Food

19 Tortoises Explaining Monsanto's Unpopularity

Tortoises calmly telling you about the world's most controversial agricultural giant.

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"It also made PCB, a now-banned chemical coolant. The Washington Post found internal memos from 1969 showing that Monsanto knew PCB was harmful, but saw 'little object' in desposing of it safely in the Hudson River and Anniston, Ala."

"'We can't afford to lose one dollar of business,' an internal memo said. Residents of the PCB-contaminated town of Anniston, Ala. (which is mostly poor and black) now report double the rate of diabetes."

"Canadian humor website The Lapine ran a satirical article claiming the company's genetically modified cucumbers caused Bald Crotch Syndrome, which is untrue. Still, so few people trust Mansanto that many believed it."

"Monsanto has sued more than 150 farmers for intellectual property infringement and not paying them royalties."

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Most famously, Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto for the Roundup-resistant canola found growing on his farm. Schmeiser says the canola seeds were blown by wind onto his farm and grew there by accident.

Vanity Fair has another great article on Monsanto's private investigators threaten small farms in places like Missouri.

"They also spent $8.1 million lobbying against Proposition 37 in California, which would've required all genetically modified food to be labeled."

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Whether or not you believe in GM food's health safety, Prop 37 only asked them to be honestly labeled.

"Experts disagree on whether failures in Monsanto's insect-resistant Bt Cotton crops caused a rash of farmer suicides in India."

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Some argue that Monsanto's steep royalties, frequent crop failures, and pest-prone monocultures drove many Indian farmers into debt and suicide. Others say that soaring costs of living and lost of subsidies are to blame, and activists overattribute Monsanto in a social epidemic.

"This March, President Barack Obama signed a bill protecting genetically modified crops from liability over health risks. It also bars federal court from stopping the sales of GM seeds. This helped spark many of the May protests."