Monsatano
January 6, 2011 6:07 AM   Subscribe

How do I boycott Monsanto?

Because I'm pretty sure they're out to destroy the world.

The thing is, I'm not a farmer, and don't buy any of their products...
posted by chicago2penn to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Find events/programs they sponsor and contact the event/programs and their fellow sponsors that you will be boycotting them and explain why.

This is a long shot that it will make any change, but really so are boycotts.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:12 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


you eat corn don't you?

(and yes I'm usually pretty skeptical about "company x is evil" but in this case these motherfuckers are)
posted by JPD at 6:12 AM on January 6, 2011


It would be really, really, REALLY tough to avoid the reach of Monsanto products unless you were living on a commune in Barrow, AK. I'm thinking consciousness-raising might be a better tactic... somehow making previously-oblivious people aware that, 1. This company exists, and 2. They are seriously, no lie, profoundly fucking evil.

If you make t-shirts to this effect ("MONSANTO : SOWING THE SEEDS OF DESPAIR [AND THEN SUING INNOCENT FAMILY FARMERS FOR INADVERTENTLY GROWING THEM]"), I'll totally buy one.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:17 AM on January 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


I hate monsanto, they are the devil. I found these fantastic t-shirts on cafe press, and own a hoodie as well as a shirt now. I'm in no way associated with the people who came up with this design, and am not trying to be self-serving here by posting this link. Fuck monsanto shirts..
posted by TheBones at 6:20 AM on January 6, 2011


Depending on what you eat, you are buying their stuff all of the time. Stop eating pretty much everything processed. HFCS and the approximately one bazillion other food additives that are derived from corn.
posted by fixedgear at 6:25 AM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems to me like the most direct way to impede their efforts would be to establish a legal defense fund for farmers that choose to not use Monsanto products, since legal harassment seems to be their most commonly used weapon.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


Make sure you're not investing in them, too. Double check all the funds your 401k and such are invested in, and if any of the funds own Monsanto, sell them.
posted by Grither at 6:28 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll give the opposite advice as Grither. If you want to have an impact on Monsanto you should buy some of their stock and use your position as a shareholder to pressure them to improve their business practices. You can do this by writing them letters and supporting existing shareholder campaigns by institutional investors.

For example, shareholders are challenging Monsanto on the testing of their genetically engineered crops, the production of plant-made pharmaceuticals, the export of toxic pesticides from the US to other countries, and their use of animal testing.

You can help support these and other efforts even if you own a small number of shares. Having an additional shareholder signed-on makes a difference. You can also just make sure to vote your shares the right way when proposals on these and other subjects are presented to shareholders.

Will these shareholder actions quickly transform Monsanto into an upstanding company? No, they won't. But they can still push it in the right direction.
posted by alms at 6:48 AM on January 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not only corn, but avoid any/all soy too. They have that market cornered as well.
posted by thatguyjeff at 6:52 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Buy as much organic as you can. Monsanto can by definition get nowhere near Organic foods.
My wife and I last year shuffled some of our 401K money around to get it out of mutual funds that held their shares.
I agree with alms that if you directly own their stock and are willing to go to meetings etc. it can be beneficial, but you don't have much (any?) power owning a fund that owns them.
posted by ohheh at 7:06 AM on January 6, 2011


alms: "I'll give the opposite advice as Grither. If you want to have an impact on Monsanto you should buy some of their stock and use your position as a shareholder to pressure them to improve their business practices. "

Fair enough, but the shares he owns through the funds in his 401k or whatever don't give him any voting powers at all. So he should still do what I recommended, and then pick up a couple single shares on his own for the purpose of influencing the company via those channels.
posted by Grither at 7:40 AM on January 6, 2011


Buy as much organic as you can. Monsanto can by definition get nowhere near Organic foods.

That doesn't seem to be true.
posted by proj at 7:45 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


2nding buying organic as much as you can. GMO products are not allowed, HFCS is not allowed, and neither are any of the synthetic chemicals that Monsanto makes. However, I'm not sure if they are involved in the organic chemical market yet (rotenone, pyrethrin, various oils, BT, etc). For such a large company, I wouldn't be surprised if they have several stealth subsidiaries that aren't largely known to be owned by Monsanto. It may be like trying to avoid Pepsi or Coke products... they own a lot of stuff that is not obvious.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2011


Norges Bank owns 1.15% of the company. If I were going to target an investor with an argument for a sale (or putting pressure on the company to reform itself) that's who I'd write letters too (well you'd probably need to be norwegian for it to matter)
posted by JPD at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2011


Contact your representatives in government and show your outrage, and get others to do the same.

They, as with other companies in the same spectrum, only have power because we stupidly gave them a legal place to stand to patent genes and thus lifeforms. This was never allowed before, and should not be allowed now. Yay democracy!
posted by zombieApoc at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]




FWIW it's not hard to avoid food with HFCS and soy derivates. You just have to look at the labels. I don't eat either product. Every single person concerned about their health should be doing this.

Good luck. Monsanto is probably worse than Halliburton.
posted by carlh at 5:39 PM on January 6, 2011


Buying organic won't get you away from Monsanto or HFCS if you live in the United States. If you don't want to eat anything having to do with Monsanto, your best bet is to buy from local farmer's markets and ask individual farmers where they get their seeds from. Commercial farming is almost entirely dominated by Monsanto. Also, you should make sure to eat only free-range, grass fed beef. Otherwise, your meat is also consuming Monsanto products.

I agree with the poster who suggested a legal defense fund. That seems like it might actually get somewhere.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:10 PM on January 6, 2011


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