Line 4Line 4 Copyic/close/grey600play_circle_outline - material

Bill Reeves

Global Health and Safety Issues Management Lead, Bayer Crop Science

Expert Bio

I am the Global Health and Safety Issues Management Lead with a background in human health risk assessment. I earned my Ph.D. in toxicology from Texas A&M University and my B.S. in biology from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining Monsanto (now Bayer) I was an Environmental Scientist with the California Environmental Protection Agency where I developed water quality standards. Subsequently, I worked for a private consulting firm conducting risk assessments. I started at Monsanto as a Biotechnology Regulatory Affairs manager responsible for obtaining global regulatory approvals for GMO crops. In 2014 I joined our Regulatory Policy and Scientific Affairs team.

Studies, Articles and Answers

Filter by

Showing 9 out of 9 results

Question

Q: Are all the seeds you alter genetically patented by you and require man-made chemicals and licences to grow? If so, how sustainable is our future if a corporation OWNS the seeds of life inherited to us on this planet? If GMOs are natural then how is that

Answered By Community Manager - Jan 30, 2014

A: Professor Drew Kershen, Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law (Emeritus) at the University of Oklahoma College of Law recently answered a question about  seed patents, and an excerpt is below: “…Beginning in the early 1900s scientists began to understand the process of developing hybrid plants. Scientists learned to develop two in-bred parent lines that when crossed produced hybrid vigor – most often meaning greatly increase yields. Using this scientific knowledge, Henry Wallace Pioneer Hi-Bred controlled the information about the parental lines as a company secret, thereby gaining [...]

Answered By Jillian Etress - Mar 15, 2014

A: Great question. First of all, from a farm perspective not all of our seeds are genetically modified. We choose to use or not use GMOs based on the needs of our farm. When we do buy GM seeds, we are required to sign a technology contract where we agree not to save seed from year to year. This protects the research that whatever seed company we purchase from that year has put into the seeds. That being said, the seed is still viable. Technically, it could be replanted and grown the next year; however, we choose to abide by the legal restraints of our contract and do not save GMO seed.  [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Mar 14, 2014

A: To answer the first part of the question, none of the seeds that is genetically altered “requires” a man-made chemical to grow—just soil, air and water. I’ll explain more at the bottom why that last part is important.A list of GMO crops currently approved or under consideration for cultivation in the United States is available from USDA’s website. On that site, you can see for yourself the data submitted for each GMO crop. One of the key studies GMO crop developers submit to USDA is a comparison of agronomic requirements between the GMO crop and its non-GMO counterpart. USDA specifically cons [...]

Business Practices GMOs & Farmers

Question

Q: How does Monsanto feel about GMOs affect on the natural order of the ecosystm. Have they considered it backfiring and Possibly causing a disaster? eg. The bees dying off. Although they may not be responsible for this. The consideration of altering plants

Answered By Bill Reeves - Mar 18, 2014

A: This question touches on an important issue that is considered for all new GMO crop plants when they are reviewed by regulatory agencies in the United States and around the world. For plants modified to be protected against certain insect pests, assessments are conducted to determine whether nonpest species, such as bees and other beneficial organisms (earthworms, ladybugs, etc.), could suffer adverse effects. In the United States, data from these studies are submitted to EPA. In addition to the data submitted to EPA, developers of GMO crop plants submit field study data to USDA. These field [...]

Environment Crop protectants

Question

Q: I have a GMO hating landlord that is isisting that i plant his farm using only nongmo seeds. I told him that would be like going back to the stoneage, but he just continued to ramble about how some ingredient in Roundup was found in peoples blood over in

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: As you and other farmers are well aware, weed control is one of the keys to good yields. GM crops that can tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup agricultural herbicides, provide a simplified approach to weed control and allow farmers to rely on an herbicide with a thoroughly documented record of safe use. Glyphosate is well known for its low toxicity to humans, farm animals and wildlife. From time to time, there are reports of glyphosate being detected in samples collected from people. It is understandable that reports like these capture the public¹s attention and raise s [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: As you and other farmers are well aware, weed control is one of the keys to good yields. GM crops that can tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup agricultural herbicides, provide a simplified approach to weed control and allow farmers to rely on an herbicide with a thoroughly documented record of safe use. Glyphosate is well known for its low toxicity to humans, farm animals and wildlife. From time to time, there are reports of glyphosate being detected in samples collected from people. It is understandable that reports like these capture the public¹s attention and raise s [...]

Answered By Community Manager - May 06, 2014

A: This type of misinformation is exactly why GMO Answers was created. We understand people have concerns about GMOs, and we need to do a better job answering their questions.  We encourage you to take a look at and perhaps share several of the questions and answers on this website that discuss the safety of glyphosate,how glyphosate is applied and how trace levels of glyphosate are not toxic to humans. We also have information about how GM technology can reduce pesticide applications, including h [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: I have a GMO hating landlord that is isisting that i plant his farm using only nongmo seeds. I told him that would be like going back to the stoneage, but he just continued to ramble about how some ingredient in Roundup was found in peoples blood over in

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: As you and other farmers are well aware, weed control is one of the keys to good yields. GM crops that can tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup agricultural herbicides, provide a simplified approach to weed control and allow farmers to rely on an herbicide with a thoroughly documented record of safe use. Glyphosate is well known for its low toxicity to humans, farm animals and wildlife. From time to time, there are reports of glyphosate being detected in samples collected from people. It is understandable that reports like these capture the public¹s attention and raise s [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: As you and other farmers are well aware, weed control is one of the keys to good yields. GM crops that can tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup agricultural herbicides, provide a simplified approach to weed control and allow farmers to rely on an herbicide with a thoroughly documented record of safe use. Glyphosate is well known for its low toxicity to humans, farm animals and wildlife. From time to time, there are reports of glyphosate being detected in samples collected from people. It is understandable that reports like these capture the public¹s attention and raise s [...]

Answered By Community Manager - May 06, 2014

A: This type of misinformation is exactly why GMO Answers was created. We understand people have concerns about GMOs, and we need to do a better job answering their questions.  We encourage you to take a look at and perhaps share several of the questions and answers on this website that discuss the safety of glyphosate,how glyphosate is applied and how trace levels of glyphosate are not toxic to humans. We also have information about how GM technology can reduce pesticide applications, including h [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Are antibiotic resistance genes removed from GMOs? If so, how is this achieved? If not, are these marker genes tested for safety?

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: Antibiotic resistance genes are used in some GMOs to identify plants where the added DNA has been successfully incorporated. While this idea could understandably lead to questions -- Antibiotic resistance genes in my food? -- multiple safety reviews conducted by regulatory agencies around the world have confirmed that the presence of an antibiotic resistance gene does not pose any unique safety concerns.One of the first steps associated with GMO development is identifying the plants that contain a functional copy of the transferred DNA. To produce a successful GMO crop plant, developers must [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: Antibiotic resistance genes are used in some GMOs to identify plants where the added DNA has been successfully incorporated. While this idea could understandably lead to questions -- Antibiotic resistance genes in my food? -- multiple safety reviews conducted by regulatory agencies around the world have confirmed that the presence of an antibiotic resistance gene does not pose any unique safety concerns.One of the first steps associated with GMO development is identifying the plants that contain a functional copy of the transferred DNA. To produce a successful GMO crop plant, developers must [...]

Health & Safety

Question

Q: Are antibiotic resistance genes removed from GMOs? If so, how is this achieved? If not, are these marker genes tested for safety?

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: Antibiotic resistance genes are used in some GMOs to identify plants where the added DNA has been successfully incorporated. While this idea could understandably lead to questions -- Antibiotic resistance genes in my food? -- multiple safety reviews conducted by regulatory agencies around the world have confirmed that the presence of an antibiotic resistance gene does not pose any unique safety concerns.One of the first steps associated with GMO development is identifying the plants that contain a functional copy of the transferred DNA. To produce a successful GMO crop plant, developers must [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Jul 24, 2014

A: Antibiotic resistance genes are used in some GMOs to identify plants where the added DNA has been successfully incorporated. While this idea could understandably lead to questions -- Antibiotic resistance genes in my food? -- multiple safety reviews conducted by regulatory agencies around the world have confirmed that the presence of an antibiotic resistance gene does not pose any unique safety concerns.One of the first steps associated with GMO development is identifying the plants that contain a functional copy of the transferred DNA. To produce a successful GMO crop plant, developers must [...]

Health & Safety

Question

Q: Do neonicotinoids and Roundup affect the wild bee populations? If so, how are you working to stop this bee killoff?

Answered By Bill Reeves - Oct 01, 2014

A: Like all companies that produce seed for crops that require insect pollination, Monsanto is concerned about honey bee health. Both our vegetable-seed business and our alfalfa-seed business rely on healthy pollinators to be productive. With respect to the question about possible impacts of Roundup herbicide on honey bees, there is sufficient information to conclude that Roundup herbicide and its active ingredient, glyphosate, do not cause adverse effects in honey bees. In addition to toxicity testing conducted in support of regulatory submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency tha [...]

Answered By Iain Kelley - Aug 01, 2014

A: The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Pesticide Registration Process is designed to assess that pesticides used according to label directions do not pose any unreasonable adverse effects to either native or managed bees. Recent guidelines from EPA, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) define this process under which neonicotinoids continue to be assessed. In 2007, the National Academy of Science issued an extensive study, “Status of Pollinators in North America,” highlighting the central role that habitat has in m [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Oct 01, 2014

A: Like all companies that produce seed for crops that require insect pollination, Monsanto is concerned about honey bee health. Both our vegetable-seed business and our alfalfa-seed business rely on healthy pollinators to be productive. With respect to the question about possible impacts of Roundup herbicide on honey bees, there is sufficient information to conclude that Roundup herbicide and its active ingredient, glyphosate, do not cause adverse effects in honey bees. In addition to toxicity testing conducted in support of regulatory submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency tha [...]

Answered By Iain Kelley - Aug 01, 2014

A: The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Pesticide Registration Process is designed to assess that pesticides used according to label directions do not pose any unreasonable adverse effects to either native or managed bees. Recent guidelines from EPA, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) define this process under which neonicotinoids continue to be assessed. In 2007, the National Academy of Science issued an extensive study, “Status of Pollinators in North America,” highlighting the central role that habitat has in m [...]

Environment

Question

Q: Do neonicotinoids and Roundup affect the wild bee populations? If so, how are you working to stop this bee killoff?

Answered By Bill Reeves - Oct 01, 2014

A: Like all companies that produce seed for crops that require insect pollination, Monsanto is concerned about honey bee health. Both our vegetable-seed business and our alfalfa-seed business rely on healthy pollinators to be productive. With respect to the question about possible impacts of Roundup herbicide on honey bees, there is sufficient information to conclude that Roundup herbicide and its active ingredient, glyphosate, do not cause adverse effects in honey bees. In addition to toxicity testing conducted in support of regulatory submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency tha [...]

Answered By Iain Kelley - Aug 01, 2014

A: The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Pesticide Registration Process is designed to assess that pesticides used according to label directions do not pose any unreasonable adverse effects to either native or managed bees. Recent guidelines from EPA, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) define this process under which neonicotinoids continue to be assessed. In 2007, the National Academy of Science issued an extensive study, “Status of Pollinators in North America,” highlighting the central role that habitat has in m [...]

Answered By Bill Reeves - Oct 01, 2014

A: Like all companies that produce seed for crops that require insect pollination, Monsanto is concerned about honey bee health. Both our vegetable-seed business and our alfalfa-seed business rely on healthy pollinators to be productive. With respect to the question about possible impacts of Roundup herbicide on honey bees, there is sufficient information to conclude that Roundup herbicide and its active ingredient, glyphosate, do not cause adverse effects in honey bees. In addition to toxicity testing conducted in support of regulatory submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency tha [...]

Answered By Iain Kelley - Aug 01, 2014

A: The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Pesticide Registration Process is designed to assess that pesticides used according to label directions do not pose any unreasonable adverse effects to either native or managed bees. Recent guidelines from EPA, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) define this process under which neonicotinoids continue to be assessed. In 2007, the National Academy of Science issued an extensive study, “Status of Pollinators in North America,” highlighting the central role that habitat has in m [...]

Environment

Question

Q: How are antibiotic resistance genes useful as markers for genetic engineering? I know the resistance genes are attached to a gene you want, and then the cells are treated with an antibiotic, and the surviving cells have taken up the genes. But I thought a

Answered By Bill Reeves - Sep 08, 2015

A: Before looking at how antibiotic resistance genes are used, it’s important to understand why there is a need to use them. DNA is transferred to dozens or even hundreds of plants early in product development and those plants need to be screened to identify which ones contain a functional copy of the transferred DNA. In order to accomplish this, a simple method for selecting the right plants is required.  One way to do this selection is to include DNA encoding an antibiotic resistance marker (ARM) along with the DNA responsible for the trait of interest.   Plants are [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made