Monsanto’s Noxious History: 5 Gravest Wrongdoings

A Noxious History 5 of Monsanto’s Gravest Wrongdoings

The list of Monsanto’s economic, agricultural, chemical and biological wrongs is virtually endless. A recent study completed by the Food and Water Watch details Monsanto’s controversial chemical past, which includes the creation of numerous superfund sites and the U.S.’s largest-ever chemical disasters—just to name a couple.

Since its inception in 1901, Monsanto has monopolized global markets and put consumers (and even American soldiers) at risk. Here’s a roundup of some of Monsanto’s major misconducts.

Agricultural giant Monsanto has committed many a wrong over its 112 year history.

Here are some of the highlights.

Unleashing PCBs

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In the 1930s, Monsanto began producing PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), which were used as coolants and lubricants in electronics. PCBs are chockfull of life-threatening toxins that are carcinogenic and harmful to the liver, endocrine system, immune system, reproductive system, developmental system, skin, eyes, and brain—basically every part of the body, according to Food and Water Watch. Until they were banned in 1976, 99 percent of all the PCBs in the U.S. were produced at a single Monsanto plant in Sauget, Illinois.

The SS Grandcamp Explosion

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Monsanto’s noxious chemicals were responsible for the largest and most deadly U.S. chemical disaster to date, according to Food and Water Watch. In 1947, the SS Grandcamp was being loaded at a Monsanto dock in Texas when the 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate on board exploded. The blast killed 500 people.

Agent Orange

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During the Vietnam War, Monsanto produced the defoliant herbicide Agent Orange for the U.S. government. Dioxin, an extremely potent carcinogen, is created as a byproduct of Agent Orange’s manufacturing process. 18 million gallons of the toxic herbicide was dropped on jungles and farms in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 as part of an effort to eliminate cover for enemy soldiers and create food shortages. Vietnamese and American war vets alike have suffered from the herbicide’s powerful toxins.

Peppering the U.S. with Toxic Dumps

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A superfund site is essentially an overpoweringly potent toxic waste bin. After Monsanto transitioned to a predominately agricultural company in the late ’90s, the megacorp abandoned their chemical-laden factories all over the United States—and 41 of them have since been classified as superfund sites. Monsanto also created EPA-designated toxic wastelands in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Alabama, West Virginia and Missouri that are laden with arsenic, radium, PCBs, dioxin and many other carcinogenic poisons, according to the EPA and the Food and Water Watch.

Pioneering GMOs

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Monsanto’s scientists were the very first to tamper with Mother Nature’s DNA. In 1982, Monsanto genetically modified a plant cell for the first time, kick-starting the rise of—and subsequent war against—GMOs. Monsanto & Co. are the guys to thank.

Source: Take Part

Image Source: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters