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Thursday, October 21,2010

Monsanto takes a tumble

By Jim Hightower
Poor Monsanto — the mighty and haughty manipulator of Mother Nature has tripped on its own hubris, falling far, fast and hard this year.


The biotech and chemical giant has reaped huge profits by messing with the very DNA of the world’s food supply. During the past couple of decades, Monsanto has become the Frankenstein of agriculture, taking genetic parts of one or more species and engineering them into another. The corporation literally creates a living profit center for itself inside the mutant seed it engineers for corn soybeans and other food staples. Its specialty has been to alter plants so they can withstand heavy doses of an herbicide manufactured by — guess who? — Monsanto.

This kind of techno-gimmickry dazzled Wall Street speculators for a while. Monsanto stock soared to $140 a share in 2008, and in 2009 this darling of investors was named “company of the year” by Forbes magazine.

But farmers have found the altered seed ridiculously expensive and less beneficial than advertised, and the herbicide that Monsanto sells with the seed is not effective because weeds have already developed a resistance to it. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is investigating the corporation’s antitrust activities, and global opponents of genetically tampered crops have been scoring victories in the fight to stop their spread.

Monsanto’s response to this rejection of its crop wizardry has been to double down on wizardry. Its new corn seed, for example, has not one, but eight altered genes in it! But farmers aren’t buying the mumbo-jumbo, and Wall Street has pushed Monsanto’s stock price down by two-thirds. As one market analyst now says, “This may be the worst stock of 2010.”

To keep track of Monsanto’s manipulations, go to organicconsumers.org.

For more information on Jim Hightower’s work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit www.jimhightower.com.

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Monsanto's stock is down 30% (not two-thirds) due to a decrease in sales of it Round-Up herbicide caused by increased competition of Chinese generics and increased competition from its seed competitors (Pioneer, Syngenta, etc). Monsanto sales actually increased last quarter. Farmers are still buying Monsanto's products and their products are not ineffective (although some areas in the South have problems with resistant weeds). Waaayyyy too slanted an article. If only you spent time on the the facts rather than on spinning the news... You're as bad as Fox News! 



Farmers are reporting on talk.newagtalk.com that Monsanto's so called "Smartstax" corn hybrids, the ones with the 8 stacked transgenes, are yielding up to 40 bushels per acre less than non Smartstax hybrids.

It is so bad that Monsanto apparently is paying these farmers compensation for the poor performance.


Thanks for the website. I wouldn't consider a forum post the end-all conclusion to a product's preformance; however, one would have to admit that Monsanto's Smartstax performance have not performed to the companies hopes. Too bad they are giving refunds to those upset with their product. So monopolistic and low-class... My point was that this article is biased and lacks journalistic integrity. The author should get fired by NPR :)



This article is basically worthless.  So many inaccuracies. Author should really do some research.  Farmers love the technology.  And now, SmartStax corn is outyielding triple stacks by 4 bushels an acre on average.  Thats $20 per acre additional revenue for farmers.



Monsanto stock is down because the anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO fervor is spreading fast from Europe and also now from India. An idea in the minds of the People is a physical force, and that force is trending more against Monsanto every day. The People do not want their food contaminated with genetically morphed seeds, especially by a company with a history like Monsanto's.  The truth always outs, and the truth in the minds of the masses is Monsanto Management's strongest adversary.


Would you consider anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO sentiment to be founded on scientific evidence? I believe is it spreading due to biased articles (like the one above) that are geared to be read by only like-minded individuals who do not consider the evidence in an open-minded way - thereby propagating an irrational fear that perfectly demonstrates how people, groups, or even nations can be swayed into following their fears, rather than considering even a reasonable alternative.