Former Director, Corporate Affairs, Monsanto Company
Having spent many years at Monsanto, Tom Helscher is knowledgeable about Monsanto's current businesses as well as the company's legacy and responsibilities. Helcher's focus was addressing the questions people have about Monsanto technologies, products and business practices.
Studies, Articles and Answers
Showing 10 out of 11 results
Q: How can we trust a company like Monsanto when it has a history of creating toxic chemicals that have harmed people and the environement like Agent Organge and PCB's. At one time they also claimed these chemicals safe. There is not enough testing on GMO pr
A: I guess the simplest answer is: our companies realize that corporations must earn your trust—and the only way we can do that is through making good on our commitments and our actions. It’s one of the main reasons why all of our companies are engaging in this initiative and willing to answer the questions that people ask on the site. With respect to Monsanto, I’d say we are not same company that we were even 15 years ago. We’ve significantly changed the focus of our business (now 100 percent focused on agriculture) and the products we sell. I’d ask you to visit our website and loo [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: If some of your patented seeds from a farm growing them under contract with you, were to end up at a neighboring farm that is not under contract with you, what legal action would you take to either retrieve the seeds or the plants produced by the patented
A: We would not take any legal action. For instance, Monsanto has 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.” [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: Why would people trust Monsanto considering you develop 'so called terminator seeds', sue farmers and worst of all you developed Agent Orange.
A: This question about trust has been posed by several people. I guess the simplest answer is, our companies realize that corporations must earn your trust—and the only way we can do that is through making good on our commitments and our actions. It’s one of the main reasons why all of our companies are engaging in this initiative and willing to answer the questions that people ask on the site. With respect to Monsanto, our Pledge and our 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report will give you a good idea of who we are and what we are focused on as a business each and e [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: If you want to know the truth about GMOs, you have to look outside the USA, because inside the USA, Monsanto has a strangle-hold on the media, politicians, and even scientists. What is your response to the revelation recently posted in the German Süddeut
A: If there are specific questions relating to GMOs raised in the article you cited, it would be great if you could post them individually to get a thorough response. If, however, your last comment refers to Blackwater, suffice it to say, that accusation is a gross distortion of an original gross distortion. Monsanto never bought Blackwater. Even the writer of the original story that started this (in the Nation in 2010) has tweeted that it’s a distortion and urged people to read his original account. There is a 2010 article on our blog that provides additional information: “Mons [...]GMO Basics Health & Safety
Q: Why does Monsanto employ Blackwater to spy on anti-GMO groups?
A: We don’t employ Blackwater – please see my answer to a question about them here. [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: What does Monsanto plan to do with Academi (ex-Blackwater, the worlds largest private army) ? Are they going to FORCE us to eat GMO ?
A: We don’t have any relationship with Academi - please see my answer to a question about Blackwater here. [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: 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 oft
A: 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 informat [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: In an answer, the comment " the former Monsanto Company" was used. Isn't it true that Monsanto has earned such a negative image over the years that comments such as that are nothing more than an attempt to remake their image. If they are truly different
A: The Monsanto name has a long history in business, dating back to 1901. In the late 1990s, Solutia Inc. became an independent publicly held company comprised of the chemical businesses of the former Monsanto Company. In 2012, Solutia Inc. was acquired by Eastman Chemical Company. In 2002, following a period of mergers and reorganizations, Monsanto became an independent, publicly held agricultural company. The “former Monsanto” that dates back to 1901 doesn’t exist anymore. The company named Monsanto that does exist today is focused solely on agriculture and has been for [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: SumOfUs.org is reporting that “when grassroots activists dared to challenge the global biotech giant Monsanto, it hired the world’s largest private army, Blackwater, to infiltrate and monitor their groups.” Is this true? I’d like to hear Monsant
A: We have never hired Blackwater or their affiliates, nor do we own or hire them under any other name – please see my answer to a question about Blackwater here. [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers
Q: Did Monsanto hire Blackwater types to spy on activists and gather information?
A: We have never hired (or owned) Blackwater or any part of Blackwater. Please see my answer to another related question about Blackwater. If you still have additional questions after reading that response, please ask. Thanks, http://gmoanswers.com/ask/why-did-monsanto-need-purchase-blackwater-industries-and-or-any-their-affiliates-if-they-are [...]Business Practices GMOs & Farmers