AP050628022225Introducing transgenic soy in Argentina allowed Monsanto to spread it to the rest of Latin America, even in countries where it was prohibited. (AP Photo/James A. Finley, File)
Early this month, Monsanto, the agribusiness global corporation reported tripling its profits of biotech corn seeds in Latin America. It was a scary thought all around.With headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, and multiple locations on all five continents, Monsanto “has spread its seed.” Company sales in Latin America increased 21 percent to $2.9 billion in the three months ending November 30 of last year, and its share rose 40 cents a share compared to the same quarter the year before.
Nothing wrong with making money, right? It’s all wrong if money is made on behalf of people’s health and safety, the devastation of the environment and the destruction of local farming with disloyal manipulation of the justice system, bribing governing agencies, and lobbying government officers to advance their agenda.
Monsanto’s tainted past
Monsanto manufactured dioxins for “Agent Orange,” used by the U.S. in the Vietnam War that killed 400,000 people, 500,000 children were born with birth defects, and 1 million people are disabled or with health problems, while destroying flora and biodiversity in the war areas. Monsanto also commercialized Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which was banned by the United States Congress in 1979 because of its environmental toxicity.
Monsanto was responsible for marketing the use of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) in dairy products, which caused an expanded advocacy movement in the United States to label dairy products using the hormone said to have consequences in animal and human health.
The giant pioneer started in biotechnology business in the late 1970s in California, heavily investing in research and development while recovering expenses through the use and enforcement of patents in its products.
Monsanto applied a pharmaceutical business model to agriculture, in which a new variety of plant gives the breeder exclusive control over the way the plant is reproduced—such as seed and other ways of duplication—for a number of years, prohibiting farmers to save, reuse or share seed from crops. In this way, the company assures seed commercialization at large.
“Thousands of doctors in the Unites States are prescribing avoidance of GMOs because there is scientific evidence that it impacts the reproductive and immune systems and accelerates aging in animals,” said Jeffrey M. Smith in an interview with VOXXI. Jeffrey M. Smith is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Director, bestselling author of Genetic Roulette and Seeds of Deception and director of the documentary Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Live.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has also rang its alarms against GMOs. Dr. Robin Bernhoft from the Center of Advanced Medicine and member of the Academy said in an interview with VOXXI, “There is nothing scientific about the genetic manipulation of transgenic seeds. Throwing bacteria into a seed’s DNA does not guarantee the changes are consistent or reliable, nutrients can be replaced by toxins randomly, and the only one that benefits from it is Monsanto, the rest of us suffer.”