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Monsanto Prezi

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Moushumi Biswas

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Monsanto Prezi

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli By Moushumi Biswas The Public Rhetoric of a Multinational Corporation: A Case Study of Monsanto What Monsanto says It is:
Producing more Conserving more Improving lives
Practicing sustainable agriculture Feeding the hungry

How? By selling seeds, traits developed through biotechnology, and crop protection chemicals.

Monsanto's exigency: Meeting the gobal food needs of today while facing the challenge of preserving the planet for tomorrow. As the global population grows over the next few decades, farmers will have to grow as much food as in the past 10,000 years combined.

Wow, sounds like the noblest aim a company could
ever have! What is Monsanto? A Fortune 500 Company
Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Agricultural and vegetable seeds
Plant biotechnology traits
Crop protection chemicals
21,183 employees in 69 countries
404 facilities in 66 countries
United States:
10,277 employees
146 facilities in 33 states


The Great Place to Work® Institute, Inc. named Monsanto Company No.14 on its list of the Top 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces for its outstanding workplace culture and its reputation as a global employer-of-choice. Monsanto is the only agriculture company recognized in the award’s second year.

http://www.monsanto.com/careers/Pages/top-25-worlds-best-multinational-workplaces.aspx The dissonance Contrary to what Monsanto claims about feeding people around the world and giving a new lease of life to farmers as well, media reports say that farmers have already started committing suicide because they cannot afford to buy Monsanto seeds and they have already destroyed native seed varieties as part of the contract with Monsanto. In fact, Monsanto has "created" a catastrophe in India in the garb of the Green Revolution. In the short term, mega yields from sterile, hybrid seeds have masked the impending long-term disaster, which will be reflected in terms of both economic loss and body count. It seems Monsanto has ruined the future of farmers in the Indian subcontinent and the Americas alike.

The issues regarding Monsanto's business practices

* Monsanto develops and sells genetically modified "terminator" seeds?
* Specific issues concerning Monsanto's business practices in Indonesia
* Patents and technology
* Ethical issues in innovation and strategies to kill competition in the seed industry
* Seed pricing
* Govenment influence - Are national governments plaing the role of enablers in a neoliberal economy?
* Academic Research Agreements

Why does Monsanto patent seeds?

Monsanto's version of the Bowman case:

This case concerns the apparent infringement of Monsanto’s patents associated with genetically engineered soybeans, which contain patented biotechnology that enables the plants to tolerate a widely-used herbicide. The soybeans are popular with growers nationwide, because Monsanto’s technology enables growers to apply the herbicide after their crops have been planted, mitigating the yield-robbing weeds in their field without harming the soybean plants. The petitioner in this case (Bowman) obtained soybeans containing the technology from a local grain elevator and, over nine years, reproduced them in violation of the patents.

Monsanto's agenda according to critics: Global food control and economic colonization in a so-called post-colonial world. Proof Studing dissonance in
Monsanto's public rhetoric Foucault's discourse analysis lens is very useful in seeing how power relations work in discourse. It can help shed light on the discourse generated by Monsanto's rhetoric, and the resistance to it.
When examining the enabling role played by national governments and, initially, a section of farmers, Gramsci's theory of "consent" is relevant.
This study can also show how the sophists got a bad rep through misuse of their art. Plato said that the sophists practiced "sophistry," which is making the worse case seem better. Monsanto certainly does that when waxing eloquent about "catastrophy" in global agriculture. Relevance of this study in RWS and beyond: Disciplinary as well as humanitarian purposes In addition to being a rhetorical analysis that explains how the five canons can be employed in public/global rhetoric (which makes my position clear that I do not subscribe to the theory of separation of invention and logic/philosophy from rhetoric), this study also shows how Rhetoric and Writing can play a practical role in understanding the goings on in other fields as well, such neoliberalism and new forms of colonization in a postcolonial world. Above all, it shows how RWS can be used for humanitarian purposes: to make sure that the masses are not (ab)used by the superstructure as what Marx called "cultual dupes." University of Texas at El Paso Of the three artistic proofs in rhetoric, as far as Monsanto is concerned ethos is at stake. As a rhetorical strategy, they use pathos (the sob story of hunger) to justify their aims and objectives and establish their raison d'etre.

Monsanto's response to accusations: http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/monsanto-business-practices.aspx

Critics use mostly logos, supported by facts/information gleaned from research and news reports to justify their fears. Several journalists, scientists, academics and filmmakers have produced work on Monsanto. Here are a few examples:

* Journalist Marie Monique-Robin's book, The World According to Monsanto http://www.amazon.com/The-World-According-Monsanto-Corruption/dp/1595584269

* Monique-Robin's film by the same name

* A video I found on YouTube saying an Indian farmer had beaten up a Monsanto rep for failed genetically engineered (GE) cotton

* Bill Maher speaks about Monsanto, GMO

* Scientists flay Monsanto

* Academic-environventalist from India Vandana Shiva's books Stolen Harvest, The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind.

* A YouTuBe video containing scenes from The World According to Monsanto.

* A Counterpunch article, borrowed from The Hindu, on B+ cotton in India. It sheds light on how deeply the company influences the media.
Full transcript