(Sources and much more info, linked below this text)
In putting together this infographic (I have a larger version of the image if anyone wants it) it struck me that nearly all of the Monsanto endeavors I chose to highlight here, rode the same wave of public opinion. In regards to nuclear weapons, DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange and aspartame the talking point was that each was beneficial to America/Americans. It wasn’t until time (life’s best teacher) taught us that these were all highly toxic and deadly endeavors with the same two outcomes. People got sick/died and Monsanto got rich.
I am confident that GMOs will (eventually) follow suit.
The company’s toxic and deadly past is enough to make any Monsanto supporter turn coat. Yet it’s the case of the PCB cover up in Anniston, Alabama that highlights their lowlights and scares me most:
(excerpt from SourceWatch “Monsanto’s Global Pollution Legacy”)
“In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in a creek (in Anniston, Alabama) turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water. They told no one. In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels. They decided “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges.””
“Sylvester Harris, 63, an undertaker who lived across the street from the plant, said he always thought he was burying too many young children. ‘I knew something was wrong around here,’ he said.”
There was a 1969 Monsanto directive to “a committee the company formed to address controversies about PCBs”, it was to have “only two formal objectives: ‘Permit continued sales and profits’ and ‘protect image of . . . the corporation'”. “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business”.
The next year Monsanto secretly agreed that “any written effluent level reports [on PCBs] would be held confidential by the Technical Staff and would not be available to the public until or unless Monsanto released it”. And that was apparently the final word because nothing changed for decades. According to the Washington Post article (2002) the public did not become fully aware of the problem until 1993 when, “after a local angler caught deformed largemouth bass [in a local creek] … the first advisories against eating fish from the area” were issued. This was “27 years after Monsanto learned about those bluegills sliding out of their skins”.
Monsanto’s PCB monopoly had been netting them $22 million dollars a year.
More info on Monsanto’s past, present, and future (sources for the infographic)
From Sourcewatch (and ALEC Exposed):
Monsanto company profile
Monsanto’s Global Pollution Legacy
Monsanto and the Campaign to Undermine Organics
From the Organic Consumer Association:
Agribusiness, Biotechnology and War
SOS Campaign (Safeguard Organic Standards)
From Sierra Club: CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE (Monsanto’s PCB cover up)
From PublicIntegrity.org: The Superfund document (pdf) sited in the infographic
From Cornucopia Institute: Take action to safeguard organic standards
…Oh, I almost forgot this from Grist: (Monsanto’s) Roundup weed killer is showing up in air and water
Awesome! No weeds in my lungs, EVER!
Joe’s cartoon archive, twitter ramblings and StumbleUpon page…
25 thoughts on “Monsanto or Organic? Who to trust with your food [infographic]”
Great work, Joe!
What a great cartoon- I’d really like to use it as a teaching tool for my Year 12 students when we do our semester of Ethical Food next year. It really is a very direct way of demonstrating the questionable history of companies now producing food.
I’d love for you to use it!
If you email me I can send u a larger version (easier to read).
God I hate Monsanto. I’d like to take there CEO and spray some round-up right up his…okay, mini-rant over. Cool site BTW.
Agreed. They say it’s as safe as water (they=Monsanto). I’d love for them to drink a pint of Roundup whenever they’re thirsty. :)
Excellent stuff – I would however suggest the info text font be in white or off-white ( #f4fdea maybe ? ). I use a CRT monitor and I’m finding the text info hard to see, read and focus upon. Or make the dark grey background areas, a lighter shade of grey perhaps.
paul in melbourne, australia
I’ll try to make it clearer. Thanks!
PS and it CRTs are usually better with graphics and display issues…
My twenty-year old son thinks geneticists (and any other branches of science that create gmos and ge foods) wouldn’t do something that would cause more harm than good. I have learned not to argue with my woefully naive child. I don’t think geneticists create harmful products on purpose, I just think they’re shortsighted and not omniscient enough to understand the effects of their creations throughout the entire life-chain, but even worse is their denial of those effects and their unwillingness to take responsibility for causing it!
I agree, Hermionejh.
Regardless of their intent for starting a project, they unforgiveable offense is not stopping a project once it proves harmful to living beings.
It’s maddening….cartooning about it makes it a little less maddening :)
how about a multi billion $ class action law suit? Plenty of honest,health conscious lawyers itching to get rich by saving lives. Participants would be awarded monies for medical expenses in the past,present,and future, including health issues caused by Monsanto Corp. Hit them where it hurts the most, hopefully end these deadly ,harmful pratices. Sign me up, Peace
Shiver me timebrs, them\’s some great information.
I think i will make Monsanto a topic at easter and Thanksgiving dinner. I’m am only one person of course but I do have several children who are married now with in- laws and children of their own who, in turn, have friends with parents and brothers and sisters aunts and uncles grandparents.etc. Now that i think about it the list is long.
This monsanto thing may have started out as a noble venture but now it seems to have turned into a wicked scheme. In short Monsanto’s evolution has taken a negative direction. Personally I think sanctions are in order from my branch.
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