News | April 7, 2017 | Read Time: 3 minutes
Myth: Does Monsanto Have Undue Influence on Governments?
Myth: Monsanto has undue influence on governments through lobbying and the hiring practices of governments.
Fact: Opponents have leveled this accusation against Monsanto to discredit the broad, scientific and global support that exists for GM crops. It is true that Monsanto, like our opponents, advocates our position before governments. Specifically, we advocate for supportive policies, regulation and laws that are based on the principles of sound science. In addition, we thoroughly follow local laws and conduct routine audits to ensure our efforts are transparent, appropriate and legal.
Second, governments have occasionally hired a person who – at some point in his or her career – worked at Monsanto or at a company that was a vendor. Instead of the obvious conclusion that these are experienced and highly skilled individuals though, critics will suggest it is instead a quite complicated, global governmental conspiracy.
All of the people working at or on behalf of Monsanto have a responsibility to act with integrity. Not just in certain situations, or when someone is looking – every action we take must be lawful and ethical.
- We have a thorough and very well defined Code of Business Conduct that explains the behaviors expected of us and reinforces our shared values through practical examples.
- In addition, we have a policy against government corruption and bribery. (View our Anti-Corruption Policy.)
This doesn’t prevent our opponents from leveling accusations against Monsanto to discredit the broad, scientific and global support that exists for GM crops. However, the numbers of countries, not to mention farmers, who have embraced GM crops, suggest that it’s not undue influence, but instead useful technology and sound science that have been the deciding factors.
Monsanto supports strong regulatory systems to thoroughly assess and confirm the safety of our products.
- We advocate for supportive policies, regulations and laws based on principles of sound science.
- We follow local laws regarding our efforts with governments and conduct routine audits to ensure our efforts are transparent, appropriate and legal.
In every business sector, experienced and highly talented individuals are likely to change jobs to better match and expand their experience, skills and interests.
One objection opponents of biotechnology have raised is the fact that some former government employees have gone to work for Monsanto, and some former Monsanto employees now have jobs in the public sector. Some critics say this shows conspiracy by Monsanto and the government. Such theories ignore the simple truth that people regularly change jobs to find positions that match their experience, skills and interests.
Both the public and private sectors benefit when employers have access to the most competent and experienced people. It is likely that someone in government who has concluded biotechnology is a positive, beneficial technology might go to work for a biotech company, just as someone who believes otherwise might find employment in an organization which rejects agricultural biotechnology.