The Monsanto Case Analysis

Topics: European Union, United Kingdom, Biotechnology Pages: 5 (1507 words) Published: March 21, 2008
The objective of this report is to analyze the differences in Monsanto’s experiences in the United States and Europe and the reasons of opposition in Europe, despite that, why Monsanto pushed ahead so hard.

Monsanto is a leading biotechnology company, which an American-based company. The company had received import approval of some products before concerns were elevated. They responded by launching an advertising campaign to discuss the potential benefits of biotechnology. Monsanto was trying to impose America's food and production systems on the European life. Cultural differences were not factored into the European launch of GM foods by the biotechnology industry. When Monsanto enter into Europe market, the company did not anticipate the European resistance, based on a number of factors, and company officials admitted some mistakes in the introduction process.

1. Differences in Monsanto’s experiences in the United States and Europe First of all, According to PEST Analysis, we can look at the differences in Monsanto’s external business environment in Europe and the United States.

the United StatesEurope
Politicalthe United States had established a strong regulatory system for biotech approvals.-EU had approved GM foods for sale -GM foods safety by banning import and sale some places.
EconomicThe most strong economic powerhouse in the worldEU; the Union in Europe – the U.S’s rival Social-strong belief within the biotech
-environmental activist groups not expressing
-It was not major issue -negative reaction, critical events occurred in Europe. -the "mad cow" crisis erupted,
-Europe-based NGOs, which had been silent forming collaborative efforts to link and coordinate their activities. TechnologicalBiotech rapidly developinghesitated to invest in biotechnology

Secondly, through this analysis, the differences in Monsanto’s experiences in the United States and Europe can divide into 3 categories. ① difference of policies:
The policies for biotechnology in Europe was considerably different than that in the United States. a. The United States : The United States had established a strong regulatory system for biotech approvals. b. Europe : Monsanto has strongly criticized the very complex regulatory system in Europe, which has led to delays and made commercialization very unpredictable. Some European governments began responding to the public concerns about GM food safety by banning their import and sale, while other countries imposed various restrictions.

② public reactions:
GM foods became a focus of concern. European consumers were among the least willing to purchase GM produce. In contrast, awareness in the United States had declined to 55%, while willingness to purchase had increased to 73% . a. The United States : There was a strong belief within the biotech industry that sound science would drive consumer acceptance of products that provided benefits to farmers as well as to the environment. In fact, environmental activist groups, although not expressing support for plant biotechnology, had not raised it as a major issue in the United States. The initial reception of GM foods in the United States was very promising. About two-thirds of all manufactured food products contained soybeans, and as more these products began to incorporate Roundup Ready varieties, there was little or no protest. In fact, as far as the typical US consumer was concerned, the GM issue was not an issue at all. Investors took a positive view of Monsanto’s new focus. b. Europe : Germans, and other northern Europeans, in particular placed more importance on food purity than most other cultures. Many still shopped at bakeries and delicatessens where mainly traditional products were sold. Even processed foods were more pure than equivalent products elsewhere in the world. They did not want to see their food contaminated with genetically engineered ingredients. In March 1996, the "mad cow"...

References: 1. International Management Behavior:Text. Teadings and cases, Henry W. Lane, Joseph J. DiStefano and Martha L. Maznevski, Oxford, 2006
3. Monsanto Europe, University of Virginia(UVA-E-0217)
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