Monsanto: heading for disaster?

Feature story - 16 April, 2003
Monsanto, the company that gave us PCBs, Agent Orange, pesticides and beef growth hormones, is desperate to get us to plant their genetically engineered (GE) seeds, spray them with their herbicides and eat GE foods. Will they get away with it? Not according to a new study done by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors.

Genetically engineered crops have questionable impacts.

Sustained market rejection, regulatory restrictions in key markets and likely contamination scandals should be of great concern to investors.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a leading environmental and social investment research firm, came to the conclusion that the risks to Monsanto's shareholders from the company's GE-focussed strategy are substantial. The multinational GE giant received the lowest possible environmental and strategic management rating by the financial experts at Innovest.

Monsanto is the global leader in developing and marketing GE products. In 2002, over 90 percent of GE hectares worldwide were planted with Monsanto's GE seeds. While the agrochemical business is still the cash cow of the company, its GE products are one of the most fiercly rejected product groups ever.

Regulatory hurdles and consumer and market rejection of GE products are expected to continue or even spread. Next in Monsanto's GE pipeline is wheat, one of the major staple crops worldwide. Fierce opposition to wheat surfaced before applications for commercialisation were even filed. And opposition came not only from traders, food producers and consumers, but also from Monsanto's own customers, farmers.

At the same time the company itself admits that contamination of conventional or organic crops by GE traits is inevitable, a large liability for Monsanto and the GE industry.

Just days before Monsanto's annual general meeting, the concerns over Monsanto's GE strategy and it's potentially catastrophic consequences should come as a serious warning to investors.

Check out our new video Slice of Life to see why farmers, bakers, and food specialists say the introduction of GE wheat could be a disaster for one of the world's most important food sources.

Find out more:

Monsanto Investors Face Catastrophic Risk (press release)

Genetically engineered wheat - changing our daily bread?

Outdoor pharming puts food supply at risk

GE industry breaking farmers backs