1. Does Monsanto maintain an ethical culture that can effectively respond to various stakeholders? Monsanto’s stakeholders are their employees, suppliers and customers, shareholders, investors and communities and they are in business to profit but they have learned just as our culture has changed, to be more ethically responsible for their business and socially responsible to their stakeholders. Though this company is no stranger to unethical behavior, and has faced some devastating financial consequences. Being known as one of the producers of Agent Orange and the various settlements for $880 Million would not be favorably acceptable for the stakeholders and the desire to maintain the relationship, they had destroyed peoples lives. There new strategic direction was a more ethical culture, from chemicals that harmed life to biotechnology, with the potential benefits to help life. And the new Monsanto broke away from the chemical business and focused on agriculture, with the herbicide and Roundup Ready seeds. Their reputation took another hit when it was found toxic waste was disposed of in a creek and landfills in Alabama. The company needed reorganization after billions in losses. A reputation is one of the hardest things to change, but it can be done over time with corrective ethical actions. With the Monsanto focused on the genetically modified (GM) seeds and GM foods the company recovered and is now prospering worldwide providing high yield foods and jobs to nearly 20,000 people in 160 countries. Though some groups of stakeholders, such as consumer advocacy groups and some in the science community remained unchanged and cause public scares and have destroyed crops. Many of the scares were unsubstantiated and the product was misused to appear harmful but in an industry with new scientific technology fear of the unknown is present and to be expected especially the fear of unknown long term effects, even though the FDA has declared biotech crops safe and GM food safe to consume. Consumer demands need to be heard as you need to work with these consumers concerns, the government has required farmers to keep 20 percent of their fields non genetically modified so as to help maintain insects and encourage crop rotations. Organizations face significant risks from strategies in new scientific fields and ambitious employees. Monsanto has had to also face organizational ethical issues with bribes and patent issues resulting in more legal ethical and reputational consequences but they worked with the authorities to correct problems. Critics see the company as having too much power. It is a common expectation today for multinational companies to take actions to advance the interests and well-being of the people in the countries in which they do business. The Monsanto has given millions to programs to help improve the communities in developing countries. They have paid for their mistakes and have taken action to stand up and be proactive in helping others. In 2010 they were again for the third year in a row honored by Corporate Responsibility Magazine on its 100 Best Corporate Citizens list. http://www.monsanto.com.au/news_events/media_releases/2010/03_02_10.asp The company has also developed a three-tiered commitment policy to 1) produce more yield in crops, 2) conserve more resources, and 3) improve the lives of farmers. They will continue to face challenges including lingering concerns over the safely and environmental impact of its products. The company that they present today to stakeholders holds a very profitable, hopeful outlook towards the worlds future agriculture needs. They will continue to work on new innovation that could increase its competitive edge as well as provide enormous benefits to farmers worldwide. CEO Hugh Grant will continue to enforce its code of ethics effectively to avoid organizational misconduct in the future and be more socially responsible. They have grown to effectively respond to their various stakeholders. The company website provides a corporate responsibility report and commitments the company maintains to its consumers. http://www.monsanto.com/ourcommitments/Pages/corporate-responsibility-sustainability-report.aspx
2. Compare the benefits of growing GMO seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them.
The benefits of using GMO seed for crops is a very substantial increase in crop yields and hardier plants and possible solutions for helping world hunger. This also means of course a large potential income for the company and the farmers. There is also the reduction is insect pest crop loss, weed resistance, and cold and drought tolerance. The potential negative consequences are so far theoretical outcomes of possible contamination, and potential biological pollution. On the whole, with the exception of possible allergenicity, scientists believe that GM foods do not present a risk to human health. The FDA has declared biotech crops safe and GM food safe to consume. As the company responds to consumers concerns, they put a lot into the research of their products and make adjustments as needed. http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php
3.How should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and animal life from using products such as Roundup?
The Monsanto should continue there research on continue to challenge the potential risks of their products. They need to educate the consumer, give them the facts so they can make responsible conclusion and feel informed. They are constantly being monitored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) and approved. Roundup is water soluable and will not have much effect on aquatic species or other wildlife. Some reports do list possible effects on aquatic organisms exposed to Roundup at high concentrations in shallow water. They should admit to the dangers of improper use and reinforce the proper techniques that prove to be safe. Roundups main ingredient is glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the USA, and Roundup has been the number one selling herbicide worldwide since at least 1980. The EPA considers glyphosate to be relatively low in toxicity, and without carcinogenic or teratagenic effects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundup_(herbicide)