miércoles, enero 27, 2016

Monsanto is dead, long live Monsanto

By Carmelo Ruiz

The much-detested Monsanto biotechnology corporation will likely change its name this year following its imminent merger with its European counterpart Syngenta. Such a merger would beget an unprecedented behemoth that would control 45% of the world commercial seed market and 30% of the global agrochemical sector.(1)

The US-based Monsanto, which began in 1901 as a chemical company, is currently the world’s largest seed company, with some 26% of the world market. In the 1970s Monsanto invented the systemic herbicide glyphosate. Sold by the company under the brand name Roundup, it is the most lucrative agricultural poison in history. This company dominates the world market for genetically modified (GM) seed, trouncing its competitors by a broad margin. The majority of its GM seeds have been modified to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate, and are thus called Roundup Ready seeds. This particular use of GM technology allows Monsanto to sell the seed and the herbicide as one integrated package. 



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