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MONSANTO: Weapons of Mass Destruction at Home and Abroad
The facts about Monsanto
May 24, 2014
ANSWER joins March Against Monsanto
The following fact sheet was prepared by ANSWER LA for the third annual March Against Monsanto. This global event, held this year on May 24 in over 400 cities in in 52 countries, demanded an end to this global corporations many crimes against the people of the world.
The production of Agent Orange gave Monsanto huge profits while millions died from it and millions more continue to suffer in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. U.S. GIs and their families continue to struggle with the impact of this deadly chemical.
Monsanto profited from the production of polychlorinated biphenyl (a deadly carcinogen that has been illegal since 1979) but the community of Times Beach Missouri, near one of the production/ distribution sites, had to be evacuated because of pollution. Thousands lost their homes.
Monsanto versus Seed Sovereignty
There have been demonstrations across the world, from Haiti to India, demanding seed sovereignty, or the right to control seeds used in their country against monopoly demands by Monsanto that they use GMO seeds.
Following the money
Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant's salary was $1.4 million in 2013, but with stock awards, etc., his compensation was $12.57 million for 2013.
Monsanto profits for just the first three months of 2014 were up 13 percent to $1.67 billion. Where did those profits come from? Migrant workers from Texas and Arizona sued the company in 2011 and 2012 for not paying minimum wage. The company has a history of refusing demands for wages, benefits and safety by unions representing workers in their factories.
Monopoly control of the seed industry allows the company to charge whatever it wants while at the same time it sues farmers for violations of its patents that allow monopoly control.
Who controls Monsanto?
The Board of Directors includes the CEO of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal producer, and the company that has robbed the pensions of U.S. coal miners while exploiting the world. Other Board members include a former president of McDonald's Corporation, famous for low pay and no benefits in the fast food industry, and a former CEO of Lockheed Martin from the military-industrial complex.
These are the “front men.” Real control is by finance capital institutions that control the overwhelming majority of the stock. Just the top 10 stockholders own over 30 percent of all of the stock and control the company. They include JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, FMR, etc.
Monsanto and the U.S. Government
In March 2013, President Obama signed a bill making it impossible to sue Monsanto for any ill-health effects from its genetically modified food. This was passed without debate by the Republicans and Democrats.
Monsanto is responsible for terrible crimes against poor and working people the world over. Monsanto is the embodiement of the logic of profit over people - it is a symptom of what is wrong with the system.