Dr Roger Beachy, is the founding president of the Danforth Plant Science Center, which was established by Monsanto and academic partners, including Peter Raven 's Missouri Botanical Garden. The Center was launched with a $70-million pledge from Monsanto, which also donated the Centers 40-acre tract of land, near Monsanto's home town of St. Louis, valued at $11.4 million.
Beachy is also Professor in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. It was Beachy's work at Washington University which, in collaboration with Monsanto, led to the development of the worlds first genetically modified food crop, a variety of tomato that was modified for virus disease-resistance.
In 2003, in letters to the journals Science and Nature, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, complained that Beachy had published an editorial in Science and co-signed a letter in Nature Biotechnology without either journal disclosing that 'Beachys research on agricultural biotechnology has been funded by Monsanto and other biotech companies, even though the subjects of his submissions the safety of genetically engineered crops and intellectual-property policies are directly relevant to those companies.'
One of the co-signatories of Beachy's letter in Nature Biotechnology was Prof Chris Lamb. Beachy is a co-chair with Lamb of the scientific advisory board of the Akkadix Corporation, a global agricultural biotechnology company co-founded by Lamb. Beachy is also on the Board of Directors of the industry-supported Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise, and on the scientific advisory board of Spacehab, Inc.. He is also a consultant to the United Soybean Board.
Among numerous honours and awards, Beachy was the 1991 recipient of the Bank of Delawares Commonwealth Award for Science and Industry and in 1999 he was named R&D Magazines Scientist of the Year.