Monsanto: The Sustainable Biotech Giants that Poison the Earth

Credit: John Novotny

(Acclaimed News) Monsanto is one of the largest biotech and agrochemical companies in the world that was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1909. Over the course of the century, Monsanto expanded its growth from the US to South America, Asia, and other parts of the world.

Only a few hours back, Syngenta, the Swiss biochemical company, refused a $45 billion takeover by its corporate rival Monsanto. As the largest supplier of seeds in the world, Monsanto could potentially control the biochemical industry in the world if their Swiss rivals give in!

Monsanto has been notorious in its entire history for contaminating and poisoning fields across the US. Just last year in July, Monsanto had to reach a settlement of $93 million for cleaning up the toxic and hazardous contamination they caused in Nitro, West Virginia. For 54 years until 2004, Monsanto operated an herbicide plant in Nitro and produced various chemicals including Agent Orange. If you remember, Agent Orange was infamous during the Vietnam War.

What many people don’t remember is the poisoning caused the by-products that deemed the town ‘hazardous’!

A History of Corporate Violence

Regarded as a horror story and an evil application of you reap what you sow, Monsanto poisoned the Choccolocco Creek in Anniston, Alabama, for over 50 years. What makes it worse is that the management knew what they were doing since realizing in 1966 that fishes in the creek were shedding skin and spurting blood within seconds of submerging. We’re talking about a creek where children and adults played, livestock drank from, and fishes were caught and eaten.

It wasn’t until the early 90s when an old fisherman found a horrifically deformed fish in the creek that the truth was revealed. For more than five decades Monsanto dumped polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) into the creek and nearby landfills. When the story of a family who grew up in Anniston and suffered from various deformities and cancers broke, that’s when public scrutiny started catching up with Monsanto. In 2003, Monsanto finally settled for the first ever major lawsuit for admitting wrongdoing in releasing toxins in Anniston. The company eventually paid $700 million to over 20,000 citizens who were suffering who weren’t even breathing clean air.

Not Just Towns

Despite the continuous outcry by environmentalists, agriculture advocates, and general public, Monsanto continues to expand its empire. According to a TSW report, Argentina and Brazil are suffering from more or less similar horror stories as Anniston, only on a larger scale. In both countries, Monsanto supplies pesticides for soybean farmers.

As regulations are more moderate for chemical use in South America, these pesticides, loaded with ‘fatal chemicals’, are being used on a large scale. Cancer rates are almost four times higher in Argentina, along with respiratory and skin conditions.

Monsanto no longer produces PCB. However, the company has switched its attention to genetically engineered organisms that supposedly promote food growth. As there are no regulations on stating on the food packaging if genetically engineered organisms were used, a large population not only in the US is unaware that 70% of American grown foods are produced this way.

With climate change finally becoming a publicized reality, when are we going to realize that one of the factors contributing to it and to poisoning the earth is going to be addressed?

  • TJ

    I have recently been disheartened by our countries
    upcoming presidential elections because none of the televised candidates
    mention anything about the current 6th mass extinction we are going through.
    That’s when I started digging around and realized there are SO many other
    presidential candidates running, not just the ones speaking on TV. This
    digging around led me to discover Mr Harry Braun who is running as an
    independent. I collected as much information on him as I possibly could
    and lo and behold….I found a candidate that wants to put our environment at the
    VERY forefront. After digging around more I realized NO ONE was talking
    about him. In these times where news about climate change is on every
    page front, I find it hard to believe there is so little coverage on him. So I did the only thing I knew how to do, I wrote him an email and was pleasantly surprised to get a response. Among
    the many questions I had for him including animal extinction, climate change,
    etc., I pressed him on the matter of why we aren’t hearing more from him, his
    response was, “I absolutely do not believe there should be any money involved in political
    elections, and I will do my best to convince the majority to make money (i.e.,
    bribery) in political elections illegal.”

    On his 58 page presidential doctrine, he states, “Wind machines have been in use for
    over a thousand years, and they have been used to make hydrogen from water
    since the 1860s. The wind turbines now made worldwide are rated from one to
    five megawatts, and because they now generate the least-expensive electricity,
    they will also generate the least-expensive electrolytic hydrogen. Wind
    machines are very similar to automobiles from a manufacturing perspective, and
    about 17 million vehicles are made for the U.S. market each year, compared to
    the 60 million vehicles now sold annually worldwide. Once the mass-production
    tooling is in place, the 17 million wind turbines that would replace all fossil
    and nuclear fuels worldwide could be on-line in less than five years, during
    which time all of the existing vehicles and power plants and gas appliances can
    be modified to use both hydrogen as well as hydrocarbon fuels
    interchangeably. Moreover, the cost of the 2.7 million wind powered hydrogen production systems would be less than half of the over $10 trillion that was spend by U.S. taxpayers to finance oil wars and related tanker protection services, and unlike oil, wind hydrogen
    systems are non-toxic and completely renewable. Hydrogen is not just a “universal fuel” that can power all of the existing automobiles, aircraft, spacecraft and power plants, but it is also a
    primary industrial chemical feedstock that is needed to make a wide-range of
    products, including, plastics, fertilizers, semiconductors, paint, soap and
    gasoline. Virtually all of the hydrogen now used in industry comes from natural
    gas, which is another non-renewable and rapidly diminishing fossil fuel”

    To me, reading this is something worth talking about…

    As an American citizen who desperately cares about the future of our planet
    for my child’s sake, I am hoping he is given a chance to tell his story. I believe if Harry Braun was to win this election, it would change our planet in the best ways possible, from stopping
    fossil fuel corporations running our govt, to halting climate change in it’s
    very tracks, to stopping the plastics and toxins polluting our planet, to ending
    wildlife trafficking and animal extinction, the list is endless…We’ve had our
    fair share of lawyers and oil businessmen in the Oval Office with severe
    environmental consequences, isn’t it time we listen to an environmental

    I would LOVE to hear more about him and I think others would appreciate an
    interview or article on Mr Braun as well.