Lobbying by Monsanto, aided by poor governance across the globe, is leading to an erosion of democracy, while fueling environmental disasters and social injustice, according to a new report by Corporate Europe Observatory.
“Corporations like Monsanto have limitless resources to buy political power through lobbying,” said the report entitled “Monsanto Lobbying: An attack on us, our planet and democracy.”
The report was intended as a guide for tomorrow's International Monsanto Tribunal in the Hague. The mock trial will hear testimonies from witness and experts from across the world who will expose human rights violations, crimes against humanity and the environment.
Monsanto currently has a monopoly on the world agricultural market and now produces 80 percent of world genetically modified corn and 93 percent of world genetically modified soy.
The report detailed three of the corporations lobbying strategies of directly targeting decision-makers, using public relations and propaganda, as well as lobbying to undermine science.
Direct lobbying includes organizing meetings and events to lobby associations and regulators, headhunt politicians and influence trade agreements. Monsanto commonly employed public relations and propaganda strategies to spread myths about the agriculture industry, attacking whistleblowers and critics.
Research projects would be funded that use scientists as a “third-party” voice, along with “greenwashing” projects that aim to portray Monsanto as environmentally responsible organization.
The report also said that as well as Monsanto’s aggressive lobbying, there is a “perverse symbiosis,” between corporations and regulating authorities. “EU institutions and the U.S. government often actively solicit corporations to lobby them, giving corporations privileged access to decision-making.”
Using a "revolving door" strategy, Monsanto hires former political officials who through their connections and knowledge of the system can then lobby former colleagues. Those working in the industry can also be placed in public positions to lobby on behalf of the corporation.
Monsanto along with other large corporations including Coca-Cola and McDonalds, has been hidden behind the International Life Sciences Institute, ILSI. The institute uses industry and government scientists as a means to promote so-called "science" into food and health policy.
Monsanto was also seen to be pushing its objectives in Africa and Asia as well as lobbying for free trade agreements such as the TPP, TTIP and CETA, that would grant corporation more power in being able to manufacture and sell their products in a globalized market.
The report stated that the recent Bayer-Monsanto mega-merger, “is a direct threat to food security, as it is their goal to control as many seed genetic material as possible through patents.”
The record-breaking US$66 billion takeover of Monsanto by German corporation Bayer, creates the world’s largest agrochemical in the world.