Agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto is buying Seminis, the
world’s largest producer of fruit and vegetable seeds. The
acquisition makes Monsanto the largest supplier of vegetable seeds.
Before the sale, Monsanto already controlled 91 percent of the
global genetically modified (GM) seed market, focusing on corn,
soybeans and cotton.
In 2004, farmers successfully opposed Monsanto’s GM wheat intiative
for fear that it would hurt exports and contaminate seed stocks.
The company’s chief executive, Hugh Grant, downplayed the purchase
of Seminis as a part of Monsanto’s effort to expand GM crops.
However, some organic farming advocates fear the company may push
for GM vegetables and fruits while the Food and Drug
Administration’s GM regulations are still lax. Under current rules,
Monsanto can market new GM crops without notifying the agency,
unless the product contains a known allergen or its nutrient value
is significantly altered.
Go to The Campaign for
more information about Monsanto’s genetic-engineering history