Case Study 1: Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests

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Case Study 1: Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests This case involves Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company. This is no ordinary seed company, it specializes in the genetic manipulation of organisms, known as biotechnology. Weeds, insects, and drought have been a huge issue for farmers. Herbicides and pesticides were creators to keep pests off of plants, however, applying them proved to be expensive and time consuming. Monsanto answered this problem by creating seeds that contained the herbicide Roundup, which kills weeds without harming the crops themselves. These types of genetically modified (GM) seeds were just the beginning. Drought-tolerant seeds were also created for dry area such as Africa. Opponents of…show more content…
“Critics argue that requiring farmers to suddenly purchase new seeds year after year puts an undue financial burden on them and gives Monsanto too much power” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, p. 388). The benefits of growing genetically modified seeds for crops are making it hard for farmers to resist. The European Commission concluded that genetically modified “food does not appear to be riskier that crops grown by conventional methods” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, p. 386). By purchasing genetically modified seeds, farmers could grow crops on less land while saving billions in crop losses from weather issues and insects (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell). The average corn harvest yield increased from 70 bushels to 150 bushels per acre, with a predicted increase to 300 bushels an acre by 2030 (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell). Additionally, “the cotton yield of Indian farmers…doubled their income in one year” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, p. 385). These numbers seem unbelievable, and critics agree, believing that not only are these numbers inflated, but that the cost of GM seeds are remarkably higher that traditional seeds and “therefore actually reduce farmers’ takes-home profits” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, p. 385). Even with the possibility that these crop yield numbers are accurate, the potential negative effects of using genetically modified seeds appear to raise much warranted concern. GM seeds created by Monsanto are

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