Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside Monsanto’s corporate headquarters in Creve Coeur Saturday.
They called for the agriculture biotech company to end practices they say are harmful to the environment and abusive of the rights of farmers. That includes Monsanto’s development and control of genetically modified, or GMO, crops.
Farmers have been collecting data about their farms for decades.
Now all those data are going high tech. Major agricultural companies like Monsanto, John Deere and DuPont have been developing more ways to mine that than ever before – all in the name of helping farmers make better decisions about when to plant, what to plant and how much.
The American Farm Bureau Federation met Thursday with Monsanto and several other agribusiness companies, such as DuPont and John Deere, to talk about the use of big data in agriculture.
The meeting comes as farmers grapple with whether to share information with major agricultural businesses.
The Farm Bureau had been warning farmers to be cautious as Monsanto and DuPont rolled out new data services. Those services use farmers’ information, including crop yields, to determine the best seeds to use and how much to plant.
Ten protesters were arrested outside Monsanto’s headquarters during its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday. The arrests happened shortly after the shareholders failed to pass two resolutions that would have changed Monsanto's policies on its Genetically Modified Organism products.
Adam Eidinger, one of the protesters, is also a Monsanto shareholder.
He proposed one of the resolutions. It asked that Monsanto work with the Federal Drug Administration to label genetically modified food.
Monsanto is no stranger to battling the controversy over Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. Some of that controversy will come to Monsanto’s doorstep Tuesday afternoon during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
Several groups have promised to protest outside the meeting, where two resolutions dealing with GMOs are likely to be introduced.
One resolution asks that the company work with the federal government to develop GMO labeling on food.
A Missouri appeals court has ruled that a jury should decide whether Monsanto's chemical production division is responsible for cancers allegedly caused by the widespread use of certain toxic chemicals in everyday products.
Over the course of several decades, Monsanto manufactured 99 percent of the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB's, found in the world. High concentrations of the chemicals can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other forms of cancer.