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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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 »

Pediatricians Look at Food and Nutrition Featured Article

The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a look at the nutrition value of organic and conventional food, and concluded that organic food isn’t safer or more nutritious than conventional food. 

In a clinical report issued Monday, the Academy said that “current evidence does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared with conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet.” 

The findings were similar to those reported in September in the Annals of Internal Medicine, published by … Full Article »

The Myth of Pollen Drift Compromising Organic Farms Featured Article

The argument that pollen drift from GM crops will contaminate neighboring organic farmers’ fields, making their crop not able to be sold, is simply not true. 

The practice of farmers successfully growing and marketing crops – whether biotech, conventional or organic – in close proximity is known as coexistence. Farmers have been successfully practicing coexistence for years. 

In any working agricultural production system, incidental commingling of trace amounts of seed, grain or food product with another occurs. This is a reality of plant biology, seed production and the distribution of commodity crops, and was occurring long before the development of … Full Article »

OSGATA v. Monsanto: A Ruling for All Agriculture

It’s been a favorite theme on social media for months: “300,000 farmers sue Monsanto.” The lawsuit was filed by the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) and others. It sought to invalidate Monsanto’s patents because of alleged fears of Monsanto exercising its patent rights and suing farmers if crops were inadvertently cross-pollinated. Monsanto had said its longstanding practice had been not to do that in the few cases where it had happened.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York considered the facts and the arguments. And then the … Full Article »

The Future of Food

As a Brit living in the United States, I have immensely enjoyed all the attention my former stomping grounds have been receiving lately due to the Royal Wedding. Watching my future king walk down the aisle, and having my American friends and family celebrate with me, was incredible and exciting.

So when His Royal Highness (HRH) the Duke of Cambridge’s father, otherwise known as HRH The Prince of Wales or Prince Charles and my immediate future king, visited the U.S recently to speak on food and agriculture at the Future of Food conference in Washington D.C., I paid attention.… 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 »

Does Going Green Always Mean Organic?

My best friend is a bride to be and I have been asked to be one of her bridesmaids. Part of my duties as a member of the bridal party is to assist with planning and to find unique (and affordable) ideas for the special day. I take my bridesmaid role very seriously–lately I’ve been watching a lot of wedding-related TV to collect inspirations.
Surfing the channels the other day I flipped to the program “Gorgeous and Green – A Martha Stewart Wedding.” The TV show followed Martha’s assistant, Liesl Menning, as she planned her green wedding. As … Full Article »

HR 875: Monsanto’s Dream Bill – Or Just a Hallucination?

A recent blog post entitled Monsanto’s Dream Bill – HR 875 has created some ripples in the blogosphere and beyond. Several newspapers and even a radio station have picked up on it, and Monsanto has gotten a number of emails and phone calls.

The post claims Monsanto is behind the food safety Bill HR 875. The article explains that the bill is sponsored by Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and claims that her husband, Stanley Greenberg, “works for Monsanto”. It goes on to describe how the bill would give incredible power to Monsanto by criminalizing seed banking, requiring 24 … 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 »

Organic vs. Biotech – Not an Either/Or Issue

I recently went back to Iowa to visit my parents. While sitting around the dinner table, my mother brought up our old summer trips to the farmers’ market. In past summers, my parents and I would frequent the large downtown farmer’s market on the weekend. It’s something we all enjoy–my mom likes buying fresh produce, I like sampling wines and buying home-baked goods, and my dad likes to camp out at the breakfast burrito stand.

This farmers’ market has all sorts of food from a variety of sources. There are organic, naturally-grown, and conventionally-grown vegetables and fruits.

Why does a … Full Article »