Explosive documentary about Monsanto (26/2/2008)



INTRO: Coming soon... an explosive documentary about Monsanto by French journalist, Marie-Monique Robin.

LE MONDE SELON MONSANTO (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO) is due to be broadcast on the Franco-German TV channel ARTE on 11th March (we think at 2100 hrs, French time).

Filmed in North America, Europe and Asia, it looks at Monsanto's record since its inception in 1901, taking in PCBs, Agent Orange, rBGH, GMOs and the rest of the company's extraordinary toxic legacy.

There's lots of information about the film in French - plus some images and an extract - on the ARTE website:

Below, Claire Robinson has translated into English some of the info from the ARTE site (item 2).

The film's also due to run on twelve other TV channels in different European countries, and seems to have already gone out on the Swiss Channel TSR.

There's also a book coming out of the same title, which looks like it'll be available in bookshops in France from the 6 March, and also via Amazon.

French bookshops are said to have been getting a lot of interest, but it's not clear yet when either the book or the film will be available in languages other than French. However, the film seems to contain a lot of material from interviews conducted in English with scientists, farmers, regulators, lawyers etc. in the USA, Canada, Britain, and India, which are subtitled in French, so even the French version of the film shouldn't be too hard to follow for English speakers, assuming it becomes available on dvd or online.

There's a great trailer and some other info in English here http://www.dailymotion.com/visited-week/tag/test/video/x4da65_le-monde-selon-monsanto-arte-mardi_politics (quotes from this in item 1 below)

The film's in-depth investigation into Monsanto apparently took over three years. And we know just how carefully the film and book have been researched because the director, Marie-Monique Robin, came and spent a good part of a day with GM Watch checking through the minutiae of the evidence for Monsanto's online PR attacks on scientific critics like Dr. Ignacio Chapela.

Incidentally, those interviewed in the film include Kirk J. Azevedo - a former Monsanto employee whose career came to a grinding halt because of his concern at the practices of his employer who was allowing test plot material from genetically engineered cotton seed to enter the food supply without proper testing.



Quotes taken from the trailer at

[Monsanto ad]: Monsanto: Where creative chemistry works wonders for you.

[Canadian Government scientist addressing Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee, Ottawa]: I wonder which truth I will tell: the one I know, or the one the minister instructed me to tell.

[Jeremy Rifkin]: I have never seen a situation where one company could have so much overwhelming influence at the highest levels of regulatory decision-making as Monsanto with its GM food policy in the government.

[former FDA scientist involved in rBGH regulation]: One day I was escorted to the door and that was it, I was done.

[Health Canada scientist - man]: We were dismissed for disobedience.

[Health Canada scientist - woman]: They fired us.

[Dr Arpad Pusztai]: Our job was to look at what will happen if you are including these potatoes in the diet of the rat... It started to recognize the GM potatoes as alien.

[Scientist]: 'The animal feeding studies provided some reassurance that no major changes occurred.' I want 100% reassurance, not just 'some'.

[Lawyer?]: I have to say, we would never trust a company like Monsanto to tell the truth about a pollution problem or a product.

[Vandana Shiva]: It's always said genetic engineering is the way to get to patenting. But patenting is the real aim.

[Monsanto ad for Roundup]: One shot is all it takes for weeds. Roundup.

[US farmer/agribiz rep in field of GM soya]: I've got a soybean in my hand, I can eat this soybean, it's very safe, very safe.

[Resident of Anniston, community poisoned by Monsanto plant]: This is Snow Creek. The plant was poisoning it and they never told anybody. They told the state, but the state didn't tell anybody.

[Another man talking about Anniston]: Their neighbors in Anniston were not told about the poisoning because they [Monsanto] didn't 'want to lose one dollar' [of business].

[Vandana]: We will depend on them for every seed we grow, every crop we grow, and if they control seed they control food, they know it. It's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs, it's more powerful than guns.

[Man on dairy farm - from Monsanto advertisement?]: As you know, Posilac from Monsanto is the first and only BST product to be approved by the FDA for your use.

[Another man]: You have to look at the most important thing and that is, there's pus in the milk.

[Lawyer Steve Druker]: The FDA has been lying to the world since 1992.

[unnamed woman]: We're dealing with something that is untouchable, that is so big, so powerful.

[Indian man]: With GM, biotechnology, they are making farmers completely dependent on market forces.

[Another man in India]: In 6 months, we've had 680 suicides. It's a disaster.

[American]: You can't defend yourself against these people. They've created an industry that serves no other purpose than to wreck farmers' lives. Of course, [farmers are] afraid.


Director: Marie-Monique Robin
Author: Marie-Monique Robin

Following an intensive investigation conducted over three years in North America and southern Europe and Asia, this film reveals Monsanto's project for world-domination, which threatens the food security of the world and the ecological balance of the planet.

'THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO' investigates the American multinational Monsanto, the world leader in biotechnology and one of the most controversial companies of the industrial age.

Ninety percent of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) grown today on the planet, such as soybeans, canola, corn, and cotton, belong to it and in future it aims to control the entire food supply.

Monsanto's GMOs have invaded the world and never has any agro-industrial application aroused as much passion and controversy. Why? What are the issues around GMOs? The risks and benefits for mankind?

Drawing on unpublished documents and the testimony of scientists, representatives of civil society, victims, lawyers, politicians, representatives of the US Food and Drug Administration, and conducting investigations on the ground among farmers in India, Mexico, Paraguay, the director Marie-Monique Robin - winner of the prestigious Albert Londres prize - has patiently assembled the pieces of a large economic puzzle.

Following an intensive investigation conducted over three years in North America and southern Europe and Asia, the film depicts the genesis of an industrial empire and shows how [Monsanto] became one of the foremost seed-suppliers in the world. It shows how, behind the clean green image portrayed in its advertising campaigns, is hidden a project for world-domination that threatens both global food security and also the ecological balance of the planet.

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