- Michelle Schoffro Cook
- February 1, 2012
Natural Society has awarded Monsanto the Worst Company of 2011 award for its ongoing work to threaten human health and the environment. Currently responsible for 90 percent of all genetically-modified (GM) seed in the US, the biotechnology giant is also the leader in developing genetically-modified (GM) seeds and the resulting crops worldwide. But Monsanto is perhaps best known for its herbicide Roundup, which many experts link to soil damage and herbicide-resistant superweeds, not to mention potential health problems.
Contrast “Worst Company of 2011” to Forbes Magazine’s listing of Monsanto as one of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies.” Monsanto may be innovative if you consider its genetic modification of the world’s food supply without concern for the environmental and health impacts “innovation.” (As an aside: you may recall that Nazis were called “innovative” too yet look at the atrocities they committed!) More and more scientists would disagree with Forbes.
In a recent study of genetically-modified corn, scientists found that the genetically-modified food may be linked to organ damage, namely liver and kidney damage, in rats. Published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences, this study is calling into question the safety of “Frankenfoods” as they are also known.
John Fagan, PhD, molecular biologist and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) expert commented on the study and Monsanto’s neglectful reporting methods on nongmoproject.org:
“The paper was a landmark study. Monsanto was forced by court to release raw data and Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team applied careful statistical methods that revealed the Monsanto had glossed over many important effects of the GMOs. In particular, Monsanto had used inappropriate criteria for judging whether results were biologically significant or not. A common case was that they rejected as biologically unimportant any effect that showed up in male animals or in female animals but was not observed in both. The fact is that sex related differences are common in physiological responses particularly in liver and kidney responses. Also, Monsanto rejected as biologically unimportant effects that were not proportional to dose. That is, if the effect was strong at low doses but weaker at high doses, they would reject the effect as biologically insignificant. Yet it is well known that many effects, especially endocrine effects, are stronger at low doses than at high.”
But Monsanto continues to disregard the warning signs about GMOs and instead, ships them in droves around the world. Monsanto has also been blamed for the many suicides of farmers in India who used Monsanto’s GM-seed but failed to yield crops to support their families.
Now, American farmers are taking a stand against Monsanto by launching a lawsuit against the billion-dollar corporation for widespread genetic contamination. The farmers, like many others, are concerned that Monsanto is threatening the integrity of organic farms worldwide. Many organic farms have been devastated by genetically-modified crops. Currently, most of the world’s wheat, soy, canola, and corn are now genetically-modified.
Percy Schmeiser—a humble farmer in the Canadian prairies endured a decade-long lawsuit initiated by Monsanto—and is now declaring victory. His farm was contaminated by GM-seed so Monsanto slapped a lawsuit on HIM, as they have done with other farmers, charging him with patent infringement. But in this modern day David-and-Goliath story, Percy fought back. Over 320 hectares of his land were found to be contaminated with the company’s patented “Roundup Ready Canola.” Schmeiser slapped a lawsuit back on Monsanto, charging the company with libel, trespassing, improperly obtaining seed samples from his farm, callous disregard for the environment for its introduction of genetically-modified (GM) crops without proper controls and containment, and contamination of his crops with unwanted GM plants. Monsanto finally settled out of court to clean up Schmeiser’s land. Percy Schmeiser’s victory over Monsanto is a victory for all farmers, all Canadians, and everyone who eats…that’s everyone.
Is it any surprise that Monsanto was selected as the Worst Company of 2011? Perhaps that it didn’t receive Worst Company of the Century award…but such an award doesn’t exist.
For more information about the Worst Company of 2011 Award, visit Natural Society. For more information about Percy Schmeiser’s victory over Monsanto or to help him with his giant legal bills visit his website: percyschmeiser.com.