innovation tagged posts

Monsanto reacts to Zembla’s “GEN-tech lobby” (EN/NL)

Monsanto appreciates the media in their important role of informing the public and stakeholders on food and agricultural issues. We all need good food. And thus, food is a subject that has a broad general interest.

By repeating misinformation, Zembla Internationaal’s rebroadcast of the French program ‘De GEN-tech lobby’ via NPO2 tonight denies the Dutch public the balanced view they deserve on the issues it raises.

As one of the world’s leading producers of vegetable seeds, we believe in an open and balanced dialogue on complex issues such as genetic modification, intellectual property and the use of pesticides...

Read More

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

“Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.”
― Charles Darwin

At Monsanto, we admire and advocate innovation and progress, and in particular innovation and progress in science. Today, February 12th marks the birthday of Charles Darwin, father of rational thinking and author of arguably one of science’s most influential works, On the Origin of Species. Darwin dedicated his life to his studies of evolution, natural selection and anthropology, and is without question considered to have made one of the greatest contributions by an individual to the advancement of society.  Yet in his lifetime, he was considered an intellectual heretic, and his theory of evolution dismissed as an improbability.

Parallels can be drawn between the...

Read More

Innovation, what’s that all about?

 “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

— John Cage

Well said, John Cage. John Milton Cage Jr, composer, music theorist, writer, and artist, was someone who believed in new ideas. He revolutionised the way the 20th century perceived music. That’s great you may say, but why does Monsanto care and perhaps more specifically, why should you care? We are both talking about innovation.

On Feb. 6, the Food Innovation Summit in Brussels brought together policy makers, industry and food experts to debate the issues facing European agriculture and food today and how to use innovation to help solve them. As we learned in Davos a couple of weeks ago (you can read our blog post on Davos here), food security and climate change are two of th...

Read More

DEKALB® unveils a new look and brand promise to Europe’s farmers: SEED YOUR SUCCESS

DEKALB electric wing and Seed Your SuccessUnderlining a significant investment in production capacity in Europe, Monsanto’s DEKALB® seeds brand now has a new look and promise to the region’s farmers: DEKALB will help SEED YOUR SUCCESS.

The 100-year old seed brand is being relaunched in Europe with a modern upgrade of its iconic winged maize cob look, new seed bags, new websites and new, improved online services for customers.

The start of a new year marks the launch of the first websites to sport the new look and feel in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Slovakian, Russian and Ukrainian. Other sites will follow in coming weeks and months.

“The investment in new marketing and communications tools underlines our commitment to helping ensure farmers’ success with a broad range of solutions for better harvests with less waste...

Read More

Calls for innovation grow louder in the UK

Big_ben_closeupWhilst the European Parliament last week voted to endorse a proposal that would allow European governments to restrict or prohibit cultivation of safe genetically modified (GM) crops, calls to allow GM crops to be cultivated in the UK–conversely–have been gaining momentum.

Earlier this month, two senior UK politicians publicly discussed their views on the benefits of GMO cultivation. At the UK’s annual Oxford Farming Conference, The Right Hon. Liz Truss, MP, the UK’s Environment Secretary, and Lord Krebs, the UK government’s advisor on climate change adaptation, both spoke out to support the scientific facts on why growing GM crops is actually a good thing–for farmers, the climate and a growing population. That is quite the list of reasons to support cultivation…

In her speech to ...

Read More

Reducing water use to help Italian farmers produce more with less

1939960_230197530521981_187590912_nAs part of our work to help farmers produce food in a more sustainable way, we have been working with farmers to develop systems that improve efficiency in the use of natural resources.

One of these projects is AquaTEK™ Launched in 2013, AquaTEK is an irrigation water management system developed as a partnership with our DEKALB seed team to help Italian corn farmers increase efficiency in the use of water, energy and land, by maximising production and reducing the consumption of water and fuel.   We wrote about this system on the blog earlier in the year, and Italian readers have been following the progress of the system on the AquaTEK (Italian language) blog here. You can also read more about the system here and check out our videos about the AquaTEK project (in several languages) on ...

Read More

New agri-food coalition calls for innovation and science to be at the heart of EU ag policy

banner2Amongst the hundreds of receptions that are currently taking place in function rooms all over Brussels at the moment, a recent ‘Food for thought’ event was of particular significance to the agricultural sector.

On Sep. 23, the newly formed ‘agri-food chain coalition’ presented its vision for “unlocking the potential of agriculture and the food industry in the EU” to a room packed full of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and agri-food chain stakeholders. The significance of the event was two-fold: firstly, the emergence of a new voice in the agri- food sector, and secondly the very strong call for innovation, science and evidence-based policy making.

The ‘agri- food chain coalition’ is made up of 11 of EU’s leading agri- food associations, including COPA-COGECA and Foo...

Read More

Monsanto is a seed company, not a GM company, European Vegetables Business Lead says

Ibrahim El MenschawiWhen many people think of Monsanto, they immediately think ‘Biotech’ and ‘GM’. Whilst we are proud of our global leadership position on GM crops, it will no doubt surprise many that GMOs are not actually Monsanto’s only focus.

Monsanto is a seed company. That’s what we do. The majority of Monsanto’s innovations are in crop and seed improvement, and in advanced conventional breeding techniques.

In fact, of the more than $4 million (USD) invested by Monsanto in R&D worldwide each day, less than half is spent specifically on GM technology.

Speaking to the IFAJ (International Federation of Agricultural Journalists) Congress in Aberdeen today, (5th September),  Monsanto’s EMEA Vegetable lead Ibrahim El Menschawi underlined this point and highlighted some of the many examples of no...

Read More

The NGOs that are trying to kill science

When presented with facts that change your argument, most people–to paraphrase the oft-misquoted John Maynard Keynes quote– change their mind.

But not if you’re Greenpeace and the 22 other European-based NGOs who are trying to kill science.  Rather, it appears that their preferred course of action is to stamp out the facts entirely.

In a letter to incoming EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Greenpeace and 8 other NGOs, called for the role of EU Chief Scientific Advisor to be scrapped in the next commission. Undeterred by a sharp reaction from the scientific community,  Friends of the Earth and other NGOs have now added their names to the call.

This is a significant move that goes to the very heart of the role of science in the EU.

The role of Chief Scientific Advisor was est...

Read More

European space farming study could shape the future of food productivity

In an exciting development for the seed and food sectors, the European Commission has announced that it will provide funding for one of the world leaders in ‘space agriculture’, Dr Gary Stutte, to take up residence at one of the EU’s leading controlled environment laboratories.

Under the Marie Curie Fellowship, Stutte will be working for two years at the Environment Laboratory for Life Sciences (CELLS) in Limerick, Ireland.  The fellowship is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, a 7 year (2014-2020), 80 billion euro research and innovation project which aims to marry science, innovation and industrial leadership  in order to tackle big societal issues.

While the term ‘space agriculture’ might conjure images of barley growing on Mars, the study of how plants respond to space u...

Read More