Monsanto Threatens Biodiversity

The genetically modified MON810 maize seed has just been banned. Marie-Monique Robin draws an alarming portrait of Monsanto, the firm that invented it.

“You should carry out an investigation into Monsanto. We all need to know the truth about this American multinational, seeing that it is laying hands on the world’s seeds, and therefore on the world’s food.” The request came from an Indian farmer; it did not fall on deaf ears, for the journalist nearby was Marie-Monique Robin, who was an experienced investigative reporter and had already made several documentaries on biodiversity and what threatens it. The name was familiar to her: a North-American multinational with a frightful record, one of the industrial age’s worst polluters, world leader on the GM plants market, which threatens to grow into a monopoly that will jeopardize food safety the world over.
Marie-Monique Robin plunged into the investigation and spent days and nights on the internet. Her first surprise was to find that “Everything was there, and had been there, before our very eyes, for quite a long time. The company has been so often taken to court that lots of its in-house data are now de-classified and available on line. Then I went to check the data in the field.”

For three years the journalist travelled the world, all over South and North America, Europe, and Asia. She meticulously put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. Although Monsanto’s chief executives refused to be interviewed, she made a point of giving the company’s viewpoint through written and video records. Nicolas Hulot makes this clear in the preface: “Her book is no pamphlet based on fantasies and gossip. It brings to light a dreadful reality.” The company’s story as told by Marie-Monique Robin is instructive indeed. Orwell himself would have done no better.

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