Monsanto dubbed “Most Evil Corporation of the Year”

Noor Ashouri

Monsanto's dominance in the food production industry is a scary thought, considering the company's lack of ethics.
Monsanto’s dominance in the food production industry is a scary thought, considering the company’s lack of ethics.

Monsanto promises ethical behavior, honesty and respect. They aren’t fooling anyone.  Respondents on a NaturalNews survey titles Monsanto “The Most Evil Corporation of the Year.”

Monsanto is one of the dominating manufacturers of genetically modified seeds. But recently Monsanto has been caught in a scandal, which has everyone questioning the company’s credibility.

A few weeks ago, Monsanto was found growing unauthorized genetically modified wheat on a field in Oregon, according to the USDA.  But they weren’t doing this for a few days, weeks or months — Monsanto had this going on for close to 10 years.

The USDA confirms this GM wheat is safe for consumption, but that isn’t enough to quell the issue.

How something like this can slip right through U.S. regulatory agencies for almost 10 years is appalling. If a government testing regime had discovered this unauthorized GM wheat, perhaps I would feel more at ease, knowing our agencies are doing their job, but the discovery of this GM wheat did not come from a governmental official, but rather an unnamed Oregon farmer.

This farmer noticed unfamiliar wheat plants in his field. Thankfully, the Oregon farmer thought to send a sample of this wheat plant to the Oregon State University for testing. When OSU’s test results confirmed this might be unauthorized GM wheat, the USDA stepped in. They found it to be the same wheat Monsanto was authorized to test from 1998 to 2005, according to the Huffington Post. Even though it was tested for years, Monsanto abandoned the development of genetically modified wheat before it was ever approved for commercial use, according to the Seattle Times.

If the Oregon farmer hadn’t accidentally unveiled this, how much longer would we have been consuming and possibly exporting unauthorized wheat? As of now, there is no genetically modified wheat approved by any country, according to the Huffington Post. Monsanto claims to have stopped their project of genetically modified wheat in fear of it being hazardous to farmer’s wheat exports, according to the New York Times. But this proved to be a false notion of sympathy.

Where is the USDA, or FDA or other regulatory bodies? Isn’t it their job to expose issues like this? Yet it took one Oregon farmer to do the job for them.

And what about Monsanto’s promise of honesty?

It’s sickening to think the people suffering the consequences of this deceit isn’t Monsanto, but wheat farmers who took no part in it. The U.S. exported $8.1 billion worth of wheat in 2012, according to the US Wheat Associates. And because of this, wheat demand has taken a serious hit.

Two wheat growers in Washington state are suing Monsanto over the unauthorized genetically modified wheat, claiming this incident negatively impacted farmer export markets, according to the Seattle Times.

But what reason does Monsanto have to care about a bunch of wheat farmers when Monsanto reeled in $126 million profit for the first quarter of 2012, according to the New York Times. So much for the respect Monsanto promises.

There is no evidence suggesting this unauthorized wheat entered the food chain, according to the Huffington Post, but that doesn’t stop other countries from taking repercussions.

Japan suspended imports of certain wheat. South Korea and Europe increased testing on U.S. wheat shipments, according to the Huffington Post.

This situation echoes an incident in 2006 where unapproved genetically modified rice was found in the harvest. With this came price drops in rice and reduction in exports. Bayer CropScience, the company responsible, was forced to pay $750 billion towards claims of roughly 11,000 farmers, according to the New York Times. While the Monsanto incident hasn’t reached this point yet, due to the fact that contamination has not been confirmed, they should still be mandated to settle claims with wheat farmers who suffered as a result of the organization’s dishonesty.

It isn’t only farmers who have an issue with Monsanto.

Approximately two million people in 436 different cities recently took part in “March Against Monsanto” protests, according to USA Today. Protesters strive towards requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled. Currently, the Food and Drug Association does not require this. People have the right to know what they’re consuming. The decision to eat or not eat genetically modified foods should be left up to the consumer, and shouldn’t be influenced by the confusion of label anonymity.

Protesters are also working to discourage genetically modified foods, and the dominance of Monsanto. Experts claim genetically modified foods to be unsafe for the environment. Monsanto said their seeds preserve resources, according to USA Today.

If Monsanto can get away with this for nearly 10 years, what else is eluding the public eye?  Measures must be being taken to make sure something similar doesn’t happen again in the near future. And one thing’s for sure: we can’t take Monsanto’s promise to be honest and respectful seriously.

Email Noor Ashouri at [email protected]