Roundup Soybeans

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Brazil: Realizing Biotech Value in Brazil

I. The Company
Monsanto is an agricultural company. It is an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, which applies innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more and conserve more. It is one of the world's most important agricultural suppliers, developing key export positions in soybeans and soy meal, sugar, and ethanol, as well as beef, poultry, and pork. i. Location Monsanto has its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. To experience the needs of their customers, understand the pressures confronting them, and develop innovation tailored to their needs, they have other locations in 64 countries. ii. Background Monsanto is widely recognized for leading in the dramatic transformation of the agricultural seed and chemical industries to biotechnology-based products. In the 1970s, they began investing in biotechnology. By 1987, they conducted their first trial of plants with biotechnology. The 1990s marked the acceleration into plant biotechnology, which required extensive research and development (R&D) investment. By 2006, Monsanto-developed biotechnology products were being grown in 40 countries around the globe on over 200 million acres. iii. Strategy: The gradual acquisition of small seed companies This strategy was effective because it provided a delivery vehicle for its newly developed technology. First of all, they needed a market position in supply-side venture. Second of all, they needed to link biology-based research teams, who were doing the biology, with the plant breeders in the seed company organization. Therefore, they started a gradual acquisition of small seed companies. And between 1996 and 1999, they ended up spending more than $6 billon in buying seed companies and closing marking agreements. However, they didn’t become the world’s largest seed company until 2005, when they acquired Seminis, a vegetable seed company, for $1.4 billon. To ensure success was inevitable, the company spent extra research dollars, in order to move biotech traits faster from laboratory to the product line of Seed Company. This strategy propelled them to success in the highly competitive seed business. iv. Company focus

Monsanto focused on integrating the seed business into its commercial business. They combined the investment in tools of biotechnology, the delivery vehicles of seed business and successful, old companies in agricultural chemicals to a unified strategy. They concentrated on core crop areas such as cotton, canole, soy, corn, and most recently, vegetables, which was due to the acquisition of Seminis. v. Period

The legalization of genetically modified seeds and products took place at a time when most of the population was opposed to GM crops, until they were proven safe for consumption and the environment. During this time period, the environmental and socioeconomic impacts were a major concern. Environmental and Social-economic impacts:

1) The expansion of deforestation
2) Large scale cultivation could degrade soil
3) Destruction of agriculture biodiversity
4) Family farmers being replaced by large landowners
II. Brazil
i. Agricultural Importance
In 1997, Brazil had grown to become one of the top agricultural nations in the world. In soy production they were superseded only by the United States. In addition to their high level of soy production, the conditions present in Brazil had resulted in explosive economic and population expansion, which further increased their dominance in the global agriculture market. ii. Intellectual Property

Following their success in the United States, Monsanto filed patents with Brazil to begin trials of their transgenic soybean. They discovered that several varieties of its Roundup ready soybeans that had been developed for planting in the US performed well in the Brazilian soil and applied for approval for commercial planting from the Brazilian Government. Despite...
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