Agri-business News Monsanto or Organic? Who to trust with your food [infographic]

Published on September 21st, 2011 | by Joe Mohr

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Monsanto or Organic? Who to trust with your food [infographic]

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(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.

Enough said.

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

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About the Author

is an Environmental/Political cartoonist for Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, Twilight Earth, Ecopolitology, EcoSnobberySucks, and more... Joe also does a kids enviro-toon called Hank D and the Bee on EcoChildsPlay and NaturalPapa. Joe lives in University City, Missouri and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, enthusiastic daughter, and curious toddler of the same name. He also enjoys writing, drawing, painting, walking, biking, skateboarding, gardening, reading, listening to music, playing sports, and watching plays (especially the plays his wife's site-specific theatre company, Onsite Theatre puts on).   Visit Joe's online cartoon gallery at JoeMohrToons.com.



  • http://www.healthyplants.org Lucifer

    Well, what do you know. The same old fear-mongering tactics from the left. Big bad Monsanto out to destroy the world and getting rich off of it. You know our nuclear weapons are preventing full-scale World War III, right? You know that DDT has been approved by the World Health Organization to be used to combat malaria, right? You do know the benefits of using genetically grown crops, right? If not, hit this link to show you that consumers are willing to pay more for GM products, http://www.feedstuffsfoodlink.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415ABC72CB5F516B4C10&tier=3&nid=ACE064A9AFAD431BA511C81B31DFC11B#.Tni3M1ELx9U.email. Your fear-mongering tactics are tired and useless. Biotech products are here to stay. Get use to it.

    • http://Web jjdoublej

      Lucifer, i agree with you, although i dont approve of your name (isnt that another name for the devil?)

  • http://Web Laurie G.

    Thank you! We food consumers of the world need to stand up to huge corporate conglomerates who are out to own our food and poison it at the same time! Life-long conditioning to believe they have our interests at heart need to be challenged. Vote with your dollars, folks. Buy organic when you can. I know it can be more expensive, but every time you purchase one little organic thing, they sit up and take notice. Don’t be bullied!

  • http://Web Joe

    What an uneducated diatribe. A spectacular example of scientific illiteracy.

    • http://Web jjdoublej

      yep, agree Joe….just goes to show you, that you can post any crap on the internet and get away with it. One of the problems is we have a lot of people that do nothing all day (i would venture to say many of the posters are stay at home) but post and read crap like this. Not good.

  • http://Web Alice Elliott Brown

    I’ve noticed that every blog post that exposes monsanto immediately has a Monsanto employee assigned to respond to it. Lucifer must be yours.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/beckyanne/ Becky Striepe

      I’ve noticed that too, Alice! And their response often doesn’t address the concern voiced in the post.

  • http://Web purple frog

    Thanks for consolidating this information in such a handy format. I’ll be spreading the word.

    Biotech products may be here to stay, but so are folks who will fearlessly fight to protect heirloom seeds, small family farms, and our right to know what is in our food.

    Scientific illiteracy? hmmm… it’s a fact sheet about the dastardly deeds Monsanto has done. How can you scientifically deny investment strategies?

    Maybe those disagreeing with this piece should join the Right2Know Walk http://www.right2knowmarch.org/ and query some of the walkers about paying extra for food that was labeled “Not GMO.” Or, you could just plant a garden. That might give you some better clarity about where this whole food thing is headed.

    • http://Web jjdoublej

      Purple Frog, I think it is great that you like Organic food and are willing to pay more for it, or you like to grow your own food. I applaud you for that. I support my local farmers also. But the fact is, it is not sustainable. Too many people on the planet to feed. By the way, it is also false to say that Monsanto is against the family farm, or small farmer. Complete rubbish

  • http://www.healthyplants.org Becky

    Hi. I don’t want to be a fly in the ointment, but it seems like the majority of commenters on this topic already have their mind made up as to Monsanto’s evilness. I really don’t know if Monsanto is good or bad, but in reading your posts it appears anyone that disagrees with your positions are slapped down and the rest piles on. For example, Lucifer raises some good points about nuclear weapons, DDT and organic foods. I personally find his comments reasonable. Is this site just for those people who “promote” a certain ideology, or is it a foruum for various viewpoints to be weighed?

    • http://Web Lisa

      If you would like to learn more about Monsanto, I suggest you read, “The World According to Monsanto,” by Marie-Monique Robin. It is truly eye-opening.

    • http://Web jjdoublej

      Becky, I cant speak for the site, but it is typical for these groups of people to just jump and pile on with little or no facts. The problem is, you can say what you want on the internet without any re-percussions.

  • http://Web Jack

    The in uk we don’t get this monsanto crap, I hope not. Our organic source is safe, I personally avoid American foods, they’re not trusted by many at all.

  • http://www.agentorangelegacy.com Agent Orange Legacy

    Thank you for this fabulous image and article. I would very much like one to put on our blog!!! I’m a widow of a Viet vet who died due to expo to AO and his service in Nam (Hep C & chronic and severe PTSD). My oldest daughter has been sick all of her life and my youngest is autistic as is her son. We didn’t find out she was autistic until her son was diagnosed. How did the school system miss that? They did realize she needed help but called it learning disabilities when she tested out of that they called it short term memory problem. If only we knew how different her life could have been. My oldest daughter her experience even worse which is another story. At any rate my oldest and I set out to create Agent Orange Legacy in 2007 we are looking to find all the children of American Viet vets exposed to agent orange. They need help, so many of them don’t even realize this until they find us online. We do know now that 85% of our members who are COVVs report that they suffer from one or more of the following: birth defects, autoimmune and rare diseases, mental health illnesses, cancers, learning disabilities such as autism and/or ADHD. Thanks for your article and graphic. I try to educate about the dangers Monsanto poses to us all in this day and age. How do I get a copy of your graphic?

  • Pingback: Which will come first: the end of organic food or the GMO seed failure? | Master of My Universe

  • http://www.lenaldis.co.uk Len Aldis

    Joe, thanks for the article, having travelled to Vietnam each year since 1989 including this year 2011, I am well aware of how dangerous Monsanto has been and still is. First with the manufacture of Agent Orange that has killed many thousands of Vietnamese and crippled many thousands more. If any reader wants to see the effects it has had on the people of Vietnam look at: http://www.aoag.org

    My second reason for hating Monsanto is what it is doing to our food with its genetic engineering. It is time that a halt was caled on Monsanto, can I suggest that all of us agree to boycott all Monsanto’s products. And I am not allowing the US Government to get away from its responsibility, they gave the order for Agent Orange to be used on Vietnam and yet 50 years on they, like Monsanto refuse to accept responsibilty nor have they made any effort to pay compensation to the Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange. Shame on them and on Monsanto.

  • Bree

    Monsanto has ruined many a farmer. The GE canola is spreading and growing wild. GE crops are cross-pollinating with non-GE crops and Monsanto is suing the farmers whose crops were unknowingly contaminated. Watch The Future of Food to see proof of that. Maybe GE crops will help in some way, but I don’t want to be pracitcally forced to ingest something I’m not comfortable with. I think it’s safe to say many people who aren’t organic fanatics feel the same. The scary thing is cross-pollination and the reality that we really don’t know how GE foods affect humans over the long term. Just like hydrogenated oils were thought to be safe, now we’re told to avoid them because of the dangerous trans-fats that can build up in our arteries. And sure, one can argue that, but hydrogenated oils are found in many more products than one realizes unless one starts reading labels. Many products, after years of use, are realized to be unsafe. The problem with GMOs is that there may be no reverse at some point–the way GE canola has spread–think about everything else that cross-pollinates. I’m not trying to be another doomsayer, just thinking about the long term here. There may be one day when we don’t have a choice anymore.

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