A Friend or Foe to Farmers?


“When farmers succeed, we succeed. Using the tools of modern biology, we help farmers grow more yield sustainably so they can produce more and conserve more. Afterall, it is the world’s farmers that truly feed, clothe and fuel our growing world.”

-Monsanto Corporation


Monsanto is a large American corporation, originally founded in 1901, that leads the agricultural biotechnology industry today, with a  variety of projects and goals that have shaped and improved farming worldwide. Todays Monsanto is quite different from the original company of the same name, and today focuses on “agriculture and supporting farmers around the world in their mission to feed, clothe and fuel our growing world.” Back in the early 2000’s, Monsanto was a large producer of agricultural products for weed management, including the widely popular Roundup herbicide. Monsanto has been a pioneer in development of in seed technologies for pest resistance and crop yield. Monsanto focuses on the potential of the seed, “both its yield potential and the technology used to protect it -- so farmers can get more out of each seed.”


Monsanto sees three types of benefits from their products:

§  Farmer benefits increase productivity or reduce cost by increasing yield, improving protection from insects and disease, or increasing their crops’ tolerance to heat, drought, and other environmental stress. For many farmers, especially small-scale growers, our products help improve their lives by helping them produce more while conserving more time and inputs.

§  Processor benefits improve the quality and content of animal feed, food and energy sources.

§  Consumer benefits are advantages such as increased protein, healthier oils or carbohydrate enhancements.


While Monsanto has made great strides in marketing its products to a worldwide market, many consumers feel that it has too much control over the agricultural biotechnology market, seeking to put organic farmers out of business. For example, the Organic Consumers Association has started a campaign called “Millions against Monsanto,” in an effort to raise awareness about what they feel are Monsanto’s unethical practices. For example, there are a number of farmers who have been sued for use of Monsanto products without proper compensation to the company. These farmers protest, arguing that the Monsanto genes somehow made their way into their crop supply.



For example, “Percy Schmeiser is a farmer from Saskatchewan Canada, whose Canola fields were contaminated with Monsanto's genetically engineered Round-Up Ready Canola by pollen from a nearby farm. Monsanto says it doesn't matter how the contamination took place, and is therefore demanding Schmeiser pay their Technology Fee (the fee farmers must pay to grow Monsanto's genetically engineered products). According to Schmeiser, "I never had anything to do with Monsanto, outside of buying chemicals [such as Monsanto’s popular RoudUp]. I never signed a contract.”


Read more similar stories here http://nelsonfarm.net/issue.htm

Or sign the Millions against Monsanto petition/send a fax here if you wish


This document will be physically delivered to Monsanto related court cases on behalf of the farmers

Citation 5, Citation 15, Citation 16