QAre the universities your "Experts" work for funded by Monsanto?

Are the universities your "Experts" work for funded by Monsanto?

AExpert Answer

I am not sure I understand your question exactly, but I presume you are asking if the people who respond to these questions as a courtesy to the public on behalf of the university where they are employed receive funding from Monsanto. The answer is likely yes.  Monsanto and other companies involved in agriculture and other scientific disciplines provide funding for research at many, if not most, public land grant universities and also many private institutions. Given the dearth of federal funding, this support is very important and enables researchers to move forward with independent research that will ultimately support the general public.


I also recognize that there are concerns about whether we in the land grant universities are influenced by these companies or whether their financial support is ethical. That is unfortunate. I have spent 40 years in the land grant system, and I don’t see an issue with conflict of interest. I am guided first by my personal ethics to conduct and report unbiased research, as well as by a comprehensive set of policies and processes developed by the university.


We would welcome funding to conduct research from other sources, but, unfortunately, those don’t exist.  It is important to point out that when we accept funding from a company, most of the time those funds do not have strings attached.  We accept funds to conduct research in our focused area of study, and we are given free rein to publish the results, regardless of whether they are in the company's favor or not.

AExpert Answer

It might surprise you to know that the majority of funding for research at universities is from the federal government.  However, Monsanto does fund research with universities all across the United States.  Not surprisingly, projects are funded at the universities with the talent that enables progress in the areas that support our projects.  For instance, if we want to study weed management, we go to universities or scientists that are highly experienced in weed management.  You would do the same. 


It stands to reason that many of the experts on this website work or have worked at universities that have been engaged in research for biotechnology applications for agriculture—that's how they became experts.  And Monsanto has provided funding to some of these universities—but not at all in a way that is connected to these experts' work to help answer questions on this site.  The experts are volunteering their time. 


Monsanto has also funded universities that have been affiliated with authors who were critical of GM.  In the last year, a paper with no original data was written, in which the authors speculated on Roundup's role in diseases.  A question about this paper was answered on this website. One of the authors was affiliated with MIT, and Monsanto has given funds to MIT.


Other experts on this website, such as farmers, are not affiliated with any university at all. 

Posted on May 8, 2017
This is a simple, yet difficult question to answer because I can only answer for myself and our farming operation, and only as it applies to corn and soybeans which are the only two GMO crops we grow. We also grow non-GMO soybeans, so I have a fair comparison on cost efficiency. Our other crops – wheat, barley, green beans, tomatoes and grapes are not genetically engineered and no commercial GMO of these crops are currently on the market.        ... Read More
Posted on June 4, 2016
This is one of the most popular questions on the website and thus is part of the top 10 questions on GMO answers. See the top 10 questions and more specifically see this post which addresses your question on bees and other pollinators.
Posted on June 11, 2016
While nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding, there are only nine commercially available GMO crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya and potatoes.   GMO apples have also been approved to be grown and will be coming to market soon. The chart below explains why each of the nine GMO crops – which are commercially available... Read More