Monsanto Helps Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina after Worst Flooding in More Than a Century

Farmers who grew DEKALB maize in Serbia after floodsBy Emilie Scott

Natural disasters always turn the normalcy of everyday life into disarray. Balkan countries are now coping with the aftermath of what some have characterized as the worst flooding in 120 years.  Due to record rainfall in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in May, at least 51 people are dead while tens of thousands are still without water or electricity.

Three months’ worth of rain fell in three days, causing about 300 landslides, destroying or damaging 100,000 homes and affecting more than 500,000 people.

Agriculture was among the industries most affected. More than 100,000 hectares of crops were destroyed. The total damage to agriculture in Serbia is estimated at about €500 million.

In an effort to help repair damage and help Serbian farmers re-sow their fields as quickly as possible, Monsanto donated around €275,000 worth of DEKALB hybrid maize seeds, enough to plant up to approximately 3,000 hectares of land. Additional maize seed was distributed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and set aside for Croatia for a total value of around €445,000 in the three countries.

In addition to the maize seeds, Monsanto is also donating about €75,000 in tomato, cucumber and cabbage seeds to farmers affected by the floods in all three countries. The seeds will provide immediate help to re-sow flooded fields and restore production.

All of the seed being donated is non-genetically modified, “traditional” hybrid seed.  

“We hope that with our help small farmers that lost their crops due to the flooding will be able to plant again within the next two weeks,” said José Manuel Madero, CEO of Monsanto Europe, Middle East and Africa. ”This is the time for us to show up and contribute to helping communities in need.”

In addition, Monsanto is also raising money internally by collecting cash donations for one of the agencies providing humanitarian relief in Serbia. Monsanto will match every dollar contributed by employees 1:1.

Farmer with DEKALB maize in SerbiaUpdate on June 19, 2014 by Brandon Mitchener, Monsanto Europe spokesman:

Given the high volume of comments we have received about this donation and some apparently deliberate misinformation being spread in the affected countries, please allow us to clarify once again:

1) All of the seeds being donated in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are traditional, conventional, non-genetically modified seeds. The seeds are non-GM and this has been confirmed by the Serbian government. (Seeds have not yet been distributed in Croatia but they will also be non-GM.)

2) DEKALB brand seeds are sold world-wide. In places where GM seeds are allowed and farmers want them, we sell DEKALB-branded GM seeds. In other places, including most of Europe, the DEKALB seeds we sell are non-GM. Moreover, all of the vegetable seeds that we sell in Europe are non-GM.

3) Monsanto’s seed business in Europe is 99% non-GM. We sell genetically modified seeds primarily in Spain, where the Bt maize MON810 provides resistance to particularly destructive insects called corn borers (both Ostrinia and Sesamia – to be exact) that can destroy entire crops unless repeatedly treated with powerful insecticides. (Note: Organic farmers also use Bacillus thuringiensis to control insects. When they do it, no one complains…).

4) Some of the people leaving comments have suggested that this donation is some sort of dastardly trick by Monsanto to enslave local farmers. This is a bizarre myth apparently being disseminated by anti-GM militants. In fact, the donation is a humanitarian relief action just like many other such relief actions that we do throughout the world with no immediate commercial intent. Farmers are not forced to buy DEKALB seeds again next year, and have plenty of alternatives to choose from. just as they do in other countries.

5) It is interesting that in the two months that this blog has been alive, we have received only four comments on all of the other posts combined, while we received more than 100 comments on this donation announcement in just a few days, almost all of them citing the misinformation that the donation involves GM seeds, and many of them repeated posts by the same people saying exactly the same thing.

Update on Dec. 19, 2014 by Brandon Mitchener, Monsanto Europe spokesman:

In order to see first-hand whether our donation had made a difference (as we hoped!), we waited for the harvest and sent a small film crew around to talk with two Serbian farmers. We can’t express our happiness any better than they did. Please take a look:

DEKALB maize in a Serbian farmer's handsSerbian farmer with cows

130 comments to Monsanto Helps Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina after Worst Flooding in More Than a Century

  • center for rural development  says:

    Please do not donate to us the GMO Seeds we dont need it our cattle don`t need it
    and our children would grow healthier without it.
    Grow it in America.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Thanks for your comment, but it is clear that you are misinformed. We do not sell GM seeds in any of the three countries, and all of the seeds which have been donated are non-GM. In fact 99% of our seed sales in Europe are non-GM, despite what certain militant anti-GM groups might claim.

  • Amanita Muscaria  says:

    Please do NOT help us!

    • Tonco  says:

      YES !!! do NOTTT !

  • somebody from serbia  says:

    please, please dont help us.

  • a white  says:

    Wow, this is super generous for the people of Serbia!

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      In fact this is one of the biggest relief operations that Monsanto has done anywhere in the world, and is far more proportionate to the scale of the problem in the three countries than to the scale of our business there. This is a humanitarian relief project.

      Monsanto often helps farmers and others in need after natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis with donations of cash and seeds to replant crops.

  • crni  says:

    Croatia did not accept your offer because in our country, in serbia and bosnia gmo seeds are banned by law, also monsantos products are banned in all three countries. you can stop spreading lies about your “help”.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Thanks for your comment, but it is clear that you are misinformed. We do not sell GM seeds in any of the three countries, and all of the seeds which have been donated are non-GM. In fact 99% of our seed sales in Europe are non-GM, despite what certain militant anti-GM groups might claim. Our products are not banned in those countries.

      Are you a farmer whose crops were destroyed by the floods?

  • Neven  says:

    Yeah it’s going to help them a lot when you start suing the shit out of the farmers that didn’t accept your seeds.

  • Milka  says:


  • Lela  says:

    Mr. Mitchener thank you for the information.

  • sarajlijica  says:






  • Alex  says:

    We will not let you destroy our agriculture with your filthy seeds. Stop playing God and leave nature alone. We don’t want you in Serbia!!!

  • Was that rain a bigger plan after all?  says:

    And we should just believe you these are not GM?You already poisoned America please stay away from Europe.

  • decameron  says:

    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts when

    Danaans were a Greek tribe of the Peloponnesus, the descendants of the mythical king Danae. Apparently, Danaans were the ones who brought the Trojan horse before the gates of Troy. Accordingly gift Danaj be considered dangerous and pernicious gift.So please, do not help us. You are not welcome here.

  • tare  says:

    We dont want your seeds, plant it on your own land…

  • Ana  says:

    What sort of Dekalb maize seeds you donated exactly? Can you be more precise?

  • Truth  says:

    Dear Sirs, no one asked YOU to help with Yours GMO seeds, please give it to Your children, we have here in Croatia a lot of seeds on other regions, so please STOP been so generous and kind, do not poison our children we dont need your help. I hope we will never see You again

  • Gojko  says:

    Wow so kind from you but please take your trash with you and feed your own children with it. We don’t want to spoil our land and water with your GMO products.

  • blablablba  says:

    MR. Mitchener,
    It is not true that GM seeds are not marketed in mentioned countries. As Croatia is in EU, and on market of EU GM maize seeds are authorised for sowing (line MON810), Croatian goverment has sent official bodies to investigate Monsanto’s donation. If they conclude that some of the seeds are GM hybrids (during inspection of the seed label) they will take apropriate measures according to Croatian laws.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Monsanto has publicly stated many times over the past few years that we only market GM seeds in countries where they enjoy broad political support, strong farmer demand and a functioning, science-based regulatory system. Countries that ban GM seeds for non-scientific, pseudo-religious, ideological reasons in defiance of official scientific advice by definition do not have a functioning, science-based regulatory system and we would not sell GM seeds there.

      Monsanto’s business in Europe and long has been 99% non-GM. All of our vegetable seeds in Europe are non-GM. And our seeds appear to be pretty good because demand for them has grown year on year for several years to the point that we are expanding our (non-GM) seed production capacity in four countries simultaneously.

      • Gubi se  says:

        Who are you calling pseudo-religious. We are a strong Chatolic country with healthy natural views. Do you claim that your system of purely scientific agriculture is sustainable system? If you do I have a book called “Biopiracy” by Vanndana Shiva beside me and I can start taking out quotes that will prove you wrong right now. Test me. How dare you call natural systems pseudo-religious and ideological. If anyone is ideological it is you and your god called “The Money”.

        • Brandon Mitchener  says:

          Ah, yes, Vandana Shiva… The woman who probably spends more time than anyone else on the planet spreading misinformation related to GM seeds in India. We have a whole separate blog post on that. The “Indian farmer suicide myth” is so widespread–in no small part thanks to Vandana Shiva–that it is is Myth # 3 in our rogue’s gallery of myths and lies related to Monsanto:

  • Nikola  says:

    We dont need your New World Order seed of doom stuff. ”It’s soo good that you guys eat it your self right..” grow them in your backyard, ours is resserved for healty food.

  • stefan  says:

    Dear Monsanto,

    maybe is true that in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia is GMO banned and maybe you really give them nonGMO seeds. I found it hard to believe since you put a picture of serbian farmer with caption “A Serbian farmer with donated DEKALB maize seeds.”
    Checking information on internet about dekalb, we all can conclude that its MO maize.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      We sell seeds under the DEKALB brand worldwide. They are not all GM. In Europe, 99% of those sales are non-GM seeds. In countries where farmers want GM seeds and are allowed to buy and plant them, we sell GM seeds. In Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina we only sell “traditional” hybrid seeds.

      Contrary to popular misconception, Monsanto sells more than GM seeds. More than half of our global R&D goes to non-GM plant breeding and related technologies.

  • Nevena  says:

    Your reputation is so bad that we don’t believe you a word mr Brandon Mitchener when you say that it is not GMO

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Reply to Nevena:

      You do not need to trust us. Monsanto’s seed is independently tested and certified to ensure that farmers get the seeds that they expect.

  • Serbian Guy  says:

    Thanks for donation, while it isn’t poisoned by GMO we will be grateful for help!

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      We can assure you, and so can the government, that the seeds are non-GM. Our business in Europe is (and always has been) about 99% non-GM, contrary to what many anti-GM militants might have you believe.

  • Massa  says:

    Thank you.

  • Boris  says:


  • Hristina Lazić  says:

    What have you asked for in return from statesmen? Some special treatment in media or something similar? Have you spoken to some of them? To whom? Serbia is among your major competitors in the field of seed production, producing only non-GMO seeds, and your help looks like a good business move.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Believe it or not, Monsanto actually does some things just because it’s the right thing to do. We have a philanthropic organization, the Monsanto Fund, which regularly springs into action to help in providing relief to natural disasters.

      We have not asked for anything in return for the seed donation. This is not about publicity, it’s about helping farmers whose crops were destroyed to replant their fields as quickly as possible so as to be able to try to have something to harvest this season.

      • Lenocka  says:

        mr. Mitchener, I am gratefull for your donation. Unfortunately, people in our countries (plural, there are 3 countries, and I somehow belong in all of them) are miss informed. Most of them just put word Monsanto in Google and they are misslead to sites that claims you are creating frankenfood (whatever that is). I live with this people, and I can assure you: we are among most stubborn people in world. You can say them: we are not selling GMO, this is hybrid seed, like the one you already planted, and they will still believe to some sensacionalistic web site. Please, don’t give up beacause those people (sorry if I made any errors, English is my third language and your grammar rules are confusing for us)

        • Brandon Mitchener  says:

          Thank you for your comment, Lenocka. Unfortunately we see the same tendency to automatically believe stuff that you can find online everywhere in the world, not just in Serbia. The first thing people should always ask themselves is, is it a reputable source? Are they actually an authority on the topics on which they’re writing?

  • jadranka  says:

    we do not need your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • zorana  says:

    Feed your children and pets with your poison, leave us alone.

  • Deana Smith  says:

    Go away, no one wants your help!

  • ernesto  says:

    How do you think we fed ourselves before Monanto. We don’t need your seeds at all, and pleasa go home, I will never eat your filthy food.

  • GavriloPrincipAnonymous  says:

    The seeds will be tested by nongoverment organizations and by antiterorist group… that means now and before the harvest.

    have a nice and plesent day, your Gavrilo!

  • svetislav  says:

    Even in the case that all of your seeds are GMO-free, your company should still be banned from doing business in Europe, even in the rest of the World, because of your malicious practice to sue small farmers whose fields are neighbouring fields planted with your precious seeds for alleged breach of your patents. Let me explain to those one who do not understand: If my neighbour plants your seeds, and genetic material from that field crosses onto mine, I am “liable” for breaching your patent on that genetic material. Hello!?? Stay away from Europe.

  • Truth  says:

    We have our seed in Croatia You do not need to poison us with Yours give it too your children and do not erase my comment

  • Marcella  says:

    Dear Monsanto,

    keep your “help” and GMO seeds to your self, Croatia doesn’t need that shit and it is not welcomed. I’m wondering wether you feed your kids with that. Go back to US and grow it there!

  • Blagoje  says:

    Monsanto, beleve me, people in Serbia are well informed about your company, no meter how hard you try to destroy us you will not succeed, and we will defend our beautyfull country like we always did.

  • Dixy Galvez  says:

    We don’t need your killer seeds,so get out!!!

  • Brandon Mitchener  says:

    In reply to somebody from serbia:

    As you can see we do publish most of the comments we receive. Unfortunately we have to moderate them because some people insist on sending insults and worse, so we can’t always publish them immediately.

  • Milan  says:

    I knew Monsanto will “help” us! I wish all of you who make GMO and who send it to us to get the WORST CANCER ON YOUR BRAINS, LUNGS, BONES and GENITALS!! *God will jugde you for this!!*

  • Girl from Serbia  says:

    Thanks, but no thanks! We don’t need your seed!

  • Jeca  says:

    Brandon, you keep repeating that seeds in Europe are 99% non-GMO seeds. Why is then that USA and Canada do not get the same treatment?

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      The answer is simple. In the USA and Canada and many other countries sensible governments have approved the use of GM seeds and farmers want them and buy them and produce things that are sold all over the world, including in Europe. The question is why European farmers are not allowed the same treatment by their governments… But that is a battle we’ve stopped fighting.

  • Deana Smith  says:

    As I said, go away! We don’t need your help!

  • Deana Smith  says:

    “non-GMO militants”? No, they are rather non “GMO-militants”?

  • Jeca  says:

    European governments obviously see something wrong with it, and care more about peoples health than USA/Canada governments. You as well would be singing a different tune if you weren’t paid by Monsanto :)

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Your statement is incorrect. Given that the seeds donated are non-GM, no European governments have any objections to them, and similar seeds are already sold widely throughout Europe. Depending on the country, Monsanto is a market leader in some crops including maize, oilseed rape, tomatoes, broccoli and peppers, among other crops.

  • Pravoslavac  says:

    Awww, how kind of your philantropic and non-profitable humanistic organisation of Monsanto!
    Something tells me we will survive even without your help.
    God created the seeds and some feel like they might be the new creators.
    That speaks for itself for those who dare to see.

    Have a nice day!

  • svetislav  says:

    oh, so I see that it is insult when someone says you have malicious practice of suing people for alleged breach of your patents just because their land and crop is nearby yours?? that is insulting because it’s true?

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Please see the replies already made to others. Your statement refers to legal cases that have been heard in the U.S. and Canada and which involve intellectual property rights. The vast majority of farmers willingly pay license fees to Monsanto and other seed providers in return for the benefit that they provide, just as most honest people willing pay to see a movie rather than steal it. Monsanto does not sue farmers anywhere if small amounts of our seeds blow onto their land.

      • svetislav  says:

        Dear Brandon. That is simply a lie. As I am in Brussels, and I see you are too, I would be more then pleased to meet you over a beer so you can “convince” me otherwise.

        • Brandon Mitchener  says:

          Svetislav, somehow I suspected that you were not a Serbian farmer…
          I’m not exactly sure which comment yours is in response to, so it’s hard for me to clarify whatever point I was trying to make.
          In any event, since it’s irrelevant to what we’re doing in Serbia I suggest we take this off-line. Since you’re in Brussels, feel free to swing by our office one day next week. I’ll send you my phone number.

  • Boris  says:


  • Novak  says:

    Your company is having a terrible reputation. Please keep your hands off Serbia.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      We are well aware that Monsanto’s reputation has room for improvement, and are trying hard to demystify some of the misinformation at the root of the company’s reputation issues. I invite you to read a new leaflet which we have produced that addresses the most common myths about Monsanto and explains how we’re trying to help feed a growing population globally by helping farmers produce more, better and more affordable food with less land, water, energy, waste and worry.

  • Miloš  says:

    Thank you, but we don’t need your help. Here in Serbia we prefer more our tomato, produced and grown in our fields an villages, the best in whole Europe, and not GMO one that you want to give us as a help. The same is for the rest of the vegetables and fruit. Go away, we don’t need it!

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      As stated repeatedly in response to other commenters here, all the seeds which have been given to local farmers are non-GM seeds.

  • IVANA  says:


  • Ami  says:

    Thanks but keep it for yourself. :*

  • IVANA  says:

    As a marketing assistant, I asure every one of you: this is just a trick of their monstanto propaganda. On that way they try to break bad opinion ( which is true ) about them in the minds of people. Do not buy it, dont buy that trick!!

  • Janja  says:

    We not need your seeds. If you wish to help you will donate money and not seeds. So this is only way that you gauffer your seeds on the broken way. Get out with your donation.

  • Peter  says:

    Is this true?
    “once you use monsanto seed, you have to take their chemistry to treat it, and each and every year you HAVE to pay again to use THEIR seed for the sake of author’s rights…, plus now there’s a little problem – the chemistry that you spilled on the ground will let ONLY monsanto’s seed to grow…”

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      This is not true in Europe. The statement refers to RoundupReady herbicide tolerant crops in the U.S. Farmers who buy this seed sign a Technology Use Agreement which, like the “Agree” statements on software and other contractual acknowledgements of the use of intellectual property, stipulates that the seeds contain technology which has been patented by Monsanto and may not be reproduced and sold again without a reasonable compensation for Monsanto. This theme has been the subject of several court cases in the United States and Canada, the last one being the Bowman case at the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided in Monsanto’s favor by an unusually unanimous vote of 9-0.

      Since we do not sell biotech seeds in Europe, and therefore none of them are bred to be resistant to Roundup, the statement does not apply to Europe.

  • midaso  says:

    if seed is GMO, I hope it will be burned

  • Sasa  says:

    Reply to Brandon Mitchener:
    So weerd to know that you are laying 99% of what you sad :D
    1. You sell GMO seeds in Serbia.
    2. Monsanto GMO seeds are baned in Serbia.
    3. Monsanto doesnt ofer help,it ofers slavery.
    4. All the seeds that you donate are not non GMO,some of them are.
    5. Monsanto are not doing things just because they are good to do.
    and so on so on … you are watching us but know WE ARE WATCHING YOU ….

  • anamarija  says:

    Dear Mr. Mitchener, everything you wrote here seems nice, especially how you suggest that GMO food is proven to be safe.. but we should learn about Monsanto`s PR and politics from history, do you not agree?

  • Bosnia  says:

    If the farmers in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia were more educated, they would all tell you what I am about to tell you now: take your donation and burn it to the last seed. We don’t need your poison, we don’t need your so called help. Leave us alone.

    Everyone, you need to read up on this company and then you will realize what this donation really means.

  • Croatian boy  says:

    We don’t need your help. Maybe you can offer help to small farmers in USA and India that was destroyed and bring to the poverty after court trails with monsanto? You can find some of them in a film The World According to Monsanto.

  • Miodrag Reskovic  says:

    Keep your filthy hands out of our land!

  • Luka  says:

    Don’t you dare!!!

  • Vladimir Jovanovic  says:

    DONT donate us any of your poison! Go away from us! WE CAN ALWAYS BURN YOUR SEEDS!

  • Mladen  says:

    Dear Brandon,
    do you REALLY believe in words you are saying or told to say? Or you’re just doing your job and don’t really care why are there so many attacks on your company? Do you not know how many Indians have commited suicide because of Monsanto’s products?
    Either way, by simply tasting GM food and real (organic) food you know that the GM one cannot be healthy. I know the ways of Monsanto and it will NEVER stop with its attempts to enter every market in the world and control the food supply. And i know that writing beautiful stories is your job, but i really hope that you don’t really believe in stories you tell here.

  • Bojan  says:

    Dear Monsanto, stop trying to “help” your new possible market, under the cover of a “humanitarian aid”, please.
    There are so many proofs explaining and showing your techniques of expansions, and none of it was done by a wish to simply help the people in need, it was out of your interest and profit.

    The people in the Balkans are in deep distress after years of war and misery, and the very last thing they need is somebody stealing the only richness they have, and it is a fertile ground and a local, so far rather healthy local grains, that have survived and helped generations grow up by their amazing taste and healthy, natural structure…

    Simply, the world does not need Monsanto to survive, nor to progress, BUT Monsanto definitely needs world to exist, survive and prosper. I think Monsanto should stay away from those who don’t need the kind of help that you’re offering.

    That would be the best way to help the others staying in health and allowing them some kind of a better future perspective.
    None of the countries where you guys came didn’t get any better, just your money got bigger, and that is the only thing that you’re seeking for. Good for you, but very bad for the others…

  • Nautilus Rudicus  says:

    It’s the devils in disguise. GMO crops are not good news, end of. Monsanto is the epitome of a greed driven corporation that seeks to eliminate natural seeds with the ones they have produced, meaning ANYBODY who has those seeds on their land has to pay Monsanto if they like it or not. You have been warned people. This corporation does not have your best interests at heart. Don’t accept the trojan horse!

  • John Taylor  says:

    Helping Croatia? How? By putting in crops that potentially cause cancer? Crops that do not reproduce seeds that can be used the following year so the farmers have to buy them from Monsanto every year? By planting crops that stop non Monsanto crops ever growing in that soil again? Other local farmers nearby (who haven’t used Monsanto seeds) can have their crops cross-pollinated and then get sued by Monsanto for using their intellectual property and have to sell their farms to be dragged through the courts by Monsanto? Monsanto want to control the food supply thus control the world’s population. MONSANTO, THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE. BE WARNED

  • Nautilus Rudicus  says:

    Brandon – what makes you think farmers want to be held accountable to Monsanto? Why does Monsanto think that they have the right to modify perfectly natural food, then force farmers to grow it by cross pollinating their crops, and then charge them for the privilege? The answer is profit. Profit over common sense. Profit. Why would a notoriously profit driven company send aid to countries in the way of seed? more profit and more control. The world is watching you now.

  • Martin  says:

    Your help is not appreciated in the Balkans and Europe. Monsanto is a corporation that destroys rural agriculture communities… wash your sins elseware.

  • jana  says:

    Get lost Monsanto, we don’t need your GMO seeds! Go poison someone else

  • VW  says:

    No. Stop this now! We don’t want or need your GMO seed and food. We really don’t need use-it-once DNA altered seed. My farm has been producing food for generations now from the same first seed my grandparent used (offspring of those seeds, ofc).

    100% nature baby.

  • canadian  says:

    You should stop fighting a lot of battles.. the Europeans are smart. Defending yourself and having to explain every company decision you make isn’t helping. more than half of your excuses come out of your butt anyway. For every ONE ‘good’ thing your doing there’s 100 horrible things your doing also.

  • Dont send  says:

    Please don’t send yours GMO poison to Serbia and BiH!!! We don’t want this kind of “help”!!!

  • Kati  says:

    I’m convinced that people of Balkans are very thankful for Your generous offer for donation. However, it is very important to understand that we have very bad experience with any kinds of ‘help’ implemented (voluntarily or by force) in our countries even in the times that we were doing very well without any international influence. Various interest groups have succeeded to create socioeconomic conditions that led to the most extreme consequences – wars and conflicts. We, the people, have been put into position of having no access of unbiased information and not being able to decide on key issues, which in practice remains until now. In this concrete case, final stakeholders – small and medium farmers, as well as consumers, have not been informed about particularities of this donation, and therefore a lot of misinformation is in media. To be even more concrete, I’ve sent formal request which was answered with no relevant information, and no one from the responsible bodies is answering phones. According to everything mentioned here, you have to understand that there is a lot of space for many assumptions.

    • AD  says:

      Finally, a reasonable comment.

  • Jovana  says:

    “Countries that ban GM seeds for non-scientific, pseudo-religious, ideological reasons in defiance of official scientific advice by definition do not have a functioning, science-based regulatory system and we would not sell GM seeds there. ”

    Wow. Do Monsanto actually allow their employees to talk about their customers like that?

    Amazing good will you’re growing there.


  • Sanja  says:

    Please DONT HELP. People of Balkan regions have suffered enough. They don’t need Monsanto bringing seed monopoly and causing chronic diseases over next couple decades as you did in US and South America. Just leave our people alone, poison yourself and yours.

  • florin  says:

    same story … big corporations trying to win some image on behalf of people in need. here what they say, THEY DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP! Receiving money or other help from Monsanto is like receiving stealth money or goods. What Monsanto is doing is BAD and most of the people have still principles! Go grow your seeds at your window, not even in USA…

  • Sanja  says:

    At Brandon M. ” US sensible government allowed use of GM crops” really…common… We all know it is not sensible government, it is bought members of Congress, huge list of politicians Monsanto pays to push its own agenda and make money. Shamefull….

  • Mate  says:

    Thank’s for your altruism Monsanto, but please don’t come to help my country. :)

  • Stanimir Kujundzic  says:

    We dont need your seed, keep your poison on your field!

  • organic farmer  says:

    As an organic farmer, I will NEVER use your seeds. Do you really think we are so stupid to believe you when you say it’s not GM? Even if they are not, you are ruining our domestic sorts, who get crossed to your plants by wind and insects without our will. I know there will be certain number of stupid farmers who will use your seeds because they are free, and they will allow you entrance to this region. But most of us will not, and we will organize protests in front of government buildings all over the region. We will do anything to stop you here. I’m lucky to have opportunity to feed my family healthy natural food, but even other people on Balkans are getting aware of what you are doing globally. Go find another part of the world to experiment and to make slaves.

  • Bojan  says:

    Mr. Mitchener, you are a good professional,and of course that your answers are very much according to what you’re paid for: to defend Monsanto’s interests, whatever it takes…
    You’re not defending anything else, nor Balkan people’s interest, nor the truth about the effects of GMO or non GMO’s on people health, nor the environment, nor the survival of the mankind… So – good job, keep on doin’ it!
    All the best!

  • NoThanks  says:

    It’s already enough that we have to be poisoned here in the USA and are almost not able to escape GMO foods because it is everywhere, plus all the diseases (worst kinds of cancers that our children have due to all the “Monsanto healthy seeds”) that we have here that are just not that common in Europe like here by every other household almost and now you want to spread the illness, obesity, stress, slooooow death to my homeland, I don’t think so!!! People of the Balkan are not stupid, they don’t want anything to do with a company that genetically modifies food….. ALL THE FOOD BEFORE YOU AND BEFORE ORGANIC FOOD LABELS WAS ACTUALY CALLED FOOD, AND THAT WAS PURE ORGANIC FOOD!!! Nowadays it’s hard to make a decision what to put on our plate because of all the fake great looking and wonderfully smelling delicious fake food!! :( you should be working on reversing the plan not feeding people poison!

  • Lena  says:

    There is so much controversy around Monsanto corporation, the very name is so compromised that is impossible to trust it. Mr. Mitchener might honestly believe there is nothing wrong with seeds donated to Balkan region and perhaps it’s even true that these seeds are not GMO. However, the reputation that Monsanto has worldwide didn’t happen by chance; Monsanto earned it. As a result, with a status of corporate mafia, nobody wants anything from you guys and your intention will be always questioned. This suspicion and fear aren’t simply a product of some collective irrational mind. Also, I have to notice that the same sentiment about Monsanto is shared all over the region and is not a product of misinformation originated in Serbia. Initiator of petition against your donation is from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but response is coming from people of the whole region. Regards to Mr. Mitchener, with; “No, Monsanto-thank you”.

  • General Monsanto  says:

    we don’t need your help! and especially not under the mask of lying “humanitarianism.” we know what kind of seed you sell, and that is not lie, that’s a fact, no matter what you say!
    we are aware what your intentions are, and we can assure you, we are not people with whom you wanna deal with.
    you have been warned.

  • Arvin  says:

    Dear Monsanto, take a good look at your USA nation, they are all so fat so sick and that is what we in Serbia do not want. Understand. In business world, the good and bad reputation is very important. So Monsanto you have ONLY bad bad reputation. You can talk and talk what ever you want but we don’t want you.

    We will raise again. God will help us not Evil! Understand? Now get the hell out of our life and our world, and continent too!

  • Andrej  says:

    stay in your poor America with your GMO sh*t. Here, in Europe we dont need your unchecked seeds. That GMOs are not good is not conspiracy theory but a fact. Our teachers says that, our logic says that, science etc. Your names will be remembered in history, but not for good. You will see ;)

  • Ivana  says:

    Dear Brandon,

    can you tell me are the seeds that you donated already distributed to Bosnia? If yes, please tell me what institution you’ve contacted, who’s sharing your donation in Bosnia? And also, can you tell me on which locations and how many?

    Thank you for your answer.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Ivana, I’m sorry I don’t have that level of detail. All I know is that the seed has been distributed to farmers who needed it.

  • svetislav  says:

    “It is interesting that in the two months that this blog has been alive, we have received only four comments on all of the other posts combined, while we received more than 100 comments on this donation announcement in just a few days, almost all of them citing the misinformation that the donation involves GM seeds, and many of them repeated posts by the same people saying exactly the same thing.”

    Well, dear Bradnon, it is because you only now came into spotlight! Hallelujah! REVELATION to the public. Don’t worry, I will do my best to spread the word. I am sure we can talk about other aspects of your company and how it behaves there, too. Just hit us with posts and here we come.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:


      Unfortunately it is this kind of attitude which has forced many organizations, and even many news organizations, to completely disable comments on their Web pages. Social media rapidly become anti-social when a very vocal minority repeatedly hijacks a discussion. Reasonable people run for the exits, leaving only the vocal minority talking to one another. However good you think your intentions might be, the result is probably counter-productive.

  • Boro  says:

    No Thanks !!!

  • Michelle Grujic  says:

    First you create the PROBLEM (floods, natural disasters, droughts), then you REACT and then you offer the SOLUTION. Saying DEKALB maize seeds are not GMO is a lie! You, your frankenfood and frankenseeds better stay away from us, we DO NOT want you – you are ANTI-LIFE!!!!

  • Upucen  says:

    I’m sorry to see so many uneducated comments from people who haven’t done any topic research on their own – typical for my neighborhood – Balkan.

    Let’s start:

    There are thousands of different proteins in every plant cell – OK
    Proteins are made 20 different amino acids in specific order – OK
    When you eat plants you digest proteins into amino acids – OK

    If the order of 2 amino acids in specific protein is changed – what’s the harm?

    If you think GMO is bad for you, please explain HOW in detail.

    Thanks for help, Monsanto.


    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Thanks for the comment, but just to make sure no one’s confused, the seeds that we’re talking about in the Balkans are all non-GM in any case. ;-)

      • Svetislav  says:

        This comment is just another proof how ignorant some people are. And you, Brandon jump on it like it proves something. Anyone, anyone who was at least attentive on its biology classes would tell you where the problem is: YOU ARE CREATING NEW SPECIES. How this new organisms will behave remains a mystery. And no 90-day research and testing can give you assurances that it is safe.

        • Brandon Mitchener  says:

          Svetislav, Thanks for your comment but I’m afraid it wasn’t me or Monsanto that was asleep in biology class. We are NOT creating new species. A species, as Wikipedia explains, is “the largest group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.” Since GM corn is still corn, and is capable of inter-breeding with non-GM corn, it is by definition NOT a new species. In fact, GM crops are so similar to their non-GM counterparts in virtually every respect that they are considered “substantially equivalent” under U.S. law. It is only in Europe, where decisions were made for non-scientific reasons, that “GM” has come to mean something different. In any case, as you are by now well aware, the seeds we have donated to farmers in the Balkans are non-GM anyway so your point is irrelevant.

  • Filip-BALKAN  says:

    Declaring something non-GMO does not make it all right. We dont want your “help” because we know what is hidden behind it. We dont just have a problem with GMO seeds or non-GMO seeds, our problem is with Monsanto directly and its politics around the globe. we know what drives you forward. It is not love,it is not humanity, it is not compassion.NO do not lie to us.It is all about power and control which is granted to those with most money. Money as a tool for your operations. But we also know how you got your money(Cerro Rico)we also know how you got your power. I hate to break it to you but we do not belive to countries whose foundations are based on GENOCIDE(path of tears)! we know how your agricultural technologies affect local population. we know about Argentina,we know about Costarica,we know about India. We know how you camouflage your goals. “relief and help” HAH more like profiting on natural dissasters and suffering of common man. We know that this is just a cheap trick and if i may say a new personal low for your corporation. Trying to take advantage of confusion made by natural dissasters to cuningly make way for your evil to take root on our holy land. Let me tell you something else. We are not just a bunch of ignorant pessants divided by war. We are strong people and our roots are strong,our roots are deep and you just might shatter your theeth on them. We are proud on our BIODIVERSITY and we are aware its great value. We have fought many strong enemies throughout the history and although you might be the strongest one yet(because of your government support) i have to tell you: WE WILL FIGHT YOU TO OUR LAST LIVING BREATH as GOD as my wittnes.
    This is not a warnning from some “militant anti-GMO gruop” (hahaha what a laugh).This is a warnning from a good people of Balkan. Better take it seriously.

    You realy should have made your history homework better before setting your gaze to Balkan. Take your “help” to those who realy need it. Take it to starving people of Africa,take it to Middle-East where your government spread its ideas… Stop people starving in 21st century, you have the power(but do you have a soul?).We love our diverse fields,our rich forests,our clean water,our crazy people and wierd ways. We love each other and we love OUR FREEDOM.

    Enough is enough

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      I think this comment is the best possible defense of my earlier use of the phrase “pseudo-religious”! ‘Nuff said!

      • Filip-BALKAN  says:

        This is Croatian main religion since

        And this is “pseudo-religion”

        I Sincerely hope that you do your real job feeding your children better than you do speending time on gathering information.
        Because declaring Catolicism as “pseudo-religion” is a serious statement. I very much hope that this is your personal belief and ignorance rather than public politics of your company.
        As a Catholic I expect an apologye for this insult.


        “Nuff said”? very formal mr.O.G. yo

        • Brandon Mitchener  says:

          There you go, trying to inflame things again… The reference to pseudo-religion has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, which, by the way, is pro-GMOs (, it is about the infamous “natural fallacy” that everything “natural” is therefore better, even though there are plenty of natural substances that are toxic even in very small amounts.

          It’s also worth noting that Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina are pretty Catholic countries and stolidly pro-science and pro-GMOs.

          I particularly like this excerpt from the Wikipedia article cited above: “A 2009 study on genetically modified organisms sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences came to a favorable conclusion on GMOs, viewing them as praiseworthy for improving the lives of the poor.”

          But this is all academic because–as we have repeated here 10 zillion times–any seeds being donated in the Balkans by Monsanto are non-GM.

  • Sascha  says:

    People were living and growing seeds in Balkan region for thousands years, long time before a words “patent”, “GMO” or “non-GMO” were invented, so profit-chasing companies like Monsanto shouldn’t pretend to be good and righteous. Donating help in, as you claim, a non-GMO seeds, is nothing else but dishonest marketing trick to foul some naive people into thinking how Monsanto does good deeds.
    A year or two ago, Germany was struck by floods but you were not allowed, if you even offered, to “help” with your seeds.. Why? Because German goverment and their people know what your “help” implicates.
    As stated in some previous comments, none of Balkan countries want your seeds, GMO or non-GMO, so just keep them for yourself and leave our farmers cope with nature as they did for generations before them.
    Balkans cannot and will NOT be a “backdoor” entrance, in a long run, for GMO products into European food chain. Thank you but NO thank you for that. Go back to US and leave Europe grow its own unpatented seeds. And take your businnes foes (BASF, Synergy, and other evil lab rats together with you). We do NOT want any of you among us.
    And please, don’t bother explaining or answering on this comment. Your non-GMO 275.000$ worth marketing trick is enough.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Sascha, Thank you for your thoughtful comments, and for providing an opportunity to reiterate yet again that the seeds we are donating are not GM seeds.
      Thanks also for the opportunity to set the record straight on Germany. In fact, contrary to what you state, we donated seeds to farmers in Germany as well as the Czech Republic following the floods in 2013. We donated around 80,000 euros worth of maize and oilseed rape in Germany alone, and also provided a cash donation to the Schorlemer Stiftung of the Federation of German Farmers, which later thanked us for our support for German farmers. If you read German, you can read our public statement on this donation here:

  • Healthy Food Only!!!  says:

    You say 99% seeds in EU are non GM. Well that is not enough! We want 100% of natural seeds! Stop poisoning the planet with GM crap! We should bring fire to GM plants.

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Thanks for confirming that your agenda is not consumer “choice” as is often claimed but rather a clear exclusion of a technology by large parts of the world and which competent regulatory authorities repeatedly have determined to be as safe as its conventional counterparts. Your open threat to torch GM plants in the field also reveals your true colors as a would-be eco-terrorist and not a reasonable person. Thanks again! It’s not always clear to the silent majority just how radical the opponents of GM technology are. You have done them a huge favor.

  • sandy  says:

    Hi Brandon
    I tried to find more about dkc 4590 and how it was breeded. can you tell us more about it? whitch of the new technologies did you use? we know, there are a lot of new technologies that are not labelled as gmo, but they are nevertheless manipulating the gene.
    thanks for a reply

    • Brandon Mitchener  says:

      Hi there. DKC4590 was developed using classic breeding techniques combining elite germplasm from different temperate regions with elite local germplasm. It is not a GM seed in any way, as we have stated here many times before.

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