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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Panorama is Right about GMOs: There Shouldn’t Be “Sides” When It Comes to Helping Farmers Featured Article

By Mark Buckingham
Monsanto Europe

On June 8, the BBC program, Panorama, aired a show on GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, titled, “GM Food: Cultivating Fear.” The 30-minute program took an in-depth look at the various points of view on GMOs. The show was balanced, providing commentary on both sides of the topic from farmers, scientists and non-governmental organizations.

We applaud the efforts of Panorama to provide both points of view. As a Monsanto employee, I’m excited for the new way our company is approaching how we communicate: we are committed to being a part of the … Full Article »

Golden Rice, Children and Ideology Featured Article

Image courtesy of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines

The photograph is simple enough: Pope Francis blessing a sample of golden rice. Standing with the pope is Ingo Potrykus, the co-creator of golden rice.

Behind the photograph, and golden rice itself, lies a controversy. Golden rice offers the promise of providing the Vitamin A that could help prevent blindness in hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries.

But it’s also genetically modified.

So Greenpeace hates it. Vandana Shiva hates it (she calls it a hoax). Michael Pollan initially called it “The Great Yellow Hype” in 2001 but recently … Full Article »

Expiration of the Farmer Assurance Provision Featured Article

The Farmer Assurance Provision (FAP) was enacted last spring as part of a six-month spending authorization bill by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Its purpose was to reinforce the integrity of the regulatory system and protect farmers from the disruption of frivolous lawsuits.

The expiration of FAP is no surprise. The spending authorization program was set to expire at the end of September.

The FAP was needed to offset the impact of a small, well-funded group of special interest activist groups using the legal system to try and block growers from having access to … Full Article »

Are GM Crops Harming Our Environment? Featured Article

The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) was established five years ago “to build consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system.” A not-for-profit organization, its members represent each element of the food chain, including farmers and ranchers, universities, food processors, restaurants, retailers and food companies. Monsanto is a member of the group. 

CFI sponsors a web site called BestFoodFacts.org, which is designed to provide objective and accurate information directly from experts – university researchers, academics and registered dieticians. Content of the site is not subject to CFI member approval. The content of each story or video on the site … Full Article »

Reviews and Studies on Glyphosate and GM Food Featured Article

Below are only a few of the studies and reviews that have been done on the safety of glyphosate and GM food. 

Glyphosate 

Three new reviews on glyphosate and human safety published within the last year are available online from the publisher’s website: 

• Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Bonnielin K. Sceurman, Jessica I. Lundin. Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: A review. 

• Pamela J. Mink, Jack S. Mandel, Jessica I. Lundin, Bonnielin K. Sceurman. Epidemiologic Studies of Glyphosate and Non-Cancer Health Outcomes: A Review. 

• Amy Lavin Williams, Rebecca E. Watson, John M. DeSesso. … Full Article »

Monsanto Responds to French Rat Study Featured Article

Earlier this week, a study conducted by a French university team was published by Food and Chemical Toxicology, and claimed to have found negative health effects in laboratory rats fed a diet of GM corn. Numerous scientists have examined the study and posted or published comments about it.

Monsanto has now evaluated the study, and here is the company’s summary response: 

This study does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment. 

Toxicologists and public health … Full Article »

The Safety of Biotech Sweet Corn Featured Article

Last week, Huffington Post published an opinion piece that raised concerns about the safety of biotech sweet corn. The author was the executive director of Food & Water Watch, which has been maintaining a public relations campaign against GM food in general and biotech sweet corn in particular.

Best Food Facts, a web site sponsored by the Center for Food Integrity, has an interview with three food experts about the safety of biotech sweet corn, other issues raised in the article, and what – if any – effect GM food has on human health. The three are professors at … Full Article »

What’s Served in Monsanto’s Cafeterias?

It’s 1999. Bill Clinton is in the White House. Sydney is preparing for the Summer Olympics. The world population is about a billion less than it would be in 2012.

A caterer in the United Kingdom tells the Independent newspaper that it doesn’t use GM food, which would have been difficult in the U.K. in 1999 since there wasn’t any to exclude, but that’s another story. The Independent reports it as “GM Food Banned in Monsanto Canteen.” GM critics have a field day.

Flash forward 13 years. Greenpeace, always interested in recycling, recycles this 1999 news story. People … Full Article »

I Am Monsanto

By Jeff

There are a lot of things that describe me. PhD scientist, husband, father, biophysicist, biochemist, blogger, history buff, platform lead, poet, Monsanto employee and political progressive. The last two things on that list are a source of great conflict, at least for me recently.

Those that know me well know that my political leanings lie far to the left and they also know that I make no apologies for it. As a result, I read Daily Kos daily. I have met some wonderful progressive activists through that blog and participated in activities that are aimed at making our … Full Article »

You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too – Even if it is Organic


According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to an estimated $20 billion in 2007.

During roughly the same time period, biotech crops have been adopted at a phenomenal rate.

Biotech crops first became available in the U.S. in 1996. Twelve years later, more than 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are biotech. Biotech canola, squash, sugar beets and papaya have also come on the market.

Why then do so many opposed to biotech cite biotech “contamination” of organic … Full Article »