7.04.2013

Who is Monsanto? And how can I Protect Myself from Them?

by Shareefah Muhammad 
@SisterShareefah

I remember sitting in a class one day having a discussion about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and a sister said, “ At first I thought Monsanto was a certain product but when I googled it I saw it was an entire company.” This made me think, how many more people think the same way. Who is Monsanto?

Monsanto is a global corporation whose history extends all the way back to 1901 when it began as a chemical company producing products such as vanillin (a vanilla extract used in food and beverages), aspirin and salicylic acid (a raw ingredient of aspirin). It is based in St. Louis, Missouri and is now well known for its developments in biotechnology, herbicides and insecticides. Prior to its involvement in the biotech industry, it was responsible for the manufacturing of the products DDT (an insecticide that was banned from the U.S. in 1972), PCBs (a cancer causing agent that was used as a coolant fluid that was banned in 1979), Agent Orange and rBSTs (a synthetic hormone); the stuff they say they don’t inject into cows so that it is not in your milk or your steak! (smile)

After many successes in various fields, Monsanto entered into the field of genetically modifying plants and was the first to accomplish this task in 1982. After purchasing other companies such as Agracetus, DEKALB, Cargill (seed business) and Seminis (a leading fruit and vegetable company), Monsanto had become the largest conventional seed company by 2005. [Read More]