It seems that every week someone mentions something about Monsanto, and it’s very seldom good. Doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, or Twitter, or the news, someone is saying something. A simple perusal of a Google Search of “Monsanto” can give one the impression that the company is a litigious giant that doesn’t care about the well-being of people or the environment and instead is only concerned with making money. Monsanto even has the dubious distinction of being named “The Most Evil Corporation” of 2013 in a Natural News poll.
Never the less, as far as corporations go, Monsanto is doing very well. In spite of the bad press and mounting negative public opinion over GMO‘s, Monsanto continues to grow, innovating, patenting and licensing the agricultural technologies they develop.
Even though Monsanto licenses its technologies to other seed companies, many in the public perceive Monsanto as taking advantage of farmers as opposed to helping them. After all, companies generally don’t sue their customers (even if any money won in a case does go to youth scholarship programs.)
To be fair, they really can’t be blamed for protecting their intellectual property. When a company invests millions of dollars a day in research, if it allowed people to use their technology in an unlicensed manner, the business could not sustain itself.
But, there is another way…
(Farmers are) the support system of the world’s economy, working day in and day out to feed, clothe and provide energy for our world. – Monsanto’s About Us webpage
There are literally millions and millions of farmers in the world. Small farms, large farms and everything in-between. Ultimately, everyone wants the same thing: Improved, sustainable yields that don’t hurt people or the environment, but yet enable farmers to make a living.
Farmers are passionate about their calling. Each one is looking for an edge, for a way to get the most for the least amount of investment in time and money. Each one is dealing with local microclimates, soil conditions, and pests; not to mention the economic climates. They seek out new information, they build and utilize support networks, they experiment. They are entrepreneurs. (Check out Farm Journal for just a tiny sample of the varied topics farmers digest)
Monsanto, as mentioned before, spends over 2 million dollars a day on research and patents are only good for 20 years (and some of the patents they’re defending now are expiring within the next few years.) They employ 22,000 people worldwide. No matter how much they invest in R&D, or how many people they hire, they can never account for all the variables farmers around the world deal with.
So what should they do?
Monsanto needs to begin Read the rest of this entry »