Monsanto at risk. Is the end close for this multinational?

Rightly or wrongly, the American group is considered by many environmentalists as the most despicable and despised multinational in the world. Its grip on the agriculture sector via its genetically modified organisms did not protect it from a serious crisis …

While some say it is more powerful than governments, Monsanto is just a publicly traded company like any other.

It responds to market demand and its survival depends on investor confidence in its ability to generate profits.

Its grip on the agriculture sector via its genetically modified organisms did not protect it from a serious crisis …

Its official (or commercial) purpose was to improve the lot of humanity through the proliferation of GMOs and the pesticides that go with it.

In terms of saving the world, we can raise doubts, but in terms of economic objective, the multinational will achieve its objectives with sustained growth for several years.

Indeed, the sprawling society now holds the monopoly of the transgenic seed market in the world.

In terms of chemical inputs, its Roundup herbicide floods the global agriculture market despite its classification as “probably carcinogenic” by the WHO in March 2015 and the various scandals affecting the product.

For example, a university in October 2015 revealed that 85% of tampons and towels contained traces of the famous herbicide.

Whether or not we fear the use of GMOs, it is now impossible to escape Monsanto and its frenzied lobbying, even in our privacy.

When it comes to saving the world, we can raise doubts, but in terms of economic objectives, Monsanto will achieve its objectives with sustained growth for many years. Indeed, the multinational now holds the monopoly of the transgenic seed market in the world. In terms of chemical inputs, its Roundup herbicide invades the global agriculture market despite its classification as “probably carcinogenic” by the WHO in March 2015 and the various scandals affecting the product.

For example, a university in October 2015 revealed that 85% of tampons and towels contained traces of the famous herbicide. Whether or not we fear the use of GMOs, it is now impossible to escape Monsanto and its frenzied lobbying, even in our privacy.

Monsanto at risk: Anthony Freda illustration

While some say it is more powerful than governments, it is nevertheless a publicly traded company like any other. It responds to market demand (governments / consumers) and its survival depends on investor confidence in its ability to generate profits. In 2015, the European Union authorized the marketing of 19 GMOs, including 11 from Monsanto.

This call for air will not be enough to revive the multinational that, at the end of 2015, announced a 15.5% fall in profits in a year. At the same time, in France, the group was sentenced by the Lyon Court of Appeal for intoxication of an French farmer who was using Lasso herbicide. This decline of $ 2.31 billion in its last fiscal year forced the company to separate 2,600 workers, or 13% of its workforce

Monsanto at risk illustration: Anthony Freda

But the fall does not stop here

In early 2016, the slowdown in transgenic seed sales worldwide continues to hit the US giant. In addition, many countries continue to freeze the marketing of the flagship herbicide Roundup.

This Wednesday, January 6, 2016, Monsanto has announced a further cut of 1,000 additional jobs by 2018. A forced “decay” that should cost him up to $ 1.2 billion in restructuring while saving him $ 400 million. dollars a year. Despite its efforts, the 2016 forecast is far from encouraging for the multinational to consider a rescue merger with the Swiss chemical group Syngenta. Nevertheless, the multinational retains resources but its survival will depend on the evolution of the market in the coming years.

Would the sprawling group be caught up in environmental issues that are increasingly mobilizing citizens and public debate?

Nothing is certain at this stage. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has ruled that the carcinogenic nature of glyphosate is “unlikely”, at the same time removing Monsanto’s Roundup. Opposing head-on the scientific conclusions of the World Health Organization (WHO), EFSA adopted a highly controversial method of study, observing the product in its simple chemical composition, and not the product marketed and in contact with the population.

This report is however supposed to enlighten the decision makers of the European Commission which will soon have to reassess the marketing authorizations of the product in the Union. This decision could play a decisive role in the future of Monsanto but also all industrial food in Europe.

Lastly, there are biological alternatives to Roundup that are safe for humans.

For example, Osmobio, a French company that offers a natural alternative to glyphosate. Jacques Le Verger, at the origin of this innovation, nevertheless expects authorization to put on the market of its biological weedkiller for three years. Two diametrically opposed worlds seem to be competing for the future of the planet, and future government decisions will weigh heavily in the balance. It will be recalled that 200,000 farmers and 3 million gardeners use Roundup in France and that Monsanto seeds are found on 25% of French cropland.

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