It may be difficult to wrap your head around the fact that the same manufacturer of Agent Orange – a highly toxic herbicide used during the Vietnam era to clear forest and starve opponent soldiers – is also a huge controller of our cotton, corn and soy crops, and seems to be taking over the world.
Founded by a pharmaceutical company agent John F. Queeny, Monsanto has not only created one of the most used herbicides in the world Roundup, but it also formed a manmade seed that learned to survive against its toxic counterpart and overtake the farming industry as we know it. So, one begs the question: How does a sugar-replacement company turned chemical company become world’s most antipathic corporation?
Monsanto’s parasitic infestation has been something of a slow burn since it’s 1901 saccharin introduction, an artificial sweetener that was quickly met with resistance from the USDA. In 1907, they found that replacing sugar with saccharin violates the Pure Food and Drug Act, a consumer protection law. Theodore Roosevelt (who enjoyed saccharin) fought against this investigation, which, in turn, set the wheels in motion for Monsanto’s origins.
However, in 1911, the USDA determined that saccharin violated it’s pure food protection; once again, it worked to ban the alternative sweetener. When World War I began in 1914, it brought sugar shortages; so, saccharin was reintroduced to the market. With the expansion of their line to include caffeine and vanillin, Monsanto rose to be a million dollar company and garnered Coca-Cola as their top customer.