On November 21, 2019, Monsanto pled guilty to unlawfully spraying a banned
pesticide, as it had sprayed Penncap-M at its Valley Farm research facility on Maui.
This pesticide was banned by the EPA
file:///Users/samanthaginsberg/Downloads/combining-ethics-and-design-monsantoand-genetic-engineering.pdf file:///Users/samantha ginsberg/Downloads/combiningethics-and-design-monsanto-and-genetic-engineering.pdf
Monsanto’s involvement in Indian agriculture → people now have questions about.
Profiting from communities and taking advantage of them.
Research about government subsidies, monoculture,, if monsanto promotes
unsustainable government practices
Documentary: The biggest little farm
One Straw Revolution- book
The long term effects of Monsanto’s GM crops on the environment are as yet
unknown. In areas where RoundUp Ready crops are being grown commercially,
herbicide tolerance is being spread to neighbouring crops and wild plants by cross
pollination. Rather than reducing the amount of chemicals used in farming RoundUp
Ready crops are locking farmers into a chemical dependant farming system .
On Monday, 3/ 2, by midnight:
○ Submit answers to the following questions via an assignment link on Blackboard:
■ Provide a quick summary of the dilemma/ tough decision you plan to write about in the case.
Who is the protagonist? (~250 words)
The protagonist could be the Lead Executive of Monsanto for India. This case is about how
Monsanto, an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in
1901, sold its products to Indian farmers. Monsanto is famous for genetically modifying certain
seeds, and placing patents on those seeds. They also created a pesticide called Roundup,
which is a glyphosate-based herbicide. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the
United States. Monsanto has stirred controversy in India specifically because of it’s growing
control over seeds in the Indian food chain. Through Monsanto’s patented seed approach,
Monsanto creates a heavy dependency on their products. However, Monsanto’s GM cotton
seed trait has helped transform the country into the world’s top producer and second-largest
exporter of the fiber. We would hope to discuss the implications of Monsanto’s work in the
context of their ability to provide superior yields, beneficial for a large number of people, pitted
against the implication of their presence and patents for farmers, the farming industry, and the
environment. The protagonist would most likely be faced with a non-binary decision. Would they
pull back sales? Would they look for somewhere else to place blame? Would they dissolve the
patent? Would they change nothing?
■ What are some of the sources you are considering using? (List five.)
■ Who are some of the people you are thinking of interviewing and why? (List three.)
– A former consultant at Monsanto- We can learn more about Monsanto and what they
think of it, how decisions were made, and where priorities lied.
– A user of Monsanto’s product- We can learn what they think about Monsanto and
whether they support it; .
– An activist campaigning against Monsanto or other unsustainable agriculture practicesWe can know more information about why he or she resist Monsanto and what
questionable things Monsanto did. What do they think should be done?
■ What theme or combination of the prescribed themes will your case be dealing with?
– Environment sustainability (environmental sustainability vs. ability to feed large
– Limits of intellectual property
– Implications of MNC intervention in developing countries
On Friday, 3/ 6, by midnight:
○ Submit a draft version of your case (at least 3 pages of writing) via an assignment link on
■ Observe the technical requirements for the final version of the case, except for the
page limit, of course.
■ Try to include the transcript for one of the interviews.
■ I will give you feedback on this version of the case to help you make improvements for
the final version.
Should they spend more time innovating products that are sustainable without patents?
Is it ethical for Monsanto to have that much control?
What does a company do when they have that much control over an industry?
Section 1: Introduction (1-2 pages)
● Fictional introduction of Monsanto Executive for India (Sammy)
○ Elizabeth Reynolds
Background on Monsanto seeds and pesticide use （Kevin)
Background on Monsanto sales and entry into India and effect on Indian farmers
Section 2: Sustainable farming and criticisms of Monsanto’s unsustainable practices (2-3 pages)
● Monsanto seeds’ superior yields
● Monsanto’s control over seeds and India’s food chain
● The deception that GMOs are safe and can feed the world – the use of chemicals to kill
superpests and superweeds
Section 3: (1-2 pages)
● How do our options play out?
○ Who are some of the affected parties?
■ Indian citizens, farmers, Monsanto
○ What does each party stand to gain/lose from:
■ Monsanto pulling back/changing sales
■ Monsanto keeping/getting rid of their patent
■ Monsanto maintaining/reducing their presence in India
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