“Monsanto-ising Indian Agriculture”:Paper on Public Private Partnerships between state governments and Monsanto in India, November 2010
MONSANTO-ISING INDIAN AGRICULTURE
“No Food Shall Be Grown That We Don’t Own” – reported objective of Monsanto
Monsanto is an American agri-business corporation, which is today the world’s largest seed company. It isalso one of the world’s largest agri-chemical companies. Monsanto group in India and elsewhere mainlyoperates in the seeds, herbicides and biotechnology traits segments mostly. On the agri-chemical front, inaddition to crop protection products, there are some veterinary and lawn-and-garden products thatMonsanto engages in. The company operates in the United States of America (its home country), Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Canada.Monsanto’s seed sales were nearly US$5 Bn in 2007, constituting 23% of the global proprietary seedsmarket (the non-proprietary seed market around the world is now only 18% of the world seed market)
.Monsanto is also the world’s fifth largest agri-chemical company with sales worth nearly US$3.6 Bn in2007, which constitutes 9% of the world agri-chemical market share. The worldwide market for agri-chemicals was worth US$ 38.6 billion in 2007.In 2009, Monsanto’s global net sales were US$ 11.72 billion, of which 62% was from seeds andagriculture technologies and 38% from the agricultural productivity segment (Annual Report, MonsantoIndia, 2010).Monsanto had grown into the largest seed company in the world by aggressive market maneuversincluding 69 acquisitions, taking stakes in 14 companies and divesting from 17, during 1985 and 2009.
MONSANTO’S HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, LIES & OMISSIONS
Monsanto has become infamous over the years for many human rights violations, lies and omissions in itsquest for more and more markets and profits. For instance, for decades, Monsanto dumped highly toxicPCBs in Anniston Alabama, then spent years covering up the dumping and the attendant health hazardsto residents. It appears that Monsanto knew what it was doing when it was dumping its toxic wastes butconcealed the same and denied the effects. On February 22, 2002, Monsanto was found guilty forpoisoning the town of Anniston, Alabama with their PCB factory and covering it up for decades. Theywere convicted of negligence, wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass, and outrage.The $700 million fine imposed on Monsanto was on behalf of the Anniston residents, whose blood levelsof Monsanto’s toxic PCBs were hundreds or thousands of times the average
.Similarly, in the case of dioxin and its impacts, Monsanto is known to have covered up dioxincontamination of several of its products.In Indonesia, Monsanto gave bribes and questionable payments to at least 140 officials, attempting toget their genetically modified (GM) cotton accepted. In 1998, six Canadian government scientists testifiedbefore the Senate that they were being pressured by superiors to approve rbGH, that documents werestolen from a locked file cabinet in a government office, and that Monsanto offered them a bribe of $1-2million to pass the drug without further tests.When it comes to the safety of products like glyphosate (Monsanto’s brand of this herbicide is calledRoundup), it was found that two labs conducting safety studies for Monsanto were indulging in “routinefalsification of data”. One lab study claimed it used ‘specimens from the uteri of male rabbits