Reality-Check
December 3, 2015
Critic-stacked fake court pretends to be a “Tribunal for Monsanto”

It has come to our attention that a certain foundation is organising a so-called “Tribunal for Monsanto” and kicking it off with a PR stunt today in Paris.

Unfortunately, Monsanto and other companies in the agro-food sector are regularly singled out for attacks by Greens, organic interests and their allies opposed to the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Monsanto is their favourite whipping boy, and the pretentious creation of a fake court to “try” Monsanto for its alleged “crimes” reveals the almost universal lack of acceptability of their allegations in any real courts systems.

Their accusations do not reflect the reality of the Monsanto group, whose mission is to help farmers produce more, better and more afforable food with less — the very definition of sustainable intensification of agriculture — and help make a balanced plate more accessible to everyone.

In France, which several of the ringleaders of the initiative call home, our 600 colleagues provide solutions that are very much appreciated by more than 200,000 farmers. Safety is a priority for Monsanto. The majority of the products that we market are regulated and are subject to numerous scientific studies in order to ensure that they are safe to be sold.

Monsanto is ready and eager to respond to all questions about our activities and products. Transparency is a vital part of our approach and we would like the public to judge us on the reality of our activities, not some caricature thereof. This fake trial has no legal basis and is an attempt to mislead the public. If its proponents had a real case, they would have taken it to a real existing court system. Monsanto is occasionally taken to court, in fact, and far more often than not mounts a winning defense.

Rather than waste time on a fake court, we invite you to come and discover the real Monsanto elsewhere on this blog or www.monsanto.com and to ask any questions you might have about our company online at www.discover.monsanto.com.

Related articles and discussions:

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« Une Fondation vient d’annoncer un projet de « Tribunal sur Monsanto ». Les accusations invoquées réitèrent des idées reçues, inexactes et déformées, sur notre entreprise auxquelles nous avons déjà largement répondu. Elles ne reflètent absolument pas la réalité du groupe Monsanto : nous aidons les agriculteurs à produire plus et mieux avec des solutions dans les domaines des semences et de la protection des cultures. En France, nos 600 collaborateurs fournissent des solutions très appréciées par quelque 200000 à 300000 agriculteurs tous les ans. La sécurité est une priorité pour Monsanto. La plupart des produits que nous commercialisons sont réglementés et font l’objet de nombreuses études scientifiques afin d’assurer leur sûreté d’utilisation. Monsanto est prêt à répondre à toutes les questions relatives à ses activités et ses produits. Nous sommes dans une démarche de transparence et souhaitons que le public connaisse la réalité de nos activités. Ce faux procès est sans fondement. Si cette Fondation avait pu intenter un procès en justice, elle l’aurait fait plutôt que de procéder à une mise en scène. Vous pouvez trouver plus d’informations sur le groupe, notamment des réponses claires à de nombreuses idées reçues et rumeurs circulant sur nos activités sur le site www.monsanto.fr et poser toutes vos questions sur notre entreprise sur www.decouvrir.monsanto.fr . »

 

Comments

    hMh
    |
    December 6, 2015
    What a ridiculous characterization of Who Monsanto is
    Reply
    Darrell
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    December 7, 2015
    When you stop sueing people by your immoral reasoning, poisening the enviroment, all for money mentallity, truthful transparancy on your products and the long term effect on the enviroment, forcing it on countries with little or no choice,bribing, oops I mean lobbying weak, greedy, easily misled politicians, ridiculous and restrictive farmer contracts and production of harmful pesticides then maybe we would believe you. Do you wonder why people do not trust you or anything you say.
    Reply
    EU Corporate Engagement Team
    |
    December 10, 2015
    Thanks for your comment Darrell. We understand your questions and will address each one in turn because honestly they are all based on myths that have been circulated on the Web. As you know there are always two sides to any story: On your first point about us suing farmers: Monsanto has never sued a farmer when trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits were present in a farmer’s field as an accident or as a result of inadvertent means. It is that simple and we have publicly committed: “It has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto’s policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.” Source: https://gmoanswers.com/ask/why-has-monsanto-sued-farmers-who-no-fault-volition-their-own-had-their-crops-contaminated-gmo While Monsanto is strong in a few crops such as maize, rapeseed, cotton and soybeans, our seeds represent a small fraction of the seeds planted worldwide. About two-thirds of seed planted globally is non-commercial, farmer-saved seed. Of that commercial seed market, two-thirds of the seed volume comes from private breeding programs and one-third from national or public institutions. You say we are damaging the environment but did you know that we have just committed to ensure all of our crop operations globally are carbon neutral by 2021 through data science and precision engineering practices and partnering with farmers? In the US alone, this could reduce emissions from carbon dioxide equal to 233 million barrels of oil per year: Source: http://monsantoblog.eu/monsanto-fights-climate-change-with-carbon-neutral-target-by-2021/#.VmW9VrNVh8k In terms of transparency about our products, you can ask any question you like here at our Discover Monsanto website: http://discover.monsanto.com/conversation/ The below link is our Monsanto Pledge and commitment to how we do business. It is a declaration that compels us to listen more, to consider our actions and their impact broadly and to lead responsibly: http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/monsanto-pledge.aspx The most prominent scientific organisations in the world currently agree that genetically modified crops are as safe to eat as any other food. Please read the statements from these very credible global sources: World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/ Health and Safety Executive of the UK government: http://www.hse.gov.uk/biosafety/gmo/whatare.htm American Medical Association: http://factsaboutgmos.org/sites/default/files/AMA%20Report.pdf National Academy of Sciences: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10977&page=8 American Association for the Advancement of Science: http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf In terms of contracts, farmers who grow GM crops understand that they are agreeing to use the seed only for the planting of one commercial crop and that they will not save or replant seeds produced from the seeds they purchase. These contracts only apply to biotech seeds. Fact: Monsanto has never sued a farmer when trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits were present in the farmer’s field as an accident or as a result of inadvertent means: http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/gm-seed-accidentally-in-farmers-fields.aspx These contracts serve another purpose as well: to protect a company’s intellectual property. Here is why this is important: • Allows inventors to recover their research and development costs — and in the case of a GMO, this averages out to 13 years and $130 million per trait. • Helps to foster future innovation. Monsanto, for example, invests more than $4 million per day in collaborations, as well as R&D, which would not be possible if our IP was not protected. Agricultural companies such as Monsanto, as well as public institutions and individuals, are able to patent certain seed technology because it is considered intellectual property … It has been well documented that a robust intellectual property system helps drive investment and invention. Source: https://gmoanswers.com/ask/it-not-true-roundup-ready-productsplants-made-monsanto-sponsor-site-are-only-agricultural-plant Lastly, your point on pesticides is not entirely accurate. Here’s why: Take the herbicides we produce to help farmers control the weeds in their fields some of which are toxic and which, if unchecked, will destroy all their crops. May regulators and scientific authorities have analysed this herbicide in excruciating detail. Their findings are as follows: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced its conclusions about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup brand products. They concluded that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and the evidence does not support classification with regard to its carcinogenic potential.” Additionally, EFSA confirmed glyphosate does not show carcinogenic or mutagenic properties, and has no toxic effect on fertility, reproduction or embryonal development.” Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) concluded the active substance glyphosate based on the available data do not show carcinogenic or mutagenic properties of glyphosate nor that glyphosate is toxic to fertility, reproduction or embryonal/fetal development in laboratory animals. Also, three out of four WHO programmes agree glyphosate does not present a cancer or human health risk. Sources: http://monsantoblog.eu/the-european-food-safety-authority-glyphosate-is-unlikely-to-pose-carcinogenic-hazard-endefrnlesro/#.VmahaLNVh8k http://monsantoblog.eu/the-facts-about-herbicide-safe-use-history/#.Vmah4bNVh8k http://monsantoblog.eu/independent-panel-to-conduct-review-of-iarc-monograph-on-glyphosate/#.Vmmqu7NVh8k http://monsantoblog.eu/glyphosate-rigorous-eu-process-is-based-on-science/#.VmaiKbNVh8k http://www.bfr.bund.de/en/the_bfr_has_finalised_its_draft_report_for_the_re_evaluation_of_glyphosate-188632.html There have been years of misinformation and lies about us spread online. If you’re interested below are pages dedicated to addressing a lot of the myths you may have read. Sources: http://monsantoblog.eu/monsanto-myths-facts/#.ViC3AbOqp8k http://www.monsanto.com/global/uk/newsviews/documents/myths-and-facts.pdf http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/issues-and-answers.aspx If you have more questions please do ask us, EU Corporate Engagement Team.
    Reply
    Sudip Biswas
    |
    December 7, 2015
    The anti GMO camp is like a bunch of pesky creationists. I have been called a Monsanto shill many times because of my support for science and Biotechnology. Hard to reason with people with a strong ideology.
    Reply
    EU Corporate Engagement Team
    |
    December 8, 2015
    Dear Sudip, Firstly our team here applaud you for your brave efforts and we like to think that every little helps. We also agree that it's very sad when people use ideology or even selective science to mislead and manipulate others - and even worse when people follow that way of thinking blindly without questioning. If enough people speak out against pseudoscience quacks/zealots maybe one day the majority of the public will be able to make up their own minds on these issues and show the righteous anti-GMO camp for the charlatans they really are. Good luck, EU Corporate Engagement Team
    Reply
    Shane Kennedy
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    October 6, 2016
    Monsanto damn well should be going on trial for poisoning our environment, enslaving farmers to their products and destroying biodiversity.
    Reply
    Brandon Mitchener
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    October 6, 2016
    You clearly are not a farmer or a Monsanto customer or you would know that such a statement is ridiculous. Monsanto promotes the responsible use of its prodcuts, teaching farmers and consumers how to use them and monitoring compliance; We provide additional choices to farmers who also have every right to choose competing products and services if they so choose; and our products and practices help preserve biodiversity where it matters most: in rainforests, wetlands and other natural spaces where biodiversity is must under threat from urban sprawl and the plow. Only by helping farmers farm more efficiently can we hope to nourish the 800 million people who already go hungry in the world and help feed those yet to come--2 billion of them by 2050, according to the latest UN projections.
    Reply
    Shane Kennedy
    |
    October 6, 2016
    EU management are supposed to support the good of the people, not corporate greed. Lobbyists have no place in a real democracy.
    Reply
    Brandon Mitchener
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    October 6, 2016
    Thanks for your comment. In fact, no company can remain successful unless it delivers products that society values. Not everyone likes our products, but Monsanto is happy to have many loyal customers who continue to choose our products year after year and know that they can count on us to deliver innovative tools that serve their needs. By law, companies are "corporate citizens" with many of the same rights as individual citizens, in addition to employing millions of citizens. We are happy that not everyone works for the public sector or NGOs. Moreover, lobbying is a necessary feature of every well-functioning democracy. EU law REQUIRES consultation with anyone--consumers or companies--affected by EU rules and regulations. Would you prefer it if lawmakers just made laws without any public consultations? Where would the NGOs do all their complaining if there were no consultations? It is a myth that lobbying is exclusively the domain of corporate interests. NGOs enjoy a huge amount of power in European decision-making, and in fact according to most research are more effective lobbyists than corporations: http://monsantoblog.eu/the-masters-of-lobbying-the-eu-institutions-in-brussels-you-might-be-surprised/#.V_Z93tLVxUQ. Who's Goliath and who's David if the NGOs always win?
    Reply
    Ib Borup Pedersen
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    October 11, 2016
    Dear Monsanto Why dont you not meet up in this “fake” Monsanto Tribunal? You are missing a unique chance to question the evidence put forward.
    Reply
    Brandon Mitchener
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    October 12, 2016
    Dear Mr. Pedersen, You know as well as anyone that the MT is not a real court, and the people who have been pre-announced as "witnessees" in this fake court are all well-known critics of Monsanto to whom we have responded many times over. Honestly, we can think of many better ways to spend our Saturdays. At the same time, we try much harder than most people give us credit for to listen to what our critics are saying and understand what drives them and respond to their concerns. In this case, we have chosen to respond to some of the questions raised by the 'tribunal' supporters in the form of an open letter by several members of Monsanto's Human Rights Committee: http://monsantoblog.eu/an-open-letter-about-the-monsanto-tribunal. Sincerely, Brandon Mitchener
    Reply

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