July 8, 2012
Monsanto recently published the company’s “2011 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report” to further the illusion it is actually improving agriculture and sustainability, and by extension, helping humanity and our environment. Aside from raking in nearly $12 billion dollars last year blanketing the Earth in even more Frankencrops and poisonous pesticides, the genetic engineering giant spends over 100 pages listing awards and contributions as if Monsanto is the most philanthropic corporation to ever grace the planet.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. As hard as the report is to stomach, the Monsanto Pledge, which lists the company’s supposed business ethic, takes the genetically modified cake. It starts with egregious lies and just gets worse from there.
Monsanto Pledge #1: INTEGRITY — Integrity is the foundation for all that we do.
Integrity is not the word most would choose to describe misleading dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers about Monsanto product safety resulting in babies born with “devastating birth defects”. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the farmers earlier this year alleges Monsanto pushed for excessive use of the company’s best-selling Roundup herbicide glyphosate with full knowledge that farmers lacked requisite protective gear and their crops and livestock would be contaminated. The farmers claim they were not even given any disclosure on potential health dangers.
In a more recent lawsuit, five million Brazilian farmers are also suing the biotech giant for the return of over $7.5 billion Monsanto demanded in royalties on “renewal crops” harvested generations after its patented soybean seeds were purchased and planted. No law exists stating consumers who buy seeds must continue to pay a fee for new plants those seeds generate year after year. “Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production,” the farmers’ lawyer Jane Berwanger said in a statement.
Monsanto Pledge #2: DIALOGUE — We will listen carefully to diverse points of view and engage in thoughtful dialogue.
Forget thoughtful dialogue; Monsanto simply refuses to acknowledge responsibility for biological pollution disasters which have been scientifically linked to their products. As resistant superweeds and superbugs abound, the company pushes its pretense that people are more important than profits. Meanwhile, scientists and watch groups continue to point out that any added yield benefit is far outweighed by the ever increasing quantity of pesticide needed to grow Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops.