Monsanto: A Corporate Profile

New report sheds light on the GE seed giant that is major force behind keeping GE food unlabeled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cincinnati, Ohio—Today, as consumer demand and grassroots efforts grow in support of mandatory labeling for genetically engineered (GE) foods, the consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch released Monsanto: A Corporate Profile.

Food & Water Watch released the report in Ohio in conjunction with their campaign to ask regulators and lawmakers to mandate GE labeling nationally. Food & Water Watch is working to pass a resolution in the Cleveland calling on Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give consumers the right to know if their foods have been genetically engineered. The resolution is similar to one passed in Cincinnati last November.

The new report provides a thorough overview of the biotechnology giant that now holds 1,676 patents on seeds, plants and other agricultural applications. Monsanto’s products are grown on over 282 million acres worldwide, including 40 percent of all U.S. crop acreage. The report outlines Monsanto’s history and its undue influence over lawmakers, regulators, academic research and consumers.

“Even though you won’t find the Monsanto brand on a food or beverage container at your local grocery store, the company holds vast power over our food supply,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly. “This power is largely responsible for something else we cannot find on our grocery store shelves – labels on genetically engineered food. Not only has Monsanto’s and other agribusinesses’ efforts prevented the labeling of GE foods, but they spend millions to block grassroots efforts like California’s Prop 37 in order to keep consumers in the dark.”

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile provides a deep-dive into Monsanto’s history as a heavy industrial chemical manufacturer; a reality at odds with the environmentally friendly, feed-the-world image that the company spends millions trying to convey. The report offers a timeline of milestones in the company’s history including chemical disasters, mergers and acquisitions, and the first genetically engineered plant cell.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, applauds the new report.

“This report exposes the tremendous influence companies like Monsanto have over our food system and the need for independent research on the impacts genetically engineered crops’ have on the environment, farmland, and consumer health,” said MacKenzie Bailey, OEFFA’s policy program coordinator. “Additionally, policy makers need to respond to overwhelming public demand and require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, which will give consumers the ability to know what’s in their food.”

The report concludes with recommended actions for the federal government to take to rein in Monsanto’s anticompetitive practices and control over agricultural research and government policies. It also suggests steps that regulators should take to better protect consumers and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of GE crops.

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile can be downloaded here: http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/MonsantoReport.pdf

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Contact: Alison Auciello, Food & Water Watch, aauciello@fwwatch.org, (513) 394-6257

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