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Monsanto Attempts To Balances Stakeholder Interests Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1914 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The Monsanto Company is the world’s largest seed, with sales of over 10.5 billion. It specializes in biotechnology, or the genetic manipulation of organisms. T he world’s 90 percent of the seeds today are sold by Monsanto or by companies that use Monsanto genes.

Monsanto also holds 70-100 percent market share on certain crops. Yet Monsanto has to meet its share of criticism from sources as diverse as government, farmers, activists, and advocacy groups. There have been allegations of intimidating farmers, using hostile tactics to monopolize the market, false advertising, and producing large-scale international pollution.  In addition, they manufactured Agent Orange for the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Farmers who buy seeds from Monsanto could not save for future plant. Otherwise, Farmers will have to pay for Monsanto when they find out. Furthermore, Monsanto produced products that involved in the risk of animals and human health. Some of Monsanto’s actions should considered moral temptation.

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The moral and safety implications of GM food are of great concern to many stakeholders. Many sceptics see biotech crops as unnatural, with the Monsanto scientist essentially “playing God” by controlling what goes into the seed. The other concern is toxicity, particularly considering that many Monsanto seed are equipped with a gene to allow them to produce their own Roundup Ready herbicides. Some stakeholders are concerned about the detrimental effects on the consumers by ingesting such herbicides, even in small amount. In addition to concerns over the safety of GM seeds and environmental issues, Monsanto has had to deal with concerns about organizational conduct. Organisations face significant risks from strategies and also from employees and also from employees striving for high performance standards. Such pressure sometimes encourages employees to engage in illegal or unethical conduct. All firms have these concerns, and in the case of Monsanto bribes and patents have resulted in legal, ethical and reputational consequences.

When Hugh Grant took over the CEO of the Monsanto Company in 2003, scandals and stakeholders uncertainty over Monsanto’s GM product had marked the company’s reputation. The price of Monsanto’s stock had fallen by almost 50 percent, down to $8 a share. There was a loss of $1.7 billion the previous year. Grant knew the company was delicate; yet through a strategic focus on GM foods, the company has recovered and is now prospering.

Monsanto is trying to expose itself as a socially responsible company dedicated to improving agriculture. The insights from Monsanto critics about biotech food have not yet come true, but that has not eradicated fears of stakeholder. The company used the concept of Social Responsibility and Business Ethics to create a reputation value to various stakeholders. For instance, in 1974 the Monsanto Company established the Monsanto Fund. This fund contributed $30.2 million to projects across the world between 2008 and 2009. One receipts of the Monsanto Fund was Africare, which received a $400,000 grant from Monsanto to fund a two-year food security project to study the availability of food and the access people have the food. Monsanto also supported the youth programs. Monsanto gave fifteen million dollars to Donald Dan forth Plant Science Centre to do crop research in Africa. Also, the fund helped Brazilian children to maintain good health and basic hygiene. Additionally, Monsanto supported students who want to study agriculture. However, Monsanto Company’s regulation had become financial burden to many farmers. In fact, Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked Monsanto number 31 on its 100 Best Corporate Citizens list of 2010, a jump from number 88 the previous year.

Compare the benefits of growing GM seeds for crops with the potential negative Consequences of using them.

Monsanto has a sale equivalent to $10.5 billion in sales to biotechnology, specifically to its sales of genetically modified (GM) plant seeds. These seeds have revolutionized the agriculture industry.

The GM seeds introduced to the United States and across the globe since 1990, many farmers stopped complaining disappointment of crops. This had helped farmers spent little expenses, but gain as triple profits. Farmers using GM seeds highly praised the existence of Monsanto Company, because with the same acre of land, they are able to double the crops. Thus, as far as the farmers are making profits, they will continue buying the GM Seeds. For this reason, there is a major concerned for consumer that the GM seeds could affect human and animals’ health for using it.

Genetically modified (GM) crops are not without their critics. Opponents believe that influencing the gene pools of the plants could result in negative health consequences. Whereas others are worried about the health effects on beneficial insects and plants, fearing that pollinating GM plants could affect nearby insects and non-GM plants. Huge Grant was able to reduce some of the opposition by deciding to curtail the tide of criticism by focusing biotechnology on products that would not be directly placed on the dinner plate, but instead on seeds that produce goods like animal feed and corn syrup.

Farmers who purchase GM seeds can now grow more crops on less land and with less left chance. GM seeds have saved farmers billions by preventing loss and increasing crop yield. Monsanto predicts higher yields in the future, possibly up to 300 bushels an acre by 2030. “As agricultural productivity increases, farmers are able to produce more food feed fuel and fibre on the same amount of land, helping to ensure that agriculture can meet humanity’s needs in the future,” said Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant about the benefits of Monsanto technology. The revenues of the farmers in the developing countries have increased as a result of higher yield. According to statistics, the cotton yield of Indian farmers rose by 50 percent, doubling their income in one year. The income level in the Philippines has raised above the poverty line because of the insect-protected corn. At the mean time critics argue that these numbers are inflated; they say the cost of GM seed is dramatically higher than that of traditional seeds, and therefore they actually reduce farmers’ net profit.

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As well as GM crops being relatively new, critics maintain that the health implication of biotech food may not be known in near future. They also contend that the effective standards have not been created to determine the safety of biotech crops. Even the FDA clarified that “biotech crops are safe to use”, but critics’ doubt about the short-term period of GM seeds which unable to determine the long-term effects. 

According to some studies, the Roundup herbicide, which is used in conjunction with the GM seeds Called “Roundup Ready”, can be harmful to animals, insects and particularly amphibians. Such studies have revealed that small concentrations of Roundup may be deadly to tadpoles, which is a major concern, as frog and toad species are rapidly disappearing around the globe. Other studies suggest that Roundup might have a detrimental effect on human cells, especially embryonic, umbilical and placental cells.The other potential negative consequences of GM seeds in general is the threat of environmental contamination. Sometimes the crop’s seeds are carried away to fields containing non-GM crops by wind, bees and other insects to other areas. These seeds and pollens might then mix in with the farmer’s crops. Organic farmers are complaining that genetically modified seeds from nearby farms have contaminated their crops. Monsanto Crops are resistance to pesticides and herbicide. That is another environmental problems which gives fear to the critics that continual use of the chemicals could result in “super weed” and “super bugs”, much as overuse of antibiotics in humans has resulted in drug resistance bacteria. AS early as 2003, significant numbers of Roundup resistant weeds had been found in the United States and Australia.


How should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and animal life from using products such as Roundup?

Monsanto Co. Should change its advertising for glyphosate- based products, including Roundup, that are misleading. The advertising inaccurately portrayed Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing products as safe and as not causing any harmful effects to people or the environment. According to the state, the ads also implied that the risks of products such as Roundup are the same as those of the active ingredient, glyphosate, and do not take into account the possible risks associated with the product’s inert ingredients. According to an ecology center fact sheet, glyphosate exposure is the third most common only reported illness among California agriculture workers, and glyphosate residues can last for a year. In the first nine months of 1996, Monsanto’s worldwide agrochemical sales increased by 21% to US$2.48 billion, due largely to increased sales of Roundup

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding Monsanto and their Roundup Ready products. Many environmentalists are concerned that Monsanto is not being responsible enough about their products. The United States Government and Monsanto are both viewed as being too careless in their regulation of genetically engineered crops. The government should

Many farmers have begun to use Roundup Ready crops. A recent study suggests that farmers have becoming so reliant on Roundup as a herbicide that they may be weakening Roundup’s ability to control weeds. Monsanto, manufacturer of Roundup, funded the study. Few farmers consider resistance an issue until it affects them directly. Farmers are now being encouraged to use multiple herbicides. It is unclear how this will impact the use of Roundup Ready crops, as these crops are only resistant to Roundup.

A recent study has found that genetically modified food is linked to organ damage in rats.  The study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that genetically modified corn produced by Monsanto “induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity.” The company manufactured an alfalfa resistant to the Monsanto produced Roundup herbicide.  Bees will pollinate the genetically modified alfalfa and then cross pollinate it with organic crops adding the genetic modification to the organic alfalfa.  Organic farmers will then lose their USDA organic certifications.  Since Monsanto also has a patent on the genetic modification, the company can sue any farmer for stealing their property, and they do. Although the study only indicated that genetically modified corn was linked to organ damage, this is the first study to link genetically modified food to toxic reactions.  Further studies may indicate other genetic modified food may have an impact on human health.  Considering alfalfa is a main source of cattle feed and the genetic modification has a potential to spread quickly and dominate the alfalfa market, if the genetically modified alfalfa is hazardous to human health, the Supreme Court decision may be fundamental to public health.


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