Monsanto has long been an advocate for improving agriculture with the tools of biotechnology. We believe biotechnology can help make agriculture more productive and sustainable. Forty years from now there will be an additional 3 billion people to feed, clothe and supply with energy. Technology, including biotechnology, is a key element in helping farmers meet the world’s needs. Our business is 100 percent focused on investing in the tools farmers need to meet this demand.
Many organizations share our views, but others disagree. Opponents of agricultural biotechnology cite safety and philosophical objections to developing and applying the science of biotechnology to improve agriculture.
One of government’s roles in this issue is to evaluate input from all sides and make sound policy decisions that benefit the public good. Monsanto, our partners and our opposition have all been active with nearly every government in the world to advocate our respective positions on agricultural biotechnology. This is the way it should be. It’s the right and duty of all to participate in such processes.
The world has largely embraced agricultural technology. Scientific and regulatory authorities worldwide such as the United Nations’ World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization, the Royal Society in the United Kingdom, the American College of Nutrition and the French Academy of Medicine are among a number of prestigious groups that have clearly stated their views that foods from biotech crops are thoroughly evaluated through comprehensive testing for food, feed and environmental safety. Regulatory agencies in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the European Union, Korea, Taiwan, Australian, Argentina, Mexico, Russia and many other countries around the world have concluded that plant biotechnology products are as safe as current non-biotechnology crop varieties for use in food and feed.
Because of this broad support for agricultural biotechnology, opponents have accused Monsanto and others of improperly influencing governments that have adopted laws or policies supportive of agricultural biotechnology. This is simply not the case. Monsanto, like our opponents, does advocate our position before governments. We advocate for supportive policies, regulations and laws which are based on principles of sound science. We follow local laws regarding our efforts with governments and conduct routine audits to ensure our efforts are transparent, appropriate and legal. In any case where illegal actions are made by company employees or contractors, (See Monsanto Business Practices in Indonesia), they are reported to the proper authorities.
One objection opponents of biotechnology have raised is the fact that some former government employees have gone to work for Monsanto, and some company employees have left the company to take jobs in the public sector. Some critics say this shows collusion by Monsanto and the government. Such theories ignore the simple truth that people regularly change jobs to find positions that match their experience, skills and interests. Both the public and private sectors benefit when employers have access to the most competent and experienced people. It makes perfect sense that someone in government who has concluded biotechnology is a positive, beneficial technology might go to work for a biotech company, just as someone who believes otherwise might find employment in an organization which rejects agricultural biotechnology.
The sheer numbers of countries, not to mention farmers, who have embraced agricultural biotechnology, suggest that it’s not undue influence but instead useful technology and sound science that have been the deciding factors.
American Medical Association
The European Commission
French Academy of Medicine
The Royal Society
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
United Nations World Health Organization
United States Government Accounting Office