Recently we have carried a few articles on Monsanto and its role in promotion of GMO technology and production. Ken Stier, a writer for TIME Magazine, has written a short article on Monsanto's dominant position in leading the GMO revolution. The article is well worth reading to learn about the huge footprint of this agribusiness conglomerate.
Some of the statistics quoted in the article include:
- 300 million hectares are planted to GMO crops, with about half of that in the USA and with Brazil and Argentina being among the biggest adopters elsewhere
- 25 countries have approved planting of commercial biotech crops (and these countries cover half the world's population)
- 32 countries have approved biotech imports for either animal feed or human food
- the European Union has approved, or is in the process of approving, 120 GM plants
The article neither supports nor attacks Monsanto, but it does inform its readers about the comapny's strategies and growth.
See http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1997448-1,00.html for the full article (TIME also offer an RSS feed with articles, for those of you so interested.)
In other Monsanto-related news, the US Supreme Court has maintained a ban on Monsanto selling and planting its Roundup-Ready GM alfalfa. Monsanto Co. v Geertson Seed Farm was argued before the US Supreme Court and was related to three points:
- an injunction placed on GMO alfalfa
- planting and sale of GMO alfalfa, and
- allowing contamination from GMO crops to be considered as "irreparable harm"
Dr Lisa Bunin, Organic Policy Coordinator at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) writes that in the Appeal, the first point was upheld (in Monsanto's favour) as being too wide an injunction. However, and more importantly, the Supreme Court declined to act on the second point relating to the lower court ban on planting and sale of GMO crops, and hence, the ban remains in place.
An article on this court ruling and the PR games that followed, is at: http://truefoodnow.org/2010/06/24/a-pressing-issue-david-and-goliath-battle-on-gm-alfalfa-and-how-the-media-got-it-wrong/ The CFS media release is at: http://truefoodnow.org/2010/06/21/supreme-court-ruling-in-monsanto-case-is-victory-for-center-for-food-safety-farmers/#more-1217