Monsanto, BP, Ethics

Topics: Maize, Genetically modified organism, Genetically modified food Pages: 5 (1326 words) Published: November 15, 2013
Monsanto:
Q1. Does Monsanto maintain an ethical culture than can effectively respond to various stakeholders? I believe Monsanto makes an effort to have an ethical culture and for the most part they succeed. The bribery issues in Indonesia, within their own company, in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s were reported to the Department of Justice by Monsanto. This level of corporate governance is something I think many large corporations would not do. The farmers, who are primary stakeholders because they buy seed from Monsanto get a lot of attention from Monsanto. The development of new seed allows farmers to grow more crops per acre with less chance of crop loss due to weeds, disease or insect damage. They effectively responded to consumers by shifting focus of genetically modified corn to corn that is not directly eaten by consumers, but put to use in other ways (feed corn, ethanol, corn syrup, etc) Q2. Compare the benefits of growing GM seeds with the potential negative consequences of using them. In a time where it is very popular to eat organic, with more and more organic choices than ever, the issue of GM food is an interesting one. For those of us who live in a relatively stable economic environment, the need for GM food seems a little wrong. But the facts are that the world population is growing and since about 1999, the world wide farmland acreage has decreased every year, something had never happened before and shows no sign of turning around. BASF reports the following concerning population and available farmland: Furthermore, the world population is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. It rose from 3.0 billion in 1960 to 6.5 billion in 2005 – and by 2030 there will be approximately 8.3 billion people living on our planet. Supplying these people with food constitutes a growing challenge. To make things even more difficult, whilst the need for food is increasing, the amount of available farmland per capita is continually shrinking. In 2005, there was still 2,200m² (2,630 square yards) of farmland available to supply the needs of one human being. By 2030 there will only be 1,800m² (2,150 square yards).

All this adds up the need to produce more food on less acreage and hence the need for either GM food or other methods to achieve the same results. Until now, it appears GM foods are the best method to achieve this.

Of course this does not come without a price. The basis of GM food now is the ability to spray non-selective herbicides that will not affect the GM plants. This added pesticide input worries people because of the risk of unwanted environmental exposure to end users of the food, weed resistance and collateral damage beneficial organisms.

Q3. How should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and animal life from using products such as Roundup?

Of course continued research and education to improve methods in how farmers use GM seeds/Roundup. Planting non GM seeds with GM seeds helps slow or stop insects from becoming resistant. Education in crop rotation with non GM crops can be done as well. Since this is a worldwide problem, Monsanto has to work internationally and perhaps even harder in countries where farmers are less informed and more likely to misuse pesticides or not fully understand the benefits of crop rotation.

BP:

Q1. What aspects of BP’s ethical culture could have contributed to the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster?

The past behavior, specifically concerning the 2005 explosion in Texas and the Alaskan Pipeline leaks in 2006 show a general disregard for safety and the ability or desire to quickly respond to maintenance issues that had the ability to prevent these disasters. Corporate policies and managements focus of safety did not appear to be at the top of the corporate culture.

Q2. Did BP engage in purposeful avoidance of risk management? Why or why not?

It appears that BP avoided both mandated and voluntary practices in dealing with risk management practices. The lesser...
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