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.
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Addressing the Headline: Iowa Political Cartoonist Fired

On Monday, May 2, 2016 the Des Moines Register published this article: Cartoonist says his work got him axed. The article highlights a facebook post in which Rick Friday claims he was let go from his job after an agriculture company depicted in a political cartoon threatened to pull advertising from the publication.

As a company that values conversation and transparency we reached out to Rick Friday. Here was our reply:


We just wanted to reach out and reiterate that we value open discourse and conversation. We also believe that a little humor and the ability to laugh Full Article »

Monsanto statement: Once again, EPA concludes that glyphosate does not cause cancer

As part of its ongoing registration review of the herbicide glyphosate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that glyphosate is “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans.”  (The agency posted the CARC assessment to its website on Friday, April 29, but removed it on Monday, May 2, without explanation. We are directing questions about the removal to the EPA. A copy of the report is available on the Bloomberg website here.)

The EPA is the third regulator to publish its conclusion that glyphosate is not a carcinogen as part of a registration review since the International Agency … 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 »

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10 Things Monsanto Learned While Implementing our Human Rights Policy

By Martha Burmaster
Monsanto’s Director of Human Rights

In 2006, the Monsanto Board of Directors adopted a Human Rights Policy, which works to respect and advance the rights of our more than 20,000 employees and those of our business partners around the world. The policy focuses on nine elements: child labor, forced labor, compensation, working hours, harassment and violence, discrimination, safety, freedom of association, and legal compliance.

We’ve learned a lot in the decade since this policy was adopted, and here are 10 highlights:

Focus on the individuals that may be impacted.
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity … Full Article »

Testimony in Opposition to Senate Joint Resolution No. 39

On April 12, 2016 this is testimony was delivered by Duane Simpson, Monsanto’s U.S. State and Government Affairs Lead, to a Missouri House committee in response to Senate Joint Resolution 39.

Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Duane Simpson and I lead State and Local Government Affairs for Monsanto and I am here today to oppose SJR 39 on behalf of the company and our employees.

We at Monsanto are a company that recognizes diversity and inclusiveness not as a program, but a way that we do business. In order to remain competitive in the … Full Article »

Fit for Purpose: Using the Right Method to Answer Scientific Questions

By Pam Jensen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Monsanto

Analytical methods are used to measure things with adequate accuracy and precision to make conclusions. Some methods can be simple and others more complex, but they all need to be reliable.

Analytical methods are developed with a purpose in mind. They are designed to answer a specific scientific question. Analytical methods define the type of equipment needed and the steps that must take place in order to determine the desired information. No method is perfect or universally applicable; they all have limits. Part of developing the method is identifying these limits and … Full Article »

Transparency is Essential in Science Outreach and Advocacy Featured Article

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

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 »

Achieving Sustainability in Agriculture Through Collaboration, Dialogue Featured Article

By Brett Begemann, President and Chief Operating Officer

Bringing people to the table is an important part of our mission at Monsanto. Whether it’s for a family dinner or a spirited conversation, we know great things can happen when people pull up a chair and dig in.

That’s why I was so pleased to be a part of the Economist’s recent Sustainability Summit in London, where about 200 thought leaders from businesses, nonprofit organizations and global governments gathered to talk about real solutions for a sustainable future.

It’s always inspiring to talk with groups from multiple nations, industries and perspectives … 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 »

How do regulatory authorities assess the safety of pesticides?

By Steven Levine, Ph.D., Senior Science Fellow and Environmental Assessment Strategy Lead, Global Regulatory Sciences

Every season, for every field, farmers have to make more than 40 key decisions – all of which can make or break a harvest. Many of these decisions relate to crop protection, because at every stage of the growing season, seeds and plants are at risk from weeds, insects and diseases.

Crop protection tools, such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, known collectively as pesticides, play an essential role in a farmer’s ability to have a good harvest. At Monsanto, these tools represent an important … Full Article »