Monsanto is a US-based company that produces many seed brands for non food crops like corn and cotton, along with food crops like vegetables such as potatoes. The company specializes in the manufacture of genetically engineered (GE) seed as well as other agriculture support products such as herbicide glyphosate product, etc.
According to its official website, it is an agriculture company, using ‘modern biology’ to assist farmers all over the world in yielding more produce (‘Who We Are’ 2010). It provides these farmers with seeds that have undergone high level of experimentation and research to show their enhanced effects on output. The company is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
There has been much speculation surrounding the ‘Terminator’ technology that the company had been working on and developing for some time. The terminator technology allows the development and growth of plants that are genetically modified in such a way so as to produce ‘sterile’ seeds at harvest. Also known as the Genetic Use Restriction Technology, this technology was developed with the cooperation of the government of the United States on a non-commercialized, field test basis. The purpose of this technology is to induce farmers to purchase new seeds from the company every season, rather than using any other source. A sterile seed would ensure this. As expected, this technology attracted huge outcry.
In 1999, the company announced that it would stop working on this technology for commercial use. recently, though, the company reverted back its position and came on record saying it would use this technology for non-food crops such as grass, cotton and tobacco. More alarming is the fact that the company has not ruled out the possibility of entering the food crop as well.