The World Inside Monsanto

In a review of the 2008 film, The World According to Monsanto,, Kimberley D. Mok remarks:
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.

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.

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.

Any associated detrimeents, such as birth defects or sickness in animals and humans.

Nevermind that organic farming yields are often better than with agrochemicals.

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?

2 thoughts on “The World Inside Monsanto

  1. Andrew A. Gill

    I have to admit that I got turned off of TWaM in the first few minutes, when it shows the narrator doing research in Wikipedia and citing a claim that has [citation needed] right beside it onscreen.
    Sure, that claim turns out to be accurate and backed up by a Washington Post article, among others, but it makes me question their journalistic integrity, and no documentary should make the viewer question the filmmakers’ integrity.

  2. John Quarterman

    Point taken. However, she is a researcher who went out and provided the needed citation. She actually used wikipedia the way it should be used: as a source of leads for further research.
    And of course her conclusions are supported by masses of other sources, such as the ones the AP just dug up (see previous post).

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