The World According to Monsanto (2008 TV Movie)
[Jonathan Matthews is president of GM Watch]
Jonathan Matthews: We are talking *very* dirty tricks here. There's no ethics at all in what's going on here. It shows an organization that is determined to push its products into countries around the world. And it's determined to destroy the reputation of anybody who stands in their way.
Narratress: After 10 years on the market, Roundup Ready Soybeans account for 90% of all the soybeans grown in the US. In fact, 70% of the food in American stores contains bioengineered elements. - Unlike in Europe, consumers cannot make an informed decision, because GM-labeling is forbidden, a direct consequence of the 'principle of substantial equivalence'.
David Carpenter, Ph.D.: We all have PCBs in our bodies, the polar bears and the penguins have PCBs, and what has happened is that in the past there were a few sites where PCBs where released, but over time they have gone into the air, they've gone into the water, they've transported so that the whole world is now contaminated with PCBs. The issue is that *many* diseases are caused by PCB exposure; the one everyone knows about is cancer.
Narratress: It's leading product is Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide for the last 30 years. Monsanto is also the world leader in 'biotechnology'. 90% of the GMOs grown on the planet belong to them. Most of them have been genetically modified to resist the application of Roundup, like 'Roundup Ready Soybeans'.
Vandana Shiva: This is the best way to control the population of the world.
Monsanto employee: [answering Marie-Monique Robin's phone call] We appreciate your persistence in asking. But, you know, we have had several conversations internally about this and have not changed our position. So, there is no reason for us to participate. Our suspicion is that it would not be positive. So, you know...
Title Card: [closing title] We regret that Monsanto refused to grant us an interview...
Narratress: After only 10 years, transgenic crops now cover 250 million acres. 70% are roundup-resistant, and 30% have been genetically modified to produce an insecticide called 'BT'.
Vandana Shiva: The difference is that the first Green Revolution was public sector driven. It was driven by government agencies and the government agencies controlled the research. The second 'Green Revolution' is driven by Monsanto; it is a Monsanto-driven revolution. The second big difference is that the first Green Revolution did have a hidden objective of selling more chemicals, but it's first objective was providing food, it was food security... The second Green Revolution has nothing to do with food security. It's not about food security, it is about returns to Monsanto's profits, that's all it is about. - They've always said that genetic engineering is the way to get to patenting, but patenting is the real aim. If you look at Monsanto's research agenda, they're testing at this point something like 20 crops with BT-genes in it. There's nothing they're leaving untouched. The mustard, the okra, the brinjal, the rice, the cauliflower. - Once they have established the norm that seed can be owned as their property and royalties can be collected, we will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it, it's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs, it's more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world.
[Pete Hardin, editor and publisher of 'The Milkweed', about Posilac:]
Pete Hardin: The cow-hormon-drug was simply the first major application of 'biotechnology' to food production. And Monsanto is a very powerful company with many, many linkages to top level persons in government. I think the prevailing ethic at the federal government was: 'biotechnology' is so important that we can't let a few little questions about cow safety, or human safety, get in the way.
Dan Quayle: The US is already the world leader in 'biotechnologoy', and we want to keep it that way. In 1991 alone, it was a 4 billion dollar industry; it should reach at least 50 billion dollars by the year 2000, as long as we resist the spread of unnecessary regulation.
[William Sanjour was Branch Chief, Hazardous Waste Management Division EPA, 1970-2001]
William Sanjour: ...some of those studies Monsanto had conducted were flawed, and if they were done correctly, would have reached just the opposite result. The Monsanto-studies showed that dioxin was not a human carcinogen!
William Sanjour: I wouldn't trust a word this company says.
Narratress: Between 1995 and 2005 Monsanto acquired over 50 seed companies throughout the world... Everywhere people worry about Monsanto's monopoly, which in the long term threatens to wipe out all non-transgenic varieties.
Narratress: In Paraguay 70% of the farmland is owned by only 2% of the population. With GMOs the concentration is increasing. Three quarters of the soybean-producers are foreigners...
[Dan Cook is president of the Environmental Working Group]
Ken Cook: Under American law it's very rare for executives or officials in these companies to be held criminally responsible. So we have the civil courts, we make them pay. And the truth of the matter is: in most instances the price these companies pay - decades later - is a *fraction* of their profits. - And this is why it pays to keep these problems secret; and it makes you wonder what they might be keeping secret now.
[in Anniston, Alabama]
Narratress: [reading from - then confidential, now public - Monsanto files] In 1966, Monsanto scientists placed fish in Snow Creek's water. - All were dead in 3 1/2 minutes.
[David Baker is president of Community Against Pollution]
David Baker: They never told anybody. But they told the state; the state didn't tell us.
Árpád Pusztai: [on BBC, August 10, 1998] As a scientist actively working on the field, I find that it's very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs.
Árpád Pusztai: They will never forgive me for that.
Narratress: The day after the interview's broadcast, Arpad Pusztai was fired and the research-team dismantled.
Árpád Pusztai: The insertion is causing the problem, and not the transgene. When we tested the trangene in isolation, even an 800-fold concentration didn't do any harm... What we published confirmed that it was not the transgene that was the problem, but it was the technology.
Narratress: Unlike in Europe, consumers cannot make an informed decision because GM-labeling is forbidden, a direct consequence of the "principle of substantial equivalence."