Many of Monsanto's agricultural seed products are genetically modified for resistance to herbicides, such as glyphosate, which Monsanto sells under the brand, "Roundup" - Monsanto calls these seeds "Roundup Ready". Monsanto's introduction of this system (planting glyphosate-resistant seed and then applying glyphosate once plants emerged) provided farmers with an opportunity to dramatically increase the yield from a given plot of land, since this allowed them to plant rows closer together. Without it, farmers had to plant rows far enough apart to control post-emergent weeds with mechanical tillage. Farmers have widely adopted the technology - for example over 90% of maize (Mon 832), soybean (MON-Ø4Ø32-6), cotton, sugar beet, and canola planted in the United States are glyphosate-resistant, as described in the GM crops article. Monsanto has also developed a Roundup Ready wheat (MON 71800). *Such products are touted as increasing agricultural productivity and yields. Some say such solutions from companies like Monsanto will feed the world. *In the 1970s, Monsanto began manufacturing the herbicide Roundup, which has been marketed as a safe, general-purpose herbicide for widespread commercial and consumer use, even though its key ingredient, glyphosate, is a highly toxic poison for animals and humans. *In August, 2003, Monsanto and its former chemical subsidiary, Solutia, Inc. (now owned by Pharmacia Corp.), agreed to pay $600 million to settle claims brought by more than 20,000 residents of Anniston, AL, over the severe contamination of ground and water by tons of PCBs dumped in the area from the 1930s until the 1970s. Court documents revealed that Monsanto was aware of the contamination decades earlier. *If Monsanto hid what it knew about its toxic pollution for decades, what is the company hiding from the public now? Questions.
1. On the outside, Monsanto seems to be following ethical corporate responsibility. They are giving back to the community,...
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