As the conflict in Ukraine erupts, subsides, erupts, subsides, there seems to be one entity that cannot lose.
Biotech-giant Monsanto has an office in Ukraine. In 2013 a proposed $17-billion IMF loan to Ukraine would, as a condition, have opened up the country to genetically modified crops. But then-president Viktor Yanukovych rejected the European Union agreement linked to the loan, deciding to go with a Russian deal instead. Yanukovych didn’t last long – ousted in February 2014 – and the country descended into conflict.
A set-back for Monsanto? It seems not. The company is still pressing ahead with a $140-million non-GM corn seed factory in western Ukraine. And if the region sinks into all-out war, that is good for Monsanto too, says trader and investment analyst Brian Kelly. Conflict will constrict the wheat supply from ‘breadbasket’ Ukraine, forcing a big price hike. And when wheat prices rise, says Kelly, so does the share price of the world’s biggest supplier of seed – Monsanto. Meanwhile, influential pro-GM interests in several countries, including Britain and Australia, are pressing for a more ‘open-door’ policy towards genetically engineered crops and agri-giants like Monsanto. All the more reason for turning our attention to this most controversial and controlling of corporations – and the civil-society action against it that is spreading across the world.
Elsewhere in this month’s magazine, Bangladeshi photographer Jannatul Mawa struck upon the simple but ingenious idea of asking middle-class Dhaka dwellers to be photographed with their maids. The result is, well, revealing...
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Monsanto has a mission. But where will it lead the rest of us? Vanessa Baird begins this month's investigation into one of the world's most powerful and hated corporations.
Lisa Safarian seems a caring kind of person.
‘As a mom and member of the team at Monsanto, I’m focused on food pretty much 24/7, whether I’m thinking about meals with my family or working with farmers to help us produce better harvests,’ she writes in a blog on the company’s Facebook page.1
She is one of the ‘passionate people’ working at Monsanto to ‘help feed our growing population’. Because as the seed...
‘Patient Monsanto’ is analysed by Jason Louv.