Monsanto Essay

664 words - 3 pages

Farmers, especially soybean and cotton farmers are Monsanto’s largest customer base. Round Up, the glyphosate-based herbicide developed in the 1970s by Monsanto is used by approximately eighty eight percent of all US farmers (Gregory, 2013). To make this even more attractive, the development of Round Up resistant seeds, basically genetically altered seeds, which Monsanto developed and holds rights to has enabled farmers to spray crops at will, knowing that weeds will be killed and the Round Up resistant crops will live. According to Chris Holman, patent lawyer and professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Monsanto is similar to Microsoft, in that it has dominance over this particular community of farmers, much like Microsoft dominates the computer world with the Windows operating system (Gregory, 2013). Monsanto’s patent on the chemical composition of Round Up has run out, opening the door for other companies to develop similar herbicides. As a retailer that sells the product and now others like it, I have seen the very expensive Round Up herbicide become much more affordable to the customer, and more in line with the prices of their competitors.
The United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and India have over 152 million of the world's 170 million GMO hectares GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) cropland, with Monsanto having a 27 per cent share of a business that does 50 billion dollars in global sales annually (Planes, 2013). Today, Monsanto, according to a report in Vanity Fair (Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear), (Planes, 2013) the company has their own investigators collect information and it is reported that they have harassed farmers who, in their eyes, have refused to abide by an agreement to not collect any of the seeds generated by plants that Monsanto considers its intellectual property. Farmers routinely collect seeds to use the next year. Monsanto restricts this considering it an infringement (Planes, 2013).
Bill Freese, the Center for Food Safety science-policy analyst, says that there is a significant number...

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