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Why did Monsanto need to purchase Blackwater Industries (and or any of their affiliates)? If they are supposed to be a company with a product that is aboveboard and legitimate, why are they working with a group that is clearly used as mercenaries and often under shady pretexts? If it's simply for local security of Monsanto's plants and personnel, why is there a need for them to own a mercenary style group? This act has not created any trust in Monsanto, and if anything it could be determined as to be a form of 'control by fear' of any group that might speak out against Monsanto.

Submitted by: Mosh Miller


Expert response from Tom Helscher

Former Director, Corporate Affairs, Monsanto Company

Friday, 16/08/2013 13:04

We have never owned Blackwater or any part of Blackwater. Nor do we hire them or their affiliates, nor do we own or hire them under any other name (like Xe or Academi). But here’s how I think the idea that we do got started.


Like a lot of companies, we try to stay aware of threats to our employees or our business by keeping an eye on publicly available information such as websites and news reports. Sometimes we’ve hired outside companies to help us with this. Between 2008 and 2010, we hired a company called Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS) to help us monitor publicly available information.


In 2010, The Nation published a story about Blackwater.  In that story, the reporter said that TIS was part of Blackwater, and that TIS had spoken with us about having their people join animal rights groups. As I said, we did hire TIS for a while to monitor publicly available information. But we were told specifically at the time that they were not part of Blackwater. And they certainly never joined animal rights groups or any other group for us. We don’t have contractors infiltrate third party groups on our behalf nor do we do this ourselves.


As near as we can figure, this article seems to be where the idea got started. But the article doesn’t say or imply that we ever owned Blackwater or any part of Blackwater. It’s still available online if you’re interested in reading it. You can also check out this recent (2013) tweet from Jeremy Scahill, who was the author of the original story in The Nation: