QI learned from practical experience that, in order to get a job with Monsanto, or do any research that is supported by Monsanto, or even to publish research on Monsanto seeds, that all of my work would have to be approved by Monsanto. This makes it very

I learned from practical experience that, in order to get a job with Monsanto, or do any research that is supported by Monsanto, or even to publish research on Monsanto seeds, that all of my work would have to be approved by Monsanto. This makes it very difficult to have legitimate third party research to rely on. How can I trust any research done on GMOs that has the imprimatur of Monsanto?

AExpert Answer

The research scientists employed by Monsanto work in teams focused on creating solutions that are core to improving agricultural productivity and sustainability. Of course, the specific research projects that we work on are agreed to by management teams throughout the organization.  However, as employees, we are encouraged to publish the results of our research. In fact, since 2000, Monsanto employees have published more than 1,000 studies related to the science, safety and benefits of our products.

 

In addition, university, government and other public-sector researchers independently conduct research on our products.  Since the introduction of GM technologies in the mid-1990s, hundreds and hundreds of independently conducted scientific studies have been published in scientific literature (see the Biofortified website), including studies focused on risk assessment that have expanded the growing body of evidence supporting the safety of GM crops and validating the conclusions of regulatory authorities worldwide.  From 2001 to 2010, more than 50 studies were conducted in Europe alone, funded by the European Commission (at a cost of >200 million euros) and performed by more than 400 research groups.  These studies are summarized in “A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research.”

 

With regard to public-sector research, Monsanto worked with other GMO developers and the American Seed Trade Association to establish principles that enable the public-sector research community to independently conduct research studies on commercially available seed products and provide assurance that the public sector research community is free to design robust, scientifically sound experimental protocols and methodologies, and to derive independent conclusions. Importantly, researchers may publish their findings without any review or approval by Monsanto.  

 

More information about the ASTA initiative can be found here

 

Information about Monsanto’s Academic Research License, which allows researchers to do research with commercialized Monsanto products, is available here.   

 

Monsanto has ARLs in place with all major agriculturally focused U.S. universities and the USDA Agricultural Research Service―about 100 in total.

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Dr. Larry Gilbertson, PhD, Genomics Strategy Lead at Monsanto, explains how GMOs are “created” or made exactly, answering a lot of common questions about this process in this post. Watch as he prepares to create a GMO here.     Additionally, the below infographic details what a GMO is and the lifecycle it goes through to be developed.     Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, explains what the future of GMOs may be like in this... Read More
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A former response to a similar question answered by Dave Kovalic, Regulatory New Technology Lead at Monsanto, also provides information on scientific advancements and how they [Monsanto] affirm safety prior to targeted vector insertion.   “For context, it is important to recognize that random genome insertions have been naturally occurring in crops over the ~10,000-year history of agriculture.  In some crops, more than 90 percent of the genome consists of these... Read More
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In terms of the science behind the technology to create GMOs, scientists have a much better understanding how a transgene is delivered and stably integrated into a chromosome (or genome). Many GMO products, such as Bt corn, were made using Agrobacterium cells to deliver useful trait genes into the plant cells. Scientists were able to dissect the different steps of this natural gene delivery system encoded by Agrobacterium. We now have a good understanding of the interactions between... Read More

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