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The Monsanto Company And Genetically Modified Organisms

2238 words - 9 pages

The Monsanto Company is a multinational corporation that was founded as a chemical company in 1901 by John F. Queeny (“Company History”). The company has its headquarter in Missouri, United States and has multiple locations around the world in North/Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia/Pacific, and Africa (“Company History”). Monsanto had been known in the past for manufacturing former controversial products such as: PCBs, Agent Orange, and rBGH (Tokar 254). PCBs are chemicals used in the production of industrial lubricants, oils, coatings, and sealants that were banned in the United States due to extreme toxicity for the environment (Tokar 254). Agent Orange is an herbicide used in the Vietnam War to defoliate fields in order to disclose the enemy (Tokar 254). This chemical proved to cause serious health problems to the soldiers who were in a mission in the sprayed areas (Tokar 254). rBGH is a bovine growth hormone developed by Monsanto that produced an increased milk outcome in injected cows (Tokar 254). The researchers’ data documented that cows injected with rBGH had a high rate of udder infection and deformed offspring (Tokar 254).
At present, Monsanto is only producing GM seeds, named also transgenic seeds, and herbicides, marketed under Roundup brand (“Monsanto”). GMO, genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals whose DNA is combined with genes from DNA of other organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, plants, and animals. The genetically modified organisms pass the gene information to the future generations and cannot form in natural conditions of crossbreeding. In the last decade, the company business extended. Monsato acquisitioned several seeds companies such as Agracetus and Calgene Roundup, and in the middle of 1990s, Monsanto became a leader in the seeds market (“Monsanto”). Presently, Monsanto holds patents in USA for around 85% of all corn seeds, 88% of all cotton seeds, and 91% of all soybeans seeds (Wohlers 73). The glyphosate herbicide, which is the active chemical in Roundup, represents almost 80% of all domestic herbicide used in USA (Gregory 764). Almost 60% to 80% of American food has genetically modified ingredients, which are not labeled (Wohlers 73). Monsanto’s agricultural chemical business claims that its purpose is to conserve the natural resources and to combat the worldwide hunger by producing in large quantities and lower cost food that is resistant to weeds, insects, and rough climate conditions. However, the company’s real purposes are not as honest as they seem and are rather focused on making profits than on humanity, based on “poisonous” effects analyzed under three aspects: environmental hazards, human health risks, and socioeconomic dangers.
GMOs present a threat for the environment, including its weeds, insects, and the natural balance. Monsanto patented seeds are engineered with insecticide genes and have a high tolerance to Roundup herbicide. These traits seems to be...

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