Who Is Monsanto?

If you looked up a restaurant and found out it had over 100,000 bad reviews, would you still go eat there?

       Monsanto has over 100,00 reported complaints and lawsuits filed against them. These lawsuits allege Monsanto’s products have caused illnesses and, in some cases, deadly consequences.

 

        In 2012, a French court found Monsanto guilty of chemically poisoning a farmer. He was using one of the company’s herbicides when he developed neurological problems, and later died.

 

       Surely, a company with this kind of rap sheet is on the brink of going out of business.

 

       WRONG.    

 

       Monsanto owns some of the largest brands out there and has big wallets, like Bill Gates, to back them up.

 

       Founded in St. Louis Missouri in 1901, Monsanto was originally a chemical company. The first main product sold was saccharin. Imagine sugar, but three hundred times sweeter, and with no nutritional value. When the United States went to war with Germany in the 1900s, imports came to a halt. That’s when Monsanto stepped in and gained a huge monopoly over the U.S. The company became the largest supplier in the country for artificial sugar. Monsanto eventually expanded its inventory and added vanillin, synthetic vanilla and caffeine.

 

       The company quickly went from making artificial sweeteners to creating chemicals used in Aspirin and liquid rubber. In its first thirty years, Monsanto’s shares went on sale at the New York Stock Exchange. In the 1930s, Monsanto acquired a chemical company in Alabama and began producing PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls (man-made chemicals), on an industrial scale.

 

     PCBs were later found to produce a dangerous compound that is toxic for workers. Documents show that Monsanto knew this and still worked with PCBs. The company didn’t cut production of PCBs until the late 1970s, only two years before PCBs were banned by Congress. 

 

    The company has had several plant accidents and explosions, some of which were deadly. Not all of these explosions were at Monsanto-owned factories. In 1947, a ship exploded at a Monsanto plant in Texas City, Texas. More than 100 Monsanto employees died in the explosion.

 

      Monsanto also created “Agent Orange” with the help of other chemical companies. Agent orange is an herbicide used to destroy crops and land in Eastern Vietnam. It was later found to have caused several illnesses and birth defects among people who were exposed to it. Twenty years later in 1980, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Monsanto.

 

     Monsanto built a plant site in a small city in Alabama and was accused of contaminating the water supply and landfills. Eventually, Monsanto agreed to a $700 million settlement with Anniston, Alabama. About 15 years ago, the city Nitro, West Virginia, where Agent Orange was produced, also filed a lawsuit against Monsanto… they received $93 million in compensatory damages.

 

    Fast forward to current times, Monsanto is once again in the hot seat. This time with victims of another one of their products, this time Roundup, a weed killer that is banned in more than 20 countries.

 

     Roundup contains glyphosate, a chemical that, according to the World Health Organization, can cause cancer. The University of Washington did research and found that people who used the herbicide regularly had a 41% greater chance of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. According to Mayo Clinic, this is a type of cancer that begins in your lymphatic system. Some farmers have already filed lawsuits against Monsanto because of the product. The company is facing nearly 50,000 plaintiffs.

 

      Still, visit any Home Depot and you’ll see bottles of Monsanto on the shelves. Depending on where you live, you can even have the chemical shipped to you. Although there is a long way to go, more people are becoming educated on the dangers Monsanto poses. In 2013, there was a worldwide protest against the company. In 2018, Monsanto lost a lawsuit in California and a judge ordered the company to pay $289 million to a man with terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma after evidence proved that Roundup caused cancer. Monsanto paid over $2 billion in similar cases the following year in 2019.

 

      Farmers, we urge you to reconsider using Monsanto’s products. If you’re a shopper and want to know how to keep these chemicals out of your food, buy local and organic produce and wash it carefully with vinegar. Don’t cook unwashed veggies! Do your research on where your food is coming from and help educate others. When Gone Local App drops, it’ll be a whole lot easier for you to get healthy foods free of toxins. Stay tuned, and let’s all go local!

Thank you for reading!

Love & Light, Cleo

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