Dark History of Monsanto
Monsanto is one of the largest pharmaceutical and agricultural companies that producers a wide range of genetically modified foods and seeds, drugs and pesticides and herbicides. This multibillion dollar company has branches in 100 different countries and is one of the main producers of genetically modified foods and seeds in the world.
Monsanto has been around since 1901 and makes billions of dollars every year in pure profit from selling toxic chemicals and pesticides. In 1977, Monsanto sold its chemical business and got heavily engaged in biotechnology and genetically modifying corn and soybeans.
Here is a summary of Monsanto’s dark history:
The founder of Monsanto was John Francis Queeny. He started Monsanto with the capital money he earned from Coca-Cola in 1901. In 1902, Monsanto sold its first product called “Saccharin” (the artificial sweetener) to Coca-Cola Company.
In 1905 Monsanto began to make profit by selling vanillin and caffeine. In 1906, the US governments started regulating and inspecting food products but somehow even up to today companies like ConAgra and Monsanto are exempt from regulations. Keep in mind that Monsanto pays and donates millions of dollars to politicians, research facilities, schools and even USDA framework.
During WW2, Francis Queeny couldn’t import chemicals from Europe and stared manufacturing its own chemical products. In 1929, Monsanto went public and became the largest producer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Although PCBs were banned in 1970s, they still remain in water along Dead Creek in Sauget where Monsanto had its plant for manufacturing PCBs. PCBs were widely used as lubricants, cutting oils and hydraulic fluids until scientific evidence showed that PCBs are one of the deadliest carcinogens and chemicals tlinked to anuto immune system disorder, birth defects, cancer and fatal death.
The first manufacturing plant of PCBs was in Illinois that still has one of the highest rate of immature birth defect. The scientists at Monsanto knew about the health risks associated with PCBs, however they couldn’t lose business when they were making money from PCBs at the time.
In 1935, Monsanto gets involved in detergents and soap production and by 1938 Monsanto became largely involved in plastic business. From 1939 to 1945 Monsanto did a lot of research on enriching uranium for Manhattan project.
During WW2, Monsanto was involved in creation of the first nuclear bomb in Manhattan project and was involved in production of PCBs, DDT and chemical weapons that was sprayed on the Vietnamese civilians and American troops during the Vietnam War.
In 1945, Monsanto used its warfare chemicals in agriculture and by 1955 Monsanto's assets were increased by 50%. From 1975 to 1967 Monsanto was involved in creation of several Disney land’s attraction entirely built by non biodegradable plastic. When Disney decided to tear the attraction down, they couldn’t even break the pieces by chain saws or shovels and they had to squeeze the big pieces of the non biodegradable plastic into a truck.
From 1961 to 1971 Monsanto was involved in production of Agent Orange for military use during the Vietnam War. More than 4.8 million Vietnamese civilians were affacted with Agent Orange. About 400,000 Vietnamese died as a result of Agent Orange and millions of Vietnamese including children suffered from disabilities and birth defects.
In 1968, Son of John Queeny, Edgar Queeny died and since he didn’t have any heirs, Edward J. Block (who joined Monsanto as an engineer) became president.
By 1972, the use of DDT was banned by congress, however in 1973 Monsanto developed glyphosate molecule for killing weeds and pests. Monsanto still markets Roundup as safe, although glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) has been linked to a wide range of health problems.
After selling Roundup, Monsanto’s sales grew by 20% and from 1980s to 1990s, Roundup made up for 45% of the company’s income. Even up to this day, glyphosate is one of the top selling herbicides in the market. In 1985, Monsanto bought Searle Company which was the producer of artificial sweetener called 'aspartame' used in carbonated beverages. Aspartame is a toxic substance added to diet sodas for sugar replacement.
In 1987, Monsanto did its first test on genetically modified crops. After making huge profit from selling Agent Orange, Monsanto had to pay 180 million dollars settlement to the veterans of the Vietnam War. However no compensation was paid to the Vietnamese civilians who suffered the most.
In 1994, Monsanto released rBGH and rBST growth hormones into the market. Bovine growth hormone have been linked to early puberty and breast and prostate cancer.
In 1995, Monsanto's genetically modified canola oil was shipped to Canada. In 1995, Monsanto was ranked 5th among other corporations for releasing more than 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals to the environment. As Monsanto started to focus more on biotechnology, the company used "feeding the world hunger" as one of the main reasons behind the need for GMOs. Monsanto also invented a new genetically modified crop that was resistant to its best selling herbecide Roundup.
By 1997, Monsanto bought other seed companies and dominated the market with its new genetically modified seeds known as GMO canola, GMO cotton and GMO corn. Based on Monsanto’s claims, Roundup is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, however in 1997, Monsanto was sued for calling Toxic Roundup 'environmentally safe'.
From 1997 to 2002 Monsanto became too big to fail and the company spent more than 10 billion dollars worldwide for buying other seed companies.
Today, Monsanto is the world's largest seed company dominating the global seed market. In 2001, Monsanto owned 91% of GMO crops worldwide.
Today, Monsanto owns 80% of genetically modified crops and the sales of Roundup has made Monsanto the 5th largest agrochemical company in the world. With US holding 30% of world’s market share for wheat, Monsanto has made a fortune from its new “Roundup Ready wheat”.
These multibillion dollar companies are so powerful that despite tough US sanctions on Iran, biotech companies are selling GMO wheat to Iran.
Although Obama promised to label GMOs, he appointed the key figures of biotech companies as head of FDA and USDA. Here is the list:
- Michael Taylor: Former VP in Monsanto who is now FDA deputy food commissioner
- Tom Vilsack: Former pro-biotechnology governor of Iowa that was assigned as USDA secretary.
- Roger Beachy: Former director of Monsanto who is now director of USDA
- Elena Kagan: Took Monsanto’s side against organic farmers in Roundup Ready Alfalfa case and is now nominated to Supreme Court
- Rajiv Shah: Former director of pro-biotech Gates Foundation who served as USDA secretary
- Linda Strachan: Monsanto’s and DuPont’s representative who is assistant secretary for U.S. Department of Agriculture and EPA
- Islam Siddiqui: Former DuPont and Monsanto VP who is now the representative of agriculture negotiator for US trade- See more at: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/dupont-history