The film documents the beginnings of the company as a chemical start-up in the early 1900s, producing saccharin, caffeine and vanillin. As we watch Robin Google up unclassified documents and interview a bevy of officials, scientists and farmers, we see that today’s Monsanto is a giant multinational wielding its considerable financial, political and marketing clout to influence government officials, ruthlessly sue farmers using patent laws – all the while surreptitiously lobbying to keep their potentially toxic products unlabelled or falsely advertised.The future? Already Monsanto seeds grow 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn in the U.S. and people claim “we couldn’t do agriculture in Argentina” without RoundUp. The Biotechnology Industry Organization even claims that the popularity of herbicide-resistant crops showed their value outweighs any associated detriments.
Monsanto claims that their genetically modified seeds will solve the food crisis, especially in developing countries, where it will provide significant economic benefits, higher quality and better yield. Nevertheless, the film compellingly shows the unsettling possibilities of genetic contamination of conventional or local varieties of seeds by their genetically-engineered cousins, pointing to a horrific future where global plant biodiversity is nil and farmers are not able to grow anything but genetically contaminated food.
Any associated detrimeents, such as birth defects or sickness in animals and humans.
Surely the company that brought us DDT (banned by U.S. Congress 1972), Agent Orange (Agent Orange Act of 1991 makes U.S. veterans exposed to it eligible for treatment and compenstation), and PCBs (“CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy”) wouldn’t soak the world in anything toxic?