seem to excite such extreme passions. Depending on whom you’re talking to, Monsanto, the agri–biotech company, is either Satan or savior. Not bad for a B–to–B company that, apart from its commercial weed–killer Roundup, is largely unknown to the public. The observation brings a knowing expression to the face of Hugh Grant, a tall, laconic figure who speaks with the soft Glaswegian accent of his native Scotland. Since becoming chairman and CEO in 2003, he has led the $12 billion St. Louis–based company through a series of moves focused on developing products that help farmers grow more crops by using resources more efficiently. Trained as a molecular biologist and agricultural zoologist, Grant and his team have overseen the company double in size. … Under his leadership, total annual average return to shareholders exceeded 27 percent, with net income CAG reaching 23 percent. During this time, Grant increased the company’s R&D investment to more than $2.5 million a day.

You can almost hear the Board saying, “With those numbers, I don’t care how he is doing it. We are responsible to the stockholders. Carry on, whatever it takes, we have too much invested to not carry on.”

… 30 years ago, the typical farmer fed just 25 people. Today a farmer feeds about 130 people and in the next 40 years he will need to feed twice as many. Monsanto’s business of boosting agricultural productivity is at the center of nearly every major issue … feeding the world with fewer resources would be championed.

Except that what is meant here is that all small farmers will be driven out of business and the corporate farms forced to play ball with Monsanto will be the only ones to survive and propagate Monsanto’s monoculture.

The criticism Monsanto encountered when it transformed itself from a chemical to a biotechnology company in the late 1980s centers on its strategy of modifying the genes of corn, soybeans and cotton. The fact that civilization has been selecting for genetic traits for 6,000 years was dismissed by critics who argued that genetic modification of plant seeds would lead to “Frankenfood.”

Taking the genes of one species, splicing them into a virus, inserting them into a bacteria, then shooting them into another genome with a gene gun is not the same as selecting for genetic traits from a single species as was done for the last 6000 years.  They have no idea of the results of this genetic modification process other than that the plants that show the desired traits are marketable because they have rigged the game at every level of the process.

Opposition to crop biotech has somewhat abated, as farmers around the world have voted with their plows. It’s easy to understand why. … In the U.S., about three–fourths of the corn and soybeans is grown with seeds containing Monsanto’s technology.

Yes, we understand why, as many farmers as they can coerce have been left no economic alternative after they have become addicted to the pesticides.

In fact, Monsanto now has the opposite problem, in that its success in crop biotechnology has drawn the attention of Department of Justice antitrust chief Christine Varney. Nor is the sector short of aggressive competitors such as Syngenta, DuPont, and BASF, among others. (Monsanto broadly licenses its technology, even to competitors.)

Yes, all the broad licences were done under threat of antitrust lawsuits.  This was not the first time these questions have been asked.

The issue of agricultural resource constraints, which promises to become more acute, lies at the core of Grant’s strategy. Currently 70 percent of fresh water in the U.S. is used for agriculture, with the rest used for drinking and personal needs. … Recently CE’s J.P. Donlon caught up with the 2010 Chief Executive of the Year and his team in St. Louis to explore their focus on sustainable agriculture.

Everyone that believes that Monsanto is full of eleemosynary intent and just want to feed the world, save our drinking water and not provide the world with a premiere sustainable, yet unethical, business model, please raise your hand.

Helping the world feed itself seems innocuous—even admirable—but in our sustainability–obsessed world it’s become controversial. When you took this job in 2003, did you understand what you were up against?

Agriculture finds itself in the middle of discussions on global policy issues concerning food, global warming and water, among others. And because Monsanto is in the middle of the agricultural source of all this and has relevance to these larger global concerns, it is at the center of strong visceral reactions. If it were not Monsanto, it would be some other company.

With proprietary drought resistant seeds, who has the most likely to benefit from global warming? Who might fund studies to deny it happening?

In our lifetime…there will be … the equivalent of two more Chinas. … How will we feed them and how will they have enough water? … So the challenge is: How do we produce more on fewer acres of arable land?

Improving productivity is the only answer. … We are among those who see a tremendous opportunity in trying to shift the slope of the productivity curve in increasing yields of key crops. That’s what our scientists—about 3,500 researchers, of which one–fourth are PhDs—wake up every morning thinking about.

Yes, and how open, independent is their “peer” reviewed research?

How will Monsanto’s efforts move the needle on a challenge of this magnitude?

It doesn’t take much imagination to suggest they insert a toxoplasma gondii gene into their substantially equivalent seeds and make us not fear GMOs.

We’ve moved the needle a good bit already. We’ve improved the base seed itself. Civilization has been improving traits for thousands of years. We’re getting there quicker by improving the genetics. It’s like breeding Thoroughbred racehorses. We’ve just advanced the capacity to yieldmore.

Yes, when was the last time a thoroughbred horse had a daffodil spliced into its genes?

We spend $1 billion a year on R&D, and half of that goes to improving the genetics of that seed. For example, we’re building genetic street maps …

Maybe you should read my road trip article about following your GPS and computers without using your own good sense? The map is not the territory.

The other 50 cents of the R&D dollar goes to biotechnology. This may involve, for example, the fight against weeds and bugs. Further into the future, the focus will increasingly be on water usage. …

So we should gargle away all our water with just your pesticide producing only your monoculture, when is not even clear it will actually do what you are saying after a few crop generations and by then it may be too late?

So is drought tolerance the equivalent of your Lipitor or Viagra?

It has the capacity to be a blockbuster, to use your pharmaceutical example. We haven’t made any projections, but it would be in the $1 billion–plus range.

The learning from the pharmaceutical industry is to work out how to share one’s product at the early stage with people who aren’t able to pay you for it….

Yes, get them hooked and start charging.  Also you learned that pharmaceutical R& D out performed chemical company R &D four to one for that very reason.

Spending $1 billion on R&D, you have considerable intellectual property to protect, and, considering that you charge a premium for seeds, how do you convince farmers they’re worth the extra cost?

Simple. You have to deliver yield on the farm. The sophistication of the grower has increased enormously. The grower is running a combine, a John Deere equipped with a computer with a satellite uplink, through his fields that gives him accurate yield data on every square yard. This is the norm, not the exception. …

All the farmers that will be left will be so equipped. The small farmers will be gone. Let me see, there are over 40 million farmers in China were displaced from their land in 2005, there were about 2 million farmers in the USA in the 1990s, but the John Deere GPS up-linked tractors sold around the world are just over 80,000 in 2008. Sure these high tech tractors are the norm. I would bet half the world’s farmers don’t even own a tractor, but then Monsanto defines a farmer differently than governments.  Are Monsanto’s other numbers so misinformed? Or has that many small farmers around the world already been displaced by corporate farms encouraged by the Monsanto monoculture?

Yes, but as Intel’s Andy Grove used to point out, one’s technology lead is never permanent. Syngenta, for example, is introducing a drought–tolerant product. How do you maintain a lead and a price premium?

That is easy.  Our dirty tricks department makes sure they are killed in key markets, but that would be wrong. [Too bad that was accidently deleted from tape of the interview (see watergate tapes).]

That’s the key question, because it’s an increasingly crowded and competitive space. That’s the nature of this business. Growers are discerning customers, focused on functionality. … Also, we’re working on corn that uses nitrogen more efficiently, giving farmers more choices.

As competitive as the five media giants?

Products that deliver consistently on farms will provide the competitive edge. Despite an increasingly crowded field, our products yield better. The increment of yield translates into premium price position. It’s that basic.

An asset manager at an investment fund based nearby was horrified to learn that Monsanto was chosen as this year’s honoree. She didn’t use the word “evil,” but it was clear that was what she meant when referring to the company prohibiting farmers from reusing the seeds it sells. Asked about Microsoft or HP penalizing those who violate the terms–of– use of their products, she rejected the analogy, saying that while North American farmers can afford to buy the seed each planting season, South American farmers cannot. To her mind, and to those other highly educated urban professionals we encountered, this practice makes Monsanto yet another example of a heavy–handed U.S. multinational bullying indigent peasants.

The romance with agriculture is directly proportional to the distance that you are from it. …

An honest real world statement, but a corollary to that would be that the romance of the scientific results that you tout as a solution is also more promising the more distance you have from the real world results.

We have more farmers growing our biotech cotton in India than we have in America, including the entire Mississippi delta and all of Texas. The reason is that it works better. It yields more and costs less. …

That is why they were committing suicide en mass by drinking your pesticide.

Cumulatively, no more than two billion acres of these crops have been planted. The first billion acres took 10 years. The second billion took three years. How is that possible? It’s because a big piece of the second billion is smallholder agriculture—the very people your Greenwich fund manager thinks are oppressed. They are rushing towards it. Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are stepping up their use of insect–protected cotton, not because of Monsanto, but because the economics dictate it.

It is not like your company ever bribed government officials where you couldn’t get your people installed into government postions.

There will always be people who will not be persuaded by the facts, but to the vast middle ground we’re seeing a more constructive dialogue. The fact is that farmers are ahead of the critics. They look around and see the reality—that there will be more people on the planet to feed and clothe. They aren’t persuaded by some government’s ag policy or by any company’s clever marketing.

Yeah right, if your company could produce this profit by having these farmers sell pet rocks, then you would do that and so would the farmers, to feed their families.

Describe this company five years from now. How will it be different?

I’m always worried about dramatic sharp turns. I call it the Jetsons effect, where it’s assumed everyone is traveling in personal spaceships. … It will be a business focused exclusively on biology, sitting comfortably in the Fortune 100.

Large risks can lead to large profits or large failures.  You can ignore the risks at your peril and, unfortunately, ours too.

By 2016, we’ll have commercialized our first drought–tolerant products. We’ll be seeing the first of those products in the hands of growers in sub–Saharan Africa. And we’ll have made significant progress on our yield genes. We will have made significant progress in the early ramp towards doubling yields in corn, soy and probably cotton. Five years is only four spring plantings from now.

The Monsanto Board of Directors

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