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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Canola

The Ballot Initiative in Jackson County, Oregon Featured Article

By Lisa Drake
Government Affairs 

Like many companies, we often advocate for policies we think are sound, and oppose those we think are not.  And that advocacy sometimes includes support for campaigns about ballot initiatives. 

For instance, we recently were part of a coalition that opposed state ballot initiatives in California and Washington State that would have imposed complex and confusing requirements for the mandatory labeling of GMO foods.  We contributed a total of about $13.5 million to support coalitions that opposed these measures, while the total spent by those who shared our concerns was about $66 million. Like us, … Full Article »

ISAAA Releases 2013 Report on Biotech Crops Featured Article

Eighteen Million Farmers in 27 Countries Chose Biotech Crops in 2013, Global Plantings Increase by 5 Million Hectares

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) today released a report showing that more than 18 million farmers in 27 countries planted biotech crops in 2013, reflecting a five million, or three percent, increase in global biotech crop hectarage. 2013 also marks the first-ever commercial plantings of drought-tolerant biotech maize in the United States.

Global biotech crop hectarage has increased from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to over 175 million hectares in 2013. During this 18 year period, more … Full Article »

cotton

BT Cotton Wins Fans in West Africa Featured Article

Burkina Faso in West Africa has had a tremendous success with Bt cotton. Yields and farmers’ incomes have risen, chemical use is down, and cotton and cottonseed oil have become major exports. Burkina’s neighbors are beginning to take note.

In December, delegations from neighboring Benin and Togo visited Burkina at the invitation of the biosecurity experts network of NEPAD, the New Partnership for African Development. Participants included farmers, government officials, members of parliament, and textile industry representatives. Their mission: see first hand the impact of Bt cotton in Burkina Faso as a first step towards the eventual adoption of policies … Full Article »

Monsanto Statement on US Supreme Court Decision Not to Hear OSGATA Case Featured Article

Today it was announced that the U.S. Supreme Court had decided not to review lower court decisions upholding Monsanto’s position in a lawsuit brought by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association over fears of litigation involving accidental pollination. The U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals had both ruled against the plaintiffs, pointing out that Monsanto had never sued anyone for accidental pollination and had publicly committed not to do that.

Monsanto issued this statement:

“Monsanto never has and has committed it never will sue if our patented seed or traits are found in a farmer’s field as … Full Article »

Taking a Stand on Washington’s I-522: Misleading and Increase Food Costs Featured Article

I-522 is a ballot initiative that Washington state voters will decide in November 2013. The measure would require a warning label on thousands of food products that include an ingredient from genetically modified (GM) crops; it also includes other provisions that would negatively impact Washington farmers, food companies and ultimately, consumers and taxpayers. We want to be clear about why we have joined farmers, researchers and scientists, biotechnology companies and businesses as well as doctors among others as part of a broad coalition opposing I-522.

Today’s Labeling Landscape Promotes Choice in the Marketplace

Opinion surveys consistently report that consumers … Full Article »

French Court Overturns Ban on GM Maize Featured Article

Today, the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat), the highest court in France, found that the French government’s 2012 ban on MON810 corn cultivation was illegal. This ban was announced in March 2012 by the Minister of Agriculture. The Conseil d’Etat had already ruled in 2011 that a previous 2008 ban on MON810 cultivation was illegal.

Monsanto was not a party to the lawsuit, but we’re pleased with the court’s ruling supporting a science- and evidence-based approach to GM crop policy.

Related news stories:

France 24: French court lifts ban on growing Monsanto GM corn

Dow Jones (via NASDAQ): French Full Article »

Industry Launches GMO Answers Featured Article

The biotechnology industry has launched a new initiative to help people get the answers to their questions about “genetically modified organisms,” or GMOs. 

WHAT: GMO ANSWERS, a new online resource that connects people who have questions about GM crops and foods with independent experts who have the answers. 

WHY: We want people to know more about GM technology and the valuable role it plays in improving agricultural productivity and sustainability. The best way to do it is to answer any questions people may have. 

HOW: We are making use of digital communications and social media to … Full Article »

biotechnologybanner

GM Crops and Allergenicity Featured Article

Food allergies are a serious concern. Researchers have estimated that some 15 million Americans have some kind of food allergy. Eight foods account for 90 percent of the reported allergies – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. And for some people, food allergies can be fatal.

Some reports in online and popular magazines have suggested that the allergenicity rate has increased since the introduction of GM crops. There is no evidence to link allergenicity to currently authorized GM crops. In fact, food allergies have increased in all industrialized countries, including those where GM crops are not approved.… Full Article »

small corn

Monsanto’s Business in Europe Featured Article

Some recent reports are suggesting—again!—that Monsanto is withdrawing from business activities in Europe. The opposite is true. We’re actually expanding our operations in the conventional seed business in Europe, and will continue to sell Europe’s only successful commercial biotech crop, our MON810 corn, to farmers in several European countries. But we’ll no longer be pursuing approvals for cultivation of new biotech crops in Europe. Instead, we’ll focus on enabling imports of biotech crops into the EU and expanding our current business, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Monsanto´s business in Europe is very strong and growing. To better serve farmers in Europe, … Full Article »

Something Smells, and It’s Not the Pigs Featured Article

A study is published in the Journal of Organic Systems. It claims to find a connection between genetically modified feed (corn and soybeans) for pigs and the pigs developing an increase in uterine weight and severe stomach inflammation.

The first thing to be noted is that the study is announced by simultaneous press releases – by GM Watch and Sustainable Pulse, two advocacy organizations opposed to GM food.

The second thing to be noted is that the lead author’s web site is devoted to anti-GM food reports, and happens to have a link on the home page to … Full Article »