on agricultural biotechnology. Monsanto had the largest share of the
global GMO crops market.
2000: Since the inception of Plan Colombia, the US has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in funding aerial sprayings of Monsanto's Roundup herbicides in Colombia. The Roundup is often applied in concentrations 26x higher than what is recommended for agricultural use. Additionally, it contains at least one surfactant, Cosmo-Flux 411f, whose ingredients are a trade secret, has never been approved for use in the US, and which quadruples the biological action of the herbicide. Not surprisingly, numerous human health impacts have been recorded in the areas affected by the sprayings, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin problems, and even death, especially in children. Additionally, fish and animals will show up dead in the hours and days subsequent to the herbicide sprayings.
2000-2002: Monsanto merges with Pharmacia & Upjohn, and changes its name to Pharmacia Corporation. Monsanto Company restructures in deal with Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc; separates agricultural and chemicals businesses and becomes stand-alone agricultural company. By 2000 the current Monsanto had emerged from various transactions, including a merger for a time with Pharmacia, as a legally different corporation from the Monsanto that had existed from 1901-2000. This was despite the fact that both Monsantos shared not just the same name, but the same corporate headquarters near St. Louis, Missouri, and many of the same executives and other employees, not to mention much of the responsibility for liabilities arising out of its former activities.
2001: Retired Monsanto chemist William S. Knowles was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation, which was carried out at Monsanto beginning in the 1960s until his 1986 retirement.
2002: Monsanto entered into an important agreement with DuPont. As a result of this "agreement" both companies agreed to drop a raft of outstanding patent lawsuits against one another and to share their patented GMO crops technologies. Some commentators see this ‘agreement' as constituting a pseudo-merger by stealth of the two companies' GMO crops monopolies which are too large to be permitted to merge.
August 13, 2002: Monsanto had sales of $4,673,000,000. Based on 2001 figures Monsanto was the second biggest seed company in the world, and the third biggest agrochemical company. The infamous agrochemical and biotechnology division, still known as Monsanto, was spun off as a nominally separate company with Pharmacia originally retaining an 85% share. Monsanto Company became completely separate and independent from Pharmacia on August 13, 2002, when Pharmacia distributed its remaining Monsanto shares to Pharmacia's stockholders.
2002: Events in Argentina also affected the company in other ways: Monsanto's Argentine unit lost $154 million in the 2002 fiscal year, due to the collapse of the Argentine economy and a deepening recession which forced the government to default on most of its public debt, and devalue the peso in January 2002. The government also converted what was a dollar economy into a peso economy and, as a result, Monsanto received devalued pesos for products it had sold in dollars, slashing its sales income.
2002: The Washington Post ran an article entitled, "Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution, PCBs Drenched Alabama Town, But No One Was Ever Told" about PCBs. Monsanto share price plummeted in the second half of 2002 following its sell off by former parent company Pharmacia and this was compounded by the departure of Monsanto's CEO at the end of 2002.
December 2002: CEO Hendrik Verfaillie resigned after he and the board agreed that his performance had been disappointing and the company had faced extensive criticism for failing to deal more honestly and effectively with its difficulties. "This is a company that has been optimistic on the borderline of LYING," said Sergey Vasnetsov, senior analyst with Lehman Brothers in New York. "Monsanto has been feeding us these FANTASIES for two years, and when we saw they weren't real, its stock price fell."
2003: Jury fines Monsanto and its former chemical subsidiary, Solutia, Inc. (now owned by Pharmacia Corp.), agreed to pay $600 million in August to settle claims brought by more than 20,000+ residents of Anniston, Alabama - over the severe contamination of ground and water by tons of PCBs dumped in the area from the 1930s until the 1970s. Court documents revealed that Monsanto was aware of the contamination decades earlier.
2003: Solutia, Inc. (now owned by Pharmacia Corp.) files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2004: Monsanto forms American Seeds Inc holding company for corn and soybean seed deals and begins brand acquisitions.
2004-2005: Monsanto filed lawsuits against many farmers in Canada and the U.S. on the grounds of patent infringement, specifically the farmers' sale of seed containing Monsanto's patented genes. In some cases, farmers claimed the seed was unknowingly sown by wind carrying the seeds from neighboring crops, a claim rejected in Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. These instances began in the mid to late 1990s, with one of the most significant cases being decided in Monsanto's favor by the Canadian Supreme Court. By a 5-4 vote in late May 2004, that court ruled that "by cultivating a plant containing the patented gene and composed of the patented cells without license, the appellants (canola farmer Percy Schmeiser) deprived the respondents of the full enjoyment of the patent." With this ruling, the Canadian courts followed the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision on patent issues involving plants and genes.
2005: Monsanto has patent claims on breeding techniques for pigs which would grant them ownership of any pigs born of such techniques and their related herds. Greenpeace claims Monsanto is trying to claim ownership on ordinary breeding techniques. Monsanto claims that the patent is a defensive measure to track animals from its system. They furthermore claim their patented method uses a specialized insemination device that requires less sperm than is typically needed.
2005: Environmental, consumer groups question safety of Roundup Ready crops, say they create "super weeds," among other problems.
2006: In January, the South Korean Appeals Court ordered Dow Chemical and Monsanto to pay $62 million in compensation to about 6,800 people.
2006: Organic farmers, concerned about the impact of GMO alfalfa on their crops, sued Monsanto (Monsanto Company vs. Geertson Seed Farms). In response, in May 2007, the California Northern District Court issued an injunction order prohibiting farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa until the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed a study on the genetically engineered crop's likely environmental impact. As a result, the USDA put a hold on any further planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa.
2006: the Public Patent Foundation filed requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to revoke 4 patents that Monsanto has used in patent lawsuits against farmers. In the first round of reexamination, claims in all 4 patents were rejected by the Patent Office in 4 separate rulings dating from February through July 2007. Monsanto has since filed responses in the reexaminations.
2006-2007: Monsanto buys several regional seed companies and cotton seed leader Delta and Pine Land Co. - Competitors allege Monsanto gaining seed industry monopoly.
2007: Monsanto's biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for almost 90% of the total world area devoted toGMOseeds.
2007: California Northern District Court issued an injunction order prohibiting farmers from planting Roundup Ready alfalfa until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed a study on the genetically engineered crop's likely environmental impact. As a result, the USDA put a hold on any further planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa.
2007: USDA Dairy Survey estimated rBGH use at 15.2% of operations and 17.2% of cows.
2008: Monsanto sells Posilac business to Eli Lilly (polio vaccine manufacturer) amid consumer and food industry concerns about the dairy cow hormone supplement.
2008: Acquires sugarcane breeding companies, and a Dutch hybrid seed company.
2008-2009: U.S. Department of Justice says it is looking into monopolistic power in the U.S. seed industry.
2009: Monsanto posts record net sales of $11.7 billion and net income of $2.1 billion for fiscal 2009.
2009: Monsanto announces a project to improve the living conditions of 10,000 small cotton and corn farmers in 1,100 villages in India (keep in mind that 100,000 small cotton farmers in India commit suicide by drinking Roundup AFTER massive GMO crop failures bankrupted their families); donates cotton technology to academic researchers.
2010: Farmers in South Africa report 80% of the GMO corn was SEEDLESS at harvest time!
2010: Monsanto was named company of the year by Forbes magazine in January.
2010: Demand for milk without using synthetic hormones has increased 500% in the US since Monsanto introduced their rBST product. Monsanto has responded to this trend by lobbying state governments to ban the practice of distinguishing between milk from farms pledged not to use rBST and those that do.
2011: Monsanto posts net income of $1 billion for fiscal 2010. OUCH! a 50% loss from 2009.
Today, over 80% of the worldwide area devoted to GMO crops carries at least one genetic trait for (Monsanto's Roundup) herbicide tolerance. Herbicides account for about one-third of the global pesticide market. Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) seeds have reigned supreme on the biotech scene for over a decade - creating a near-monopoly for Monsanto's Roundup herbicide - which is now off patent. Roundup is the world's biggest selling pesticide and it has helped make Monsanto the world's 5th largest agrochemical company.