Monsanto’s False Advertising

| 2/2/2012 4:33:18 PM

You may see advertisements in print and on TV or radio for a clever advertising campaign, America’s Farmers. It’s a feel-good series of ads that purports to show America’s family farmers — working hard, caring about sustainability and the Earth, taking every care to bring you safe, clean and healthy food.

Trouble is, you have to read the tiny print to see that the campaign is sponsored by Monsanto — now the world’s largest seed company and the largest producer of both toxic herbicides and seeds genetically modified to resist them.

Monsanto FarmerThe campaign, with its sophisticated website, “webisodes” and touching family photos, features a group of farmers carefully selected for racial diversity, regional representation and gender balance. All run large-scale farms — several are more than 1,000 acres. All grow commodity crops: soybeans, corn, industrial beef, pork and poultry. None are organic, at least not according to their biographies on the website (see below for link, but don’t honor Monsanto with the click-through unless you must).

Don’t be fooled by Monsanto’s efforts to present itself as a supporter of sustainable agriculture. The company’s website includes this: “Monsanto is one of the world’s leading companies focused on sustainable agriculture. We discover and deliver innovative products that support the farmers who feed, fuel and clothe our world.”

In fact, Monsanto’s contributions to agriculture have been:

  • increasingly expensive seed
  • a huge reduction in biodiversity, as Monsanto snaps up smaller seed companies and gains more ownership of seed strains
  • lawsuits against farmers whose own crops have been contaminated by Monsanto’s patented seed
  • overwhelming rises in the applications of its herbicides, including Roundup — which has been linked to a host of health and environmental problems
  • the creation of “super weeds” and “super pests” that no herbicide or pesticide will control

This is a classic case of greenwashing. I’d find it blackly hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating.

2/16/2012 4:17:50 AM

You all are talking like Monsanto is the only company selling seed and genetics. There are also other companies doing the exact same things as Monsanto that receive no attention. As far as being sued for pollen blowing in the wind and pollinating the neighbors field, this is a non-issue unless the farmer uses organic practices. Even then organic farmers are required to plant a buffer boundary around the organic part. The only reason for the lawsuit is because someone makes a big deal out of it. If the crop would have been harvested and taken to market and nothing was said it would be a non issue. You obviously have never been anywhere near any agriculture. If you had you would know that this cross pollination of different brands happens all the time. As far as planting bin-run corn as i pointed out before this is to protect the farmer and the environment. Monsanto will NEVER be a monopoly because there are other large seed companies that are almost as large as Monsanto. Try visiting someone who has farmed all their life instead of believing everything you read on the internet. Get the real facts before pointing a finger.

2/16/2012 4:03:30 AM

Thank you for pointing this out. You are exactly right. GMOs are just accelerated selective breeding. Another good point is that something can be considered toxic but it just depends on the species in question. As far as humans are concerned herbicide is no more toxic to humans than vehicle exhaust fumes.

2/15/2012 10:16:23 AM

Mr. Mather uses emotive language, he describes herbicides as being 'toxic'. Surprise! By their very nature they are toxic, that is the point of a herbicide, being toxic.I agree with much of what Mr. Brandt and Mr. Williams have to say, look at the facts and then make a judgement. Many of the Anti-Brigade rely on the fact that once an accusation is out there it's very difficult, often impossible, to disprove and counter. And one other thing, could not genetic modification just be considered 'selective breeding'? Something farmers and horticulturists have been doing for centuries. Just faster and more specific, rather than the hit-and-miss of the natural way. And we won't talk about the introduction of non-native species into the environment. like the North America grey squirrel into the British Isles - all but decimated the native red squirrel population. The invading greys are bigger, stronger and carry a pox that is fatal to the native reds. Or rabbits into Australia. Far more damaging than GMO's.

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