Monsanto: Food, Health, Hope

A.V. Krebs | 07.01.1999

Summer 1999, Vol. 5, No. 2

It has become no small concern worldwide to family farmers, consumers, and environmentalists that the Monsanto Company, given its history and its present direction in attempting to establish itself as the world’s leader in “life sciences,” has chosen to “trademark,” or in other words “register with a government agency to assure its use exclusively by the owner of the mark ‘Food – Health – Hope’.”

When corporate agribusiness sets out to transform our farms and ranches, the traditional source of our food and fiber, into modern bioengineering workshops designed to suit their narrow corporate interests, farmers and various other producers of our food see themselves being sold into economic slavery. Meanwhile, large numbers of the world community are gradually discovering that the increasing quantitative and qualitative price for such self-serving corporate gimmickry continues to escalate.

Monsanto and DuPont are betting the farm in bids to transform themselves into the Coke and Pepsi of genetically engineered crops.

Striving to take the leadership in such a corporate-dominated age of prescription agriculture and food , or “life sciences” is the Monsanto Company, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Setting out to forever change how food and fiber are produced, the 97- year-old chemical firm has asserted that as a corporation it is “developing a way to use Mother Nature to modify organisms to serve us better. We have a new business focus: life sciences—a startup industry that addresses the food and health needs of a rapidly expanding world while recognizing the importance of environmental sustainability. We have a new outlook on life: a better life for our planet.”

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Roughly translated, even Monsanto has come to recognize that agriculture and the environment cannot continue to tolerate the massive amounts of chemical poisons and fertilizers that are in use today. Since Monsanto has been a major and profitable producer of such materials, it needs to find substitutes to continue keeping its stockholders happy, while at the same time trying to convince the world that biotechnology is a safe and sane alternative.