This Greenwash moment is brought to us by Monsanto who intends to meet the challenges of tomorrow by redefining “sustainability”.
From the Monsanto website:
By 2030, Monsanto commits to help farmers produce more and conserve more by:
- Developing improved seeds that help farmers double yields from 2000 levels for corn, soybeans and cotton, with a $10 million grant pledged to improve wheat and rice yields.
- Conserving resources through developing seeds that use one-third fewer key resources per unit of output to grow crops while working to lessen habitat loss and improve water quality.
- Helping improve the lives of all farmers who use our products, including an additional five million people in resource-poor farm families by 2020.
That’s sustainable agriculture. And that’s what Monsanto seeds are all about.
Monsanto was primarily a chemical company, prior to focusing on the seed market. It helped us keep our lawns green with toxic herbicides now known to be dangerous. In 1980, concurrent with the Reagan Administration, the United States Patent and Trademark Office began to grant patents on seeds. Since then, Monsanto has purchased seed companies worldwide and has become the leader in genetic modification of seeds, monopolizing control of food production through a combination of its seed and pesticide sales. It systematically uses legislative pressure and lawsuits to fight the blocking efforts of farmers and stores who reject their products.
This Vanity Fair article, “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear” provides a fascinating and well-researched piece on Monsanto’s march to monopolize the seed market. It illustrates that Monsanto’s definition of “sustainable” is about sustaining itself.