on August 11, 2009
I have read this book in French, and while it took me weeks to finish, it was an amazing experience. I felt compelled to send copies to many family members so that they scrutinize what they eat in a better manner. The depth of information and research in the book is amazingly profound. The proofs are gathered with a thorough methodology, page after page denouncing Monsanto and their allies as the biggest threat to our health and environment for years to come.
I live in Costa Rica, and have been investigating the use of pesticides and chemicals involved in the production and importation of the food that I used to consume. Transgenic soy, growth hormones, etc, are flooding our market, thanks to the Free Trace Agreement with the US (TLC) voted last year. I was in favour at the time because I did not have enough information to make up my mind. I now understand a painful reality of this treaty, which made transgenic foods available to us country-wide. An increasing number of children in Costa Rica are suffering from Asthma and allergies, I now understand why.
This book is a must read.
NB: Amazon lists this book as being "out of print" (wondering on what grounds). This is not correct. It will be released in late September, so, do not dispair, it is on its way.
on August 7, 2010
This is a MUST READ!... a well researched book that I would encourage others to read and share with their friends and family to get the information out.
The book was extremely well written starting with the history of how Monsanto started...a chemist working with $5,000. It goes through the entire history of Monsanto, PCB's, DDT, Agent Orange, Rbgh (growth hormone in milk), Round-Up, GMO's, buying control of the world seed supplies, patents. There is a chapter devoted to the various subjects giving names, dates and research articles.
Approximately 70% of our food is somehow genetically modified which I find unsettling considering that it has not been tested. We are essentially Monsanto's guinea pigs. The book explains in great detail why....the health dangers,how independent researchers are discredited, etc.
For more information on GMO's, Google Jeffrey Smith, Seeds of Deception, Geneetic Roulette. You can watch his video.
There is also the issue of losing our plant diversity. I think just about anyone knows the history of the Irish potato famine. The danger of something like this happening again is too real. Monsanto now owns about 95% of the seeds and their methods of scaring and threatening farmers are well documented. Google Monsanto in Wickapedia and you'll be surprised at what you'll discover.
The political influence Monsanto has with their deep pockets puts the population at extreme risk. The book exposes how one of Monsanto's high executives paraphrased, (quote is in the book), that Monsanto's job is to make money. It's the job of the FDA to ensure safety. Unfortunately, a lawyer for Monsanto who wrote the policy then went to work for the FDA where that policy was basically introduced. The "revolving door" of Monsanto to US government is exposed.
The book explains "Substantial equivalence", whereby the FDA allows GMO plants to go untested because they are substantially equivalent to traditonal plants.
To me, that is the equivalent of having a board certified orthopedic surgeon do a heart transplant. You could argue substantial equivalence for that as well.
The book will also explain GRAS, (generally regarded as safe). This constitutes things like salt, pepper, vinegar that have been used safely for thousands of years. How can one possibly consider something genetically modified, untested and used for 20 years or less be considered GRAS?
Round-Up,... the book lets this lie of Monsanto out as well. New York and France sued and won on Monsanto's claim of biodegradable and it's no longer able to put this lie on the packaging. Besides the dangers of this product, it's only creating "super weeds", which Monsanto will only be too happy to create another toxic chemical for.
The DVD documentary does an excellent job with this as well since they have gone to great lengths to travel the world interviewing in person.
Monsanto refused to comment...How could they when you see former president George Bush at their plant telling them he could help with deregulation. Also President Clinton's former head of agriculture saying how he was forced to do things he did not agree with, etc.
I purchased both the book and DVD.
The book can obviously go into far more detail but the DVD was great for information and seeing the face to face interviews.
on June 10, 2010
Wow, what an amazing investigative job Ms. Robin has done! I, like many people, had already heard rumors about Monsanto, especially as regards GMOs, but learned through reading her book that I basically knew nothing. Her research and documentation will take away any doubt consumers might have as to whom to believe in the debates surrounding GMOs, PCBs, bovine growth hormones, dioxins. It implicitly underscores how complacent, through innocent ignorance, we consumers have been and how we need to wake up to protect our environment, our food sources, and ultimately our health. If nothing else, individuals can vote with their dollar. This book is very much a worthwhile and necessary read but, that said, it is also a time-consuming one. Just about every page is jam-packed with important information and can at times be tedious -- but bear with it, it is most decidedly worth it. I don't see any way Ms. Robin could have improved on this monumental task. I am very grateful to her for her work. The information therein would make for a wonderful text for a college course on the dangers of companies like Monsanto.
This is an absolute must read!
If you think the FDA and other government "watchdogs" are doing their job and protecting the food we eat... guess what? They are owned and controlled by Monsanto. And it's all about the money. If that wasn't bad enough, Monsanto hides the results of most of their studies on GMOs and other products including toxic pesticides, since the results are always so troubling. What a track record!
Some of the stories related by the author like the hospital in Viet Nam that has jars upon jars of fetuses born with horrific birth defects from the use of Monsanto chemical defoliants is hard to read. How can Monsanto weigh this evidence against their bottom line? If you work for Monsanto, be sure and check your conscience at the door, unless you buy their line that these chemicals are safe for plants, animals and humans.
This book has definitely prompted me into action. It's hard to sit back and watch Monsanto destroy our world's food supply one crop at a time. Is there any good news in all this? Yes. A vast majority of people in the U.S. want GMO food labeled accordingly, and GMOs are causing an exponential growth in organic food.
Like the books asks, "What if GMOs were tomorrow's Agent Orange?" It looks like a very likely assessment.
on September 27, 2012
This book tells an amazing and extremely troubling true story of corporate greed. It tells the story of Monsanto and does it with a serious rigor that refutes any attempt that might be made to dismiss it. Copious footnotes and end-notes support and document the text.
One might think that with all the things that Monsanto has done that has knowingly damaged the health of humans and animals in the pursuit of profit that they would have been put out of business by now because of criminal and civil penalties. One might think that they had invented Teflon (DuPont did) given how they have gotten away with the damage they have caused.
I hope the material in this book gets a wider audience than it has and has an appropriate impact. Our health depends on it!
This is an excellent example of investigative journalism tackling a complex subject. We all benefit (your health and mine) from work like this. Well written, very educational and highly recommended!
on June 12, 2010
That people could be that power hungry and greedy is almost unbelievable, but as the author backs up with hard facts, chilling as they are, some people truly could care less about the health and survival of the planet earth and its people. Monsanto has a long history of harming people in its dedication to it's bottom line, which is profit. From DDT to Agent Orange, which destroyed large swaths of the Vietnam' jungles virgin equatorial forests and caused serious illness to many Vietnam vets, to bovine growth hormone (BGH), to aspartame, which is a causal factor in brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, (for further information read, "Excitotoxins The Taste That Kills," by Russell Blaylock), Monsanto employees have lied, cheated, and spent large sums of money to keep the money rolling in. Now they want to control the world's food supply with their genetically modified organisms (GMO's), such as round-up ready corn, canola, and soy, which quality studies have been shown to be toxic to humans and animals, plus their pesticides and herbicides, which are extremely toxic to humans and the environment. Also, mono crops of soy beans, corn or any other product, robs the soil of nutrients and makes the plants less resistant to pests over time. Also, after a few years pests become resistant to round-up and much more potent herbicides have to be used along with or instead of round-up. The synergistic effect of combining toxic chemicals makes them that much more poisonous. The spraying of these herbicides has killed many people in third world countries. Also, GMO corn, soy or any other seed has a number of ways that it travels and cross pollinates with non GMO seed, contaminating the later seed and making it worthless. According to the author, the environmental damage caused by these franken foods can not be reversed.
The author took several years to research a video she did on Monsanto and traveled extensively to do live interviews and get the first hand facts. She begins the book by detailing Monsanto's sordid history. She then takes you on a tour of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and India and details the havoc Monsanto products have done and continue to do in each of these places. In every country they have lied, cheated and stolen to obtain their desired objectives. Sad to say, it is most often the poor farm families that are hurt the most. Either unable to pay their seed and pesticide bills or poisoned out of their homes, they ending up living in big city slums, with many men committing suicide and leaving destitute, grief stricken loved ones behind, with numerous individuals and even whole families poisoned by pesticide spraying. What this book, "The World According to Monsanto," details concerning the multi national companies destruction of seed crops, ""Righteous Pork Chop" does with the same lengthy research on the way the majority of our meat animals are now raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Sounds a lot like the greedy, power hungry way that BP is operating in it's handling of the Gulf crisis.
on April 19, 2015
For the author's investigative comprehensivity (and travel) I'd give the book five stars. But it seemed that the "evidence" she presented really overwhelmed, and at times obfuscated, the issue -- is Monsanto's GMO creating a disaster. Fewer interviews and more data (even graphs and charts) would have better presented the comparative facts. I found few actual facts other than Monsanto's somewhat Feudalistic control of patents and even persecution of even those whose fields sprout "blown-over" seeds that they didn't buy from Monsanto.
To me, the clear presentation of issues concerned Agent Orange and other defoliants and their devastations. Also, the danger of monoculture crops, genetically modified or not.
An excellent book, perhaps too inclusive of people involved. Not conclusive enough by actual data (and correlations and comparisons) cited.
But it should be read.
on June 23, 2010
The biotech industry has always claimed that GMO crops reduce the burden of the application of pesticides in agriculture.
This book demystifies this claim and exposes Monsanto as a key player which tries to impose its technology on all farmers across the globe. It does so by showing the manipulation that goes on both overtly (by, amongst other techniques, suing/ruining farmers) or behind the screens (by manipulating government and agencies).
It's time for all of us citizens to wake up and take action. To start, read this excellent and sublimely researched book!
on January 6, 2012
I do not believe the world is black and white but Monsanto is one of those rare "things" you can say has almost no place in the world except to cause bad things to happen. My father, an organic farmer and activist, is currently working wtith legislators, drafting some of the first legislation in CT to have foods GMO labeled. Hopefully other states will follow, and also this legislation will actually go through. When I first became aware of Monsanto, I was shocked that such unabashed greed would go unchecked, but as this book shows, it's a culture of mystery, greed and dogged refusal to do anything that helps the world long term, but only thinking of short term profits-agent orange being a great example. This book should be mandatory reading for all ag students, heck all schoolchildren. Our food supply is vital and it is being systematically undermined by a huge, greedy corporation.
on September 18, 2012
Monsanto equals evil in my opinion. Nothing but control and power and money. They are quite honestly one of the most disturbing corporations on the face of the earth. I try to stay away from anything genetically engineered. All this book does is firm your thoughts into a belief that this company is clearly out of control.
GMOs are on the GRAS list. They are just put there without any mega studies on their safety because lobbyists and cronies deem them generally safe. Some of our highest ranking government agents are involved and on the payroll. DO NOT TRUST this company. Same thing with Fluoride imo. DO NOT trust anything that is basically trying to self-medicate you or control you beyond your knowledge. This book is an indispensable history of the whole damn corrupt company that wants to rule the world from soil to mouth. If you think the only people worried about this stuff are left wing idiots think again. Many people are waking up to the reality that these people do not have any intention of making our lives better.
All they want or need is power, control, and money. That is a FACT.