Monsanto Biohazard Talking Points

As you tell people about Monsanto and GMOs, the most common response you will hear is this: “What’s Monsanto?” and “What are GMOs?”

Following are some talking points to help you answer those questions. (Thanks to Occupy Monsanto for providing the graphic and most of these talking points.)

The Monsanto Company is one of the world’s largest pesticide and seed companies. It is also the largest producer of genetically modified organisms. Genetic modification is based on the idea that God and Mother Nature don’t know what they are doing. And that we human beings, through crude and imprecise laboratory methods, can combine unrelated species, to create life forms that survive and thrive in toxic chemical baths or which generate poisons from within their cells, turning those plants into pesticides, plants which we then eat.

Monsanto is corrupt. Monsanto has built its feudalistic fortune selling agricultural poisons, genetic manipulation, and legal/political posturing. In 2010, Monsanto spent $120 million on advertising to convince consumers that GMO foods are safe, despite scientific evidence suggesting otherwise. For all its self-touting as a champion of farmers and the answer to modern (industrial) agriculture, Monsanto’s real principles are mono-cropping, killing plants and insects, manufacturing infertility, and litigating on behalf of their greedy shareholders.

GMOs are dangerous. The plants produced by Monsanto’s seeds are designed to be treated with toxic herbicides and pesticides, chemicals which have been suspected to increase allergies and have been linked to decreased fertility, asthma, organ failure, and even cancer.

The poisons Monsanto produces are devastating, and they’re getting stronger. The widespread use of herbicides like Monsanto’s RoundUp has given rise to weeds which have become resistant to the very chemical that would inhibit their growth. These superweeds have become an aggressive pest for the average farmer. Monsanto’s answer? New product lines with even more toxic chemicals, and to design crops which are engineered to withstand doses of herbicides that would otherwise kill them. This process renders traditional weed killers less effective and reinforces farmers’ dependence on products, which poison our rivers and groundwater supply.

Monsanto implements business strategies that prey on communities in crisis. Monsanto Company has a nasty habit of pushing their patented seeds, infused with infertility or harmful genetic material, on to communities in crisis. This is their way of locking in customers for the long term. In India, the devastating generational debt faced by farmers has resulted in over 250,000 suicides, as their ability to save, breed, and exchange seeds has been taken from them.

It is our right to know if our food contains genetically engineered material. Since 1992 we have been eating this food without knowing it. Nearly every industrialized country in the world has labeled GMO food, and many have banned it outright. Yet Monsanto Company remains opposed to labels, recently threatening to sue the State of Vermont for their democratically enacted labeling legislation, the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (H. 722).

RoundUp poison and RoundUp Ready GMO crops cannot discriminate between pollinators and pests. The use of Monsanto’s patented poisons and GMO crops have been strongly correlated with Colony Collapse Disorder, a loss of 30 to 90 percent of worker honey bees from honeybee colonies. This is a threat to crops everywhere. Monsanto’s pesticides kill not only insect pests, they also kill beneficial insect pollinators like bees and butterflies.


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4 Responses to Monsanto Biohazard Talking Points

  1. RD says:

    Thanks for the talking points! This helped clarify a bit more for the average Joe like myself what the hub-bub is all about. I am definitely for the labeling of foods that have been modified! That truly seems like a no-brainer to me…. why isn’t there more FDA help with this? Other question is about Genetically Modified Crops. Perhaps this is the Polyanna side of me coming out but in some countries where food is scarce due to harsh environmental conditions, would not such a crop, not saying Monsanto, but something that could withstand harsh climate to provide more food in those areas which would hopefully lower costs of such food so that more can eat and pay for such goods? I see the risk in tampering with nature and then having something go wildly out of control (I mean, I’ve seen Jurassic Park…:)) But is there no place for such a crop? Resistant to stronger pesticides is ridiculous and sounds like a self serving cycle for Monsanto (need stronger plants, now we need strong pesticides, now we need stronger plants, etc.). Any comments would be appreciated.

    • Brett Wilcox says:

      Thanks for responding, RD. Contrary to popular belief, the FDA does not exist to protect the American public. Do a Google search for “Monsanto FDA revolving door” and you’ll see that the FDA and Monsanto are the same people working on the same mission. They differ only in name.

      There is nothing Pollyana about caring for the world’s hungry. Following is an except from the book I’m writing which addresses your legitimate question and concern.

      The problem? Massive population growth and mass starvation.
      The solution? Monsanto’s biotechnology.
      The problem with the solution? It’s a lie.
      The solution? Don’t believe Monsanto.

      Dr. Vandana Shiva states the idea that biotechnology will feed the world’s hungry “is on every level a deception. First of all, the kinds of things they’re producing don’t feed the Third World. . . . Soybeans go to feed the pigs and the cattle of the North. . . . All the investments in agriculture are about increasing chemical sales and increasing monopoly control. . . All this is taking place in the private domain, by corporations that are not in the business of charity. They are in the business of selling. The food they will produce will be even more costly.” 2

      From Rachel’s Environment and Health Weekly, we read, “Neither Monsanto nor any of the other genetic engineering companies appears to be developing genetically engineered crops that might solve global food shortages. Quite the opposite. . . . The new genetically engineered seeds . . . produce crops largely intended as feed for meat animals, not to provide protein for people. The genetic engineering revolution has nothing to do with feeding the world’s hungry.” 3

      Monsanto sells their feeding-the-hungry lie with images of poor and hungry people. People of influence from 18 African countries responded to Monsanto’s shameful exploitation of poverty and hunger as follows:

      “We . . . strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed. . . . On the contrary . . . it will undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.” 4

      The people of power at Monsanto have always used Monsanto to enrich themselves . . . regardless of the resulting destruction. The poor and the hungry serve Monsanto’s mission only as heart-rending images—images Monsanto exploits to exploit your fear and compassion, to persuade you into believing that perhaps, in some distant day, Monsanto will be able to deliver on its promise to feed the world’s hungry. But you need to remember this truth: where Monsanto is present, compassion is absent.

      So even if Monsanto were able to feed the world’s hungry, why would it?

      1. “OurPledge,” Monsanto,
      Quoted from an image.

      2. Quoted in Suzuki and Dressel, Naked Ape to Superspecies, p. 118.

      3. Against the Grain,” Rachel’s Environment and Health Weekly 637, February 11, 1999, see also Lappé and Bailey, Against the Grain, pp. 88-9.
      “Neither Monsanto nor any of the other genetic engineering companies appears to be developing genetically engineered crops that might solve global food shortages. Quite the opposite. If genetically engineered crops were aimed at feeding the hungry, then Monsanto and the others would be developing seeds with certain predictable characteristics: a) ability to grow on substandard or marginal soil; b) plants able to produce more high-quality protein with increased per-acre yield, without the need for expensive machinery, chemicals, fertilizers, or water; c) they would aim to favor small farms over larger farms; d) the seeds would be cheap and freely available without restrictive licensing; and e) they would be for crops that feed people, not meat animals. None of the genetically engineered crops now available, or in development (to the extent that these have been announced) has any of these desirable characteristics. Quite the opposite. The new genetically engineered seeds . . . produce crops largely intended as feed for meat animals, not to provide protein for people. The genetic engineering revolution has nothing to do with feeding the world’s hungry.”

      4. Luke Anderson, Genetic Engineering, Food, and our Environment, White River Junction, VT, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1999, pp. 55-57.

    • 1) The original “FDA” was known as “The Chemical Division”. Wanna guess why?

      2) The FDA’s primary function has always been to protect chemical manufacturing.

      3) In 1943, Brigadier General Leslie Groves married Monsanto joining military with chemical manufacturing to produce chemical weapons. They have not yet divorced. It is up to us to make that happen.

      4) The FDA’s secondary function is to portray itself as a protector of consumers. It is up to us to make that happen, too.

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