Let me start by saying that I am proud to work for Monsanto and am glad to address each of the issues in your question.
- Labeling—First of all, we are supportive of any voluntary labeling mechanism (e.g., organic or GMO-free) that is desired by consumers. Any company is free to make claims—if truthful and not misleading—that its products are free of GMOs.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy is that labeling is required if there is a meaningful difference between a GM food and its conventional counterpart. We oppose mandatory labeling of food and ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks, as it could be interpreted as a warning or imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior. There is a great article in Scientific American that articulates this well.
- Suing farmers—Monsanto has never sued a farmer in the situation that you described. We have a long-standing public commitment that “it has never been, nor will it be, Monsanto’s policy to exercise its patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer’s fields as a result of inadvertent means.”
- Agent Orange—War is tragic, and the Agent Orange story is complicated. There have been several court rulings stating that the companies that produced Agent Orange under contract of the government for the Vietnam War are not responsible for any implications.