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Monsanto’s Death Grip

The Monsanto Company is an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup”. Monsanto is also by far the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed, holding 70%–100% market share for various crops. Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In March 2005, it finalized the purchase of Seminis Inc, making it also the largest conventional seed company in the world. It has over 18,800 employees worldwide, and an annual revenue of USD$11.365 billion reported for 2008. Monsanto’s development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices, have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the anti-globalization movement and environmental activists.

Monsanto was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901, by John Francis Queeny, a 30-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. He funded the start-up with his own money and capital from a soft drink distributor, and gave the company his wife’s maiden name. The company’s first product was the artificial sweetener saccharin, which it sold to the Coca-Cola Company. It also introduced caffeine and vanillin to Coca-Cola, and became one of that company’s main suppliers. In 1919, Monsanto established its presence in Europe by entering into a partnership with Graesser’s Chemical Works at Cefn Mawr in Ruabon, Wales to produce vanillin, salicylic acid, aspirin and later rubber. In its second decade, the 1920s, Monsanto expanded into basic industrial chemicals like sulfuric acid, and the decade ended with Queeny’s son Edgar Monsanto Queeny taking over the company in 1928.

The 1940s saw Monsanto become a leading manufacturer of plastics, including polystyrene, and synthetic fibers. Since then, it has remained one of the top 10 US chemical companies. Other major products have included the herbicides 2,4,5-T, DDT, and Agent Orange used primarily during the Vietnam War as a deforestation agent (and later proven to be highly carcinogenic to any who come into contact with the solution), the excitotoxin aspartame (NutraSweet), bovine somatotropin (bovine growth hormone (BST), and PCBs. Also in this decade, Monsanto operated the Dayton Project, and later Mound Laboratory in

Miamisburg, Ohio, for the Manhattan Project, the development of the first nuclear weapons and, after 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission. Monsanto began manufacturing DDT in 1944, along with some 15 other companies.

The use of DDT in the U.S. was banned by Congress in 1972, due in large efforts to environmentalists, who persisted in the challenge put forth by Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring in 1962, which sought to inform the public of the side effects associated with the insecticide. As the decade ended, Monsanto acquired American Viscose from England’s Courtauld family in 1949.

In 1954, Monsanto partnered with German chemical giant Bayer to form Mobay and market polyurethanes in the US. In

the 1960s and 1970s, Monsanto became the leading producer of Agent Orange for US Military operations in Vietnam. Monsanto scientists became the first to genetically modify a plant cell in 1982. Five years later, Monsanto conducted the first field tests of genetically engineered crops. Through a process of mergers and spin-offs between 1997 and 2002, Monsanto has made a transition from chemical giant to biotech giant.

Throughout 2004 and 2005, Monsanto filed lawsuits against many farmers in Canada and the U.S. The lawsuits have been on the grounds of patent infringement, specifically the farmer’s sale of seed containing Monsanto’s patented genes–which require the farmer initial purchase of the seed and its technology–unknowingly sown by wind carrying the seeds from neighboring crops. These instances began in the mid to late 1990s, with one of the most significant cases being decided in Monsanto’s favor by the Canadian Supreme Court. By a 5-4 vote in late May 2004, that court ruled that “by cultivating a plant containing the patented gene and composed of the patented cells without license, the appellants (canola farmer Percy Schmeiser) deprived the respondents of the full enjoyment of the patent.” With this ruling, the Canadian courts followed the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision on patent issues involving plants and genes.

As of February 2005, Monsanto has patent claims on breeding techniques for pigs which would grant them ownership of any pigs born of such techniques and their related herds. Greenpeace claims Monsanto is trying to claim ownership on ordinary breeding techniques. Monsanto claims that the patent is a defensive measure to track animals from its system. They furthermore claim their patented method uses a specialized insemination device that requires less sperm than is typical. 1985: Monsanto purchases G. D. Searle & Company. In this merger, Searle’s aspartame business became a separate Monsanto subsidiary, the NutraSweet Company. CEO of NutraSweet, Robert B. Shapiro, goes on to become CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000.

1997: Monsanto spins off its industrial chemical and fiber divisions into Solutia Inc. This transfers the financial liability related to the production and contamination with PCBs at the Illinois and Alabama plants. In January, Monsanto announced the purchase of Holden’s Foundations Seeds, a privately-held seed business owned by the Holden family along with its sister sales organization, Corn States Hybrid Service, of Williamsburg and Des Moines, Iowa, respectively. The combined purchase price totaled $925M. Also, in April, Monsanto purchases the remaining shares of Calgene. 1999: Monsanto sells Nutrasweet Co. and two other companies.

2000: Monsanto merges with Pharmacia and Upjohn. Later in the year, Pharmacia forms a new subsidiary, also named Monsanto, for the agricultural divisions, and retains the medical research divisions, which includes products such as Celebrex. 2002: Pharmacia spins off its remaining interest in Monsanto, which has since existed as a separate company: the “new Monsanto.” As part of the deal, Monsanto agrees to indemnify Pharmacia against any liabilities that might be incurred from judgments against Solutia. As a result, the new Monsanto continues to be a party to numerous lawsuits that relate to operations of the old Monsanto. 2005: Monsanto purchases Seminis, the largest seed company not producing corn or soybeans in the world. 2008: Monsanto purchases the Dutch seed company De Ruiter Seeds for about 855 million dollars. Monsanto are one of many sponsors behind Svalbard Global Seed Vault Monsanto has been the corporate sponsor of many attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. All attractions that the company has ever sponsored were located in Tomorrowland. Donald Rumsfeld reportedly earned $12 million from increased stock value when G. D. Searle & Company was sold to Monsanto in 1985.

Environmental and health record

Monsanto has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being a “potentially responsible party” for 56 contaminated sites in the United States. Monsanto has been sued, and has settled, multiple times for damaging the health of its employees or residents near its Superfund sites through pollution and poisoning. Monsanto is the largest producer of glyphosate herbicides through its popular brand, Roundup. Roundup has been a source of ongoing controversy, as researchers in several studies have argued that it leads to the first stages of and/or causes cancer, while a review of the toxicity of roundup concluded that “under present and expected conditions of new use, there is no potential for Roundup herbicide to pose a health risk to humans”.

“Terminator” seed controversy

In June 2007, Monsanto acquired Delta & Pine Land Company, a company that had patented a seed technology nicknamed “Terminator”. This technology, which was never used commercially, produces plants that have sterile seeds so they do not flower or grow fruit after the initial planting, requiring customers to purchase seed from Monsanto for every planting in which they use Monsanto seed varieties. In recent years, widespread opposition from environmental organizations and farmer associations has grown, mainly out of the concerns that these seeds increase farmers’ dependency on seed suppliers especially in the third world. There is also concern that the “Terminator” effect will be spread to native vegetation through pollination, rendering all plants unable to reproduce fruit. Monsanto had previously pledged in 1999 not to commercialize terminator technology.

Monsanto sparked controversy nationwide with the introduction of Bovine somatotropin, abbreviated as rBST and commonly known as rBGH. It is a synthetic hormone that is injected into cows to increase milk production. IGF-1 is a hormone stimulated by rBGH in the cow’s blood stream, which is directly responsible for the increase in milk production. IGF-1 is a natural hormone found in the milk of both humans and cows causing the quick growth of infants. Though this hormone is naturally found in mothers to be fed to their infants it produces adverse effects in non-infants. IGF-1 behaves as a cancer accelerator in adults and non-infants; this biologically active hormone is associated with breast cancer (corellation shown in premenopausal women), prostate cancerlung cancerand colon cancers However, a large Monsanto-sponsored survey of milk showed no significant difference in rBST levels in milk labeled as “rBST-Free” or “Organic” vs milk not labeled as such”

According to the New York times the Monsanto’s brand of rBST, Posilac, has recently (March 2008) been the focus for a

pro-rBST advocacy group called AFACT, made up of large dairy business conglomerates and closely affiliated with Monsanto itself. This group, whose acronym stands for American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, has engaged in large-scale lobbying efforts at the state level to prevent milk which is rBST-free from being labeled as such. As milk labeled as hormone-free has proved enormously popular with consumers, the primary justification by Afact for their efforts has been that rBST is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that the popularity of milk sold without it is damaging what they claim to be the right of dairy producers to use a technology that maximizes their profits.

 

Monsanto claims that labeling of hormone-free milk takes advantage of consumers by allowing higher prices for the milk by suggesting that it is “better” or “safer” than BST milk, when in fact, there is no difference. Monsanto is requesting that companies that advertise their milk as “rBST-free” be required to add the FDA label claiming that rBST has been found safe for human consumption and no differences exist between hormone and hormone-free milk. Thus far, a large-scale negative consumer response to Afact’s legislative and regulatory efforts has kept state regulators from pushing through strictures that would ban hormone-free milk labels, though several politicians have tried, including Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary Dennis Wolff, who tried to ban rBST-free milk labeling on the grounds that “consumers are confused”. Proposed labeling changes have been floated by Afact lobbyists in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, Missouri and Vermont thus far.

Yes!..this is main stream news now. Not conspiracy THEORY but a conspiracy reality. Yet another corporation that enables the de-population and pollution of our our world by pushing toxins in our food and drugs into our bodies so we can become a part of the revolving door of big pharma and big bio industries…this is no coincidence. The agenda here is not to save lives or even contain disease but there is a reoccurring theme here to promote death, dependence, & disharmony .

How blatant does it have to be?

The snakes are rearing their heads at this moment and chuckling as they move forward their unabated agenda. Our heads of state (Obama & Clinton) can smirk and joke about pirates, terrorism, job loss and man-made bird-swine flu as the pacified masses stay on the hamster wheel of “life”. We have a so called leader of the “free” world who appointed a former Monsanto president as secretary of Agriculture…Are you serious?

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