Here's some interesting things from our friends at :
Farmer Suicides in India – Is There a Connection with Bt Cotton?
If you search the Internet for Monsanto, you will likely come across claims that failure of our Bollgard cotton seed products has caused many farmers
in India to take their own lives.
The reality is that that the tragic phenomena of farmer suicides in India began long before the introduction of Bollgard in 2002. Farmer suicide has
numerous causes with most experts agreeing that indebtedness is one of the main factors. Farmers unable to repay loans and facing spiraling interest
often see suicide as the only solution.
Through modern biotechnology, it may be possible to develop crops that will not produce viable offspring seeds or that will produce viable seeds with
specific genes switched-off. Gene Use Restriction Technology (GURT) includes a range of technologies employed at the genetic level, designed to limit
the use or spread of specific genetic material in agriculture.
Open Letter From Monsanto CEO Robert B. Shapiro To Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway and Others
October 4, 1999
Dr. Gordon Conway
President Rockefeller Foundation
420 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018-2702
I am writing to let you know that we are making a public commitment not to commercialize sterile seed technologies, such as the one dubbed
"Terminator." We are doing this based on input from you and a wide range of other experts and stakeholders, including our very important grower
As you know, sterile seed technology is one of a class of so called "gene protection systems." This is a group of technologies, all still in the
conceptual or developmental stage, that could potentially be used to protect the investment companies make in developing genetically-improved crops,
as well as possibly providing other agronomic benefits. Some would work by rendering seeds from such crops sterile, while others would work by other
means, such as deactivating only the value-added biotech trait. One of the sterile seed technologies was developed and patented jointly by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and Delta & Pine Land, with which we announced our intent to merge in the spring of 1998.
Last April, after hearing concerns about the potential impact of gene protection systems in developing countries and consulting with a number of
international experts and development leaders, we called for a thorough, independent review of gene protection systems. We also pledged not to
commercialize any of them until that review was completed and we had responded to the issues raised.
Since then, however, we have continued to listen to people who have a particular interest in sterile seed technologies, including the concerns you
expressed to our Board in June. Though we do not yet own any sterile seed technology, we think it is important to respond to those concerns at this
time by making clear our commitment not to commercialize gene protection systems that render seed sterile.
It is also important to understand that the technical and business utility of sterile seed technology is speculative. The specific technology over
which Monsanto would gain ownership through its pending merger with Delta & Pine Land is developmental, at least five years away from any possible
commercialization, and may or may not prove workable in a commercial setting. The need for companies to protect and gain a return on their investments
in agricultural innovation is real. Without this return, we would no longer be able to continue developing new products growers have said they want.
Monsanto holds patents on technological approaches to gene protection that do not render seeds sterile and has studied one that would inactivate only
the specific gene(s) responsible for the value-added biotech trait. We are not currently investing resources to develop these technologies, but we do
not rule out their future development and use for gene protection or their possible agronomic benefits.
For this reason, we continue to support the open, independent airing of all of the issues raised by the use of gene protection systems to protect the
investment companies make in agricultural innovation. We understand, for example, that the National Research Council of the National Academy of
Sciences is planning an international study of these issues. We renew the pledge we made in April that we will not make any decision to commercialize
a gene protection technology until a full airing of the issues is complete and we have responded publicly to the concerns that are raised.
We are fully committed to modern biotechnology as a safe, sustainable tool for farmers and an important contributor to the future success of
agriculture in meeting the world's needs for food and fiber. The technology has already brought important benefits to growers and the environment
after just a few years of commercial application. We are working hard to build on this success.
We also recognize that biotechnology, like any new technology,raises issues that must be addressed. We appreciate your involvement with these
important issues and the perspective and expertise you contributed at our June Board meeting. We find significant value in engaging stakeholders and
the expert community in active dialogue on issues surrounding biotechnology and the future success of agriculture. I look forward to continuing our
dialogue with you on the many issues and challenges that lie ahead.
Robert B. Shapiro
Chairman and CEO
Here's a list of every country that Monsanto has offices in.
Seems to be quite a few, so you wont be avoiding interaction.
Mexico-Netherlands-New Zealand-Nicaragua-Norway-Oman-Pakistan-Paraguay-Peru-Philippines-Poland-Portugal-Puerto Rico--Romania-Russia
Saudi Arabia-Senegal-Singapore-Slovakia-South Africa-Spain-Sri Lanka
Sweden-Switzerland-Syria-Taiwan-Thailand-Tunisia-Turkey-Uganda-Ukraine-United Arab Emirates-United Kingdom-United States-Uruguay
Here's a list of "new" Monsanto officers
[Some current leaders may include work experience with the "old" Monsanto Company, Pharmacia Corp. or Solutia Inc. prior to the formation of the new
Monsanto, focused solely on agriculture, in 2000.]
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Brett D. Begemann
Executive Vice President, Seeds & Traits
Carl M. Casale
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Robert T. Fraley
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Tom D. Hartley
Vice President and Treasurer
Janet M. Holloway
Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Community Relations
Consuelo E. Madere
Vice President, Vegetable Business
Steven C. Mizell
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Kerry J. Preete
Vice President, Crop Protection
Nicole M. Ringenberg
Vice President and Controller
David F. Snively
Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel
Gerald A. Steiner
Executive Vice President, Sustainability & Corporate Affairs