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Does Monsanto engage in corrupt and unethical practices agai

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Avery Swarthout

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of Does Monsanto engage in corrupt and unethical practices agai

Does Monsanto engage in corrupt and unethical practices to increase profit margins and monopolize their business sector?
Jonas Lieb
Hugo Foerster-Baldenius
Avery Swarthout
Some Facts
- Multinational bio-tech corporation

- Founded in 1901, produced synthetics

- Made medicines and drugs throughout the 1960s

- First genetically modified organism (GMO) in 1982

- Continued GMO work throughout the 1980s

- Controversial Insecticides: DDT, PCB, Agent Orange

- World's biggest seed producing company

Safety Concerns
Patent Infringement

Arguments against-Labeling
Case studies
Our Conclusion
- Companies are not forced to buy from Monsanto

- "Without the Golden Rice engineered by Monsanto, millions of malnourished individuals would die every year of Vitamin A deficiency, and nearly half a million more from blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency."

- Worth it to eradicate patents?

- Fully legal practices

- Legally bound by many contracts

- Ultimate capitalism and corporate success

- Farmers have to buy new seeds every year which is expensive

- Need Monsanto seed to handle Monsanto Herbicide

- Supreme Court has repeatedly sided with Monsanto

- Upheld the company’s right to prohibit the replanting of patented seed

- Unfair Litigation?

- Richard Bowman

- Homan McFarling

- Farmer suicide in India

"Patent infringement consists of the unauthorized making, using, offering for sale or selling any patented invention within the United States or United States Territories, or importing into the United States of any patented invention during the term of the patent...When patent infringement happens, the patentee may sue for relief in the appropriate Federal court."

- About 400 total patents, 25 on seeds

- Allocates $10 million annually to litigation against farmers

The process of influencing public and government policy at all levels: federal, state, and local.
-According to the U.S. supreme court it is an inherent part of democracy
-Organized efforts to empower your views
-Generally done by groups such as NGO's or large corporations
-Often the groups with more money have a greater ability to undertake efforts to influence public opinion (buying advertisements)

- "Labeling could imply that GMO food products are inferior to their organic counterparts"

- GMO food is found to have no significant differences to conventional food

- There is no scientific justification for labeling

-Consumers who want to buy non-GE food can choose to buy only organic food

-labeling could result in increased costs for the consumer

- Monsanto claims to improve agriculture by

- Wanting to double yields until 2030
- Reducing resources for food production
- Reduce Hunger
- Making food more nutritious
- In the name of democracy and a transparent government a consumer should have a right to know what is in his food
-Labeling would give consumers the information to make their own informed decisions
- Health risks have not been shown in humans but topic is still young and we need further research(long-term studies) to be sure
- GMO labeling would make us on-par with the policies in much of the developed world

Monsanto patents, while completely legal are also highly unethical. They cause many farmers to be driven out of business. Monsanto crops such as golden rice will still function without these patents and could even be produced and improved upon by many companies with much sounder ethical policies. Monsanto has put an unethical patent on life and it is time for that to stop. Un-patented, these products can still be sold, even by Monsanto. Monsanto has added these patents simply to keep them away from other companies. This causes a monopoly which greatly increases profits. Their greed has been linked to suicides and unfair prosecution.
Monsanto effectively advertised against GMO labeling which is shown by the fact that they won both labeling propositions in Washington State and California. This they did by having more funds to spend on advertisements than their opponents. This policy against labeling is unethical because it supports an opaque and undemocratic process in which the party with the higher funds has a greater ability to shape public perception. They did this solely for the companies gain, without any regard for the general population. Through this unethical procedure they can continue to spread their goods without having to fear loss in profit.
Monsanto has improved agriculture. However it has compromised safety constraints and to maximize profit margins most problems are not dealt with accordingly or Monsanto cuts corners on safety protocol to save money.
- GMOs in Rats
- Rats were fed lifetime of GMOs
- 50% of males and 70% of females
suffered premature death
- Liver and kidney damage
- 200%-300% increase in tumors

- Glyphosate
- In the US alone 185 million pounds of Glyphosate are used
- Found in 49.7 % of human urine tested
- 5 to 20 times the limit
-Monsanto denies that Glyphosate is harmful.

Monsanto has improved and will keep improving agriculture technologies. However, Monsanto is driven by the need to maximize profit margins and has therefore cut corners on safety protocol which has led to environmental contamination. Furthermore, Monsanto has not done enough research on their products which might lead to long term effects in the future.
- Is it ethical not to label GMO containing products?
Is it ethical to sue farmers for patent infringement or to have patents at all to preserve income levels and sector domination?
Does Monsanto compromise safety standards to increase profit margins?
Safety Constraints
Case studies


- Anniston, Al
- Monsanto produced PCB there for 40 years
- 50% of the rats subjected to PCBs die
- Was leaking 1.7 kg each day
- $700 mio settlement

- Brofiscin quarry, UK
- Monsanto illegally dumped at least 67 toxic chemicals.
- Still leaking

Monsanto Lobbying
In the United States
-Annually spend up to 8 million dollars on lobbying
-5.4 million dollars in 2013
-numbers deceptive due to the fact that they have given large donations to anti-GMO labeling bills which are not counted into these numbers
-spent 4.5 million dollars to fight the 2013 Washington bill, 7,1 million dollars in the 2012 California bill
-hire ex-senators
-many ex-Monsanto employees now in high government positions
-also help fund Grocery Manufacturers Association
-Often more in the background due to the fact that it is an American company (especially in developed areas such as Europe)
-main market is the USA
-Different company policies than in the USA

GMO Labeling
-Bills such as the ones in Washington State and California have been proposed to label GMO's
-Main issue Monsanto is currently lobbying against inside the USA
-Collaborated with other companies to influence people to vote against the bills
-Together with the other companies such as Pepsi Inc. donated 22 million Dollars to oppose the Washington State bill

After much consideration, we have decided that Monsanto is guilty of practicing unethical business policies. Despite their innovations in agriculture, they abuse their environment to squeeze money out of it.
They are guilty of ethical violations pertaining to lobbying against the labeling of GMOs, patent protection and litigation, and compromising safety protocols. Our presentation has proven that while Monsanto has much potential bringing food to developing countries, they are running rampant and far out of control.

Monsanto Homepage

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Hoffman, Beth. "GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 02 July 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Freeman, E. "Why Does Monsanto Patent Seeds? Part 1." Monsanto.com. Monsanto, 30 Sept. 2008. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

"Product Patents." Monsanto.com. Monsanto, 2002-2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2014. <http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/product-patents.aspx>.

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"Newsroom." Monsanto. Monsanto, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.

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Sheppard, Kate. "Monsanto Hires Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln As Lobbyist." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

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