This question about trust has been posed by several people. I guess the simplest answer is, our companies realize that corporations must earn your trust—and the only way we can do that is through making good on our commitments and our actions. It’s one of the main reasons why all of our companies are engaging in this initiative and willing to answer the questions that people ask on the site.
With respect to Monsanto, our Pledge and our 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report will give you a good idea of who we are and what we are focused on as a business each and every day.
Following is some information on the other things you listed in your question:
- Monsanto has never developed a biotech trait that resulted in sterile—or “Terminator”—seeds. We made a commitment in 1999 not to commercialize technologies that result in sterile seeds in food crops, and we have no plans or research that would violate this commitment. (Visit our website for more information on Terminator seeds.)
- When farmers choose to purchase seed with a GM trait from any seed company, they agree in advance not save and replant seeds produced from the seed they buy. As can be the case with any contract, a few people will choose not to honor the agreement. Since 1997, we've taken nine cases through a full trial, and in every case, the jury or court decided in our favor. (Visit our website for more information on saved seed and farmer lawsuits.)
- We have never sued a farmer when trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits were present in the farmer’s fields as an accident or as a result of inadvertent means. (Visit our blog for more information on accidental pollination.)
- From 1965 to 1969, the former Monsanto Company was one of nine wartime government contractors that manufactured Agent Orange for the U.S. government. The government set the specifications for making Agent Orange and determined when, where and how it was used. Agent Orange was produced only for, and used only by, the government. (Visit our website for more information about Monsanto and Agent Orange.)