On a sprawling campus in California, Monsanto chips away at making a juicier melon, a shelf-stable onion, and a tomato that doesn’t go limp in shipment.
Monsanto is no one-trick GMO pony. Founded in 1901, the agricultural biotech company has fueled innovations in herbicides, pesticides, and ever-controversial genetically modified crops (GMOs).
But it may come as a surprise, even to people who are familiar with the $49 billion global giant, that Monsanto is also the world’s largest supplier of vegetable seeds.
Most corn and soybeans grown in the US contain the company’s patented seed traits. These days, Monsanto’s bread-and-butter GMO business is supplemented by its work on non-GMO vegetables, which cleared $801 million in net sales in the company’s 2016 fiscal year.
On a sprawling campus in Woodland, California, Monsanto chips away at making a juicier melon, a more shelf-stable onion, a tomato that doesn’t go limp in shipment, and other foods made using traditional breeding techniques augmented by high-tech tools.
Business Insider recently toured Monsanto’s global headquarters of vegetable R&D in Woodland to see how the company is working to create new kinds of produce.
“At Woodland, employees field support requests from farmers who buy Monsanto’s seeds. “Just like humans, plants can also get sick,” says Staci Rosenberger, who leads the plant pathology teams responsible for running diagnostic activities on vegetable crops…”
CNAP COMMENT: I don’t think it’s appropriate to compare plants with humans. That was intentional. Maybe we should be genetically modifying the human seeds – sperm and ovum (sp.) – so companies like Monsanto and the people they hire won’t feel compelled to forever alter our food supply in absence of knowing the short and long term side effects.
And even when they do know, they continue to coerce professionals, who should know better, into declaring genetically modified foods safe to eat, which means you can’t trust powerful companies to tell the truth, nor the scientists they hire, nor the flawed results derived from intentionally flawed research techniques.