joanne aubertin's picture
If GMOs are such a safe and great idea, then why would Monsanto not be proud to label the products, then proceed to educate people on the reasons they want to control the world's food and wipe out the smaller natural organic farmers??

A:Expert Answer

Many groups and individuals opposed to the use of biotechnology to produce food have spread misinformation to create fear, which has led to anecdotal reports of the types of claims you describe.  Many studies have tried to replicate the types of  harm described in claims that have fueled such misinformation, but no credible scientific bodies could confirm the alleged harms.  A recent example is an article that The Food and Chemical Toxicology journal retracted in early December 2013, based on a French study that claimed rats could develop tumors if exposed to the herbicide glyphosate used in genetically modified corn.  The study led to much sensational media coverage but could not survive scientific scrutiny.

A:Expert Answer

This is a multi-faceted question, so I’m going to break this down into several bullets to try to address all of your points.


  • Monsanto breeds and sells both GM and conventional seeds to our farmer customers, and we support their right to choose the seeds that are the best fit for their individual farms. Individual seed products are clearly identified as containing GM traits where appropriate, and farmers choose and are aware of the type of product they are buying.
  • Although Monsanto doesn’t sell food or have products that can be labeled for consumers, we support food companies’ choices to voluntarily label food products, noting certain attributes (e.g., organic or GMO-free), based on their customers’ preferences and provided the labeling is truthful and not misleading.  We support FDA’s safety-based approach to labeling, which does not require special labeling of food containing ingredients derived from GM crops, because there is no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed with the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed with traditional plant breeding. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports FDA’s approach and approved a formal statement asserting that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of foods containing GM ingredients.
  • We are committed to answering people’s questions about GMOs, which is why we are one of several companies supporting the GMO Answers initiative. We also are an active supporter of a lot of different education and outreach programs on agriculture in general, as well as biotech.  And we provide a lot of information about our business and our products on our website for people who are interested in learning more:
  • It might be surprising to people who are not familiar with our business, but we are 100 percent focused on supporting agriculture and believe that all types of farming practices—GM, conventional and organic—are valuable.  Our farmer-customers include farm families with both small and large farms, as well as families who use GM, conventional and organic farming practices. 


GMO Free America's picture

Ms Drake says "We support FDA’s safety-based approach to labeling...because there is no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way or that, as a class, foods developed by the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding." Really?

The following information, research and links are quoted from: "Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States N.L. Swanson, 4/24/2013"
( (Emphasis mine):

*DATA TRENDS SHOW CORRELATIONS BEWEEN INCREASES IN ORGAN DISEASES AND GMOs...There are many scientific studies showing that glyphosate and the additives in Roundup are toxic to human cells. Below is a list of those most pertinent to this discussion.
*In 2009 Gasnier et al( published an article in the journal Toxicology citing evidence that GLYPHOSATE BASED (G-based) HERBICIDES ARE ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS IN HUMAN CELLS. They reported TOXIC EFFECTS TO LIVER CELLS “at 5 ppm [parts per million], and the first ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING ACTIONS at 0.5 ppm, WHICH IS 800 TIMES LOWER THAN THE LEVEL AUTHORIZED IN SOME FOOD OR FEED (400 ppm, USEPA, 1998). ... In conclusion, ACCORDING TO THESE DATA AND THE LITERATURE, G-based HERBICIDES PRESENT DNA DAMAGES... ON HUMAN CELLS.”
*In 2012 Koller et al( reported that glyphosate and its formulation (Roundup) is TOXIC TO CELLS, PARTICULARLY ORGAN CELLS, and exhibits DNA-damaging properties “ AFTER SHORT EXPOSURE to concentrations that correspond to a 450-fold dilution of spraying used in agriculture.”
*What is often overlooked is the role of “inert” ingredients in glyphosate formulations like Roundup, which have been found to amplify glyphosate toxicity.
*In 2005, Richard et al( reported that “glyphosate is TOXIC TO HUMAN PLACENTAL JEG3 CELLS within 18 hr with concentrations lower than those found with agricultural use, and this effect increases with concentration and time or in the presence of Roundup adjuvants. Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient. ... We conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals.”
*In 2012, Mesnage et al( reported, “This study demonstrates that all the glyphosate-based herbicides tested are more toxic than glyphosate alone ... The formulated herbicides (including Roundup) CAN AFFECT ALL LIVING CELLS, ESPECIALLY HUMAN CELLS. Among them, POE-15 clearly appears to be the most toxic principle against human cells, ... We demonstrate in addition that POE-15 induces necrosis when its first micellization process occurs, by contrast to glyphosate which is known to promote endocrine disrupting effects after entering cells.”' (See Graphs & Charts on pp. 8-14)
*Diabetes incidence data: CDC (
*Diabetes prevalence data: CDC(
*ESRD data: U.S. Renal Data System(
*Blood pressure data: CDC (
*Obesity data: CDC (
*Acute Kidney Injury: National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse ( (NKUDIC) a service of NIH (public domain).
*Cancer data: National Cancer Institute-Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) ( SEER 9 areas (San Francisco, Connecticut, Detroit, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, Seattle, Utah, and Atlanta). Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 US Std Population (19 age groups - Census P25-1130).
*Glyphosate: USDA:NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) (;jsessionid=...)
*1996-1999 data: USDA Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-810) 67 pp, May 2002 (
*2000-2012 data: USDA:NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service.) (
*Mounting evidence that GMO crops can cause INFERTILITY AND BIRTH DEFECTS The endocrine disrupting properties of glyphosate can lead to reproductive problems: INFERTILITY, MISCARRIAGE, BIRTH DEFECTS, AND SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT (see notes). FETUSES, INFANTS AND CHILDREN ARE ESPECIALLY SUSCEPTIBLE because they are continually experiencing growth and hormonal changes...There are increasing reports of glyphosates and glyphosate formulations causing SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION, LOW BIRTH WEIGHT, FEWER BIRTHS AND STERILITY IN LAGABORTORY ANIMALS, FARM ANIMALS AND HUMANS (see notes).
*A Russian study found that feeding hamsters GMO soy resulted in COMPLETE STERILITY AFTER TWO OR THREE GENERATIONS ( (pg. 16)
*Laboratory animals: In 1995 Yousef et al( reported on toxic effects of glyphosate on semen characteristics in rabbits, “Pesticide treatment resulted in a DECLINE IN BODY WEIGHT, LIBIDO, EJACULATE VOLUME, SPERM CONCENTRATION, SEMEN INITIAL FRUCTOSE AND SEMEN OSMOLALITY. This was accompanied with increases in the ABNORMAL AND DEAD SPERM.”
*In 2002 Markaverich et al ( found that, “Housing adult rats on ground corncob bedding IMPEDES MALE AND FEMALE MATING BEHAVIOR and CAUSES ACYCLICITY IN FEMALES [not according to regular cycles].”
*In 2008, Austrian researchers found that mice fed GM corn produced FEWER AND SMALLER BABIES than those fed a non-GM diet (
*In April 2010, a Russian study ( that after feeding hamsters GM soy for two years over three generations, most were STERILE BY THE THIRD GENERATION.
*2011 Siepmann et al( reported, “HYPOGONADISM [functional incompetence of the gonads especially in the male with subnormal or impaired production of hormones and germ cells] and ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION associated with soy product
*In 2012 Antoniou et al( published a review of the evidence of the reproductive toxicity of glyphosate herbicides and concluded that a new and transparent risk assessment needs to be conducted.
*In 2012 Irina Ermakova ( low birth weight and a 55.6% mortality rate in the babies of rats fed GMO soy compared to 6.8% in the control group.
*An Iowa pig farmer reports sterility and false pregnancies in pigs fed GMO corn (
*A Danish pig farmer reports birth defects, infertility and low birth rate in pigs fed GMO corn. (
*In 2001 Arbuckle et al, reported on the effect of pesticide exposure on the risk of SPONTANEOUS ABORTION.... (
*In 2005, Richard et al(Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase reported that “glyphosate is TOXIC TO HUMAN PLACENTAL JEG3 CELLS within 18 hr with concentrations lower than those found with agricultural use, and this effect increases with concentration and time or in the presence of Roundup adjuvants.”
*In 2009, Benachour et al ( evaluated the toxicity of four glyphosate (G)-based herbicides in Roundup formulations on three different human cell types using a dilution far below agricultural recommendations and corresponds to low levels of residues in food or feed. They reported that glyphosate formulations induce APOPTOSIS [CELL SELF-DESTRUCTION] and NECROSIS [TISSUE DEATH IN HUMAN UMBILICAL, EMBRYONIC, AND PLACENTAL CELLS.
*In 2009, Mesnage et al( reported TWO CASES OF BIRTH DEFECTS in the same family in France after multiple pesticide exposure. “Many pesticides were used by this family around pregnancies. The father sprayed, without protection, more than 1.3 tons of pesticides per year including 300 liters of glyphosate based herbicides.”
In 2009, Winchester et al.(, reported, “Elevated concentrations of agrichemicals in surface water in April–July coincided with HIGHER RISK OF BIRTH DEFECTS IN LIVE BIRTHS WITH LMPs [last menstrual periods] April–July.”
ART data: CDC (
Infant mortality data: CDC (
LBW and preterm birth data: CDC ( and CDC Interactive tables ( (pp 17-20)

*The endocrine disrupting ( properties of glyphosate can lead to neurological disorders( (learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD-, autism, dementia, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Those most susceptible are children and the elderly.
Correlation does not necessarily imply causation and there are now a host of chemicals in our food and our environment. The huge increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to GE food and feed crops has significantly increased our exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. In a previous article, correlations were shown between glyphosate use, GMO crop increase and: thyroid cancer, liver cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, acute kidney injury, incidence and prevalence of diabetes and end stage renal disease. All of these diseases and disorders were carefully chosen based on:
1 Glyphosate is a known endocrine disruptor.
2. Endocrine disruptors can cause organ and neurological damage.
3. Roundup™ and GMOs have shown liver and kidney damage and abnormal behavior in rat studies.
4. Use of glyphosate on herbicide-resistant crops has skyrocketed since 1995.
5. Incidence, prevalence and deaths due to these diseases has also skyrocketed since 1995. (pg. 23)

It seems improbable that the correlations in the nine graphs of glyphosates and organ disease, and the three presented here (for a total of 12), can all be coincidence. There has been a trend among the agriculrural and food industries and their regulators ro engage in practices that place the consumers at risk, emerging in the mid-1990s and growing. It involves nor just GMOs bur many other things as well and those factors may may be correlated with each other. That may make it impossible to separate our which one caused a particular effect. Much more research needs to be done. Our children are disturbed and our elders are dying horribly. (pg. 24)

*In 2006 Irena Ermakova reported ( to the European Congress of Psychiatry that, “As in previous series the behavior of males from GM group was compared with the behavior of control rats. Obtained data showed a high level of anxiety and aggression in males, females and young pups from GM groups. Aggression was more expressed in females and rat pups: they attacked and bite each other and the
worker.” 14th European Congress of Psychiatry, Nice, France, Sunday, March 5 2006, Poster #048.
*In 2010 Shelton et al( published a paper describing potential mechanisms linking pesticides and autism.
*In 2006, Grandjean and Landrigan reported on developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals. “Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy are common, costly, and can cause lifelong disability. ... Exposure to these chemicals during early fetal development can cause brain injury at doses much lower than those affecting adult brain function.” (
*A paper published 18 April 2013 in the scientific journal Entropy ( explains the connection between glyphosate and gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

*Since GMOs were introduced into the food supply the rate of chronic health conditions among children in the United States increased from 12.8% in 1994 to 26.6% in 2006, particularly for asthma, obesity, and behavior and learning problems. The rate of chronic disease in the entire U.S. population has been dramatically increasing with an estimated 25% of the U.S. population suffering from multiple chronic diseases (
*THE ACADAMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE has issued a position statement on GMO food stating, “...several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system. “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.” They further state that “because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm,” they call on physicians to educate the public and warn their patients to avoid GM foods (


Glyphosate. Roundup Herbicide. "*The USDA estimates that in 2012, 93% of all soy, 88% of the corn and 94% of the cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. The USDA only collects GE data on these three crops. The figure below shows the percent change of GE crops planted since 1996. (1996-1999 data: USDA Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-810) 67 pp, May 2002 2000-2012 data: USDA:NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service & (pg. 4)
*It could be argued that not all of these crops are grown for human consumption. Some are grown for animal feed. But the percentage of the crops grown for animal feed are still in the food supply in the form of meat, eggs, milk and milk products. (pg. 4)
*Contrary to claims made by the chemical industries, glyphosate use increased 6,504% from 1991 to 2010 according to data from the USDA (;jsessionid=...): National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). States participating in the USDA surveys reported applying a whopping 91,200 tons (1 rail car holds approximately100 tons) of glyphosate on corn, cotton and soy crops alone in 2010 (see graph). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup™, the herbicide used on Roundup Ready™ crops genetically engineered (GE) to withstand glyphosate. Glyphosate residues of up to 4.4 mg/kg have been detected in stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate-resistant soy (, indicating metabolism of the herbicide. This means that the Roundup Ready™ plants are absorbing the herbicide and you cannot simply wash it off. (pg. 5)"

Ian Anderson's picture

The argument always seems to be "people need to be informed" but just saying something needs to be labeled purely because it has been modified is silly. You could make it so non-coding DNA spells out "Made in the U.S.A." and it would be impossible of it to do anything to you. You could also make it so something expresses e.coli proteins and kills people. Why do they deserve the same label? If they met in the middle and had to label something as having bt-toxin/δ-endotoxin/cry-toxin(goes by many different names), so people knew that both organic and bt-corn had same toxins in them would that not be more reasonable? It should also be noted that the USDA doesn't regulate the amount of bt-toxin used in organic growing because there is no evidence that is harmful to humans.

The idea of the government forcing the labeling that something has a GMO in it is akin to labeling something that has a potential allergen saying "Contains allergens" it scares consumers without giving them a single bit of information.

jbfarmer's picture

If this site was put up to mislead the public you are doing great. Your information is not factual and I have noticed that you are pulling contradictory comments off. The truth is and everyone knows it is that no one can say for sure if gmo's are 100% safe for consumption, period. So beforfe we become another science experiment for Monsanto like agent orange, ddt, dioxin and the like, the people should have the choice, a fundamental right on which our country was founded, to choose what they eat for better or for worse. That is the long and short of it. Anything else is hot air on your part to continue to sell Round Up. Let's just be honest here. Try it, it might be good for your soul...or lack thereof

whyusegmoseeds's picture

why does monsanto want to control the worlds food supply? why are the cancer rates so high today than 40 years ago? if gmo seeds and crops are not different from natural crops and seeds than why not label them? why did monsanto lobbyist's lobby for a law banning private backyard gardens? if bt toxin isn't toxic why call it a toxin? why dont monsanto want us to know exactly what is in our food and exactly how they made it? does monsanto have special interest's in our food safety laws? why does monsanto have special interest's in our food safety laws?

horseballs's picture

Well, looks like Monsanto is already taking down comments that they do not see as portraying Monsanto in a positive light. Why is this website here again? Because it's obviously not to have open and honest dialogue.

Community Manager's picture

This community is intended for discussion about GMOs and biotechnology. If you aren't here to ask questions and have a dialogue, this site may not be for you. We aim to have a conversation with those wanting to learn more about the facts and ask questions. Please post a comment about the specific question response and we will respond accordingly. We do reserve the right to remove any posts that don’t adhere to the guidelines, more info available here:

Cornlover's picture

horseballs this is a place to talk about GMOs.I don't how more open you want them to be,they gave plenty of study's to look at.

SaveMyFood's picture

If Monsanto believes Organic farming is valuable, why plant GM test plots near organic farms? These hard working farmers (who care about producing chemical-free products) are at the mercy of the wind. Tell us what Monsanto does to help avoid cross-pollination. Anything? If 'invade that farmer's land to confirm cross-pollination took place, confirm the genes are now present in their seed, strip them of their organic certification and sue them for saving their seeds' is your answer, please let everyone here know. Obviously, there aren't enough people out there who understand the real process.

Awakeaboutgmo's picture

The thing is anyone who knows about gmo's, other than the gmo companies, are wary or against them. The only people who come to this site are the ones who are educated on the subject and are therefore against it and will not be swayed in favour.

sonora wheat's picture

This is a list of the top contributors to the effort to defeat Proposition 37 in California. Just in case y'all don't know.

Rank Contributor name Total
2 E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO. $5,400,000
3 PEPSICO, INC. $2,485,400
10 COCA-COLA COMPANY $1,700,500

Cornlover's picture

Who would make money off the mis information on GMOs.The same people behind 37,the organic company' give me a break the science is clear and correct.

Community Manager's picture

Please remember to post comments which apply to the question response. Sticking to the subject makes conversational threads easier for others to follow. If you feel as if your comment might deserve its own conversational thread or strays from the topic discussed, please post it as a new question.

c2thaj's picture

achood4mu's picture

@Save MyFood: There is a lot to address in your comment so hopefully I get to all of it. First, when a biotech company is doing field testing, they are required to have a border distance around that crop to avoid any contamination with any other crop, be it GM, conventional or organic. Secondly,Monsanto has stated many times that the will not sue any farmer for inadvertant presense of their product on their land. You can visit this blog for more information on accidental pollenation: Lastly, I have never heard that Monsanto lobbied for a law banning private backyard gardens. You should ask that question to find out more.

Joseph Najjar's picture

So JBFARMER, what do you think of the tons and tons of research done by people other than Monsanto, some work done in other parts of the world, that still report that there is no evidence to suggest GM crops being dangerous to eat? What information have you found on here that isn't factual? Here is a paper out of the EU, specifically Italy:

They analyze it pretty thoroughly and dont raise any red flags.

In addition, a similar comprehensive study done by Stanford:

additional sources that may be useful to you:

Joseph Najjar's picture

You've posted in a fashion that cant really be responded to....Lets take these points one at a time. First you point out a correlation between "organ diseases and GMOs". Inherently, correlation does not equal or mean causation. To imply that the two are synonymous is a disservice to science. Not to mention, it will lead you to some false conclusions. All of these "links" you are discussing, between our health and this food is a great example. Americans are, on average, more obese than most people in the world. That has been a trend for the last few decades at least. But to blame it on GMOs is just plain lazy and wrong. First, we as a society live a sedentary lifestyle, we walk far, far less than people from other countries, per day.

We also eat at fast food restaurants, drink sodas, and eat processed foods out the ass! But no, god forbid we drink fewer than 4 cokes a day, or get out of the car to get food. This is about taking responsibility for yourselves.

Finally, I will just say that for every source you find that claims GMOs are dangerous, there are dozens, if not hundreds more, that refute that.

The last one I will leave you with is this retraction, made on the journal claiming GM foods gave rats tumors. This is a great example of pseudo-science, where the researcher clearly manipulates data to support his biased opinion. He used the Sprague-Dawley line of rats, which is genetically predisposed to grow tumors, regardless of diet. His control rats grew tumors, but he failed to report that. His sample sizes were far too small to be conclusive....the list goes on and on. Its bad science, clearly aimed at twisting the truth

wedeservetherighttoknow's picture

The french study David B. Schmidt was talking about was a similar study Monsanto did, except it increased the time. The same rats, the same gmos, everything. Monsanto did it for 3 months, the rats were fine. Some scientists did it in other countries, and extended it for 6 months. The rats did get tumors. I got that from Jeremy Seifert, who made GMO,OMG. So why are people criticizing the tumor tests, but not Monsantos'?