As the world nears a population of 9.5 billion people by the year 2050 and the world’s climate continues to become more volatile, Monsanto will work to provide the necessary resources to feed the world’s population. Monsanto is an industry leader in agriculture as it produces products in two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. The company has over 21,000 employees in facilities in sixty-six countries. In the Seeds and Genomics Segment, Monsanto researches, develops and sells normal seeds for crops like corn and soybeans as well as genetically modified seeds (GMOs) that incorporate certain traits in a seed to help the crop flourish. In the Agricultural Productivity Segment, Monsanto produces and sells chemicals like herbicides to its customers.
The products that Monsanto and its competitors sell can be credited with increasing the health and overall yield of crops around the world. While population will continue to increase, although at a slower rate, total farming acreage around the world will decrease. This means that the crop yields will have to increase significantly. Monsanto and its competitors will be at the forefront of this problem.
While it seems that Monsanto is truly needed in the future, there are a number of people who are against Monsanto and its competitors. There are groups of people who are against GMOs altogether based on an ethical standpoint. There are also people who question GMOs safety and propose to add labels to all products containing GMOs. The problem with this is that the majority of the population is not informed on GMOs and would not be able to make educated decisions. GMOs are also in many of the everyday products we consumer. Around 90% of corn and 90% of soybean in the United States are GMO corn or soybean. In addition, we are not able to prove that GMOs are in fact a danger to the public.
The necessity of companies like Monsanto and some backlash these companies have been met with provide an interesting case to research and discuss the ethical dilemma at the center of the debate. This ethical dilemma largely revolves around safety, environment and litigation, yet there these areas have a part in a number of larger debates in our society.
Image Source: http://www.undergroundhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/Detox-from-Dangerous-Bt-toxin-found-in-GMO-foods.jpg