- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: The New Press (May 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595584269
- ISBN-13: 978-1595584267
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 149 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply Hardcover – May 4, 2010
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A vast investigation of Monsanto--the first of this scope to dismantle the malicious practices of the St. Louis-based agrochemical firm, world leader of GMO's.
Truly noble journalistic work . . . Robin informs, enlightens, unveils, and begins the work of alerting the public.
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This book is a terrific eye opener.
I love the book's coverage of the subject. I think it is very factual and fair coverage of a very disturbing subject, namely the near-criminal tampering of our food supply and unjustified contamination of our food supply.
If you are not aware of this subject, or the business strategies and practices of Monsanto, this book will shock you, and make you wonder if Monsanto and Our Government could possibly behave so badly and have such bad judgement. Then, after you finish the book, you will realize that indeed it is that bad. Finally, as it sinks in, it will scare the **** out of you. Next, it will make you wonder what you can do to protect yourself and your family from this obviously grave health disaster. Finally, it SHOULD make you change your food buying habits.
And, best of all, it should make you realize that you can no longer trust what the food industry and our government our telling us about the safety of our food - they are simply lying (like Jonathan Gruber) for their own career advancements and profits, with no concerns whatsoever for public food safety and health.
I am going to reread it, because there is so much information packed into it. I thank the publisher for supporting the author and for serving the greater good, rather than kowtowing to suits whose only interest is in the number of copies sold.
My only critcism is that the book needs an update, especially in light of the Monsanto takeover by Bayer...a truly frightening prospect looming on the horizon. We should all be very, very scared.,
Monsanto and Dow poured millions of dollars into the recent fight against Proposition 37 in California which would have required labeling of food products containing GMO's. GMO's are largely banned throughout Europe and the rest of the world, but here in the land of the free [market], we don't even have labeling! The corporations ran misleading and dishonest ads that were, unfortunately, effective, and Prop. 37 was defeated. The "World According to Monsanto" may not be a "fun read," but it should be required for anyone interested in the future of humans on this planet.
Interestingly, it was difficult for me to find a thoroughly-researched and scholarly treatise on Monsanto Corporation as I was doing research for my own book, "Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good" (Blue Ocotillo/ACTA, 2014). Few American authors have been willing to take on Monsanto; this French author, with a healthy lack of fear, does so admirably.
Robin covers Monsanto's history with PCBs and other chemicals it has produced over the years (including rBGH, now eliminated in some of the milk sold in the US), the GMO debate, biodiversity and monoculture, government regulation on agribusiness and its employee "revolving door" between the two entities, and other critical topics.
If you're familiar with farming practices in the US, you know that Monsanto's patented soy beans have revolutionized the way farmers work their fields (and in other parts of the world, including - significantly - Brazil and Argentina). Before, "walking beans" (pulling out large weeds) was a necessity prior to harvesting. Nowadays, with Monsanto's "Round Up Ready" soy beans, there's no need. Soybean fields in the Upper Midwest are relatively clean from weeds. But we know that nature always adapts - biodiversity, thankfully, has always ruled and will rule. Weeds will modify themselves and Monsanto will counter by continuing to tweak its product. This dance between nature and this for-profit corporation, Robin argues, ultimately is not beneficial for the well-being of the human family.
As an example, the Green Revolution (roughly 1945-1975) was produced by a public-private partnership helping feed many millions, with important initial funding coming from the Rockefeller Foundation. The Gene Revolution--mostly a private venture, Monsanto at the lead--has similar potential to nourish millions, but the inherent conflict between private profit and social returns obstructs its success. Farmers in poorer countries (especially African)--hindered by exorbitant pricing by for-profit seed companies like Monsanto--are essentially excluded.
Robin's interview with Vandana Shiva, an Indian physicist and ecologist, on the comparison of Monsanto's efforts in India with its patented herbicide-proof cotton seed and the colonial age - "the patenting of life is a continuation of the first colonization" (p. 312)- is wrought with significance and consequence.