Today, Monsanto sells RoundUp brand herbicide, containing the known carcinogen glyphosate, causing massive environmental and health problems worldwide.
“And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.”
–William Shakespeare, Richard III
When you talk to actors who play “bad guy” roles, they will always tell you that they don’t think of themselves that way when they’re in character. They understand that even real-life bad guys think they are doing the right thing.
That said, it’s hard to imagine anyone working at Monsanto ever imagining that they represent anything but pure evil. And that’s just recently: defending the distribution of a cancerous agent across the globe, driving hundreds of thousands of farmers out of business and in some cases to suicide, hiding the truth about their poisonous products for years–if ever there were a corporate candidate for Cartoonishly Evil Company of this or any other century it would have to be Monsanto.
Here are few things you might not have known about SatanCorp. Er, Monsanto.
- Monsanto’s very first product was toxic and they sued the government over it – We have Monsanto to thank for saccharin, a sweetener they created shortly after their inception in 1901 as a cheap alternative to sugar for soda. Even knowing it was a dangerous carcinogen, they continued to sell it until a government board attempted to shut them down. Monsanto’s lawyers fought back, and won the right to continue to poison Americans, a proud tradition they carry on to this day.
- Monsanto hid evidence that PCBs were toxic – Polychlorinated biphenyls were another invention of this great group of folks, and they made billions of dollars distributing millions of tons of the stuff all around the world from the 1930s until the 1970s. Trouble was, the chemicals, found in lubricants and sealants are carcinogenic and linked to immune system disorders, reproductive disorders and developmental problems. And Monsanto knew. As far back as 1956 the US Navy refused to use PCBs on their submarines, saying it was just too toxic for the enclosed space of a sub. For their part, Monsanto did the right thing and pulled the product from the market.
Just kidding. They fought tooth and nail and even tried to persuade scientists to change their findings.
- Monsanto helped develop the atom bomb – Starting in 1943, Monsanto started work on a subsidiary of The Manhattan Project in Dayton Ohio. They focused mainly on purification and production of plutonium for the bomb, billing the US taxpayer nearly $50 million in today’s dollars for their trouble.
- Monsanto created Agent Orange – Over the course of the Vietnam War, the US sprayed over 72 million liters of toxic herbicides and defoliants across southeast Asia, almost all of which was Monsanto’s Agent Orange, made with the toxic chemical Dioxin. Over a million Vietnamese and 100,000 US troops were exposed to the chemical. Even today children are born in Vietnam with massive and debilitating birth defects stemming from Monsanto’s poisoning of the landscape and the people.
- A Monsanto partner faked studies showing Aspartame to be safe – A company called G.D. Searle was found to have faked over 100 studies showing aspartame, a neuro-toxic sweetener made by Monsanto to be safe. The FDA felt otherwise, what with the chemical being shown to cause tumors and holes in the brains of rats. When the FDA held a grand jury investigation into G.D. Searle for making false statements, the company responded by hiring Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as CEO. A few months later the federal prosecutor pursuing the case dropped the investigation and also went to work for Searle.