The Monsanto Haters Culture

Monsanto sign

Working at a media company, I am used to seeing negative or critical comments come across my desk or appear in my e-mail in-box. As the old saying goes, “it goes with the territory.”

Yet I am somewhat amazed at the amount of online venom that exists for agricultural giant Monsanto. Just the mere mention of the words “Monsanto” or “glyphosate/Roundup” in an online article will inevitably see a host of e-mailers denouncing the company for its “evil ways.” At times, this hatred borders on the ridiculous, such as when e-mailers blamed the company for some recent bee deaths in Oregon or the fertilizer plant disaster in West, TX. (For the record, Monsanto doesn’t produce either the kinds of crop protection products suspected in the bee incident or fertilizer.)

Given these facts, I’ve often wondered why there exists an entire haters culture toward Monsanto compared with other agricultural companies. And I’m apparently not alone. Recently, I ran across an online article that asked this exact same question.

“I find it very interesting that Monsanto is one of the most hated companies on the planet, with the Internet and social media full of stories and passed-around memes that declare it to be one of the worst companies in the world,” said the article’s author. “And yet, DuPont is just as big in genetically-modified seeds and agricultural chemicals and pursues largely the same policies as Monsanto with respect to pricing, Intellectual Property enforcement and so on. So it merits the question – why is Monsanto evil but DuPont isn’t?”

In the course of this article, the author pointed to three reasons why Monsanto seems to be so universally disliked:

  1. It made dangerous chemicals such as Agent Orange.
  2. It has “bought” the U.S. government and regulatory agencies off through lobbying efforts to sell its products such as Roundup Ready crops to an unsuspecting public.
  3. It has supposedly ruthlessly prosecuted growers for unknowingly growing its products in their fields.

In the end, the author pokes serious holes in each and every one of these arguments. “I suspect that Monsanto is a victim of its own success,” he concludes. “All they do is crop science. Likewise, they’ve been very good at what they do.”

I tend to agree. If Monsanto were just another player in the agricultural field rather than the leader it is, the company would probably have a few more online fans as opposed to its numerous foes.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

12 comments on “The Monsanto Haters Culture

  1. Allison, To me it seems your ignorance frightens You. Become more educated before making This type of comment.

  2. Who knows what these haters think? Why do they not try raising there own crops to feed the world with zero,fertilizer, zero pesticides and zero technology.

  3. As a crop consultant hearing both sides Monsanto would have been farther ahead not standing in front of growers basically bragging that since they caused a certain yield response they wanted their half first and the grower still had other production variables to deal with before they saw any reward. The fact that seed prices jumped very fast just gave growers indegestion and therfore an immediate bad taste that continues to cause disatisfaction.

  4. Monsanto's history is widely available for anyone to research. If you have difficulties understanding people's anger towards this company, then you haven't looked hard enough. Transgenics quitely added to the food supply without consumer consent, buying out seed suppliers and attempting a monopoly on seed reserves, corporate capture of elected officials and regulatory agencies, using the State Department as their personal lobbying crew for international relations, etc. And don't expect their reputation to be changing anytime soon.

  5. Without the developments of Monsanto and other agriculture companies advancing ag-tech, many more millions would be dying of starvation. Every single fruit, vegetable, fowl, and type of livestock has been genetically modified for desirable traits. Consider that.

  6. The worst part is that the farming community for the most part views their relationship with Monsanto in an adversarial context. If Monsanto had handled grower relations better during the initial introductions of its products, it is possible that they would have strong support from their customer base, which IMO they currently lack.

  7. As a farmer I will not allow Monsanto products on my farm. The company is ruthless and has no regards for the health of the end user. With less Monsanto and Du Ponts in the world we would have had more farmers left in stead of massive corporation farms. It is shocking to see how they openly force more traditional farmers off their land!

  8. We farm, both crops and livestock, and stopped using ALL commercial / chemical fertilizers and weed control products in 2007. We literally quit, cold-turkey. However, we spent the previous 2-3 years doing a tremendous amount of research and planning before coming off our "chemical dependency" (there should be an AA-style 10-Step program for farmers with chemical addiction). Naturally, we were very concerned about the impact it would have on our already razor-thin "profits." The first year off chemicals was the most labor-intensive, which we knew going in and were relatively prepared for. There was NO drop in yield, and our livestock (mostly Angus and Charolais cattle) actually saw an almost immediate INCREASE in live births. Every year since we've seen nearly a complete elimination of miscarriages, still births, sick calves, and not a single prolapse. Crops are now heartier, and being off chemicals has increased our profitability dramatically, as those entire line-items have come off our expense sheet. The diesel and man-hours needed to apply them are also gone. We buy seed from who we want, and are no longer held hostage to Liberty and others, and now use mostly heirloom, and reserve some of our crops for seed. Labor output, even after the elimination of the aforementioned hours, is up about 15% over the hours we previously required to get to harvest, but yields are as high or higher, and we have a larger pool of buyers since we're now "all natural" and pesticide / herbicide (and Monsanto / Dow Ag) FREE! It's the best move anyone could make, if done right and all the cards are on the table before you make the move. The liberty of not being chained to chemicals of any kind, and knowing that you are no longer destroying your soil, makes for a comfortable pillow to sleep on come sundown.

Eric Sfiligoj Stories
Eric SfiligojWar And Green Peace
October 11, 2014
A one-time member of Green Peace recently explained why he left the organization after 15 years. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
Eric SfiligojA Whole New Precision Ag World
June 2, 2014
Excitement and technology developments could make 2014 a year to remember for precision ag. Read More
Eric SfiligojOngoing State Biotech Crop Labeling Laws Could Receive Federal Stop Sign
May 19, 2014
Proposed legislation in Congress might prevent states from passing biotech crop labeling laws. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
FertilizerSimplot’s Gal-XeONE Technology Moves West
April 27, 2015
The J.R. Simplot Co. remains committed to creating customer value through technology. In 2013, Simplot purchased the Gal-XeONE controlled release Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Need To Defend Production Agriculture
April 27, 2015
Last week, I spent the better part of my time on the road visiting with ag retailers and market suppliers Read More
FertilizerStarter Fertilizers Show Value In Stressful Spring Cond…
April 27, 2015
From wet, cold conditions in the eastern Corn Belt to excessively dry, cool soils in the Plains states, spring field Read More
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More