About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
[x] close

News and Views

The Nuances of Analyzing Yield Data

By Eric Sachs, Monsanto Scientific Affairs

On May 17, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released a new report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects.” The committee’s two-year analysis considered a range of questions and viewpoints about the economic, agronomic, health, safety and other impacts of genetically engineered (GE) crops and food.  The committee’s extensive review employed a transparent and inclusive process to examine all concerns, uncertainties and public knowledge gaps in addition to studying a robust body of scientific evidence to arrive at objective conclusions on important topics related to GE … Full Article »

Monsanto statement regarding WHO report on glyphosate cancer risk Featured Article

Today, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) issued a summary report on glyphosate, diazinon and malathion. The conclusions of the JMPR for glyphosate, diazinon and malathion were favorable and came to a different conclusion than IARC on all three pesticides. Concerning glyphosate specifically, Monsanto was not surprised by JMPR’s positive conclusion, which was based on all the relevant science and consistent with the findings of regulatory agencies around the world.  The JMPR concluded glyphosate: presents a very low acute toxicity; is not associated with genotoxic effects in an overwhelming majority of studies conducted in mammals; and is unlikely … Full Article »

New NAS Report Aims to Engage Consumers on GMOs

By Eric Sachs, Monsanto Scientific Affairs

Engaging the public in periods of rapid innovation and scientific advancement has always been a prerequisite for facilitating progress. But those in the biotechnology industry, including Monsanto, missed this point in the past. We viewed GMO crops as improvements over existing methods for crop protection and production, and, therefore, farmers, as our customers, were our primary audience. Of course, in hindsight we now are aware that engagement with wider society is a prerequisite for progress when science, commercial interests and public policy come together.

That’s why Monsanto is excited to see the National Academy … Full Article »

Monsanto’s Continued Concerns About IARC Glyphosate Claims Featured Article

By Scott Partridge, Monsanto Vice President Global Strategy

At Monsanto, I work with many teams that research and develop products to help farmers, and ultimately, consumers, every day. These teams rely on the science to guide their decision-making, and they adhere to the rigorous regulatory processes established by governments around the world to bring our products to market. Recently, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup agricultural herbicides, has been under attack by a French-based group called the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Its activities have raised a lot of questions, which we intend to explore further.

A Full Article »

Have you heard that glyphosate causes cancer? Featured Article

By Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer

Have you heard that glyphosate causes cancer?

You may have also heard recently that red meat causes cancer.

If you have, it’s because last year, a group called the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), decided both are “probable” carcinogens. Coming from a group with ties to the World Health Organization, the attention – and, unfortunately, the confusion and concern – that both decisions have received is understandable.

However, it’s important to understand what an IARC classification really means. Rather than explain myself, I want to highlight a recently … Full Article »

Transparency is Essential in Science Outreach and Advocacy Featured Article


Eric Sachs, Ph.D., 
Science and Policy Engagement Lead, Monsanto Company
@EricSachsPhD

Public and private sectors, together, have a role to play in communicating about science and technology to society.

Science is all around us.  It helps us tackle problems, examine risks and benefits, and identify new and better ways to do things.  Science also can enlighten us, bewilder us, and even scare us.

Communicating science is critically important but can be challenging.  Scientists can disagree and when presented with opposing viewpoints, the public can be confused or misled. Understanding complex scientific matters, such as whether GMOs have a place in … Full Article »

New York Times Article on Monsanto and PCBs Featured Article

Today, the New York Times published an article, “Monsanto Could Benefit From Chemical Safety Bill,” which suggests that Monsanto will receive a “gift” from Congress in a chemical safety bill introduced in the House and Senate last year. We’d like to take some time to respond to the article and provide some history on PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.

To be clear: Monsanto did not ask for any language to be included in the House version of a new chemical safety bill being discussed on the Hill. 

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its accompanying regulation has, for … Full Article »

Information on the German Report on Glyphosate in Beer Featured Article

A report from Germany from the Environmental Institute on Thursday said it detected glyphosate in 14 German beers. Here’s Monsanto’s perspective regarding this report:

Glyphosate is an herbicide with a 40-year history of safe use. Glyphosate is approved for use on barley, hops and other grains in Europe. It is also approved for use in the United States and Canada. Farmers use glyphosate to control weeds in their fields.

There are strict government regulations to keep our food safe. In grain crops, such as barley, corn and wheat, there are limits in place to regulate the use of all pesticides, including … Full Article »

Glyphosate Residues: What Do We Know From Existing Data? Featured Article

You might have seen recent media reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing to conduct testing on glyphosate residues in certain foods. We are confident that if FDA does move forward with this testing in a scientifically rigorous way, it will reaffirm the safe use of glyphosate as a vital tool effectively used by farmers, landowners and homeowners around the world.

Glyphosate is one of the most extensively studied agricultural products on the market, and the library of glyphosate data includes residue studies. In the United States, the EPA sets what is known as a tolerance, … Full Article »

Monsanto response to Benbrook’s latest paper on glyphosate Featured Article

Daniel Goldstein, M.D.
Senior Science Fellow
Lead, Medical Sciences and Outreach

Like people everywhere, Monsanto employees understand concerns about product safety. Whether it’s toys we buy for our kids, appliances we buy for our homes, or anything else, we expect reliable information about product safety. Unfortunately, misinformation sometimes clouds decision making and can even cause unwarranted confusion and concern.

Enter the latest report from Charles Benbrook and his co-authors, where – again – they significantly misrepresent the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides. Benbrook and his colleagues use fear-mongering to paint an inaccurate story about an agricultural tool with a 40-year history … Full Article »