Despite throwing money at the political process via lobbyists the efforts of Monsanto have not been effective in convincing anyone their products are worthy of European consumers and farmers alike. Because of this the company has decided to discontinue lobbying in Europe in the face of overwhelming distrust in the chemical company's promises of abundant healthy crops.
This is good news for European farmers and consumers alike. For the farmers they will no longer be in perpetual debt because they would have to buy Monsanto's seeds every year instead of planting the seeds from the crop before. The farmers will also save money because those same seeds require chemical additives that can only be bought from Monsanto, and I'm sure priced accordingly. The consumers will feel safer knowing a chemical company known for causing extensive harm with their untested products will not be controlling their food supply.
The people of Europe made the effort to find out what Monsanto was planning to do and reacted accordingly.
Monsanto said its decision was partly based on low demand from European farmers. "We've understood that such plants don't have any broad acceptance in European societies," Monsanto Germany spokeswoman Ursula Lüttmer-Ouazane commented. "We haven't been bale to make any progress over the years, and it's counter-productive to tilt against windmills," she added.Lesson learned? Keep fighting!
The German Agriculture Ministry said Monsanto's move was a corporate decision and would not comment further. But it added it was no secret the ministry had been highly critical of gene modification technologies.
"The promises of GM industry have not come true for European agriculture, nor have they for the agriculture in developing and emerging economies," the ministry said in a statement.
I found a short history on this company for those readers unfamiliar with the chemical company Monsanto:
Monsanto was founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny who had an idea to make money manufacturing saccharin, an artificial sweetener then imported from Germany. He called his company Monsanto Chemical Works. The German cartel then controlling the market for saccharin tried to force Queeny out of business, but his persistence and the loyalty of one steady customer, Coca-Cola, kept the company going. Vanillin, caffeine, sedative drugs, laxatives and aspirin had been added to the arsenal of products when supplies were cut off from Europe during World War I, forcing Monsanto to manufacture its own, and positioning it as a leading force in the American chemical industry.
In the 1920's, Queeny's son took over and built Monsanto into a global powerhouse, extending into the production of an astounding array of plastic, rubber and vinyl goods, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
In the 1970's Monsanto moved into biotechnology. By 1982 it had become the first to genetically modify a plant cell, making it possible to introduce virtually any gene into plant cells to improve crop productivity. According to Vanity Fair writers Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Monsanto sought to portray GM seeds as a panacea for alleviating poverty and feeding the hungry.
During the late 1990's, Monsanto spun off its chemical and fibers businesses into a new company called Solutia. It then reincorporated itself and emerged as an agricultural company.
Company literature refers to Monsanto as a "relatively new company" with the primary goal of helping "farmers around the world in their mission to feed, clothe and fuel" the planet. The listed corporate milestones are from the recent era. There is no mention of the old Monsanto's potential responsibility for more than 50 Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites. And it does not mention that the reason for the formation of Solutia was to channel the bulk of the mounting chemical lawsuits and liabilities into the spun off company, keeping the new Monsanto name tarnish-free.
But keeping the new corporate image polished may be a tough task. For many years Monsanto produced two of the most toxic substances ever known –- polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin. Several court proceedings regarding these substances remain unresolved.