reply to post by TsukiLunar
Environmental and health record
According to an anonymous 2001 _27] obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, Monsanto has been identified by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency as being a "potentially responsible party" for 56 contaminated sites (Superfund sites) in the United States. Monsanto has been
sued, and has settled, multiple times for damaging the health of its employees or residents near its Superfund sites through pollution and
poisoning. In 2004 The Wildlife Habitat Council and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track
presented a special certificate of recognition to Monsanto Company during WHC's 16th Annual Symposium.
Monsanto is the largest producer of glyphosate herbicides through its popular brand, Roundup. A report released in June 2011 linked glyphosate to
birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower than those used in agricultural and garden spraying.
Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications (referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) explained the company's regulatory
philosophy to Michael Pollan in 1998: "Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as
possible. Assuring its safety is FDA's job."
 Genetically modified organisms
Main article: Genetically modified organism
This section requires expansion.
Many of Monsanto's seed products are specifically genetically modified to make them resistant to Monsanto produced agricultural chemicals, such as
"Round Up" herbicide. In a study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences, researchers applied a different statistical analysis
on raw data obtained from Monsanto and concluded that these GM corn (maize) varieties induced a state of hepatorenal toxicity. They suggested that
the presence of the new pesticides associated with the inserted genes were responsible, although the possibility that this could be due to a mutation
during the transformation process was not excluded.
Monsanto was drawn into the Genetically modified food controversies over the Pusztai affair. Dr. Arpad Pusztai's experiments suggested that it
was the process of genetic engineering, not the presence of the inserted lectin gene that altered the thickness of the gut epithelium in rats when fed
genetically modified potatoes. In other words it was the process of genetic engineering itself, not the presence of pesticides caused by the
engineering which caused the damage to rats. The publication of this study has resulted in much controversy.
 Terminator seed controversy
Main article: Genetic use restriction technology
In June 2007, Monsanto acquired Delta & Pine Land Company, a company that had patented a seed technology nicknamed Terminators. This technology,
which was never known to have been used commercially, produces plants that have sterile seeds so they do not flower or grow fruit after the initial
planting. This prevents the spread of those seeds into the wild, however it also requires customers to repurchase seed for every planting in which
they use Terminator seed varieties. In recent years, widespread opposition from environmental organizations and farmer associations has grown, mainly
out of the concerns that seeds using this technology could increase farmers' dependency on seed suppliers.
In 1999, Monsanto pledged not to commercialize Terminator technology. Delta Vice President, Harry Collins, stated in an October 2000 press
interview in the Agra/Industrial Biotechnology Legal Letter, ‘We’ve continued right on with work on the Technology Protection System (TPS or
Terminator). We never really slowed down. We’re on target, moving ahead to commercialize it. We never really backed off.’
 rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone)
Main article: Bovine somatotropin
Monsanto sparked controversy nationwide with the introduction of recombinant Bovine somatotropin, abbreviated as rBST and commonly known as rBGH. It
is a synthetic hormone that is injected into cows to increase milk production. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone stimulated by rBGH in
the cow's blood stream, which is directly responsible for the increase in milk production. IGF-1 is a natural hormone found in the milk of both
humans and cows causing the quick growth of infants. IGF-1 is also normally present in saliva.
Though this IGF-1 occurs naturally in mothers' milk to be fed to their infants it produces adverse effects in non-infants, behaving as a cancer
accelerator in adults and non-infants; this biologically active hormone is associated with breast cancer (correlation shown in premenopausal
women), prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancers.
A Monsanto-sponsored survey of milk showed no significant difference in rBST levels in milk labeled as "rBST-Free" or "organic milk" vs milk not
labeled as such.
According to The New York Times Monsanto's brand of rBST, Posilac, has recently (March 2008) been the focus for a pro-rBST advocacy group called
AFACT, made up of large dairy business conglomerates and closely affiliated with Monsanto itself. This group has engaged in large-scale lobbying
efforts at the state level to prevent milk which is rBST-free from being labeled as such. As milk labeled as hormone-free has proved enormously
popular with consumers, the primary justification by AFACT for their efforts has been that rBST is approved by the United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and that the popularity of milk sold without it is damaging what they claim to be the right of dairy producers to use a
technology that maximizes their profits.
Thus far, a large-scale negative consumer response to AFACT's legislative and regulatory efforts has kept state regulators from pushing through
restrictions that would ban hormone-free milk labels, though several politicians have tried, including Pennsylvania's agriculture secretary Dennis
Wolff, who tried to ban rBST-free milk labeling on the grounds that "consumers are confused". The statement by Agriculture Secretary Wolff was
reported by pro-biotech site Earth Friendly-Farm Friendly which elaborated on the issues of rBGH/rBST labelling:
"Consumers are getting confused with the extra labels," said Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Dennis Wolff. "They deserve a choice, and so do producers.
But from the standpoint of safety, all milk is healthy milk. Our milk is a safe product. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is not in a
position to say use rBST or not. The key word is: choice. I used rBST from day one of its approval to the last day that I milked cows. It was an
important management tool on my dairy farm. What we oppose is the negative advertising or the selling of fear. If producers are asked to give up a
production efficiency, and if that efficiency nets them $3000 or $10,000 a year for their dairy farm… That's a lot of money.
Proposed labeling changes have been floated by AFACT lobbyists in New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, Missouri and Vermont thus far.[citation
In October 2008, Monsanto sold this business, in full, to Eli Lilly for a price of $300 million plus additional considerations.
 Pollution in Anniston, Alabama
In 2002, The Washington Post carried a front page report on Monsanto's legacy of environmental damage in Anniston, Alabama related to its legal
production of polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), a chemical once used as a common electrical insulator, 40 years ago. Plaintiffs in a pending lawsuit
provided documentation showing that the local Monsanto factory knowingly discharged both mercury and PCB-laden waste into local creeks for over 40
years. In a story on January 27, The New York Times reported that during 1969 alone Monsanto had dumped 45 tons of PCBs into Snow Creek, a feeder
for Choccolocco Creek which supplies much of the area's drinking water. The company also buried millions of pounds of PCB in open-pit landfills
located on hillsides above the plant and surrounding neighborhoods. In August 2003, Solutia and Monsanto agreed to pay plaintiffs $700 million to
settle claims by over 20,000 Anniston residents related to PCB contamination.
 Legal issues
Monsanto is notable for its involvement in high profile lawsuits, as both plaintiff and defendant. It has been involved in a number of class action
suits, where fines and damages have run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, usually over health issues related to its products. Monsanto has
also made frequent use of the courts to defend its patents, particularly in the area of biotechnology.
Monsanto has received media coverage for its alleged unfair suing of farmers, highlighted in the documentary The World according to Monsanto.
 As defendant
In 1971, the US government filed suit against Monsanto over the safety of its original product, saccharin; Monsanto eventually won, after several
years in court.
It was sued, along with Dow and other chemical companies by veterans for the side effects of its Agent Orange defoliant, used by the US military in
the Vietnam War.
Monsanto was the defendant in the longest civil jury trial in U.S. history, Kemner v. Monsanto. This case ran from February 1984 through October 1987.
The case involved a group of plaintiffs who claimed to have been poisoned by dioxin in a 1979 chemical spill that occurred in Sturgeon,
In 2000, GLC sued Monsanto for the $71 million shortfall in expected sales.
In 2004, the world's largest agrichemical company, Switzerland's Syngenta, launched a US lawsuit charging Monsanto with using coercive tactics to
monopolize markets. There are several lawsuits going both ways between Monsanto and Syngenta.
In 2005, the US DOJ filed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in which Monsanto admitted to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15
U.S.C. § 78dd-1) and making false entries into its books and records (15 U.S.C § 78m(b)(2) & (5)).
In late 2006, the Correctional Tribunal of Carcassone, France, ordered two directors of Monsanto subsidiary Asgrow to pay a €15,000 fine related to
their knowledge of the presence of unauthorized GMOs in bags of seeds imported by Asgrow on 13 April 2000.
In November 2010, a federal judge ordered the destruction of plantings of genetically modified sugar beets developed by Monsanto after ruling
previously that the U.S. Agriculture Department had illegally approved the biotech crop.
 As plaintiff
Since the mid-1990s, it has sued 145 individual US farmers for patent infringement in connection with its genetically engineered seed. The usual
claim involves violation of a technology agreement that prohibits farmers from saving seed from one season's crop to plant the next, a common farming
practice. One farmer received an eight-month prison sentence for violating a court order to destroy seeds, in addition to having to pay
damages, when a Monsanto case turned into a criminal prosecution.
In 2003, Monsanto sued Oakhurst Dairy in Maine for advertising that its milk products did not come from cows treated with bovine growth hormone,
claiming that such advertising hurt its business. The president of Oakhurst responded by saying, "We ought to have the right to let people know what
is and is not in our milk."
In 1998, Monsanto's patented genes were discovered in the canola grown on Percy Schmeiser's farm. As a result, Monsanto sued Percy Schmeiser for
patent infringement for growing genetically modified Roundup-resistant canola. The trial judge ruled that Schmeiser had intentionally planted the
seeds, ruling that the "infringement arises not simply from occasional or limited contamination of his Roundup susceptible canola by plants that are
Roundup resistant. He planted his crop for 1998 with seed that he knew or ought to have known was Roundup tolerant." This high profile case,
Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, went to the Supreme Court level.
Monsanto representative Trish Jordan commented: "This is very good news for us, Mr. Schmeiser had infringed on our patent." After years of legal
wrangling, in 2004 the case was heard by the Canadian Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Monsanto, rejecting Schmeiser's argument that by not
using Roundup herbicide on the canola, he did not "use" the plant gene. The Court ruled that farming is an activity that requires human
intervention, and so by planting the crops, Schmeiser was "using" the plant gene. However, Schmeiser also won a partial victory, with the Supreme
Court disagreeing with the damages given by the trial judge. The Supreme Court stated that since Schmeiser did not gain any profit from the
infringement, he did not owe Monsanto any damages. Though the amount of damages were low (C$19,382), this also meant that Schmeiser did not have to
pay Monsanto's substantial legal bills.
The case did cause Monsanto's enforcement tactics to be highlighted in the media over the years it took to play out.
Monsanto has asked Spanish customs officials to inspect soymeal shipments to determine if they use Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" technology.[citation
 Related legal actions
 In USA
In 1997, it was alleged the news division of WTVT (Channel 13), a Fox-owned station in Tampa, Florida, cooperated with Monsanto in suppressing an
investigative report on the health risks associated with Monsanto's bovine growth hormone product, Posilac. Posilac, a synthetic hormone used to
increase milk production in cows, while banned in many first-world countries, is used in the United States. Steve Wilson and Jane Akre reported on the
dangers of the hormone. They were asked to recant their story and refused. Both reporters were eventually fired. Wilson and Akre alleged the firing
was for retaliation, while WTVT contended they were fired for insubordination. The reporters then sued Fox/WTVT in Florida state court, claiming they
could not be fired for refusing to do something that they believed to be illegal. In 2000, a Florida jury found that while there was no evidence
Fox/WTVT had bowed to any pressure from Monsanto to alter the story, Akre, but not Wilson, was unjustly fired. Fox appealed the decision citing
that the FCC CODE that stated the news stations must report the truth, is just a "policy" not a law. The court overturned the decision. The
decision in Akre's favor was then overturned in 2003 by an appeals court because the whistleblower's statute under which the original case had been
filed did not actually apply to the case.
 Monsanto vs Andhra Pradesh Government in India
The state of Andhra Pradesh, India, at first resisted Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, and having failed to block imports of the seed, has more
recently attempted to control its price. In 2005, after the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the Indian regulatory authority, released a
fact-finding statement, the state agriculture minister barred the company from selling cotton seeds in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The order
was later lifted. More recently, the Andhra Pradesh state government filed several cases against Monsanto and its Mumbai based licensee
Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds, after they challenged the order directing the company not to charge a trait price of more than Rs. 900 per pack of 450 grams
of Bt. Cotton seed. The Andhra Pradesh State Government has also sought a compensation package of about Rs 4.5 crore (about 1 Million US$) to be
paid by the company to farmers affected in some districts.
 In USA and Canada
On 30 March 2011 a group consisting of over 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations in Canada and the US, filed a
lawsuit against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The plaintiffs say they are being forced to
sue pre-emptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically
modified seed. The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan. On
January 31, 2012, in New York, a U.S. district court heard arguments to determine whether or not to proceed forward with the suit. The U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit on February 24. District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald criticized the
plaintiffs for a “transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.” The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and others
already plan to appeal the decision.
 Dumping of toxic waste in the UK
Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto paid contractors to illegally dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing that their
chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. The Environment Agency said the chemicals were found to be polluting groundwater and the
atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped.
The Brofiscin quarry, near Cardiff, erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area, but the local community was unaware that the quarry
housed toxic waste.
A UK government report shows that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs exclusively made by Monsanto, are leaking from
one unlined porous quarry that was not authorized to take chemical wastes. It emerged that the groundwater has been polluted since the 1970s. The
government was criticised for failing to publish information about the scale and exact nature of this contamination. According to the Environment
Agency it could cost £100m to clean up the site in south Wales, called "one of the most contaminated" in the UK.
 Indonesian bribing convictions
In January 2005, Monsanto agreed to pay a $1.5m fine for bribing an Indonesian official. Monsanto admitted a senior manager at Monsanto directed an
Indonesian consulting firm to give a $50,000 bribe to a high-level official in Indonesia's environment ministry in 2002, in a bid to avoid
Environmental impact assessment on its genetically modified cotton. Monsanto told the company to disguise an invoice for the bribe as "consulting
fees". Monsanto also has admitted to paying bribes to a number of other high-ranking Indonesian officials between 1997 and 2002. Monsanto faced both
criminal and civil charges from the Department of Justice and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Monsanto has agreed to pay
$1m to the Department of Justice and $500,000 to the SEC to settle the bribe charge and other related violations.
On 5 March 2008 the deferred prosecution agreement against Monsanto was dismissed with prejudice (unopposed by the Department of Justice) by the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia, thereby indicating that Monsanto had complied fully with the terms of the agreement.
 Fined in France for false advertising
Monsanto was fined $19,000 in a French court on 26 January 2007 for misleading the public about the environmental impact of its herbicide Roundup. A
former chairman of Monsanto Agriculture France was found guilty of false advertising for presenting Roundup as biodegradable and claiming that it left
the soil clean after use.
Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought the case in 2001 on the basis that glyphosate, Roundup's main ingredient, is classed as
"dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms" by the European Union. Monsanto's French distributor Scotts France was also
fined 15,000 euros. Both defendants were ordered to pay damages of 5,000 euros to the Brittany Water and Rivers association and 3,000 euros to the
CLCV consumers group.