'The World According to Monsanto'


There’s a damning documentary that you’re not likely to see in the multiplex or your local video store.* Monsanto, the company that gave the world Agent Orange, Bovine Growth Hormone (RbGH), Roundup, and PCBs, also owns 90% of the planet’s genetically modified seeds. Through this patenting of life they hope to own and control all of the world’s food production.

French journalist and filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin uncovers the company’s many shady dealings – like the fact that Monsanto falsely claimed for years that their popular herbicide, Roundup, was safe and biodegradable. She uncovers the ease with which Monsanto has been able to infiltrate the FDA with its own people, who then make policies and decisions, bribes and threats, hirings and firings to benefit guess who?

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the film is the damage to small subsistence farmers and the environment, worldwide, when Monsanto takes over the market for seeds that were once saved and handed down for generations. The people lose the ability to feed themselves and we lose a wealth of biological diversity. Ever wonder why Indian farmers are committing suicide? Monsanto. Of course, Monsanto’s official line reads a little differently: "We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world be successful, produce healthier foods, better animal feeds and more fiber, while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment."

Watch and order the DVD here. Please spread the word: pass this along to your friends.

Image: Kapungo
*It was aired on French TV in March.

Editor’s update 5/12/08: the video is no longer available at YouTube; you can still catch it here.

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.