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

Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Potash Agrium
Eric SfiligojBig Fertilizer Merger In The Works
September 12, 2016
If you are a fan of consolidation in agriculture, 2016 has been a banner year so far. Not only are Read More
Eric SfiligojThis Column Is Terrible
September 6, 2016
Does the negative always trump the positive in getting a reader’s attention? It would seem so based upon the evidence. Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
Eric SfiligojThe Read From MAGIE
August 29, 2016
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL. Being Read More
Trending Articles
Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Latest News
Young Corn Field
StewardshipStudy: Ohio Farmers Doing ‘A Good Job Of Managing…
September 27, 2016
Leaders from Ohio’s largest grain farming organizations announced today that Ohio farmers are doing their part in effectively managing phosphorus Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
Industry NewsGROWMARK To Purchase Suncor’s Share Of UPI
September 26, 2016
GROWMARK and Suncor have reached an agreement in which GROWMARK will purchase Suncor’s 50% interest in UPI, Inc. in Ontario, Read More
Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More