What is Monsanto?
Monsanto is a massive chemical and biotechnology company that specializes in genetically engineered (GMO) patented seeds and weed-killing herbicides, and they have a hand in a surprising number of links in the food chain.
Monsanto’s name has become synonymous with the power that corporations wield over the food we eat. They have pushed the widespread adoption of GMO seeds that are designed to withstand harsh weed-killing chemicals that Monsanto also produces. Did you know that in 2009, almost all of the corn (80 percent) and soybeans (93 percent) grown in the United States was grown from Monsanto’s seeds?
Along with spreading GMO seeds, Monsanto also sells enough weed-killing herbicides to cover millions of acres of crops. Roundup is the corporation’s “crown jewel.” Roundup-ready GMO crops are designed to be sprayed with Roundup that is supposed to kill any weeds in the field, but years of increased use of Roundup have led to the growth of weeds that are now resistant to this ubiquitous and harmful chemical.
How Monsanto Puts Your Health at Risk
Monsanto markets itself as a “life sciences” company, and works hard to project a wholesome, down-to-earth image. But the truth about Monsanto and their impact on our food is anything but wholesome. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm evaluated Roundup and declared it to be a probable human carcinogen. Other medical studies have highlighted the relationship between Roundup and birth defects.
Even if you don’t eat Monsanto’s GMOs, you are still at risk of being exposed to Roundup and similar herbicides. High levels of these chemicals have been found to seep into groundwater and runoff, or are blown by the wind into the atmosphere.
- Monsanto was one of the largest suppliers to the U.S. government of Agent Orange, a highly toxic defoliant sprayed during the Vietnam War.
- At least five Monsanto-owned facilities have been listed by the EPA as “Superfund sites” – the most hazardous toxic locations in the country.
- Monsanto’s not just one big GMO seed company. It actually owns dozens of other seed companies worldwide, including companies producing vegetable seeds.