Mid- Term Submission

Case Title: Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests Submitted to: Prof. Vivak Raina Submitted by: Nidhi Jain G.R. No. : M00101

and in 1979. Due to its expanding product lines. In 1970’s.” while today’s company is known as “new Monsanto. Agent Orange contained dioxin. Monsanto was producing such diverse products as petroleum. the Monsanto Company had released toxic waste into a creek in an Alabama town called Anniston. Roundup Ready seeds allowed farmers to use the herbicide to eliminate weeds while sparing the crop. It had also disposed of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). a chemical that caused a legal nightmare for Monsanto. a new Monsanto. The company’s first product was artificial sweetener. Monsanto and several other manufacturers agreed to settle for $180 million. Monsanto created its first Roundup herbicide. a successful product that would propel the company even more into the public’s consciousness. and packaging. They specialize in genetic manipulation of organisms. Monsanto was renamed again the Monsanto Company in 1964. Once the cover-up was discovered. a lawsuit was filed against Monsanto on behalf of hundreds of veterans who claimed they were harmed by the chemical. The company began specializing in plastics. The results were catastrophic.Summary: Monsanto Company is the world’s largest seed company. but had not stopped production. Missouri and was named after his wife. In 1997 Monsanto spun of its chemical business as Solutia and changed its name to Pharmacia. Monsanto had produced a chemical known as Agent Orange. By this time. Monsanto had been covering up years of environmental pollution. Many other herbicides killed the good plants as well as the bad ones. In 1981 Monsanto leaders determined that biotechnology would be the company’s new strategic focus. Olga Monsanto Queeny. a highly toxic chemical. broke off from Pharmacia. so in 1994 they introduced the first biotechnology product to win regulatory approval. and the companies became two separate legal entities. For nearly forty years. thousands of plaintiffs from the city . Fish from the creek were deformed. A couple years later. company leader realized the growth opportunities of industrial chemicals and renamed the company The Monsanto Chemical Company. in open-pit landfills in the area. its own agricultural chemicals. The repercussions of dioxin would continue to plague the company for decades. Dioxin was found to be extremely carcinogenic. At the start of World War 1. Monsanto was founded by John E Queeny in 1901 in St. cotton.” The New Monsanto was tainted by disturbing news about the company’s conduct. The company before 2000 is often referred to as “old Monsanto. and synthetic rubbers. fibers. Two years later. Louis. and the population had elevated PCB levels that astounded environmental health experts. focused entirely on agriculture. and canola seeds that were engineered to be tolerant to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide. A paper trail showed that Monsanto leaders had known about the pollution since the 1960s. Soon the company was selling soybean.

. The bribe apparently was for the company to disguise an invoice. It also agreed to three years of close monitoring of its activities by American authorities. Mexico. the patents issue arise. Under the terms of the patent. to consider their actions and their impact broadly. By issuing new seeds each year. employees are encourages for illegal activities. So. they must purchase new Monsanto seeds each season. The Monsanto Code of Ethics placed a special rule for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers it was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Monsanto Company stating that the Chief Executives and the senior leadership of the Finance Department must follow in addition to Monsanto’s Code of Conduct. It has been recognized as the top employer in Argentina. India. Inc. in 2002. and to lead responsibly. In spite of their controversial nature. GM foods have become popular both in developed and developing countries.000 to the SEC. Monsanto ensures it will secure a profit as well as maintain control over its property. which showed that Monsanto was facing opposition from farmers and activists in regard to the introduction of GM cotton in Indonesia.000 Anniston residents. Instead. for eight times in a row. the company would recover. Because of it the organisation faces significant risk from strategies and also from employee striving for high performance standards.filed a lawsuit against the company. Due to such pressure. Today. farmers using Monsanto seeds are not allowed to harvest seeds from the plants for use in upcoming seasons. However.000 to a high-level official in the country’s environment ministry. Now after all correcting the bribery issues.000 people in 160 countries.. Monsanto became so successful with its GM seeds that it acquired Seminis. a leader in the fruit and vegetable seed industry. In 2003. Brazil. and. It was later revealed that such bribery was not an isolated event. the price of Monsanto’s stock had fallen by 50 percent. The acquisition transformed Monsanto into a global leader in the seed industry. a senior manager at Monsanto instructed an Indonesian consulting firm to pay a bribe of $50. Like other businesses Monsanto also patents its product. But because of the scandals and stakeholders uncertainty. it has been willing to work with authorities to correct them. Grant knew by strategic focus on GM foods. Hugh Grant took over the company in 2003. the company had paid off many officials between 1997 and 2002 Monsanto accepted full responsibility for its employees’ behavior and agreed to pay $1 million to the Department of Justice and $500. and they lost $1. Monsanto employs nearly 20. Monsanto’s Pledge and Code of Ethics: The Monsanto Pledge is to listen more.7 billion dollars. Monsanto and Solutia agreed to pay a settlement of $ 700 million to more than 20. no amount of money will give people back their health of their environment. The incident showed that although Monsanto has not been immune to scandals.

aspx . will be viewed as a severe disciplinary matter that may result in personnel action.com/whoweare/Pages/code-of-ethics. If you believe that a violation of this Code has occurred. They give 15 million to Donald deport plant science centred to do crop research Fund also helps brazilin children in maintaining good health and hygiene   But.  On the outside. it does. including termination of employment. They are given back to the community. Monsanto has been hiding about the environmental pollution that is harmful for people. and making sure that the do not pollute the envy’s.com”. the company was growing more and more.monsanto. Reports may be made by phone or in person. personal.1. Ethical culture means to assert the supreme importance of the ethical factor in all relations of life. The company use the concept of social responsibility and business ethics.” This statement is great for employee but what about the stakeholder who do not work for the company? Although they have committee for it but r they effectively and timely response? Over a few decades. Their company seems to be very centralized and only top authority have right to take any decision. However. please contact the General Counsel or Director of Business Conduct. you should talk to the General Counsel or Director of Business Conduct. Violations of this Code. when Hugh grant took over the position as a CEO of Monsanto. 1 http://www. apart from any theological or metaphysical considerations (“Encyclopedia. or submitted in writing via email or intercompany mail1. national. including failures to report potential violations by others. Does Monsanto maintain an ethical culture that can effectively respond to various stakeholders? Yes. It is stated in their website: “If you are faced with a difficult ethical decision or whenever you have doubts as to the right course of action in a particular situation. 2012). The stakeholders were loss of confidence to the company that cause the stock price to fall drastically. Monsanto also do some practices:  Monsanto’s regulation has become a financial burden to many farmers  Farmers who buy from Monsanto could not save seed for further growth Now farmers are looking for an easy way to solve this problem so that they can reach to an ethical solution. Monsanto seems to be following ethical corporate responsibility. social. To create a reputation of value to various stock holders. and international.

that requires care so that the herbicide doesn't harm the crop plant or the environment. Nutrition Malnutrition is common in third world countries where impoverished peoples rely on a single crop such as rice for the main staple of their diet. these plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings. Some other benefits are as follows: Pest resistance Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering. so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds. With better yields. Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. rice does not contain adequate amounts of all necessary nutrients to prevent malnutrition. farmers will need to grow crops in locations previously unsuited for plant cultivation. With this antifreeze gene. a time-consuming and expensive process. However. Compare the benefits of growing GM seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them. The benefit to growing GM seeds mean farmers can expect better yields. it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling. meaning that it increases the profit to the farmers. resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries. For example. I can only conclude that nothing on this application has yet been published or patented. Herbicide tolerance For some crops.t. Cold tolerance Unexpected frost can destroy sensitive seedlings. Growing GM foods such as B. A farmer grows these soybeans which then only require one application of weed-killer instead of multiple applications. Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater will help people to grow crops in formerly inhospitable places. and run-off of agricultural wastes from excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers can poison the water supply and cause harm to the environment. (Note: I have not been able to find any journal articles or patents that involve fish antifreeze proteins in strawberries. An antifreeze gene from cold water fish has been introduced into plants such as tobacco and potato. GM seeds can now grow more on less land. Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide product Roundup. Plant biologists are working to create plants with genetically-engineered resistance to these diseases.2. Disease resistance: there are many viruses. Farmers typically use many tons of chemical pesticides annually. reducing production cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run-off. fungi and bacteria that cause plant diseases. If . corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market. Consumers do not wish to eat food that has been treated with pesticides because of potential health hazards. although I have seen such reports in newspapers.) Drought tolerance/salinity tolerance As the world population grows and more land is utilized for housing instead of food production. Furthermore. it meets the demand for the humanity.

Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes. Plans were underway to develop a golden rice that also has increased iron content. Reduced effectiveness of pesticides: just as some populations of mosquitoes developed resistance to the now-banned pesticide DDT. the grant that funded the creation of these two rice strains was not renewed.rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals. Critiques were unsure about the health safety issue that caused by GM seeds since the effect might not be shown in short-term period. Plants such as poplar trees have been genetically engineered to clean up heavy metal pollution from contaminated soil. Soil and groundwater pollution continues to be a problem in all parts of the world. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of "golden" rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A). many people are concerned . corn is blown by the wind onto milkweed plants in neighbouring fields. it is not possible to design a toxin that would only kill crop-damaging pests and remain harmless to all other insects. These vaccines will be much easier to ship. Although the Nature study was not conducted under natural field conditions. and so this nutritionally-enhanced rice may not come to market at all. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other nongovernment research groups.T. GM seeds have potential negative consequences as well. This study is being re-examined by the USDA. Unfortunately.S. the caterpillars could eat the pollen and perish. many still believe that GM seeds were unnatural since what goes into the seeds can be controlled. blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. and the potential risk of harm to non-target organisms will need to be evaluated further. Monarch caterpillars consume milkweed plants. However. and both sides of the argument are defending their data vigorously. the results seemed to support this viewpoint. Even though FDA has approved. Currently. This topic is the subject of acrimonious debate. store and administer than traditional injectable vaccines. Since this rice was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. perhaps because of the vigorous anti-GM food protesting in Europe. However.T. there is no agreement about the results of these studies. the Institute hopes to offer the golden rice seed free to any third world country that requests it. toxins kill many species of insect larvae indiscriminately. the U. but the fear is that if pollen from B. Pharmaceuticals Medicines and vaccines often are costly to produce and sometimes require special storage conditions not readily available in third world countries. nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. Environmental hazards Unintended harm to other organisms: Last year a laboratory study was published in Nature showing that pollen from B. and preliminary data from new studies suggests that the original study may have been flawed. Phytoremediation Not all GM plants are grown as crops. not corn. a non-profit organization. For example.

Beneficial or harmless insects would have a refuge in the non-GM corn. There are several possible solutions to the three problems mentioned above. Estimates of the necessary width of buffer zones range from 6 meters to 30 meters or more. For example. Cross-pollination would not occur. Another possible solution is to create buffer zones around fields of GM crops. Gene transfer to non-target species: another concern is that crop plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed.t. Two ways to ensure that non-target species will not receive introduced genes from GM plants are to create GM plants that are male sterile (do not produce pollen) or to modify the GM plant so that the pollen does not contain the introduced gene. Gene transfer to weeds and other crops would not occur because the wind-blown pollen would not travel beyond the buffer zone. and the non-GM corn would not be harvested. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactions. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. This planting method may not be feasible if too much acreage is required for the buffer zones. The company has filed patent infringement lawsuits against farmers who may have harvested GM crops. Unknown effects on human health: There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health. This study claimed that there were appreciable differences in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes and rats fed unmodified potatoes. More investigation is needed to resolve this issue. the caterpillars would survive. Other introduced genes may cross over into non-modified crops planted next to GM crops. Labelling of GM foods and food products will acquire new importance. resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes from the crops into the weeds. or other crops that have been geneticallymodified to produce their own pesticides. non-GM corn would be planted to surround a field of B. Human health risks Allergen-city Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. and insect pests could be allowed to destroy the non-GM corn and would not develop resistance to pesticides. Genes are exchanged between plants via pollen. is flawed and . Extensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies.that insects will become resistant to B. GM corn. and if harmless insects such as monarch caterpillars were to eat pollen from GM plants. like the monarch butterfly data.T. Monsanto claims that the farmers obtained Monsanto-licensed GM seeds from an unknown source and did not pay royalties to Monsanto. The possibility of interbreeding is shown by the defence of farmers against lawsuits filed by Monsanto. which I shall discuss later. These "super weeds" would then be herbicide tolerant as well. The farmers claim that their unmodified crops were cross-pollinated from someone else's GM crops planted a field or two away. A recent article published in Lancet examined the effects of GM potatoes on the digestive tract in rats. Yet critics say that this paper.

One way to combat possible patent infringement is to introduce a "suicide gene" into GM plants. It is hoped that in a humanitarian gesture. scientists believe that GM foods do not present a risk to human health. In an open letter to the public. and of course agribiotech companies wish to ensure a profitable return on their investment. the gene introduced into the potatoes was a snowdrop flower lectin. Monsanto has pledged to abandon all research using this suicide gene technology. this would be financially disastrous for farmers in third world countries who cannot afford to buy seed each year and traditionally set aside a portion of their harvest to plant in the next growing season. as the contention of the farmers that they involuntarily grew Monsanto-engineered strains when their crops were crosspollinated shows. more companies and non-profits will follow the lead of the Rockefeller Foundation and offer their products at reduced cost to impoverished nations. Moreover. with the exception of possible allergen-city. and these potatoes were never intended for human or animal consumption. On the whole. Patent enforcement may also be difficult. a substance known to be toxic to mammals. . Many new plant genetic engineering technologies and GM plants have been patented. Farmers would need to buy a fresh supply of seeds each year.does not hold up to scientific scrutiny. These plants would be viable for only one growing season and would produce sterile seeds that do not germinate. thus widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Yet consumer advocates are worried that patenting these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds for GM crops. Economic concerns Bringing a GM food to market is a lengthy and costly process. The scientists who created this variety of potato chose to use the lectin gene simply to test the methodology. However. and patent infringement is a big concern of agribusiness.

. warning: "The nation that destroys its soil. Charles E. acting as the Earth's 'natural internet' in which virtually all organisms may rely upon. Without healthy soil. According to prominent mycologist Paul Stamets. may cause serious harm to the planet. How should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and animal life from using products such as Roundup? As the advancement of technology. As the USDA continues to sit back and allow Monsanto to threaten the environmental stability of the planet. it could lead to devastating implications. it becomes more apparent that the USDA and Monsanto are gladly willing to exchange the future of the planet and its inhabitants for short term gain.000.000. It is safe and won’t disturb aquatic species. It has been recognized throughout the ages that all life depends on the soil. all life depends upon the soil .000. Kelogg said: "Essentially. Monsanto's Roundup assaults the planetary biosphere Microorganisms are responsible for much more than just the health content of raw and fermented foods. In fact. As Roundup usage threatens these soil microrganisms. and these soil microrganisms represent about 50 percent of the the total biodiversity in terms of numbers of species.000. there are an estimated 6. mycellium may actually act as a 'network' within the biosphere." Franklin Delano Roosevelt also voiced similar concerns. they have evolved together.g.000 (6 x 10 to the 30th power) bacterial cells on the planet. Astoundingly." Based on an ever-increasing body of scientific evidence showing glyphosate biodegrades slowly. which kill weeds but spare the crops. destroys itself. Compromising the health of the mycellium. There can be no life without soil and no soil without life.000. it is safe to say that Monsanto's best-selling Roundup is one of the greatest threats to human and environmental health ever created. in particular. Kelogg was one individual who stated such in the USDA yearbook back in 1939. Monsanto created seeds containing the herbicide Roundup Ready.000.000. The most numerous inhabitants in the web of life. microorganisms participate quite literally "at the root" of the nitrogen. and are therefore indispensable for the health of the entire biosphere.000. sinks down through the topsoil where it accumulates in the groundwater (source for natural drinking water. aquifers. the health of the entire planet is at risk. They are trying their best to take actions so that farmers would feel safe to use Roundup. the USDA has even given Monsanto's latest GMO crops . oxygen and carbon cycles. including fungi and the mycellium (technically the largest organism in the world)..000.3. and is found in nearly all air and rain samples tested in the US. Monsanto asserts that Roundup Ready doesn’t usually end up in ground water and it won’t contaminate ground water. springs). phosphate. e.

Despite being created to fend off weeds. Roundup is actually spawning resistant superweeds across millions of hectares (one hectare is 10. The known effects of Roundup The negative effects of Monsanto's Roundup on human health and the environment have been firmly established by numerous scientific studies and large-scale investigations. Amazingly. Outside of the public health realm.5 million hectares in the United States alone. Aspartame. it is threatening the very biosphere itself by destroying microbial biodiversity.speedier approval in order to secure the company's profits.000 square metres). though experts estimate the world-wide land coverage to have reached at least 120 million hectares by 2010.8 percent (450-fold lower dilutions than used in agricultural applications). 176 million lbs of glyphosate were used in the U. Roundup still exhibits serious genotoxic characteristics and is harmful to the integrity of human DNA. . These resistant weeds currently cover over 4.g. The research is clear: Roundup is not only harming human health and damaging farmland. the ability to produce food through monoculturing. ignoring the numerous known harmful effects of Monsanto's past creations. even when diluted by 99. bankrupting farmers and destroying crop land. Roundup's startling environmental havoc is perhaps an even greater cause for concern. Argentina.S. this carcinogenic herbicide product is used nationwide by unsuspecting homeowners and agricultural workers. Europe and South Africa. with scientists even linking the best-selling herbicide to conditions like infertility and cancer due to its genotoxic (DNA damaging) nature. i. According to the United States Geological Survey. Chile. e. DDT. with the future agricultural stability of the planet.e. Brazil. in 2007. Agent Orange. Meanwhile. The onset of superweeds is being increasingly documented in Australia. at serious risk of collapsing.

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