GM Free Cymru

HOW MONSANTO DOES BUSINESS

Dr PM Bhargava

1969: Produces Agent Orange, which was used as a defoliant by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam War. I have myself seen defoliated trees over a hundred miles south of Hanoi in 1982.

1976: Monsanto produces Cycle-Safe, the world’s first plastic soft-drink bottle. The bottle, suspected of posing a cancer risk, is banned the following year by the Food and Drug Administration of the U.S.

1986: Monsanto found guilty of negligently exposing a worker to benzene at its Chocolate Bayou Plant in Texas. It is forced to pay $100 million to the family of Wilbur Jack Skeen, a worker who died of leukaemia after repeated exposures.

1986: Monsanto spends $50,000 against California’s anti-toxics initiative, Proposition 65. The initiative prohibits the discharge of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects into drinking water supplies.

1987: Monsanto is one of the companies named in an $180 million settlement for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

1988: A federal jury finds Monsanto Co.’s subsidiary, G.D. Searle & Co., negligent in testing and marketing of its Copper 7 intrauterine birth control device (IUD). The verdict followed the unsealing of internal documents regarding safety concerns about the IUD, which was used by nearly 10 million women between 1974 and 1986.

1990: EPA chemists allege fraud in Monsanto’s 1979 dioxin study which found their exposure to the chemical doesn’t increase cancer risks.

1990: Monsanto spends more than $405,000 to defeat California’s pesticide regulation Proposition 128, known as the “Big Green” initiative. The initiative was aimed at phasing out the use of pesticides, including Monsanto’s product Alachlor, linked to cancer and to global warming.

1991: Monsanto is fined $1.2 million for trying to conceal discharge of contaminated waste water into the Mystic River in Connecticut.

1995: Monsanto is sued after allegedly supplying radioactive material for a controversial study which involved feeding radioactive iron to 829 pregnant women.

1995: Monsanto ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping.

1995: The Safe Shoppers Bible says that Monsanto’s Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer contains a known carcinogen, 2,4 D.

2005: According to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Monsanto bribed at least 140 Indonesian officials or their families to get Bt cotton approved without an environmental impact assessment (EIA). In 2005, Monsanto paid $1.5 million in fines to the US Justice Department for these bribes.

2005: Six Government scientists including Dr. Margaret Haydon told the Canadian Senate Committee of Monsanto’s ‘offer’ of a bribe of between $1-2 million to the scientists from Health Canada if they approved the company’s GM bovine growth hormone (rbGH) (banned in many countries outside the US), without further study, and how notes and files critical of scientific data provided by Monsanto were stolen from a locked filing cabinet in her office. One FDA scientist arbitrarily increased the allowable levels of antibiotics in milk 100-fold in order to facilitate the approval of rbGH. She had just arrived at the FDA from Monsanto.

2005: The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected four key Monsanto patents related to GM crops that the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) challenged because the agricultural giant is using them to harass, intimidate, sue - and in some cases bankrupt - American farmers. Monsanto devotes more than $10 million per year to such anti-farmer activities, over alleged improper use of its patented seeds.

2005: The Alabama Court Judgement in February 2002 best describes the sort of business that Monsanto is in. In 1966, court documents in a case concerning Anniston residents in the US showed that Monsanto managers discovered that fish dunked in a local creek turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as dropped into boiling water. In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB level. But they never told their neighbours and concluded that “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges – we can’t afford to lose one dollar of business”. In fact court documents revealed that the company withheld evidence about the safety of their PCBs to the residents of the town that were being poisoned by their factory to keep their profitable dollars. On February 22, 2002, a court found Monsanto guilty on six counts of Negligence, Wantoness And Supression of the Truth, Nuisance, Trespass And Outrage. Outrage according to Alabama law is conduct “so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society.”

2005: Monsanto omitted incriminating data altogether from its 1996 published study on GM soybeans. When the data was recovered later by an investigator, it showed that GM soy contained significantly lower levels of protein and other nutrients and toasted GM soy meal contained nearly twice the amount of a lectin (protein) that may block the body’s ability to assimilate other nutrients. Furthermore, the toasted GM soy contained as much as seven times the amount ot trypsin inhibitor, a major soy allergen. Monsanto named their study: “The composition of glyphosate-tolerant soybean seeds is equivalent to that of conventional soybeans”

In Europe, Monsanto refused to reveal the results of its own secret animal feeding studies, which revealed serious abnormalities to rats fed GM corn, citing CBI (Confidential Business Information) until forced to do so by a German Court. One of its Bt corn products (the only GM crop grown in the EU) was subsequently banned for planting in France and other EU countries based on the appraisal by Seralini of Monsanto’s own dossier.

2009: A U.S. Federal Court ruled on 24th September, 2009, that USDA violated federal law by allowing Monsanto’s genetically engineered sugar beet on the market.

2009: As is usually known (and supported by a letter from Meera Shankar, our Ambassador to the U.S., to PMO), it is common for U.S. MNC’s to bribe Indian officials to achieve their objectives.

* Dr. P. M. Bhargava, architect of molecular biology and biotechnology in India. Is currently the chairman of MARCH (The Medically Aware and Responsible Citizens of Hyderabad). A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and France’s highest civilian honour, Legion d’Honneur, the National Citizens’ Award, founder director of one of the world’s best laboratories in modern biotechnology, the Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, currently a centre of excellence recognized by UNESCO.