Oh, Monsanto, you sly dog.
You keep trying to make us believe you are “committed to sustainable agriculture” with your canny advertisements on American Public Media, even as you force-feed farmers your lab-grown Frankenseeds that expire every year (which are, let’s be honest, opposite of sustainable).
But we shouldn’t be surprised by the mixed message, should we? After all, you’ve been doing this for decades. With long-running corporate sponsorships, like Disney’s Tomorrowland, building reserves of goodwill as you spray us with DDT, it’s clear you’re entitled to send out products into the world with nary an environmental or health concern-just as long as you spend a bit of that hard-earned cash convincing us otherwise.
On that note, let’s take a quick look at some of the biotech giant’s most dubious contributions to society over their past century in business.
Monsanto burst onto the scene in 1901 with the artificial sweetener saccharin, which it sold to Coca-Cola and canned food companies as a sugar replacement.
But as early as 1907, the health effects of the sweetener were being questioned by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists.
“Everyone who ate that sweet [canned] corn was deceived,” said Harvey Wiley, the first commissioner of the FDA. “He thought he was eating sugar, when in point of fact he was eating a coal tar product totally devoid of food value and extremely injurious to health.”